Family travel can be tough sometimes – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! The more often, the better, for experiences, education, memories and personal growth. Our family travels possibly too much, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Over the years we have developed these unique 8 essentials for making family travel easier.
About to embark on a March Break trip with kids, what makes it into the carryon bags is crucial. We’ve got the swimsuits, the loveys and airplane activities. We’ve got books, flip flops and first aid kits. But one thing I’ve just discovered has been added to the roster of travel essentials for us. The Philips goLITE BLU energy light is a portable light therapy device designed and clinically proven to help increase your energy level naturally and help fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), winter blues and jet lag. JET LAG. Do you know what’s worse? KIDS with JET LAG. I know. They’re like a cross between Gremlins and heavy rocks. Here are 7 ideas to combat jetlag in kids so the gremlin thing doesn’t happen.
It’s not every day you meet a guy named Snowy Joey and ski perfect glades wearing a personalised scarf deeming you to be a Babe. But over the Family Day weekend, my family and I did just that.
Explore Mount Baldy – ski over to the Mt. Baldy website for more.
Nestled between Oliver and Osoyoos, B.C., Mt. Baldy is an extinct volcano that looks like a bald guy without a comb over. At 1,722 metres ( 5,650 feet) above sea level, Baldy has the highest base altitude of any ski resort in Canada. With three lifts serving 395 metres (1,293 feet) of vertical, a new racing team, terrain park, snow cross course and robust social event calendar, Baldy is the name being whispered in conversations across the ski community.
After travelling to Beaches Resorts three times, both in Turks and Caicos and Negril, Jamaica, I’m convinced that despite these all-inclusive meccas providing being luxury-level vacations, they are also very budget-friendly. I have 7 awesome reasons why. In addition, there is freedom and relief when you arrive at a resort that gives the highest level of service and quality, and you need not open your wallet the entire time you vacation. It’s as if the relaxation has double the effect.
Whenever we go to Walt Disney World, we try as many hotels as we can. Visiting Coronado Springs Resort was super exciting, as the Invictus Games were being held at ESPN World of Sports while we visited and many of the athletes were on the property. I find that this is one of the beautiful things about Disney – you meet so many interesting people from all walks of life and can learn so much. My kids chatted with a British wheelchair volleyball athlete and watched him remove his prosthetic leg as they stood in awe!
There is a chance I may never scuba dive again. Because then I will be able to say “the last time I dove was in Bora Bora.” And really, with a drift snorkel jammed with vibrant coral and exotic fish directly next to Le Taha’a Resort, I have one less reason to don a scuba tank. (And one more excuse to visit this property again). For the record, we didn’t sleep at Le Tahaa, but I was given an extensive tour of the rooms, the pool and spa while also experiencing a spectacular lunch. I’d heard many mutterings about the Relais & Chateau – operated property on Taha’a, but had no idea how blown away I would be at the vistas and service until I approached the small French Polynesian island in the resort’s private shuttle.
Swamps, alligators, snakes, big cats and lemurs never get old, and if you find yourself in south Florida, tear yourself away from the shopping at Sawgrass Mills for a few hours to do a tour. Not only can you hold a baby alligator and pet some epic snakes, but there are many other rare animals to encounter. As a National Geographic Kids Insider, I have learned a bunch about big cats, but this is certainly the place to see them in person. I was pretty sad seeing them in cages, but hoped they get to roam and run freely as much as possible in order to keep the species healthy.
Even after visiting many schools in Liberia for Right to Play, I wasn’t prepared for what I would see when I did a similar outing in Jamaica. Maybe because Africa is farther. Maybe I equate the Caribbean with vacations. You see photos of soft beaches, tropical drinks and killer sunsets and think everyone must live a resort lifestyle. Whatever the excuse, it’s embarrassing that I’ve been so blasé and undereducated.
We don’t even need a gift to want to board a plane. But, well, ok. People who travel tend to know themselves and their world very well, so finding the perfect gift can be a challenge. I tend to favour minimalist packing, stylish plane attire, and good luggage. There are a few other traveler gifts on the list too…
After so many trips to Paris, I finally got the courage to venture underneath the city. The Paris Catacombs, in the 14th arrondisement is an underground ossuary that houses a collection of over 6 million burials – skulls and bones that were moved there in 1774 in order to solve the problems of crowded cemeteries and cave-ins. Mass graves at cemeteries like Saints-Innocents in Paris’s Les Halles district were overcrowded with bodies, and the improper disposal of corpses led to unsanitary conditions that contributed to the spread of disease. Hundreds of years of history can be gleaned from the skulls.
The village of Mont Tremblant is nestled in the Laurentian Mountains in Québec, Canada. It’s well known as a popular winter destination because of the fabulous Mont Tremblant Ski Resort. The village is lesser known as a summer destination, but it is a wonderful place to stay in the summer because of the numerous family activities available. The region is dotted with sparkling clean lakes, deep arboreal forests, and amazing mountain ranges.
Nearly everyone who comes to New York City makes a point of visiting Central Park. It is, quite literally, the heart of Manhattan, and any guide to NYC will direct you to explore this green oasis, which is so full of wonders, it can make you feel like a kid again.
But for those of us with actual children in tow, sometimes you just need the relative sanity of a fenced in playpark, where you can sip a coffee while the youngsters burn off some energy. For us, some of the greatest gems sprinkled throughout Central Park are the 21 different playgrounds—all 100% free, open from dawn to dusk, many of which have been renovated by the Central Park Conservancy over the last few years. As a resident of Manhattan since my children were two and three years-old, I’ve done some serious investigation of at least two-thirds of those parks and have whittled down my favourites to these five Central Park playgrounds.