Thursday, August 24, 2017

10 Family Adventures in Costa Rica

With diverse landscapes including beautiful beaches, towering volcanoes, and lush jungle, Costa Rica’s diversity makes it a perfect destination for any kind of traveler, which is probably why it’s popular among families. Book your next family vacation to Costa Rica and explore all it has to offer with these 10 exciting family adventures.

Volcano Hike

Arenal is Costa Rica’s most popular volcano as it looms over 5,000 feet into the sky. The volcano is surrounded by green jungle and the famous Arenal lake, making it the perfect choice for volcano enthusiasts, jungle explorers, and water lovers, alike. There is no shortage to the fun that can be had here. Hike the volcano as a family, get your adrenaline pumping with hanging bridges and ziplines, or paddleboard on the lake followed by a lazy picnic. Everyone is sure to enjoy this national park.
Perfect Cone-Shape  Mayon Volcano - Philippines

Manuel Antonio National Park

There is no better sound to get up to every morning than to the call of the howler monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park. They are a natural delight and this park, especially, is tailored for kids with easy walks and activities on the nearby beach like surf lessons, parasailing, or even Spanish language courses.

Stay at a Luxury Resort

To experience something absolutely new, stay at a high end eco-resort, with a range of options. There are spas and resorts, like Si Como No, built on cliffsides which overlook the Pacific Ocean. Almost all resorts maintain swimming pools,water slides and well planned gardens which make for a true family friendly holiday.

Peninsula Papagayo

All beaches in Costa Rica have free access to the public. The Peninsula Papagayo is one such place with an abundance of hidden coves and harbors. Outrigger canoeing here is a great attraction for kids.
image source

Float along the Corobici River

The river comes alive during late afternoons with the robust activity of large flocks of egrets and storks. A guided ride past the panama and bamboo trees, along the Corobici river, is extremely educational for the whole family.

Jaco Ropes Excursion

The elevated obstacles at Jaco Ropes adventure park provide high class family fun. For those looking for thrills from high up in the trees, this is the best place to visit.

Jade Museum Tour

For an up close interaction of the history of Costa Rica, the five storey Jade Museum showcases the same through the jade stone. Families can view how these stones and jewellery were made while the children have a go at digging for artifacts at the sand exhibit.

INBio Park

This park introduces visitors to some of the many natural attractions of Costa Rica. The La Paz waterfalls trail recreates the country's rainforest region, while the wildlife station imparts important information on some of the animals and reptiles found in Costa Rica.

Soak in the Hot Springs

Situated in Alajuela province, these hot springs are the natural result of the same geothermal factors that go into creating molten lava. A soothing soak can be enjoyed by all amidst the lush landscaped surroundings.

Freddo Aventura Rural

Located about an hour from San Jose, this dairy and strawberry farm is a joy for kids. A two hour guided tour allows you to milk cows and bottle feed the adorable calves. Dairy farming techniques and guided horseback tours are some of the top draw activities here.

Pura Vida is how the locals like to live.The county values its biodiversity up to the tiniest tree and organism. While families tend to do all in one trip, it is best advised to select a few places at a time and do base trips from there in order to enjoy the country fully.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How to Save Money on a Family Camping Trip

If you’re looking for a cheap way to go on vacation with your family, camping may be the perfect option. Instead of having to pay for an expensive hotel room and invest in high-priced airline tickets, you can save thousands on a local camping excursion you and your family drive to and pay for much lower lodging costs. Even regular inexpensive camping trips can add up, so it’s important to pay attention to your expenses on your trips. Here are some tips to follow to keep your camping trip costs low and the fun endless.

Bring Your Own Gear

Camping can be a great way to save money on your stay if you prepare ahead of time. Most places have a nominal fee for a campsite if you have your own camping gear. Your best bet is to purchase your own family tent, cookware, chairs, and other camping gear so you aren’t forced to stay in a rental cabin or use the campsite’s equipment. High-quality camping supplies can be used for years down the road.

Learn to Cook Over the Camp Fire

Another great way to keep your camping trip budget-friendly is to take advantage of the camp fire and get started on cooking. Before you head out, look up some creative meal recipes for campers. Experienced campers can save hundreds of dollars by planning out their meals over the camp fire and cooking with their own supplies instead of resorting to fast food or restaurant meals. Your kids will love to help roast their hot dogs by the fire or get their marshmallows nice and toasty for dessert.

Stay at State Parks

Although staying at a campground in a tent site can be deeply discounted compared to hotel rooms, you can save even more money depending on the type of site you choose. Private campgrounds are often much more expensive than public sites, such as state or national parks. Additionally, your local state park is often more scenic and spacious than the typical campground resort set in an RV park. Some states offer yearly discounts if you are a local resident as well.

Buy a Used Travel Trailer or RV

While staying in a tent may be a great experience for some families, others may prefer the protection from the elements that a trailer or an RV offers. The cost of renting an RV or a travel trailer can ruin your budget, so it may be more economically wise to invest in buying your own. The great news is that there are plenty of used trailers out there and RV’s with very little mileage at great prices. Your local insurance agent can even help add a new policy to your insurance plan to keep your purchase protected.

Purchase a Camping Club Membership

Camping enthusiasts can also save huge on all sorts of costs associated with their passion, such as RV supplies, camping gear, and campground fees if they sign up for a camping membership. There are local camping and RV clubs that could help individual families save money, and there are even nationwide enthusiast clubs that give you discounted rates on a large network of campgrounds. This can help lower your cost of your new addiction over time.

Hike Free Trails

Once you get to the campground, you don’t want to bust your budget by paying for pricey activities. Since you’ll already be out in nature, why not take advantage of this country’s network of free hiking trails. Most campground managers can help you get started and offer some trail maps to give you and your family a way to spend some time working together and being active outside.
A campground vacation is a great idea for a family looking to spend a little and get a lot in return. Use these helpful tips to give your camping adventure even more budget-friendly power.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Traveling with Tweens in Mountain State West Virginia

Traveling has been one of those things that my family really enjoy doing whenever we can.  We started  taking our children to  long trips ever since they were way little.  Our son's first  long trip was overseas when he was  only a year old.  We were worried that  he was gonna be uncomfortable and cry but we were surprised that both of them really traveled well.  I think to have his sister who is also a well-traveled  kid was a big advantage because hoe had someone to play with while we are waiting for our flight or even inside the plane.  We never had any issue with them with plane ride and they are also great with long trips on the road.  
The photos  on this  post were taken during our  road trip downstate.  My husband would laugh at me with questions like "How come we are going downstate but then we are going up?"  Then the explanation follows lol.  I love to travel but I am not good  with geographical stuff.  I don't even like looking at maps, ha!  
 The key to having a smooth and enjoyable road trip with tweens lies on the snacks you bring, music you play while on the road, and the conversation that you put out there with your children.   
Luckily for us, our children are both nature lovers so seeing mountains and trees and stuff like that does not bore them.  We try to make our trips as educational as possible.  Before going to a place, hubby and I does a little research that way we can tell our children what we can see along the way.
We are also lucky that  our taste of music  are all similar.  We love country, pop, and  soft rock.  We bring CDs of the songs that we love to listen to  because some of the music on the radio are  sometimes mix and we  don't like  changing stations especially when we are losing signal.

The most important thing is the  snacks.  It is  very important that we  pack on some water and  fresh fruits and other healthy snacks  that we can all  munch on while on the road.  This way, we  avoid  hitting the  food chains and eating unhealthy stuff.  I usually have  trail mix because it fills you up even with small amount of it.
I am showing the  mountain side of  West Virginia as we drove downstate. (down-state, yah know what I mean, that's why I asked idiotic questions like why it is called that way when we are actually going up.  Don't mind me, I just want to  share some giggles).

Not sure why I took a picture of this but I guess the sign makes  a lot of sense.  You don't want to make a wrong  turn on this place.. just kidding folks.

I wish we have a whole week to  do a road trip because one day is not enough to fully explore a place, certainly not the place we visited because it is a long drive.

At the end of the day, this is what matters.  When you see the  children's faces  arriving at the beautiful scenery, all the hassles and  fatigue in driving is worth it.
Jumping for joy that we finally arrive and that we will be  doing a boat ride.  Water rides are relaxing.
More adventures coming up in the next post.  You can check out how beautiful the New River Gorge is.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Family Vacations Planning And Tips

Family vacations can be a pretty stressful deal. You have to plan, to pack to travel and then to make sure everyone is having fun. When planning family vacations, parents have to consider many things including the age of their children, their favorite activities, the perfect destination based on the budget and many other things. With careful planning a family vacation can be a fun, enjoyable experience for all members of the family.

General Tips For Family Vacations

  • Plan your activities in advance and make reservations;
  • Make a list of all the things you want to pack;
  • Start packing at least three days before you leave;
  • Establish a budget and make sure everybody knows about it;
  • Research restaurants and places where you can eat especially if you have someone in the family who suffers from allergies or other food-related problems.

Where Should You Go

Now that we covered the basis, we can talk about the places you can visit during a family vacation. If your kids are old enough you can consult them or show them a list of options they can choose from. In this way you’ll make sure everyone will love the destination.

If your kids are too small, make sure you search for children friendly locations. A city with an energetic nightlife is not a good idea if you have babies or a toddlers since they won’t be able to sleep during the night and they will be grumpy during the day.

An ideal summer vacation usually includes water and sand so choose the beach resort based on your family’s needs. For toddlers, sand and water can be enough but for older children and teenagers you have to do more planning to make sure they won’t be bored during the vacation.

Family Vacations With Toddlers

When travelling with your little ones, you need simple activities that will keep them occupied for a long period of time. Make sure you pack their favorite toys and games and make a list of potential activities. It does not have to be anything fancy: you can include pouring water from a bucket or making sand castles.

Make sure the hotel you want to book offers comfortable rooms that are or can be childproofed.

Family Vacations With Teenagers

Teenagers are more complicated, you need to invest more time and effort in planning the activities for your family vacation. Spending a day at the beach is not enough, you have to think of other ways to keep them entertained. Think of their favorite activities or of fun activities they never tried and you can try together for the first time. Kayaking in the ocean can be a great idea for family vacations with teenagers, but before embarking in such an adventure make sure everyone knows some safety tips.

The Best Time To Go On A Family Vacation

If your kid is not in school, the best time for a family vacation is extra season since the resorts or tourist destinations are less crowded and the prices are lower. You can try to plan your trip for May or September. These months are usually warm enough to have a vacation with summer vibes and to avoid the summer season madness.

It's been..

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