Monthly Archives: August 2017

Selecting A Family Travel Destination: No Need To Forgo Hip Or Charm

Small hotels are adapting to family needs, and becoming an attractive alternative to resorts and large hotel chains.

Out of guilt or a need to maximize the amount of time we spend with our children, we have convinced ourselves for years that a family vacation requires sacrificing the interests of the parents to satisfy the needs of the kids. Thus whether traveling half way around the world or driving a mere two hours from home many of us are heading to the same location: a child-friendly resort.

This need not to be the rule. Many independent hotels and lodges have discovered how to make an adult environment work for kids and may be more child welcoming than those that bill themselves as child-friendly.

Not surprisingly, smaller hotels, inns and lodges – many of them luxurious – are leading the pack. The atmosphere is cozy and the service, more personalized. In addition, your family will probably get more exposure to the local culture – not to mention cuisine – in a smaller hotel than is possible in a big international resort.

Children profit the most. Many cultures embrace kids. Thus a large part of the experience in countries such as Argentina and Turkey is the interaction with the locals. Exploring other cultures provides children with a unique education; it broadens their horizon and helps them to learn more about life.

Things to keep in mind

• Some smaller hotels may not offer round-the-clock service or traditional in-room services, such as minibar, tv and video games but are likely to be more spontaneous, warm your baby’s bottle with a smile or offer your child a dish that is not on the menu.

• Children’s meals may mean that kids are not allowed in the dinning room. Aside from providing parents with a reprieve, kids-only meals usually offer food they like and give them a chance to make new friends.

• No kids clubs. Relax. While it may take a day or two and a bit parental encouragement, kids will rediscover how easy it is to make friends and create fun, on their own.

• If the environment is relaxed, children will be relaxed as well.

• In a smaller hotel, you are likely to feel comfortable allowing your kids to explore on their own.

Rules of thumb

• Review the hotel’s website. Find out if it belongs to a local or an international association. Is it recommended by your travel agent or a leading tour operator? Has it been rated?

• If the website does not mention children, they may not be welcome. A telephone call or email will avoid unwanted surprises.

Selecting The Destination For Boat Travel

Once you have decided that you would be taking a holiday on a cruise, sailing through small cities and ports, your next step would be to decide on which cruise you should opt for. One is spoilt for choice with the luxurious spread of boat trips that one can choose from. Knowing about a few simple trends and measures, could help you choose that perfect ship which would be ideal in every respect for you and make your journey a memorable one.

Decide on the time span of your boat travel. Do not plan a long voyage if you have little time available on hand. Visiting one or two ports over a period of three to four days could be cheap. Fellow passengers on such cruises are likely to be youthful, partying kinds. Short, week-long cruises are more popular, and comparatively cheaper, they usually visit more ports of call. However, seven days, can pass by soon and you might still have fellow passengers who are party animals. Cruises which are longer than a week visit more ports of call and in locations more exotic, like the Mediterranean or the South of America, though your co-passengers are likely to be more restrained. The cost and time involved in such cruises hamper more people from opting for them.

While making your decision, do keep in mind your budget. You have a large range to choose from and you are sure to find one that fits your choice. Web sites and travel agents could offer you great deals at low prices. Be aware of port, cruise cancellation insurance, and airfare charges and whether your cruise is charging you for them or not.

Apart from time and money there are other factors which you should consider before selecting on something suitable. Time of travel, ability to carry out your hobbies, and the number of ports you want to visit, should also be considering factors. There is nothing as frustrating as being stuck at sea, while you are sailing past through beautiful islands. Some places are easily accessible and sometimes more popular during the winter; Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal, are such destinations; but visitors should be careful of hurricane seasons. Again European and Alaskan cruises are usually not available during winter months.

Incase you have other preferences apart from that of money, time and itinerary; consider them before you zero in on a particular choice. Though differences between different vessels have been lessened over time, there are a few which are better and much more luxurious than the others. Evaluations of cruise ships are available online as well as in travel journals, ask your travel agent or talk to friends.

As a conclusion, remember that, scouring the available options for your next cruise however is not the time to give up what you actually want; be it an opportunity to watch whales in Alaska or have your hair braiding done in Nassau.