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June 2017

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Do you want to take an extended vacation with your kids? Maybe to escape the 9-5 life, and let your kids see the world from a new perspective?

Then planning the next trip using Hippohelp.com might be an option for you and your family!

Hippohelp is a free map-based work exchange platform connecting hosts with travellers all across the globe. Travellers provide services for the hosts, in exchange for food and accommodation.

 

Hippohelp

Hippohelp

Today I’ll share a few advantages and disadvantages you need to have in mind before deciding whether to work and travel together with your kids or not. Let’s start with the pro’s!

The pros of hippohelping with your kids

1) Your kids will get incredible learning experiences

The things taught in school are generally speaking very theoretical, and in many cases the kids don’t find them useful and interesting, and therefore forget about much of what they’ve learned once they’ve passed the exams.

If your kids participate in the work you provide for your hosts they will learn a lot of practical and social skills that wouldn’t be possible to learn in the classroom.

Travelling and hippohelping with your kids will expand their horizons.

They will learn skills that are invaluable to their ability of living a good life. Some of these skills are decision-making, problem-solving, tolerance, empathy, adaptability and independence, they will also get a healthy thirst for adventures and new discoveries.

2) Make longer trips possible

Since hosts will provide free food and accommodation in exchange for your services your family will save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on hotels and restaurants.

This will let your family do trips that would otherwise not be possible unless you’ve got a lot of spare cash to spend.

That being said, you’ll still have to save up before hippohelping around the world, but you’ll be able to travel far more for far less.

3) New friends for both you and your kids

Since many hosts have kids of their own your kids will have plenty of friends to play and bond with.

And what’s even better, your kids friends will likely introduce them to other local kids, and this will give you a great opportunity to meet up with their parents.

Who knows, your kids friends and their parents might even travel with you to some local destinations!

4) Quality time with your kids

Life as a parent can be quite demanding. Trying to keep up with work, keeping the household in order, and running your kids around for extracurricular activities will keep you exhausted and reduce the amount you’ll be able to spend with your family.

When hippohelping with your kids many of the distractions of the normal life is gone, and this will give you both more time and energy to spend quality time with the kids.

5) Make memories for life

Very few things can give your family better memories than joyful travel experiences. Being together in a new and exciting place, while experiencing novel things is a great way of creating memories for life.

Your family will reconnect while looking back on these great memories.

The cons of hippohelping with your family

1) Less private space

Spending time together is great, but too much together-time and it’s easy to get frustrated with each other. You’ll need to find ways to keep you separated from your family members every now and then, a few tips on how to do this are:

– Don’t do everything together with your kids (but make sure to know what they are doing).

– Take a walk alone every now and then to clear your thoughts.

– You don’t need to socialise with everyone together. Sometimes it’s easier to connect with new people when talking to them alone.

2) Being your kid’s teacher

Homeschooling while hippohelping can be frustrating. Doing work that hosts ask you to do, while also spending time on homeschooling your kids can exhaust you. Other than that it may be hard to get your kids to listen to you, since they are used to attending classes only when in a classroom.

Here’s a few tips to help you with homeschooling while on the road:

– Have your child’s mood in mind. Sometimes your child is simply not in the mood of learning, and  then there’s no point in trying to force information on them. Keep the lessons on hold until the time is right.

– Have clear boundaries and consequences of what happens if your child is not behaving. Homeschooling is not the same as traditional schooling, but your child still need to pay attention and be willing to learn.

– Take advantage of real life experiences on your trip. This will help your child in getting engaged and willing to learn new things.

3) A hungry, bored and tired child

While hippohelping around the world there’s always a risk that your child will become hungry, tired or bored. Travelling is exhausting, and doing work for hosts will not make it easier. Here’s a few tips on how to keep your kids happy:

– Only make the kids help out on minor tasks, the tasks are only there to engage the kids, not to provide the host with workforce.

– Always pack plenty of snacks and water, that’s easily accessible.

– Have the kids pack their own bags with fun things they would like to bring, such as books, papers, pencils and games.

4) Travelling with kids will bring up the costs

While it’s true that you’ll save a lot of money by working in exchange for free food and accommodation, having kids with you will also add on the expenses. The costs can still be manageable, but you’ll need to be extra careful on how you manage your money. Here’s a few tips on how to avoid money related problems:

– Look for other travellers in your area, and see if they would be interested in sharing a ride to your next destination.

– Do more trips in the wild, and less in areas where you’ll have to pay to enter.

– Bring your own airport snacks when possible to avoid having to eat at overpriced restaurants.

5) Restricted activities

When hippohelping with kids there may be things that you used to do but aren’t really an option anymore. You will simply have to adapt, there’s no other way. Here’s a few tips to help you with this:

– If you have a partner, see if he/she can look after the kids temporarily, while you go off on your own. If you’re travelling with friends you can also ask them every now and then to look after the kids.

– Discover new activities together. As a parent you may think you’ve seen it all, but seeing your kids getting excited about things you’ve seen before will help you tap into a long lost feeling of curiosity and wonder.

– You can still enjoy your favourite activities, just in new ways. If you for example loved to go for long hikes in the past, you’ll still be able to enjoy shorter hikes to exciting spots, and raise a tent when the darkness falls.

That’s all for now! I hope this little guide was of good use to you who are considering hippohelping with your kids!

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Traveling with kids is usually a cause for stress among parents.  There are tons of advice out there on how to travel with kids cross-country, to certain special landmarks, and even how to just take them grocery shopping.  Constantly traveling with your child?  For many parents, that’d be a nightmare.

While parenting is nearly always stressful, traveling shouldn’t be an additional source of anxiety. Rather, traveling with your kids is an excellent way to broaden their minds, provide valuable experiences, and really learn about your kids.

 

Overcoming the Disadvantages of Road Schooling

Overcoming the Disadvantages of Road Schooling

No one is debating whether or not traveling is good for kids, but people usually get trepidatious when it comes to traveling long-term.  What about school?

Well, why not learn while traveling?  It’s hardly a revolutionary concept.  Plenty of parents road school, but aren’t their children missing out on the important social interactions of more traditional schooling?  It’d be ridiculous to claim that there are no disadvantages to road schooling, but, if practiced right, they can be overcome.

Problem 1: Long-Term Friendships

Don’t get me wrong.  You shouldn’t worry about socialization during road schooling in general.  Road schooling can provide lots of socialization benefits that kids who attend traditional school don’t get: interacting frequently with new faces, conversing over a language barrier, and constantly adapting to new social situations, to name a few.  Your kids are in no danger of lacking social skills.

However, if you’re constantly on the road, it can be difficult for your children to forge and maintain long-term friendships.  While they might be closer to you or their siblings than other children, it’s important that they have long-term interactions with people that don’t have to love them. This is becoming less and less of a problem as time goes on and technology continues to improve.

There are plenty of online communities that connect students around the globe, and with video chatting available on most smartphones and laptops, maintaining friendships can be easy. If possible, make sure that they try to bond with kids that have at least one similar interest, so that they’ll always have something to talk about. You should encourage your child to get in touch with another kid who is road schooling, and then they’ll always be able discuss their travels!

Problem 2: College

Not every kid needs to go the college, but if higher education is in your child’s future, road schooling could make some aspects of college more difficult.  You can prepare your kids for the SAT or ACT just as well, if not better, than traditional schools — though they provide easy access to information.

Many high schools have career counselors, and, while you can certainly morally support your child and Google different career paths, career counselors have more resources and connections.  It’s literally their job.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t provide your kids with the same resources. It will just take a little more effort.  Career counselors typically help graduating students understand how to apply for scholarships, which majors offer the highest payout, and even what certifications will be required for specific career paths. If you do your research and stay organized, you can be just as valuable a resource.

Problem 3: “Real World” Experience

Of course your kids are getting more real-world experience than kids who attend traditional school.  They’re seeing more of the world than other kids will probably ever see, and if that’s not real-world experience, then nothing is.  Most of the things that they’re missing out on (busy work, petty fights with frenemies, art programs with no funding) are really not worth the headache.

There are a few skills, though, that come naturally in a traditional school setting, but aren’t always included during road schooling. For instance, traditional schooling mandates that you are at a certain place by a certain time, usually ungodly early.  This sort of consistent torture might not be a skill that you care to impart upon your children, but many people are expected to be at the same place by 8 a.m. every day.  Your child might not choose such a career, but they very well might.

Furthermore, school subjects are taught by a variety of different teachers at a traditional school, versus only a very limited number on the road.  This encourages children to learn through a variety of different ways, since every teacher will teach differently. Just because your child is a visual learner doesn’t mean that everything he needs to learn in life will be presented visually.

Additionally, your child might never discover their learning type if you never change it up. You can account for these problems by sticking to a fairly consistent schedule, and occasionally changing up your teaching style. You’ll have lots of hands-on learning on the road, but it’s important to not only rely on that.  Art Anderson, a faculty member of Education at Concordia University, states that teaching methods need to assess your child’s proficiency and provide “fair, accurate, specific, and timely” feedback.  Even if you aren’t providing a traditional education, these are still excellent guidelines to go by.  Change up your teaching tactics.  Keep what does work and throw away what doesn’t.

Road schooling certainly provides its own advantages, which should be plenty clear if you’re reading this blog.  However, being blind to the disadvantages of road schooling doesn’t do anyone any favors, especially your children.  Just keep in mind that these disadvantages are completely conquerable; you just need to be aware of what the potential problems are, and how to overcome them.

As a parent, it is your paramount responsibility to ensure the best for your children. To provide assistance in achieving this goal, we have compiled a list of apps that will enhance the ability of your kids to acquire skillful traits. Moreover, these apps provide an opportunity for you to spend quality time with the kids and bond with them.

  • ABC Kids – Tracing & Phonics

The English alphabets are probably the first thing every parent on earth teaches their child to speak and travelling should not stop your child from learning. To enhance your child’s learning abilities while on the road, this app uses two effective methods to teach the alphabets. First, the kids can trace the alphabets by swiping their finger over the alphabet appearing on-screen which will augment their writing skills. Second, it uses phonics i.e. the method that correlates sounds with the alphabets to improve the listening skills. Overall, both these methods fuse together to help you teach your kid the alphabets easily at home.

Link:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rvappstudios.abc_kids_toddler_tracing_phonics

      • Kids Doodle – Movie Kids Color & Draw

If your kids have a penchant for drawing, you need to download this app so that they can enjoy doodling with their fingers. The app offers a variety of brushes to choose from such as neon, crayons and oil brush. You can also select different brush colors and sizes. The video mode records the drawing steps and plays them back. You can use this method to teach your kids how to draw by showing them your saved videos. The drawings made by kids can also be saved in the gallery and you can share them with friends and family members too. So make sure that your child continues to keep up his/her interest in drawing by capturing the Burj Khalifa by hand when you are on a vacation in Dubai.

Link:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-doodle-movie-kids-color-draw/id460712294?mt=8

        • Cry Translator:

This is a must have app if you are traveling with kids as it provides assistance when your child is cranky and you’re unable to find the reason that is making them cry. If a kid keeps crying constantly, it induces a sense of panic among the parents and they may need to take the child to the pediatrician. But you do know that you are far away from home where calling a doctor will only take a second. This is where cry translator comes in handy. This app relieves you from the false alarms. You just have to record the crying voice of your child for 5 seconds and feed it to the app. The app then tells you that whether the kid is hungry, annoyed, sleepy, bored or sick. Moreover, the app also provides valuable tips to soothe the child. The suggestions are highly effective and are supported by clinical research.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cry-translator/id332636983?mt=8

          • Booking.com Hotels & Vacation Rentals

You must have this app if you’re travelling to the UAE with kids and plan. Booking.com takes care of your accommodation problems and also provides a number of deals for different resorts. You can book a room in a hotel, motel or a vacation rental and pay for it using your credit card. You can filter the places according to your family requirements. So, if you plan to go on a desert safari, a family event or even a concert, Booking.com app will take care of your vacation package along with planning it.

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.booking

            • Talking Tom Cat

Talking Tom Cat is a fun-filled app for the kids that engages them in various activities. The kids can enjoy the shenanigans of Tom. The cat also repeats what you say to it which excites the children and gets their attention. You can also record a particular thing that you say in the voice of Tom and then share it with others. The app also encompasses a number of fun games which the kids can play like flappy Tom. The kids can also dress Tom in different outfits. In a nutshell, if you’re living with kids, you should keep this app in your phone or tablet so that the kids can have fun and leave you alone to relax a bit.

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.outfit7.talkingtom

              • Kids Mode

Every time children grab a phone, they tend to tap on the screen or press buttons for no apparent reason, especially on a vacation, when you are pretty much relaxed and can let a thing or two of your slide. Consequently, you have to look after them as they use the phone. To mitigate this problem, Kids Mode provides a safe, secure and entertainment-filled platform. The app sets up a code to turn off the app so, while the kids are using the app, it won’t quit unless you enter the code. Whatever wrong key they press, the app will remain on. Moreover, the app itself engulfs a variety of games involving many fun characters to dress. To cut the long story short, this is a single app that includes music, videos, camera, recording and games for kids keeping your phone safe.

Link:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sec.android.app.kidshome

                • Secure Teen Parental Control

With the pace that profanity and hate speech is being disseminated on the cyber space, as a parent you must ensure to create a safe environment for your kids. Secure Teen Parental Control provides the solution as it thwarts any exposure to mature, profane and violent content. The app monitors and filters your child’s online activity and makes sure that the kid doesn’t stumble upon any inappropriate material on the cyberspace. The application of the app is pretty simple. All you need to do is manually block certain apps that you deem harmful for your kids and you are sorted.

Link:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.infoweise.parentalcontrol.secureteen&hl=en

                  • Beep UAE:

Parents generally, do not have a moment to even breath at times. Being a parent, I know this for a fact. This is where http://www.beepuae.com/ comes in handy. If you’re in UAE and want to sell your car instantly without the hassle of going through all the hectic and tiring processes like going to car outlets and finding buyers, this is the best portal to do so. It involves a simple three-step process. First, sign-up for an online evaluation and provide the make, model and year of your car. The second step requires booking an appointment for inspection at their branch where they’ll make an offer and if you find it reasonable, you can accept cash on the spot. Rest assured, the offered amount is rational and more than the market-price.  A highly recommended car selling platform for anyone living in UAE.

To sum up, the article has been intricately crafted to strike a balance between all the categories that come under the subject. It tries to present a cure for problems related to children ranging from their education and amusement to their safety. Moreover, the list serves its purpose and proves to be a panacea for all the parents living in UAE.

About the Author: Ali Jan Qadir is a passionate blogger who loves to share his experiences. Follow him on Twitter @alijqadir

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Chances are if you’re traveling to Central Florida with your family you’ll find yourself at one of its many theme parks. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, over 113 million tourists visited the sunshine state in 2016 alone, with 68 million of them visiting the greater Orlando area. That’s a lot of people! Thankfully, for those travel aficionados looking to take advantage of the sunshine Florida offers, but wishing to skip the crowded and expensive theme parks, there’s a whole other side to Orlando just waiting to be discovered.

 

10 Family-Friendly Activities in Orlando

10 Family-Friendly Activities in Orlando

Here’s a list of ten of the best attractions to explore in Central Florida, and its surrounding areas, without ever stepping foot inside the Mouse’s front gates.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Does your family enjoy awe-inspiring, hands-on and out-of-this-world shared family experiences? Then the one-hour car ride to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is right up your space-lane. Since 1967, this space-coast attraction has continued to inspire a whole new generation of explorers to never stop looking to the stars for answers. As the final resting place of the legendary space shuttle Atlantis, Kennedy Space Center offers first-hand experiences to guests looking to take it to the next level in their realistic ‘Shuttle Launch Experience’ simulator!

  • Admission for adults is $50 and $40 for children

Kissimmee Lakefront

Offering peaceful walkways and idyllic views of the vast marshes that populate Central Florida, the Lakefront at Kissimmee is the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon. Recently remodeled, the Lakefront has multiple playgrounds for children to explore and enjoy, ample opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat and guests can even fish right off of the pier with live bait! The best part of the Lakefront is its quiet atmosphere which makes it a perfect place to enjoy a picnic in the sun.

  • Admission for adults is $10 and $3 for children.

Orlando Science Center

If you’re looking to get off property while staying at one of Orlando’s premiere resorts, the Orlando Science Center is the perfect choice. With four floors of uniquely exciting exhibits, this monolith of knowledge is the perfect activity to encourage educational exploration and, above all else, fun! The best part of exploring Orlando Science Center is that the fun never ends; once visitors finish exploring one exhibit hall, there is a whole other ‘world’ to explore right around the corner. From the reptile exhibit NatureWorks to their prehistoric display DinoDigs, Orlando Science Center has something to appeal to all age-groups and interests.

  • Admission for adults is around $20 and children are $14

Medieval Times

If you have any interest in taking a giant step back to the Middle Ages, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament experience in Orlando is the perfect place to visit. This unique dining experience pits rival knights against one another in contests of sword-fighting, jousting and horseback stunts. After the show, explore a one-of-a-kind medieval village where guests get a glimpse into what life was like during the harsh times of the Middle Ages complete with a realistic torture chamber!

  • Admission for adults is $62 and children are $32

A Day at the Beach

When you want to put on your swimsuit but take a day off from the Orlando area water park experience, there’s no better option than the beach of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the best parts of traveling to Central Florida is its limitless access to beautiful beaches. In fact, because Florida’s landmass is surrounded by bodies of water on three of its four sides, you can drive in pretty much any direction and hit a white, sandy beach in under 75 minutes. Cocoa Beach, for example, is only an hour’s drive east of Orlando. It offers a laid back family-friendly atmosphere for those looking to build sandcastles and take a necessary breather from Orlando-area theme parks.

  • Some beaches charge parking fees; Try Satellite Beach or Melbourne Beach for free parking and access

Gatorland

The Sunshine State offers a wide variety of attractions, but none come close to the experiences you’ll take away from a trip to Orlando’s very own Gatorland. Since 1949, this unique 110-acre park and wildlife preserve, located right off South Orange Blossom Trail, has provided an educational look into the natural habitat of Florida’s native alligator and crocodile population. Are crocodiles not scary enough for you? How about taking a closer look then by braving their on-site ‘Screamin’ Gator Zip Line’ which puts you right in the face of danger as you soar above live-gator habitats – we dare you!

  • Admission for adults is $27 and children are $19

Lake Eola

For the traveler looking to take a break in between Orlando’s busy tourist attractions, Lake Eola Park offers the perfect opportunity to unwind right in the heart of the city. Lake Eola is surrounded by a winding sidewalk crawling with locals and tourists alike searching for fun outdoor activities to enjoy under the Florida sun. Here are just a few activities Lake Eola has to offer:

  • Swan-shaped paddle boat rentals
  • Walt Disney Amphitheater outdoor concerts
  • Live swans and wildlife feeding
  • Sunday farmer’s market

There is free street parking, and metered parking/parking garages nearby.

Magical Midway

Located on the famous International Drive in the heart of Orlando, Florida, Magical Midway is an action-packed park for the child in all of us. With fast-paced wooden elevated go-kart tracks, bumper cars, bumper boats and one of the largest arcades in Orlando, Magical Midway packs all the adventure you can handle in one convenient location.

  • Cost varies based on activity but general admission is free.

Old Town

Located just 45 minutes from downtown Orlando, and just a few miles from the Disney properties, Kissimmee’s Old Town offers a unique glimpse into the past that visitors of all ages are sure to enjoy. A nostalgic experience reminiscent of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Old Town’s shops and attractions take guests back to the age of innocence. In between shopping and exploring Old Town, don’t forget to enjoy the theme park rides available to guests on-site. Here are just a few of the stores guests can expect:

  1. Black Market Minerals: hands-on gold-mining demonstrations
  2. General Store: eclectic souvenirs from days-of-old
  3. Portrait Gallery: realistic costumed family portraits from the old-west
  4. Pearl Factory: experience the life of a pearl; from oyster to jeweler
  • Cost varies based on activity but general admission is free.

Leu Gardens

For those travelers with an eye for plant life, Leu Gardens is a must-see smorgasbord of botanical grandeur located just minutes from Downtown Orlando. Spread out over 50 acres of lush landscape, this year-round exhibit of natural splendor promises to tease the senses while also educating visitors on each plant’s role in the vibrant ecosystem. Let your nose be your guide to wild roses, tropical philodendrons or even stalks of wild bamboo!

  • Free

Whether your family is in the market for a thrill-seeking adventure or looking to take it easy and stick their toes in the sand, Florida has no shortage of attractions to keep busy. Florida is the perfect place to start creating lifelong memories with family and friends. Don’t forget your sunblock!

About the author: Katie Parsons is a communications specialist with Westgate Reservations. She is also the creator of parenting blog MumblingMommy.com and lives in Central Florida with her family of 7.

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Merken

Summer and winter holidays are those times of the year when one wants to pack their bags and go on a long vacation with their family. While some prefer adventurous and exciting trips packed with fun and games, others wish to spend time in peace and quiet on sandy beaches with waves of water lapping at their feet.

If you are planning a family vacation and are looking for amazing tour and travel packages, here are some awesome vacation deals for 2017 that you can choose from.

European extravaganza

If you are big on culture, architecture, art and history, a trip to Europe is what you should be planning. While it has so much more to offer, discover the ancient wonders of Europe on an exciting 11-day trip as you track through the unique adventures offered by this beautiful place only to find yourself craving for more.

Get a short but a wonderful glimpse of the famous Eiffel Tower that is so clear against the beautiful skyline in Paris. During this trip, you will also get to visit exciting places like Rome, Switzerland, Venice, Florence, Pisa, etc. and be mesmerized for the rest of your life.

This vacation deal offers you 3 nights in Paris, 3 nights in Zurich, and 1 night each in Venice, Rome, Florence, and Innsbruck. During your extensive stay in Europe, you will be checking in different hotels each night where you will also get to visit various places for sightseeing like the Paris Disneyland, Jungfraijoch Tour, Zurich Lake, Swarovski Crystal Museum and many more.

All you have to do is pack your bags and get ready for the best 11-days of your life!

An all-inclusive vacation at the Blue Haven Resort

An ideally sized resort for families, the Blue Haven Resort comes with 35 suites, 16 premier guest rooms and a brand new vacation experience with a 40 per cent off on hotel stay for you all. With a touch of modern and beautifully maintained accommodations, the Blue Haven Resort  gives you no chance for being bored or tired. If you are looking for a mixture of adventure followed by a peaceful relaxation time at stunning beaches, this vacation deal is for you.

With a gorgeous beach and grounds surrounded with palm trees and colorful tropical flowers, this scenic place will help relieve the stress off your mind as you take in the beautiful surroundings. Once you explore the resort’s scenery to your heart’s content, you can enjoy with your family at an exciting marine adventure where you can indulge in your favorite water sports.

During your four-day stay or more, you can also make use of numerous land-based amenities or relax at the spa. For some low-key fun, you can play beach volleyball, beach tennis, or a simple game of chess for that matter. Finally, you can end your day at Fire and Ice, one of the finest Turks and Caicos restaurants.

Explore the beauty of Mexico and the Caribbean

Who wouldn’t be tempted to take a vacation to go tours if you get an all-inclusive vacation package at no additional cost? That too, at a place as stunning and beautiful as Mexico and the Caribbean? From luxurious hotels and exciting entertainment to beach fun and on-site activities, this trip will provide you with an experience of a lifetime.

You might have heard of Mexico and the Caribbean as being famous for spectacular ocean views and striking beaches of Cancun, however, the place has  much more to offer than just that. Not only do you get to pick your favorite resort from a list of top resorts like Riu Republica, Riu Santa Fe, Royalton White Sands, etc. but you also get to enjoy Caribbean music, live entertainment, island celebrations, etc. On top of that, you can also explore life under the sea with an exhilarating snorkeling adventure and other amazing water sports.

Have a dream vacation at beautiful islands in Hawaii

Be it enjoying a private time at a tranquil beach or relishing the gigantic waves in surf beaches, Hawaii will cater to all your needs.

Oahu, also called ‘The Gathering Place’, is the third largest island in Hawaii where you’ll be able to find a beach that caters to varying interests and tastes. Once you get the hang of riding the waves in Waikiki that basically led to the idea of surfing, you get to fly to Maui which has been voted as the best island in the region.

Maui is nothing less than a magical and a beautiful place marked with perfect beaches, volcanic landscapes and lush green valleys. Have a near-to-perfect dream vacation at these two beautiful islands as you relieve yourself from all the stress of the world.

This six-night trip, which can be extended as per your choice, includes round air trip from the Continental USA to Hawaii; It also includes accommodation for three nights in Oahu, daily breakfast, 3 nights in Maui and also additional activities like dinner on cruise, pearl harbor excursion, hiking, snorkeling adventure, etc.

Magic your way package

When travelling on a vacation with family and kids, nothing comes off as more attractive than a fun-filled, exciting trip to the Disney World.

Walt Disney sends magic your way with an amazing vacation package which includes hotel accommodations, theme park tickets, keepsake luggage tags, and transportation. In addition to that, if you purchase your package through the Walt Disney travel company, you receive vouchers for miniature golf, ESPN wide world of sports complex, watersports center, and Splits Ville Luxury Lanes.

You can do a variety of activities at these places like parasailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing trips, etc. You also get to eat at amazing places like House of Blues and Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company with additional discounts.

While travelling through, you can also shop at various popular places like Something Silver, Pop Gallery, Shore, etc. where you also get to enjoy several discounts. So rest assured, this vacation is ideal for children and adults alike!

The list of vacation deals and packages becomes almost endless as you struggle to seek the perfect vacation plan for you and your family. With each place having a set of their own unique and attractive vacation features to offer, you are likely to get even more confused. Either way, fun, excitement and a lifetime of an experience is guaranteed with these brilliant vacation deals!

Author Bio: Kamil Riaz Kara is a travel enthusiast and writer. His favorite travel destinations include New York, Munich, & Vancouver, and of course, his home town of Karachi. Visit Cosmosvacations for exploring beautiful and adventurist destinations around the world.

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Introduction

Yosemite

Yosemite – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfdervin/6395436685/

When looking at pictures of some of our nation´s most impressive national parks, a lot of us parents most picture in our minds our children running through the open prairies, splashing in the cold creek water, and hiking over boulders on the way to a breathtaking summit view. The majority of our children spend too much time surrounded by school walls, playing on manicured lawns and playgrounds and in front of TV and computer screens. Though we know that it would do wonders for our childrens creativity and imagination to find time to embrace the natural world, it is not always easy to find time to make it out of our urban lives and into the greater world around us.

Planning a family vacation so that we can enjoy with our children the awesomeness of Nature found in so many of our national parks, then, is something that all of us parents dream about. And obviously, we want our children to enjoy the time spent away from the confines of cement and screens.

Though children do have an almost innate ability to reconnect with the natural world and find awe and inspiration in the world around them, it is also important for us as parents to recognize that not all children are going to be able to endure a 15 mile strenuous hike up some gigantic mountain or carry 30 pounds of water on their back as they hike through the desert.

To make sure that your children do thoroughly enjoy the time that they spend in the natural environments found at national parks, it is important to plan ahead and find activities that allow children to enjoy the natural world while not pushing them over their physical limits.

Yosemite National Park in northern California is one of our nation´s oldest national parks and also one of the most iconic places to visit; a truly magical world of towering peaks, massive sequoia forests, and wildlife at every turn. If you have young children, however, you probably won´t want to try and hike up Half Dome; a trail replete with chains to pull yourself up and over huge boulders and steep inclines. In this short article we recommend several family friendly activities at Yosemite that will allow your children to experience the mystical side of Yosemite´s wilderness while not over exerting themselves physically.

Walk Through the Gigantic Sequoia Forests

Sequoia Forests

Sequoia Forests – https://www.flickr.com/photos/trailmixnet/1866603320/

When you are a child, everything seems bigger. The Sequoia forests at Yosemite, however, don´t necessarily need a child´s imagination in order to appreciate and marvel at towering trees that rise several hundred feet into the air. The Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias in Yosemite has several short hiking trails that will allow your children´s imaginations to run wild as they feel like ants walking through the forest.

Splash at the Merced River

Merced River

Merced River – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalonian/483285158/

The vision that many of us have regarding mountain rivers are rushing currents with dangerous white capped waves that splash over jagged rocks as they tumble through the mountain valleys on their way to the lowlands; not exactly a great place to take the kids. The Merced River which runs through much of Yosemite National Park couldn´t be any differnet. This lazy, shallow river meanders throughout the valleys and meadows of the park and is a great place to spend a restful afternoon. At some places along the river, you can even entice your children to try their luck panning for gold as gold specks can still be found in the river sands.

Become a Junior Ranger

Yosemite´s Junior Ranger Program is a great way for your children to learn more about the unique ecosystem of the region while also participate in a few symbolic activities of ecosystem protection and renovation. Your children will wear with pride their junior range badge as they gain special insights into the world of Yosemite National Park.

Enjoy the Views from Glacier Point

Glacier Point

Glacier Point – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dtpancio/32735323652/

If you have young children, chances are that you won´t be able to hike up to the top of some of Yosemite´s most amazing mountain tops. That doesn´t mean that you can´t enjoy the panoramic views that come from the tip tops of the mountain. A short drive will take you up to Glacier Point from where you can enjoy sweeping views of Yosemite Valley and some nearby waterfalls. Head up in the late afternoon to stay and watch the sun set, the moon rise, and the sky fill with millions of stars.

Hike Through Tuolumne Meadows

The best hiking with kids is flatland hiking, and while that might be hard to find in many mountainous regions, Tuolumne Meadows at Yosemite has miles of relatively flat trails that take you through the high country of Yosemite. Not only will your children enjoy the wildflowers and gentle streams where you can take a dip, but this is also a great spot for opportunities to spot some of Yosemite´s wildlife.

Enjoy the Spray of North America´s Highest Waterfall

Yosemite is home to America´s largest waterfall: Yosemite Falls. While you can hike to the top, a more exciting activity for children is taking the short hike to the base of Yosemite Falls where you´ll get misted by the thundering water falling into the river below. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you can walk down to enjoy some crystal clear creeks for a short dip only feet away from the base of the continent´s highest water fall.

What to Bring when Travelling with Children to Yosemite

When Travelling to Yosemite with children, you don´t need to go overboard and bring the whole house with you. Though over 95% of Yosemite National Park is wilderness area, there are several stores at the campground sites where you can easily stock up on essential items. Though it should be common sense, you will need to bring a lot of extra water, even on short hikes, as the summer temperatures in Yosemite can get rather hot.

Other things to bring might include a bear whistle, especially if you are planning any back country hikes, a couple of pairs of binoculars to scan the wilderness areas in search of wildlife, and a good bit of sunscreen since the higher elevation can lead to some pretty serious sunburns. Also, to help your children enjoy the wonders of Yosemite, it might be good to invest in some maps of the area to help them find their way.

For short hiking trips, a small travel backpack is an effective way to carry with you all the things you need. With so many options to choose from, the outdoors blog Live Once Live Wild can help you determine what is the best travel backpack for you and your family.

With a little bit of prior planning and a few basic items, your children will thoroughly enjoy their time spent exploring the awe-inspiring wilderness areas that Yosemite has to offer.

By: Bailey Gaddis

A metropolitan tapestry woven with public parks, exotic curio shops full of kid-friendly treasures, and an eatery with dumplings on almost every corner (and what kid doesn’t love dumplings?) San Francisco is a natural choice when selecting your next big city family vacation.

But, the question of where to stay is often the stumper when trying to find well-situated and family focused lodging in the city.

Using my family as a metaphorical guinea pig, I’ve discovered five of the top San Francisco hotels that will set your family up to have the ultimate vacation in one of the world’s most cultured concrete jungles.

The Inn at Union Square

Tucked between a fine art gallery and Morton’s Steakhouse, this hidden gem hotel is freshly renovated and less than a block from Union Square where your family can roam in the grass, inspect public art installations, or sign up for Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine (a walking tour).

Because all rooms are situated off the street, and look out onto a small courtyard-esque corridor, you can enjoy the convenience of being in the heart of downtown, without hearing the constant beat of that heart: traffic. But, even if quiet wasn’t readily available you’d still settle into serenity as this hotel features the most comfortable beds I’ve ever sunk into, and a nightly wine and cheese reception that does wonders for that fore-mentioned serenity.

A short walk to Chinatown and a hop, skip, and a stroller push to just about any culinary option your child’s particular taste buds might desire, this hotel will pour a large helping of simplicity on your trip.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

If proximity to iconic attractions like The Exploratorium, Aquarium of the Bay, and a ferry ride to Alcatraz are your top priorities, this is the hotel for you. When all that exploring creates a hungry family return to the Embarcadero Center, attached to the hotel, offering eateries that have something for every palate and budget.

The Hyatt is a favorite during the winter holidays as they offer a private breakfast with Santa at the Eclipse Kitchen and Bar, snow flurries in the lobby (which is the largest in the world), and ice-skating at the Embarcadero Holiday Ice Rink, that is best followed by a fresh ice cream sandwich and hot cocoa at Over the Moon.

Hotel Del Sol

“Chic Lego Land” was my first thought when I walked into this space. The hotel includes bright colors, a kid-centric saltwater pool and courtyard, and details that seem to have been handpicked by preschoolers with impeccable taste. This motor lodge turned boutique hotel is the ideal getaway if you’re looking for lodging that is so captivating it will do most of the heavy lifting in regards to keeping the kids entertained.

And did I mention they offer afternoon cookies and milk and have a “Kids are VIPs” program?

Argonaut Hotel

Just mention the treasure chest of free toys in the lobby to your kids, and the chic maritime aesthetic that was updated in 2012 to your partner and this hotel will be an easy sell. Located across the street from the Fisherman’s Wharf waterfront and a block from the chocolaty Ghirardelli Square, this hotel makes it possible to have a fun and adventure-rich trip without having to pull your car out of the bowels of a parking garage.

Because of the nautical focused location, most nearby restaurants are heavy on the seafood, but most offer children’s menu classics for the picky eaters.

Fairmont San Francisco

It can be tricky to find a luxury hotel that doesn’t tense at the mention of children, but the Fairmont is able to gracefully balance an essence of grandeur and kid-friendly fun.

Located on Nob Hill where Bay views are omnipresent, many rooms overlook scenes so impressive it would make even the most screen-focused child look up and stare. But, the appeal doesn’t just live outside the hotel – if you really want to impress your kids, take them for an on-site dinner at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar where the tiki-themed décor and little umbrellas in their drinks will remind them that you’re pretty much the best parent ever. And, with pet-friendly family rooms you can comfortably bring your two-legged and four-legged babies along.

Merken