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Planning a long-term trip, or a life on the road, with your children, is an exciting time for everyone involved. It won’t just be a time for them to see new places and experience different ways of life, it will also mean the chance for you to teach them life skills and responsibilities that you might not get the opportunity to explore when living in a fixed home environment.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips for Families on the Road

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips for Families on the Road

If traveling in a mobile home, it’s unlikely that you’ll have access to a washing machine, let alone a dryer. If living on a boat, you’re bound to have to deal with toilet waste in a safe and responsible manner. If backpacking your way across the world, you’re unlikely to want to leave space in your bags for supermarket cleaning products, particularly as they could also end up causing environmental damage to the places you travel through.

Basic household cleaners from natural ingredients

An eco-friendly way of life doesn’t only an educational experience for your children, but it also provides practical solutions to staying clean and takes care of the environment at the same time. So, how should you go about it?

With just a few basic ingredients, you can keep most things spanking clean and germ-free when traveling long-term or living on the road. Lemons, vinegar, olive oil and bicarbonate of soda are the four main ingredients that can be used to clean anything from cooking equipment to worktop surfaces, without damaging the environment and without putting your family’s health at risk.

Lemons and vinegar

Lemons are incredibly versatile and are good for cleaning wooden cutting boards, polishing copper, freshening waste in rubbish bins and cleaning plastic containers. If backpacking with children, you’re likely to reap the benefits of a set of tupperware pots. Making sure they’re germ-free is important and if you can teach your children how to clean without using toxic chemicals at the same time, even better.

You might be surprised to learn that there are over 95 known ways in which vinegar can help you clean. If you’re traveling with children at sea or living on a boat, vinegar can be used to unclog drains, clean wood panels, brighten up stainless steel and disinfect toilets. Just like lemons, vinegar is a natural cleaning solution that doesn’t expose us to dangerous chemicals. As such, there’s no risk to marine or river wildlife by choosing to clean your boat with vinegar.

Olive oil and bicarbonate of soda

When on the road for lengthy periods of time, it’s not just cooking equipment and toilets we might have to keep clean. We also need to find ways of maintaining personal hygiene standards. If we’re intent on trying to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle while traveling, olive oil could prove highly useful. It can be used for shaving, as a natural exfoliate for face and hands, to take soften skin when taking a bath, remove make-up, treat head lice and to cure nappy rash.

Even when you’re taking the kids on a relatively short trip (maybe a couple of months), eco-friendly cleaning ideas can really come in handy. We’ve all been there: cheap and cheerful hostels with disastrous kitchens. A small packet of bicarbonate of soda won’t take up much room in your backpack, but it can be a lifesaver when you need to give a dirty kitchen and dirty kitchen utensils a quick clean before preparing dinner.

Recycling

When living in a fixed abode, it’s easy to put recycling habits into action. We can separate our paper from the plastic and leave it in the appropriate container for the recycling service to pass by and collect, usually on a weekly basis. However, when traveling long-term or when living on the road, teaching kids good recycling habits can be a little more challenging, particularly as not all countries have the same recycling laws or services in place.

It’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t dump anything unless we know that it’s going to be properly dealt with. Otherwise we’re just becoming part of the problem, adding waste to areas that already suffer from waste disposal issues. One way of making sure that our rubbish is take care of is to carry it with us until we get home or until we find an adequate place to leave it. If you’re going to be on the road for a year or more, you’ll need to develop a waste storage system and do everything you can to reduce the amount of space your waste occupies. If you’re traveling in a mobile home, you might choose to invest in a shredder, for example.

If you’re traveling for a long period of time and your children outgrow their shoes and clothing, you could donate what they’ll no longer use to local communities before investing in new purchases. You’ll be saving on space and teaching your children the benefits of recycling and donations at the same time.

Toilet waste

If traveling long-term by boat or in a mobile home, you’ll also have toilet waste to deal with on a regular basis. You’ll be pleased to know that there are a number of eco-friendly ways of taking care of your waste. If you want to go as eco-friendly as they come, you might want to try your hand at composting. That’s right. Using toilet waste to create the best fertilizer human bodies can create. If you’re on the road for long enough, you may even be able to use your compost to feed a small, indoor herb garden.

Another idea, for the innovative among us, could be to go as high-tech as they come and invest in a solar-powered toilet that actually converts human waste into energy, like the one developed by Michael Hoffmann of the California Institute of Technology.

The dangers of standard chemical cleaners

Apart from the responsibilities we have to the environment, an eco-friendly approach to cleaning while on the road can protect our family against the dangers of chemicals used to make standard cleaning products. Research reveals that more than 150 chemicals commonly used to clean our homes have been scientifically associated with allergies, cancer, psychological disorders and birth defects. Common household cleaners are also known for causing up to 95% of childhood poisoning incidents.

So, in addition to taking care of the environment and of teaching our kids about the alternatives available with regards to eco-friendly cleaning, the decisions we make can also help to keep them safe and healthy. Something that every parent wants for their child, without a doubt.

There are unlimited miraculous wonders that have been created by nature. Every time you will visit a natural wonder, it will make you thoughtful and compel to question yourself about its magical presence. The best thing to do while your kids are still in the growing years is to educate them by taking them to these wonders. This will enable them to experience the wonders from close distance and learn great things about them.

The top 10 natural wonders where you must take your kids before they’re grown up are listed out here:

  • Sahara

World’s largest hot desert Sahara, in Northern Africa tops the list of the natural wonders. It is mostly occupied with hard, barren, rocky plateaus and less of sand. This desert gets scanty rainfall, even less than three inches on an average. A proper guided tour of Sahara will let your kids know about desert life and make them mentally strong to counter adverse situations in life.

  • Mount Everest

A thrilling trip to this highest mountain on Earth with an altitude of 29,029 ft. with the ClearTrip coupons will be an unforgettable experience for your kids. Your kids can either take part in small trekking expeditions or just witness the spectacular views of Mount Everest from close vicinity. This mountain located on the border of Nepal and Tibet will inculcate craze for thrill and adventure in them.

  • Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the only coral reef in the world that can be seen from space. This largest reef stretches over 3000 kilometers or 1,900 miles to be precise. Its structure is made by living organisms like dolphins, sea snakes, whales, green sea turtles, etc. During their visit to this beautiful place, your kids will encounter uncountable species of marine animals which will enrich their knowledge base.

  • The Giant’s Causeway

Ireland has got the Giant Steps that will confuse you to think that it might have been manmade. The truth is it is the outcome of ocean waves cutting the rocks for almost thousands of years. This breathtaking natural wonder in the UK provides a relaxing learning environment to your kids, and they will enjoy exploring the secrets of this place.

  • Grand Canyon

Located in the Northern Arizona of the United States, the Grand Canyon is an attractive tourist landscape. It has been carved by the Colorado River for millions of years and has got a depth of 1 mile and is 277 miles long. Visiting this place with your kids by availing the flight ticket offers will help them to understand the power of natural forces and Mother Nature.

  • Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge of Utah is home to spectacular red sandstone cliffs. This is a 300 feet high and 270 feet wide arch of sandstone formed naturally which makes a beautiful and unique place to visit with your kids. These cliffs have been shaped by Mother Nature and are considered as one of the beautiful natural places in the world.

  • Victoria Falls

No other waterfall in the world can be as aesthetically beautiful as the Victoria Falls of Zimbabwe. The breathtaking view of the waterfall is something to admire and fall in love with. This will not only leave your kid awe-struck with wonder but will help him, or her realize how magnificent and beautiful nature can be.

  • Columbia Icefields

A visit to the icefields of Columbia located in the Alberta Canadian Rockies will give your kids a real-life opportunity to witness glacier and take part in the thrilling adventures. The Columbia ice fields receiving up to 23 feet of snowfall every year feed the vital most glaciers namely Athabasca, Dome, Castleguard, Stutfield, Columbia, and the Saskatchewan Glaciers.

  • Amazon

Amazon, the largest river on the planet in terms of volume is another natural wonder to visit with your kids. It has been a home to more than 3000 divine species that are yet to be discovered. The wildlife found in the Amazon rainforest is an unparallel beauty consisting of varied biodiversity. Kid’s will hear new sounds, see new species of animals and get the experience of wild jungle life during their visit to this place.

  • Vredefort Dome

The Vredefort Dome in the southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa has formed two billion years ago when a meteorite ranging about 10km in diameter had hit the earth surface. The 300 km wide impact created in this place has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site now. Your visit to this place with kids will be a fun experience where they will learn some astronomical facts.

So, these were the top 10 natural wonders that your children truly deserve to know about. Tick off this bucket list before your kids grow up and become busy in their academic life. Take them along with you and let them have an experience of a lifetime.

10 Family Vacation Tips for Traveling With Young Children

10 Family Vacation Tips for Traveling With Young Children – Photo credit: parents.com

For family vacations to be great and memorable, you need effort, patience, and planning. The more you indulge in such holidays, the more efficient you become at handling sticky situations. But these 10 family vacation tips for traveling with young children will put you on the right track. The rest of the journey is all on you!

As a mom, I get why people don’t want to sit next to toddlers or young kids during travel. And you can’t go about changing such an outlook. Instead, what you can do is control everything that is in your hands. So let’s find out how to do that, shall we?

10 Family Vacation Tips for Traveling With Young Children

These are not like a magic potion, they don’t eliminate inconveniences completely. But they do make the whole experience meaningful and memorable.

It’s like having to go through the trouble of doing tons of laundry despite getting the best laundry detergent. The product doesn’t wash the clothes for you, but it makes the process easier. This might sound like a pretty horrible example but at least it helped me make my point.

So let’s get started!

#1 Carry $1 bills

family-vacation-tips-for-traveling-with-kids

family vacation tips for traveling with kids – Photo credit: shutterstock.com

When on vacation, the hotel bellhop, rental car driver, or skycap do a lot of your work. So at such times, generosity goes a long way. You want to be remembered that way and not as the family that caused a nuisance. Plus, it’s always a better idea to have those extra bucks lying around in your wallet.

#2 Opt for curbside check-in

family trip tips

family trip tips – Photo credit: travel.thefuntimesguide.com

Instead of struggling with your kids and bags once you reach the airport, you can check-in your luggage curbside. Take everyone and everything to the check-in counter at the curbside. This is where you get the opportunity to unload all the bags before heading to the terminal.

#3 Travel light

traveling with toddlers

traveling with toddlers – Photo credit: flightsnation.com

Give me one logical reason why you think you need to carry all that excessive, unnecessary stuff. More often than not, there is none. This is the most helpful point out of the 10 family vacation tips for traveling with young children.

Please don’t forget that you’re going to be staying for a few days and not months. So pack as light as you can.

#4 Fit the smaller bags into the bigger bags

What if you’re a family of say seven members? Does that mean you need to carry seven whole bags? Not necessarily. When you travel light, you make use of small-sized bags. And if that’s the case, you can always shove them into the bigger versions. It saves space and tons of effort, doesn’t it?

#5 Book your car rental early

how to enjoy a trip with family

how to enjoy a trip with family – Photo credit: hertz.com

The goal is to get the best deal possible. And the only way to achieve that is to browse through different websites well in advance. If you book the rental car a month prior to the vacation, the chances are you might end up paying only half the price.

#6 Load up on snacks beforehand

When you decide to fill up your carry-on with snacks, do that before reaching the airport. Fruit snacks, crackers, gum, and granola bars are excellent options for young children. Such a habit contributes to saving money at the airport.

#7 Keep the phone away

vacation tips for families

vacation tips for families – Photo credit: rd.com

Traveling with toddlers means having to deal with a lot of inconveniences, right? In that case, you’re better off with your phone tucked away. It means no texting, no Twitter or Facebook, no work emails, etc.

Now, this does sound like an impossible task. But remember that your world will not fall apart just because your phone is away from you for a few hours.

#8 Bring books for long flights or layovers

Most parents usually opt for an iPod or iPad to keep their kids entertained during such times. Not that this is a bad idea, but the aim of the vacation is to let your child’s mind explore, wander, and create. And watching Netflix or playing video games is not going to help achieve the goal. So the best alternative is books, but of their choice.

#9 Pick a song

family vacation tips for traveling with children

family vacation tips for traveling with children – Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Music is magical and mysterious, isn’t it? It adds meaning to life, especially when on vacation. All you need to do is pick a few favorite tracks and play them every single time you’re in your rental. So whenever your kids hear those songs in the future, they will always be reminded of the memorable family vacation.

A family trip without a song is like making iced tea without an iced tea maker. Even though you can prepare the drink without the appliance, it doesn’t come out as refreshing as it should.

#10 Dress airport-friendly

Airports are fun, but security lines aren’t. And when you’re traveling with multiple kids, it can be quite a nuisance. So the best thing that you can do to deal with the situation is to make sure that you and your children have put on comfortable clothes and shoes. For example, slip-on footwear, but don’t forget those socks!

[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCuG0RS4Qyc]

So these are the 10 family vacation tips for traveling with young children. Did you go through them all? If yes, then it’s time to conclude.

That’s About It!

Traveling with young children is not always a hassle. It can be a wonderful experience too only if you keep up with these family trip tips.

The mission should be to pay attention to your child’s needs. And don’t forget to strike the perfect balance between activities and rest time.

The process may not be easy at first. But as you keep embarking upon such journeys, you’ll get better at it. Trust me.

If you have any helpful advice to offer, please don’t hesitate to do so. The comments section is right below.

I hope the article provided you with enough useful content to help you get started! If yes, then do share the post with fellow parents and visit again soon.

Have a fantastic trip!

About the author:

The founder Mom Trusted Choice, Barbara Davis, is committed to helping parents balance their professional and personal lives. She is a dedicated champion when it comes to providing tips on motherhood, parenting, and child care product recommendations. It’s the advancement and diversity of parents that Davis focuses on through her content.

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/ideas/traveling-with-kids-ultimite-guide/
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-ricklefs/12-family-vacation-tips-for-traveling-with-young-children_b_6883174.html
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/jan/20/8

Some parents may cringe at the thought of taking a toddler on holiday. How are you supposed to relax when your toddler has a mind of his own? They are a little too young to truly appreciate landmarks, historical sites, and cultural activities. So, how do you keep them entertained, especially when it comes to the outdoors?

Here are a few sports and outdoor activities for toddlers that you could try:

Go on a picnic

Pack up a basket with healthy snacks and some fun foods and make your way to a park. Put down a blanket to sit on and enjoy some time outdoors.

Allow your toddler to explore the surrounds while you enjoy the fresh air. Add some toys to your basket, like a ball that you can play with on the lawns to keep your little one entertained when they are not snacking.

Take a nature walk

Nature walks are a great holiday activity and fun for the whole family. Depending on the age of your toddler and their ability to walk, select a walk that they will be able to handle. You don’t want to have to carry them all the way back if they get tired.

If they are still in a stroller, choose a walk that is gentler and not too bumpy. Select trails that will have interesting things to see, like animals, waterfalls, or interactive activities such as spotting certain features or animals.

Play ball games

Let your toddler have fun on the lawns with some fun ball games. If they are old enough, try teaching them the rules to your favorite sport and see how well they can play along. You can also come up with your own goofy games that will not only leave them in stitches of laughter, but you as well.

If your toddler is a little younger and can’t quite grasp the rules of a game just yet, try simple rolling or throwing a soft ball back and forth. This will be fun for them and help their hand-eye coordination too!

Go fishing

If your toddler is slightly older, take them fishing. Teach them out to handle a fishing rod and put bait on the hook. Do practice caution with fishing hooks, and if you think your toddler is not quite at the careful stage of baiting their own hook, rather do it for them.

Rather than fishing at any lake, dam or river, take them to a dedicated fishing spot where they stock fish in the dam. If you are also a beginner, its a good idea to pick up some carp fishing equipment from Total Fishing Tackle. This will increase their chances of catching something. You have to admit it, it is more fun and exciting when your kids actually catch a fish.

Go horse riding

Yet another great outdoor experience for you and your toddler. Find a stable where they offer guided horse rides. You can sit on the horse with your child and be led around a park or through a forest for a fun and different experience. You may even be able to feed the horses carrots when you arrive back at the stables.

Visit an aquarium, zoo, or farm yard

There is no doubt that most kids love animals, especially toddlers when they are learning the names and sounds the animals make. Take your toddler to an aquarium, the local zoo or a petting-zoo type of farm yard. Here they will be able to point out all their favorite animals and enjoy some fun activities the venues have to offer.

Most zoos and aquariums have interactive displays and play areas for children to learn and experience the animals in a more hands-on way. This is a must- do activity when taking your toddler on holiday.

Visit a water park

Water parks are always a blast and there is something for everyone. So, if your toddler is still quite small or even learning how to swim, the water park can still be a blast. There are often shallow pools designed especially for toddlers, where you can keep an eye on them and even swim with them.

Some of the rides are also gentler and toddler-friendly allowing you to play around and have some serious fun with your little one. Just remember to always keep your child within arm’s reach when they are in the water to keep them safe, especially if they can’t swim.

Conclusion

The outdoor activities are endless when it comes to holidaying with your toddler. You just need to find the right ones that will interest them and keep them entertained. Obviously, if your child is frightened of the activity, such as getting up on a horse or going down a water slide, don’t force them.

You don’t want to deal with an upset child for the rest of the day. You know your child and you know what they like, so use that to your advantage when choosing your holiday activities. Happy holidaying!

About the author: I am Tom Hardy  co-founder of Toys Advisors blog. I have a lovely family with my wife Sophie, my son Quentin and my daughter Sarah. I spent most of time with my family, I learn and share  about parenting, DIY

As soon as children become teenagers, they have a whole different set of challenges they need to face. Things like do they fit in and the fear of missing out on stuff can generate anxiety that then turns them into these creatures we don’t always know how to handle. Their friends take priority in their lives as they try to navigate their interests and develop their independence.

 

Tips On How To Make Travelling With Teenagers Fun

Tips On How To Make Travelling With Teenagers Fun

 

 

Even though it can be a challenge, you shouldn’t let it put you off going on holiday with them. They might not admit it, but they still want to go on vacation with you too, just not the same type of holiday you took them on a year or two ago. To enjoy your family holiday with teens, you need to decide what your objectives are in advance.

Traveling with teenagers can be challenging and sometimes downright unpleasant, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and pleasant if you keep these basic principles in mind:

  • Involve them in the planning process.

Involving your teens in the planning process from the start will make them feel like their opinion matters. If they are part of the decision making, they have to share responsibility for the success of the trip. Take into account their interests when searching for a destination – once the destination is set, each of you can find points of interest you’d like to explore. You might be surprised to see something on their list that matches yours.

  • Choose your accommodation wisely.

Teenagers do not do well in confined spaces or when having to share a room with parents or other siblings. If your budget doesn’t allow separate hotel rooms but only separate tents, then so be it, just make sure they have their space.

  • Don’t expect your teenager to leave their phones at home.

Even though it is frustrating having to always look at your teen’s face over some electronic device, it is not advised to force them to not bring their phone along on holiday. They will want to take 1000’s of pictures and keep in touch with their friends.

To avoid huge roaming bills, make sure you have wifi access at your accommodation or if necessary, buy yourself a local SIM card.  Do some research on the internet to find free wifi spots at your destination.

  • Avoid plans that require them to get up early.

Sleeping in is serious business for teenagers, almost a human right. Use the time to have breakfast in peace or go for a walk if you don’t wish to sleep late.  This can also be your opportunity to see certain things you know they will not be interested in.

  • Find activities that will challenge you both.

Whether it’s facing a fear of heights or trying scuba diving for the first time, face those challenges together. When you have both conquered your fears, you’ll have bonded in more ways than you think possible with a teenager. Teens need to burn calories, and these hormone-driven creatures thrive on daily physical activity to release feel-good endorphins. Adventure loaded vacations will also provide opportunities to acquire outdoor skills.

  • Plan for plenty of downtimes.

When traveling, there is always a temptation to rush so you don’t miss out on anything but this is not advised when traveling with teens. If you’ve had an all-day outing or a few days packed with activities, follow it up with a ‘chill day’. You can use the time to go out and explore on your own or stay in and order room service while watching movies.

  • Be fun and flexible.

It is no secret that things rarely turn out the way you plan.  Sometimes the attraction you wish to visit is unexpectedly closed or the weather doesn’t allow for the activity you planned. Don’t let this get you down, take advantage of your surroundings. Explore on foot or rent a car to explore other attractions you might not have had on the list. Find a cozy cafe for shelter from the rain but learn to go with the flow as much as you can – expect the unexpected.

  • Don’t let food be an issue.

One of the pleasures of travelling is experiencing different foods from different cultures. This is not to say your teenager will be into dining at five-star restaurants unless they have a highly developed palate of course. While seeing you teen munching on a burger in Paris might make you weep inside, give them a break and don’t argue about food choices. Most places usually manage to cater to various tastes, so chances are you’ll find something you both like at the same restaurant. Teens feel better when they have choices and don’t feel so controlled. You can, however, plan one fine dining restaurant per trip as part of their culinary education.

  • Accept the fact that bad moods will happen.

You can’t make everyone happy all the time. Most teenagers quickly get into bad moods when they need their space. If you feel like you can trust your teen’s common sense and you are in a safe and secure environment, give them the freedom to go out and explore on their own. This will also help lighten their mood.

  • Post-trip abandonment is inevitable.

Don’t take it personally when your teen retreats to their room as soon as you return home from vacation. It doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy the trip; it just means they need their space. Teenagers need loads of personal space to figure out who they are – it’s all about stretching their wings in preparation to leave the nest.

A family holiday helps ensure you’ll get quality time with your loved ones while making some epic memories, even if it takes some extra effort when teenagers are involved. But don’t let this discourage you from taking that trip, most college-age adults remember how they complained during family vacations, but add that those times continue to be some of their favorite family memories.

So, is it worth all the patience required and money it costs to travel with teens? I would say Yes! Someday your kids will thank you. It may not be until they’re 25, but it will happen.

Adele Kruger is a freelance content writer for selected businesses in different niches and offers her web design skills as an extra. She is the owner of GoEatExplore.com where she writes about Immigration, Travel and Food.

The number of traveling families and those embracing an alternative education is most definitely on the rise, particularly in first world countries. According to The Guardian, local authority statistics in the UK reveal a 65% increase in children recorded as home educated over the last six years. By no means a new affair in the U.S., homeschooling has been on the rise since 1999. In some regions of Australia, homeschooling statistics reveal a 300% increase in registered homeschool students.

A Green-Fingered Education, On the Road

A Green-Fingered Education, On the Road

 

Road schooling is just another strand of homeschooling, whereby instead of living in one place and being educated by parents in that same location, children are taken on a journey across the country (or sometimes the world) to learn… on the road. Some subjects, including gardening and its related strands, really lend themselves to a road schooling environment, but more on that in a bit.

The road schooling pros and the cons

There are so many parents out there who blog about their road schooling experiences that resources and advice for the novice are plentiful. There also seems to be a general consensus surrounding the pros and cons of road schooling too. Most parents highlight the positive impact on their children’s development and interest in education. They see their children taking an active role in their own learning and developing a greater sense of curiosity.

Most seem to agree that the greatest challenge is socialization. While children undoubtedly get the opportunity to interact on a daily basis with lots of other adults and many children (particularly when signed up to child-focused groups that parents find en route), it’s difficult for road school learners to develop long-term bonds with anyone as they’re always on the move.

A green-fingered learning experience

Some children are blessed with a garden at home. Some are lucky enough to attend schools with small vegetable or herb gardens that, as a collective, the children tend to alongside their teacher, learning a little about gardening basics along the way. Road school learners are given the opportunity to play in the rainforest on one day, walk through woodland countryside the next, drive alongside desert cacti the following week and go apple-picking in an orchard a month after that.

When you’re on the road with your children, the world becomes your educational garden and gives you all the resources you need to teach them about how different plants are cultivated, what they’re used for, where in the world they grow and how they provide perfect living conditions for local wildlife. It’s the kind of sensory experience that enables children to learn through sight, touch and smell all at once.

A lesson on the yucca

As an example, let’s imagine you’re journeying through South America and your child comes across the yucca plant, popular with gardeners of all experience levels. You can teach him or her that there are over 40 different species of the yucca plant, all of which are native to the hot and arid regions of the Americas and the Caribbean; that a number of species have cleverly learned to adapt to a range of conditions, making them ideal for gardens in almost any location.

Your children will be able to touch their tough, evergreen, dagger-shaped leaves and practice their green-fingered skills by cutting from the cane or stem to grow additional plants, without damaging the original. If you’re traveling in a campervan, there’s nothing to stop you from creating a small indoor garden and making your child responsible for the cultivation of a yucca plant cutting over a set period of time; a kind of school project with tasks and goals.

Knock-on effect on other areas of the curriculum

Another option is to take what might have been a simple gardening lesson at a traditional school and turn it into a holistic project by teaching your child about the many other benefits of the yucca. The banana yucca and soapweed yucca are both edible species, which means an entertaining cooking lesson could be in order. Teach your child about cultural customs and how Native American cultures use the sap from the yucca as a skin balm to treat ailments like cuts and scrapes.

Moving on to bigger issues

Spending time surrounded by nature while on the road can teach your children a huge amount about the greater issues of life too. One way of giving them a hands on education in trade and the food industry is to spend time picking fruit on a farm. You could choose apples, berries, grapes, you name it. Whatever happens to be local to the area you’re traveling in and wherever you’re able to start picking with your children in tow. The UK is a particularly great place for an activity of this kind.

As well as the direct contact they have with nature, the physical labor and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day, when children go fruit-picking they are also given the opportunity to learn about the many different factors that go into the cultivation, preparation and packaging of the fruit they buy with ease at the supermarket. They experience how tiring it can be picking fruit and making sure that the crop is good. They learn about the use (or not) of pesticides and how farming actions could ultimately affect their health, the health of local wildlife and the fragile balance of our environment.

These experiences give way to conversations that delve deeper into government legislations and the need for regular monitoring. The role that agriculture has to play in any country’s economy makes for an interesting project for adolescents. It’s a meaty enough subject to allow them to really probe into complex issues relating to Fair Trade; the policies, what they mean, who makes them and how they are employed to protect the economic interests of local farmers in developing countries.

How to begin

The best way to get started with an effective green-fingered education on the road is to just get out there and explore. The content of the curriculum you choose to deliver to your child will depend greatly on the places you plan to visit. So, the most important thing is that your child has the chance to interact directly with his or her natural environment and develop an organic interest in those interactions.

There’s no greater joy than being a parent, and you’re lucky enough to be able to show your children the world. Despite the excitement you feel about your upcoming trip, though, you worry about how your little ones will handle an extra-long flight — there are only so many distractions you can pack in your carry-on, after all.

Fortunately, you don’t need to lug every single toy that has ever caught your child’s eye. Instead, a few strategic items and a bit of creativity on your end is all you need to keep your children happy, no matter how long your flight. And, even better, once you have a plan in mind, you can look forward to your trip without any flight-related trepidation.

Tips for Keeping Your Children Happy on a Long Plane Ride

Tips for Keeping Your Children Happy on a Long Plane Ride

 

Here are our top tips:

  • Have Them Pack Their Own Bags

You don’t want your little ones responsible for packing clothes, shoes and winter coats, of course. But you can give each of your kids a backpack or small suitcase to fill with the toys, books and electronic devices he or she wants to bring on-board. That way, your kids will feel a bit of excitement about what they’ve brought and ownership over it, too. In other words, they’ll want to distract themselves with the fun stuff they got to pack all on their own.

  • … But Bring a Surprise or Two in Your Own Bag, Just in Case

Even with the right to pack their own bags and the excitement that comes with that, your kids might still somehow get bored of what they have. You should be prepared for this with a last-ditch book or toy hidden in your own carry-on, too. The element of surprise will make your toy choice even more of a hit and will hopefully keep them entertained ‘til you’re wheels down in your destination.

  • Brush Up on Classic Road Trip Games

You remember them from your own childhood, and you may have even played with your kids before, too. Road trip games have stood the test of time because, well, they’re fun. All you need to do is choose a game — there are plenty of road trip games that will work on board a plane with or without rule alteration — and go with it. Whether you’re playing I Spy, 20 Questions, Plane Ride Bingo or Hangman, you’ll find the time flying by — no pun intended.

  • Pack Snacks

These days, airlines are stingy with the snacks. Your kids probably won’t stand for this type of treatment, but you’ll have to be the one that provides them with extra edibles in-air. The good thing about packing your kids’ airplane snacks is that you can be in control of what they eat: healthy airplane snacks for kids like string cheeses, Goldfish crackers and fruit are easy to pack, carry and are better for your kids than sugar-laden cookies that some airlines pass out.

  • Stretch Their Legs

A long-haul flight will have even the oldest of adults feeling restless, so imagine how your kids feel being cooped up in a chair for hours on end. To make things easier, get your children up for a walk up and down the aisle. If they’re balanced enough, you can even help them through a few stretches that will loosen up their muscles and make them more comfortable for the rest of the flight.

  • Fill in a Travel Journal

For older kids, a travel journal might just be the perfect way to stay busy — and a great low-tech option for in-flight fun that will keep them occupied during your flight. In it, your kids will write about what they hope to see and do; on the way home, they can draw pictures of what they saw or file away ticket stubs from all the places you went. Even better, you can probably find an inexpensive scrapbook to hold all of it, so a new travel journal for every vacation — and for every kid — won’t break the bank.

  • Pack Play Doh

An airplane doesn’t seem like the right place to play with Play Doh, but think about it: your kid will have a small table at the ready, and it’s the perfect surface for squishing, rolling and building with Play Doh. Just be sure you bring along a cleaning wipe so that flight staff doesn’t have to clean up after a glittery or otherwise colorful mess.

  • Make a List and Check It (At Least) Twice

No matter how you plan to distract your kids on an extra-long flight, you won’t be able to do it without a well-thought-out plan for packing. So, make a list of everything your kids could possibly need on the plane and put it in your carry on: medications, Band-Aids, extra sweaters and socks, extra clothes (for messy eaters), extra games, batteries, chargers… Having a well-organized arsenal of supplies will make it so much easier to assuage any on-board needs your kids have.

There’s no right or wrong way to entertain your kids. Whether they like books, tablets, soft toys or sleep, you know what to bring to keep everyone happy. The above tips are just meant to make that process even easier and lessen some of the stress that comes with family travel. So, pack up, plan well and get going: it’s time for family vacation, all of which will be a great time for everyone in your brood.   

Kacey Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. 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 and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

A family ski trip can make memories that last a lifetime. I’ve made several of these ski trips with my family over the years once they were old enough all were adventurous and memorable.

Family ski trips, when prepared for properly, provide quality time with the kids and allow for a break from everyday stressors that build up for everyone, even the young ones.

Preparing for a family ski trip thoroughly enough so that the trip goes well but not overly stressing about every detail is a fine line to walk but it’s important to get things planned so that snafus don’t pop up on your trip and you end up stressing on your trip or even worse, having to cut it short.

Here, we discuss tips for preparing for a family ski trip that I’ve found helpful when planning trips with my own family. If you are new to skiing, watching some YouTube videos and reading some intro to skiing guides can help.

Choose a Location

The location you pick for your first family ski trip might be different from subsequent ones. For your first voyage, you might want to stick close to home, but you might plan on being more adventurous if you want to take another.

You also want to make sure there are ski trails that fit your family’s skiing experience – have they already been on rope tows and small bunny hills in the neighborhood or have they never seen snow before?

Make a Checklist

Weeks or even a couple months before you plan to go on your trip, you will want to make a checklist of two things: one list of stuff that must be done before you leave and one list of things to bring.

You will undoubtedly think of things to add to these lists as time goes on and you will be accomplishing things on these lists so keep them updated frequently.

Clothes to Bring

You will need clothes that are warm to wear in the lodge, you will need clothes to layer while on the mountain – as it gets warm as you are getting your workout in skiing – and you will also need clothes while you are lounging in the room.

This may seem like a lot to bring when you have a whole family with you, but it is important that everyone be comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable, the ski trip isn’t going to be fun, and no one is going to want to do it again.

Rewards for the Kids

If you are planning your first family ski trip, it’s important to keep the kids motivated, and positive reinforcement can go a long way. Whatever you usually use to reward your kids can be used now to: keep up good behavior on the trip, encourage them to practice the new skills they learn during ski lessons, and reassure them when they attempt new skills and they need to attempt again until they get it right.

Comfortable Gear

Just like with the clothes, comfort is everything. The wrong gear can not only be uncomfortable but can cause pain or even injury. It can cause what was planned as a fun trip to turn into a bad experience for the whole family.

Make sure that if you purchase your gear that it is fitted properly in the store before you walk out with it. If you rent your gear and your kids are complaining about comfort or are in pain, you should go back to the rental location and exchange it for gear that properly fits.

Rest Often, Eat Well

Kids will tire easily when on the trails so it is important to bring them into the lodge to take breaks when needed. Bring snacks with you so the kids can have something to munch on if they need a little nourishment without needing to come in.

When you are done for the night, make sure that everyone gets a good night’s rest and make sure everyone is eating properly at mealtimes. Skiing is hard work and takes a lot out of you, especially the little ones.

If you prepare for a family ski trip well in advance, make sure you have planned everything properly and have everything you need with you for the trip, it will go off without a hitch, and everyone will have a great time.

Have fun making memories with your family just like I have and countless other families have done. It’s the perfect way to get away from “real life” for a bit to spend quality time with the family.

Planning a family ski trip doesn’t have to be stressful if you take one thing at a time. But if done properly and thoroughly you will enjoy your trip much better, being able to relax with more time with the family. Enjoy your family ski trip!

Vienna is one of those destinations that we don’t really imagine doing with kids. That’s mainly due to the common thought that Vienna is first and foremost a city of history and culture. Most of the buildings still retain the imprint of the famous men and women who have traveled through it, and the smallest stone still resonates with the compositions of its greatest musicians.

However, the capital of Austria is renowned for its quality of life and for its tradition of welcoming children. Austrians often offer them a privileged place with, for example, special visits or adapted entertainments.

Arts, architecture, music, history, leisure … the city has multiple surprises for the whole family. You will find below all my best plans to enjoy your stay in Vienna with kids.

Schönbrunn Palace

There is so much to do at Schönbrunn that your main problem will be to choose where to go! To the right of the main entrance of the palace, there is a program of activities for children, which includes the possibility to dress like a royal child. Kids will learn differences between royal children and the ones from the middle class, as well as what children ate and toys they were playing with during the imperial era.

Don’t miss the beautiful palace gardens, perfect for a walk. If you’re lucky enough, you may even see several squirrels coming close to you.

Inside the gardens you’ll find a maze suitable for kids of all ages. There is even the possibility of climbing on an artificial wall!

Located on the Schönbrunn Palace’s lands, you’ll also find the oldest zoo in the world. Founded in 1752 and renovated several times, the Schönbrunn Zoo is a very fun and educational place. If your kids like a particular animal, check out the meal times and they will be able to admire them better.

More info: https://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/

Prater, Vienna’s Amusement Park

The biggest public park in the city is one of Vienna’s must-see stops for kids. The Prater is one of the most impressive and oldest amusement parks in Europe. From the Ferris wheel – the Wiener Riesenrad, symbol of Vienna inaugurated in 1897, your family can admire a breathtaking panorama of the city. Attractions here range from ghost trains to bumper cars: perfect for a day or evening out with the whole family.

More info: http://www.prateraktiv.at

Walking through the City Center with a Free Tour

Never done a Free Walking Tour before? Well, this is a perfect activity to do with your family. Unlike traditional tours, Free Tours guides receive tips based on their performance, which means that they are usually very entertaining, perfect for kids. Moreover, Group Tours often have a slow walking pace so that everyone can follow.

There is plenty of Free Tours you can do in Vienna, using kick bikes, focused on the city center or on street art. I recommend you to do the free tour as one of the first activities when arriving in Vienna. In a two hours’ time, you will be able to have a good overview about the city and what it has to offer for the next days. Most of best attractions of the city are included in a Free Tour of the city center such as Mozart House, State Opera House, Albertina Palace, Stephansplatz Square and many more. Don’t hesitate to ask your guide at the end of the tour for practical advises for things you would like to do in Vienna.

More info: https://www.guruwalk.com

Kids-friendly museums

As said at the beginning, there are plenty of museums adapted to kids. Here are some of best recommended:

  • House of Music (Haus der Musik):

Located at the palace of Archduke Charles, in the heart of the old city, the House of Music is a fabulous place to understand the world of music and sounds in an interactive way. You’ll explore the Austrian musical heritage and will have a lot of fun with the many interactive screens and musical objects available. The museum also features historical documents, costumes and other personal belongings from famous musicians such as Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven.

More info: http://www.hausdermusik.com/

  • Wax Museum

Always fun with kids, even if expensive, this museum displays a collection of famous people frozen in the wax forever. If you want to meet Einstein, Lady Gaga or more local celebrities such as Sisi, Mozart or Gustav Klimt, this is the right place to be.

More info: https://www.madametussauds.com/vienna/en/

  • Natural History Museum Vienna

Paleontology, dinosaur’s skeletons, precious stones, rare insects, meteorites and invaluable pieces of archeology … Treasures from Kings Collections, Explorers’ findings of past centuries… All of this is very fascinating and not only for children.

More info: http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/en

Have a break to try the best pastries in Austria

After walking hours in the city center or in the Schönbrunn gardens, I think your family would need a sweet break. There are a lot of famous Cafés in Vienna in which you could try ones of the best pastries in Austria.


One of them is the apfelstrudel, a traditional pastry made of apples, dried grapes, cream and cinnamon and best served hot with a vanilla ice cream ball on the top.

Another famous one is the Sacher cake. If the Schnitzel is famous, this cake is already international. It is an amazing chocolate cake that hides a layer of jam inside and also served with a dash of cream. There are no words to describe its taste, kids will love it. You can try it at the Café Sacher Vienna, the original place of Sacher Cake.

I would also recommend the old and authentic but expensive Demel Café.

I hope you found interesting this overview of the best things to do in Vienna with kids. Vienna is a city constantly moving with an amazing past. The Austrian capital is definitely a destination to do with kids and will guarantee you a wonderful experience for the whole family. Please, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Malta is a spectacular holiday destination that attracts thousands of tourists, from all corners of the world. It is affordable and easily accessible to both independent tourists and traveling groups. The best time to visit Malta and Gozo is April/May or September/October. In case you dream of enjoying the tranquility offered by the island, it is best to visit Malta in the off-season. This is the time when the sites and beaches are less crowded. You are also likely to get better deals on flights, hotels and accommodation during this time.

All tourists may require some advance preps before coming to Malta. Make sure you gear up to manage any unexpected or unfavorable conditions on the island. Nonetheless, Malta is a favorite destination for all beach fanatics as the island offers plenty of diving sites. It doesn’t matter if you are a traveler, a photographer or a food lover, there is a lot to experience in Malta, Gozo and Comino. There are several attractions to make your journey memorable. Here are ten things to do and places to visit while you are on a trip to Malta.

  • Dive in the World-Famous Malta Beaches

Malta hosts one of the world’s most stunning sand beaches. Amateurs and first-time divers should beware of rocks, stones or caves under the crystal blue waters of the Maltese beaches. When you are going for a walk, wear a good pair or beach shoes to wander around smoothly. This way, you will be able to move around comfortably and not feel fatigue or excess strain.

  • Rent Quad Bikes

It helps to rent a car, a jeep or make it on foot when you are on vacation in Malta to explore the place. However, the famous quad bike takes your experience to another level. You can also travel to more places in less time. A quad bike will help you to reach out to even those areas where you cannot easily go to by a jeep or a regular car. This opens up more locations that you can explore.

  • Experience Life in a Farmhouse

To enjoy the true essence of Gozo, you can also skip the hotels. In order to enjoy a great atmosphere, while being at Malta can be offered by a traditional farmhouse. A variety of farmhouses in Malta and Gozo provide a luxurious accommodation experience, which is not less than any five-star hotel. Enjoy your stay in a lavish farmhouse that features huge bedrooms, in-ground pools and private suites with all necessary amenities. These farmhouses offer incredible views to guarantee joyous memories.

  • Explore Calypso’s Cave

This historic beauty is roughly 2,700 years old and is known for being cited in The Odyssey, an epic by Homer. Although, we don’t know if it’s true or not, but the view you get over the red sands of Ramla Bay will make you fall in love with it instantly. You have to see it to believe it!

  • Stay in a Hostel

There are some famous and well-maintained hostels in Malta. Most of the hostels are smaller and may have a few private rooms. However, back-packers can also look for a top hostel to book a room in advance. This way, they can avoid last-minute adjustments or hassle during the trip. Some independent travelers also benefit from different accommodation alternatives. Select the option that fits your budget and suits your taste.

  • Travel around Valletta

Valletta is famous as a UNESCO World Heritage City. The capital city also offers lively shopping, dining and retail opportunities. The great religious buildings, including St. Catherine, are proof of the rich architectural history of the region.

  • Enjoy a Fish Dinner at Marsalforn

Marsalforn is a village on the north coast of Gozo. It is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago and features the island’s best fish cuisines. All travelers must try fresh fish (caught on the same day) at any of the exotic restaurants. It will taste better than any fish you have ever eaten in your life. A whole host of restaurants in Marsalforn offer a delightful traditional dinner to close the day.

  • Visit Comino

Your trip to Malta would be incomplete without visiting Comino. For all backpackers who are interested in camping a night under the Comino sky can stay on a camping site on Comino. Just set up your tent and enjoy the beautiful island by day and night. Travelers need a boat to get to Comino. It offers exciting diving, snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities to local and foreign diving enthusiasts.

  • Plan a Destination Wedding

Maltese cuisine offers one of the world’s most exotic flavors. The island is famous for boasting hundreds of top class chefs and restaurants. Wedding caterers arrange fairy-tale weddings with mouth-watering menus that incorporate innovative recipes to reflect the traditional Maltese cuisine. There are tons of wedding venues to choose from, as Malta never disappoints anyone. You can hold your wedding in many hotels, historic venues or churches for a dream-like wedding. Many sites offer breath-taking harbor views for everyone to enjoy and remember.

Final Thoughts

Although Malta is a tiny island, is offers several unexpected surprises for global tourists. There are many affordable and comfortable accommodation options, dozens of festivals, prehistoric monuments and attractive beaches in Malta, Gozo and Comino to please all kinds of travelers.

About the author: Elena is a travel blogger and scuba diver by profession at Atlantis Gozo. During the shoulder months of winter, she enjoys travelling to exotic places and painting.