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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kids, Travel and You - Part 1: Planning

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).

Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr. Purchase our fine art and decor or stock photos on ShutterstockZenfolioImageKindmcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.

KIDS, TRAVEL AND YOU - PART 1: PLANNING


Central Park Break Dancers (Editorial Use)
5 THINGS TO REMEMBER

1. Be the adults


Fair in Central Park, NYC (Editorial Use)

When you plan a family trip, take charge as the adults. A family vote is nice, but too much leeway towards the kids can lead to issues when they become teens. 

Although each activity optimistically should appeal to everyone, realistically, hat may not be possible. Remind kids, "We did something you liked last night, tonight is your brother's choice and we will all be fair and participate." If this is standard procedure in your family lifestyle, this should not be a problem. But if this is something new, then you have to start this policy months before the actual trip. Establish your standards, rules, guidelines and boundaries long before you are on the road.


Bicycling in Cape Cod (Editorial Use)


2. Prep and Plan with the Kids

Prepare your children about the destination. Prep them by eating at a restaurant locally that serves the food you will find; visit a museum exhibit, watch travel shows on TV, cable or the internet; watch a popular movie that has the locations you are going to see. 



Emphasize the financial part of planning a trip. For the big dream trips, remind them that a few sacrifices have to be made. Let them start their own fund. Then they can manage their own spending money on the trip. Set boundaries before they get there: "everyone will get one souvenir in this price range and one treat."
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, near Colonial Williamsburg, a good family trip (Editorial Use)

3. Plan with the Kids in Mind...

I have found out that kids will embrace new experiences if you are excited about them. But also, I will plan activities with a kid slant. This calls for doing a little homework and research in advance.







4. ...Plan for some Grown-Up Time

Kids should also know that at some point there will be grown-up time. Resorts will arrange for a child sitter. Plan your fun around the kids activitieson cruises or at resorts. If you are traveling with more than one family, take turns watching the kids.


Night time in Ogunquit, Maine, complete with trolley (Editorial Use)
5. Pay attention to the lodging

In the USA, it seems as if the entire vacation industry understands you may have children with you. Resorts and hotels have pools, water slides, miniature golf, video games and references for child sitters. Cruise ships have kids clubs and adult only areas. 

Other countries are a different story. For one thing, some European hotels call a child someone under 10. You may have to pay for more than one room. A great option is to rent an apartment while in Europe. Trip Advisor, HomeAway, Condo Direct and AirBnB are good sources. You will have the space at a decent price and the option to prepare meals. However, daily maid service is not an option (sorry!).


Covered Bridge in New England (Editorial Use)
Coming up: Part 2, traveling with 18-21 year olds.

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Andiamo in Italia! (Let's Go to Italy): 5 Things to Do

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).




5 Things You Should Do Before Visiting Italy:



Amalfi Coast, Italy



DAVID MICHELANGELO TUSCANY ITALY
Punta Carena, Capri, Italy

1. What Region?

If you can stay for at least a month, then by all means, plan to visit the entire country on a non-stop tour. But if you can only stay a few days or a week, then limit your visit to one region. You will be able to actually enjoy it without feeling rushed. Try the Amalfi Coast; Florence and the surrounding Tuscany region or Milan and the accessible Lake Como area. Of course, there's always Rome!

2. How to Get There?

The answer seems like a no brainer until you realize that even if you are coming from overseas, you have a couple of options: you can fly or you can sail on a cruise. If you are already on the continent, you can fly, take the train or rent a car and drive. Driving internationally should be investigated first but imagine, a road trip in Europe! There are also cruises within Europe.

3. Where to Stay?

There are so many options nowadays: hotels, apartment rentals, vacation rentals through owners or your own vacation ownership (timeshare). Use a map website and figure out how close you will be to public transportation and attractions. Use reviews wisely: some people often will give a negative review for a minor reason. Also, check the date of a review. 

4. What to Do?

Each region in Italy is known for more than art, wine and food although those good places to start. There are ancient ruins, mansions and castles, gardens, zoos as well as museums, wineries. There are also small, charming towns to explore as well as plazas and tiny streets filled with great people.

5. Traveling with Kids

Italy is very kid friendly. In nice weather, the plazas are full of street fairs, entertainers and all the gelato you can afford. Florence (Firenze, in Italian) has a marvelous Leonardo da Vinci Museum with full sized models of his inventions that you can play with. In Venice, what could be more fun than exploring all of the back streets mixed in with canals? 

Come back to this website for more ideas.

VENICE GONDOLA ITALY TOUR



Trevi Fountain, Rome

All photos copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved



Saturday, April 5, 2014

How to Travel: Part 3 -Electronics 5 Tips +1


Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.




This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).


Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr. Purchase our fine art and decor or stock photos on ShutterstockZenfolioImageKindmcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.




HOW TO TRAVEL: PART 3 -
Travel with Your Electronic Devices
5 Tips +1

Recently, a few airlines to certain countries changed their policies about electronics onboard. Check with your airline before you travel. Here are some electronics I find helpful to travel with. 





Invest in a good case for your smartphone. More models on Amazon

1. Smartphone: today's mobile phones are nothing short of modern technology gone wild. All you have to do is make a wish and an app will grant it. Smartphones can: record/edit a photo, video, voice memo; take notes; receive emails (with your confirmations for hotel reservations, flights or tickets); be used to take a picture of your parking space (!), contain books, play television shows, music or movies, catch up on the news, be a GPS device, entertain your toddler and more. Invest in a shockproof/waterproof case and you are good to go.
My tablets pose for a portrait (designs/logos, copyright Apple, Nook, Barnes & Noble)




2. Tablets: So, if smartphones can do all that, why carry a tablet? I can't answer for everyone, but for me, it's for a few reasons: books, movies and games. A PDF app will hold my travel confirmations. 






3. Cameras: I still see many people carrying cameras on vacation. If you are into better quality photos and videos, this is a no brainer. Some cameras now have wi-fi. I own both a waterproof photo camera and an HD waterproof video camera. Priceless when you're snorkeling.





External Hard Drive: My Passport by Western Digital

4. For road trips, laptop: For heavy duty operations, the laptop beats all. Of course, this is not what you take on day trips. But, when you return to the hotel room, hook up the gadgets and download your data. Invest in an external hard drive and you won't run out of space and you'll back up that precious information.


Multi port chargers/adaptors

5. Multiple charger: To minimize space and weight, use a multiple charger with 5 ports on it. One port has enough amps for the full size iPad (very important!!). Check to see that your device's charging system is not proprietary (meaning it doesn't work and play well with others, like my Nook, which needs its own charger and cord). 




Mesh Bag
Cord Wrap by Bobino

6. Mesh storage bags and cord keepers: To get on the plane and to make life organized, I carry mesh bags: one for the devices; one for the cords and for the charger(s) It takes about one minute more, but I take them out when I take out the tablets and laptop and I haven't been stopped through security in years. Worth the effort, believe me. 





Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.