The transition from being a solo traveler, or traveling with a group of friends to becoming a parent traveling with small kids can be confusing for some people. I remember that back when I traveled alone packing was left to the last minute; it was a 2 hour process. Now that I have a husband and two boys packing can take 4 days or more.
No matter how much experience you have, there is always something. It seems almost impossible not to forget something. But I’ve ALMOST got the hang of this packing business.
This is how we breakup responsibilities: My husband looks out for himself and I do the rest! Believe me; this is better than it sounds. The packing process is faster if I take care of the kid’s stuff.
The first thing I worry about is having the right clothes for the destination we are about to visit. If I think I need anything I go to online stores like alexandalexa. Once I am sure that our clothing will be weather appropriate I move on to actually packing.
Here are some of the things, aside from clothes that I pack for my boys if we are going on a long weekend trip:
- Cleaning cloths and bibs
- Water bottles
- Sippy cup with water or juice
- Baby wipes
- Sun screen
- Tylenol for Kids
- Saline solution for nose drops
- Fruit and snacks
- Portable dvd player and videos
- Kid friendly camera
- Drawing book or coloring book and coloredSnacks – cereal, cookies
- Ipod/mp3 player
This is just a quick list of must haves for traveling with my boys. I’m sure the list will be different for every family. But I hope this gives you an idea of some of the things that you might need for a family vacation.
One of the great things about holidaying in a new country is the discovery of local delicacies and tipples. That is why exploring Central and South America is such a cool thing. But there are tons of other destinations you can visit after you have finished with this side of the world. How about Crete for a diferent kind of adventure? If you’ve taken a cheap holiday to the Greek Islands before, no doubt you’ve come across local wines and spirits and endured a hefty hangover to boot.
Photo By: Ole Husby
Most certainly you will have enjoyed many a glass of Retsina or Domestica which constitutes local wine and definitely Ouzo. You’ve possibly even found a glass of Metaxa in your hand when ordering spirits on an all inclusive holiday too. That’s because all inclusive holidays provide unlimited supplies of the local stuff and branded wines and spirits incur a surcharge. But sometimes these ‘happy accidents’ help you to develop a real taste for the local stuff. You may even find yourself stocking up in the airport on your return home. Stranger things have happened.
When in Crete
On holiday in Crete you will more than likely come across the fiery raki known as Tsíkoudia in these ’ere parts. Made from grape skins leftover from the wine making process, this clear and innocent looking drink packs a punch and will definitely warm your cockles. It’s customary to offer this local tipple to guests, so don’t be surprised if it is thrust upon you in bars, tavernas, hotels and even in shops. Shopping never looked so good. In fact it’s a great way to persuade reluctant shoppers that an afternoon traipsing around the shops is the best way to spend your time.
The art of drinking
If you’re not familiar with this drink it’s probably advisable to take it slowly on your first encounter. Sip rather than drain your glass in one, well not until you have got the measure of the beast. It’s also okay to only have the one, although Cretans will encourage you to have more. We’ll leave that to your better judgement but fear it will fall on deaf ears. Well you are on crete holidays after all and this is the perfect way to blend in with the locals. You may even find you are a natural when it comes to Greek dancing too. We can’t wait to see the photos.
Manhattan is a huge city with an unstoppable energy. There is always some exciting event going on. This city is home to landmarks known around the world. It is divided into neighborhoods, each has particularities that make it special, and it is the combination of all of these that make Manhattan such an especial place.
10 of the Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan:
Photo By: Mohib Ahmad
1. Wall Street – This is the financial district of New York City, one of the most important ones in the world. Until 1996 it was just a bunch of office buildings, but now a fifth of the buildings have been changed into living areas, making it a true neighborhood.
2. Greenwich Village – It is a residential area located between Broadway, and the Hudson River. It used to be a village outside of New York but became part of the city as it grew, and is now considered a historic district.
3. East Village – This village is also known as Alphabet City, it is formed by many other smaller neighborhoods and is the center of the counterculture of New York. It is also the birthplace of movements like punk rock.
4. Soho – Also known as the Iron Historic District, this neighborhood consists of 26 blocks. This part of the city is a place that you should visit if you like art galleries and shopping.
5. Chelsea – The neighborhood contains significant examples of period architecture. It is mostly residential and its few businesses reflect the ethnic diversity of the city. Its western side is also famous for its art galleries.
6. Meat Packing District – It started as a small place with a few families selling meat and dairy at the Gansevoort Market. It is still a small place but is now known as the most fashionable district of New York.
7. Midtown – This is New York’s largest business district, where you will find iconic places like the Empire State, Chrysler Building, The United Nations headquarters, Broadway, Rockefeller Center and Times Square.
8. Upper West Side – Upper West Side is an upscale residential area with a reputation of being Manhattan’s cultural, intellectual and artistic center. You will find it between Central park and the Hudson River.
9. Upper East Side – It is the community with the higher population density in the city and is the place where you will be able to find museums that are famous around the world. There is a string of museums along Fifth avenue.
10. Harlem – This is a large neighborhood that was founded in the 17th century and became a world renowned center of the African-American culture. It is also home to tons of Landmarks that have been declared Historic Places.
Each of these 10 neighborhoods in Manhattan offer days filled with things to do and places to visit for travelers and locals. So make sure to visit at least a couple the next time you visit New York.
Manhattan is a huge, incredibly busy city in the US known around the world for its shopping, restaurants, nightlife, museums, show business, fashion, historic landmarks and much more!
There isn’t a dull moment in Manhattan, in it you can find tons of different things to do and see. It’s all about finding the right things for you. This is definitely a place everyone should visit at least once in their lives!
Photo By: Grufnik
What To See in Manhattan:
1. Empire States Building - This is one of the most famous landmarks of Manhattan. It is a 102 story building and was the world’s tallest building for over 40 years. Now it is one of the seven wonders of the modern world and a cultural icon.
At night you can see it illuminated, the colors vary depending on the season or holiday. For an experience that will blow your mind visit the observatory on the 86th floor. You won’t believe how amazing the view is!
2. Statue of Liberty - This colossal sculpture is probably the first thing that pops into people’s heads when New York is mentioned on a conversation. It was given to the US as a gift from France. The statue has been closed and re opened to the public many times, it is currently closed, but visitors will be able to visit it again on July 2013.
It sits in Upper New York Bay and stands on liberty island to greet all of the ships that come through it.
3. Columbus Circle - This is another major attraction of Manhattan. It was named after Christopher Columbus and is the point from where distances are measured in New York. In the center it has a monument that commemorates the landing of Columbus in Americas. Its construction was finished in 1905.
4. Central Park - This is a huge, 778 acre, public park in the middle of Manhattan that was designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is the most visited urban park in the US and with good reason. It is a beautiful place, worlds apart from the surrounding city, with hiking trails and small lakes in the middle of a large area of woods.
You can spend lots of time having fun in it!
5. Lincoln Square - This is an elegant neighborhood of New York and a great place for people looking for cultural activities like theater, dancing and music. If you are an opera lover, you don’t want to miss it!
6. Penn Station - This is a huge train station that receives around 300,000 passengers every day, the busiest one in North America. Even if you are not taking the train it is worth visiting it. It is a great way to see how people of New York go from one place to the other.
Lately is seems like more and more US citizens are leaving the country looking for a simpler life in a warmer climate. This is not just a vacation, but a new long-term life change, a new-start with a different career, or to continue with your business abroad. One of those places is Costa Rica. It is a tropical country with tons of natural beauties, tropical weather and kid friendly people, the safest of Central America. Ideal for keeping a good work/life balance, here is a list of suggestions may help to make the big decision of uprooting even more appealing.
4 Things to do for Expats in Costa Rica for summer:
1. Hit the Beach: This is one of those things that you HAVE to do in Costa Rica. Here you will find gorgeous white sanded beaches that open up to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. On some of these beaches you can also find furry friends, like monkeys, playing around.
2. Fishing: You will find companies offering fishing adventures on both coasts of Costa Rica, and even in the Arenal lake region. These are two in one adventures, because to get to the fishing point you have to go on a relaxing boat ride along gorgeous blue waters.
3. Explore the National Parks: Costa Rica is known for having tons of national parks and protected areas that you can explore. In them you can find many different kinds of exotic animals as you enjoy the different eco systems. Being Manuel Antonio and the Arenal National Park a couple of the most popular.
4. Wander around the Central Valley: This is a region of Costa Rica where you find San Jose City and all of the museums and attractions that come with it. The central valley is also a place where coffee and volcano tours are available.
To be able to enjoy any or all of these experiences in a new home away from home, global medical insurance (Aetna International have more info here) for the whole family is probably an essential consideration to completely relax. So grab your sunscreen and go for a permanent family summer vacation to Costa Rica. You and your kids will not have a boring moment.