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May 2017

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The Land of Oz has many magical offerings for families. Natural and cultural marvels blend together on Australian city streets, where young historians, budding artists, eager foodies and wannabe sports-stars will all be in their element. Perfect for explorers of all ages, we recommend you follow the yellow brick road to Australia’s top five family-friendly cities.

Sydney

For Sydney-siders, there truly is no place like home. The jewel of Australia’s east coast, this sparkling Emerald City boasts farm more than its fair share of scenic vistas, historic landmarks and perfect picnic spots.

For a spectacular view of Sydney Harbour, walk (or if you’re older than eight, climb!) across the world-famous Harbour Bridge. On weekends, meander through the nearby Rocks markets, where souvenirs and spray-painting demonstrations mix with the echoes of a bygone convict era on the cobblestone streets.

Sydney

Sydney

Wander a little further and you’ll land at Circular Quay, your gateway to a host of Sydney’s top attractions. Artsy types will love the free entry into Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, sweet tooths will enjoy grabbing an ice-cream and watching the buskers, and of course, a photo on the Sydney Opera House stairs is a must for any visitor. Rumour has it that the legendary landmark’s Danish architect designed the majestic white sails based on the segments of an orange!

From Circular Quay you can board a ferry for easy (not to mention picturesque) access to Manly Beach or Taronga Zoo. Or find a shady spot for lunch in the Royal Botanic Gardens, before heading into town to explore the skeleton collection at the Australian Museum, the fountains in Hyde Park and the Christmas windows of iconic Australian retailer, David Jones.

Greater Sydney also covers a lot of ground, so it’s worth going slightly further afield for a tranquil bushwalk in Royal National Park or Mt. Kuring-Gai National Park, and a refreshing swim on the Northern Beaches or Central Coast. Even the famous Blue Mountains, home of the Three Sisters and Scenic World, is a short drive or train ride away.

Melbourne

The plot thickens as you continue south to Melbourne, a cultural hub jam-packed with gallery after gallery and markets galore. The driving force behind Australia’s hipster movement, Melbourne’s urban vibe proudly brings laneway cafes, food trucks, street art and great coffee to the table.

In fact, for your own little slice of Sydney’s well-loved arty cousin, grab your bikes and ride through the CBD. Whizz from Flinders Street station, past colourful Hosier Lane (with murals by the likes of Ha-Ha) and along the Yarra River. If you don’t have your own two-wheeled transport on hand, the recent council bike-share initiative makes it easy to grab public bicycles from multiple hire points.

 

Melbourne

Melbourne

With little munchkins who aren’t up for a day of pedaling, hitch a ride on a city tram which is a novelty in itself. For some interactive exhibits, check out ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) at Federation Square. For a taste of history, try the spooky Old Melbourne Gaol, and for a brush with amazing architecture, tour the stunning churches and grand cathedrals. And for some fast-paced action, wear your team colours to a cricket match or AFL game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

If you love fashion, food, or a good bit of fun, your family should explore the nooks and crannies of Melbourne’s markets. The atmospheric Queen Victoria Market and South Melbourne Market are the most popular – there is a huge range of fresh produce on show, as well as artisanal wares and specialty crafts.

Adelaide

South Australia’s humble capital is too often forgotten when it comes to tourist attractions – yet there’s a wealth of diverse experiences to be found just over the rainbow. Avoiding this beautiful city is a big mistake.

Adelaide’s family-friendly calling card is the Adelaide Zoo, home of the Southern Hemisphere’s only breeding pair of Giant Pandas. You can also encounter 1800 other feathery, furry and finned friends including lions, tigers and bears. Another favourite is the South Australian Museum where you can immerse yourself in natural history. Braver lions who’ve found their courage can also walk the haunted halls of the Victorian-era Adelaide Gaol.

 

Adelaide

Adelaide

If you time your visit right (we recommend you come in March), you can partake in the numerous large-scale celebrations of art, music and performance that regularly take over Adelaide. The Adelaide Festival is one huge arty party, the Adelaide Fringe is one of the biggest of its kind worldwide, the Adelaide Film Festival shows off local and international silver screens at their finest, and WOMADelaide has hundreds of musos flocking to perform under the majestic Botanic Gardens fig trees. Check out their programs – each year there is more to explore, and the tailor-made, family-oriented event schedules have all ages and interests covered.

Brisbane

Queensland isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. In summer you’ll melt like the Wicked Witch in this tropical paradise, so it’s a good thing there are plenty of water activities to keep you occupied.

Brisbane and the nearby Gold Coast are typically given the Theme Park label, and Movie World, Dreamworld, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Sea World are perfect adrenaline inducing hubs for thrill-seeking families of all ages, but don’t forget everything else this riverside city has to offer.

 

Brisbane

Brisbane

Clamber aboard the City Hopper, to float peacefully along to pit-stops such as South Bank, the Regatta and New Farm. For some more river action, try a moonlit kayak tour, join a cruise, or a bike ride along the riverfront.

At South Bank, you can hit the patrolled Streets Beach, an inner city, artificial haven with a lagoon perfect for splashing and sandy shores ideal for castle-building. Otherwise, test out Boat Pool or Aquativity for a cool-down. Then pick and choose from the delectable buffet presented by the Queensland Cultural Precinct: there’s the Art Gallery, Museum, Performing Arts Centre and the Gallery of Modern Art! What a day!

If Brisbane isn’t summery enough for you, venture off the coast to Moreton Island, Fraser Island or North Stradbroke Island. Great for families, you can camp or stay in a resort and make the most of the fantastic beaches on your doorstep.

Perth

As the crow flies, Perth is nearly 3300 kilometres from Sydney and 3600 kilometres from Brisbane. When you arrive, it’ll be clear that you aren’t in Kansas anymore – all the more reason to make the most of this unique Western Australian gem.

Like Brisbane, Perth’s beaches are a star attraction for families. Cottesloe Beach, home to the annual Sculptures by the Sea exhibition, is a great snorkeling spot, as are North Beach and Leighton. There are even locations where you can swim with dolphins, including the Aquarium of Western Australia and the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, where you’re sure to find the odd penguin, starfish and a colony of rare sea lions.

 

Perth

Perth

If you prefer wide open greenery, then Perth’s parks and botanic gardens should be high on your list. The expansive Kings Park graces the inner city, and is even bigger than Central Park in New York City! Right beside the lovely Swan River, the native bushland, playgrounds and picnic facilities make Kings Park perfect for a barbeque lunch.

History fans of all ages should wander through Fremantle, a historic port town where amazing stories of the region’s colonial past can be discovered. The Fremantle Prison and Museum are mere minutes away from the CBD. If food is what tickles your fancy, delve into the Swan Valley, which is sure to be a hit among the mums and dads due to its vineyards, breweries, and coffee houses. While the grown-ups kick back, kids can make like Willy Wonka and check out the scrumptious chocolate factory!

Keep Exploring!

Australia’s diversity – present in its multi-cultural cuisine, varied landscapes, rich history and love of sports and the arts – is perfectly suited to holidaying families. These five cities are a great start for any families looking to explore the Great Southern Land with all its unique quirks. But we urge you not to end your adventures here. Keep exploring the seemingly endless beaches, bushland and cities top to toe for fairytale family getaways in the wonderful Land of Oz.

If there’s one thing adults and kids have in common, it’s their love of vacation. Unfortunately, they don’t always have the same idea of what constitutes a dream vacation…

… but, fortunately, there are some fantastic destinations that serve as the perfect middle ground between what adults want and what children need on vacation. The following six are just six examples of vacation spots that will suit everyone in your family — no matter how old they are.

  • San Diego, California

San Diego is the perfect destination for parents not ready to commit to a fully kid-centric getaway and, by that, we mean a destination at a theme park devoted to their entertainment.

San Diego has incredible seaside landscapes complete with seals that your kids will love to look at. If the beaches aren’t enough for everyone, San Diego has one of the world’s best zoos, and a slew of museums that’ll pique the entire family’s interests.

 

San Diego, California

San Diego, California

  • Grand Canyon

Your outdoorsy family will be in awe when they stand along the edge of the Grand Canyon. The site is certainly one to behold, and you can spend several hours taking it in. But there’s more to this area than what meets the eye, even if what meets the eye is incredible. The area’s rich landscape allows you to camp, hike, raft… the possibilities are endless, and your tweens and teens will never forget.

 

Grand Canyon

San Diego, California

  • Dover, Delaware

Now, Delaware is not a state that gets a lot of recognition when it comes to tourism. Not only is this omission unfair — the state has beaches, nightlife, and museums galore — but it also works to your advantage: it won’t be overpopulated when your family heads to the First State for your next vacation.

Dover has easy access to Delaware’s beaches, which is an easy activity for all of the family to enjoy. The city itself has rolling green parks where the kids will love to run, while the grown-ups will enjoy nights spent in the casino.

 

Dover, Delaware

San Diego, California

  • Orlando, Florida

You can’t have a list of family vacation destinations without making mention of Orlando — the city is home to Disney World, for crying out loud. But the theme park-saturated destination has something for everyone — seriously everyone.

Take, for example, Disney. The different parks obviously have a lot to offer little ones by way of entertainment: rides, mascots, souvenirs, castles. But the resorts within the park are perfect for grown-ups who want to save a day or two for relaxation by the pool. The weather’s good year-round, too, so lounging should always be an option.

 

Orlando, Florida

San Diego, California

  • Chicago, Illinois

In the wintertime, Chicago is pretty much the exact opposite of Orlando. But the city on Lake Michigan has just as much entertainment as the theme park capital down south.

Chicago is chock full of museums that cover everything from life sciences to history — or, you can check out some living, breathing bits of nature by visiting the aquarium or the free zoo. Navy Pier has an extra-tall ferris wheel, and summertime brings free fireworks show that young and old will love to watch. The Windy City even has beautiful beaches, multiple sports teams and a famous menu of delicious food including pizza and hot dogs — your kids won’t complain at all about eating here.

 

Chicago, Illinois

San Diego, California

  • Honolulu, Hawaii

No one will complain about jetting off to Hawaii — we promise. The islands have more to offer than just the picturesque scenery, although that’s enough to tempt anyone to book a trip. The gorgeous beaches set the scene for digging, building, sunbathing and wading. Meanwhile, little kids will love the aquarium, teens will love the shops, and everyone will enjoy hikes (so long as the difficulty matches your family’s skill level). There are also historical landmarks to check out, including Pearl Harbor.

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

San Diego, California

Now, Book Your Trip

These aren’t the only six destinations for a family-friendly vacation that’ll make every single person on your roster happy. But they have a little something for everyone, as well as an overall appeal that you can’t deny. And, once you book your trip and see each of these destinations for yourself, you’ll be just another person who has jetted off to Orlando, or Chicago, or Hawaii and had the time of their life. 

About the author: 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.

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It may or may not surprise you to learn that not only is the number of children being home-schooled on the rise: so is the number of children learning on the road. For anybody who gave up their 20’s to get on the family and mortgage treadmill, the idea that you could let go of it all for months, even years, but not compromise on your children’s education probably sounds too good to be true. But as an ever growing number of bloggers and writers are showing, it’s possible- and it looks like a whole lot of fun.

Why are parents choosing to ‘road school’?

First things first, home schooling is protected by law. It’s completely legal, so long as children receive a ‘suitable’ education. That being said, the government don’t precisely define what they believe to be a ‘suitable’ education, so the focus is really up to you. It most certainly includes basic skills like reading, writing and arithmetic, the National Curriculum more broadly, and physical exercise. So long as your home schooling curriculum covers these basics, it doesn’t matter whether you teach them at home or on the road.

There are all sorts of reasons why parents are deciding to take their children’s learning on the road. First and foremost, many parents are unhappy with what they perceive as an excessive emphasis on testing and grading, when they think that education should be about development. But there are a multitude of reasons, from dissatisfaction with the school generally, to special needs, bullying, and religious concerns. [6]

For their part, the Department of Education disapprove. “Obviously, we do not condone it. Children must receive a suitable education. Even missing a week of school affects children’s attainment,” a spokeswoman told the Guardian. This shouldn’t come as much surprise considering their focus for the last twenty years on targets, goals and statistics. So, who should you believe? Will it help or hinder your child’s development?

How is it possible to balance the demands of education with travel plans?

This really is the million dollar question. We already know that it’s legal to ‘road school’, but is it really possible not just to enjoy a culturally enriching experience, but also to learn in a measured, structured way? Well, it might be difficult, but it can be done. We have a few tips that could help you plan and structure your own child’s road schooling experience!

Susan Hamlyn, the director of The Good Schools Guide educational consultants, spoke to the Telegraph about how it’s essential to keep some element of structure or framework if you road school your children, or for that matter, home school them generally. So, when travelling, allow time for freedom to roam and explore- but schedule some time each day for more formal learning too, with targets and set tasks.

Hamlyn also said that it’s just as important to find opportunities to collaborate and even compete with other children, especially if your plan isn’t to home school your children permanently. This is for two reasons: first, if your child returns from home schooling without having been a part of the collaborative and competitive environment found in schools, it’s likely they will react badly and could fall behind. But it’s also important to build up social skills which can be hard to achieve at home.

Keep road schooling relevant with reference to an online curriculum

Just because you’re taking your child’s education into your own hands, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same textbooks, curricula and teaching standards that the education system use. And considering the wide availability of material available online nowadays, it couldn’t be easier to keep up with the curriculum while on the road. So long as you have a laptop or tablet and access to the internet, there is a world of resources available at your fingertips.

You might start by browsing the national curriculum, which is available online to peruse at your leisure [7]. It is divided into key stages, and also split into subjects, to make it easy for you to find out exactly what the government believes your child ought to be learning at each stage of their education (and make sure that your child is learning at an appropriate pace). Alternatively, try researching independent schools, as many of these choose to share their own curricula on their websites.

Once you’ve decided what your child needs to learn, you’ll be able to research just about any subject to find materials that you can use to aid them in their learning (and you in your teaching). There are educational games, worksheets, quizzes, study guides, and many other kinds of resource available online to help you with your child’s education.

For example, you could consider using a website such as duolingo.com to help with learning languages. There are even websites offering online teaching in virtual classrooms, such as net-school.co.uk. These sites are set up for people of all ages, and would be perfect for learning on the go.

Always remember that socialisation is just as important as Maths or English

Of course, one of the major benefits of sending your child to a traditional school – and a drawback of home-schooling – is the opportunity for socialisation. Interacting with other children and adults is an important part of a child’s upbringing, and children who are educated at home can be in danger of missing out.

This is where road schooling, however, has a distinct advantage. Travelling offers your child the opportunity to meet and interact with people of all ages and from all walks of life. Before moving to a new area, search online for clubs, groups and activities in your new town that you could sign your child up for. Whether these are educational (e.g. language or reading clubs), extracurricular (e.g. sports clubs or music lessons), or are just for fun, they offer a wonderful opportunity for your child (and you!) to meet new people and make new friends.  

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/jan/29/is-world-schooling-kids-selfish-family-travel-edventures
[2] https://www.ytravelblog.com/homeschooling-travel/
[3] http://www.vagablogging.net/how-to-educate-a-child-while-traveling.html
[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/08/17/we-plan-to-travel-and-home-school-our-son-for-nine-years---how-s/
[5] http://www.withoutahitch.com.au/caravan/homeschooling/
[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35133119
[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum

As we near the main school holidays, families across the globe will be considering where to take the kids.  An African safari can be an especially rewarding experience for younger travellers inspired by creatures great and small, and with walking safaris increasing in popularity there are plenty of opportunities to ditch the 4X4 and track the animals on foot.

We asked Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager at leading safari specialist, Acacia Africa what to expect on one of these more intimate journeys into the African bush…

1. What can families expect on a walking safari?

In contrast to the traditional 4X4 experience, walking safaris offer a more intimate appreciation of the bush in terms of the senses: sight, touch, smell, and hearing. Families will be learning about the plants that they see; viewing the “Small Five” (Leopard tortoise, Elephant shrew, Ant Lion, Rhinoceros Beetle and Buffalo Weaver), taking note of birdlife along with smaller game and sometimes tracking larger mammals, for example, rhino in Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park.

All wildlife sightings have the same wow factor, but being able to view the continent’s animal kingdom at close quarters on a walking safari undoubtedly heightens the sense of excitement. Experienced local guides who are experts at spotting wildlife, which might otherwise be missed, also add something special to the experience.

2. Why are walking safaris gaining in popularity?

– We have a much greater understanding of our impact on the environment and viewing the game on foot and in small groups minimises that impact. 

– This eco-friendly form of safari compliments the traditional 4×4 encounters experienced in, for example, the Masai Mara and the Serengeti.

– Visitors really appreciate the chance to view the wildlife from exceptionally close quarters. Finding yourself a mere few metres away from a herd of zebra or watching an elephant tortoise drinking from a puddle of rainwater is fascinating for safari goers, whether young or old.  

– Unhindered by the 4X4 vehicle, on a walking safari it’s a more raw experience where you feel at one with the environment as opposed to encroaching on it when travelling in a 4X4.

– These days we’re more interested in soaking up the destination at our own pace and on a walking safari you can really take the time to stop and stare. It’s also active learning in the here and now for little ones.

3. What are the top walking safari destinations for families?

– The zebra, warthog, tsessebe and impala are just some of the smaller wildlife to be found in South Africa’s Polokwane Game Reserve and it’s renowned as a top birding destination. The reserve’s main attraction is the amount of ground one can cover on foot in a single afternoon – white rhino, and some very rare game, like the sable and tsessebe antelope often encountered by safari goers.

– Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park is one of the best locations from which to view rhino on the continent. For wannabe rangers, nothing quite beats learning how to track animals in the wild.

– Known as Africa’s last untamed wetland wilderness, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, is a more remote destination for walking safaris. Expect to see large numbers of sitatunga (a swamp-dwelling antelope), red lechwe, and if you’re travelling in green season, a plethora of migratory birds including the Woodland Kingfisher.

– Encountering the endangered white rhino at close quarters in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park is a heart racing experience. Buffalo, hippo and numerous species of antelope also reside in its 66 square kilometres and the park is home to our anti poaching rhino mascot and mother of two, Inongwe!

4. Is there anything families should be aware of when they go on these sorts of holidays?

Safety on walking safaris is key to enjoying the experience. Always listen to your guide as they will constantly be on the look out for animal tracks from predators and the behaviour of animals. For example, a male impala frantically stotting (springing into the air) is a display to deter potential attackers, indicating the animal is being chased.

– Always act on the guides’ instructions

– Don’t run in the event of a confrontation, running may trigger the chase instinct in dangerous animals

– Other than when gathered around to discuss something of interest, walks are undertaken in complete silence, with no talking.

– No mobiles, MP3 players, or any electronic device that makes a noise should be carried and digital cameras should be switched to SILENT MODE

– When approaching dangerous animals wait for your guide to indicate when it is ok to take photographs

5. How much do these types of holidays cost?

It really depends on the length of your trip and the parks and reserves you’re planning to visit.

Botswana is traditionally viewed as one of the more expensive safari destinations, but it can still be incorporated into a budget family holiday.

Our seven day Okavango wilderness Trails accommodated small group safari costs from £780pp (two sharing) + Safari Pass from £520pp including transport, accommodation (twin share rooms with en-suite facilities, five nights, twin share pre-erected tent with en-suite facilities, one night), 14 meals, main highlights including walking safaris in the Okavango Delta and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flights. From eight years.

6. Is this kind of experience targeted at a certain age group?

Ideally if you’re on a small group safari with the kids, we stipulate that children should be at least eight years. There is always going to be an element of danger and being more physically demanding the activity is not well suited to tots. Many of the luxury lodges in our Short Safaris & Treks collection will cater to families with younger travellers hoping to experience the safari setting from the safety of a 4X4 vehicle.

For more information on Acacia Africa’s family friendly small group safaris please visit the website, Facebook or  Twitter @AcaciaAfrica.

By: Bailey Gaddis

After traveling multiple hours on ground or air, with restless children in tow, many parents want a one-stop shop for fun, food and accommodations, happy if they never have to look at their crumb filled vehicle the entirety of the trip.

Squaw Valley has answered this prayer, crafting a village that offers nosh for all palates, ski runs for every level of courage, hotel rooms with a mix of luxury and minimal breakables (I’m looking at you mischievous tots) and live music that makes even the tiniest of feet burst into dance.

If family vacations full of equal parts thrill, relaxation and simplicity are your jam, use the following guide to relish the goodness of Squaw Valley.

Find Your Peace at Wanderlust Yoga Studio: This studio has multiple classes geared to prepping your body (and mind, and spirit) for a stellar day of skiing, and for restoring your muscles after that last run. The variety of offerings sprinkled throughout the schedule allow flexibility for you and your fellow child-sitter to each catch a class.

Entertain Your Kids at the Children’s Program: Because most children loathe being taught sports (or anything) by their parents, let a trained instructor ignite your child’s passion and skill for skiing or snowboarding. This program accommodates children three to thirteen years of age and ups the fun ante by utilizing kid-specific tools and games during instruction. And because we parents are nosy, the instructors provide a post-lesson report card detailing your little skier’s skill and cognitive-based progress.

Claim Your Glow at Trilogy Spa: Take a rain check on one afternoon of snow sliding and pamper all your things at the spa. This wellspring of calm focuses less on fluff and more on quality treatments- exactly what a parent that wants to get straight to the heart of soothing needs. Who cares how many Buddha sculptures are in the space if the masseuse has an intuitive knowledge of your body. And if the high altitude is kicking your butt, indulge in the IV & Booster Shot Therapy- more fun than it sounds.

Your family may have to fend for themselves for a few hours but they’ll be rewarded by a parent who has a fresh (and glowing) lease on life.

P.S. They give you champagne.

Enhance Your Health at Farm to Table Dining: Trick your kids into eating healthy food by masking it in deliciousness created by chef Tiffany Swan. This three-course family style dinner is made with locally sourced fare and served at the KT Base Bar, whose view is the only thing that could distract you from stuffing your face. If you’re worried that your picky toddler won’t appreciate the feast, take comfort in knowing that kiddos 3 and under eat for free.

Surprise Your Child at SnoVentures Activity Zone: Want to offer your older offspring a memorable adventure? Book them a ride on a mini snowmobile. This activity zone, located in the base area of Squaw Valley, features a snowmobile course kids can safely zoom across while you capture videos from the viewing corral. Cap off the fun with a hot and sugary beverage in the SnoVentures Lodge.

Spark Your Creativity at The Kids Crafts & Game Room: Sliding, tromping and standing in snow can get old. When your noses resemble cherries retreat to this craft and game zone where you can enjoy a family movie (with popcorn!), string beads or draw masterpieces, and engage in some competition with ping pong, arcade and board games, air hockey or foosball.

Move Your Feet to Live Music: Squaw Valley offers a regular helping of  euphonic entertainment that’s appealing to all musical appetites. Whether you enjoy your tunes in an intimate setting, during a high-energy festival, or while sitting by a fire pit with a beer this melodic basin has you covered. Check Squaw Valley’s website for up-to-date schedules and plan your trip accordingly.

Thanks to this lively valley, your family will be teeming with an amalgam of exhiliration and rejuvination by the time you make it back to your unused vehicle to head home.

By: Bailey Gaddis

Most vacations to extreme sports destinations, while pregnant, are annoying – you can’t do much but eat, sleep and be bummed that you’re not participating in the adventure seeking. But not at June Lake – while famous for its family-friendly downhill skiing, this cozy mountain town offers plenty of ways for “with child” ladies to have an envy-worthy snow sojourn.

Just thirty minutes away from the chic resort of Mammoth, June offers a slower pace and amble amounts of relaxed rustic vibes. This isn’t a town where you need to feel pressure to have the cutest winter gear, “put on your face” to go out, or be fearful of your bank account being drained during your stay.

June Lake is just the place for you – you hardworking “baby maker” you – to recharge for the remainder of your epic journey into motherhood.

 

The Pregnant Woman’s Guide to June Lake, California

The Pregnant Woman’s Guide to June Lake, California

To ensure your pregnant body experiences optimal sleep and pampering, your finicky stomach is filled with belly-warming comfort food, your spirit is doused in ample doses of adventure, and your mind is given a well-deserved break from both hustle and bustle, use the following guide to begin planning your ultimate pregnant trip to the snow.

Where to Stay – Double Eagle Resort and Spa

These accommodations give the luxury housing rentals and hotels in Mammoth a run for their money (without charging the same amount of money), offering plush beds in spacious rooms, views that allow you to be content spending the day sitting by the window in your warm room with a good book, and a spa that is the perfect remedy for stiff joints and a hectic mind.

 

Double Eagle Resort and Spa

Double Eagle Resort and Spa

This resort is nestled in a valley two miles past the June Mountain Ski Area, with the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains looming above it. At night, the mountains appear to be glowing, with the sky on its horizon brimming with stars untouched by artificial light.

Where to Eat – Tiger Bar

You won’t be losing any of that pregnancy bloat in this restaurant that is a favorite of skiers (and pregnant ladies!) who have worked up an appetite for a killer mixture of carbs, cheese, more carbs, and OK fine, some veggies. The staff is friendly, pool-playing locals entertaining, and seats just the right level of cushy for the preggo tushy. While the burgers are a primo choice, the menu offers other guilty-pleasure options like overflowing sandwiches and nachos, and a dessert menu you’re not allowed to skip.

Or . . .

Eagle’s Landing Restaurant

Although many consider this the classiest eatery in June Lake, you can still feel free to rock up in your snow gear and tousled hair without fear of sidelong glances. The décor is mountain chic with a large fire to warm your outer layers and creamy hot chocolate to warm your inner layers. While the menu is simple, the quality is high with every edible detail considered. You’re sure to leave here satisfied and sleepy.

 

Eagle’s Landing Restaurant

Eagle’s Landing Restaurant

What to Do – Cross Country Skiing

A happy compromise to downhill skiing is cross-country skiing – a type of snow sliding where you traverse mostly flat terrain with skis and poles, primarily using your own locomotion. This is a wonderful way to experience the gorgeous “backstage” wilderness of the southern rim of Mono Basin.

 

Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

To ensure you stay safe, explore well-trodden trails with someone who knows the area well, and check in with your care provider before your vacation to ensure you have the go ahead to slide across horizontal expanses of snow.

You can rent gear from Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop and receive guidance from the knowledgeable folks in the office of the Double Eagle Resort regarding groomed trails to try out, such as the Silver Meadow cross country ski track next to the resort.

Where to Sightsee – Mono Lake

This 695 square mile inland sea, sprinkled with tufa towers, conjures thoughts of what a recreational hot spot in an alien land might be like. The exotic nature of this briny lake, coupled with the copious bird watching opportunities, hiking trails that snake around the perimeter of the lake, and kayak rentals that allow you to weave around the eerie tufa towers, makes this a scene you could easily explore for days.

So mama, pack up your warm and cozies, a few salacious books that have nothing to do with childbirth, a special someone who is willing to equal parts relax and adventure-seek with you, and head to the mile and a half high hideaway in the sky.

Ahhh, the annual family getaway: there is nothing else like it. Some of the best memories, for kids and parents alike, are made during their yearly vacation. What used to be just a half-day drive to the nearest beach or national park has now been upgraded with more families than ever travelling internationally. Leaving the comforts and normalcy of your home country and travelling beyond its borders has many benefits for adults and children — the life-changing experience will allow you all to truly become global citizens. While interests may vary and there are many ideal destinations — bustling cities, serene forests, or warm beaches — this list will give you a few ideas for your next international family vacation.

  • Costa Rica

As one of the more popular travel destinations, Costa Rica is the perfect place to take your adventure-seeking family. In terms of minding your wallet, Costa Rica is packed with things to do, beautiful accommodations, and delicious food all at a fraction of the cost of similar tourist spots. This country’s inhabitants are lovely and helpful. Many of them speak fluent English, so language barriers will not be an added worry. There are many activities to choose from, many of which are perfect for the entire family. When your days consist of choosing between hiking, swimming, kayaking, ziplining, relaxing on the beach, and looking for tropical birds, sea turtles, and sloths, you know that no one will complain of being bored.

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

  • Stockholm, Sweden

History comes alive in this culturally-rich city. With enough museums to keep you busy for days, Stockholm is an ideal destination for inquisitive families who will enjoy this interesting and walkable city. The kids will be amazed by the fourteen islands contained within the city, and the accompanying bridges and boats will amaze everyone. A delight for sightseers, Stockholm has many gardens, historic buildings, and libraries just waiting to be explored. After a long day of learning and taking photos, families can look forward to enjoying delicious food in the company of friendly Swedes before relaxing in one of their affordable, family-friendly hotels.

 

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

  • Lapland, Finland

For Christmas enthusiasts, this is the place for you. Your family will feel like you have made it to the North Pole when you arrive at this winter wonderland. Lapland is the home of countless ski resorts, national parks, reindeer, and even Father Christmas himself. For even more polar magic, be sure to visit between the months of October to March — you may be able to see the majestic aurora borealis (northern lights). If Father Christmas does not excite you, there is continuous daylight from June to August and many other family-friendly adventures, such as whitewater rafting and other great outdoor activities.

 

Lapland, Finland

Lapland, Finland

  • Italy

If you are seeking quality family time, breathtaking sights, and some of the world’s best food, be sure to consider Italy for your next family holiday. No need to worry about unruly kids here: Italians love family and kids are more than welcome at most tourist spots. A day of sightseeing can include visits to Pompeii or the Colosseum, and can be followed by authentic Italian-style pizza and delicious gelato — a enticing combination to make any family happy.

 

Italy

Italy

  • Bali, Indonesia

A destination that accommodates all types of travellers and their families, Bali has it all. Bali is considered a fabulous destination for families because there are many opportunities for entertainment. Almost every hotel and resort offers packages that will include many events for kids and adults alike. Outdoor activities are also not difficult to find — biking, tree climbing, surfing, sightseeing, museums, water slide riding — and the opportunities for family fun are endless.

 

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

  • Belize

Easily one of the most laidback places on earth, Belize is the perfect destination for a relaxing family vacation. Globetrotters can experience breathtaking beaches, exciting jungles, fun mountain hikes, all-inclusive family resort experiences, and many kid-friendly activities. Most places are accessible by bike, making it a safe and easy place to roam about.

 

Belize

Belize

  • Hawaii

One of the most popular family destinations, the islands of Hawaii have got you covered when it comes to planning the perfect trip. Big Island has active lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Maui is home to the Atlantis Submarine. Oahu is bursting with rich Polynesian culture. Maui boasts the Maui Ocean Center. If white sands and clear, azure seas are calling your name, book your trip to Hawaii — your family will thank you.

 

Hawaii

Hawaii

  • Canada

If you have older children and are seeking something a little different from your typical family holiday, why not try a self-driven safari through one of North America’s most unique areas? Canada offers not only natural, breathtaking and remote landscapes, but also world-renown cosmopolitan centers. A drive through the snow-capped Rockies can head towards Vancouver, followed by Lake Louise, Whistler, and Jasper National Park. You will certainly see beautiful sights, maybe a bear or moose or two, and stops for kayaking and horse riding can always be arranged.

 

Canada

Canada

Conclusion

So, if you have a family and you want to travel the world. These are just some of the great places you can explore with our children. Which one are you traveling to first?

Mark Tulloch

Mark Tulloch is a co-owner and villa specialist at Asia Holiday Retreats, the premier booking service for holiday villa rentals in Bali, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. He’s constantly travelling the continent to personally handpick top quality villas for their portfolio. With offices in Bali, Sydney, and Hong Kong, and partnerships with over 500 luxury villas, Asia Holiday Retreats continues to expand with more desired holiday destinations planned for 2017.

Mark has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and huge success in managing luxury boutique hotels in Australia and London. And to Asia Holiday Retreats he brings a 5 star service to all guests, from helping them find and book their ideal villa accommodation to supporting them during their stay with anything they require.

When people think of planning weddings and honeymoons, they are thinking about something that usually occurs between just two people.

That may have been true in the past, however, families today take on different shapes and sizes. According to an article appearing in the Washington Post, the Stepfamily Association of America stated that nearly 65% of all nuptials for the 2.3 million couples that remarry each year, also include children.

A committed couple may have had children before deciding to get married, or they one or both partners may already have children from a previous marriage. Some couples may not be able to find a sitter in order to get away without the kids or they simply don’t want to.  Kids are easily included in wedding ceremony in thing like carrying wedding bands or being flower girls, but what about honeymoons. While it might seem hard to believe, it is possible to have a fabulous honeymoon to celebrate your new lives as a couple and also to bring the kids along for the adventure. Some have cleverly coined the term “familymoons” to refer to these post-wedding getaways.

 

How to plan the most adventurous honeymoon if you already have kids

How to plan the most adventurous honeymoon if you already have kidsHere are some ideas to a fabulous time on your honeymoon as a couple and be able to include the kids, too.

Here are some ideas to a fabulous time on your honeymoon as a couple and be able to include the kids, too.

  • Have a Destination Wedding! – Many couples are opting for destination weddings. Taking their vows at a locale on a beautiful beach on the French Riviera, at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, Hawaii, or on an island in the Bahamas can be a spectacular way to mark the occasion. While inviting their closest family and friends, inevitably such destination weddings mean that the kids are along, too. Why not take the time to explore and have a vacation to remember while getting to know each other as a family?
  • Take the Family on Safari – What in the world could be more exciting than going on an African safari? The Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa in conjunction with the Born Free Foundation and the Shamwari Wildlife Hospital features a “Kids on Safari” program. These all-inclusive packages feature a stay at a traditional African lodge while giving families a rare opportunity to see elephants, lions, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo in their natural habitat.
  • A Family Adventure in Costa Rica – Another destination familymoon might include exploring the rainforest in Costa Rica in a Familymoon Volunteer Adventure which allows guests to stay at a resort hotel or opt to stay with a local host family for a true Costa Rican experience to remember.
  • Adventuring Closer to Home – When faced with the choice of no honeymoon or doing something that doesn’t involve long international flights, there are some wonderful destinations to see here! Some destinations include taking an exciting float trip down the Colorado River and exploring Arizona’s desert southwest. Popular stops along the river can include staying at a ranch or the Grand Canyon. Or you might find that a family stay at a Colorado dude ranch from the back of a horse is just the kind of laid-back adventure that will bring everyone closer together.
  • Family Cruises – Most major cruise lines have family-oriented cruises that feature something for everyone. Norwegian Cruise Lines offers Family cruises with activities for adults and kids of all ages. These include an on-board circus school, Splash Academy, or even Late Night Port Play for kids to stay engaged and active and adults get some quality alone time.

    Destinations for Disney Cruises include the California Coast, Alaska, or even Disney’s very own Castaway Island located in the Caribbean. Kids are engaged in lots of activities and entertainment as well as being able to hang out with Mickey and all their Disney favorites. Meanwhile, adults can spend some special alone time together or the whole family can spend evenings enjoying exploring ports of call or onboard entertainment.

Most transportation companies, cruise lines, and resorts offer packages that are designed to include kids. No matter where you choose to go, you are sure to find the perfect option for you and the family.

About the author: Sophia Moore – A passionate writer and a blogger leading her own blog at awebtoknow.com. She started freelancing as a way to connect to other people, to reach to their hearts and make a difference with her word.  The blog was born out of a pure desire to connect… to have the freedom of writing what really matters, what actually makes a difference.