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Top 3 Summer Vacations for Families with Kids

November 8, 2017

Any parent who has ever had the misfortune of planning a family vacation that didn’t go over too well with the kids knows that it might have been better to simply stay at home bored, but that much richer. Too many times we plan family vacations based on what we think the kids will enjoy without taking into consideration their needs and desires.

Planning a Trip Everyone Can Enjoy

Yes, it’s your vacation time too, but why not choose something that the entire family will enjoy? You can actually spend much more time in leisure and less time battling ill-behaved kids if you plan a vacation that they will enjoy. According to some of the most well-respected trip sites online, children and teens alike enjoy time in the great outdoors. Forget those 5-star restaurants and Broadway plays in the Big Apple you’ve always wanted to visit. Are you looking for a bit of R&R? If so, these are the top 3 summer vacations for families with kids. Keep them happy and you might even have a few moments for yourselves as well!

1. Theme Parks

If there is one thing kids of all ages absolutely love, it would be all the amazing theme parks the country has to offer. From water parks to fantasy land and everything in between, there is no lack of exciting parks to enjoy throughout the year. It may be freezing cold in the Midwest in January, but South Florida or Southern California have water parks open 12 months out of every year. Take the kids to a theme park and you might even be able to wear them out enough so that you and hubby can enjoy an evening out on the town!

You’ll need a babysitter, of course, but that is easily remedied as well. Check out online listings of babysitters around the nation and you’ll see just how easy it will be to do a bit of mom and dad time while the kids rest for the next day’s fun in the sun.

2. Primitive Camping

Have you ever considered what it would be like to sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows with the kids, singing those same camp songs you sang as a kid and hiking through some of the loveliest forests this country has to offer? Most national forests and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands have free, or almost-free primitive campsites you can explore.

All you need is a tent large enough to accommodate the entire clan, some basic camping gear and a desire to leave the electronics behind. If you are not sure what kind of tent or gear you need, you can find all the answers you need on the My Family Tent website. If you are looking for a cost-effective vacation, this is your best bet.

3. A Trip to the Beach

Although booking a room on the beach might be a bit costly, especially during high seasons, most kids absolutely adore the beach. Whether they can swim or not, kids love to play in the sand, search for shells and sand dollars and wade in water that laps at their feet. Just remember to bring a high number SPF sunscreen along if you are not accustomed to being out in those blinding rays of the sun.

Taking a summer vacation with the kids needn’t cost an arm and a leg. From camping to spending a few days at a theme park, you can often find something that everyone enjoys well enough so that you have time (and money!) left over for mom and dad. It’s all about how you plan your next trip away, so start now and next year you’ll actually be able to say you had an enjoyable and restful vacation – maybe for the first time ever.

Travel

Does the Blue Hole of Belize Hold the Answer to What Happened to The Mayans?

October 31, 2017

It is not very often that a new scientific discovery provides possible answers to a mystery that has been puzzling historians for centuries. However, a recent analysis of the Blue Hole of Belize may well have done just that.

The Disappearance of The Mayans

The ancient civilization known as the Mayans are thought to have been one of the most advanced of their age. They had an impressive knowledge of things like astronomy, architecture, and agriculture. The Mayans returned to fame a few years ago, as some believed the end of the Mayan calendar prophesized the end of the world in 2012. Fortunately for us, either the Mayans were wrong, or their Doomsday Prophesy was misinterpreted, as life went on!

The Mayan civilization began around 2,000 BC, but then almost 3,000 years later, somewhere between 800 and 900 AD, the Mayans died out.

Clues to The Mayan Mystery Found by Researchers in Belize

There is no historical evidence of a war or conquest destroying the Mayans; they simply vanished. This is something that has been a mystery ever since. Now, over 1,000 years after their demise, researchers believe they may have an answer, according to a fascinating story published by Wall Street OTC.

While still just a theory, it comes from a careful analysis of the 400 feet deep, 1,000 feet wide Blue Hole of Belize.

Were the Mayans Forced Away by Drought?

By studying minerals taken from the bed of the Blue Hole and nearby lagoons, the research team, which included people from several universities working together on the project, discovered that there was a significant difference in the ration of aluminum and titanium around the time the Mayans disappeared.

What they believe this indicates is that there was a significant period of drought, which may have forced the Mayans to adopt a more Nomadic lifestyle and move further north.

Essentially, the drought could have been the result of an unusual weather phenomenon that caused normal monsoons to bypass the Yucatan region during that period.

As advanced as the Mayans were, like any early civilization they depended on rainfall and access to fresh water in order to grow their crops. A sustained period of intense drought could well have been enough of a disaster to cause their population to abandon their homes in search of a better climate.

According to one of the study’s members, Andre Droxler, the information gleaned from analysis of the Blue Hole of Belize also indicated that the drought did eventually end, with seasonal rains returning to the region. However, by this time the Mayans had gone.

While this is just one theory as to why the Mayans disappeared, it has drawn some interest in the scientific community. It also carries some weight, as a drought would have been impossible for a civilization of their type to endure for very long. We may never know exactly what happened to them, but this is a fascinating hypothesis!

Travel

Top 5 Countries to Retire to Abroad

September 28, 2017

After many years of hard work, it’s only fair that you get to reap the rewards of your hard work while you enjoy your retirement. If you’re planning on retiring and want to get the best value for your money, you should consider retiring overseas because the cost of living in some countries are very low and your money can be better spent there.

Retiring abroad has become so popular today, and Schofields Insurance revealed 57% of people would like to retire abroad. If you are nearing the retirement age and are considering spending your golden years overseas, we have compiled a list of the top 5 countries to retire overseas, which we listed below.

5. Spain

There are a few countries that are more cost effective to live in, but Spain makes it on our list because it has great infrastructure and one of the best health care systems in the world. The laid back atmosphere in the country is also a plus.

If you live on a budget, Spain is still ideal for you because a couple can live comfortably in one of the smaller cities for about $1900 a month, which includes rent.

4. Colombia

The first thing that comes to people’s minds when it comes to Colombia is the country’s reputation for drug cartels and regional conflicts that plagued the country for decades. However, those days are long gone in Colombia, and it has now become an attractive destination for tourists and retirees.

Colombia has a great climate, an excellent health care system, and most importantly, a low cost of living.

3. Costa Rica

When you’re looking for an affordable place to spend your golden years, it is tough to beat Costa Rica. You can live comfortably there for $1,000 per month. The health care system is also great and costs a fraction of what you would pay if you lived in the United States.

The country also has an incredible atmosphere with breathtaking landscapes and beaches which is great for active retirees.

2. Ecuador

Ecuador is not only affordable, it is also a place where retirees are more than welcome and are offered senior discounts. The real estate prices are also great for those living on a budget and a couple can live comfortably there for $1,500 a month.

1. Mexico

Like Colombia, Mexico has a reputation for cartels and other unsavory characters, but it tops our list because it is not only affordable, it is also a very beautiful country with plenty of benefits for retirees. There are plenty of seaside accommodations and expat communities to choose from, and a couple can live very comfortably in Mexico for $1,200 a month.

Travel

Four Reasons to Visit Vienna this Summer

April 28, 2017

Are you having difficulty choosing your 2017 summer holiday? While sun-kissed beaches and exotic far-off lands are the usual choice, why not change things up with a European city break instead? There are hundreds of places to choose from, but Vienna should be top of your list – especially with the dozens of events they have planned over the summer months. Read on to find out what that top four are…

A Summer Of Sounds

From June to September, the cultural hub of the Museumsquartier will be home to a brand new exhibition. Exploring the complex relationship of space and sound, artists and musicians will use a variety of art forms to communicate with their audience, from exhibitions and concerts, through to visual performances, installations and even hands-on workshops. Spread over three months, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s on offer, and there will be plenty of outdoor events for children too, such as the electric mini boat races in the pool of the museum courtyard.

The Nureyev Gala and other shows

Given that Vienna has such a rich history when it comes to music, the Vienna State Opera house is a hugely important building to the population. Each year, the director and former ballet dancer, Manuel Legris, stages a lavish ballet gala at his home. You’ll be able to see traditional interpretations of classic Nureyev choreographies first-hand if you manage to get yourself tickets for the event on 29th June. However, if not, you could always treat yourself to an opulent evening at the Vienna State Opera itself. This summer, you can see performances such as Rigoletto, Don Pasquale and Prince Igor – just make sure youyou’re your Vienna opera tickets well in advance to avoid missing out.

Donauinselfest

The annual Donauinselfest, or “Danube Island Festival”, is a classic Viennese summer celebration. Held this year from 23rd to 25th June, it’s Europe’s largest free open air festival, so it’s no surprise that tens of thousands of people make their way here every year. If you like to be at the heart of the action, this is the place for you, as dozens of international pop stars drop by for performances across the three days the festival runs. The best part? It’s all free to the public! With traditional Viennese cuisine on offer too, there’s really no excuse for missing out on this fun-loving event.

The Vienna International Dance Festival

The Viennese don’t just love music – they’re huge supporters of all performing arts, which is why they’ve come to hold their own globally renowned annual dance festival. For a whole month from July to August, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the art of modern and contemporary dance. Over 50 productions by around 500 dance and performance artists from all over the world, will take to the stage for your entertainment, and whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned dancer, you’ll be able to book on to your own week-long workshops too, to further hone your skills.

Are you heading to Vienna this summer?

Travel

Thinking of Moving Abroad? 5 Things You Would Miss The Most

February 26, 2017

Moving abroad is something a lot of people so each year. Some do it because their jobs require them to, while others do it because they need a change of scenery or just want to experience what life is like in other countries.

One of the most common things people that move overseas admit to is missing some of the things they left behind in their home country. If you are planning to move abroad, anytime soon, here are five things you are sure to miss.

5. The Language: This applies to people that move to countries where their national language isn’t used. If you speak English and move to an English speaking nation, you won’t miss the language. However, if you speak English and move to a country where the locals speak another language, you will have a hard time adjusting because you won’t have anyone to converse with if you don’t speak the local language.

4. Food: When you are in your home country, it is easy to take the local cuisine for granted, but when you are overseas, you might not have access to your country’s native food, which will cause you to miss the food.

3. Power: There are still some countries in the world without consistent energy, which is a problem if you came from a country with constant power like the United Kingdom. Companies like Flogas, which is an energy provider in the UK won’t be available, so you might have to buy a generator to power up your home.

2. Family: Even if you take your immediate family with you on your trip, you won’t be able to see other members of your extended family as you would if you were back home, which is something a lot of people who move abroad complain about.

1. Television: This might sound trivial to some people, but after being accustomed to watching certain programs in your country, they might not be available in the country you move to. If you are living in a country where they speak another language, not being able to watch something familiar is very frustrating. In this situation, you might want to invest in a satellite dish or try to stream your favorite shows online.

If you plan on moving abroad, it is important to understand that you will experience some of the things on this list. However, it is also important to know that a lot of the obstacles can be overcome easily, even learning a new language isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

Travel

Visiting Liverpool – Things To Do

February 7, 2017

Liverpool is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The city, which is also the birthplace of the Beatles, is known as the culture capital of Britain and has a lot to offer its visitors. If you plan on visiting Liverpool in the near future, here are some of the top things to do.

Philharmonic Hall

If you’re into classical music, this is the place to be. The Philharmonic Hall, which is located on Hope Street, originally opened in 1849, but a fire destroyed the old building. The new building was constructed in 1939, and is surrounded by the most decorated of Liverpool’s Victorian houses.

At the Philharmonic Hall, you can listen to classical music, jazz, blues, contemporary music, rock, and many more. The Philharmonic Hall also has a cinema screen where guests can watch classic movies.

The Beatles

You can’t visit the birthplace of the Beatles without visiting their old stomping grounds. The Beatles Story is a good place to start as you learn about the humble beginnings of the band members and how they became one of the greatest bands in the world. Since there is a lot to see here, make sure you allocate enough time to enjoy the trip.

You can also take a two hour bus tour that takes you through the old neighborhood the Beatles grew up in and the local pubs they frequented in their youth, including landmarks like Penny Lane.

Anfield

Other than being the birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool is also home to the Premier League’s Liverpool Football Club. Every year, fans from all over the world travel to Liverpool to pay visit Anfield, home of the Liverpool FC.

As far as stadiums go, Anfield is as revered as they come, and nothing beats being in a packed stadium with Liverpool fans singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Even if you aren’t a fan, it is something you have to experience at least once in your lifetime.

Liverpool ONE

You can’t go on vacation without doing a little shopping, which is why Liverpool ONE is the top destination for anyone visiting Liverpool.

Liverpool One is a great place to shop because a lot of major retailers have stores there. You can spend a few hours or the whole day there and you will have plenty to do. Liverpool One also has a lot of greatest Liverpool restaurants to choose from, a park the whole family can enjoy, and a pier to take a nice leisurely walk on.

If you want to plan your visit to Liverpool ONE and need some information on the services offered there, visit their website at https://www.liverpool-one.com/

Featured, Travel

How To Avoid Jet Lag When Traveling

September 5, 2016

If you travel a lot, jetlag can be very frustrating because your body isn’t in sync with the time zone you are in, which makes it difficult to get things done because you are fatigued and have trouble concentrating. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to combat jetlag, and we have listed some of them for you.

Before Travelling

One of the best ways to avoid jetlag is to prepare yourself before you leave for your destination. One of the most common mistakes people make while trying to avoid jetlag is staying up all night before their flight. Doing so only makes you more tired, which means you will fall asleep on the plane, which will affect you when you get to your new time zone.

From experience, the best thing to do before travelling is to try and change your sleeping pattern to fit the time zone where you’re going. This is very useful especially when you are going to a time zone that is only a few hours apart from yours. It is more difficult if you are going to a destination with more than a six hour difference.

Try booking your flight so you arrive at your destination during the day because it makes it easier for you to stay awake when you arrive and be more productive.

You should also try to have a flexible sleeping pattern. If you’re one of those people that have to be in bed at a certain time, it will be difficult to adjust to the jetlag, but if you are flexible about when you go to bed, the jetlag won’t be too much of a problem.

While Travelling

A lot of people make the mistake of enjoying a few cocktails while flying, however, the effects of alcohol can increase tiredness and dehydration, which will affect you when you arrive.

If your plane will land at night, make sure you avoid caffeinated drinks so you will be able to get a good night’s rest when you arrive. You should also try to drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration and avoid taking sleeping pills.

When you get on the plane, you should set your watch to the local time at your destination, which should get you psychologically ready by the time you arrive at the destination.

Arrival

Adjusting after reaching your destination is difficult, so try doing things when they do it at your destination. Eat your meals when the locals are eating instead of the time you would if you were at home.

Try to get as much sleep as you can in the first 24 hours because it will make you well rested and make adjusting to the new time zone much easier.

Featured, Travel

Top 5 Beaches On This Planet

September 4, 2016

Going to the beach is a great way to spend the day or enjoy a vacation, which is why millions of people all over the world can be found at the beach, especially during the summer. If you are planning a vacation to the beach, it’s always a good idea to know where the best beaches are, which is why we have compiled a list of the best beaches in the world, which are listed below.

5. Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

If you’re into surfing, it’s hard to beat Sunset Beach, which is considered one of the top spots for surfing enthusiasts, especially during the winter. The beach, which is home to the Vans Triple Crown, is popular during the winter time because the waves are very big around that time of the year. If surfing isn’t your thing, the water is great for snorkeling and other diving related activities during the summer because the water is as calm as a lake during the summer. The sunsets aren’t too bad either.

4. Matira Beach, Bora Bora

When it comes to beautiful beaches, it is hard to top the Matira beach, which is probably the most famous beach in Tahiti. The beach has a mile-long stretch of white sand that slopes into a shallow emerald lagoon. The beach also has palm trees and other tropical foliage that add a certain beauty to it.

3. Puka Beach, Philippines

This white sand beach is one of the top destinations in the world because of the beauty and the fact that it has a very lively party scene. For those that aren’t in the mood to party, the northern side of the Island, which is known as Yapak, offers some alternatives. There are stores selling souvenirs and jewelry, and the atmosphere is more relaxed and less crowded.

2. Blue Beach, Puerto Rico

This beach is one of the most popular Caribbean beaches, and it has perfect sand and crystal clear water that turns different shades of blue. The beach can be accessed by parking in one of the 21 turn-offs in the middle of the island’s National Wildlife Refuge, which used to be a U.S. Navy training base.

1. Pansy Island, Mozambique

When it comes to beaches, Mozambique isn’t one of the first places that comes to mind, but this beautiful beach is one of the few that remain under most people’s radar. The beach, which is very popular with divers, is mostly accessed through private lunch excursions arranged by resorts, and is most easily reached by air. If you’re looking for a beautiful beach to spend your vacation without having to deal with a lot of tourists, this is the place to visit.