How to Make Flying Fun For Your Children and Yourself

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Summer vacation time is here! Time to scoop up your kids and take them to your best family vacation places to travel. To get to your destination you might drive your car or soar on an airplane. Flying with your children might be the most adventurous thing you attempt to do as a parent. You may have to protect your fellow passengers from the child who hates airplanes and will do everything in their power to ambush the pilot and land the plane themselves or the child who thinks they own the airplane and the other passengers and doesn’t hesitate to make their reign of the flight known to everyone on board. Here are a five ways to tame the beast inside your child (and maybe yourself) so that everyone can sail smoothly through the sky to the next airport.

  1. Preparing Their minds: Flying miles above the earth takes guts and your children need to be prepared for the new sights and sounds they will encounter on an airplane ride. Tell your kids what to expect before the flight. Don’t scare them into not going, that would be bad. Just make it sound as exciting as you can while making sure they understand the rules of the plane. Turn the flight into a game by giving them something to be looking for such as the seat-belt light, the chair treys, the view outside the window, the friendly flight attendants, the pilot’s voice over the intercom, how to sleep on the plane etc. Make it something they can look forward to and offer little rewards that they can earn periodically through the flight if they are good.
  2. Scheduling the Flight: Plan your flight according to your child’s sleep schedule. If you can board the plane right when your child usually takes their nap or goes to bed you can have them sleep on your lap for the good amount of the flight. On the other hand, if your child struggles falling asleep in strange new places then you might have to scratch this idea and come up with another time that works best for you and your family.
  3. Packing the Food: During your packing phase of getting ready make sure to bring a LOT of snacks. When it comes to keeping your kids calm and pleasant for your fellow passengers, this is no time to be health conscious. Naturally you don’t want to give them sugar highs but individual cracker, chips and cookie bags will bring forth little fussiness and messiness. If you’re attempting a very long flight (8 hours plus) you may want to call up the flight staff beforehand and pre-order your children’s meals.
  4. Including the Entertainment: Bringing games, books, electronics and toys are ESSENTIAL when flying with children. Bring larger items that won’t get lost under their seats like coloring books with attached coloring tools or Etch N Sketch. Remember to bring your own earphones for your electronics since the ones that the flight staff have are made for adults. Surprise your children throughout the flight with little gifts of new toys and such so that they have a motivation for not screaming and hitting each other.
  5. Letting Go: When all is said and done, you’ve done your best to keep everyone around you happy, so don’t add more stress to this trip by allowing other people’s opinions to scare you. Everyone has an opinion just like everyone has a bellybutton. Even if your kids ARE behaving really well you may STILL get evil looks from people. Why? Who knows! People think what they think and there’s nothing you can do to change that. So let the scrutiny eyes roll off your back and make this airplane flight about you and your kids, nobody else. You may not ever see these people again anyway, so don’t let them spoil your fun.

At last you’ve had a safe landing and now you and your family can race each other off the plane and into a taxi to take you to your hotel. Yes, you do have to turn around and fly back home in a week. But as long as you remembered to bring another stash of toys, snacks and surprises you should be able to conquer your flight home with relative ease.

 

How to Help Your Workaholic Enjoy Their Vacation

Forbes Travel

Vacation time is upon us. Summertime is here. Are you one of those people who has a hard time tearing themselves away from work long enough to enjoy some good old relaxation time? In this article, Tim Maurer comebacks the fears that many workaholics have about taking time off to enjoy a vacation and even mentions a couple tourist destinations. Enjoy these tips and advice to plan and execute your next getaway.

10 Reasons To Take A 10-Day Vacation

By Tim Maurer

For only the second time in my adult life, I just completed a vacation of more than seven days—10, to be exact. Corroborating my first experience, I am now convinced that there is a certain magic to the 10-day vacation and have resolved to make them an annual habit. Here’s why:

1. Most importantly, a 10-day vacation gives you the time necessary to surrender, to capitulate, to truly vacate. It wasn’t until fully four days into our Grizwoldian adventure that my wife was able to observe a genuine change in my demeanor. “You just seemed to visibly loosen up in that moment,” she told me. The moment she was referring to was when she, our two boys and I got caught in a torrential downpour in the middle of a bike ride. I wasn’t an overbearing ogre early in the week, but I was still in work mode; a tad too productive, efficient and compliant for vacation. It took me the first four days of vacation to transition from being a hesitant bystander to a willing participant.

2. Travel consumes a lesser percentage of your total vacation time. If you’re going someplace worth going, you’re likely sacrificing a day getting there and another getting back. Whether by plane, train or automobile—and even if the actual travel time is only half-a-day—the stress and logistical maneuvering consume a full two days. That’s almost 30% of the seven-day vacation, but only 20% of a 10-day break.

3. Because travel consumes proportionately less of the 10-day vaca, it also opens the door to a travelling vacation with multiple stops. With the family truckster fully loaded, we drove to Charleston, South Carolina from our home in Baltimore for three days prior to heading northward to Williamsburg, Virginia for another week—a highly improbable feat if you only have seven days to spare. This change in geographic context gave our single vacation the feel of two separate trips, each with their own set of lasting memories.

4. You’re gone long enough that you’re forced to off-load your duties at work. If I take a three or four-day weekend, I rarely even set my email out-of-office notification or update my voicemail message. I’m effectively taking a vacation while still on the clock in my mind. When I take a seven-day vacation, I’m hesitant to completely check-out of my work responsibilities and even feel guilty asking for help. But if I’m going to be missing days in more than two different work weeks, I really have no choice but to arrange for enough back-up help at the office to truly separate myself from the duties I’m hesitant to relinquish.

5. You’re gone long enough that you’re forced to budget financially for the vacation. Heeding Carl Richards’ advice,I don’t take a trip of any length without having budgeted for it. It takes away from the refreshment I seek when I have to wonder how I’m going to pay for the vacation when I get home. The additional time and cost of a 10-day vacation really demand budgeting in advance of your departure. Additionally, I recommend seeing where you stand financially five days in so you can recalibrate if necessary for the second half of your trip.

6. A 10-day vacation leaves sufficient time for the creation of memories through experience and the catharsis of do-nothing relaxation. One of the books I enjoyed over vacation was Laura Vanderkam’s, What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend. I found much of the wisdom therein applied just as well to vacations as to weekends. Vanderkam suggests that we “set anchors”—activities to which we apply some forethought, with the aim of memory creation—and allow relaxation to fill the gaps in between. None of us wants vacation to feel like work, filled with have-to-dos, but these anchors are, in contrast, want-do-dos. For us, a couple anchors were to take a horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown Charleston and to ride our bikes as a family into historic Williamsburg for Colonial-era root beer and ginger cakes.

7. You have the time to actually develop rhythms of life unique to that particular vacation. One of my favorite things to do on vacations is to find new rituals that seem to apply to that particular area and our family’s phase of life. Personally, I try to maintain some semblance of a workout regimen so I don’t feel quite so guilty about over-exposing myself to the local cuisine, so I found a fitness center I could ride my bike to most mornings. Our boys, Kieran and Connor, are at those ages (nine and seven) when they could swim all day if you’d let them, so most nights we went for a night swim to cap off the day. But it takes a few days to explore and find the rhythms that will work in a particular place and time.

8. You get the joy of seeing the week and weekend vacationers leave—while you’re kicked back “working” on reading your second novel by the pool. There is nothing fun about leaving an enjoyable vacation, but when your vacation begins or spills over into the middle of a week, you get to watch other people yell at their kids for slow-playing the departure process while you order a fruity umbrella drink. Those days on which everyone else is travelling and checking in or out are also great days for planning an anchor event (see #6) when you’ll likely have less competition.

9. You can avoid the dreaded vacation hangover. Long weekends can feel torturously short and seven-day vacations often leave you wishing you could go back in time, but by the time a 10-day vacation is over, you’re starting to warm to the idea of getting life and work back to normal. The idea of sleeping in your own bed has increasing appeal, eating out has started to weigh you down, spending money like the Greek parliament has begun to feel self-indulgent and you’re almost anxious to get back to the daily rhythms of work and rest.

10. You come home a better spouse, parent, employee­—a better person. A 10-day vacation has the highest probability of providing the rest, relaxation and lifelong memories that we all hope to get, but rarely do, from the highlight of our summers. Conversely, taking fewer days often leaves a residue of dissatisfaction that leaves us perpetually wanting more. So go ahead, tack a few extra days onto your next vacation. We’ll all be better for it.

Article presented by Forbes

5 MUST KNOW Skydiving Tips For Beginners

Destination

Your destination:  The sky!  It’s a total rush and nothing can compare to it.  It may be on your bucket list and you may want to try this more than anything; but there are a few things your really should know before you sign yourself up to go skydiving.

  • It Takes Time.  Learning to skydiving is a skill that takes time to learn.  Just realize this as you get started and don’t get discouraged because you do get better at it.
  • Don’t get psyched out.  Push that fear away.  Don’t let the negative thoughts creep in. Choose to continue learning and doing this until it takes hold of you.
  • Get Your Tools.  You have to get into that mental zone.  It may be mediation, a particular food or smell, or lucky pair of socks.  Whatever helps you, get it and use it.
  • Be Smart.  Sometimes you may want to simply refine your free falling skills, but use your energies to learn about the canopy that will get you to the ground safely.  Do this at the beginning as you are first building your responses to this amazing sport.  Ask questions, take a canopy control course or even get private canopy coaching.
  • Label Yourself.  Tell your friends and family that you are a skydiver. It feels good and helps you be accountable.

The sky is your limit, choose your destination wisely.

Courtesy of About.com:  http://extremesports.about.com/od/skydiving/a/The-5-Things-Every-Skydiver-Must-Know-but-No-One-Will-Tell-You.htm

Hotel Avenida Palace Barcellona

Hotel Barcellona
Visit Barcelona and Stay in the Magnificent Hotel Avenida Palace

Barcelona is home to Gothic architecture, and is the rich cultural capital of the Catalan region of Spain. To visit Barcelona is to be exposed to a wonderful tapestry of ancient streets mixed with art nouveau architecture. There’s no better way to experience this heady mix of culture and art than to stay at the historic Hotel Avenida Palace. This popular 4-star hotel offers levels of luxury and opulence in an amazing setting. It’s a hotel fit for royalty, and truly representative of one of Europe’s cultural centers.

Hotel Avenida Palace Barcellona looks like it belongs to a classical period of 19th century Europe, but it was in fact built in 1952. The 151 rooms evoke feelings of old world charm with a flavor of luxury. The moment a guest is ushered into the stylish lobby by a top hat wearing doorman, is like being transported back in time. The lobby warmly greets visitors with classically designed architecture. Beautiful columns vie for attention with dramatically sweeping staircases. The title “Palace” is well earned with chandeliers and ornate furnishings drawing the attention of prospective guests.

The rooms continue the theme of classic opulence. Each one is air-conditioned and filled with beautifully upholstered furniture, but no compromise has been taken with modern conveniences here. This may be a hotel full of classic furnishings, but the helpful English speaking owners have ensured every possible modern appliance has been provided. All rooms have satellite television, free wireless internet access and minibars.

This is the perhaps the most perfectly located Hotel Barcellona has to offer. The centrally situated hotel requires only a brief stroll from leafy Gran Via for guests to find themselves in the hub of Barcelona, The Passaig de Gracia. Another brief walk brings guests to exciting Las Ramblas, the famous Gothic Quarter. Visit http://www.venere.com/it/spagna/barcellona/ for more information.

Hotel Bernina in Italy Milan

Hotel Milano-2

The right city, the best location; Think Hotel Bernina, Milano, Italy!

Any first-timers visiting Milano, Italy will most always have a lot of “what if’s” stashed away in their thoughts just about the time their plane lands. However those thoughts will be quickly dismissed once they arrive at their reservation destination: Hotel Bernina, in Milano, Italy. And if you’ve been saving up a large dose of: Ohhh’s and Aaah’s, you won’t have any trouble using them in this hotel or city.

When visiting a foreign country many times transportation can be a large concern. Such is not the case here. Milano Centrale Train Station is just a casual stroll from the hotel and the famous Milan Cathedral in only four metro transportation stops away. And yes we knew you were wondering if the hotel rooms would look like the Web site pictures; you know, bright colors, comfortable setting with wood or tile floors to match; no disappointment here.

Whether your choice is a single, double, twin or triple room, your booking will not only be a safe experience, but your privacy respected, and the price that was quoted, will be the same when you arrive. This hotel Milano has so many wonderful features we can’t name them all, but several will be of interest like 24 hour room service, Wi-Fi access, flat screen TV, and private bathrooms that includes a hairdryer. And since this is Italy Milan, the bar is always open 24 hours a day and the breakfast buffet, redolent of grandma’s cooking, is ready from 7 am to 10 am. Visit http://www.venere.com/it/italia/milano/ for more information.

Enterprise Hotel in Milano

Hotel Milano

In Italy, the city of Milan is famous for the Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo Da Vinci took three years to create his interpretation of The Last Supper, and the Milan Cathedral, which took nearly six hundred years to complete! In the midst of such unprecedented history stands a hotel that takes from the city’s past and blends it with modern-day design.

Hotel in milano, located right in the middle of centuries of Italian history, is a manifestation of the city’s rich culture and visual finery. Each room in Hotel Milano is designed with modern elegance showcasing customized furnishings, parquet floors, a flat-screen TV, along with complimentary Wi-Fi and tea/coffee-making facilities. The hotel is but a few steps away from not only the Fieramilanocity Exhibition Centre, but also the Rho-Pero New Trade Fair Centre, the Milan Convention Centre, and some of the city’s most trendy and exclusive nightclubs. If you wish to indulge in a taste of Italy, Hotel Milano provides its guest with the stylish Sophia’s Restaurant, an eatery which offers its patrons an assortment of Mediterranean cuisines prepared with the ideal amount of Italian flavor, the Privè Bar, as well as the Wine Cellar. An American breakfast buffet is served from 7 AM to 10:30 AM in the breakfast room.

The hotel’s spa, Le Terme di Kyoto—located on the seventh floor—offers health facilities which include a Turkish bath, hot tub, sensory showers and beauty treatments. Lounge areas are situated throughout the hotel for those who wish to relax and mingle with other guests.

What best emphasizes its beauty is a subtle amalgamation of current design built upon an appreciation for Milan’s prosperous history. The end result is what can best be described as a calling call for those who visit the city. Visit http://www.venere.com/it/italia/milano/ for more information.

Hotel Capizzo in Ischia

Hotel Ischia

Escape to Ischia

Relaxation is the word at the Hotel Capizzo on Italy’s Ischia island. It’s just a few miles from the hustle and bustle of Naples, but here you may relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. After a fun day exploring tourist areas, let yourself unwind on the beautiful island of Ischia in the garden or along the terrace of the hotel.

This is one of the mid-priced accommodations of hotel Ischia with a three-star rating. It has 34 rooms set on a hill, many of which look out over the sea with wonderful views. It is set among lemon groves, which add to the ambiance of an Italian vacation. Rooms are of good size and most have balconies. The hotel has pools and the sea is just 100 meters away down the hill. The hotel’s garden is a great place to relax and enjoy the finest of Italian cuisine.

The staff is multilingual, and can help with various tourist activities and day trips. The mainland is easily accessible, though once here you may not want to leave. Hotel Capizzo offers a free breakfast buffet, has an upscale bar, air conditioning and most of the amenities you would hope for on vacation. Pets are accepted. It has a laundry room available. Room service and the front desk are available at all hours. The price is reasonable at less than $100 a day, but there are city and national taxes that make the cost go up a bit. Visit http://www.venere.com/it/italia/ischia/ for information.