Category Archives: family travel

How to have a stress-free family road trip

How to have a stress-free family road trip

How to have a stress-free family road trip

Planning on taking a family road trip on your next vacation? Don’t want it to be chaotic?

I feel you. Being in a far for hours with kids can be a challenge. But no matter where you’re headed, you can make the trip easier and more enjoyable by planning ahead and taking breaks.

Make Sure To Pack kid-friendly Healthy Snacks

You never know what types of sugar-loaded, unhealthy snacks will be available at whatever gas station or 7/11 you pass on your trip. And it may take hours until you hit up a decent restaurant. In order to ensure the kids are eating well while you’re traveling, make sure to pack healthy snacks they love. Whether it’s carrot sticks and hummus or organic granola bars, have a bag filled with healthy options in the back seat ( right by the kiddos) so they can munch whenever you’re hungry. If you’re overseas and aren’t sure where you can get healthy snacks, iHerb is a great place to get organic chocolate, gluten-free cookies, almond butter, and pretzels. They ship pretty much anywhere too!

Pack Lots of Games

The inevitable ‘I’m bored’ is sure to creep in at some point, maybe even a few minutes into the trip…if you’re not prepared!

Have your kids pack their favorite toys & games that will help them stay entertained, and keep the bag within reach so they access them easily. Even if you’re a low-media family, you’ll probably want to give in on a long trip and let your child use your phone or ipad. Minecraft is our daughter’s favorite game, as well as the Toca Boca series. And if you’re homeschooling/unschooling or just looking to help your child learn to read, apps like Homer and Hooked on Phonics are fun and affordable investments that they’ll love!

Take Breaks Often

While you may have a time frame you need to stay within to get to your destination, it’s still important to take breaks, which will make the road trip more enjoyable for everyone. Plus, you need bathroom breaks and to eat, right?

If you’re going on a family road trip in an area you’re familiar with ( or can easily research/google) plan ahead of time where there will be gas stations, restaurants with healthy options, cafes, and sights to check out.

This can be a lot harder to do if you are say taking a road trip in Thailand and you’ve never been here before, but even if you haven’t you can ask the hotel you’re staying at if they have driven to wherever you’re going and if there are any sights/stops they recommend. There are actually loads of gas stations and rest stops on all the main high-ways here, if you are planning on driving in Thailand. And thankfully, our 7/11s have decent frozen Thai dishes, if you’re driving late at night and need a quick bite to eat.

Make sure to take loads of family travel photos when you do take breaks, even if they’re short.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Whenever we travel, we always take essential oils with us. They are seriously so versatile, especially oils like lavender and tea tree. You can purchase a cheap diffuser for your car, and choose a relaxing oil to help the kids ( and adults) stay calm.

Get Your Kids Excited About The Trip

We’ve always tried to use our travels as a teaching opportunity for our daughter, even when she was a toddler. By talking about why we’re taking a trip or going somewhere ( even if it wasn’t a vacation per se) this got her excited. Whether we were driving to get my ID card in South Korea or through Tuscany, we told her about the fun we’d have on the way.

Point out different attractions you see our your window, or come up with a game to spot a certain type of car, bird, etc

No matter where you’re taking your family road trip, you can make it an enjoyable, stress-free experience by being prepared ahead of time!

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4 ways to improve your family travel photos

4 Ways To Improve Your Family Travel Photos

 

4 ways to improve your family travel photos

Take great photos of your loved ones when you’re on a family trip is better than any souvenir, am I right?

But it can be challenging to take great family travel photos if you’ve got a wee one that’s eager to run off and explore his/her new surroundings. It can also be a challenge to get the perfectly lit photo, especially if you’re visiting a market or eating street food at a hawker court at night.

While I’m no well-known or super pro photographer, I wanted to share with you the three ways I’ve improved my own family travel photos, based off of the 7 years I’ve owned my DSLR

 

Shoot Outside As Often As Possible

Almost all of my best shots were taken outside in great lighting. Whether Kaya was playing on a beach in Rawai or in the snow in Tuscany, when I took her photo outside during the daytime, the lighting was good enough that I didn’t have to play around in Lightroom/Picmonkey most of the time, nor did I need a tripod or lighting kit.

I shoot outside as often as possible with my DSLR. When I am indoors and want to take a random shot or say my husband & daughter eating dinner at a restaurant, I’ll whip out my iPhone and use that instead. Why? I’ve found it much easier to carry around my phone than a tripod & DSLR ( obviously lol) and my iPhone 6 happens to take pretty good photos, even in low lighting. And if the photo is underexposed, it’s easy to edit it in apps like VSCOCam or Afterlight.

Resource

Video: How to get your kids to smile for photos

How to improve your family travel photos

An impromptu iPhone pic, edited with VSCOcam 6 preset

Be Ready 

I’ve found that the best family travel photos ( and lifestyle pics) are typically taken at random times. This means that just like when you’re at home, a special moment will arise when your kids are playing or doing something funny that you’ll want to capture. But you won’t have long to take the shot, if it’s going to look natural. Have your camera ( or phone) with you as often as possible on your trip and be ready to take snaps throughout the day.

Shoot In Manual or Aperture Priority

If you’re shooting with a DSLR, I suggest trying to shoot in aperture priority or manual. There are several reasons for this. You will have more ability to control how your photos turn out, especially the lighting.

This will make things even easier when you’re taking family travel photos at night or indoors!

Resource: These guides from Photography Concentrate have really helped me shoot in manual

Give Your Little Ones A Camera

Children have the amazing ability to see things we don’t see, because of how creative and imaginative they are, as well as their size. My daughter took my all-time favorite travel photo when we were staying in Penang, which I printed and have a copy of in my room.

If your kids are too young to use a DSLR, I suggest giving them a disposable camera or buying an instant camera, like a Polaroid. The film can be pricey, so let your child know that they need to conserve film, if you get a Polaroid. The cool thing though about instant cameras is that most photos look good, as they have that vintage type feel. Encourage your kids to be creative photographers and to look for what sticks out to them on your travels as being noteworthy. Kaya photographs restaurant decor and food, and also loves to take pictures of animals. What does your child enjoy shooting?

How to improve your family travel photos

When you’ve returned from your vacation and are thinking about what to do with your family travel photos, I suggest printing iPhone pics using a service like Parabo Print, Artifact Uprising, or Print Studio. I’ve printed pictures with all of those companies and like them all. Parabo is probably my favorite, and you can do some cool things with your family travel photos ( like print huge sizes or colourful risograph style). Print Studio has extra tiny size options, which our daughter loves.

Creating photobooks filled with your family travel photos is another option. We use Chatbooks and Nowvel to print photobooks. The former we have print our Instagram photos each month ( for only about 6 dollars) and the latter we give away to friends and family as Nowvel is an amazing quality photobook. For turning your DSLR photos into books, I suggest using Blurb or Artifact Uprising.

No matter where you’re going on your next trip, these easy to implement tips will help you improve your family travel photos, even if you’re just shooting with your iPhone. Remember that kids love being photographers too, and sometimes their pictures are even better than ours! They also love displaying their work, and with affordable printing apps and services, you can display them throughout your home when you get back from vacation.

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Why you should go on a family cruise

Why You Should Go on a Family Cruising Holiday

Why you should go on a family cruise

Don’t think for a second that cruise holidays are just for couples and older travellers. While a cruising holiday is perfect for both these groups, cruises are in fact one of the best ways for families to enjoy a holiday. If you’ve never been on a cruise, or are apprehensive about taking your children on one, don’t worry, we’ve compiled a few good reasons why a cruise should be your next family holiday.

It takes care of the travelling

Seeing multiple destinations is wonderful, but the logistics of corralling little ones across countries and on multiple flights can be overwhelming. That’s why taking a cruise is so good; it lets someone else sort out the transport! A cruise holiday by definition takes you to different locations, and you get to relax by the pool or unwind in the cabin while they do it. It’s like waking up in a new all-inclusive resort every day!
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They are jam packed with activities for kids

Most cruises boast a wide array of kids’ clubs, children’s activities and even in-cabin babysitting services. There is sure to be a world of entertainment to excite and (tire out!) your little ones. From fun activities for the whole family, to ones just for the kids that let you enjoy a cocktail at the bar, there are endless possibilities for fun.

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It lets you see different parts of the world with ease

While the Caribbean is the region many of us think about when we picture a quintessential cruise, there are in fact lots of options available. Take a cruise in the Mediterranean, sail the Black Sea, discover the Baltic, or even venture to the Arctic – it’s up to you!

You only have to unpack once

Taking a cruise lets you get comfortable. Your cabin will be your home for the duration, so you don’t need to worry about packing and repacking when you visit each stop on your itinery. Beyond a small day-bag you can leave everything you need in your cabin.

You’ll never get bored

Going on holiday is great, but after a week in the same location it is natural to get a little restless. This isn’t the case on a cruise, thanks to the fact that you’ll only spend a day or two at each stop-off. This keeps things interesting, and if you fall in love with a destination, you can always come back!

Images by Roderick Eime used under Creative Commons licence.

4 Things Your Kids Will Need In Their Summer Holiday Suitcase

4 Things Your Kids Will Need In Their Summer Holiday Suitcase

4 Things Your Kids Will Need In Their Summer Holiday Suitcase

4 Things Your Kids Will Need In Their Summer Holiday Suitcase 

Now that summer holiday season is fast approaching, there will be many things for you to get sorted. Not only do you need to book holiday transfers and get your travel money, but there are suitcases to pack too! As a parent, this means organising your own, as well as packing those of your kids – and let’s face it, they are likely to miss some essential items if left to their own devices! Of course, you may be prone to forgetting a few bits yourself if you leave everything until the last minute.

Therefore it makes sense to take plenty of time to get all your holiday jobs done, as it should allow you to do everything right the first time. Although it is always helpful to get a little assistance sometimes, so here is a little something from us… we have the lowdown on a few things your kids will need in their summer holiday suitcase, meaning that you can pack the essentials first!

Sun protection 

We are cheating a bit with the first item on the list, as there are quite a few things that can be classed as sun protection. However they’re all really important to keep kids safe and healthy, so it makes sense to group them together. You’ll definitely want to pack a natural sun cream along with some protective sunglasses and a hat. There are other items you can buy such as cover-ups for the beach which can be ideal for the midday sunshine.

Swimwear 

Next up is swimwear, as this is something your kids will use each and every day on a sunshine getaway. Whether they’re playing in the pool or by the sea, swimwear is essential to keep other items of clothes dry. Swimming costumes and shorts are made of a material that will dry very quickly, which is great for comfortable wearing, as well as when you rinse them out in the evening when playtime is over.

Flip flops

Another really handy addition to a holiday suitcase is flip flops. There are plenty of brands out there, but Havaianas are a favourite of many due to the design and quality of the product. Flip flops are a lightweight addition to a bag, meaning they can be brought along on carry-on only flights, as well as in beach bags when going down to the sea. They are also ideal for wearing by swimming pools where the ground is often slippery for bare feet.

Shorts 

Shorts are something that are really versatile for travellers of all ages, but they are even more perfect for kids. Many holiday resorts do not expect tourists to dress overly smart for dinner, meaning your kids can often stay in the same outfit both in the day and the evening. However a dirty top can be replaced if necessary and will likely still match the shorts they are already wearing, especially if they are denim.