How To Pack For a New-To-You Summer Vacation Destination

Most families that take vacations are used to knowing what to pack for the various vacation destinations to which they are traveling. In some ways, though the “same old, same old” may seem a bit dull to others, it does make for knowing what you actually need to take on your trip with you & what you are better off leaving at home.

The one rogue variable that can cause issues for families is having to pack for a trip to a destination to which they’ve never traveled. Not only are you not aware of what you may encounter, but you have to keep track of so many other variables. If you travel with kids, though, you may find that the newness of the destination and the preparation for it can be enough to throw them off, and this can be a nightmare for parents. What do you do?

Well, if you’re traveling somewhere this summer that’s new for the whole family, here are a few steps to take prior to leaving home that may make the transition a little easier:

1. Have A Family Meeting – Sure, this idea seems a little “sitcom”, but there is value in setting the whole family down for a meeting to discuss what your vacation will be like this time around. This means that a little research has to be done regarding the destination and what it has to offer, plus it never hurts to have some info on where you’ll be staying.

2. Put Together A Plan – Once you’ve established that everyone is on the same page, it’s time to get a plan together. You could make a general plan for the family, or you could make it specific to each member of the family. Make a packing schedule and, if possible, try to have another family meeting to discuss progress on the trip preparation.

3. Check the Weather – Don’t hesitate in checking the weather ahead of time so that you know what to pack for your trip. You can either check the local town’s chamber of commerce for a weather update (i.e., Red River, NM is a perfect example). If you’re still unclear on weather, plan for light layers so that you can either maintain layers if cold or shed layers if things get warm.

4. Have A Packing Checklist – Nothing will throw your trip into a whirlwind like getting to your destination and seeing that one of your kids packed only toys and candy for the trip. Each person should have a checklist as to what items to pack & should check them off as they go. You could even make it a game for kids if they need some extra motivation.

5. Relax – Travel experts often cite one thing to keep in mind for new vacation destinations – have fun & relax. Even with all the planning you have in place, things will fall through the cracks. Luckily, if you need it, there’s usually a place for you to replace it when you get to your destination.

A vacation should be a relaxing time, and even with a bit of a curve-ball with a new destination, always remember that summer vacations are the trips that are the most memorable. Make this new adventure be the best!

How to Choose the Best Hotel Suites for Your Family Vacation

Every family plans for a perfect vacation before travelling but sometimes their expectations do not always measure up. Of course, every parent wishes to provide their kids the dream holiday, but things can go awry if you don’t plan well. One of the most important aspects when travelling should be accommodation. Your destination might be scintillating but the quality of your stay will largely be determined by choice of accommodation.

Well, there are so many hotel suites to choose from in every destination. Finding the best can be a challenge especially if you are a first-time vacationer. To avoid ruining your trip due to poor choice of lodgings, below are some ideas to guide you:

Let The Location Guide You

The choice of location makes all the difference. Make sure you book a property near major attractions in the city. However, don’t go for facilities right in the middle of the city because they are noisy and have terrible traffic. Your choice should be guided by convenience, easy access, security and serenity.

Elegant Décor and Ambience

One aspect of travel that spices up the experience is fine dining and trying out exquisite cuisines. The hotel you choose should provide excellent on-site dining opportunities for everyone. The opportunity to order room service will make the whole family feel like royalty and who doesn’t enjoy a little pampering every now and then?

Kid Centred Features

Always choose hotel suites that are family friendly and to determine this, look for kid activities on the site. These facilities are designed with families in mind, which means they are safer for children to play around in. Better still, you can also get facilities that provide childcare options, such as babysitting albeit at an extra cost.

Elegant Décor And Ambience

If you really want to enjoy your trip, make sure you find a warm and welcoming place to stay. Such facilities feature attractive art and other handiwork everywhere you look and the décor is designed with luxury in mind. Such a setting provides the perfect serene setting for your family to relax when you are not out exploring.

Excellent Features

Excellent facilities define a good place to stay. The best properties go to extra lengths to provide excellent amenities on-site including complimentary W-Fi, fitness centre, swimming pool, in-room entertainment among others. The idea is to provide an idyllic setting for you to enjoy your stay.

Other factors to consider include flexibility in the pricing package, availability of breakfast, personalized services, up-to-date services and interiors, and hygiene among others features. Always seek referrals and recommendations from other families, read online reviews and testimonials and take your time to research the hotel you are booking.

Bicycle Touring As a Cheap Adventure Travel Alternative

Adventure travel has been increasingly sought after over the past few years, but as the economy has declined the generally expensive adventure travel packages have become less and less appealing. Few people would feel good about spending thousands of dollars to put a little adventure in their travel.

And here enters bicycle touring. There are several different types of bike touring around, from those totally organized and supported by a bicycle touring company down to those fully self-contained and supported by you, the tourer. Interestingly, the cheapest option (fully self-contained) also provides the most freedom and adventure.

It sounds too good to be true, right? You get more for less? But that really is the truth if adventure is what you’re looking for. Also, assuming that you go on a bike tour more than once in your life, then the one-time purchase of your bike (if you don’t already own one) and touring gear is a good, relatively cheap investment. The cost of your bike and gear, if you do some bargain hunting, can be less than the cost of a ticket overseas, and you get to use your bike and gear over and over again.

Designing your own adventure travel tour by bicycle can also allow to you stay close to home if you are on a really tight budget or a time constraint. Spending a few days cycling to a nearby landmark, national park, etc., would effectively cut your traditional transportation expenses to zero, or darn near to it.

The biggest expense you’ll have while on your adventure will probably be food; your body’s the engine and it needs gas. But as long as you are smart about what you buy and make sure not to eat a steak dinner with a couple beers every night, you are still going to come out way under the expense total of a normal adventure travel package.

So whether you are looking for some gap year adventure travel, a little taste of the slow travel lifestyle, or some way to throw a bit of cheap adventure travel into your life this year, give bicycle touring at try. And for all you new cycle tourers out there, there are plenty of cycle touring guides and tips on the internet to get you started. Good luck, and happy touring.