Archive for December 2010
Whether you get stuck in a stopover destination for an extended period of time or your luggage does not make it on time you will want to be prepared. While lost or delayed luggage is not going to ruin every trip it does happen quite frequently.
The easiest solution would be to pack extremely light in an aircraft approved roller bag or duffle so you do not have to check luggage. However, when you travel with your snow boots and more bulky clothing you will need a large suitcase. To make sure you do not have to live without, here are ten items you don’t want to forget in your carryon.
Charger / Batteries
When traveling with electronics it is important to bring them on board. Checking cameras, laptops and cell phones just does not seem smart with the way the bags are thrown around and inspected. So the rule of thumb is, if you take the electronic with you then make sure you pack the charger or extra batteries in your carryon as well. This way if your luggage gets lost or delayed you still can take photos, check email and keep in touch with family or friends.
Medication & Eye Care
This is a really important thing to remember as many people think to pack their medication with their larger toiletries in the checked luggage. Do not ever put your medication in your checked luggage as it could get lost and you would be without if that happened. Also the weather conditions could be too hot or too cold for the medication outside. Make sure you pack your eye drops, contacts and travel size contact solution in the carryon as well.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Whether your luggage gets delayed or you have a long layover it is nice to be able to brush your teeth. This is especially true if you take a red eye flight and want to brush your teeth before and after you go to sleep. It helps to wake up and splash water on your face along with brushing your teeth after long periods of travel. Pack a travel size toothpaste with your toothbrush so it can go everywhere with you on your trip.
It is especially important to pack and extra outfit if you are going on a trip to a warm climate from a cold climate in case your luggage is lost or delayed. When you arrive somewhere tropical the first thing you will want to do is put on a pair of shorts or a sun dress to avoid overheating. Also if you are going on a trip to the same climate it is nice to have a clean pair of clothes for the next day if the luggage has to be delivered to your hotel when it arrives.
Underwear & Deodorant
To avoid being the smelly traveler you will want to have an emergency pair or two of underwear and travel size deodorant in your carryon. This way you can change your underwear and keep your armpits from smelling when you shower at your destination. It is also nice in case you want to wash the other underwear and have something to wear in the mean time.
Swimsuit & Flip Flops
When traveling to either warm or cold climates it is nice to have your swimsuit and flip flops along in your carryon. In cold climates there may be a pool or hot tub at the hotel you are staying or if it is a warm climate then you will defiantly want them. The flip flops are also great if you travel somewhere warm so you can take your socks and shoes off when you arrive at your destination.
Dried Snack Foods
Make sure you pack some dried snack foods like nuts, dried fruit and crackers. Also snacks like protein bars and fruit leather are wonderful to have along for between meals and on long flights. The nice thing about dried snack foods is they do not take up much room but they fill you up when you need something to eat.
Bring an empty reusable water bottle with you to the airport and once you are through security you can fill it up at a water bubbler. This will save you the three dollars or more per bottle they charge at convenient stands and make sure you can stay hydrated in your travels.
Travel Pillow & Blanket
As a luxury on the airplane and in case you get stuck in an airport along the way it is nice to have a travel pillow and blanket along. They have some that inflate and others made of memory foam which is really comfortable. When choosing a blanket to take along try and find a nice single layer fleece one because they are both warm and compact.
Book / Magazines
For long trips and layovers it is always nice to have some reading materials along to keep you busy when you cannot sleep. Bring a book you have been waiting to read or purchase a few magazines on the way to the airport. Whichever you prefer it is nice to have some relaxing entertainment when you have to sit for long periods of time.
While it may seem like a lot you can actually fit all of these items in an airline approved carryon bag for the trip. Then all you need is a personal item like a purse or laptop bag and you are good to go. Make sure your carryon is comfortable to carry or is on wheels to make your travel experience more enjoyable.
Whether you want to be part of the official MTV spring break experience or another similar spring break bash, the decision is yours. To help you decide where to go for spring break, here are the thirteen official spring break destinations.
As a popular spring break destination for many years, Cancun has lots of great parties and plenty of clubs to keep you entertained. Make sure you pick up your party pass or order a spring break package so you do not miss out.
There are quite a few hotels that offer great deals for the week of spring break so this might just be in your budget. Also do not forget about the snorkeling, water parks and fun excursions you can take part in during the day.
Another popular spring break destination in Mexico is Acapulco where the beaches are abundant and parties are out of this world. If you choose to come here then you will defiantly want to purchase a party pass for the five or seven nights you come.
Acapulco has many wonderful activities to do while you visit. You can swim with dolphins, take part in water sports or and explore the beautiful landscape. Then at night you can dance your little heart out with lots of loud music and tasty drinks.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The third and last spring break destination in Mexico is Puerto Vallarta. This is another great place to relax in the sun over spring break while it snows back home. Expect to play outdoors and party all night while you visit.
There are many great hotels that offer discounted rates for student groups over spring break so try and book as soon as you can. The best deals are gone quick so try and make reservations before the end of the year or in the beginning of January.
Panama City Beach, Florida
This is one of the top US spring break locations and if you travel to Panama City Beach, Florida you can expect a party going on anytime of day or night. There are plenty of daytime beach parties with concerts and bathing suit attire so you can stay cool in the warm weather.
Since Panama City Beach is in the United States most of the night life has age limits of eighteen to enter and of course twenty-one to drink. This may not be as fun if you are underage and want to experience the cocktails. Mexico might be a better choice for you.
Daytona Beach, Florida
If you do not have a huge budget this spring break then plan on heading to Daytona Beach, Florida. There is plenty to do with a small budget here and the night life is abundant. Make sure to pack shoes you can dance in because the clubs are something you do not want to miss out on.
Since this is a less expensive destination there are no party passes to worry about or expensive additions to add. Just simply book your hotel and show up. Keeping it simple does not mean you will miss out on fun this spring break.
South Padre Island, Texas
Located on the Gulf Coast of Texas, South Padre Island is our own little piece of the Caribbean with no passport required. You can carpool down here with your buddies and be part of a party packed spring break.
There are plenty of day parties at the pools to stay cool and a night life party package to take part in for the evenings. You can also go on fun excursions during the day if you want to take a break from the parties and enjoy the island.
Las Vegas, Nevada
As the official location for MTV Spring Break 2011 you will not want to miss out on Las Vegas this spring break. The dates for the official spring break are March 6th through the 10th so hopefully those dates line up with your break.
Thankfully Vegas is one of the less expensive places to travel to when it comes to airfare so you will have more money for the night life and gambling if you choose. While you may be in a desert, there are plenty of pool parties and lots of air conditioned shopping during the day to stay cool.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
If you want to take part in four days of non-stop partying this spring break then you will not want to miss out on Mardi Gras in New Orleans. With lots of parties and parades you will not miss home one bit. This is your ultimate spring break experience where beads are abundant.
Freeport, Bahamas Cruise
Order your passport and book yourself a ticket on the Freeport, Bahamas party cruise this spring break. This is the ultimate five hour party cruise that takes you to the island of bliss in the Bahamas for five days of non-stop fun. Pack your sun screen, bathing suits and best attire for this ultimate spring break experience.
If you have never been to Jamaica then you will not want to miss out on this spring break experience. Negril is full of fun night life and there is a party package to purchase so you can attend all the big parties.
During the day you can take part in the outdoor party scene or go and explore the beautiful scenery. Whatever you love about a tropical and warm destination you will find in Negril, Jamaica.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Another great passport worthy spring break location is Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Get your friends together and book a hotel room for the week so you do not miss out on all the fun. There are plenty of parties all day and night along with daytime excursions to take part in. Book your tickets soon so you can get the best airfare and package deals for this spring break destination.
The final spring break destination for 2011 is the beautiful Nassau, Bahamas. This tropical paradise has plenty of parties to go around and all college age students are invited. If you are only eighteen and want the spring break experience then this is your place. Also you will not want to miss out on the fun excursions and daytime parties.
No matter where you choose to travel for spring break 2011 there is lots of fun to be had. Do not wait until the last minute as party passes and travel expenses may be out of your budget. Have fun this coming spring break and remember to bring your passport to foreign destinations.
When traveling around the United States and North America it is important to choose your airlines wisely. Many airlines have tacked on lots of extra fees in addition to the charge of your seat on the plane.
To bring you up to date on all of the expected and unespected fees the airlines charge these days I have put together a chart. This chart outlines all the major areas of fees and compares the top airlines in the United States.
Please keep in mind that I did not include SkyWest Airlines because the fees they charge are depending on which partner you fly on that trip. Their fees will be from United, Delta or Air Tran.
As expected Southwest Airlines had the fewest fees and even allows for two free bags per paid passenger. That is a nice savings if you are traveling with the family in the near future. Check your local airport and destination to see if Southwest Airlines services the trip. This can save you up to sixty dollars per passenger.
When booking your tickets check on each of the airlines websites for the best deals so you do not miss out. Sometimes it may mean you have to avoid fees by packing lite and carrying on your luggage.
Goodluck with your travels and remember to check with the airlines to avoid any unwanted fees.
Young children can be a handful when they are cooped up for long periods of time on the airplane and when they are unable to sleep in their own beds. To help make your trip more enjoyable and easier to manage here are some tips for traveling with two children under two years old.
If you are traveling alone with the two little ones then you have several seating options that are legal with the airlines. You can sit in your own seat and purchase two additional seats for the children. This way they each can sit in a car seat and you can tend to the other without having one on your lap. The other option is to purchase two seats so one child sits in their car seat and the other sits on your lap.
When traveling with the other parent there is another option available with two children under two. The other parent can have the second child on their lap while you have one child on your lap. Then you only have to purchase two tickets and all four of you can travel together.
When traveling alone with the two young children you may want to consider taking a double stroller so you can strap them both in. This will keep you from worrying about losing a child in the busy airport and give you a place to throw the diaper bag and other necessities. Your other option would be to use a car seat with travel roller system and put the other child in a front pack or sling.
On the other hand if you are traveling together as a family then each parent can use a single stroller or you can use one double stroller. If you purchased four seats so each of you sat on your own seat then one parent can carry the car seats while the other pushes the children. Of course traveling all together is much easier because it puts less pressure on one parent but if it is not possible do not be discouraged.
When it comes to packing for you and two young children then packing light is really important. Bring enough diapers and wipes for a few days and purchase more once you arrive at your destination. Also pack enough outfits for a few days for each child and then do laundry while you are visiting. This will allow you to pack in one suitcase with fifty pounds or less. On the other hand if both parents are traveling then you can each pack a suitcase or one can bring on a roller bag while the other packs the regular suitcase.
Airlines will thankfully check one car seat per paying adult so with both parents traveling you will not have to worry about the expense of car seats for lap children. Otherwise if you are traveling alone then you can check one car seat for free unless you use it for the child to sit in.
Food & Drink
When traveling with two young children there is nothing more important than packing the appropriate food and drink. Infants of course will need their bottles of formula or breast milk while toddlers will want training cups and snacks. No matter what they need, you will want to make sure you have enough for a couple of days. This way if your travel plans get delayed you do not run out of important things like formula or baby puree.
Whether you are traveling alone with the children or both parents are along for the trip you will want to make arrangements accordingly. Plan ahead so that all the topics discussed above are figured out and you do not run into last minute issues. While it is a challenge to travel with young children it is wonderful to see family and friends so the stress is worth it. Good luck and safe travels to you and your family.
While lots of fun toys come out every year that your kids write on their Christmas list, there is nothing quite like an experiential gift. Whether you talk about it leading up to Christmas to see what sort of experiences they are interested in or make it a complete surprise the choice is yours. Here are five great travel experiences that would make wonderful gifts for your children this Christmas.
Whether you travel to Disney Land in California or Disney World in Florida, Disney is a great place to take your children for Christmas. There are plenty of activities and rides for all age children so everyone will have fun. If you are also into rides there are plenty of roller coasters for the parents to enjoy as well.
The nice thing about Disney World and Disney Land is that you can book a package with hotel on site and fun activities to take part in while you visit. This takes the guess work out of making the travel plans and keeps things simple. If this is the vacation for your family then you can surprise the children with Mickey Mouse shirts or stuffed animals for Christmas morning and see if they get the clue.
There are plenty of Cruise ships that are designed for family vacations. All you have to do is show up at port and enjoy the journey. With onboard shows and activities for the children they are sure to never get bored. Cruises are the perfect family vacation for families with any age children.
If you are interested in booking a cruise trip for your family as a Christmas gift consider the locations they go. Many travel to the Caribbean and Hawaii which would be great warm vacation spots to visit in the middle of winter. While you may be close to a port where the ships depart, if you are far away it is a good idea to arrive to the port city a couple days ahead of schedule in case of weather delays.
It does not matter if you live in a warm or cold climate, getting away for a ski trip is a great way to have the family spend some quality time together. Ski lessons are offered at most ski resorts so you do not have to worry if your children or either you or your spouse has never skied before. However, you may want to make the lesson reservations ahead of time since the resorts are packed over Christmas break.
The nice thing about ski resorts is that they have wonderful hotels very close or you can rent a condo at the bottom of the mountain. Then all you have to do is rent your gear, pack cold weather gear and show up. Do not forget your bathing suit as a nice evening in the hot tub or indoor pool is great after a long day on the slopes.
These children friendly resorts are a great way to spend some time as a family in the tropical climate. While many couples have heard of Sandals resorts that do not allow children, Beaches resorts are managed by the same company and are one-hundred percent kid friendly. All you need to do is show up.
These all inclusive resorts are full of great activities for all age children from tots to teenagers. There are camps and even nanny services if you and your spouse want a night to yourself. With each resort located on the water it is the perfect chance to get in some castle building, volleyball and snorkeling. Just make sure you have passports for everyone.
Aside from Disney World there are plenty of other great places in Florida to take your children for Christmas. There are amusement parks, water parks and zoos scattered all over the state where you can spend Christmas break. To save money buy your tickets online or sign up for a hotel package with tickets before you show up.
Just to highlight on a couple of the different places, Busch Gardens is filled with beautiful animals and great rides. This is a great place to spend days exploring with the family. Also you can check out Sea World for the great shows with aquatic species and tons of rides for all ages. No matter where you choose to spend the break with your family there is plenty of fun for all.
Christmas is Coming
With December in full force you may run into some fun Christmas specials at the places listed above. Do your research on each of the destinations and trip ideas so you know what it costs to make sure it is in your budget. Enjoy planning your family vacation for the children and enjoy watching them figure out their Christmas gift. It is a great surprise to get the whole family together somewhere fun and entertaining.
The travel season has begun. Staying healthy on the road can be difficult due to all the colds that circulate. To help avoid the ongoing colds and stay healthy in your travels this holiday season you can follow these easy tips.
It is extremely important to drink lots of liquids and stay hydrated during cold and flu season to flush away any germs you pick up. Also if you happen to get sick staying hydrated will help shorten the amount of time you are completely under the weather. Try stocking up on hot teas and 100% juices to mix half and half with water so that you always have something to sip on.
Just because you’re on the road, doesn’t mean you can get lazy. Working your body to stay fit will keep it strong and fighting germs. It will also stimulate blood to your brain. Even if its just a 30 minute session on a yoga mat in your hotel room, you’ll look better, feel better, and be in a better mood.
With the heat on these days you may notice how dry the air has gotten in your house if you do not already have a humidifier going. The dry air can dry out your sinuses causing cracks where viruses and bacteria will get into your system easier. Also it is not much fun to wake up to a bloody nose or stuffy head. Making sure there is plenty of moister in the air will help keep your sinuses moist.
Taking a vitamin C supplement can also help you from getting sick during the holidays so it is a good idea to stock up. They have chewable tablets for both adults and children to make it easier to take. Another easy way to get extra vitamin C is to drink orange juice and cranberry juice.
One of the best ways to avoid getting a cold is to wash your hands before you eat food, touch your children or touch your face. Washing your hands with regular soap is better because it allows the good bacteria to remain on your hands. Stock up on hand soap and place one at each sink in your house including the kitchen sink to encourage hand washing.
While it is nice to get plenty of wear out of your clothing it is important to wash the clothes you wear out in public and to work or school. This will help reduce the amount of germs you carry to your home. As an extra precaution you can take a shower when you get home and change clothes. This will help prevent the spread of colds your co-workers or fellow students have to your family.
Eat Healthy & Travel Safe
While all the sweets and snacks are popping up at the grocery store this time of year it is important to eat well balanced meals. Eating healthy will ensure you have the best opportunity to beat cold germs you pick up day to day. Hopefully eating healthy along with the other tips mentioned above will help you avoid getting sick for your travels.
Be safe when driving to visit family and friends and give yourself plenty of time to get to and from your travel destination no matter which form of transportation you are using. Airports are filled with germs just like any other public place and airplanes are filled with many people breathing in a small area. Keep your hands washed and take plenty of vitamin C to help prevent getting sick. Good luck and have a happy and healthy holidays.