Summer road trip tips to keep you (and the kids) happy

With the cold days of winter long behind us and spring turning into summer, so marks the beginning of another highly anticipated season-road trip season! A road trip with the family may not seem as exciting as a lazy week on the beach, but with the right prep and attitude, you and the kids can make a truly memorable experience-no sand required.

So what can you do if you’ve got a week or two going spare during your summer time and need to get out of the house? Read along for some tips on taking the greatest road trip of your life.

1 Have a plan but don’t let it control you

Sometimes it makes sense to plan every tiny detail of a vacation, but being in charge of your own transportation (and skipping out on the stress of flying with kids) means that you can relax a bit more knowing that what really matters is that the tank is full and you can locate the nearest highway on-ramp! So instead of knowing where you’ll be hour by hour, leave some space in your itinerary for spontaneity. Aim to see or do one or two big things a day-maybe have a lunch venue in mind as well as the museum you most want to see-but leave everything else up to your whims. This way you won’t miss out on the stuff that’s most important to you, but you’ll still see things you had never planned on. This also leaves a buffer for nap times and grumpy moods, and means you won’t have to miss out on huge chunks of your planned day. A loose plan is a good plan, in this case.

2. Service the car pre-trip

Don’t make the mistake of finding out your engine is on its last leg when you’re three hours into Day One. Whether you should finally get around to buying the needed spare parts for your groovy vintage Volkswagen or you have a family-friendly SUV or van at your disposal, make sure you’ve checked the oil and your trunk is full of any on-the-go emergency pieces you may need, like a spare tire and a first aid kit.

3. Fun and games for everyone.

Podcasts, kid-friendly audio books, and playlists of everyone’s favorite singalong jams will help while away the hours on the road. Still need help? You can search for the list of the greatest road trip songs of all time (Spotify would be great for this) or you can always make your own. Have the kids get involved and let everyone choose what goes on the radio for an hour of your drive. Fair shares all around and a nice rotation for your ears. Everybody wins!

4. Snacks snacks snacks

Yes, there’s always the gas station, but that gets expensive very, very quickly. Instead, bring your own cooler filled with food and drink and save your change for much more interesting adventures. Good ideas for cooler fare could include pb+j, trail mix, string cheese, bananas, and a refillable water bottle.
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Top 10 Lesser Known European Destinations for Less

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European cities can be costly, especially if you’re traveling with the family. However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to navigate lesser known destinations, you’re sure to find the following places to visit an adventure.

Prague

You may think that all child-friendly destinations are out your monetary reach when it comes to showing your family Europe. However, lesser known places such as Prague are just as entertaining. Fortunately, you won’t break the bank if you want to explore this enchanted land. Whether you venture there in the freezing cold or wait until the thaw, you’ll find the attractions, meals and lodging an inexpensive way to navigate the globe.

Valencia

Valencia is an easy to reach location that sits near the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The vibrancy of the city boasts a number of things to see and do such as festivals, museums, sandy beaches, parks and gardens. The actual perk when visiting Valencia is that the prices are significantly lower than what you would find in other coastal cities throughout Europe. If you’re looking to plan your next adventure, Image Tours has been around for years, and they can help put together your next excursion.

Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the hippest cities to visit. Guests to the region will find a variety of daytime attractions to tour such as markets, museums and churches. If you’re looking for night life, the area holds an assortment of entertaining venues. While Barcelona’s popularity has caused the prices to increase over the years, it’s still considerably lower than the other better known regions throughout Europe.
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6 ideas for a pleasant family weekend in Bergamo

Bergamo is an ancient city in Lombardy, located on the picturesque foothills of the Alps. It can offer both rich and diverse architecture, variety of exciting activities, sincere and open people, surprisingly clean and fresh air. In a nutshell, Bergamo has all those things that make the city a perfect destination for holiday with kids!

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The article will help you to briefly get acquainted with the most interesting attractions in Bergamo that will please you and your kids.

Bergamo is one of four Italian cities with their centers completely surrounded by ancient walls.  In fact, Bergamo is split into two parts. The upper part is the ancient city (Bergamo Alta) located on the top of the hill; the lower part is the modern city (Bergamo Bassa) that doesn’t represent anything interesting for tourists. You can reach the ancient city either by car or public transport, but there is much more interesting way – funicular railway.

Funicular railway

Trip in the funicular car is a little adventure for small kids and also a great opportunity to enjoy nice views of the city. The lower station is located on Viale delle Muraand the upper one is in literally two steps from the famous Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The funicular can fit up to 50 people, so don’t let slip your turn, otherwise you’ll have to wait another car.

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It’s interesting to know that tight orange cars of the Bergamo funicular have been operating since 1888 and originally they were drawn by horses. Funicular railway connecting upper and lower parts of Bergamo isn’t the only one in the city. In fact, there is another car able to take you from the Bergamo Alta to the very top of the hill.

Parco Faunistico Le Cornelle

It’s a scientific base of the University of Milan that is engaged in the problem of preserving grey parrots. Thus, apart from the usual walks among aviaries, Parco Faunistico Le Cornelle can offer the quite serious several hours excursion with a lot of fascinating stories about virtually every animal in the park.

Although the zoo isn’t very big, still it’s a real pleasure to spend time here. This tiny zoo has managed to gather various kinds of animals from guinea pigs to cheetahs. It has many cafes and restaurants as well as picnic areas equipped with tables and benches. So, if don’t want to spend the extra money on visiting cafe, you can simply bring some snacks with you and arrange little lunch in the open air.

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You should acknowledge beforehand that it’s a really tough task to get to Parco Faunistico Le Cornelle from Milan without your own car. Even from Bergamo itself, the park is located in about 11 km.  On the other hand, the park has a convenient parking zone, where you can safely leave your car.
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Looking for the Perfect Travel Purse?

If you give me a big purse, I will carry everything in it. I do mean everything. Snacks for the kid, tissues, lip balm, hand cleaning products…the list goes on and on.
Ladies, I am going to let you in on a little trick. The secret to looking great while on the go doesn’t require effort. It requires you to find a style that flatters you, that is comfortable, and that will enhance your  your wardrobe subtly. Who would have thought that adding a bag to your look could be a game changer?

20150502_195156I am not talking about any bag either. I am talking about a Baliboca bag. These are pretty sweet for a Mom on the go. If I am dashing off to an after school event with the kid, or having a family fun day at the Zoo. My Baliboca Neoprene Shoulder Bag is great. I stays with me, requires no hands, and best of all, it can discreetly slip under my coat or sweatshirt if I want.


Now this is huge. You don’t want to know how many times I have been the lady that could just drag a suitcase in wheels around for all of the stuff motherhood requires. The Baliboca shoulder bag is great for helping me just say no to becoming a walking vending machine.
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Is Your Health Safe When You Travel?

Traveling the world can be a wonderful experience. You get to take in new sights, see a ton of history, embed yourself in other cultures, and create lifelong memories. However, while the experience may be fun, traveling to other countries also puts you at risk.

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Not only do you run the risk of getting lost or being taken advantage of in other countries due to your lack of direction and/or inability to speak the language, but you are also exposed to illness and disease that you may not be exposed to back home in the US.

Getting sick in another country is not always ideal. Not only do the doctors likely not have access to your medical records, which could put you at risk if you have an underlying medical condition or allergy to medication they aren’t aware of, but you may not get the best possible treatment either. In order to ensure your safety while traveling to another country, use the following tips.

Get vaccinated.

Different countries have different illnesses and diseases, and in order to travel to certain countries, you may be required to get certain vaccinations. Before you go, check and see what vaccinations you need to travel out of the country, and then set up an appointment with your doctor to get vaccinated. Keep in mind that some vaccinations may require multiple doses, so this isn’t something you can put off until the last minute. Plus, you’ll also need proof that you were vaccinated in order to board the plane, so be sure you keep all records and documentation on hand. Getting these shots done will help eliminate your risk of catching a disease while you’re traveling, which will help to keep you safe.

Research doctors/hospitals.
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Get Your Kids to Buckle Up #KidsBuckleUp

We all know that getting our kids to listen can be a challenge.  There are times you lose the battle, but as long as you win the war, right?  One of the battles you really can’t afford to lose is the battle to buckle up.  Not only is it a lifesaver in a car crash, but it will keep them safe in all those little “road skirmishes” most of us deal with on a regular basis.  Kids who buckle up as soon as they get in the car, every time, will develop that habit, and it will be one that they won’t break as they get older and start driving on their own- so start young, and never let that one go.

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Parenting a tween involves compromise. But here’s one rule that should not be up for debate – the car doesn’t move until everyone is wearing a seat belt. If you say it, and if parents buckle up themselves, your tween will buckle up. And if they don’t, that’s a fight worth having. It might just save your tween’s life.

pic5Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 14 in the USA?  Over the past 5 years, 1,522 kids ages 8-14 died in car, SUV and van crashes. Of those who died, almost half were unbelted.  As children get older they’re less likely to buckle up. The percentage of child passengers who die while riding unrestrained generally increases with age and is most pronounced among 13 and 14-year-olds regardless of seating position.
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The weirdest spas and treatments in the world

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Nowadays, healthy life and longevity have become most important things for individuals. Some people are even more willing to have a healthy life instead of family. There are numerous therapies, exercises and eating habits which modern man incorporates into life just in order to stay healthy and take care of its body. In that regard, it is no wonder that massages and spas have becomes such a fab as of late. Given that many of us are working during the entire week and that our body suffers enormously while being strapped to the chair, it is normal that many people are seeking a reprieve in one of those salons. But, like any other thing which becomes popular quickly, it led to different consequences. Today, in order to provide a unique and never before seen service, many parlors are offering weird types of treatments for their customers. These are some of the craziest ones.

  • There is one particular hotel in Sweden which is providing a special sexual service. And no, it is not about prostitution. This orgasm hotel is providing couples with luxurious rooms filled with sex toys and posters meant to spice up their sexual life.
  • If you are a type of person that hates cold, Chinese flame treatment is just the thing for you. It is thought that flame improves the body by keeping it safe from different microbes and cold during winter days. Naturally, in order to keep the customer safe, there is double cloth which is put on his or hers back before its set on fire.
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How to Get the Most Out of Domestic Travel

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When most people say they want to travel, they imagine traversing the globe for vastly different cultures and scenery of foreign countries. However, many travelers simply don’t realize the wealth of amazing travel opportunities available right here in the United States.

A vast and diverse landscape, America offers as many new experiences as international travel — at less than half the price. For outstanding and unforgettable travel, you don’t need a passport or a massive savings account. Here’s how you can get the most out of your U.S.-based travels.

Find Uncommon Destinations

Some people are turned off by the idea of domestic travel simply because they don’t anticipate a trip to Boise, Idaho or Des Moines, Iowa to be especially thrilling. Yet, a vacation is only as exciting as you make it; if you select a dull destination and maintain a sour attitude, you probably will have an unhappy vacation. The United States is hiding thousands of exciting places to visit, so as long as you do some research and chart a course for some fascinating spots, you undoubtedly will have an excellent time. To get you started, here are some suggestions for domestic destinations you likely never considered:

  • Antelope Canyon, Arizona. A slot canyon made of vibrant red sandstone carved into surreal shapes.
  • Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming. The largest hot spring in North America, surrounded by a rainbow of colors from bright reds and yellows to crystalline blue.
  • Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario. The largest waterfall in the world, and a natural destination for couples in love.
  • Whitaker Point, Arkansas. A single stone crag jutting out over 100 feet of empty space, offering unprecedented views of the stunning Buffalo River country.
  • Hamilton Pool, Texas. A giant natural pool surrounded on all sides by steep grotto walls, formed when the hollow dome of an underground river collapsed.
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