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Found 5 results

  1. We are going to be in the car for 8 hours straight, how can i keep my kids from saying are we there yet every minute? :confused:
  2. 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.
  3. Allright, here's the scoop--my family is taking a three month trip to the U.S. (from overseas) for a short home assignment from mid-December to early March. I don't have room in the baggage to take all of our homeschool books, besides we're going to be spending the whole time traveling. (We're missionaries and will be covering the U.S. map from Florida to Missouri to Maine visiting family and churches.) My children are 3rd grade and Kindergarten. I know I need to bring my k-ers phonics program. But I thought about trying to take a little break from our regular curriculum and try some fun things that are highly portable. I think that I can do this: Math Mammoth blue units--early geometry, measurements and U.S. money 3rd graders L.A.--Buy Sentence Family download and do that with her along with SchoolHouse Rock videos and Mad libs With our traveling--work through U.S. States and Capitals book and maybe for "science" learn about the wildlife and plants of each region in the U.S. Does that sound too light? It would be a mini-unit study kind of thing, then we would be returning to our normal studies after we return from our trip to the U.S. Maybe we could make a lapbook or something of the U.S. state birds, flowers, etc. Any suggestions? Thanks for the input. I'm all ears!:bigear:
  4. My family and I (2 adults, 2 children) will be traveling from Kansas City to Chicago by train over the Thanksgiving weekend. Our time there will be limited to Wednesday to Saturday. Our goal isn't so much to see all that we can see but experience Chicago and its offerings. I'm looking for the 'you shouldn't miss this' place...or be sure to avoid this... Need advice on visiting and also where to stay. Thanks in advance.
  5. SO, my 11 year old will be going to Italy for 17 days. I want her to do a crash course in the study of Italy. She's not leaving until the end of August. SO, what books would you read? What sites would you just have to see? If you've been there, what's to die for? She's going with her G-pa (my dad) so he's use to traveling, and has a list of where he wants to go....I'm just curious about what she might want to see. And yes, I'm a bit jealous! BUT, very happy for her. And, we're studying Ancient History...next year! Carrie:-)
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