Tips for Traveling with Children

Factoring in the needs of children in your travels is not easy. That’s because kids are not adults that can wait for what they need for some time. Children want to get whatever they ask for right away. Nevertheless, you can still travel with kids comfortably if you follow these tips. My friend that owns MT Gutters San Antonio shared the following tips for traveling with children.  

Take time

Don’t arrive at the airport in the last minute. Instead, take time to arrive at the airport because children need time for sightseeing. They want to explore whatever they come across at the airport. That means you must spend more time before you take seats in the plane.

Give kids a camera

Ensure that children have their own camera. This will make traveling more fun as they observe and document their surroundings in photos. It will also keep kids busy and minimize the disturbance that they would otherwise cause while traveling.

Prepare for climate

Make sure that children are dressed comfortably for the terrain and weather. Essentially, conduct some research of your destination to determine the most appropriate gear for kids.

Travel by public transport

Many kids love the idea of traveling by bus, boat, and train. Therefore, instead of hiring a car, use public transport if possible.

Use a child locator

Children are not fans of backpacks, reins, and other items that infringe on their freedom. Therefore, keep tabs on the kids at the train stations, crowded attractions, and airports with a locator. Essentially, a child should wear a unit that is strapped to their shoe or belt while the parent or guardian keeps the transmitter.

Pack all necessities

This is perhaps the major challenge when traveling with children. Basically, you should pack many clothes and have bags for stinky, wet pants and other items. Nevertheless, when you invest in the right bags, packing becomes easier when traveling with children. Therefore, take time to find bags that will fit more items that you will need while traveling with your kids.

Engage older children

Involve older kids while planning your travel. Ask them what they would like you to add to the travel itinerary or do. Their contribution will enhance their comfort and happiness throughout the journey.

Check passports

Passports for children last for five years only. Therefore, if you have expired passports for kids, renew them at least 4 weeks before the travel day.

Remember medication

As long as you are traveling with kids, you should have a first aid kit. Include plasters, painkillers, and antihistamines in the first aid kit. You can also carry anti-malaria drugs for children.

Keep children active

Make sure that children are always busy. For instance, encourage them to keep a journal where they list and draw the things that they see along the way.

If you plan to travel overseas with children, follow these tips to enhance your experience throughout the trip.

How to Travel with Necklaces

Smiling woman taking self-portrait with digital camera below Big Ben clocktower

Necklaces are among the most common types of jewelry that many travelers usually pack when going on adventures. Necklaces enable you to easily accessorize and maintain a sense of style without wearing very many outfits. However, necklaces can also be very delicate and risky, especially when you are on the road. Check out the following tips for traveling with necklaces. 

Pack Smart 

Depending on the material of your necklaces, improper storage can expose them to various forms of damage. Throwing them inside the clothes and other travel items randomly could end up ruining all of them even before they grace your neck. To make sure that the necklaces remain organized and pristine during travel, they must be separately kept in special containers or cases. 

If you cannot get custom jewelry cases, consider packing the necklaces in mint tins, pill containers or drinking straws. To avoid losing the necklaces and convenience during retrieval, you should pack them in a single place. Add some cotton balls in the containers to prevent the impacts of abrasion. 

Travel with Cheap Necklaces 

High-end necklaces are striking and easily noticeable from a distance. As such, they usually attract a lot of attention that could easily get you into trouble. Although you should not be intimidated by bringing your precious necklaces on the road, consider the risks of losing them. If you have to travel with necklaces, pack those that are not very costly. 

Instead of carrying too many necklaces, opt for a statement necklace that can easily match different outfits without losing its vibrancy. 

Conceal Your Necklaces 

Do not just go around exposing your necklaces to anyone on the road since that could make you an easier target for criminals. Whether the necklaces are packed in jewelry cases, pill containers, mint tins or any other container, make sure that they are safely stashed away in your carry-on or separate luggage. 

Traveling with necklaces usually comes with fears regarding how to keep them safe and in pristine condition during the trips. The above tips can help you to achieve just that. 



Do I Need Vaccines to Travel?

One of the fears of traveling across many countries is the possibility of contracting diseases. But, that should not stop you from traveling because they are ways to avoid such risks. Vaccines are recommended to protect travelers from serious health conditions when on the road. Depending on your travel destination, there are some diseases like yellow fever and measles that are very common in most parts of the world but, hardly found in the US. As such, getting vaccinated before your trip can provide better protection against these diseases.

Types of Vaccines for Travelers

According to the CDC, there are three categories of vaccines that every traveler should keep in mind when planning a trip. These include;

Routine vaccines: These vaccines are recommended for all US citizens and administered based on age, health conditions and other factors. They are the common ones administered to children but, also recommended for adults. Some routine vaccines like flu and tetanus are offered yearly or every ten years respectively.

Required vaccines: These vaccines are mandatory for travelers to enter into foreign countries but, the regulations may vary. Yellow fever vaccine is often the only mandatory requirement.

Recommended vaccines: These are vaccines that although not required for entry into foreign countries, are encouraged by the CDC to protect the health of travelers.

How to Determine the Vaccines to Acquire Before Traveling

Generally, all the above types of vaccines are important to ensure the health of travelers as well as the people that they will come into contact with along the road. However, there are a few things that you should consider to determine the necessary vaccines to always get before making a trip. The vaccines that you need for a trip will mainly depend on the travel destination, your state of health and the vaccinations that you have had previously.

Overall, vaccines are undoubtedly integral to the health of travelers and, should never be ignored in every trip. Travelers should get vaccinated at least 4 to 6 weeks before traveling.

 

Living and Traveling in RV- Things to Know

Over the last few years, many people have turned to traveling in RVs and vans. Although many people have traveled in RVs for years, websites for the sharing economy and online resources combined with modernization of RVs has led to the explosion of RV travels.

In the past, living and traveling in RVs was predominantly and traditionally an activity for the retired and older people. However, family travelers are now turning to RV travels. Here are some of the things that you should know before you decide to live and travel in an RV.

Know the Reason to Choose an RV Lifestyle

Determine why you want to travel and live in an RV. Is this something you have always wanted or did something prompt you to do it? You can also discuss your reason with family and friends. Also decide how you will earn a living while traveling in an RV.

Choose Your RV Carefully

Take time to learn about modern RVs. Also consider factors like what you want to do in the RV that you choose. For instance, do you need an RV that enables you to just travel or an RV that allows you to combine travel with work and quality time?  Such factors should help you choose the most ideal RV for your travels.

Know How RV Travel Will Shape Your Life

If your RV is not insulated, the prevailing weather will mostly shape your travels. This includes determining where you will travel to and when you travel. What’s more, RV travels mean finding solutions to obstacles and challenges that you face along the way.

Basically, choosing RV travels means embracing a different lifestyle. However, it can make you more confident and stronger. You just need careful planning before you make the decision to live and travel in an RV.

Useful Tips for Holiday Travels

Useful Tips for Holiday Travels

Holiday travel can be a bite expensive, stressful and crowded because many people travel at this time. When travelling during the holiday you might face some challenges.

Common among them include:

  • Delayed flights
  • Cranky travellers
  • Long lines at the check points

To avoid the hustles of holiday travel, follow these tips:

  1. Book Flight in a Less Busy Airport

People living near or in a metropolitan area have at least one major airport. To avoid the stress of booking flight in a major airport, go to a less busy airport. For example, if you live in New York, book flight from Westchester County Airport. Flights from smaller airports are cheaper and the airports are less crowded during the holiday.

  1. Travel at Night or Early in the Morning

Traveling late at night or early in the morning is convenient since most airports are not congested. Secondly, morning and evening flights are better because there are few delays. Traveling during the peak hour is hectic because everybody is in a hurry to travel at that time.

  1. Research Your Destination

It’s advisable that you research the routes that you intend to take. That’s because traffic can make your travel overwhelming and stressful especially when traveling with children. Take an alternative route to avoid traffic congestion. If possible, plan for a stopover to relax and have some fresh air.

  1. Pack Smart

When packing, make sure that you pack everyone’s favorites before leaving the house. Pack liquids, gel and paste in a separate bag to avoid inconveniences at the security checkpoint. Ensure that every liquid container holds 3.4 ounces. This makes work easier for the Transport Security Administration (TSA). Pack these items separately to speed up the screening process.

  1. Plan for Ground Transportation in Advance

To avoid stress and confusion after landing, plan for ground transportation since the airport can be crowded and busy. In most airports, you will get taxis and limos ready to get you to your travel destination.

Follow these tips to make your holiday travels less stressful and enjoyable.

 

Tips for Avoiding Hefty Bank Fees When Traveling

Tips for Avoiding Hefty Bank Fees When Traveling

Banking overseas entails more than putting a card into the ATM and accessing your money. Many people are slapped with hefty fees for credit card transactions after using ATMs abroad. Clearly, no traveler wants this. That’s why you should follow these tips to avoid hefty bank fees when traveling.

Eliminate ATM Fees

ATM fees vary from one country to another and one firm to another. However, ATM fees will add up to a significant amount when you use your card to withdraw money abroad. And, there is no reason to give banks the money that you need to travel. That’s why you should consider accessing your money through the Global ATM Network. This network comprises of banks that have waived their fees. They allow travelers to withdraw money via ATMs free of charge.

Avoid Credit Card Fees

Credit card transaction fee is another expense that you should avoid when traveling. In most cases, you will be charged a purchase fee of 3% when shopping overseas. This will also add up to a significant amount if you use your credit card for all purchases. To avoid credit card fees, use credit cards that have waived this fee.

Minimize Exchange Rate Penalty

Whenever you use a credit card overseas, the bank converts your transaction into the local currency for purposes of billing. It also takes a little amount for providing this service. As such, the official exchange rate that you see online may not be what you end up getting. To avoid giving the bank your money for this, use a credit card from a company that provides the best exchange rate.

You can also use ATMs. After credit cards, ATMs provide better exchange rates. On the other hand, money exchange bureaus have the worst rates. That’s because they also charge commissions.

Nevertheless, follow these tips and you will avoid hefty bank fees whenever you travel abroad.

Questions to Ask The Bank Before You Travel

Questions to Ask The Bank Before You Travel

Nobody wants to be stranded in a foreign country without money to spend. That’s why careful financial planning matters when traveling. Essentially, you should have enough money or easy access to cash while traveling.

Nevertheless, it’s important to notify your bank or your credit card company that you intend to travel to a foreign country. That way, your bank or credit card company will not decline the transactions that you make in a foreign country. But, there are numerous questions that you should ask your bank while notifying them about your trip.

Basic questions

  • Will I use my card in the country that I’m traveling to comfortably?
  • Do you charge additional fees for purchases and withdrawals made in a foreign country?
  • Do you charge a flat fee, a percentage, or both for transactions made abroad?
  • If my debit card or credit card is stolen or lost in a foreign country, what will be my liability?
  • Is foreign transaction or currency conversion fee tacked on?
  • What method can I use to contact you while abroad in case of an emergency?

Specific questions

  • Do you partner with banks in my tour destination?
  • Can I use the ATMs of your partner banks to withdraw money without paying additional fees?
  • Is there a daily withdrawal limit and can I change it if necessary?

These are some of the most important questions that you should ask your bank when planning a trip to a foreign country. Perhaps, the most important thing is to ensure that your bank knows that you will be traveling abroad and that you intend to access your money from there. In most cases, the bank will guide you accordingly to ensure that you will have easy access to your cash from your destination.

 

Why Travel Agents Remain Relevant in the Digital Era

When you come across adverts of travel companies that allow you to do vacation booking online, you may wonder whether travel agents are relevant in the current technologically-advanced era. Basically, even with the current trends of booking reservations and conducting research on travel destinations online, travel agencies represent a significant value.

Here are some of the reasons why travel agents remain relevant in the current digital era:

Travel agents act like the advocates of travelers

If anything goes wrong during a trip, you need help of a person with clout. A travel agency is generally concerned about its continued relationship with clients. As such, the best agency will do everything possible to ensure your ultimate satisfaction regardless of what happens.

A travel agent will save you money

This is actually the primary consideration for many travelers. Many people turn to do-it-yourself websites because they want to get value for money. But, using a travel agent saves travelers more money. That’s because travel agents have established relationships with hotels and cruise companies. These relationships enable them to get their clients better deals when it comes to booking reservations in restaurants and cruises.

Using a travel agent is more convenient

A travel agency provides a one-stop shop experience. That’s because a good agency has done extensive research and established connections that you need to have a seamless travel experience. Thus, coordinating every aspect of your trip becomes easier when you work with a reputable travel agent.

Travel agents are savvy than any individual traveler

A travel agent is educated about travel destinations. Actually, many travel agents have traveled to the destinations of their clients. They are also informed about global safety and tension issues. Thus, they help their clients get worry-free and enjoyable trips.

Generally, technology has made doing many things without assistance possible. However, this does not mean that experts in the travel industry are no longer needed. Travel experts make planning worry-free vacations easier. That’s precisely why travel agents remain relevant in the current digital era.

 

Why Most Travelers Book Trips with Travel Agents

When it comes to traveling, many people want to get the best deal on virtually everything. They look for the lowest prices on airline tickets, rental cars, and hotels. But to get the best deal on your trip, you should use a travel agent. Perhaps, you might be doing some research online and wondering why everybody is recommending this option.

Here are some of the reasons why a vast majority of modern travelers are booking trips with travel agents:

Low prices

Travel agents are specialists in the travel industry. They know when prices are high and low. They also know travel methods that will take you to your preferred destination at the most reasonable fee.

Better connections

Travel agents have better connections that you may not get over the internet. They work with tour guides, hotels, and airlines across the world. That means they can easily get you a better deal regardless of your travel destination any time.

Group discounts

When taking a romantic vacation or a corporate trip, a travel agent is likely to get you better discounts that when you maneuver alone. That’s because they conduct research to find the best deals for groups. They also find coupons for different services including hotel rooms and ensure that you get the best experience.

Flight rebooking

In case something unexpected happen leading to the cancellation of your flight, a travel agent will rebook it for you. Additionally, if you are unhappy with the rental car, the agent will take care of it. Thus, whenever a mishap arises, you always contact the travel agent to iron things out.

Best hotel deals and experiences

Hotels are very careful when working with travel agents. They want to ensure their satisfaction so that they can continue booking travelers with them in the future. Therefore, when you book a trip with a travel agent, you are likely to get a better deal and experience from a hotel than when you go there alone.

Basically, these are the major reasons why a vast majority of modern travelers are booking trips with travel agents. If you are planning a trip, consider them to decide whether to work with a travel agent or do things alone by checking out one of my favorite travel sites available here.  

When is it Wise to Use a Travel Agent?

In the current age, booking a trip online is like ordering a meal in a nearby restaurant. As such, it’s easy to assume that you no longer need a travel agent. What’s more, searching for the best resorts and hotels and booking reservations is now easier. But, does this mean that travel agents are no longer serving any purpose? Absolutely no! There are instances when it’s wise for a traveler to use a travel agent.

They include the following:

When booking during a peak travel time or holiday

When summer comes to an end, holiday is just around the corner. Therefore, consider booking early and if you must book at the end of summer, use an agent. A travel agent has important information that will enable you to get the best travel deal possible during the holiday and peak travel times.

When traveling in a group

Logistics are generally tricky when booking a trip as a group. However, travel agents can get your group a better rate with ease when booking a group trip. Additionally, a good agent will take the headache of organizing the trip away. You just need to share information about your group and needs with the agent and everything will be taken care of professionally and efficiently.

When booking a destination wedding or honeymoon

Wedding plans are generally costly and stressful. That’s why you should not plan your wedding and organize your honeymoon. Working with a travel agent will enable you to get what exactly you have been dreaming about. Basically, the agent will take pressure from you by handling the technical bits of the booking process.

When going on an international trip

Whether you are a seasoned international traveler or a first-time international traveler, working with a travel agent will pay off in the long run. The agent will handle passport and visa issues and facilitate your travel by simplifying things that seem hard.

When booking a cruise

A good travel agent will find deals that you might not have access to when booking a cruise. From shore excursions and drink packages to booking reservations at a restaurant, an agent will handle the nitty-gritty details that you are likely to overlook. An agent has connections with cruise lines that are likely to get you deals that you may not get alone.

When booking special interest trips

The focus of the best travel agent is to meet your specific needs regardless of where you want to go. The agent will go an extra mile just to ensure that you travel to the place that you desire and have the best experience possible. Thus, when making special interest trips, a good travel agent will match you with the right fit.

Basically, these are some of the instances when it is wise to use a travel agent. Nevertheless, you should use the best travel agent to get a great experience.