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Taking the family on a well deserved holiday this year but not sure where to go? Well, have a look at these great ideas for all the family, there’s something to suit everyone.

Lapland

If you’re thinking of your winter holiday now, then Lapland’s a winner for families who want a white Christmas. Fly to the Finnish spot where snow’s pretty much guaranteed, and your kids can see Santa, get involved with activities run by the elves, and even have a ride on a sleigh pulled by a reindeer. There are loads for grown-ups too, from skiing, snowmobiling, and hiking, plus you might be able to spot the Northern Lights.

Majorca

With short flights and transfers, family hotels, attractions, fantastic beaches, and culture-packed old towns, Majorca has something for everyone. You can take your pick from laid-back, quiet resorts like Cala Bona, or Alcúdia, which has one of Majorca’s longest beaches and a historic old town nearby. Or, head over to Palma Nova, which lines up a trio of beaches, its tropical-themed minigolf course, and the Aqualand waterpark.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is fast becoming a tourist hotspot, full of child-friendly hotels and activities to keep the whole family entertained. Sunny Beach is probably the most popular family holiday resort, with clean Blue Flag beaches, a promenade, and plenty of watersports on offer.

Cyprus

Combining big beach resorts and waterparks with Ancient Greek ports and traditional harbor towns, Cyprus allows you to experience both authentic island life and high-octane activities. The Larnaca region is a family favorite where you’ll find sandy beaches, waterparks and traditional restaurants.

Mexico

In Mexico, it’s easy to switch between relaxing on soft sands and exciting days out to adventure parks and jungle trails. There’s Xel Ha, a natural aquarium and waterpark where there are zip-lines, cenote pools, and lazy rivers to keep you busy. Then there’s the Mayan ruins – the famous Chichen Itza, and Coba, on the Yucatán Peninsula, which has a pyramid you can climb up. There’s so much to do; you won’t know where to begin.

Disney Land, California

The ‘happiest place on earth’ caters to kids and big kids alike. From white knuckle rides and sophisticated restaurants in Epcot to character meet-and-greets and toddler-friendly attractions in the Magic Kingdom, there’s something for everyone. Check out Costco Disneyland tickets to see if you can grab a deal this year.

Italy

A holiday to Italy packs in all the family-friendly benefits and whichever part of the boot you choose – Sicily, Puglia, Campania, you’ll find top-notch food and fussy kids can tuck into iconic Italian classics like lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, and pizza, while more adventurous adults can try freshly-made risottos or stuffed arancini. Plus, a holiday to Italy couldn’t be complete without a scoop – or two – of gelato, and a slice of tiramisu. Aside from the food, there’s the beautiful natural landscapes and photo-worthy beaches as well as a tonne of activities to enjoy!

Photo by Marc Richards from Pexels

The post The Best Family Holidays For Everyone To Enjoy appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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Getting up close and personal with the natural world is a great way to spend your vacation time. And there are numerous options to see unique wildlife in Australia! You and your family can get to know many of Australia’s animals in their natural environment by visiting Victoria. You can also choose to stay in the natural environment, by taking camping equipment or traveling in a campervan.

If you do not own your own van you can check out campervan hire websites like DriveNow, to find the perfect vehicle for your trip. So, where should you go, in Victoria, to see wildlife up close?

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

Tower Hill Reserve was the first National Park in the state when it was designated as such, back in 1892. From that date to this people have visited the park to see a variety of wildlife including emus, kangaroos, and koalas.

The reserve also provides a beautiful landscape to admire. Situated in an extinct volcano, it has an array of stunning vistas to experience when you visit. Visit the reserve in springtime and you can wander through a vast collection of beautiful spring flowers.

During your visit, if you want to learn more about the Aboriginal history of the area, there is a guided tour available. Once you have finished the tour you can relax and enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas.

Great Otway National Park

The scenery at Great Otway National Park is stunning and varied. You can stroll along sandy beaches and then venture inland where forests and fern gullies abound. Here you will find lakes that are adorned with flowing waterfalls.

Crossing through the park is the Great Ocean Walk which stretches for a total of 91 km (56.5 miles). You may want to explore part of the walk as part of your trip. After a day exploring the park on mountain bike or foot you may want to spend time relaxing with a picnic. There are several designated picnic areas in the park for you to use.

Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary is a wildlife haven that is just a mile outside the city of Melbourne. The sanctuary is located in the Yarra Valley wine region, so why not think about visiting a vineyard while you are in the area?

While at the sanctuary you can wander around the available tracks and see some of the animals that live there including emus, platypus, koalas, kangaroos, and dingoes. You may also see birds of prey soaring overhead.

The interactive platypus show that takes place every day gives you the opportunity to get close to this wonderful creature. You can also spend time at the health center seeing how the vets and nurses take care of any animals that are sick or injured.

These parks and sanctuaries give people the opportunity to get close to the nature of Australia. A visit to any of these venues gives you and your family the opportunity to see some of Australia’s most famous animals in their natural environment.

The post Visit the Best Nature Reserves in Victoria, Australia appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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There is no doubt that Japan is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It has a rich history and a proud heritage. In fact, it is home to 14 UNESCO buildings and 13 cultural assets.

There are so many things to do in Japan you’ll need to visit for at least a month to stand a chance of seeing them all.

But, you should also check out the following 7 festivals, you’re unlikely to find anything like them elsewhere in the world:

Naki Sumo Matsuri

This is actually a baby-crying festival. Once a year parents will bring their babies to the Sensoji temple and encourage them to cry. The idea is that the crying wards off demons, allowing the children to grow up healthy and happy.

Babies are given to wrestlers who will try to make them cry, the one that cries the loudest and longest is the winner!

Hokkai Heso Matsuri

With another unusual theme, this festival focuses on the belly button. The name originated from the fact that Forano is considered to be the belly of the Hokkaido region.

The idea behind the festival was to bring the scattered community together at least once a year. You’ll find an array of amusing character faces painted on bellies here.

Warai Matsuri

In October you’ll find that laughter really is the best medicine. The Nyu Shrine is the meeting spot for people wanting to make the goddess Niutsuhime laugh, to cheer her up.

At this event, there is usually a parade led by a clown and everyone laughs together at the shrine.

Shukatsu Festa

It can be argued that Japanese culture is one of the best at facing and accepting death. This festival celebrates that and gives you a chance to try before you die.

Shukatsu Festa is held between September and December and gives you the opportunity to try out funeral garments, ay down in a coffin, and even learn how to write end-of-life notes. This ritual may seem bizarre but it’s seen as a positive way of accepting death in order to enjoy life.

Kanamara Matsuri

This is also known as the festival of the steel phallus or simply the penis festival and it celebrates a young woman’s ability to overcome the odds.

The legend states that a demon liked the woman, who didn’t like him. Overcome with jealousy he hid inside her and bit off the penis of every man she made love to. A local blacksmith made a steel phallus which broke the demons’ teeth and allowed the woman to live a normal life.

At Kanamara Matsuri, the phallus is still honored today and it has become a very popular festival with people of all sexualities. If you want to check it out you’ll need to visit Kawasaki in the spring.

Hadaka Matsuri

The naked man festival is on the third Sunday in February, one of the coldest nights of the year. This event involves local men wearing nothing but a loincloth and waiting for the priest to throw sacred sticks.

Catching one means you’re going to have a lucky year. These festivals are held across the country but the largest, and most famous, is at Saidai-ji.

Akutai Matsuri

This is the cursing festival and one of the few times that swearing in public in Japan is acceptable. It’s held on the third Sunday of December.

The best part? You can join in. It’s a 40-minute hike to the Atago Shrine and you can spend the whole walk cursing at the 13 priests leading the procession.

Now you know you want and need to visit Japan, you just need to decide which festival to try first!

Feature photo credit: Flickr

The post 7 Unique Festivals Only Found in Japan appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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It’s May! That means it’s time to start planning summer trips, if you haven’t already. The Road Trips For Families team is planning a trip to Australia later in the year (there’s sure to be some great articles coming out of that trip!) and I’m already planning on going back to Long Beach, Washington, based on a delightful trip my son and I took there in April. This time, rather than staying in a lodge, we are staying at Wildwood Campsites. Stay tuned on a round-up from that trip. There’s tons to explore in the Long Beach area and we’re going with another family who has never been to that area before, so I’ll be excited to discover it along with them.

In the meantime, we found this book, “The Beginners Guide To Traveling Full-Time In An RV With Kids” by Hilarye Fuller. RVing is a great way for a family to travel because there’s room for everyone and everything, you can take your “home” with you, and you’re free to go to some great places where you might not find hotels. If you decide you’re ready to go RVing full time, author Fuller did a great job explaining how that might work so I thought I’d share with you a little more about it.

Her book outlines many of the helpful things you need to know, particularly if you are new to RVs, such as the pros and cons of the different classes (sizes) of RVs. Based on your needs, this info will help you pick just the right size. Because an RV can be a huge purchase in more ways than one, she delves into the details of financing, insurance, and RV storage too.

One of the daunting parts of transitioning to an RV lifestyle would be downsizing a home full of belongings. This chapter seemed a little thin in its help, because she focused on selling on sites such as Facebook and Craigslist, which I think most people would already know. This is the part that seems like it would be the most emotionally draining, and I’d like to hear more about how to handle this aspect of it. It doesn’t say if her family kept anything in storage, took stuff to a family member’s house for storage, or just got rid of it all. She did have one great tip though, which was to downsize seasonally. For instance, if you are planning a year ahead to transition to full-time RVing, her suggestion to get rid of stuff after each holiday was a good one. Rather than boxing up Christmas decorations after the fact, for instance, out it goes.

One thing that never occurred to me was choosing a state of residence. I just figured, if I ever were to do this, I’d keep my residency in the state where I currently live. But there are a whole host of reasons why residing in another state may be best . . . some states have laws that are favorable towards full-time travelers, such as a low vehicle taxation rate and low vehicle insurance rates. Excellent advice here!

Chapter 4 was filled with info on what essentials you need for your RV. Mine would be a jug of wine hidden somewhere so that I could have a glass after the kids went to bed, even if there were no wine shops around! But her recommendations were much more practical than that, including such helpful info as water filters and space heaters. Again, things I would not have thought of.

Chapter 5 was about budgeting, a crucial consideration if you’re living off your savings and not trying to work as you go along. Fuller says she and her family move every seven to ten days with their diesel dually truck pulling a fifth wheel. Although they only drive three to four hours, they spend at least $600 of gas a month. If you’re good about keeping a household budget, you should be successful at keeping an RV budget, but her list is helpful because some things are different.

Chapter 6 was actually a really eye-opening way that families might earn some money while they’re traveling. There are many people who work remotely so it doesn’t matter where they are when they are working, but traveling via RV can make this difficult. You don’t have a 9-5 work lifestyle when you live in an RV, and you may not have the facilities to conduct high-level work. You also never know when the internet might go out or something else could go wrong. The Fullers cobble together an income from rental properties, the husband is a graphic designer and web designer, they have a travel blog, they sell things on Amazon, and they both teach English online. There are ways to do it, but if you haven’t already been building workplace-independent income streams for a while, it might be hard to be sure you can make it.

She wrote about route planning in Chapter 7, which is a very important piece of this puzzle, especially when you want to minimize your gas bill and maximize the time you can spend doing fun things. She explained the different types of hookups that are available at RV sites so you know what services to expect. And she explained how to behave when you’re “boondocking,” or pulling over at places like Walmart or Cabela’s parking lots. Even though it is generally accepted that these places are friendly to RVers, it pays to double check that you are welcome and behave in a way that ensures RVers continue to be welcome there.

The final chapter was an important one for full-time RVers with children. Life on the road is certainly an education, but schooling young children needs more of a formal plan. The focus here was on homeschooling, obviously, and how to maximize the learning opportunities that relate to the activities you’re doing as a family. And, she asserts, your children definitely WILL make friends while on the road. So here’s to more RVing!

The post Book Review: “The Beginner’s Guide to Full-Time RV Living With Kids” appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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Are you currently dealing with a lot of work-related stress? Taking a break and going on vacation is a great way to minimize the stress in your life.

Each year, the average American worker takes around  17 vacation days. Not only can a vacation help you have fun, but it can also reduce the negative effects that stress has on your mental and physical health.

The key to having a great vacation is choosing the right destination. If you are looking for a tropical paradise to escape to, then Bali is a great choice. For years, people from around the world have flocked to this destination due to how breathtakingly beautiful it is.

The following are some of the things you need to consider to successfully plan a Bali vacation.

Develop a Checklist Early On

The main thing you need to think about when trying to successfully plan a Bali vacation is staying organized. When planning a trip to a foreign country, there are a number of things you will have to keep up with. Failing to get organized can lead to lots of problems along the way.

One of the best ways to avoid organizational issues is by making a checklist. This checklist will need to include things like information about the accommodation you have booked and even a breakdown of what you need to pack.

Not only will you need to develop a checklist for the time before your trip, but you will also need to create an itinerary to follow while you are on vacation. Doing this can help you avoid missing dinner reservations or attraction bookings while in Bali.

Decide How You Will Get Around in Bali

With all of the different attractions available in Bali, getting to each one can be a bit of a hassle. This is why you need to do some research on the various transportation options available on the island. Some people think renting a car is the best way to go, but this may lead to you getting lost due to your lack of familiarity with this area.

Using a service like balicab.com is ideal for first-time visitors to this island paradise. By using this service, you can sit back and enjoy the scenery instead of trying to find your way around. Not only will this help you get more enjoyment out of your vacation, but you can also find out interesting things about Bali. The money invested in this type of transportation will be worth it considering how beneficial it can be.

Make Sure Your Passport and Visa Are Accessible

Packing for a whirlwind tropical vacation can be a bit harder than you may think. Some people focus so much on what they will wear on vacation that they forget about some basic items. One of these items is their Visa and passport.

Failing to pack this important documentation can lead to lots of problems when trying to get into Bali. This is why you need to ensure these documents are packed away in a safe and durable packaging. You should be able to find Visa and passport covers online that are both appealing and well-made. Investing in one of these holders can help you avoid disasters later on in your journey.

Expect Lots of Crowds and Traffic

As previously mentioned, Bali is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet. This means you need to prepare yourself for large crowds and lots of traffic.

If you are looking for a way to avoid this traffic, you may want to consider heading to the central mountains or the west coast of Bali. Typically, these areas are far less busy and feature the same breathtaking sites located in busier areas like Ubud.

Properly planning out your trip will allow you to pick attractions off of the beaten path. Consulting with a knowledgeable travel agent is a great way to get some guidance regarding where to go while on vacation in Bali.

Be Sure to Pack The Right Clothing

Some people think that they can wear just beach attire while on vacation in Bali. While this is true for the most part, there are a number of restaurants and other attractions that have dress codes. This means that you will need to pack clothing for nearly every occasion if you want to get the most out of your trip.

The last thing you want is to suffer the embarrassment of being turned away from a restaurant or attraction due to having the wrong clothes on. This is why doing a great deal of research on the destinations you plan to visit is vital. The hard work and effort you put into this type of research will definitely pay off in the long run.

Pay Attention to and Respect the Religious Customs in Bali

The native people of Bali are extremely religious. Many of the attractions you will want to see while on this island paradise are directly related to or heavily influenced by religion.

When visiting a religious monument or temple, you need to dress modestly. This means you should cover up your shoulders and knees before entering these holy shrines.

Your trip may also be affected if you’re going during nationally celebrated religious holidays. For instance, if your trip falls on the religious holiday known as Nyepi, you need to prepare for major travel delays. These delays are due in part to the fact that airports shut down for a full day for this holiday. If at all possible, you need to schedule your trip during a time of year where there are no religious holidays or festivals going on.

Seeking Out Professional Help is a Good Idea

Instead of taking on the hassle and stress that comes with planning a vacation to Bali, you may want to hire a professional to help you out. While you will have to pay a travel agent for this help, it will be worth it considering the results they can produce.

The post Trying to Plan a Trip to Bali? Consider These Helpful Tips! appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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Over a beautiful spring weekend in March, I and my 11-year-old son went to the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State. It also happened to be the weekend of the first annual Coastal Celtic Music Festival, held March 22 through 25, with tickets available for $30 to $100 depending on what access you wanted. In addition to seeing some of the best beach sunsets ever on the United State’s longest beach, it was such fun knowing that we would have incredible music to look forward to whenever we wanted to leave the beach.

We stayed at The Sou’wester, a historic lodge and vintage travel trailer resort. There were so many things to love about The Sou’wester, not the least of which was that it’s walking distance to Seaview, a beautiful beach just a safe 7-minute walk down the street. 

The Sou’wester is just down the street to the left, and the beach is just steps away.

Going the other direction are several restaurants, which we enjoyed over our weekend. One of the neat things about the beach here is that the sand is strong enough to support vehicles, and it’s common to see cars and trucks driving right on the sand. This makes it easy to get to the perfect beach spot away from other people, and it also means this is a very good beach for visitors who may be disabled, because you can drive right down to the water’s edge.

It’s easy to ride horses, drive trucks, or ride bicycles all along the water here. This weekend, the Coast Guard was practicing rescuing people with jet skis.

We stayed in a Spartan camper with a pull-out couch and full-size bed in the bedroom. The camper had everything we needed for the weekend, including a kitchen with utensils, stove and fridge, and a bathroom with shower. The campers have record players in them, and inside the lodge is a community space with record albums you can check out.

Our trailer was the middle one. Inside our trailer at the Sou’wester.

To complete the retro vibe is a library of VHS tapes and DVDs, and you can claim a portable TV and player to bring back to your trailer. Our camper had a French press coffee maker, but I forgot to bring my own coffee. Luckily the lodge has an honor system store for most of the things you might want or need: toothbrushes, coffee, soups, granola, cheese, kombucha, local beers, and things like that. Choices are local and organic for the most part.

The Sou’wester was super cute and even more adorable than the website makes it out to be. They have a consignment trailer, where people have provided vintage clothes and other objets d’art for sale. There’s even an art gallery trailer with a changing exhibit. The lodge’s community room hosts music and other activities that change, such as the juice and smoothie bar that was happening on the weekend we were there. They also have a Finnish sauna. Guests can enjoy some fire pits in an area outside of the trailers, and it’s also common for people to build small fires on the beach—although if you do this you should be extra vigilant to not build fires close to the dune grass.

The art gallery trailer at the Sou’wester.

The Crown Alley Irish Pub in Ocean Beach, was the epicenter of the Coastal Celtic Music Festival, which was taking place at various venues and at various times across the peninsula. Because the peninsula is 28-miles long, some things are fairly spread out. Seaview, where the Sou’wester is, is at one end and the Crown Alley is near the other end, so we planned out day’s activities around a morning at the beach near us, then getting to the Crown Alley for delicious burgers for lunch and to enjoy some music of the festival music, then heading back toward our end of the peninsula for dinner and sunset. It was at the Crown Alley where we picked up our cool badges to get us into the music, wherever we wanted to go, throughout the weekend.

Coastal Celtic Music Festival badges. Annie Henry performing at the Crown Alley.

We parked near the downtown area of the peninsula and walked around a bit. It was easy to find the Boardwalk. In fact, if you didn’t want to drive, it is possible to walk (or take The Sou’wester’s complimentary bikes) two or three miles and connect from the Discovery Trail boardwalk at Seaview to the boardwalk downtown and never have to drive at all. We took an afternoon break and enjoyed a warm-from-the-oven skillet cookie with vanilla ice cream at the Pickled Fish restaurant, where Celtic Festival music started in the evening. As you can see from the photo below, the Pickled fish is right on the beach, so even when you’re taking the time to eat you don’t have to miss out on the gorgeous ocean views. While we were eating, I was scanning the water for signs of migrating gray whales, which pass by this area every spring and fall, and enjoyed seeing a couple of blows. 

Warm skillet cookie with ice cream at The Pickled Fish.

Kites are a huge thing on the peninsula, and there’s an annual international kite festival (held in August) and the World Kite Museum to prove it. The Pickled Fish is just steps away from the Kite Museum, making for an easy day. The beach here has a couple of picnic shelters, so you could easily grill up a hot dog lunch while watching the beach activity.

Kites are always being flown all along the beach.

This area has a rich history of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery’s 1804-06 expedition. The explorers reached the Pacific Ocean in Astoria, Oregon, just across the border. Cape Disappointment, Washington, so named when explorer John Meares failed to cross the river bar in 1788, is a public recreation area located southwest of Ilwaco, Washington, on the bottom end of Long Beach Peninsula. Here, the mighty Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean and there is much to see.

A secluded beach accessible from the lighthouse trail from the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center.

The state park’s 2,023 acres contains old-growth forest, lakes and, of course, dramatic ocean views at every turn. We visited the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, which is a short .6 mile walk to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was completed in 1856, and is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast.

After this fabulous day, we ate dinner at The Depot Restaurant which is just literally a couple of minutes from the Sou’Wester lodge, and is housed in the train station platform dating back originally to 1888. There, Chef Michael Lalewicz uses the finest Northwest ingredients to deliver delicious, technique-driven dishes like the quail stuffed with housemade boar sausage that my son got—which allowed us to have fun joking about the world’s smallest drumsticks—and the delightful scallops with a spicy mango sauce, pickled red onion, and basil oil that I got. If you’re sitting at a table near the kitchen, Chef Michael might pop his head out of the open doorway and talk to you about your meal.

Delicious dinner of scallops in spicy mango sauce and quail stuffed with housemade boar sausage from the Depot Restaurant.

My family and I were impressed with everything we experienced in the Long Beach Peninsula and we’ll definitely be back. From the 28 miles of stunning beaches, to the delicious dining options, and the memorable lodging at the Sou’wester, there’s a lot to love about Long Beach.

The post There’s Lots to Love About Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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One of the main goals you should have as a parent is making memories with your children. As your children get older, entertaining them will become increasingly difficult. Taking your family on vacation can be beneficial on a number of different levels.

Not only does a vacation help you reduce the stress in your life, but it can also provide your children with an opportunity to experience new things. A recent study shows that family vacations can have a lasting impact on a child’s happiness.

The benefits of vacationing are one of the reasons why many parents have started to invest their money into trips for their children rather than toys. The following are some of the things you can do to make your family vacation a success.

Choosing the Right Vacation Destination is a Must

The most important decision you will have to make during the family vacation planning process is where you want to take your kids. Some parents make the mistake of going to destinations that are largely geared towards a more adult crowd. This will generally result in your children having a less than stellar time on vacation.

This is why you need to work on finding vacation destinations that are designed to accommodate families. When looking for a destination for this trip, look to see what type of family-friendly attractions the area offers. Ideally, you want to choose a vacation destination with things like amusement parks, arcades, and other kid-friendly attractions.

Start Planning Your Trip Well in Advance

If you are going to be taking a vacation during peak travel season, be sure to start the trip planning process early on. During peak travel season, you will find it difficult to book hotel accommodations and even restraint reservations. This is why starting this planning process early is so important.

With the help of a website like https://luxuryretreats.com, you can find the all-inclusive resorts or luxury hotels you are looking for. Often times, booking through these third-party sites will help you save a few dollars on your hotel reservations.

Provide Your Kids With Regular Travel Breaks

If you are driving to your vacation destination, you need to plan out this road trip thoroughly. Finding places along the way to stop and get a break is a good idea. Trying to keep your children cooped up in a car for hours on end can lead to lots of problems.

This is why stopping and letting everyone get out and stretch for a bit is a good idea. You will be surprised at the number of roadside attractions you can find with some research. Choosing attractions that will both thrill and entertain your children can make the vacation experience more memorable and enjoyable.

Planning a Few Surprises For Your Kids Can Be Fun

Are you looking for a way to increase the fun and excitement of your family vacation? Planning out a few surprises for your kids can help you accomplish this goal. Letting your child know every detail of what attractions they will be seeing is no fun.

Booking a reservation at a cool restaurant or buying tickets to an entertaining theme park are great ways to thrill your children. While it may be difficult to keep these surprises secret, it is definitely worth the time and effort you invest.

Seek Out Some Professional Help

If you are having trouble booking accommodations for your family vacation, working with professionals may be a good idea. With their assistance, you can plan out your getaway quickly and correctly.

The post ?The Road Trip of a Lifetime: Tips on Making Your Family Vacation a Success appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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Traveling is one of the best things you can do in life. Even though you’re abroad and doing all kinds of different activities, you shouldn’t forget your overall goals in life. Don’t allow your passions to subside and or put them on hold as you explore the world. You should still keep up with the things in your life that give you the most joy. This could be something to do with your career or it could just be something that you are really into. Learning while on the move is now easier than ever before, with online courses and fountains of knowledge at your disposal.

How to Retain What You Learn | The Great Courses - YouTube

A thirst for history

History is one of the most popular subjects in universities and in general. Perhaps now in the modern age with different kind of tools such as video and animation, we can better understand things that shaped our nations. A company like The Great Courses Plus, has thousands upon thousands of lectures, articles, video explanations and more about countless topics in history. Many students use this company to help them revise and or learn more about their chosen subjects.

Learn on the go

Smartphones are little pocket computers that you can use to your educational advantage. There are plenty of brain training apps that you should download and use while traveling. It’s common to wait a lot when you are going from place-to-place such as at a train station or an airport. Apps that train and test your memory is very popular, but cognitive problem-solving apps are great too. They keep your mind fresh and thinking logically.

Hope to be a leader?

Right at this moment when you’re traveling you might be wondering when you will go back to the professional world. If you’re hoping to become a leader one day, you can still keep your leadership skills polished yet not have to be an office. Taking an online masters in leadership that is totally web-based, is something you can do to earn and or maintain modern business leadership skills. Effective leaders will have an attitude of helping others and meet the needs of the organization they work for. You’ll learn how to do this in the application of law and political environments.

Rise in online newspaper subscriptions - YouTube

Social commentary reading

When you’re far from home, you can feel distant from all the current events happening in your country. However modern media outlets have subscriptions which you can sign up to online. You’ll have access to all the latest content and commentary pieces. Keep yourself abreast of the various political, economical, and social events going on at home and around the world with a subscription to a newspaper or political magazine.

Traveling the world will open your eyes to many new things. Yet you will be far away from a professional or educational environment in the conventional sense. One day you will come back, so keep learning and educating yourself while on the move. Brain training apps on your phone are good sources for a mental challenge that keeps your cognitive skills sharp. However, you can also earn a high-level degree such as in business leadership, ready to be applied when you come home.

Feature Photo Credit: Flickr, LWYang

The post Keeping Your Mind Fresh And Learning While Traveling appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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If you didn’t catch the first part in this two-part series on lesser-known gems on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, read the first part about Tilghman Island. Here, we explore Wye Island, an ideal spot for a day trip of wildlife viewing, hiking, or kayaking just a 1.5-hour drive from the metro DC-Annapolis-Baltimore corridor and a mere 22 miles from Easton.

The island provides a welcome refuge for wintering waterfowl and other native wildlife. Luckily for all, wildlife included, the state purchased the land with Program Open Space funds in the 1970s and turned the island into a Natural Resources Management Area. A colorful variety of birds including warblers, bluebirds and vireos, as well as migrating waterfowl, inhabit the island, making it a destination for birders.

The island quickly became a haven for hiking, boating, fishing, bicycling and horseback riding. Approximately 12 miles of trails entice hikers of all abilities. The popular School House Woods Nature Trail traverses a mature hardwood forest while the Ferry Landing Trail meanders beneath a canopy of Osage Orange Trees. The lumpy, tropical-looking, softball sized Osage Oranges are scattered along the trail. Beware, they are not edible! At the end of the trail is a sandy beach with a rope swing and picnic table. You can also follow the Holly Tree Trail to visit the 290-year old holly tree, the matriarch of the island!

The Wye River is a popular destination for boaters looking for a tranquil excursion. Inlets and coves tucked around the Island provide secure anchorage for the night or weekend. Boaters are welcome ashore to explore the island. You can experience the pristine shoreline close up from the vantage point of kayak or canoe. In 2018, the Chesapeake Conservancy opened a public launch for canoes and kayaks, providing easy access to the water surrounding the island as well as to the 3,000 mile Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the nation’s first water trail.

By land or by sea, Wye Island offers adventures for the entire family. While accessible to the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore urban centers for day tripping, nearby Easton also provides plentiful Eastern Shore hotels and dining experiences for a more relaxing stay. A favorite restaurant of mine is the Sugar Buns Airport Cafe and Bakery located at the Easton Airport, where you can watch small aircraft take off while enjoying a homemade breakfast or lunch.

Janet LaBella is a freelance writer who enjoys exploring a multitude of natural, historical and cultural environments in the U.S. and abroad. For many years she worked as a public interest attorney, and is embarking on a writing/editing career. In addition, Janet provides consulting services on management issues. Follow her travels on Instagram at @lavita.labella.

The post Wye Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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There may be no better way to explore the world than from the road! Road trips give you an up-close view of a destination, with plenty of opportunities to discover hidden gems along the way. However, you may need to be extra prepared for any trouble that can happen on the road.

Automobile insurance might be your first thought when it comes to preparing for the worst on a road trip. Car accidents are common, so it probably makes sense to cover yourself or anyone else who may get behind the wheel. But what about other emergencies? What will you do if your hotel booking is cancelled? What about if you’re injured on the road? Or worse, would you be prepared if someone in your family suddenly passed away?

Families might discover that more than just car insurance is needed for their next road trip. Here are three types of insurances that you may want to consider before heading out.

Travel insurance

These short-term policies aren’t just for when you’re traveling abroad. Road trippers may also want to purchase travel insurance before leaving the driveway. Travel insurance might be useful for any number of unexpected events that could happen on the road.

From cancellations — hotel rooms, car rental, or even your entire trip—to lost or damaged items, a travel insurance policy could help cover out-of-pocket expenses for last minute changes. A policy could also provide some extra help in medical emergencies, especially if you’re driving in a foreign country.

Beyond simply reimbursing some expenses, the team behind your travel insurance policy could be an important lifeline if you get stuck. Many companies offer 24/7 assistance to their customers. This might be a godsend if you need to arrange medical assistance or replace a lost passport far from home.

Life or funeral insurance

Almost anything can happen on the road, including a serious accident. It may be unthinkable that tragedy could strike when we’re having fun, but it could make sense to prepare for all worst-case scenarios—just in case.

Most travel insurance policies only cover deaths directly caused by an accident. However, life and funeral insurance may pay out for a wider range of circumstances, such as a heart attack or serious illness (subject to any stand down periods or health exclusions). While travel insurance may help your family get your body home, it might not cover much else. The cost of a funeral could be up to $15,000, according to New Zealand insurance brand Dollar Insurance, which a life or funeral insurance policy is typically better designed to handle.

Life insurance could help your family for an even longer time after the trip ends. The benefit is usually much larger than other types of policies, helping your family get back on their feet after you’re gone. This money could help them take time off work, pay down a mortgage or cover ongoing school fees.

Total Permanent Disability insurance

This type of policy is also designed to help you and your family beyond the end of your road trip. Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance may pay a lump sum if you’re disabled due to an accident or illness and are unable to return to work.

Again, no one wants to think that something serious could happen during a holiday, but it might make sense to be prepared for serious car accidents or other trouble. Travel insurance (and medical insurance, if you have it) may help pay for hospital treatment and transportation home. But, there could be ongoing medical bills for months or years to come that will still need to be paid regardless of whether you’re working or not. In this way, TPD could help shield your family against financial hardship once you return home.

Happy trails!
Before your next road trip, maybe take a moment to think about you and your family’s insurance needs. You might decide that several policies could help provide the best protection from the beginning of your trip to long after you’ve returned home.

Dollar Insurance brings simple and affordable insurance to everyday Kiwi families.

The post 3 Insurances You Might Need on Your Next Road Trip (Besides Car Insurance) appeared first on Road Trips For Families.

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