When you travel with children, there may be a few things to keep in mind. As a parent, you should know that they can be fussy at times and may need some extra things to take along with your travels with these little guys and gals. - Visas are needed for your destination when you go to other countries other than your own. Therefore, don't be surprised if they're a requirement for your child. Not only do adults need them, but children need to take those pictures too. They'll also be a fee too and it's probably going to cost the same price as yours. Avoid two trips when you get your visa by getting yours and your child(ren). There are various countries that want you to have it collected in person at the main embassy of the country you reside in. - Today there is a big problem with child trafficking and there's a rise in international adoptions. Because of these two factors, travelling with children can mean special documentation is needed. In some case, adopted children need to have their "adoption papers. Parents may need proof of consent from the other parent, if one is traveling with the child, and it doesn't matter of "marital status." In other words, if you are American and you have an Italian toddler, it can be a red-flag for some officials at the country's Immigration services in the airports. So, if you are adopting the child, these adoption papers are needed. The child's passport and his/her name can also be an issue if it doesn't have the same name as you. Here's what you need. - Child's birth certificate - Your marriage certificate (in some cases) - A consent letter signed/notarised from the other parent - If other parent is deceased, a death certificate may be needed. ACCOMMODATIONS - Finding accommodations while pre-booking is one of the most flexible things to do a few month before you go on traveling with your children. This can help you look elsewhere on another date. Pre-booking is the wisest thing to do for any traveler with children. For instance, if you are a planning a summer vacation to India with your children, there's so many places that look like a gem through a child's eyes. Adventure and fun is what they'll experience if you plan a trip to the region of Thailand for instance. The experience that your child will get because of the people, the culture, the food, the history, plus the entertainment, will be like a kaleidoscope to them. Planning is needed so finding the accommodations first is a must so you can begin the itinerary for you and your family. - There are many hotels and resorts which accommodate free children's meals, or at discount. The hotels may only advertise internationally, but if you live in a tourist town or near one, ask for these deals. Many international hotel chains offer them. They also have it bundled with certain dates or number of days you'll be staying. Complimentary ones for kids can be specially formulated for them if you talk to the staff beforehand if breakfast isn't available with your rate. CLEANLINESS - Sterilizing things which infants and toddlers doesn't have to be so frustrating while traveling through countries, cities, or towns. Airports are busy with millions of people which means that sterilizing everything for your baby or child is necessary. Deal with it by investing in a portable steam sterilizer at the end of the day. Take multiple bottles, food (snack) containers, and teething toys... etc. so you can sterilize it when you check in to your hotel room, or guest house. It's less work when you need to clean all your children(s) items. It's less strenuous too when you use sterilizers. PREPARATION - Getting your children thinking about "summer-related projects" before you leave would be giving them "a head's up." Begin by asking them to explore what they may want to see by viewing maps, historical events, plant or animal life, and geographic places to see. Researching beforehand the place you and your children will be visiting would help shake away the "jitters" for your children. Check out the types of food the locals eat and what other travelers recommend regarding dining out and restaurants for families with children. Many places have children discounts so by reviewing your destination's "places to eat," you'll save time and money. SPECIAL NEEDS - Communicating with parents of special needs children may be a comforting thing to do when preparing for a family vacation. In fact, traveling with children with special needs can be a risky trip for him/her if your child isn't ready. Traveling in an unknown location for your children can make them experience an entire new culture. This can cause them to experience "culture-shock" which isn't fun at all for a young kid(s). Preparing certain medications and allergies to them may be cause for concern. when traveling with children. When in need of a doctor overseas or in another town, your children should be wearing identity bracelets. These detail medical bracelets will have your child's conditions. It'll have all the "allergies or allergic to..." labeled on it and should even have the health conditions your child(ren) may have. Additionally, your child's doctor's name should also be on it as well as the number to contact him/her for communication purposes and in cases of an emergency. ADVENTURES - Besides the obvious Disney World trips, or Disney Cruise ships, take your kids to a place where they'll experience hands-on learning mixed with fun activities. A place such as a safari-like adventure to see live animals and learn about them is one idea. If you are fortunate enough to take them to another continent, such as Africa, where you know there's lots of animals and tour guides for safari fun is one vacation you and your kids will always remember. Then, you all can check it off from your child's "bucket list" when returning from your trip. Finally, when you travel with children, patience is definitely a virtue. What will save you is remembering that traveling is for fun, to getaway, to have a thrilling time. If you're a visionary, you'll see that going to Disney World will ultimately bring out the child in you!
There's a number of ways to travel whether it's local or international. In fact, for those who vacation regularly (or "once-in-a-blue-moon") really know how it is to set up a great vacation. Are you one to swim with the sharks, hike a 15-mile trail (or more), camp out and fish, or go sea-shelling? Our world really is our oyster. In retrospect, I can recall when my parents would pack us up as a family and take off on a weekend getaway on Friday's, right after school. It was a mini-vacation, but was it worth it! From school, from my friends, from the world, my family would pack up and leave. Come to find out, we were only 30 minutes away. (But it felt so far! And in another world, it felt like!) Yes, it's still considered local. We'd act, I guess, like tourists because we swam, we sunbathed, we played, ...shop, eat, and repeat to relax.) We were still considered "local." Nevertheless, it was the local beaches which made us feel as if we were in Hawaii or Venice. Simply swimming the day away in the hotel's (or motel's) pool was such a great memory. Although come to find out, we weren't the only ones doing this back then. (You'll find many families still doing this.) Regardless of what era you're from, every generation has this a traveling ritual in their family. If you've never experienced it, it's never too late to start taking these types of vacations. Those vacations you'll remember (or forget) but that everyone will end up taking the memories with them as they get older. The main thing here is that as long as we relaxed, regroup, and enjoy the trip, its all for the mind, body, and soul! Family retreat Even if it's 30 minutes away, any travel experience as a form of retreat from daily life helps release so much stress thereby rejuvenating the body and the mind. The countless trips families and individuals take on a regular basis know what it's like, especially if they live near a coastal city. If you're lucky enough, you or someone you know may live near or in a coastal city. The fact is when you are shopping at the town you are visiting and stay in a local hotel, then go sightseeing, dine out, and shop! It's a million-to-one that you'll come back to your room feeling like a million bucks. You and the kids, if in tow, will feel like you're in another world, or country. Family retreats are great in every region and since we have so many places to go to and see. We are what scientists call "a speck of what is really out there."(NASA, 2018) Until we find a way to vacation on Mars, then it's our National Parks, sandy coastlines, historical markers, and more that reel us into a vacation all its own. Everyone has a style. Naturally, knowing your own travel style will eventually surface once you've paid attention to your likes, dislikes, interests, or hobbies. How and what you prepare beforehand, if at all, is up to you. If you're accustomed to being in and out of airports, train stations, bus stations, or even cruise ships, you've come a long way. You may even like camping or RVing and if not, you should try it. So, what's your vacation style? Catch amazing trips because it's never too late to begin thinking about what kind of traveling you're good at. The main purpose is to balance your life...to learn and grow mentally and spiritually. Visiting other places and learning about the region, the culture, and experiencing the unique surrounding of the place you're visiting is one of the best ventures you can do as a traveler. Naturally, if you enjoy history, the sky's the limit!
Tourists don't realise that there are other means of transportation besides renting a car or driving in their family sedan across the country. Alternative transportation can be a money saver for travelers who frequently go across drive across the country they live at and think it's saving them money. For one, if you have an older model vehicle, then you may just add more miles, plus the wear and tear of your vehicle and all it's parts is another thing you don't really want to think about. It's a timeless journey when you're in someone else's mode of transportation such as a cruise ship or RV. Besides, don't you want to enjoy the scenery? One of the culprits of having to drive in your vehicle is pulling over to check your tires, your oil, filling up again all at the next rest stop or gas station. On the other hand, when it's another owner's transportation such as a RV or camper rental, it's not that bad. Here are some ideas of taking alternative transportation means for your next family vacation. RVing - When you rent an RV, you're not only driving in another vehicle besides your own, but you’re driving in style with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bed, a place to rest, ...and much more! You'll be able to see the views as you drive (or someone else) or take a nap until you get to your destination! It may remind you of childhood vacations or if you've never taken one like this, the best time to start is now! Cruise Ship - Enjoy the best thing in vacationing such as a cruise ship. You can pick one that will fit your budget. There are cruise ships exclusively for adults only, and those that are fit for kids! You can plan a whole week without ever getting behind a wheel on a cruise ship. Luxury style or budget style, there's one for everyone. Setting sail across the seas in one of those lifetime vacations everyone should take when they don't want to drive, plus you there's so much to do you may not fit it all in one trip. Train - Taking a train ride is all the fun when it comes to traveling across the states or countryside. In fact, with most train passes, you can get unlimited train transportation passes on boats, cab rides, ferries, and even cable cars. This naturally will depend on where you're visiting. For instance, a Eurorail Pass (Europe) will give you these types of perks. So, if you plan on visiting Europe, hopping on a train will do you justice, plus save you tons of euros! Check the Amtrak site out for traveling across America in 2-4 weeks! (Go to: https://www.amtrak.com/take-the-trains-across-america-with-usa-rail-pass). Bus Charter Tours - These are ideal for all ages. In fact, you can go on a charter bus tour to the Hollywood Hills, or go to Baja in Mexico, or travel across the historical landscapes of Canada. Anywhere across the nation is fun to see when you go with a tour guide and other so travel savvy as you. Go visit Graceland with a bunch of Elvis lovers, either way, this is a great alternative transportation idea for anyone who loves to travel. In summary, traveling to various destinations with another means of alternative transportation ideas such as these listed will give you homage to the meaning of vacation. You'll see the world in a different perspective somehow. Besides RVing, you don't have to behind the wheel and simply just relax and enjoy the ride. Leaving it to the "hands of others" may give you more relaxation then you'd ever dream of! So, start packing...!
Taking a meaningful trip will bring us so much more purpose when we return from it whether it's a short or long trip. Whether it's going to the largest Florida Garden and smelling the roses and taking a brisk walk to the tulip area or visiting a town that is hosting Wrestle Mania with your son, it's coming out anew and invigorated is what it's about.
The purpose is to enjoy and prosper from our trips that give us so much meaning. In fact, we'll see clearer during the course of it while enjoying it, learn from it, and continue more ventures. As we know it, we are better off spending time in nature for this type of trip at times. Some would rather take a train through the Canada mountains or somewhere up north and yet other may want to take a vacation in the hill country of Texas. Whatever the case, taking a meaningful vacation is where you want to devote some planning in order to have a successful adventure.
Whether you want to visit a farm, ranch, city, mountain-side, or volcano side in whatever part of the world you are curious about, being able to travel with so many options start with the vision of your trip. Like many other travelers, seeing how exciting our planet really is keeps us enjoying our planet.
In retrospect, spending time in nature is necessary for us humans. In fact, when we are around natural elements such as water, wood, the sun, and the animals, we view life in a different sense. Rejuvenating ourselves by breathing the natural air. Far away from the noise and crowds of an inner city will become of a nature trip or nature hike like going to a local, state, or national park.
Experience other culture/people
You'll have the memories to take with you when you go on a meaningful trip. Not necessarily feeding the children or helping a church youth program every summer, but a trip that will give you a positive and much clearer perspective in life.
It should have meaning for you without feeling you have to do something. Doing charity work is great, but either way you visit the place, returning from the trip should have a 'feel good' feeling.
With this in mind, there's the flipside to a meaningful trip. Understanding other cultures and people helps us see life in a different perspective and with more meaning. Its this experience that greets our struggles so as to appreciate where we come from and what our purpose is in life. This becomes part of a taking a meaningful trip, whether alone or not. It's proven that spending time around the natural environment does something wonderful to us. Releasing all the stress, worries, tension, and refueling us for better days to come.
Things to do on your trip
Taking on a meaningful trip where there's a purpose such as helping a Habitat for Humanity or helping build a skate-ramp for an underfunded community park are two examples. Two other examples which are common amongst many traveling nomads are taking on a missionary retreat for a year or going to the beach for a weekend.
Either way, the things you can do on your trip are endless at times. You can make a long lasting impact for someone or a group of people who haven't had a vacation for awhile and you take them with you. Another way to refuel some new meaning into your life is simply driving up the coast. If you like animals, go to a natural sanctuary such as a zoo.
Here are some other common, yet meaningful trips you can enjoy to do solo or with your family and friends. - Swim with the sharks, dolphins, ...etc - Go Surfing - Do Yoga on the beach - Skydiving - Skiing - Climb a mountain - Run a 5K marathon
These are only a handful of the many places that are out there being offered world-wide. Additionally, it never hurts to spin the globe and see where your finger lands on and begin planning!
Go local or the distance for a meaningful trip
Travelers can go local or the distance for meaningful trips. There's places like Nepal, Bali, Vietnam, Turkey, Baja Mexico,... and many other places you probably never thought of. Everyone needs to do this regularly and that's taking a much-needed destination for solitude and rejuvenation.
There are places hidden in a sea of wonders and plenty of terrain to explore. Finding them brings great meaning to the word "appreciation". Such places are the wonders of Phang Nga Bay which is considered a "hidden wonder" by many travel websites.
Enjoy the water sports and what the popular coastal town has to offer. One is kayaking through the sea caves made of limestone. Traveling through the cliff-lined blue-green lagoons is another thing to do if you visit this mysterious hot-spot. Mysterious at night, its one of those places that is literally (and naturally colored) emerald. The beauty of these fine-looking waters is seeing them midnight. Meaningful trips such as this hidden wonder of Phang Nga Bay will deliver.
There's so much to see that will bring about a new meaning in your life if you reach out there and explore. For instance, there's hundreds of wildlife species to awe over if you like the natural wonders of the world. Be spontaneous and take a trip down to South America or go to the Amazon for a safari-like travel destination. Finally planning a meaningful trip should include animal, rollercoaster rides with the children or trekking with solo, but whatever you decide, make it your time to rejuvenate.