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The Many Joys Of Holiday Travel With Kids

Traveling with children, especially during the holidays, can be exhausting. And some things are just inevitably going to happen. 

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Raising children, no matter how many you have, what gender they, or what age they, will always be stressful. There are plenty of tricks and tips out there you can use to make it as easy as possible, but in the end, there’s only so much you can do. And there are plenty of things that are just plain unavoidable.

But traveling with kids? Now that’s a whole different beast in and of itself! There are so many different things that can come up or happen that you will not be prepared for. And there is plenty of stuff you’ll just inevitably do because, heck, what choice do you have?! So let’s go through some of these inevitable things so you can be prepared as possible the next time you travel with your kids during the holidays.

SAY GOODBYE TO ANY SCREEN TIME RULES

Screen time rules are an important part of raising children in today’s day and age. With TVs and computers and tablets, there are so many options of things your kids could watch. So you have to be careful to not let them spend too much time staring at a screen. It’s just plain bad for them! That’s why screen time rules are key.

But when it comes to traveling with your kids, especially during the holidays, those screen time rules pretty much disappear. For most of any vacation, just avoiding a temper tantrum and maintaining your sanity is all that matters. So don’t feel bad about letting your kid watch a few more cartoons than usual. It will keep everyone happy and you can go back to the normal rules as soon as you’re home.

SAY GOODBYE TO ANY SUGAR RULES AS WELL

Just like with your screen time rules, any rules about how much sugar your kids can eat in a day are pretty much going right out the window. Breaking these rules will similarly keep your children happy and keep you sane. But there’s also a lot of unknown factors on a holiday vacation like grandma making too many cookies. We can’t just let those cookies go to waste now, can we?!

YOU’LL MAKE THE HOLIDAYS SPECIAL IF IT’S THE LAST THING YOU DO

All that stress can certainly go to your head. But you’re putting yourself through all of it for one reason and one reason only: to make a special holiday memory for your family! And damn it, you’re gonna do it! So everyone better stop complaining and better start having a wonderful time! OK?! OK.

This can materialize in all sorts of ways. Matching sweaters, Santa hats, too many gifts, perfectly wrapped gifts, and everything in between. Your kids may look at you like you’re crazy while you’re doing it. But they’ll finally appreciate you and your efforts once they’re a little older!

YOU WILL FORGET SOMETHING IMPORTANT

There is literally nothing more inevitable when it comes to holiday travel with the whole family. You will forget something. It will be important. There’s no point in trying to fight it, people! It’s going to happen. Have you ever even seen Home Alone?? But you’re smart, you can problem solve, and you’ll figure it out.

YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SOMETHING

This is a tough one, but unfortunately, it is very likely that you will end up feeling guilty. Everyone will be so stressed out and so exhausted that eventually, someone will complain. And no matter how much you try to tell yourself they’re just tired and they don’t mean, you will still end up feeling guilty for “forcing” them to do whatever family activity they claim they don’t want to do or present they claim they don’t like.

It’s a really difficult part of parenting, but it’s sadly all too common. Just try to not let it get to you any more than it should or affect any further decision making. It will pass. And you’ll feel better before you know it.

YOU’LL REMEMBER WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT

In the end, despite all of the stress and guilt and frustration, I promise you something will happen that will make you remember why you do it. What Christmas is all about. It could be as simple as everyone laughing at the same joke or spilled plate of food, but it will be special and it will make you want to cry. Because Christmas is all about coming together as a family, being thankful for what you have, and showing each other how much you love each other. And that perfect little moment will make it all worth it.

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Destinations

Zip Lines For The Adrenaline Junkie

We talked to our travel team and came up with our favorite zip line adventures around the globe so you can keep on zipping you crazy zipper!

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     Riding on a zip line is the thrill of a lifetime. There is nothing quite like jumping off and feeling the wind rushing through your hair as you propel over various bridges or trees. No matter where, you’re bound to feel like a true superhero. We talked to our travel team and came up with our favorite zip line adventures around the globe so you can keep on zipping!

Zip World Velocity
     If you find yourself in Wales then be on the lookout for the longest zip line in all of Europe. This thing travels along 1,600 yards… you will definitely be getting your money’s worth here. You will take a long, effortless ride over beautiful mountains and water, glazing over many beautiful sites. We suggest you have a convenient camera handy. If that sounds too big for you, they have a smaller version available to you as well. You can still get your thrills without freaking.

El Monstruo
     Puerto Rico is home to many great zip lines but none better than “El Monstruo,” translating to “The Monster” in English. This is officially the longest zip line in the world according to the Guinness World Record books. This line is astoundingly 8,300 feet long so you will be zipping on down for over a mile. Jungles are cool, especially when you get to experience them from a bird’s eye view, literally! You will be one fast bird too, considering this ride gets up to speeds of 95 mph so if you’re looking for a serious thrill then this is the one for you.

Cloudscraper
     Thrillseekers beware, the Cloudscraper is scarier than you may think. This zip line is super high up and will definitely make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you take in the whole experience. You will get a beautiful view of the incredible Royal Gorge as you fly overhead. You’ll feel a lot like Wile E. Coyote right after making a wrong turn, except you won’t fall when you look down, you’ll just scream in ecstasy as you enjoy your fantastic ride.

Zipflyer
     When most people think about Nepal they don’t think about the awesome thrill-seeking adventures they can partake in besides climbing Everest. Well, maybe Everest will soon take a back seat to zip-lining thanks to the Zipflyer in the Himalayas. This zip line is unique because you will partake in a 2,000-foot vertical drop that will leave you squealing with delight. You better be an adrenaline junky if you want to take this zip line on because it is for sure to shock and amaze you all the way down.


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Destinations

Souvenirs That Won’t Cost A Thing

Spend all of your money on traveling safely then use these tips to take home some free or practically free souvenirs that are great mementos from your fantastic vacation that you can hold onto for a lifetime.

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     Traveling costs money. We all spend so much on airline tickets, lodging, as well as destination and touring costs. Rarely do we plan on saving enough money to buy souvenirs. Don’t bother skimping on your lodging or flight just so you can buy some souvenirs. Make sure you’re staying somewhere safe so that you make it to that lodging safely… and in one piece. So, we recommend spending all of your money on traveling safely. Therefore, rather than buying pointless purchased items, use these tips to take home some free or practically free souvenirs that are great mementos from your fantastic vacation that you can hold onto for a lifetime. 

Photos

     You’re going to take dozens of photos when you’re on a trip – those evoke many more memories than some small tchotchke you buy at a shop. A refrigerator magnet is not worth 1,000 words. In fact, it’s worth about 2 words, refrigerator, and magnet. A photo, however, reminds you of your memorable trip. Plus, there’s typically a far more interesting story behind it compared to the refrigerator magnet. People will much rather look at your photos than your magnets and your trip will seem a whole lot more dazzling when you show them. 

Postcards

     Postcards are photos that have been taken by another party but have already been printed for your convenience. Postcards aren’t free but they cost hardly anything and they’re sturdy enough meaning there’s a strong chance they’ll survive the trip back home. If you buy a vase or something similar, odds are that it’ll break when you attempt to transport it home. Further, the designs in foreign countries are very unique – making it very different compared to whats at home.

Sand and Seashells

     Talk about cheap! Filling a zip lock bag with sand and shells is the cheapest souvenir possible. You may feel a little funny spending a day on your vacation scooping sand into a bag, but once you get home and throw the sand and shells in a jar you will be left with a beautiful memento from your trip that will surely be the envy of all of your friends. 

Ticket Stubs

     You’re going to go see these wonderful sites and shows while on vacation anyway. So why not save your ticket stubs so you have a free piece to not only remember your historic trip to the museum, theater, or concert? Ticket stubs make great mementos and are often linked with some of the most memorable moments of your trip. Therefore, save the stubs and bring them home. All of these souvenirs are way more meaningful than ones you can buy in stores, anyways.


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When A Sweet Tooth Travels Around North America

We spoke with our colleagues and compiled a list of three of our favorite cities that are chock full of sweets.

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     So, you have a crazy sweet tooth but no one nearby has quite the ideal selection to satisfy your sugar-addicted palette. What are you to do? You might be able to find poor/cheap knock-offs on Amazon or another online candy conglomerate, but we both know your true feelings. You won’t be sweetly satisfied until the real-deal sweetness touches your tongue – sending your dopamines into a frenzy. When the cravings hit, there’s no turning back. 

We talked to our colleagues and compiled a list of our favorite cities that are chock full of sweets so you can satisfy your sweet tooth while on a lovely vacation. I mean really, why can’t you have both?

OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY

     Ocean City is known for its historic boardwalk. There are a variety of specialized shops that sell all the sweets you can imagine. From ice cream to fudge to taffy, you will find it all at the Ocean City boardwalk. Bakeries, candy shops, and ice cream parlors will leave you foaming at the mouth and you’ll be in a sugar coma in no time. But don’t worry, if you need to get your salt levels up then just hop in the ocean and take a few swallows. Now your salt and sugar levels are balanced out. Is that how it works? We have no idea, we’re not scientists. Whatever your plans are, Ocean City has you covered when it comes to your east coast needs. 

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, CANADA

     If you love donuts, then St. Catharines is the place you’ve got to check out. This place has a huge selection of donuts, so bring a big appetite and some waist-expanding pants. You can put down dozen after dozen of donuts and never eat the same one twice. One store alone offers up to 20 different donuts each day. So, expand your donut horizons while stuffing your face. Donuts are heavenly and so is St. Catharines.

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

     The home of Snoop Dogg is also home to the ice cream capital of the US. Residents in this city eat more ice cream than any other city in the country. Now that’s a lot of ice cream! You can find the regular flavors everywhere, or you can experiment with new ones like goat cheese, whiskey fig ice cream, or salted caramel fudge. No matter what kind of ice cream you want, you’ll find mounds of it in the LBC. Now that’s what I call sublime.

Remember, your hometown surely has a secret treat that you’re not really aware of but remember, a vacation can bring you much more than just some R&R. Let it bring with it the sweets of your dreams. 


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