Tag Archives: memorable family vacation

Surviving Your Family Road Trip This Summer

Surviving Your Family Road Trip This Summer

Summer is fast approaching, and soon, it’ll be time to take a well-deserved holiday with the family. Road trips are a fun and cost-effective way to spend time with your family, allowing you to see sights that other holidaymakers might miss on their adventure. While family road trips can be a blast, it can also be challenging to pack the whole family in a car or camper for weeks at a time. Thankfully, Thule products will make that part of it a lot easier. If you’re planning on taking a family road trip this summer, here are some tips to help you make your holiday a smashing success.

Photo by Joshua Hibbert on Unsplash

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We all know that children can be bottomless pits in between lunch and dinner time. On a road trip, it’s not always possible to pull over and grab a bite to eat when the kids are getting hungry, so it’s a good idea to have plenty of snacks on hand. Bring a cooler to pack some healthy fruits, vegetables, and trail mix, but don’t forget to bring a couple of treats along too. Nothing keeps kids happier than munching on a biscuit or a chocolate bar when their stomach is starting to grumble. You should also pack plenty of juice and water so that nobody gets dehydrated, but try not to let your kids drink more than necessary, as this can lead to bathroom emergencies.

Bring Something to Entertain the Kids

Every parent dreads the point in a road trip where you begin to hear that question from the backseat, the one that’s sure to keep popping up relentlessly throughout the day- “are we there yet?”

Bringing entertainment for your kids can help to keep them occupied throughout your trip while helping you to maintain your sanity. Portable DVD players, gaming devices, and other electronics can keep children of all ages entertained for hours. You can pack a backpack with inexpensive toys, games, colouring books and other activities. Your kids will have so much fun digging through their goody bag, they won’t even notice that you’ve been driving all day.

Pack an Emergency Kit

On a road trip, your car needs to be in a safe condition before setting off on your journey. Ensure that the oil and water are checked and that your tyres are fully inflated and road legal.

You should also pack an emergency kit which needs to include more than blankets and extra toiletries. You also need to bring equipment to maintain your vehicle just in case it breaks down. There are a few essentials that every emergency kit should include:

  • A charged emergency mobile phone
  • A full first aid kit
  • A fire extinguisher rated for Class B and Class C fires
  • Reflective warning triangles
  • A tire gauge
  • Foam tyre sealant or a spare tyre and jack
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Duct tape
  • Towing tools
  • A utility knife

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
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New Caledonia for Families: Travel Tips & Advice

By Guest Blogger, Marie N.

New Caledonia for Families: Travel Tips & Advice

If you’ve been dreaming to take your family for an unforgettable vacation, there might a perfect destination for you. Only two and a half hours flight from Auckland or Sydney takes you to the beautiful archipelago of New Caledonia.

 

This magnificent place offers something for every family member. Visit remote islands, enjoy sunny beaches, try scuba diving in the crystal-clear water, enjoy local cuisine and admire the local history and architecture. A beautiful mix of Melanesian and French culture and history is the essence of this little tropical heaven.

A touch of France

New Caledonia is a French overseas territory, so visiting this archipelago means you are visiting a French version of a tropical heaven; so, remind yourself and teach your kids some useful phrases in French. Your kids will love trying them out during your visit. Encourage them to engage in a conversation with the cashier in the supermarket, or to have a chit-chat with the waiter while ordering food in the restaurant.

 

In addition to the language, you can enjoy French food. Enjoy a family picnic close to the sea after you visit a supermarket. There you can find baguettes, French cheese, butter and wine for a reasonable price. If you’re more of a fan of restaurants, you can enjoy in some of many New Caledonia’s French restaurants.  Try some of the French-influenced specialties of the archipelago like bougna, stewed shrimp, seafood vol au vent, or bulimes (Isle of Pines’ snails).

Explore the capital

Nouméa is the capital city and the first place you will visit when you land in New Caledonia. It is situated on the largest island of the archipelago, Grande Terre. This will be the starting point for your following journeys around the island, so first make sure to pick a relaxing and comfortable Noumea accommodation.

 

After you find the perfect spot where you can rest and leave your stuff, enjoy your walk to the city center through the palm shady streets that are full of Citroens, Renaults and Peugeots. Remember that you came to a tropical area, so make sure you put on a hat, sunglasses, and a sunscreen.

 

You will find some interesting sites when you reach the city center. Old buildings will evoke the memory of the old colonial times. You can visit Cathédrale Saint-Joseph de Nouméa not far from the city center. Climb on the top to take in a great view of the city and its surroundings.

 

While you’re still in Nouméa, make sure to visit Tjibaou Cultural Centre. This impressive piece of architecture is dedicated to the indigenous Kanak people that make around 40% of the archipelago’s population. Here, you can explore their history and art, most notable sculptures of this Melanesian people.

 

Visit the Loyalty Islands’ jewel

After spending a couple of days in the capital, it’s time to get in touch with a pure beauty of a remote island. Our advice is to take a plane from Nouméa to Lifou New Caledonia; after all, it is one of the archipelago’s most beautiful islands. You can experience many things here: impressive cliffs on the north and the south side, and beautiful beaches on the east and the west side of the island. Spend the day at the beautiful Easo beach and enjoy swimming and snorkeling at the white sandy beach.

 

But for the real snorkeling experience, visit the Baie de Jinek, a coral-filled bay that offers a beautiful underwater view. You will have to pay 15 AUD $ to access the water, but all the money goes to the protection of the island’s environment and keeping this bay intact.

 

You have a unique opportunity to understand how people live on such a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Go for a walk through local villages and engage in a conversation with people. Again, your French language skills will be a great help. The locals are very friendly, and will be happy to present you their culture, folklore and cuisine.  

Something for the kids

You will spend a couple of days in Nouméa before the departure from this beautiful archipelago. Save this part of the trip as a special surprise for your kids who can explore the wildlife of this Pacific heaven.

 

The Aquarium des Lagons is a tourist attraction that vividly represent different aquatic ecosystems of New Caledonia. The aquarium is divided into sections, where you can find species from the fresh water of rivers and lakes, then those from the mangroves, lagoon, and from the deep ocean. Kids will enjoy watching many animal species like eels, turtles, fish, fluorescent nautilus, phosphorescent corals, giant shrimps, etc.

 

Another place that will thrill your kids is the Parc Zoologique et Forestier. It consists of a botanical garden and a zoo. The majority of over 700 animals and 130 species in the zoo are birds, while the botanical park mostly consists of sclerophyllous forest (aka primitive forest), with around 60% of endemic species. You can explore this beautiful place on Segways.

 

This beautiful archipelago is a great place to spend a vacation with your family. You can browse local culture, cuisine and the history of the urban city like the capital Nouméa, or enjoy the sun, beaches, cliffs, coral reefs and other natural beauty some of the remote islands. Either way, an unforgettable journey is guaranteed.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

5 Tips for Planning a Memorable Family Vacation on a Budget 

By Guest Blogger, Mathews M.

5 Tips for Planning a Memorable Family Vacation on a Budget

A memorable family vacation does not mean you have to break the bank. If you ask me, some of the best vacation moments are those that are the least extravagant and luxurious. Plan ahead when it comes to where to go, what to bring, and what to do once you arrive at the destination. This is the key to managing the money properly and at the same time, having the family time of your life.  Of course, you are going to need to work together to keep the vacation on track with the budget.

Here are some tried-and-tested tips to keep things under control.

A game plan

To jumpstart the process of planning, gather as much information as you can. Use this as a reality check to validate your expectations. Select your destination based on research or the recommendations you receive. Try to think outside the box. Ensure that the whole family is onboard when it comes to the budget and travel itinerary: have an open conversation about everything.

In particular, let the kids get familiar with the activities and attractions that could tickle them pink and naturally, give preference and book those that are free or nearly-free.

Time on your side

Many people overlook that timing has an important role to play and that being flexible about it is something that pays dividends aplenty. Traveling prices are all about supply and demand. So, if you book your accommodation just before or after peak season, you should be able to snatch some good deals, for example through a series of spring flash sales.

Steer away from unnecessary expenses and those that take a big bite out of your budget and find an affordable family getaway on time. Then again, note that last-minute traveling can also turn out to be a huge money-saver.

Eat your way to frugality

To squeeze out extra value from your vacation, save money on food. One way to do so is to carry a picnic kit with you as well as to prepare wholesome meals back home. Furthermore, limit yourself to eating just one meal per day in a restaurant (the kids dislike sitting at them anyway). To make this happen, make sure you always stay at a place with a fridge and kitchen.

Hotels that offer a free breakfast are worth your attention as well. Or instead, in the morning, crush some ice cubes in a blender, add banana, strawberries, and yogurt and then blend it. This becomes a quick, inexpensive meal to enjoy while sitting or on the go. Finally, remember to always keep yourself hydrated with reusable water bottles.

Handling the transportation

The most economical vacations entail your family hitting the road in a car or opting for a fly-and-drive trip. In the latter case, take advantage of airfare bargains. Of course, driving your own vehicle is preferable, but you still need to spend some money on gas.

To trim spending in this area, never leave the motor idle during stops and refrain from satisfying your need for speed. Keep your eyes on your fluid levels and purchase quality oil products online from brands like Castrol. Also, make sure to have spare wheels and maintain an adequate tire pressure.

What about accommodation

You may not fancy it, but camping is one of the most frugal ways to organize a vacation and it can also be one of the most rewarding family adventures. Wilderness areas and national parks provide plenty of thrilling opportunities for hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, outdoor recreation, etc.

You can have magical moments sitting around a crackling campfire under the star-studded night sky. Just make sure you take as many home comforts with you as you can. And in case camping is not up your alley, consider cheap motels and hotels.

The world is your oyster

The meat of your plan revolves around keeping down the costs, not impeding your experience and enjoyment. Thus, tackle the major areas of vacation spending and identify smart ways of navigating the minefield of financial decisions.

Do not spend more than you can comfortably afford. Know your destination and route like the palm of your hand. Make good use of money-saving deals. Why go to an expensive theme park if you can spend a comfy morning in a hotel bed, watching cartoons together?

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.