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Category: Travel

Preparing for Your First Family Trip Abroad

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Going abroad with our children is an exciting adventure. Some of us do it for the first time when our kids are very young, perhaps even babies. Others decide to wait until they are older. Some, of course, never do it, preferring to enjoy all that their home country has to offer while saving money on much cheaper options. Whenever you do it, a family holiday can be a magical experience, as well as a great way to spend time together away from all other distractions, and while you could argue that there’s something more glorious about seeing somewhere further from home, it’s also safe to say that there’s more stress involved. 

When we go abroad with kids, there’s a lot to think about, whether they are babies or teens. You might worry about keeping them happy and comfortable on the flight, finding food that they’ll enjoy, and keeping them safe. You may also have concerns about buying everything that you might need at your destination. So, here are some tips to help you enjoy your first family trip outside of your home country. 

Choose a Safe Destination

At the moment, finding a safe destination has a whole other range of concerns. You might want to check current Covid-19 infection levels and local restrictions, as well as the likelihood of facing a period in quarantine either when you arrive or when you get home. Many families are choosing to delay trips abroad until next year when the rest of the tips on this list will still be relevant. 

Of course, even without a global pandemic, there are other safety considerations when traveling abroad, and you should always take your time to do some research before booking. Find a safe area, with positive reviews, good access to health and security services, and consider staying in an English-speaking hotel for further support. Checking local news sites is always a good idea if you want to get a feel for how safe a destination is, away from the ever-positive travel guides and adverts.

Make Sure it’s Family Friendly

The accommodation that you choose should be family-friendly. Ideally, it should offer a kid’s club (even if you don’t use it, it’s a sign that they prioritize kid’s needs), a safe pool, a room with an extra bed, or cot and other things that you might need. Make sure your hotel offers food that your children will enjoy, and that there’s plenty for them to do. 

Besides this, check if the location offers you to safeguard your luggage or not. For instance – places like Paris offer you the liberty of securing your luggage with luggage storage Paris services while you enjoy traveling. Seek details about such services from your travel agent in advance.

Think About What You Want from Your Holiday

A holiday with children isn’t the same as a holiday with just your partner or your friends. It isn’t even the same as a trip with family members who have children. It’s different. But that doesn’t mean that all family holidays are the same. Before booking your trip, think about what you want from yours. Do you want to spend a lot of time in the hotel, enjoying the facilities on offer? Do you plan to try local activities, or explore the surrounding area? Do you want plenty of tourist hotspots? Think about the kind of holiday you want and look for a destination that gives you what you need to achieve your family holiday. 

Don’t Expect it to be the Same

Your days of being able to lay by the beach soaking up the sun, drinking cocktails, and reading in peace are over. So are your days exploring local nightlife. Prepare for a very different holiday and you won’t be disappointed. 

Pack Carefully

When you are on your own you might wing it with packing, knowing that you could probably get everything you need or at least something close at your destination. When you’ve got kids, things are different. They might need specific medications or sunscreens. You might also need nappies, creams, and wipes, and they’ll certainly need a sunhat and shades. Think about what your kids need, and make sure you pack them. If there’s no laundrette on site, you might want to take some hand wash detergent to prepare for accidents. Make sure you have all of these Travel Essentials for Family Getaways and you should be fine. 

Take Some Home Comforts

Your kids might need some home comforts to help them to stay comfortable and sleep. Younger children might want a teddy or blanket. Older kids might want a favourite toy, and teens probably just need a phone charger. 

Pay for Insurance

When you travel with kids’ insurance can be essential. Make sure any health needs, unexpected cancelations, or other issues are covered. 

Prepare for the Journey

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Travelling with children can be stressful, and you’ll definitely need your holiday by the time you arrive. You might decide to drive, but most people fly, in which case, these tips might help. 

Hand Luggage

Your hand luggage is very important when you’ve got kids. Make sure passports, tickets, and other documents are easy to find, that you have the cash to hand, and plenty of snacks for the journey. You’ll also want some activities to keep the kids happy, and any nappies and toiletries that you might need, and a spare set of clothes, just in case. Remember, if you are paying for a seat for your child, they also get their own hand luggage allowance. 

Plan 20 Minute Activities

Kids have very short attention spans, add that to the excitement of a flight, anxiety, and any nerves that they may have, and keeping them calm might be difficult. So, plan activities in 20-minute blocks. Pack books and games, as well as electronic devices to keep them occupied. 

Carefully Consider Snacks

Snacks are a very useful tool when it comes to keeping kids happy. But, think about it carefully. You don’t want anything too sticky, too smelly, or too likely to make them hyper or sick. 

Don’t Stress

If you stress and worry, everything will be worse. Keep calm, take it as it comes, and try to enjoy yourself. 

Get on the Plane Last

Many airlines will let passengers with young children get on the plane first. This can be a mistake. Let them burn energy running around the airport for as long as you can before they have to sit still. 

Know the Rules

Make sure you know what you are allowed to take on the flight, and what has to go in the cabin bag. Check with the airline before leaving home if you have any doubts. 

Don’t Strive for Perfection

Your holiday is unlikely to be perfect. Things will go wrong, there will be stress and the kids will get upset. This doesn’t mean that the whole holiday is ruined. Forget perfection and let yourself enjoy the adventure.

Are You Starting To Update Your Travel Wishlist Again?

It’s been a long long pandemic and people are getting excited about the possibility of traveling again. I am so looking forward to discovering new places with my own family and friends. I recently was flattered to be asked to share the wonderful centrally located Hotel Mediterrano in Rome with you. This hotel is rich in history and style and the perfect addition to your must-visit list.

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Boasting nearly 150 years of Italian hospitality in Rome, Bettoja Hotels just announced the reopening of the iconic Hotel Mediterraneo featuring recent renovations and stylish new additions including a new rooftop panoramic terrace and lounge bar!

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After a year of being closed during the pandemic, 4-star Hotel Mediterraneo has reopened its doors Celebrating the inauguration of the reopening, the hotel now features a beautiful, renovated panoramic rooftop terrace with breathtaking city views of the Eternal City. Soaring 50 meters high, the hotel’s Roof Garden Restaurant and Terrace also welcomes a new addition with its Ligea Lounge Bar. With an elegant vintage atmosphere, the new lounge bar serves as a prime meeting point for guests and non-guests from around the world to gather in its eclectic indoor and outdoor areas. 

Precious 1940’s lamps and restored Art Deco interior design pieces designed by Mario Loreti and Gustavo Pulitzer Finali furnish the Ligea Lounge Bar on the tenth floor of the Hotel Mediterraneo, creating a new location to be discovered during the magical days and evenings of one of the best cities in the world. The lounge is adorned with velvet sofas, mirrors, and fine vintage pieces with exotic plants that create an exclusive green nest in which to take refuge, all with a spectacular 180 ° view of the capital.

Chef Antonio Vitale completes the gastronomic offer of the new Ligea Lounge Bar with and fresh snacks, with menus that will follow the seasons. A robust list of cocktails and wines offering fine labels will accompany the evening and dinner menus daily from 5 pm until midnight. Guests can also experience this space by choosing to reserve it completely for private events, gala dinners, or standing cocktails.

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The Bettoja flagship property, Hotel Mediterraneo, was designed in 1938 by the architect Loreti and has recently been restored following a careful collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, featuring the participation of master artisans and the most meticulous of Italian restorers. The timeline of restorations began in 2018 and recently concluded with the restoration of the Mosaic Room featuring the “Medieval Hunt” by Franco d’Urso, a beautiful mosaic based on a sketch by the painter Achille Capizzano. These restorations have brought the historical heritage of the Hotel Mediterraneo to the forefront, highlighting the charm of its monumental architectural feats and the value of its artistic elements. As part of the restoration of the hotel, the rooms feature carefully restored and preserved period furniture.

This is so amazing…..Thanks to the deep love and dedication for hospitality, the Bettoja family has always kept the hotels open through the two World Wars and the pandemic and remains a true point of reference in Rome.

About Bettoja Hotels

Located in the heart of Rome, surrounded by the famous artistic and cultural wonders of the Eternal City, Bettoja Hotels is a family-run hotel chain born from the passion of the Bettoja family for hospitality. The Bettoja group was born in Rome in 1875 and has borne witness to the history of Italy since its Unification. With its four facilities, 650 rooms in total, and a number of business meeting rooms, Bettoja Hotels are the perfect mix of tradition and innovation. Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio, the first property to be acquired by the group, maintains its “Umbertino” style and exudes all the charm of the Risorgimento: it boasts a precious cellar of fine wines where the suggestive Italian atmosphere of the turn of the century reigns supreme. The Hotel features one historic restaurant- the Ristorante Massimo D’Azeglio which is part of the Italian Historical Places Association, and three modern meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 180 people theater style. The Hotel Mediterraneo stands out for its severe and monumental luxury and is amongst the best examples of Art Déco in the capital. A classic example of 1940s architecture, the interiors are dominated by wood and marble and the recurring sea theme, from which the hotel takes its name, is clearly evident throughout the structure. With its seven meeting rooms that accommodate up to 120 people theater-style, two restaurants, and a Roof Garden that boasts a 360 ° view of the capital, it is the largest building of the group, and one of the tallest in Rome. The Hotel Atlantico, also located on the Esquiline, welcomes guests in a charming building from 1935 with 3 meeting rooms with natural light with a maximum capacity of 45 pax theater-style. The Bettoja offer has now added the presence of Hotel Nord Nuova Roma, a 3-star hotel, which boasts cozy rooms, three meeting rooms for up to 50 people, and a splendid terrace overlooking the Baths of Diocletian. www.bettojahotels.it

Let’s Go Glamping

Do you love the outdoors but can’t imagine sleeping without the comforts of home? Then glamping is for you. A luxurious take on camping, glamping brings many of the amenities of city life to the backcountry. This has become such a popular getaway lately. Here are some tips to prepare for your next adventure.

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camping 1845906 1920

Book Online

Many different websites allow you to browse glamping options throughout the US. You can choose from teepees, large safari tents, treehouses, yurts and cabins. These options are all trendy, so become familiar with how far out reservations are released. It’s not uncommon for locations to book up as far as six months to a year in advance. Websites list the amenities provided, show pictures and give you an idea of how secluded the area is. Many of these glamping sites offer pillow-top mattresses, cooking stoves and showers, so decide how glamorous you want your vacation to be and search for those items specifically.

Pack the Appropriate Clothing

Once you know your location and date, you can review the weather expectations for your trip. Even if heating or fans are an amenity you seek out, always bring an extra layer such as a jacket or coat to prepare for any weather changes. Evenings in the wilderness are sometimes chilly. Since you won’t have access to laundry facilities, be sure to include extra pairs of your necessities such as your Lulalu bras, socks and bathing suits. Include shoes that can hold up to hiking, an outfit for canoeing or fishing, and an extra sweatshirt for the campfire at night. Keep in mind, if your location is a hike-in and not located adjacent to the parking area, you have to carry in all your items, so pack wisely.

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bonfire 1867275 1920

Bring Your Own Linens

Even if your destination includes bedding, it’s always a good idea to bring your own. These give you an extra layer if you are cold or a touch of home comfort for sleeping. Everyone’s opinion of luxury is different so having your own bedding guarantees you relax comfortably. It’s also a good idea to bring extra towels, too. Things get dropped, muddied, or don’t dry quick enough when you are in the wilderness. Having extra towels ensures you and your belongings stay dry.

Plan a Menu

If you choose a Glamping package that does not include meals…..It is good to know that not every glamping option includes a small refrigerator, but if yours does, you are in luck. This makes packing perishables, such as milk, eggs and meat much more manageable. If you don’t have a fridge, you need to pack cold food in an ice chest. Since this is only good for a short-term stay, be sure to pack many nonperishable foods. Items like cans of chili, soups, instant noodles and peanut butter sandwiches don’t require cooling and always fill you up. 

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glamping 1695468 1920

Taking a weekend or week-long excursion glamping is a great way to get outdoors and comfortably enjoy a break. There are many options available depending on what amenities and location you seek. When you’re ready to hit the road, pack your clothes, linens and food, and you are set to go. 

Bringing A New Sense Of Achievement To Your Trips From Home

Why is it that you travel? To see more of the world? To bring back memories? For a lot of people, there is a sense of achievement that comes with broadening one’s horizons. But if you’re longing for that feeling, there are even more ways to bolster that sense of achievement and purpose with your trips away from home. Here are some interesting suggestions.

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Start A New Career

If you’re a travel lover, there are plenty of jobs that can help you see more of the world. What’s more, you can get into a career that helps you gain a whole new sense of satisfaction wherever you go. You can look into being a travel consultant. In this position, you will understand your clients needs and suggest suitable trips, especially now since travel is mostly local. And, there is still great demand.

Learn the lingo

If you want to not only get a sense of achievement but also foster some real improvements in your trip, then there are few better ways to do that than by learning to speak the language. By being better able to interface with the language of the place you visit, not only can you communicate better, but you can navigate better, spend more wisely, and even make some friends on your travels. Linguistic apps like Mondly can make a huge difference to the way that you see travel, even if you don’t necessarily become fluent. And you will be all ready and well prepared for your next trip, when the time comes.

Engage with the wildlife

Wherever you go, there will be wildlife to see and, sometimes, to interact with more closely. Safari trips can be deeply satisfying because they can allow you to get closer to animals in their natural habitat than you ever would, otherwise. Learning to fish with sites like Tailored Tackle can be just as engaging. Not only can you get involved in the struggle of nature locally, but you can also come back with a souvenir too. And pick up a new hobby!!!

Preserve the places that you visit

There’s an increasing trend towards forms of responsible travel that allow people on vacation to help take care of the places that they visit. Volunteer travel programs as described in Volunteer Forever have some great tips for helping to organize a trip to help the environment that you visit.

Vacations away from home offer far more than just things to do and attractions to see. They offer ways to accomplish new goals and develop further as a person. The above examples can help you see how to do just that.

A Weekend In Newport.

I’m not complaining…I am so happy everyone is safe and sound but honestly its time for a change of scenery. My anniversary was last Saturday and my husband suggested we go to Newport to celebrate. I love Newport. It such a pretty area, the Mansions of the Gilded age are fabulous. I have toured them with my mom but never with my husband so I was excited to do that together. We spent a lot of time wandering around the Breakers, the Vanderbilt mansion but the Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff are also spectacular. We saw the Warhol exhibit “Big Shot” at the Newport Museum of Art, which I loved. Also, the restaurants in Newport are amazing…HERE is a guide to some of the best..However, I love the Chanler and Castle Hill. And you have to check out the Top of Newport Bar at the Viking Hotel!! Here are some of the highlights of our little getaway. As you can see I really really loved it…I hope I inspired you to have your own little change of scenery trip!!!! Bon Voyage!!!

Moving Abroad Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult

Sometimes, we visit a country for vacation and realize that we never want to leave. Whether you fall in love with the food, the culture, or the weather, you might make the bold decision to move abroad. Thankfully, there is plenty of advice online that is designed to help make moving home easier, though much of this advice doesn’t take into account those that may be moving to another country.  

With that in mind, here are some tips that can make moving abroad easier!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

1: Nail down the technicalities 

When you move to another country, you need to ensure you have all of the appropriate documentation required to live there safely and legally. This means you will need to obtain a visa. The type of visa you will need will vary largely on the country you are moving to, so ensure you spend some time researching visas until you find one that best matches your needs. For example, if you are moving to the UK, you can apply for a range of visas, including: 

  • An artist’s visa
  • Family visa
  • Finance visa
  • Spouse visa
  • Unmarried partner visa
  • Tier 1/Tier 2 Visa

If you have been living in the UK for five years, and continue to wish to stay, work and live within the UK, you can reach out to an immigration lawyer who can assist with your UK ILR application. This means the rules pertaining to your ability to work are the same as those that pertain to British citizens.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

2: Set yourself a budget. Stick to it. 

You’ve probably already figured out that moving abroad is going to be expensive. From visa fees to transportation costs, you’re going to need to dip into your savings a little to make it all possible. As a result, it is important that you reign in your spending wherever possible. One way in which you can do this is by noting down everything you need to pay for – from the cost of having your belongings shipped overseas, to the cost of living in your new destination – and curating a budget accordingly. There are plenty of budgeting apps you can download on your phone that make budgeting easy!

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

3: Travel Lightly

It can be hard to let go of your belongings, but moving your entire life abroad would be particularly costly, especially if you are planning on shipping heavy-duty items, such as your wardrobe and bed. As a result, you must travel as light as possible – bring with you the essentials you’ll need to go about your daily life, and nothing more. You can always ask friends and family to send over items later if you realize you need them. You can keep things you don’t bring along in storage, or if you no longer have use for them, donate them to local charities or sell them to earn extra cash before the big move. Remember, you’ll be able to buy new furniture, clothes and more in your new home. Not bringing everything along gives you a great excuse to go shopping!