Never too old to get away: what to consider when an elderly loved one travels

More elderly people are traveling nowadays – and why not? All the same, there are things to consider if a loved one’s about to go on a long journey
Increasingly nowadays, owing to so many of us living longer, people are more active as they get older. Indeed, the elderly are also traveling far more than in years past and on their own – and why not? There’s no reason, so long as there aren’t serious health barriers to prevent it, why an older person shouldn’t embark on travel. Adventure in later life isn’t just enjoyable but can also be great for mental and physical health. And anyway, who has a right tell an older loved one what they should and shouldn’t do with their remaining years?

All the same, there are a few things to consider if your elderly mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandparent or friend is about to embark on a long journey…

Research

Whether your loved one is traveling alone or with others (or with you), it’s best to search for travel and accommodation options and to book them as soon as possible. This is because, for obvious ease of travel, you might want to aim for the most direct routes and/ or the shortest in travel duration. Plus, you’ll want to find and reserve suitable accommodation at the other end, of course.

 

Medication and supplements

It’s imperative to remember that, should the traveler be taking to the skies in a plane, all their prescription and over-the-counter medication is placed in a clear plastic bag. Plus, remember that that transportation staff have no obligation to help with medication, so you might want to suggest your loved one takes an alarm watch/ clock with them to alert them when they need to take their medication.

Additionally, it might be an idea for them (assuming they’re not used to traveling alone or even if they are) to try one or two supplements when they do so to ease the experience. For instance, One week flat Optibac (which may ease any abdominal bloating caused by trapped wind, food intolerance or stress) and Oxylift (aids natural body detoxification and gut cleansing) might be a good idea.

Security

Let’s be honest, elderly people can be a bit forgetful now and again; for instance, out of habit they may pop their wallet in their back pocket, forgetting they’re traveling somewhere unfamiliar where pickpockets will love nothing more than to pinch a wallet from someone’s back pocket. So it’s far from a bad idea for your loved one to use a money belt for cash, cards and valuables instead of a wallet or purse. It’s also a good idea to make sure they have a mobile phone – and that your number’s stored in its phonebook where they can find it.

Documents

Just in case the worst happens, it’s advisable for the traveler to have copies of any prescriptions they have and/ or statements of their specific medical conditions from their doctors with them. Also, it’s a good idea to have their passport, driver’s license (if applicable), travel insurance details, tickets and boarding pass (if available beforehand) photocopied to travel with them.

Aid at the airport

If your loved one’s using an airport and doing so on their own, you’ll want to make sure they receive assistance from the entrance right through the process of security, customs (if applicable), at the gate and on to the aircraft. There should be no extra cost for this assistance or wheelchair use, but be sure to request assistance before they arrive at the airport, otherwise its provision may not be possible.

Are they ready at the other end?

If the traveler will be making their way to family or friends, then it’s crucial their eventual hosts are prepared for their arrival and stay. They need to know what sort of support (or, if you prefer, caregiving) your loved one requires, as well as any particular dietary and medication requirements. Also, make sure they have all important travel insurance and legal documents with them should an emergency arise.

 

Portable travel bed for your toddler – critical tips for choosing the best

Any parent that decided to remain active after they world has been turned upside down when they brought a child into the world knows the struggle.

The struggle of trying to balance between the needs and wants of your child and Sisyphean efforts to keep doing what you love doing. Traveling, hiking, whatever it is, chances are your schedule has suffered.

But when the moment comes and you can finally start bringing your toddler on trips, it’s crucial that you know what you’re doing when preparing for the trip.

So, instead of learning from your mistakes, in this guide will address one of the most important aspects to plan – SLEEP.

sleeping while traveling

It’s hard enough getting them to sleep as is, let alone in strange new place on a different bed.

But if you play your cards right, they might end up liking the new bed more then they like the one at home.

So, let’s dive right in and talk about the one thing that can make or break your trip – the choice of travel bed for your kid.

We’ll be analyzing the pros and cons of three main styles of travel beds for toddlers:

  1. Air mattresses

  2. Foam folding travel beds

  3. Cots for toddlers

So, let’s dive right in, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Airbeds for kids

One of the most popular options, mainly because of its convenience, is a toddler air mattress or a blow-up bed as you might hear people calling it.

blow up mattress

Three main fortes of this choice include:

  • Easy to use, practical and pack small – they usually come with a pump that also deflates the bed, so they pretty much pack to the original size. They pack neatly and can easily be carried in a suitcase, which makes them convenient for air travel.

  • Safety – when we say safety here, we refer to two aspects. The first one comes from the fact that airbeds for kids usually come with side rails (see the image above) and that keeps even the restless sleepers from rolling over during the night. The other safety aspect is the concern about the chemicals – the industry of inflatable furniture has changed a lot during the last few decades and no hazardous substances are used in the production (the bed in the image above – Shrunks Tuckaire toddler is an extreme example of that – it is eco-friendly and chemical-free and it comes with an optional sleeping bag).

  • Easy to clean, doesn’t hold smell – if your little one is still prone to accidents, an air mattress without a flocked top but with a fitted cover (Aerobed usually makes this type of inflatables) is your best bet. That way, if a wet mishap happens, you can just throw the cover into the washing machine and clean the smooth surface of the PVC (something you can’t do with the two other styles we’ll talk about in a minute).

Potential negatives:

  • Plastic smell – not a big issue per se, you can resolve it by airing the bed out for a few hours ( a day in extreme cases) until the smell of plastic is gone. But it can be worrisome if you don’t know the facts, the plastic smell will be there (it’s PVC after all), but what’s important is to pick a product that explicitly says that it is free of phthalates and BPAs (the mentioned Shrunks Tuckaire is a good example of that)

  • Potential air leaks – you don’t want to see your child waking up on the ground if the bed deflates during the night and you certainly don’t want that kind of trouble on a trip.

There are three pieces of advice we can give you here:

One – don’t buy the bed a day before you go on a trip. Getting it a few days or weeks before will both give your child a chance to get used to it and give you a chance to see how the bed works and if it loses air.

Two – don’t rely on the patch kit that usually comes included. Instead, get yourself a PVC patch kit from your local store.

Three – go to the websites that carry them and read the air mattress reviews – who could be a better source of information than the people using the products today. Spending some time on websites dedicated to reviewing the airbed and chose the ones that are top-rated. A half an hour extra of your time here will mean night of your child being sound asleep.

Conclusions about inflatables mattresses for kids

An airbed is the most popular choice among portable travel beds for kids, and for a few good reasons that we listed above.

Still, before deciding to go with it, think about the nature of your situation and needs.

For example, if you need it for a night or two and will probably never use it again, a simple cot might do the trick. Also, if you can spare the extra bucks for the comfort of your child and they are accident-free, a foam folding bed might be your best bet.

Folding travel beds – foam-based

Hands down the most comfortable choice, a foldable travel bed is made entirely out of foam and designed with side rails. Having said that, the foam is very soft and the sides are not that high, so there’s a chance or rolling over the edges.

kid sleepovers

Who is it for?

  • Families who have resolved the issue of nightly mishaps – cleaning this bed after an accident will prove to be quite a job and you’ll never get the smell completely out of the foam. If you still want the unparalleled comfort of the folding foam bed, it’s a good idea pairing it with a waterproof cover.

  • Families who are not on a tight budget, it’s the most expensive choice of the three

  • Families who don’t plan to take the bed on trips that involve air travel – it’s great for basking around the house, but it is bulky and can only be carried as a separate piece of luggage. Still a good option for camping.

If you do decide to go with this style, make sure that you choose quality (the bed in the image above, LeachCo BumpZZZ, is the one product that stands alone in the category).

Cots for toddlers – the budget solution

As we mentioned, a cot will most likely be a good choice if you need it for a sleep-over and you’re not very likely to use it often.

child's cot

It’s made of steel and plastic and a lightly padded canvas on top. The canvas is not tight or padded enough and, unless your kid is still very light, chances are they’re going to feel the beams that run across the surface underneath.

It’s still comfortable enough for it not to be problem for most kids, but if your little one is a particularly choosy sleeper, you won’t get much peace.

If you choose a cot, the plus side is that they are so inexpensive that you can easily choose quality – the cot in the image above “Regalo My Cot” is a safe bet.

Packing – the cot folds up like a folding chair. It packs smaller than a foam folding bed but not as small as an air mattress. It packs just small enough for air travel to be an option.

Summing it all up

The purpose of this guide was not to tell you which portable bed to choose for your kid.

It was to give you guidelines about the right questions to ask yourself before you make the decision.

If we managed to do that, our work is done.

Happy trails.

Three Smart Tips for Parents Fighting the Common Cold While on Vacation

Vacations should represent a time to get some serious rest and relaxation.

However, what happens when you wind up falling ill when you’re supposed to be having the time of your life?

Perhaps the best way to avoid a flu snafu or common cold while traveling is being prepared. After all, something as simple as a stuffy nose has the potential to put a serious damper on your travel plans. This is especially true for small children or anyone in your family who’s particularly prone to illness.

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment in case of a cold while traveling. Instead, keep the following tips in mind when it comes to keeping you and your family healthy whether you’re planning a long excursion or a weekend trip.

Get Your Rest

It’s well-documented that proper sleep is the foundation of a strong immune system; however, there are plenty of potential disruptions and distractions to plague us while traveling.

Kids crying on airplanes. Noisy hotels with paper-thin walls. The list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

Instead of losing hours of sleep, take a proactive approach to ensuring that you get proper rest. For example, small investments such as ear plugs can help you sleep through noise regardless of your travel plans. Additionally, make sure that you’ve studied your lodging accommodations and be on the look out of any reports of noise complaints.

Supercharge with Supplements

Although sleep may very well be the best medicine, you can also give your immune system a boost through some cost-effective supplements. Consider any combination of the following to be fair game when it comes to keeping yourself in tip-top shape on-the-go:

  • Dramamine, which can help you avoid motion sickness during a long car ride or on a cruise ship

  • Vitamin C, which is noted to help keep your immune system in check

  • Fish oil, which offers up essential omega-3 fatty acids you may be neglecting from your vacation diet

The aforementioned supplements can be purchased for dirt-cheap online; however, you could potentially also pick them up at a drug store as-needed once you’ve reached your destination.

Pack Accordingly

In short, make sure that you pack appropriately based on where you’re traveling and how you’re getting there. This rings true for both your attire (think: layers for cold weather) and prescription medication.

For example, there’s no use in trying to bring an entire pharmacy in your carry-on bag. Given stringent regulations on what you can bring on a plane, you may not be able to bring all of your liquid prescriptions along for the ride. If you have access to a drug store or pharmacy, it may make more sense to make a quick trip once you’ve landed to ensure you have the medications you need.

On the flip side, if you’re traveling on a cruise ship, it’s absolutely crucial that you over pack as many cruise lines offer bare-bones medical treatment. Additionally, many cruise ships jack up the prices on even the simplest supplements. Instead of allowing yourself to get stranded in terms of your medications, make sure you fill them ahead of time and can bring them along with you.

Nobody wants to get sick on vacation, plain and simple. That being said, you can can steps to avoid the common cold both prior and during your journey. When it comes to avoiding illness while traveling, “be prepared” and “better safe than sorry” are most definitely the mottos to live by.

Top 4 Safety Travel Tips

travel tips

Taking a vacation is one of the things that helps make life fun.  In fact, studies show that four out of five domestic trips made are for leisure. Getting away from it all is sure to be ideal for better health and less stress. However, you will want to be sure to make the most of your trip, and this means not worrying about what could go wrong. The ideal way to do this is to be as prepared as you can be by putting specific safety tips into place before you leave. Knowing these tips will enable you to have fun while taking time off work.

Tip #1: Secure your home

One of the ideal ways to ensure you won’t have any issues with your home while you’re gone is by activating your security system before you leave. It’s ideal to rely on this type of security to keep your home monitored when you aren’t there to do this job.

Some of the things you will want your security system to do is alert others if an intruder enters your property. This could involve creating a loud siren noise that will blast the neighborhood when an individual attempts a break-in.

The more advanced systems may get in touch with the police immediately if this occurs or you could even have cameras installed that enable you to watch your property at any time.

Tip #2:  Update insurance

One thing you will want to be sure to do is to update your health and auto insurance before leaving. You may need to simply review your policy or make some major changes to help ensure you’re properly covered. The last thing you want to do is to have to make an emergency room visit away from your local area and not have insurance.

Of course, if you’re driving a long distance it’s imperative to have the right amount of auto insurance. This will allow you to feel secure if you’re involved in any type of accident. Additionally, having health insurance as an added protection plan can help you feel even more confident.

Tip #3: Plan for travel emergencies

Getting ready to hit the road is sure to be exciting. Regardless if you’re going a long distance or only making a short trip, you will want to enjoy your time.

It’s ideal to plan ahead for any travel emergencies that may occur and below are a few ideas to enable you to do so:

1.  Tell a friend where you’re going in the event you need assistance for any reason.

2.  Pack a food kit to keep in your car in the event you’re stranded.

3.  Do some research and look for the closest medical facility in the area you’re headed. Be sure to put the address in your GPS.

4.  Keep a bag of essentials in your car that may include a flashlight, blankets, and other things to make you feel more secure.

Tip #4: Create a first aid kit

It’s important to have a first-aid kit with you when traveling. This will enable you to address minor accidents with ease and allow you to feel more prepared.

Be sure to have bandages, ointment, over-the-counter pain relievers and other items you may need in an emergency travel situation.

The key to having the most fun on your vacation is to alleviate the stress and enjoy the surroundings. This can be done with a little bit of preparedness beforehand that can allow you to have the peace of mind you need while doing so.

A Travel Guide for New York City on a Budget

New York is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. This iconic city is on the wish list of every traveler with interests in the arts, history, culture and nightlife. New York is an attractive destination but the question is, is it ideal for budget travelers as well? Yes, it is and you’d be wrong to assume it to be too pricey a destination to visit. You can plan well in advance and visit the city in an economical manner.

Here are some tips to get a New York City tour on a budget:

Get the trip planning right

First things first, a cost-effective trip of New York requires good planning. You need to research which sights are near each other so that they can be visited together–saving time and money. You also need to find out which days museums offer free admission, this will give you big savings.

Save with bundled tour passes

The easiest way to save on your NYC sightseeing is by purchasing a bundled tour pass, especially when you wish to visit a lot of popular places and attractions in the city. Tour passes bundles various tours and activities thereby offering you a reduced price.You are also spared the inconvenience of paying separately for each tour. The more they offer, the more you save!

Look for discounts & coupons

You can visit websites of several landmarks and attractions and find coupons or discounts. Not all attractions in NYC have an entry fee and you can search to know which are free. Similarly, you can collect coupons and then get discounts on food, shopping, entry to landmarks etc.

Save through inexpensive events and Broadway tickets

New York is a city that offers a lot of free concerts, art exhibits, music shows etc. Want to save money on Broadway theater tickets? Visit one of the TKTS discount theater ticket booths located around town. There are 3 of them: one in Midtown, one at the South Street Seaport and one in Brooklyn. They sell discounted tickets for same day matinee and evening performances.

Be selective about transportation

Buy a MetroCard and get non-stop rides for a week or even longer. A MetroCard pass offers you unlimited trips on both the subway and buses in all 5 NYC boroughs for the duration of the pass. Or purchase a hop-on hop-off bus tour that gives you a guided tour through the city while offering a way to hop-on or hop-off the bus near popular city attractions.

Experience the real New York on foot

New York is a great city explored by foot. Since most of Manhattan is based on a grid system it is hard to get lost. Below Houston Street there is no grid and it is a bit easier to get lost but getting lost is half the fun–you never know what you may find!

Navigate around cycle routes

Biking is also fun. Bikes can be rented for an hour, a day or longer. New York is a bike friendly city and is becoming more so every day! You can bike around town independently or join a bike tour with a guide.

Dine away from upscale market

There are lots of different types of ethnic foods in New York and if you want to save money that is the way to go. It is also a lot of fun to try all the different foods that New York has to offer while saving money at the same time! Be sure to check out bars offering happy hour discounted prices.

Stay outside Manhattan to save on lodging

Don’t book a hotel room in Manhattan when cost is a major consideration. Rather, try one of the outer boroughs where prices are not as steep. Hostels and apartment rentals are great alternatives to pricey Manhattan hotels too.

Shop at a flea market

New York is a shoppers paradise. Try visiting one of the weekend flea markets to find something unique and interesting. Canal Street is a great place to save a lot on purses, jewelry and similar items.

Overall, book your hopon hopoff New York tour and explore the best this metropolis has to offer. Plan well in advance and be sure to return home with lots of memories!

The 5 Most Beautiful Natural Attractions in Canada

Canada is known for many things, but one of the reasons why many people decide to plan a visit is to take in the country’s natural beauty. Canada is renowned for its multitude of National Parks, each one featuring unique and different natural wonders to take in. For the outdoorsy type, one of Canada’s parks or popular tourist spots is perfect and each of them provides opportunities to indulge in nature and get plenty of fresh air while enjoying the sights. Here are 5 of the most beautiful locations in Canada for the first time or well seasoned traveler.

canada vacation

Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls are located in Ontario, directly across the border from the United States. They are a part of the large, flowing Niagara River that makes up a 36 mile length along the area. The falls are known for their pretty scenery as well as their high power flowing strength, which is used for hydro power. There are three waterfalls that make up the Falls are named Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Niagara Falls hotel options are plentiful, as the Falls are an extremely popular tourist destination for travelers worldwide.

The Niagara Falls region has tons of entertainment options, from clubs, pubs and shopping malls all the way up to amusement parks and museums. It is also known for its vibrant nightlife with thousands of visitors from the greater Ontario area and Northern United States filing the streets. The region offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and urban charm which makes it a perfect destination for the whole family.

Gros Morne National Park

Located on the coast of Newfoundland, Gros Morne National Park offers fantastic views of nature and exciting activities for hikers and outdoorsmen. The park is located in the cold region of the country, and is the second largest park in Atlantic Canada. Summer and spring are the best times are the year to visit due to there being more options of activities when the weather is warmer. During the warmer months, hiking, fishing, boating, and more are available to Park visitors. If you are lucky, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of some of the protected wildlife that roams Canada’s parks.

The Rocky Mountain National Parks

The Rocky Mountain Parks are located in the Canadian Rockies. They consist of four national parks and a handful of other nature parks, each one full of visual splendor for visitors to discover. The area is very diverse, with almost every park exhibiting different characteristics. Hiking, fishing, and other mountainous activities are very popular in this area with locals and tourists alike. The Rocky Mountain National Parks span a large enough space that any number of sports and natural attractions are available to those who wish to see them.

Historic Lunenburg

Historic Lunenburg was discovered and settled in 1753 by the founding fathers. The town itself is full of cultural and historical sites, as well as beautiful natural marvels. Located in Nova Scotia, Lunenburg was a site of the French and Indian War that occurred in the mid 1700’s. Historical landmarks such as battle sites and safe houses are easy to find in this old town rich with the cultural and natural beauty that visitors have come to expect from Canada. Today, Lunenburg is a huge fishing area, where experts and amateurs alike can come partake in the many fish and lakes available. It is known for its large, old shipyards during the 1920’s, many remains of which can be seen today.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise, named after the daughter of Queen Victoria, is located in Alberta, Canada, in the mountains. Lake Louise is well known and picturesque due to the water’s bright emerald coloring, which it gets from the water run off from melted glaciers. The lake sits on a ski resort, which is a very popular pastime during the winter months. During the other half of the year, hiking and watersports abound on and off the lake. Canoeing and kayaking are very big in this area due to the length and speed of the water.

These are only a few of the many natural wonders Canada has to offer. Scenic views are plentiful throughout the entire country and span through all regions and seasons. Winter activities are easy to find in the colder regions with fresh snow and friendly ski lodges at almost every turn. So if you want a change of the ordinary, with a down-home charm, why don’t you head up north and see what this beautiful country has to offer.

Orlando Vacations Off the Beaten Path

Millions of tourists flock to Orlando, Florida every year with one of several popular vacation destinations in mind. While a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” is certainly a draw for couples and families alike, if you’re looking for a totally different experience, there’s plenty to find in the area. Next time you visit the city, opt for one of many Orlando vacation rentals and venture out to one of these off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Bask in Nature at Harry P. Leu Gardens

If you have an affinity for nature and for history, you won’t want to miss the Harry P. Leu Gardens. The estate sprawls across 50 acres of land, with beautiful trees and colorful flowers. The purpose of Leu Gardens is to educate visitors about the plants through interactive experiences. Local residents can learn even more by signing up for classes or by participating in one of the many events onsite. Located on the grounds is a historic 19th-century home that’s been fully restored, where visitors can get a taste of how people lived in the 1800s.

Explore at the Orlando Science Center

Planets, kinetics, and dinos, oh my! Take a trip to the Orlando Science Center and inspire learning and discover the continents in a new way. There are plenty of attractions for children and adults, to keep you busy throughout the entire day. Participate in hands-on exhibits to keep the kids busy, take in a laser light show or watch one of several movies on giant screens.

Get Up Close with an Airboat Ride

If you’re looking for something truly unique to do with the family, consider hopping on an airboat and taking a wild ride through the swamps and walking through a Native Village. Boggy Creek is located in Kissimmee, just minutes away from the theme parks, and it offers an up-close look at the way Native Americans lived many years ago. Airboat rides are available during the day and evening. Take a sunset tour and end your day on a romantic note or opt for late-night expeditions where you can see the alligators at work in their natural habitat.

Shop and Have Fun at Downtown Springs

If you simply can’t miss a chance to do something, anything Disney, you can have lots of fun at Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney. Here, you can shop for souvenirs, take in several impromptu performances and eat food from around the world. You can try Coca-Cola flavors from several different countries and satisfy your sweet tooth at one of many candy stores. There’s more than just shopping and eating, too. Head to the bowling alley or Dine and Watch a movie at the onsite cinemas.

Kick Back and Relax at the Spa

While centered on attractions, Orlando is also a popular lover’s retreat. That’s why you can find several spas where you can get a massage, enjoy a wrap and just simply indulge yourself like you deserve. While some do accommodate walk-ins, this is the type of activity that you’ll want to book weeks in advance.

Whether you’re looking for romantic or adventurous adult outings, or want to spend the day doing an activity that leaves your children awe-inspired, there’s no limit to the fun you can find. These are just some ideas to get you started, and if you’re interested in more check out Visit Orlando for more trip planning ideas.

Visiting Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a relatively new hot spot for international travel. It’s a great place to visit, both because of its rich culture and arts scene but also because of its amazing biodiversity.  There are over 500 reef building coral species in the area.  This is about 7 times as much coral as there is in the Caribbean.  You can  also get some great Bali hotel deals. The Alila Seminyak is a great spot to stay in while you visit.

pic6

Bali has lush landscapes made up of hills, mountains, and rugged coastlines with sandy beaches and gorgeous rice terraces.  There are also barren volcanic hillsides all making this a great vacation spot for anyone looking for a new place to go.  From surfing and diving to cultural, historical, and archaeologic attractions.  There are also tons of accommodations of all types, one such hotel is the best western kuta beach.  The Best Western is located in South Bali which is the most popular part of the island.  There are some memorable hot spots including Kuta Beach, which has a sunset that should not be missed and is a wonderfully romantic beach.  As well as Tenah Lot Temple, which is a temple which was built in the 15th century by Hindu priest Nirartha.  The temple sits just off shore on an outcropping of stones and is a sight to behold.  It is only accessible via a small foot path which is a sight to see at sunset as well.

pic7

On the way to the temple there are also many small ships set up to buy a wealth of souvenirs with something for everyone back home.  There are many wonderful places to visit in Bali from gorgeous scenic beaches to wonderful cultural temples it is easy to see why Bali is a global hot spot to visit on vacation whether you are a globe trotting upper crust individual or a student finding their way as well as everyone in between.  Bali was the host of the 2011 ASEAN Summit, 2013 APEC and Miss World 2013. Bali also contains the Subak Irrigation System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a not a short flight, so make sure you prepare the kids for a long plane ride.

pic7