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Found 24 results

  1. Have a young adult friend doing a self-study abroad. Rick Steves website is my go-to for travel tips. Is there something like this aimed at young adults and their more thrifty/adventuresome bents?
  2. We'll have three days in Nashville next month, and have never been there. Where should we go? Bluebird Cafe and ??
  3. Hi Friends, I'm planning an epic six week road trip this autumn! Beginning in PA and traveling west through Ohio with the major destination goals of Indianapolis, St. Louis and then through Kansas to Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde, before we head south to Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Considering a side trip to Flagstaff because we love it and want to go back to Lowell Observatory. Then looking for a great beach (preferably with rv camping) somewhere on the gulf coast before turning back north to head home. Going to be pulling my travel trailer and have at least five kids with me, ages four to eleven. Looking for suggestions of "not to be missed" excursions, historical sites, adventures, etc. all along our route. We like educational but also "quirky" not neccesarily mainstream places as long as they are kid friendly. Also any rv camp recommendations. We will stay at some military campgrounds along the way so if you have any reviews or recommendations for those that would be great also. Thanks for the help! Warmly, KM
  4. In a marvel of bad timing, my daughter's choir leaves on July 7 to go to Greece. She is only fourteen and is one of three children in the choir whose parents are not accompanying them. The rest have family members going too (which doubles the cost). The group will be in Athens for a day and then on an island in the Aegean for over two weeks. They will need to buy their own lunch and supper throughout the trip. I am worried about money, since the banks are not working. I hate to send a kid that age with all cash. Any suggestions? Last year in their trip to Canada I gave my child a debit card that I got from AAA. I wonder if businesses would accept that? I think those traveling with parents are planning on using credit cards. Is it possible for us to lend one of our credit cards to our minor child, even if she is not listed on it? Help!
  5. We're going to be in St Louis, MO, for a week at the end of April with our First Lego League team from the UK. We won't have a lot of free time, I expect, but as I don't travel much (only my second time out the UK in the past 20 years) I'd like to see *something* that makes me feel as if the credit card debt and stress to get us there was worth it. When I google St Louis, all I'm reading is that there's absolutely no reason why a tourist would want to visit the place. This isn't very helpful, seeing as we don't have a choice! So, someone, tell me about St Louis. I'm a country girl at heart, so I find cities daunting and people scary, but y'know, the UK is tiny, our weather is bland and we queue a lot (yes the rumour is true), so a change would be good :) Tell me what to expect...what to see...what to avoid...what to pack. Just tell me stuff!
  6. I live in US and I have an opportunity to travel to England with my 3 kids in May. My children are 13, 11, and 7yo and we homeschool. We are mid way through SOTW vol 3. My kids loves Harry Potter and now Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. My youngest is a huge Paddington fan (yes, even before the movie came out) My husband has work to do in London and also in Chesham. I defintely want to see London, Tower of London, London Bridge, etc. But I'm open to all ideas. I don't have to stay in those areas. Traveling to opther parts of the country is a possibility. I just don't know if or when I'll have the chance to take my kids on a trip like this again so I want to get the most of it. :) What is not-to-miss? What is overrated? Many thanks, MB
  7. Hive, For Christmas this year, I want to give travel-related gifts to the family because we have a big group trip scheduled for next April. I am racking my brain to come up with something very useful and/or very fun related to travel. It would be a big bonus if this gift is practical for a 10 hour international flight (business class if that matters). When my sister left for an out-of-state college a couple of years ago, I gave her and my parents personalized luggage IDs and bungee things that helped stack luggage on luggage when going through the airport. Suggestions?! Pleeeeeeease! :) The gift recipients are my parents (50s), my brother/sil (40), and *maybe* the young adults (23-21) and kids (16-5). Any price range (even if cost prohibitive--it might spur another idea). Thank you for your help! I'm drawing a blank!
  8. Good morning! We are planning to fly with our family to the Bahamas in a few weeks. For the last week or so my husband and I have been looking at each other every morning after watching the news and asking each other, "Should we cancel our trip?" We love to travel, and have flown out of the country many times, but the ebola news coverage has us a little intimidated. I feel that the CDC is not being truthful and that so far the US is not prepared, and that leads me to think that possibly the Bahamian islands are also not prepared. I do not really want to be in the Bahamas if an outbreak occurs there, and I am a little worried about flying since we are still allowing flights to and from the affected West African countries. WWYD?
  9. Okay, I live in a state that requires me to count school days (but has no minimum, and, anyway, we have plenty of days). Normally, we have a field trip every Tuesday, but we also have at least phonics and math before we leave. I count it as a school day. I had planned to count all of last week as a fall break, but now I think I want to count the day at Kennedy Space Center as a school day. My question is... where's the line? Do I count the day we went to Animal Kingdom as well? I mean, we saw wild animals, but IDK if DS actually learned anything new. And then what about Epcot? I'm leaning toward no, though we did go into Spaceship Earth (where he recognized the Egyptian king!)... but a lot of it was aimless wandering around the countries and being hot and mopey. If I were to count that, I might just as well count the Magic Kingdom, where we rode the Carousel of Progress, etc. If I were teaching in public/private school, my decision would be based on whether we met any of the objectives in the required course of study, but that doesn't apply here. What have you done?
  10. OK-- thanks to everyone for replies and suggestions to help me plan for study abroad with my three boys-- we're here in France. Here's our blog: http://theshortstrip.blogspot.fr My curriculm blog is already up, but I would have liked to have seen how others organized a similar trip/semester abroad. I guess I'll blaze the trail and you can thank me later -- unless it all goes terribly wrong, then I'll know why I couldn't find more infromation about!
  11. My dh has to travel for a couple of months in the late spring. I am planning to take my two boys to live somewhere Spanish-speaking for a month during this time. I am considering Costa Rica or Guatemala. I have visited both countries, but it has been quite a few years ago. My goals for the trip are to 1.) Expose my kids to another culture/language. 2.) Practice Spanish 3.) Participate in local service projects. With these goals in mind, I'm not looking for a vacation, but rather to live among the locals. So, here are my questions: 1. Has anyone had an experience similar to the one I am looking for in either Costa Rica or Guatemala? 2. Is it safe to travel by myself with the kids from the airport in Guatemala City to either Antigua or Lake Atitlán? 3. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!
  12. Who has vacation plans this year? Where are you going? We are undecided on a family trip this year. Looking for inspiration.
  13. We're from Oregon, have two boys ages 6 and 4 and we'll be going to the Florida Keys for a week in January. Could some of you please share how you might prepare to learn about a destination for any family trip? How to find good projects, websites, outings, activities, etc? We travel quite a bit around the NW and hope to expand that in the near future, so tips in general would also be appreciated.
  14. My kids and I will most likely be going to Europe next October for three to six months. We are going to be based in England but will also be spending a great deal of time in Switzerland, where my brother and his family lives. I am trying to plan our new school year which will be from January to October. I want to tie their history into our trip, but I am feeling a little overwhelmed with it all. I am not sure if I should have them do a broad study of Europe, or if we should narrow it down to a specific time period, or if I should base it around their interests. What would you do? Also, if you have been before with kids or teens, what were your favorite things to see/do? I am trying to get a list going of the top ten things we must do. Thanks. :001_smile:
  15. We're planning a 9-day trip in June - our 1st trip to Alaska! (I'm already going crazy getting HS materials on Alaska, the Ididarod, Salmon runs, brown and black bear, etc.). DS (7) is absolutely going nuts with excitement! We can't wait!!! :D We'll be staying on the Kenai Peninsula the entire trip so we can take our time and explore. Any advice, recommendations or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Fun little tidbit: we're taking an Ididarod Tour with the Seavey family in Seward that includes a 35 minute ride with the sled dogs (on a wheeled cart), a kennel tour and "talk" about the Ididarod itself. It turns out that they are a HS family! Can't wait to meet them! Anyway, to those that have been, would LOVE to hear about your adventures and recommendations! Thanks so much!
  16. Dh and I have pretty much decided to go to Yellowstone this summer. I've been once a long time ago, dh and the kids have never been. We are looking at staying 4 or 5 days. Could use some tips, advice, etc. on the following: What's a good hotel/motel that isn't expensive (would like to keep it under $100/night if possible)? Doesn't have to be brand name chain hotel, I know that independant local places can be just as nice if not better sometimes. Should we got in May or June? Anything else we should know? Thanks!
  17. We are going to take the train (so, SO excited!) to New Orleans...what MUST we do while there? Or in the area? We are open to pretty much anything!
  18. My dw and I have been talking about the possibility of spending 2-3 winter months (Jan.-Feb.-Mar. 2013) in another country. Dw's work is portable, and we think it would be a great opportunity for our dd to expand her horizons. We're also heartily sick of New England winters. :thumbdown: I'd love to hear from any Americans who split their time between the US and another country, or those who live (or have lived) in Mexico or Central America, especially Costa Rica. Thanks!
  19. Or are you otherwise familiar with them? I received a post on another homeschooling loop talking about their annual Disney trip. We're interested, but it's almost in that "too good to be true" category. I've done quite a bit of internet searching and can't find anything negative, but would love to hear from an actual person that's done one of their trips or has personal experience with the group just to put my mind at ease before we proceed. Thanks!
  20. Our family (minus dd 18 who is house sitting) is leaving Friday for Kenya and Uganda. I've been before, but it was with an all-inclusive group. What should I be bringing that I've forgotten? Please post what you think is essential to bring. (I have my passports/yellow cards/malaria meds/pictures for visas/travel insurance documents) I'm partially packed and need to know what I forgot! We will be gone the rest of the month! We will be working with various charities in Nairobi, taking a 3 day family PHOTO safari to the Masai Mara game reserve, driving to the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, driving to Uganda... I'll be doing teacher training workshops and teaching at a school in Uganda, 9yr old dd will be attending school, oldest dd will be taking pictures of orphans at a children's home for their sponsor cards, dh will be networking computers... I've set up a blog if you want to follow our adventure...WHEN we have internet access I'll post!
  21. I posted this in another thread. As people are thinking about summer plans and travel this year, I thought this might be helpful for others. Please feel free to add further tips. *** Originally Posted by 5KidzRUs Strider, Did you design your own trip or did you do a tour? What would you recommend and what would you not recommend? Hi--sorry to take so long to respond. Yes, we have always designed our own trips. An experience we had in Mexico perfectly illustrates why we prefer to do so--and this reflects what we have since heard from many others, as well: We signed up for a one day tour. Dh was thrilled to think we could see the Coba ruins, have a jungle hike, swim in a cenote, ride a zipline, and have an authentic traditional Mayan meal prepared in a real Mayan village. Our guide was great, and very knowledgeable. She told us a lot of fascinating information as we went. Many parts of the day were really cool--my kids LOVED swimming in a cenote and the Coba ruins were fascinating. On the other hand, we didn't like all the people we were spending the day with. One man was particularly obnoxious. Also, we didn't have nearly enough time at Coba to explore. It was just too many things for one day--the guide kept herding us along to stick to the (rather tight) schedule. And the guide was required to continually offer us opportunities to buy overpriced items at various junctures--ugh. Also--we could EASILY have done all the things listed in the day tour for less money over two days, and enjoyed it more on our own. So--here are my recommendations: --Don't buy packages that take you around to thousands of places. You will often find that you don't have time to really appreciate those places individually. You will also find yourself vacationing with a group of strangers that you may or may not like. You will also find yourself continually expected to pay extra bits here and there and expected to buy stuff from pre-selected vendors that have relationships with the tour operators. (That usually means overpriced and pressured situations.) --Use Rick Steves' resources. He is a source I have come to love and trust for European travel. --At historic or nature sites, consider paying for a guided tour. The guides do offer a lot of cool information. A 30-60 minute tour can really add to the experience. Afterward, you still have the day to continue enjoying the site. --Don't plan too much per day. You stop being able to enjoy or absorb it. Take either one major thing per day or two small ones per day. Sit down to eat--don't eat on the fly. --Use your library. When planning a trip, we get a couple travel guides and use them. Comparing resources in 2-3 guides helps a lot. For the trip, we usually bring one basic guide, like Fodor's. --Don't overplan. Go with an idea of what you'd like to see, and then let your schedule flow. Make a list of what you are interested in, maybe even a proposed general schedule. Firm it up when you're there, day by day. --Stay in a B&B. They are comfortable, give you breakfast, and the owner/operators are often a wealth of tourist information. --Use public transportation as much as possible. In Europe this is particularly easy to do. In the countryside it can be an advantage to have a car, but in the cities it's definitely easier to stick to public transportation or taxis. We also found it somewhat restful, believe it or not. Our train time was often a good break. --Bring rain gear. Seriously. Never let the weather stop you. Keeping dry is key to keeping warm, and therefore also being able to actually enjoy the day. I usually wear waterproof hiking shoes during the day, and I bring one pair of slightly dressier shoes for eating out. We carry good, light, FULL rain gear (waterproof jacket AND waterproof pants). You can get really good stuff at a camping store. There are also cheaper, heavier versions available too--we usually pay for lighter, higher quality ones and use them for years. --Go in the off-season, particularly at the very start or very end of the off season. Rates are often half. --Pack light. Bring three outfits per person that will layer comfortably. Plan to use a laundromat once or twice. Just keep your luggage to the absolute bare bones so that you can get around more easily. --Pick a home base and stay there. You can have lots of lovely day trips. A good day trip involves two hours or less of travel to the site. For something really spectacular I'd even consider 3 hours, but usually 2 hours or less is a good rule of thumb. --Pack food and water to bring each day--especially fruit. Don't ever go anywhere without water. --JUST DO IT. Decide where you want to go, make a list of nifty things to see, and just go. Be prepared to change your plans as needed. It's so much easier than people think it will be. --Be excruciatingly courteous. People all over the world are happy to help you. Just make sure you smile, ask, "Hello, how are you?" then ask, "Can you help me?" Finally make your request. Going through the formalities like this works in EVERY culture--people will fall all over themselves helping you. Americans tend to skip the formalities and just leap to the need, "Can you tell me where . . ." etc. It is perceived as rude, as treating others as servants. ETA: Just thought of another one. My dh carries a floppy, foldable frisbee and a small ball everywhere we go. That way we can relax and play when a break is needed. It's good for adults, and absolutely crucial for children. Seek parks and break up all the touring with running and games and silliness.
  22. We want to go back and visit San Diego and would love to save money on the hotel. I have my AARP card (oh yeah, you can get this when you turn 50, who knew), AAA membership and hubby has points with Marriott Couryards. What is the best way to get the cheapest rate at a decent hotel? Have you tried Priceline or Travelocity or any of those kinds of sites that let you offer your own price? I looked at one the other day, but you put your bid out and you dont know who would accept it, whoever did would immediately charge your whole stay.... SHould I stick to getting a rate through AAA, or AARP.... Please tell me, those of you that travel alot, what is the best way! THank you!
  23. This is a shout-out to anyone that has been a traveler to, or resident near, places that were once part of the Wild West. For the past nine months or so, my husband - Dad Windu - has thrown himself into learning about the people and places from this unique period in American history, particularly Wyatt Earp and his ilk. Padawan Learner and I briefly covered this time period at the end of last year and are revisiting it again early this year, so it is a fortunate merging of interests. BUT we're not very familiar with the SW part of the US at all so we're looking for some help. If you're interested in throwing your 2 cents in about must see places and sites, please go see the post I wrote about it a few days ago and let us know what you think. I was sitting here reading the forums and thought, "Well, duh, the WTM'ers will know what to do!" Many thanks in advance.
  24. Friends of mine have been given a car and are going to be driving across the country to bring it home. They have a 7-1/2 year old son who is a good reader and can read in the car without getting sick. He has a Game Boy, and they are looking into rigging up something so he can watch movies. However, that's not enough for 30 hours in the car. He's a bright and creative child, who can finger knit and likes to do stuff with his hands. I've suggested getting him the Bone graphic novels. They're looking for activities, including (hopefully) a few educational ones that are also fun. They were wondering in particular about decks of activity cards (not necessarily quizzes, but those are OK too). Funny, silly, thoughtful, all are good. They're more than willing to play along with him. We would appreciate any ideas.
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