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Showing posts with label family-friendly travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family-friendly travel. Show all posts

Oct 19, 2015

Aruba - First Family Trip South - Summer Continued

Aruba - First Family Trip South - Summer Continued


This was our first trip to Aruba. It was also a first trip south on a week-long vacation for our kid. When planning this getaway we wanted a one-stop place with the least hassle for us. This one of many reasons we have chosen to stay at the all-inclusive resort. The package we got through our travel agent included a non-stop flight and transportation from and to the airport and Tamarijn Aruba.
At the resort, all meals and drinks are included. This was great for traveling with the toddler that can be picky about what she wants to eat. You can get or order just about anything and they will have it done. Tamarijn resort is actually known to be more family-friendly than most. And we were able to order plain chicken and veal as well as pasta every day. The selection of food for us was great as well. And they also do not water down their alcoholic beverages. With all these included, we did not have to think about where we going to eat or how to get there and what type of food and service we would get with a child.

While those are great pluses for the resort, their services throughout the hotel were not so great. The bell boy service leaves a lot to be desired. It was slow to not existent. When we first arrived there was no one in the lobby to greet us or take our bags even though we were arriving at a provided coach services. Even after checking in at the front desk we had to request and wait for someone to take our bags to the room. Usually, that would not be too big of an issue since we would have a couple of carry-ons and shoulder bags. But this time we had a lot more large bags and one tired and cranky toddler.

At breakfast and lunchtime, we received quite an inattentive service. It did get better over time and we also found out why some tables got immediate services and others didn't. Tips. I get that in regular restaurants tips are part of the experience and provided much-needed income to the wait staff. However, when you are at an all-inclusive resort you have already paid a large sum to have all of that taken care of ahead of time. One of the main reasons we chose to be there was so that we can leave our wallets behind and take only camera and room keys. This seems to elude a lot of 'regulars' as they continue to tip on top of that at every meal.

One of the benefits of Tamarijn hotel was the large number of specialty restaurants on premises. Again giving us plenty of choice with little travel. During dinner at these restaurant, unfortunately, we also experienced very slow service. At a couple of places it took over an hour for our food to come. A hungry and short fused toddler did't want any of it. Out came our snacks and iPhone with cartoons and games pre-loaded. Which was a savior during the meals and also flights.

With all this you would think we did not have that much of a great holiday. But we did. These things not withstanding, it was a good time had by all.

The rooms are all ocean facing. Can hear the ocean at night. Which is great to fall asleep to and wake up. The ocean was clear once you get in a few feet. The weather also got better after a couple of days where it was hot during the day but not as humid, and cool nights. On one of the nights it was very clear and we were able to see the Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse perfectly in the sky.

There are Pelicans flying overhead constantly diving into water after fish. They are followed by seagulls that pick up left overs. And there are a lot of fish. In the evening they start jumping out of the water. One of the day's one of them flew so close it slapped my cheek. There were quite a few folk with snorkeling gear swimming around.

However...

As some reviews on Tripadvisor have mentioned, the beach is eroding. The middle portion of the hotel strip is ok for now, though the further edge has no send left, just bare rocks.  The hotel avoids mentioning it to arrivals when booking rooms.
If in the area bring swim shoes, since that is the only way to get into water. It is very rocky at the shore and in the water. Save your toes and enjoy swimming much more with a pair of water shoes.

Also there is a pipe in the middle of the water. And no sign of any sorts to let folks know about it. Ran over it with my knee while holding on to the kid. All ended alright. But that is a terrible set up.

To get away from the rocks and pipes in the waters by our hotel we took a trip to Eagle Beach in search of a better beach. It was much better. It was all send walking in and in the water. And the water was clear to the bottom. We had a great day swimming, relaxing, and for some us, napping on the beach. We saw a guy on what looked like hydro skates. He was doing flyboarding, similar to the guy on the show "America Got Talent". And them some other folks trying it out.

We were pleasantly surprised on last few days of our stay with a Cirque de solei type of circus show. It was very good with fun entertainment and great acrobatic acts. Another show that we all enjoyed the synchronized swimming. It was performed by the local swim team and it was well done with good music and moves. Kiddo loved it.

As we found out on the way back to get out of Aruba is quite a task. You have to pass two customs AND two full security checkpoints. And I mean taking your shoes and everything else and putting everything on the conveyor belt for the second time. And the kicker, when you first check in and drop off your luggage, you are not done with it. You pick it up before going through the second checkpoint of customs and security. By the end, we were exhausted since its a bit more hassle to do it with a kid and more bags. On the plus side, when we arrived back home we did not need to go through customs. Straight to the baggage claim and taxi.





Coming up next:
Aruba - First Family Trip South - Gadgets and Accessories

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Dec 28, 2011

Most important pack when traveling

First aid kit is an essential pack of supplies that can be a difference between continuing a great vacation and not.

Smart Travel kit, is designed to support one or two people on an extended trip. The kit is essentially a well stocked medicine cabinet that you can take with you wherever you go. Weighing in at just over a pound, the Smart Travel comes packed with bandages, gauze, a thermometer, tweezers, medical tape, and much more. It also includes medications to treat a variety of stomach ailments, blisters, dehydration, fever, and other minor aches and pains.

Baby-proofing kit by Travel Tot is a great pack to have while traveling and home also. The easily packable kit comes complete with corner, outlet and doorknob covers, plus a cabinet lock, cord-wind up and other assorted gadgets. Other items included in the kit are: finger pinch guard, electrical outlet plug covers, foam corner guards, door knob cover, cord wind-up, sliding door lock, cabinet lock, multi-purpose straps, water thermometer, bandages, forehead thermometer, and “shhh, Travel-Tot sleeping” door hanger.

Why good to have on a trip:
- things happen
- keep all travelers on the go
- quick access and treatment of medical issues
- provide basic medical supplies to treat common ailments
- eliminate the need for trips to a pharmacy
- travel safe

Did You Know?:

Some things to pack in a first aid kit:
  • Prescription medications (with labels for use)
  • Band-aids
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Antihistamine pills (for any allergic reactions)
  • Advil (or pain relief of choice)
  • Vitamins (you may be subsisting on cereal bars)
  • Nasal decongestant (will help relieve nasal pressure during flights)
  • Hydro-cortisone cream
  • Gauze All Purpose Dressings 
  • Scissors 
  • Tweezers 
  • Water 
  • Ice packs 
  • Flashlight

Aug 13, 2011

Top ten Labor Day destinations

Top 10 list of Labor Day destinations as compiled by Hotwire:

1. New York, NY, $195

2. Boston, MA, $129

3. Chicago, IL, $90

4. Las Vegas, NV, $95

5. San Francisco, CA, $135

6. Toronto, ON, Canada, $93

7. Vancouver, BC, Canada, $116

8. San Diego, CA, $94

9. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, $59

10. Washington, D.C., $89

Explore more deals on Hotwire.com:




Feb 17, 2011

25 travel gadgets under $25

25 travel gadgets under $25
http://www.nydailynews.com/travel/galleries/25_travel_gadgets_under_25/25_travel_gadgets_under_25.html

This list includes some of the T&TG favorites such as:

RingerWraps - clear, disposable protective sleeves that allow you to use the touchscreen on phones and other devices

Safetytats - this one is a new find for us. SafetyTats are temporary tattoos that read 'If Lost, Please Call' and includes a space to write a parent's or guardian’s phone number.

MicciMicci Snapback Bags

Digital Luggage Scale - an essential gadget for today's traveler

TuGo Cup Holder


Jul 19, 2010

Family-friendly travel kit

Sing along with family-friendly travel kit
by Mary Ellen Botter on dallasnews.com
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/travel/thisweek/stories/DN-wheelsnote_0718tra.ART.State.Edition1.2a3cd25.html

Everybody can sing along with this musical travel kit

Few child-oriented music CDs can entertain parents, too.

The "Wheels on the Bus Sing-Along Travel Kit" from Scholastic Storybook Treasures is an exception.

The 13 songs on the disc include new versions of tunes parents sang when they were in elementary school, such as "Wheels on the Bus" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," plus the charmer "Over in the Meadow" and the hilariously mock-serious "Tooth School Anthem."

There's plenty here for all ages to sing together.

The kit also includes two 60-minute musical DVDs containing 15 animated storybook classics.

The videos' artwork is varied enough to hold children's interest for miles, but when young eyes tire of the small screen, the kids can turn to the accom- panying 34-page activity booklet (crayons included) for more road-filling play.

The videos have been assembled from the library of Weston Woods Studios, known for film adaptations of children's storybooks.

Parents will recognize some of the stories, perhaps having read the books to their little ones.

The travel set ($24.95) is aimed at children ages 3-9. It's available for less from online booksellers.

Mary Ellen Botter


Jul 9, 2010

Tips for summer travel with kids

When planning a trip with kids, most often you start thinking about what to pack way before the departure. Here are some suggestions to make packing and the trip a bit easier
  • Etch-a-Sketch
  • Doodle pro
  • magnetic games
  • card games
  • books
  • new toys they haven't played with as surprises every so often
  • bubbles and balls for stops
  • dvd player and handheld games
Let them go to a store and pick out books and toys. Half the fun of going on the trip might be getting to pick out the trip supplies.
Skip the sugary treats or drinks, kids don't need the sugar or the extra energy it brings. Instead pack some healthy snacking options such as apples, baby carrots, nuts, raisins and other dry fruit, and lot of water.


 


Jun 23, 2010

Traveling with the kids

The other day I was looking at a list of people tweeting about travel and noticed that quite of few of them were traveling parents and some that were traveling with their kids. This inspired me to take a look at some of the travel gadgets that are available for the parents and the kids.
One interesting gadget I came across was the "Ride-On Carry-On."
This baby travel gadget could be useful on a family trip through an airport, train station or bus terminal. "Ride-On Carry-On" turn your suitcase into a stroller by strapping on to just about any suitcase with wheels. It is made of a durable and washable 100% polyester fabric and is made to fit all 18" to 22" carry-on-bags. The chair comes with a five-point harness, similar to the ones found on car seats for toddlers. This way you can navigate through busy airport foot traffic without worrying that your child is going to fall out. You can also tilt or stand the suitcase up and the chair and your child will stay attached. It also collapses to fit in the overhead compartment and has a tray table built into the headrest. (Image)

Here are some more baby travel gadgets I came across:
Carriers and Backpacks
Car seat and toy and accessories for a car ride
Futuristic baby carrier - maybe too futuristic
Travel Car Bottle and Food Warmer
Easy View Back Seat Mirror