Archive of ‘Travel’ category
With spring quickly on its way out and summer fast approaching, vacation season is just around the corner. As much as families love their vacation destination, the road getting there, especially if by a car, is long and boring.
Here are five ways to make the long, boring hours fly by with fun:
1. Movie Marathon
Whether the drive is a couple of hours or a couple of days, having a portable DVD player, laptop, or car with a built-in TV with streaming capabilities compatible with Direct TV Internet or companies of the like can quickly change an uneventful trip into something exciting. Bring a handful of choices or subscribe to Netflix or other streaming companies to have an endless supply of movies and TV shows to watch.
Some cars have built-in streaming capabilities that phones and tablets can hook up to, which is helpful if your family has teenagers. Often teen siblings don’t agree on what to watch, thus each one can watch a movie of their own choice on their phone or tablet.
If you have young children who are particularly interested in watching the same movie over and over again, invest in headphones your children can wear. They get to enjoy the movie, and you get to enjoy the silence.
Load up your phone, tablet, and kindle with games, books, and other entertaining apps. Look for apps with trivia quizzes that the whole family can participate in like naming movies or different songs heard from song clips. Or, to keep it more educational, look for trivia quizzes about geography, history, or literature. And, be sure to download a bunch of books. If the movies get old you can always read children’s books out loud.
3. Special Snacks
Road trips and vacation are usually the time most people splurge food wise. Make it a tradition to bring fun snacks that are otherwise not allowed on a regular basis like cookies, candy, donuts, or soda. In each town, stop at different local hotspots for milkshakes or great comfort food. Download apps like Roadfood, Food Network, or TV Food Maps. These apps can determine your location and provide you information on what food joints are near you. These food stops will give the kids something to look forward to, and will hopefully alleviate some of the “are we there yet?” questions.
Sometimes good old’ fashioned fun is the best way to go when on a road trip. Games like the ABC game, license plate game, “I Spy,” and slug bug game are always a crowd pleaser. Six degrees of celebrity separation or the celebrity name game can be a lot of fun, especially if you have older kids. But, there are plenty of road trip game books that offer hundreds of activities if the classics start to get boring.
A road trip just isn’t a road trip without tunes to cruise to. Make sure to load up your iPod before you leave.
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When you’re a teenager, one of the things that you start to look forward to is the freedom to drive your own car whenever you want, and wherever you want to go. It’s also something of a status symbol for many youngsters, as it’s “cool” to have your own car rather than having to take the public transport everywhere (or blag a lift off your mum and dad whenever you want to go into town)!
But what many teenagers don’t realise is how dangerous driving can be. According to statistics from Brake, the road safety charity, a shocking one in five new drivers are likely to crash their car within the first six months of driving, and it probably comes as no surprise that young men are far more likely to be involved in a crash than women.
Quite often, teenage drivers will end up being taught how to drive by their parents, and many of those youngsters will go on to pass their driving tests. If you have teenagers and they want to learn how to drive, here is what you need to know in order to do a good job!
Have you got what it takes?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a driving instructor to your children. There are certain qualities and legal requirements that you will need to possess before you can even consider becoming a driving instructor to your kids:
- Personal qualities – as a driving instructor you have to be patient, have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to guide your child through any dangerous situations;
- Driving licence – in the UK, you will need to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years;
- Car – obviously a car is required for this particular task, and it needs to be road legal (i.e. having valid MOT and tax). Both you and your kids need to be insured to drive the car.
One crucial thing that you must not do is pass on any bad driving habits to your kids; pretty much everyone will have picked up bad driving habits at some point in their lives. Some parents opt for taking an advanced driving course first to help them be better drivers, so that they can pass on those positive driving skills to their offspring.
Preparing for the big day
When you’re both ready for the first driving lesson, it is important to teach your kids the basics of your car (or their car, if they have their own car to learn in). This means going through the controls of the car, and familiarising them with the different components of a car so that they can check they all function correctly.
Once you are both ready to begin, make sure the stereo is turned off, and both of you have seatbelts on. Get them to adjust their mirrors and seat to ensure optimum visibility and comfort, and then you can begin the lesson.
In a hurry to pass?
Some parents feel it is better to get approved driving instructors to teach their children how to drive, so if they are in a hurry to learn how to drive, it might be more beneficial to book some intense driving courses for them once they have mastered the basics of driving in your car.
This gives them the confidence to progress as they will have had previous driving experience (with you at their side) and it will obviously be cheaper too.
It’s no secret that travelling abroad for family holidays is a somewhat costly affair these days.
The cost of flights to overseas destinations has increased in recent years, and there has been much news coverage in the media in recent months about how travel agents and airline firms are seemingly charging up to double the price of flights and accommodation during school holiday times.
For many parents feeling the economic pinch, travelling abroad with the kids is fast becoming an impossible dream. So if you are facing this dilemma, here are some alternative holiday ideas that you could consider for the summer holidays this year which will be just as fun and interesting for both you and your children!
Go on a rail adventure
You might think this is somewhat unusual, but I can guarantee you that both you and your kids will have such an awesome time going on a rail adventure! There are plenty of heritage railways that you can check out such as the Severn Valley Railway in the West Midlands, and it’s a great way to go and explore some picturesque towns along the route whilst taking in some breathtaking scenery!
Some heritage railway operators even have workshops where the kids can get involved with refurbishing trains and equipment, while others even allow children to do some driving too!
One of the most-popular places to spend time with your children during the school holidays is in a ‘holiday village’ such as CenterParcs. These locations feature self-contained accommodation and have all sorts of facilities on offer, such as swimming pools, indoor and outdoor activities, water sports and more, all within a scenic woodland area.
And for the parents, there are a number of facilities for them too such as spa treatments, saunas, as well as a selection of restaurants and leisure facilities aimed at adults.
One of the cheapest ways of spending some quality family time together is by going camping in the great outdoors! Believe it or not, Britain has a vast number of scenic campsites dotted around, so all you have to do is decide where you’d like to go camping and pitch up your tent!
Every parent should take their children camping at least once in their lives, as it means that the kids will be able to enjoy and appreciate nature and the great outdoors, and you can even teach them some essential skills which they will hopefully pass on to their children when they are older.
Of course, camping isn’t for everyone, so the next best thing to pitching up a tent is staying in a caravan! You can usually stay in a caravan in the same places where you would go camping, and you can either hire a caravan, or buy your own and drive it to the campsite with you.
Caravans sometimes get bad press, but to be honest they are actually pretty luxurious. According to Butler Technik, they have all of the modern conveniences that you would expect to find in a hotel room, except that you are paying a fraction of the cost!
Racecourses throughout the UK are adding more Ladies Days to their calendars as the events are proving very popular on the fixtures lists in horse racing.
The events tend to offer a reduced admission fee for ladies looking to attend a day at the races.
Along with the regular card, a range of different activities take place at the track which encourage interaction with the public. A best dressed prize is given to one lucky spectator, while a number of fashion shows take place between the contests on the course.
The most popular Ladies Days are at the big meetings in the sport but there are more than 60 each year in the UK alone. In March, the second day at the Cheltenham Festival attracts huge crowds as it is also very popular with people from Ireland. There is also a Ladies Day a month later during the Grand National Meeting. It takes place a day before the world famous steeplechase and also attracts a bumper attendance.
During the flat season, Royal Ascot is well known for its Ladies Day. The dress code at this meeting is strict as everybody on course has to wear a hat and follow specific guidelines to what they can wear. Those in attendance get a glimpse of the Queen as she makes her way down the racecourse in a horse and carriage before racing gets underway.
In the summer, there are a number of meetings which host evening events. They look to book an artist or band to perform after the racing finishes to extend the fun late into the early hours. Families are also able to take children with them as there are designated areas of the course which are alcohol free.
There are tons of places one can travel to with the goal of becoming fluent in English and choosing just one can be a bit overwhelming. Choosing Australia as your language-learning destination has a plethora of benefits. Not only is a country full of warm, fun-loving people with plenty of amazing English courses available in various cities, but there also are tons of unique things to see in do in Australia you can’t find anywhere else. From natural wonders to gourmet cuisine, there’s something for everyone in the Land Down Under.
If you’re into art, music, fashion, and the finer things in life there are plenty of exciting attractions waiting for you in Australia. The Australian art scene is a reflection of its eclectic culture. There are several world-class museums in the major cities including the National Gallery in Canberra that holds works from Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, David Hockney, and Lucien Freud. One truly unique aspect of the Australian art scene is the presence of the beautiful and culturally rich Dreamtime art scene created by Australian Aboriginal peoples. Artists such as Gloria Petyarre (along with her other equally talented sisters) are famous worldwide for their unique paintings that reflect important cultural ideals. Much of the Petyarre work has even been reprinted onto highly valuable scarves coveted by the fashionistas from around the globe. Speaking of fashion, while it isn’t as well known as Paris or Milan, Australia has its own Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And with designers such as Akira Isogawa creating mesmerizing collections year after year it pays to keep an eye on the up-and-coming scene.
If you’re more of the sporting type, Australia is a great place to try out some new games. The famous beaches like the ones of Byron Bay with the warm waters and white sands are perfect for learning how to surf. And you can’t visit Australia with checking out footie—Australian Football which is different from American gridiron and traditional football. Ozzies also inherited a love of cricket from their British colonizers. And if you’re into the international sports scene, the Australian Open is one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world. If you’re less into competition and more into the great outdoors, there’s no lack of adventure. From sailing along the coast to camping in the great outdoors, you’ll find more than you bargained for waiting for you in Australia. The numerous National Parks provide various topographies and climates so you could take a completely different trip once a month and never leave the country. Hiking enthusiasts shouldn’t miss an opportunity to see the natural wonder of Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) or the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
Next to language, food is the best way to experience a new culture. Exploring some of the exotic dishes of Australian cuisine is a foodie’s dream. Being such an isolated country/continent, much of the food culture is based on what can be produced locally. Along the coast, freshly caught fish and shellfish are unlike anything else in the world. And while they’re sold mostly as novelty, native animals such as emu, kangaroo, and crocodile are available for consumption. Australia’s large immigrant population also means there is a presence of variety in the food scene. From Italian to Korean, you’ll find whatever you’re craving freshly made. Vegetarians and vegans shouldn’t shy away due to their lifestyle choices. There are plenty of options for the meatless and cities such as Nimbin will spoil an herbivore with choices. Of course, wine enthusiasts can note that Australian presence in the market has increased drastically in recent years. A trip to the wine country in Clare Valley is the perfect adventure for your inner sommelier.
If you’re searching for a new living experience like no other while you acquire English, consider Australia as your main destination. Whatever your current interests, Australia has something for you. Plus, there are so many unique Aussie experiences to learn from while you’re on your language-learning journey.
Dani Barrow is a representative of Language Trainers, which provides individually-tailored language training on a one-on-one or small group basis worldwide.
I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen parents traipsing around town, with their kids in a pram or pushchair, and then having to somehow get themselves and lots of shopping onto a packed bus or train!
For me, that is my idea of hell, and I am pretty sure that is a view shared by most, if not all, parents across the UK!
Aside from one parent and the children staying at home and the other parent going out and doing the shopping as well as running various errands, a simple solution presents itself in such situations: buy a car!
There are many benefits to parents buying a family car that can easily transport themselves, their children and any cargo in the boot; here are 6 such reasons!
1. It will reduce your blood pressure
On a serious note, situations like the one I have described above are enough to send any parent’s blood pressure levels through the roof!
Too much stress can cause some severe health problems for any person, and trust me; it’s not something you want to be suffering from if you’ve got some babies or young children to look after!
2. It’s convenient
Unless your family is heading to a destination where driving a car is not an option (you won’t have many of these types of destination in your life), owning a practical family car such as an estate or an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) will be extremely convenient for you and your family.
3. You are self-reliant
The problem with all methods of public transport is that you have to rely on them to a) be on time and b) have enough space for you and your family to board. If you had a car, you can just get behind the wheel whenever you want, without having to wait for anybody!
4. There is a huge choice of cars available
Obviously all parents will have different sets of requirements when it comes to what sort or size of car they need, whether it be a small car from http://www.coopermini.co.uk or a large MPV to transport a car full of people and a boot full of cargo or pets. Because there is a vast choice of cars available on the market, the possibilities are endless.
5. You are better equipped to deal with emergencies
If your son or daughter has become really poorly and you need to take them to your GP or local hospital quickly, you can simply take them in your car and drive to where you need to go to at a moment’s notice. This would be difficult to achieve if you did not have your own car.
6. You can have family road trips
Many parents love taking their kids on family holidays to somewhere new and interesting within Great Britain, and road trips in your car with them can be a great time to spend some quality time together until you reach your destination! Of course, you might have to contend with the odd squabble from the back seat, but it just adds to the experience of it all!