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February 2016

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Roadtrip with kids is like discovering a whole new world and starting an adventure together which will be the object of storytelling for years to come. There is definitely no better place for your adventure than The Land Down Under. Since Australia covers 7,692,024 km2 and has plenty of magnificent places, it can be a hard to decide where to go, what to do and how to get your kids interested in those places. We will take Sydney as a starting point and Brisbane as a goal, but you can modify the itinerary. As a bonus, you will get a short survival guide for roadtrip with your over 10’s.

Sydney

Sydney is one of the most fascinating cities Down Under with plenty of activities for kids. And there are plenty of free activities in Sydney, too. Family-friendly beaches (Balmoral Beach, Coogee Beach, South Cronulla Beach, Manly Beach, etc.) are something both you and your kids can enjoy. The kids will be wowed by the view from the Sydney Tower Eye, and if you are feeling especially adventurous, you may skywalk on a glass platform outside. The city’s museums offer a lot of interactive, kids-focused exhibits. Ten year olds will be especially thrilled by the Justice and Police Museum, where the kids are allowed to play cops for a day. The only place to beat such an amazing time is the Moon itself at Sydney Observatory. Other interesting sites are Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, Archery Centre, Centennial Parklands, etc.

Sydney with kids

Sydney with kids

Bonus tip: The kids will probably be hungry at some point of the day. Instead of packing sandwiches, introduce them to Sydney’s exquisite dining scene and visit some of the kids-friendly restaurants in Chinatown, Bondi Junction or Pitt Street Mall.

Blue Mountains

Continuing toward east, you will get the chance to see the staggering Blue Mountains. It will be a great break from the pulsing life of Sydney. Once there, you can see Jenolan Caves, take a ride on Scenic Railway, visit the Leuralla Toy and the Railway Museum, watch a movie in Glenbrook Cinema, experience the Trees Adventure (leaping, swinging, flying and climbing through the forest) and pat a koala and feed a kangaroo in the Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Blue Mountains with kids

Blue Mountains with kids

Bonus tip: Bring some snacks, it can be a long adventure.

The Central Coast

Remaining on the main freeway is the biggest mistake you can make because you might just miss some of the most beautiful sites. Visit the trendy upmarket beach, Terrigal, where you can swim, fish, dive and watch whales. A walk in the Bouddi National Park will leave you breathless.

The Central Coast with kids

The Central Coast with kids

Bonus tip: If you are feeling tired or the kids are starting to get nervous, you can stay there overnight.

Newcastle

Newcastle will definitely amaze your kids. Visit Beamish, an open-air museum which recreates life in the North of England in the 17th and 18th century or the formidable fortress of Prudhoe. Do not miss out on the castle that gave the city its name. Make sure you get a guide or learn something about the history of the place so you could keep the kids interested. A life-size T-Rex skeleton in Great North Museum will surely make your roadtrip more dynamic.

Newcastle with kids

Newcastle with kids

Bonus tip: Kids can get bored in the car, so prepare some amusement for them – books, comics, movies on tablets and amusing funbrain games on your devices will be enough to prevent the “Mom, I’m bored” complaints.

The Hunter Valley

Parents need to have fun too, and there is no better place than the valley of the finest wines of Australia. Do not worry, there will be plenty of things to do for the kids. If running on the endless green fields is not enough for your little adventurists, then you can take a hot air balloon ride over the valley.

The Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley – Image source: https://flic.kr/p/ehcXK

Bonus tip: Bring some outdoor toys (balls, boomerangs, Frisbees, etc.) with you so they can play outside.

South West Rocks

Take just a 20 minutes detour of the coast drive, to the South West Rocks, a charming town with only 4,000 habitants. Visit the beach in Little Bay to see an abundance of wild kangaroos. Drive just a bit further to visit the historic Trial Bay Gaol.

South West Rocks with kids

South West Rocks with kids – Image source: https://flic.kr/p/eTriDT

Bonus tip: Use this opportunity to plant the love for nature in the hearts of your kids. Explain to them the importance of being a responsible habitant of this planet.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is the home to some of the most scenic beaches and a very laidback lifestyle. There are many surfing schools, and the lessons are given by trained professionals, so you can use this opportunity to learn how to catch the waves together with your kids.

Byron Bay with kids

Byron Bay with kids

Bonus tip: Help your kids to find a hobby or perhaps even a life calling, roadtrips are great for that. Maybe they will fall in love with surfing, maybe they will want to write tales about the trip, or they will simply enjoy taking photos of every new thing they see.

The Gold Coast

When you cross the border from New South Wales into Queensland, you will see the amazing Gold Coast. The city contains all forms of entertainment, from beaches to theme parks. The kids will enjoy themselves the most in Broadwater Parklands, where they will be able to release some of the roadtrip stress. Other exciting places are O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Warner Bros Movie World, etc.

The Gold Coast with kids

The Gold Coast with kids

Bonus tip: Ask the kids to make a travel journal where they will write down all the highlights.

Brisbane

And you have finally arrived to the ultimate goal – no more “Are we there yet” questions. Now you can choose from the varieties of kids-friendly activities such as Samford village cycling, visiting Aussie World Theme Park, observing the sky in Brisbane Planetarium, taking a ride in a steam train, etc. You should not miss out on cuddling a koala in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or seeing the original site of World Expo in 1988 – South Bank.

Brisbane with kids

Brisbane with kids

Bonus tip: Once you are done, ask your kids to read their highlights, and you do the same. Plan together the next possible destination and let them feel involved and important in the decision-making.

 

These were just some highlights of one possible road to take Down Under. Do not hesitate do discover your own path and make it a memorable one.

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger and adventure enthusiast who loves unusual trips, gadgets and photography. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Marie loves to share her experiences and she is a regular author on several blogs. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.

Arizona may be best known for the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon but there is so much more to experience on a trip to this Southwestern state. With weather that cooperates for most of the year and a cross-section of activities that work well with kids, Arizona is an ideal destination for your next big family vacation.

 

Arizona is an ideal destination for your next big family vacation

Arizona is an ideal destination for your next big family vacation

Whether you’re ready for a week (or just a weekend) of adventure, relaxation and all-ages fun, our list of tips for planning a journey through this scenic state will help you take an epic family vacation.

1. Plan an Itinerary

One of the easiest ways to reduce your stress while traveling is to plan ahead. While our list is a good start, search the Internet for your own personal favorite kind of activities in the area. If your kids love dinosaurs or spaceships, see what the local area has to offer. Don’t forget your own interests, too – if you love antiquing, classic cars, or maybe strolling through used book stores, check out what Arizona has to offer and make a short-list of your favorites.

From there, you can organize these activities based on the locations you’ll be in on each day — making it convenient to squeeze in more fun. Now you’ll have several things to choose from each day and you won’t risk missing out on any of your must-see attractions.

2. Create a Packing List

The worst feeling is walking into the airport while thinking “I know I’m forgetting something!” A packing list prevents that from happening.

Once you know where you’re going and have an idea of what you’ll be doing, you can plan accordingly. Don’t forget to check the weather report! There are plenty of packing lists on Pinterest that can help but also remember to pack specifically for the type of trip you’re taking. I love how YouTuber Rachel Talbot packs for trips and the video she released about her own trip to Arizona with her family has some awesome tips here: Rachel Talbott’s Family Travel Tips and Arizona Vacation!

3. Pack Travel Snacks for the Kiddos

Airlines usually don’t feed you on the plane anymore and we’re often pressed for time when navigating busy airports. That won’t stop your kids from getting hungry.

An easy solution is to put your kids’ favorite snacks in plastic baggies and bring them with you in your carry-on. Your future self will thank you!

4. Visit the Concierge Desk at Your Hotel

Now that we do all of our travel planning online, the hotel concierge often gets neglected. However, they are one of the most underutilized resources for traveling smart — especially if you’re on a budget or you’re looking for a specific experience.

Your hotel concierge will be able to tell you about the best free activities, where families have the most fun, and even where parents can sneak away for a little fun of their own.

5. Look for Hotels With Heated Pools

After a long day of travel and fun, you probably want to relax, but your kids don’t. A simple compromise is enjoying a heated swim.

Your kids can swim and play while you kick back. It’s funny how we try to plan the most amazing family trips and our kids end up having the most fun at the hotel pool — go figure.

6. Indulge in Local Cuisine

Traveling is always a great excuse for eating lots of yummy food, especially when it’s food you can’t get back home. Arizona has some of the most unique food in the country — a blend of Mexican, Native American, and Tex-Mex cuisines.

Here are some of the local favorites:

  • Cactus – Incorporating saguaro and prickly pear cactus into various recipes is one of the oldest traditions in Arizona. You’ll find these delicious fruit used in syrup, jelly, salsa, fruit bars, candy, margaritas, and even BBQ sauce.
  • Navajo-Churro Sheep – This is some of the sweetest and most tender lamb meat you’ll ever taste and these sheep are actually the oldest surviving breed of sheep in the United States.
  • Mesquite Pod Flour – Mesquite is a type of wood that people often use to cook meat with, because it adds a tremendous flavor. In Arizona, people eat the seed pod from mesquite as a desert. Not only is it surprisingly tasty, but it’s full of antioxidants and reduces blood sugar.

Skip the familiar chain restaurants and go for something new!

7. Enjoy Some Arizona Tee-Time

Golfers will love visiting Arizona, which has some of the most beautiful golf courses you’ve ever seen. There are several resorts, such as The Camelback Inn and Resort in Scottsdale, that have nice golf courses while still being fun for the entire family.

8. See the Grand Canyon

You can’t visit Arizona without visiting the Grand Canyon! However, there are several ways to see the Grand Canyon to choose from — by land, air, or water.

The walking tours are the cheapest, but they also provide the worst view. If you’re looking for the best view possible, the helicopter tours are the perfect option. However, if you’re feeling adventurous your family can ride down into the canyon by mule and even go rafting at the bottom of the canyon!

 

See the Grand Canyon

See the Grand Canyon

Many of the tours, other than the helicopter tour, take up the majority of the day, so keep that in mind when planning other activities for the same day and packing for the kids to be out a long time.

9. Enjoy a Spa Day

Family vacations can get a little hectic so plan some time to chill out at the spa for a few hours. A quick list of some top ones in Arizona include:

  • Revive Spa at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort – there’s a peek at this gorgeous spa in Rachel’s video – she obviously loved it!
  • Enchantment Resort in Sedona
  • The Spa at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale

10. Take a Fun Food Class

Cooking while on vacation? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. The Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix offers a Chocolate Interlude class where you and your kids can make candy bars and other chocolate goodies.

In Rachel Talbott’s video above, you can see her family giving their seal of approval for this unique experience. The class, taught by executive pastry chef Joel Gonzalez, has won the hearts of many other online reviewers, too!

11. Check Out Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Not far from Tucson Starr Pass Resort is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which has a collection of 16 individual gardens, 1,200 native plant species, and 240 native animal species. They also have an awesome raptor show — featuring ravens, owls, falcons, and several different hawks.

Don’t forget sunscreen for the little ones, because 80% of the museum is outdoors.

12. Take a Tour of the Sonora Desert

Unless you live in the Southwest, your family probably hasn’t spent much time in the desert. Despite what some might think of a ‘desert’, the Sonora Desert is quite scenic with beautiful mountains, rock formations, ancient ruins, abandoned gold mines, a variety of cacti, and wildlife.

 

Take a Tour of the Sonora Desert

Take a Tour of the Sonora Desert

There are plenty of walking tours, but I recommend looking into the ATV tours if your kids are old enough or a Hummer tour if you’d rather not do any driving so you can cover more of beautiful ground. Make sure you bring a camera (or just snap pictures on your phone)!

13. Live a Little

Last but not least, open yourself up to spontaneous fun. Sometimes we get so caught up in relaxing on vacation that we miss out on the excitement.

A day at the golf course and spa might sound great to us, but that all sounds pretty boring when you’re a kid and full of endless energy.

Here are some exciting activities your kids will never forget:

Arizona is the heart of the Southwest and the scenery is incredible. More importantly, it’s a wonderful place to travel with family. They have tons of activities for parents and kiddos to enjoy together!

 

Arizona family vacation

Arizona family vacation

For your next family trip, plan on coming home with a new tan, great memories, and some stories about how many ways you ate cactus.

Boasting as one of South Italy’s most vibrant and exciting city, Naples offers a lively travel experience for you and the kids. Naples is home to numerous state of the art museums and amazing cloisters, but the younger members of the family tend to be more enthusiastic about fun historic sites, random tours and exciting places to run around and play. Below are some 10 amazing things to do with kids in Naples.

 

Visit The Castle Nuovo - Naples, Itlay

Visit The Castle Nuovo – Naples, Itlay

Visit The Castle Nuovo

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1W6CGf8

Kids are used to reading about castles in story books or watching them in their fairy tale movies. The Castle Nuovo is a great way to make your kids have a real castle experience. Situated overlooking the Bay of Naples, the magnificent Castle Nuovo’s existence can be traced back to the 13th century when Charles the first demanded the building of a brand new larger castle for his court. The castle has undergone significant changes and renovations since then and most of the part you can explore today is credited to Alfonso the fifth. Your kids will surely love being inside this castle where the history of Naples comes back to life.

 

Enjoy Neapolitan Pizza

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1nSMeiF

 

There was no way that having a meal would miss out on the 10 amazing things to do with kids in Naples. The city is famous all over the world as it is the birthplace of pizza, a delicacy enjoyed all over the world. Enjoying authentic Neapolitan pizza is, therefore, an experience that is worth the visit. Pizzas are prepared using the original recipes and sized individually according to one’s particular request. Everyone is allowed to pick their favorite toppings though the preferred choice among pizza enthusiasts is the classic Margherita with some tomatoes

 

Climb Up The Mountain Vesuvius - Naples, Italy

Climb Up The Mountain Vesuvius – Naples, Italy

 

 

Climb Up The Mountain Vesuvius

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1QmN5iw

Mountain climbing is an enjoyable activity that makes kids excited once the thought of it comes up. Mt Vesuvius in Naples offers an excellent mountain climbing experience as you enjoy spectacular views overlooking the Naples area and the bay stretching to the islands of Capri and Ischia. Mountain climbing helps you and the kids burn off excess energy but if you feel that you can’t take the whole climb on foot, taking a bus or driving for the greater part of the way is the best option. The final climb to the crater offers the best part of the climbing as the views from that part are more stunning. Looking down into the enormous crater of the volcano is a fascinating experience that you and your kids will live to reminisce.

 

Naples catacombs

Naples catacombs

Go Beneath Naples

Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/dvjsro

Naples is a city that has a very rich history. Visiting Naples and leaving without learning about the history is considered as a waste. A large chunk of the history of Naples is seen in the most unexpected way by going underneath the city on a tour of the famous Napoli Sotterranea. Provided that dark and narrow spaces won’t scare your kids, they will undoubtedly find these trips enjoyable. Tours are led by guides who inform you about the history of the underground part of Naples while showing you the hidden artifacts, passages, and catacombs used to shelter people during the World War 2 explosions. Graffiti will be seen on the way from different times, and the guides will explain their significance before which you will re-emerge to the busy streets with a whole different view of Naples.

 

The Steamy Solfatara - Naples, Itlay

The Steamy Solfatara – Naples, Itlay

Check Out The Steamy Solfatara

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1QQuQ7X

Kids tend to be more interested in unusual things. In Naples, just a short drive towards the outskirts of the city into Pozzuoli stands the Solfatara. The landscape at this place offers a fascinating and out of the ordinary family experience that every member of the family will enjoy. Exploring the lava cap of the dormant volcano still bubbling and spurting out some sulphuric fumes from the geothermal activity beneath the ground. The Solfatara also emits steam regularly from the ground making it somewhat extraordinary. The Solfatara is an amazing natural site that can offer a fun day trip for you and your kids.

 

The National Archaeological Museum - Naples, Itlay

The National Archaeological Museum – Naples, Itlay

Visit The National Archaeological Museum

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1UY8Qcm

As hinted above, Naples is a city with a rich historical background. History cannot get any better than the one you and the kids will see at the National Archaeological Museum. This museum contains the finest collection of Roman art and artifacts. Some of the pieces include huge fresco and mosaic panels and sculptures obtained from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Despite the building being a bit confusing, there is little doubt that your kids will enjoy the sight of the fantastic historical pieces. This museum is one of Naples top views and you don’t want your kids to miss it.

 

A Trip To Pompeii and Herculaneum - Naples, Itlay

A Trip To Pompeii and Herculaneum – Naples, Itlay

Take A Trip To Pompeii and Herculaneum

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1UY9bfp

The ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum are two of the most popular tourist sites in the entire Italy. A look into the ancient Roman life is unforgettable and worth the effort it will take you to get there. Pompeii is known to be more famous of the two, but some argue that Herculaneum is more interesting to visit due its relatively smaller size. Regardless of the ruin you visit, you and the kids will get a feel of how Naples used to look like in the past.

 

Meal Of Sfogliatelle - Naples, Itlay

Meal Of Sfogliatelle – Naples, Itlay

Enjoy A Meal Of Sfogliatelle

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1okWIYA

Kids have a thing for new delicacies, and this one will surely leave them licking their fingers. Regarded as Naples signature sweet pastry, the Sfogliatella is made of light layers of flaky pastry dough that cover a dense filling of sweetened ricotta cheese on the inside. This dish is often eaten for breakfast, but one can enjoy them as a snack any time of the day.

 

The Amalfi Coast - Naples, Itlay

The Amalfi Coast – Naples, Itlay

Tour The Amalfi Coast

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1SZER4N

Naples is close to the fascinating Amalfi Coast and leaving the city without visiting the coast should not be an option. There are lots of activities that you and the kids can partake in the coast. Boat rides are aplenty, and you can tour nearby islands and discover new and amazing sites. You may also choose to bath in the coastal sun as your kids run and play around in the amazing coastal environment. You may elect to round up the tour by enjoying some of the amazing seafood prepared in the eating joints around.

 

Go Modern At The MADRE - Naples, Itlay

Go Modern At The MADRE – Naples, Itlay

Go Modern At The MADRE

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1TO7SRF

Most of the things mentioned above involved a lot of antique stuff, but the MADRE offers a break from that.MADRE, The Museum of Contemporary Art has an incredible collection of art pieces from both Italian and International artists. The museum has some temporary shows that keep the guests entertained. It will offer a great experience for your kids who will appreciate the connection between modern and vintage art.

From the guide above describing 10 amazing things to do with kids in Naples, it is evident that Naples is a city that offers an array of activities that will make your visit worthwhile. When visiting Naples, check out on the bed and breakfast site located at the Via Tribunali in the historic center of Naples near Via Toledo and Spaccanapoli for accommodation.

 

 

 

An African safari will have the kid’s wide eyed – everything from the Big Five to the smaller animals including the leopard tortoise making this a holiday like no other.  Leading adventure specialist, Acacia Africa has included a range of family friendly small group safaris in their 2016 brochure, many of the itineraries allowing teens and even tweens to get off the beaten track. Families might be enjoying a mokoro safari on the Okavango Delta, encountering one of Africa’s many tribal cultures on a village visit, exploring the bush on a 4X4 game drive or learning about conservation on a visit to a non-profit project.

 

An African safari will have the kid’s wide eyed

An African safari will have the kid’s wide eyed

An intimate way to travel, between eight and 15 travellers  can be found on any one trip – those with kids in tow, joined by couples, singles and senior travellers. Often covering more than one country and going overland rather than by plane adds to the excitement, children connecting the dots between destinations.

Karin Bradbury, a recent traveller to Southern Africa comments “I think travelling as a family is of great benefit. The kids get to see that their little world at home is only one part of a much greater world, and adults can benefit from travelling with children because children tend to ask questions on things adults can completely miss. They make us look at travel from a different angle. I think it was quite an eye opener for the children to see that there are people who really do still live in huts made of sticks, mud and straw.

 

Africa Safari for Kids

Africa Safari for Kids

The long distance journeys also come with their own surprises. Karin comments, “We spotted lions at the side of the road one morning while in Botswana. We were just driving along and not on any kind of game drive. The early sunlight falling through the grass and onto the lions was magical.

So, if you’re thinking of bringing the kids to Southern or East Africa read on, as we asked Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager at Acacia Africa to give us his pick of family safari destinations for 2016 and his top tips for family travellers.

Let them pole their own mokoro in Botswana:  Proof that the 4X4 is only one of the ways to see Africa’s wildlife, in the Okavango Delta, the kids will travel by mokoro (or traditional dug out canoe). The UNESCO World Heritage site’s watery channels offer younger safari goers the chance to get closer to nature; frogs, fish and dragonflies, plus a wide variety of birdlife from bee-eaters to kingfishers inhabiting this reed filled paradise.  Well suited to teens, children might also have the opportunity to navigate the mokoro through the shallow waterways with assistance from expert local guides.  Best explored in the winter months, June to July is the ideal time to travel.

Max up the animal experience in the Mara: One of the world’s most renowned wildlife specatcles, the annual migration in the Masai Mara also falls over the main summer school holidays.  From July through October, roughly 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 gazelles make their way across Kenya’s best loved game reserve. The destination is geared up to families with younger tweens so parents will be able to choose from a good range of mid-end accommodation. While not home to the Lion King, much of the movie based on neighbouring Tanzania, this is one of the best locations to see the Big Cats as this is where the BBC Big Cat Diary was filmed.

Kid-scape to less well travelled climes: Zimbabwe is a rising star on Africa’s travel circuit and this up and coming destination should be on every families hot list.  Enjoy some of the most breathtaking game viewing in Southern Africa on a game drive in the Hwange National Park and experience a heart racing walking safari in the Matobo National Park – one of the top locations to spot rhino on the continent.

Family travel tips

On safari: You should expect early starts of 5am as the wildlife are more active in the mornings.  Choose binoculars with a lesser magnitude and a wide field of view so children can follow the game as they move across the open savannah.  A world away from Disney, a game of “I Spy”  is a good way to keep the younger ones amused if you are still waiting to spot the Big Five.

Pack wisely: You can expect pleasant daytime temperatures of mid to late 20s-degrees Celsius during the African winter, however, the evenings and mornings can be quite cold so pack warmer clothing. Light breathable, layered cottons are best. Bright colours should be avoided.

Time your trip: Older safari goers might be excited by the thought of a whole seven days of game driving, but the same can’t always be said for the younger set.  Shorter three of four day trips might be better for tweens. If you’re heading for Kenya, why not add on a few extra days in Nairobi?  Known as Africa’s Wildlife Capital, the city’s Nairobi National Park is the only one on the continent where you will be able to see big cats, rhinos and skyscrapers in the same view finder. This location has plenty to keep the kids occupied. Watch orphaned baby elephants take their daily mud bath at the David Sheldrick Foundation (located with the park’s boundaries) or kiss a giraffe at the Giraffe Centre.

Acacia Africa: 020 7706 4700[email protected]www.acacia-africa.com. ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED. SATSA membership No. 1931

 

 

London is an amazing place. Whereas it presents some of the most famous landmarks of the world that most people know of, such as the London Eye, the Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Westminster Abbey, there are many more unusual things to see and to do that you may not be aware of.

The Attractions in Richmond Park

You will find an unusually wild environment in this Royal Park, which is definitely the best of all Royal Parks and is also the biggest. It has a diverse presentation as you will find the Royal Ballet School being housed here while hordes of deer can be seen running wild. You can also catch pro cyclists undergoing training in this park which is the farthest from the centre than most others and it offers rolling hills and hefty oaks. You can also find a spot from where even St Paul’s is easily visible. As per legend, this was the spot where Anne Boleyn was brought by King Henry VIII for his honeymoon and also where he got the signal telling him about her death.

 

Richmond Park

Richmond Park

Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park

This is a favourite outspoken spot in London where you can speak whatever you like and about whatever is not right, according to you. It is located in Hyde Park which is in the heart of London in the midst of all the action, being flanked by Park Lane, Marble Arch and Kensington Palace where Queen Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales had once stayed and where Will and Kate have their official residence. Speakers’ Corner is a place in the park where anyone from any part of the world can express his concerns regarding whatever is bothering him such as about race, religion, war and satire. This is the place where you have complete freedom of speech and the liveliest crowds are noticed here especially on Sunday afternoons and you can see the best and worst of stand-up speakers trying to make their point.

 

Speakers’ Corner

Speakers’ Corner

Visitors to London would find it convenient to stay at Shaftesbury Hyde Park hotel as it is located in the heart of the city at a few steps from Hyde Park and close to most of the other attractions of the city.

Canal Boats in Maida Vale

These unusually slow canal boats at this leafy area of northwest London are easy to hop on to for getting to other places by gliding through the smaller waterways of the city. You can reach Camden Lock easily, if you start at Little Venice gliding past the London Zoo and the edges of Regent’s Park. The ease of this journey will give quite a competition to the Tube.

 

Maida Vale

Maida Vale

Roman History Unravelled Through Buildings

In the heart of London, you can discover Roman history through the buildings that exist between the Tower of London and the Gherkin. By exploring this area, you can get to know more about 2000 years of history and you can explore Victorian markets, medieval relics and crumbling walls since the time that the Romans had occupied them. You can explore the area on your own or you can take the help of a guide to get more information and to ensure that you do not miss anything.

 

Roman History

Roman History

If you wish to enjoy your weekend breaks London, it would be best to see the various unusual attractions as that would give you an idea of the diversity of offerings of the city.

The Florence Nightingale Museum

One of the most unheard of places, this small, yet info-packed museum is housed in a Victorian promenade of Big Ben. By visiting this museum, you will be able to travel back in time and retrace the steps of one of the symbols of sacrifice who is credited with establishing the modern nursing profession, Florence Nightingale.

The Well-Made Greenwich Market

This busy market at the foot of the hill and towards the east of the city presents handicrafts and food from around the world that you will find interesting, once you have explored Portobello Road Market, Covent Garden and Notting Hill. Moreover, the Greenwich Observatory offers the centre of time and space.

 

Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market

Travel in a Mini Cooper

If you have had your fill of the London Underground and the Black Cab, you can go retro and zip around London in an Austin Mini Cooper with peak caps and gold bars that are available on request. You will enjoy being unusually retro

 

Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper

Afternoon Tea at the Montcalm

This is one activity that is typical of London and most of the luxury hotels in the city provide this facility. However, you can have a wonderful time at the Montcalm Hotels, such as at the Montcalm located at the top of Park Lane in the heart of the city being close to the shops of Oxford Street, where the Afternoon Tea facility is available. The hotel has a grand ambiance being located in a row of town houses in Georgian Crescent and it has a fresh, contemporary design while maintaining its heritage values. The dining room is quirky and modern and afternoon tea is served in an environment of stunning ceiling display of suspended lights, smoothly burnt orange leather and glitzy mirrored pillars. The Grill at the Montcalm serves modern afternoon tea.

 

Afternoon Tea London

Afternoon Tea London

Chiswell Street Dining Rooms also offers afternoon tea at the Montcalm at the Brewery and along with tea guests are served an assorted selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones with Preston Hall jam and Devonshire clotted cream along with a selection of afternoon sweets and cakes. Guests can also avail of Champagne afternoon tea, served with a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne.

Jazz

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is an ideal place to enjoy jazz. It is located in the narrow streets of Soho and it has hosted many Jazz superstars over the years. It is an edgy, fun place for enjoying a night out in London as it attracts plenty of up-and-coming talent.

 

Moving is quite the experience. There’s no real way to make it a fun time, exactly, but it’s definitely exciting! Of course, the packing and actual work of moving is the hard part, but you can make the change its self a fun, new adventure for everyone!

Find a house with a yard. Kids need room to run, especially when they’re trying to process a big life change like moving. Especially if you’re moving from a more rural area to the city, this can be a lifesaver. City street simply aren’t a safe area to play, and your child might not understand that, so if a fence is an option, get that too! Plus, a yard with a kid is a magnet for other kids. It’ll bring new friends over, and give you a safe place to put them so you can relax a little. Even in the depths of winter, a yard is a lifesaver with kids. After all, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing!

 

Find a house with a yard

Find a house with a yard

Look up kid activities first! Local libraries often sponsor activities for children based on age groups, and they’re usually free. Other places try and offer lots of kid-friendly events too, like the YMCA, local gardening groups, school, and sometimes even local government. Libraries are a great place to start, and from there you can just ask people what options there are. Cities are also well-known for kid-friendly museums, where they can race around and pretty much everything is plastic or foam. Most cities are making an effort to be more family friendly, so give them a chance! You might be surprised at how many options are available.

 

Look up kid activities first

Look up kid activities first

For very young kids, look for mom meet-ups. A mom meet-up might feel a little awkward, but it can really help both kids and parents get some socialization. It’s a fantastic way to get to know people around your neighborhood, which is one of the most difficult things to do when you move to a new place. Moving to a city is different from moving to the country, because people aren’t really interested in getting to know their neighbors, which can make it difficult to make friends. Mom meet-ups aren’t really just for moms, they’re usually for parents in general and their kids. So you have an excuse to take the whole family!

Find all the parks! Parks are the meeting places for kids, moms, dads, and grandparents. Plus they give kids a chance to go out, race around, and entertain themselves while you get to sit down and relax. Kids can make their own friends, or at least playmates, and you’re then coerced into talking to their parents. Meanwhile, the kids have an opportunity to run out all of their stress over the move, plus they have a whole new area to explore! There’s pretty much no end to the benefits kids get from parks, so there’s every reason to take your kids out to one!

 

Find all the parks

Find all the parks

Try and get a pet-friendly apartment. Many families with kids either already have a pet or will want to get one. If you already have a pet, keeping them will provide a friend and bit of comfort for the kids, so it’s really important to do your best to keep your pets with you. Taking the time to look for pet-friendly apartments and getting approval for your particular pet is important, not only for your animals but also for your family. Keep in mind that some places will have limitation on what kinds of pets they’ll allow, such as dog breeds or weights, so make sure to ask!

 

get a pet-friendly apartment

get a pet-friendly apartment

Look into the options for school. Any move has the chance to be permanent. Even if you’re currently a stay-at-home parent or your kids are too young for school it’s still a good idea to check them out. You may find that it’s the best way to get your child some regular socialization during the depths of winter, or you might find that you actually want to work instead of stay home. Either way, it’s good to already have a feel for the schools in your area. Eventually, your kids will probably need to go, or you might just want them to go. There’s nothing wrong with daycare, preschool, or public school, so if you can and want to send them, do it! Just make sure you know the school well first.

 

Look into the options for school

Look into the options for school

Go visit! There’s nothing more nerve wracking than moving to a city you’ve never been to before, and kids feel the same way about it. Do what you can to get your kids used to it first. Try and take a vacation there, or at least take them with you when you’re looking for a place to stay. If they can have some good experiences there before the move, they might actually be excited to live there. That simple change of heart can make the difference between a fun adventure or an apparent punishment.

 

A move is a big deal for kids

A move is a big deal for kids

No matter what you do, it’s important to keep in mind that a move is a big deal for kids. It can be hard to handle, especially when they’re old enough to leave some friends behind. Go into it with some sympathy for that, and you’ll find the whole thing is much less of an ordeal.

Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.

https://www.pinterest.com/kaceymya/

 

 

Sometimes it can be pretty hard to keep up the good mood in the long car rides. Sometimes it might even lead to arguments and scolding, and that is never right or welcome on a trip. Especially for our children, who might be struggling to endure long hour cars rides just because there is a lack of activity and it is hard to sit in one place for such a long time.

 

Car Trips With Children

Car Trips With Children

But that is not how it is supposed to be at all! In fact, if you want to enjoy and have a normal road trip with kids, you should keep up with these six golden rules created by positive parenthood gurus! Yes, these people exist, and they are going to share the best tips they have just for you! So – are you ready? After reading those rules, your life might chance for good!

Rule 1. In the driving car, there should not be any computer games and especially smartphones. And this rule actually works both for parents and children! Car rides are a perfect time when the whole family can be together and spend some time. So use that time to get to know each other more, share some memories and stories and just talk! Smartphones and computer games only interfere and not help you make stronger bonds with your kids. Therefore, put your phones into bags and start talking!

Rule 2. If you want to travel and have fun, it is necessary to come up with a few ideas for entertainment. Sometimes we might forget to enjoy ourselves, and this usually shows off then you and your spouse start discussing your problems at works, carrier and stuff you left at home. Don’t do that! It is pretty annoying, and kids don’t need to hear that at all. Because of that and the lack of attention to them, it is very unlikely that the little ones will sit quietly looking out the window. Everyone will be much calmer and happier if you will offer a bit of entertainment instead. It can be various road trip games, solving puzzles, singing you favorite songs, and so on. You can even prepare a little special “fun road trip” kit, full of paper, easy to wash paint, etc. Just remember that in the back seat you have a few little hungry for attention and activity fellows and try to be an artist for a bit. You will be amazed how much they will love doing something all together!

Rule 3. Every long trip should be divided into smaller fractions, so you and kids will get a chance to stop for a bit and exercise too. On the other hand, you can do a little game which will help children to travel as well. For example, divide the route in smaller fractions to help kids understand the length of the trip not by kilometers but by reached points or cities. Again, if you are going to drive through a few bigger towns, rivers, mountains or sculptures, make a short list of it and give them to your kids, so they will know where they are and will be looking forward to the next point. It will be a lot more fun for them to keep up with the road trip, they will know where you are right not and won’t ask you all the time. Plus it will keep them busy for a bit too!

Rule 4. Children should only be in the car if they are not hungry, thirsty, and they don’t want to go to a toilet. We mean, they definitely can be like that on a long trip, but hungry kids are going to be very noisy and not satisfied, and that might ruin the whole trip. So, better have a few snacks with you and bottle of water and stop by if they want to go to the toilet. They will be more relaxed and will be able to enjoy the trip a lot more.

Rule 5. Be attentive to children’s moods. Once again, if a child needs to go to the toilet – do that and don’t ask them to wait for an hour. It is always better to stop by for a little bit and get rid of bad child’s mood rather than drive for a few hours with a child being all angry and grunt. It is also crucial to make those stops to exercise a bit, to breathe some fresh air and to observe nature or cities around. You can even do a little running or play with a ball. Sitting in one position is pretty hard for adults, and it might be even more difficult for small kids. So moving a bit on long trips is necessary for sure. Follow this rule!

Rule 6. Driving with excessive noise in the back of the vehicle, because kids are screaming and fighting is not just only not pleasant for both children and parents, but it is also very unsafe. Screaming children might distract the driver, he won’t be able to concentrate and monitor the traffic right, and sometimes the risk of accidents get pretty high. Therefore, if your children somehow start to disagree because of sometimes don’t just turn around and try to calm them. You have to stop the car and get them out of there to calm kids down. After they are all quiet, and the problem is solved, the trip might continue. It is crucial to explain to your children that screaming or even fighting in a car is not acceptable under any circumstances, and they are really distracting the driver. It is also very important that you should keep yourself calm and don’t start to scream or scold kids too. You have to be calm and diplomatic because this is the main key to a pleasant road trip.

 

You Enjoy Car Trips With Children

You Enjoy Car Trips With Children

 

 

 

Sri Lanka is an exciting place for families to explore together and a great place for kids to learn new things and have fun at the same time. Sri Lanka is the home of some of the best beaches in the world and there is plenty of wildlife, adventure, and culture that will fascinate children of all ages.

Sri Lanka is small enough that it doesn’t take hours of sitting in a car to get from one place to another. Another reason for families to visit Sri Lanka is that it is a very kid friendly country: kids are made to feel welcome here.

 

Sri Lanka Family Vacation

Sri Lanka Family Vacation

Here is a list of top twelve things that kids will enjoy doing in Sri Lanka, and parents will have fun too!

  • Beaches: Fun in the Sun

The best beaches in Sri Lanka are on the west and south coasts of Sri Lanka. Kids will love splashing in the crystal clear water, boogie boarding, and making sand castles. Fringed with palm trees, the long stretches of golden sand are perfect for running and playing and using up some of that excess energy! Beaches like the one at Unawatuna are shallow and safe for kids.

Sri Lanka Beaches

Sri Lanka Beaches

  • Meet the Elephants

The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is high on the list of fun things to do. This orphanage has the largest herd of elephants in captivity in the world. Kids can learn and have fun at the same time as they watch how the elephants are taken care of and nursed back to health. They can watch these magnificent creatures being fed and bathed: there are also opportunities for kids to help to feed the elephants.

Sri Lanka Elephants

Sri Lanka Elephants

  • Ride a Train through the Mountains

There are many scenic train rides in Sri Lanka and one of the best is between Nuwara Eliya and Ella. Riding the train is fun and the scenery is outstanding with waterfalls, tea plantations where kids can see how tea is picked on the hillsides, and more than 20 tunnels as the train snakes its way through the hilly countryside.

scenic train rides in Sri Lanka

scenic train rides in Sri Lanka

  • Hold a Baby Turtle

On the west coast of Sri Lanka is a town called Kosgoda located south of Bentota between Colombo and Galle. There are turtle hatcheries here where kids can learn how baby turtles are hatched. It’s an exciting and educational hands-on experience: kids are able to hold a turtle egg and release a little baby turtle back into the ocean. An unforgettable experience!

Sri Lanka - Hold a Baby Turtle

Sri Lanka – Hold a Baby Turtle

  • Check out an Ancient Fort

The 17th century Dutch Fort in Galle is well-preserved and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take the train down from Colombo and then walk through the city of Galle with its old houses and churches. The fort is fun to explore: there are ramparts along the sea, a lighthouse, and great views. Make sure to look for the locals who jump off the ramparts down to the sea below.

  • Go Fishing

Sri Lankans traditionally sit on stilt poles called riti panna to go fishing. There are not as many fisherman as in the past but you can still see them perched on their poles along the south coast of Sri Lanka. There is a small bench attached to the poles which are placed in fairly shallow water. Kids will enjoy watching local fisherman or they can give it a try themselves. The locals will help kids get set up on the poles.

 

Sri Lanka Fishing

Sri Lanka Fishing

  • Climb a Famous Rock

Sigiriya, or Lion’s Rock, is an ancient rock fortress and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Central Province. It is an amazing site from down below, but kids will have fun getting to the top of the rock and seeing interesting things along the way. On a plateau about halfway up, there is a gateway in the form of a gigantic lion with huge paws.

  • Take an Elephant Safari

Habarana is the best place to go on an elephant safari. Kids will love this experience: they get to sit on a platform on the elephant’s back. A trained mahout rides the elephant and guides the safari. There are many elephants in this area as well as other kinds of wildlife. Safaris go through jungles, swamps, villages, and rivers. Hold on: a ride on an elephant can be very bumpy!

  • Take a Surfing Lesson

Sri Lanka is famous for its surfing,   Along the south west coast of Sri Lanka, small beginner waves consistently roll in to shore. There are many surf schools here and Weligama is the perfect place to learn how to surf. This is a sheltered bay and is protected from the wind. Kids can take surf lessons here, or they can just rent a surfboard and try it on their own.

  • Visit the Caves of Dambulla

The Dambulla Cave Temple is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. Kids will have a fun and educational experience as they explore the series of five caves. Inside the caves they will be amazed at the number of paintings and statues. There are more than 150 statues of Buddhas as well as statues of famous kings from Sri Lanka.

  • Spot a Whale

The elephant is the largest land animal in the world, and the blue whale is the biggest marine animal in the world. Sri Lanka is one of the few places where you can see both of these animals in the same day! The south coast of Sri Lanka is a good place to take kids to see blue whales because it is close to the deep waters where these huge animals live.

  • Kayak through a Jungle

Kids will enjoy taking a kayak trip on the Bentota River. The river is calm and wide and perfect for kids and families. The river flows through mangroves and jungles towards the Indian Ocean. There is a variety of wildlife along the river, and kids will have fun spotting birds and mammals. A kayaking tour includes all of the equipment and often includes lunch as well.

This post is brought to you by Edward from Srilankavisa.org. Srilankavisa.org was founded in 2012 by migration lawyers. Srilankavisa.org is responsible for the Sri Lanka visa application process for its clients. Edward is an enthusiastic traveler who has been to 97 countries. He loves photography, tasting new food and experiencing different cultures.