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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.

Selecting a family travel destination: No need to forego the hip or give up the 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.

What you need to know
· 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.

Shopping in Mexico: Tips for Travelers

Mexico is a wonderful place to visit and is known for its wonderful resorts, beaches, and rich history. It is also known for great bargains and exquisite boutiques. When visiting Mexico, many tourists are excited to browse through the various shopping centers.

When shopping in Mexico, it is important to understand that there are strict rules that are enforced regarding the purchases that can be made in Mexico, as well as what can be brought back in to the United States. Before you leave, it may be wise to review the United States Customs and Border Protection rules. These rules will let you know what you can purchase in Mexico and bring home with you.

Endangered species are not allowed to be purchased and brought back into the United States. Since Mexico has such a wide range of wildlife, there are many products that are available for sale there. Many of these products are considered illegal and will be taken by United States Customs and Border Patrol. You may be given a fine if you purchase these items and try to bring them over the border; however, additional action may be taken. When it doubt you are encouraged to stay away from wild animals that are for sale. In addition to the animals themselves, you should be wary of goods that may have been made by these animals.

Crocodiles are on the endangered species list. Though it may seem enticing to have a new pair of Crocodile boots or a purse, you should avoid these items at all costs. You will find that the government takes these violations seriously. They will make routine checks at inspection points looking for any items that are deemed endangered. Stuffed wildlife is also forbidden, so if you see any of these and they look appealing, resist the urge to purchase them and leave them be.

Mexican birds are colorful and exotic. For those who deal with live trade, it may seem that purchasing exotic parrots from Mexico is a wonderful idea, but you need to think again. Purchasing birds from Mexico is also considered violation. To remain on the safe side, you should avoid purchasing any wildlife or wildlife products. Even stuffed birds are against the law. Even you may see these in abundance at shops and street markets, do your homework, and pass them up. There are many other wonderful souvenirs that you can purchase that are legal and will pass through the border.

Antiquities and glazed ceramics are beautiful and appealing to many tourists. Yet, Mexico considers their antiques to be property of the government. This means that if you uncover any artifacts and try to bring them back to the United States, you will be prosecuted for theft and maybe even face additional charges. It is best to leave any authentic looking artifacts in Mexico where they belong.

Glazed ceramics look beautiful and may be a wonderful addition to your home décor. However, many of the ceramics made and found in Mexico are made with lead. It is for this reason that you should avoid purchasing glazed ceramics from Mexico. If you do make the purchase, you need to make sure that everyone in your household is aware of the potential dangers.

While it may seem as if you are prohibited from purchasing many items sold in Mexican shops, there are additional items that you can purchase. When shopping in Mexico it is important that you follow all rules and regulations. Staying on the safe side will ensure that you can enjoy you Mexico vacation without any complications.

Send Your Stress Away In San Jose? Yes, Really – Travel Information

Situated in the very south of the San Francisco Bay, San Jose is a beacon of technology, innovation and modern culture. With a population larger than that of neighboring San Francisco and one of the highest per family average incomes in the country, San Jose is the epicenter of Silicon Valley’s booming tech and dot-com business. Finding airfare to San Jose is also an excellent alternative for accessing the wonderful southern San Francisco Bay Area, including the beaches of Half Moon Bay, the wilderness of Año Nuevo State Reserve, and the halls of Stanford University.

A Hallmark of California Heritage

San Jose’s foundations go far deeper than just the modern tech industry of today; the affluent city is certainly not a sole anomaly of the 1990s dot-com explosion. Originally, El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe was established in 1777 as a Spanish colony central to Alta California. When California became a state in 1850, San Jose served as the Golden State’s first capital. The area surrounding San Jose remained largely agricultural until the transition of the 1970s economy established San Jose as the unofficial capital of Silicon Valley with the help of companies like IBM and Lockheed Martin.

Today, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the United States with the highest disposable income of any of those cities. Additionally, San Jose has been consistently ranked as the safest large city in the United States.

From Computers to Culture

The residents of San Jose have certainly invested a large amount of their time and money into public arts projects, municipal architectural innovations and an abundance of performing and classical art forums. They have also maintained a dedication to preserving their history, providing many more reasons to find your airfare to San Jose on cFares today. Downtown San Jose is bustling with exquisite fine dining, jumpin’ jazz clubs and some excellent boutique designer shopping. San Jose’s Center for Performing Arts invites you to indulge your senses with highly acclaimed shows ranging from ballet and symphony to opera and theater. While in downtown make sure to catch the one-of-a-kind Tech Museum of Innovation, featuring an IMAX theater, exceptional cutting-edge exhibits and hands-on activities to engage the children.

San Jose is the ideal starting point from which to explore the many beautiful regions of the southern peninsula and Pacific Coast. On your way out of town make sure to catch a sporting event at the HP Pavilion, which is home to the NHL Sharks and many Olympic trial events throughout the year. Spend an evening in a Bed and Breakfast along the Pescadero Coast and your way back, catch the sunset and explore the vineyards in nearby Saratoga.

From the founding history of California to the unknown innovations of tomorrow, San Jose has become a major center of burgeoning culture as well as access to the serene coastal communities that are characteristic of northern California’s Pacific Coast. Find airfare to San Jose and get your pass to all the understated wonders of San Francisco’s South Bay.