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Florida – the perfect family travel destination?

go on a disney cruise with your familyThere is no shortage of great destinations for family holidays. However, one place always comes up when it comes to family vacation destinations. That place is the State of Florida, which bears the appropriate nickname, “The Sunshine State”. With summer just around the corner, Florida will soon welcome droves of tourists with their families in tow who are in for the vacation of a lifetime. While it has loads of offerings and attractions for the older crowd, Florida specializes in attractions that are designed to get children a vacation that they will never forget.

The Walt Disney World alone in Lake Buena Vista, Florida is more than enough to make one’s dream come true. The world’s largest and most-visited entertainment resort, Disney World is home to four theme parks, namely Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can only imagine the enjoyment your children—and even yourself—will have experiencing all the Disney Magic that we have grown up with. A family vacation in Florida will never be complete without dropping by this magical place.

Speaking of Disney, the magic in Florida doesn’t stop at Disney World. At least three ships of the Disney Cruise Line consider Florida their homeport, and travel destinations that include Europe, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Alaska and the  Pacific Coast, the Bahamas, and other Transatlantic areas. Take your family on a Disney Cruise, and you would all see the world in the most fun-filled way imaginable.

When vacationing with your kids in Florida, one attraction that you should not miss would be the Miami Children’s Museum. Few places in the world can satisfy your child’s curiosity better, as the museum has a wide range of interactive learning exhibits that will certainly get your children hooked. Other museums that will  offer an enjoyable experience for you and your kids are the Miami Science Museum, the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum in Orlando and of course, the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum, where your family can enjoy features such as the Hurricane Experience, 3D movies, Sea to See Touch tanks and Be The Dinosaur.

If you and your kids have a thing for the scary and paranormal, go on a guided Ghost Tour of St. Augustine in Florida. Whether you choose a riding tour or a walking tour, you are guaranteed to get goose bumps while going through the place.

Of course, what would a Florida family vacation be without spending some time in the water and soaking up the sun? Apart from its many beautiful beaches, Florida is also home to Adventure Island, a water theme park located in Tampa, Florida. With features such as slides, waterfalls, and waves, you might think that this water park is only for the enjoyment of children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Anyone who visits the place is bound to enjoy Adventure Island and the kind of water fun that it has to offer.

All these and many more great attractions  definitely make Florida the perfect family travel destination!

Planning Your Summer Holiday

Plan your travels in advanceLike most people, you look forward to summer. It is, after all, the hottest season of the year, both literally and figuratively. With that season just around the corner, you’re probably visualizing yourself on an exotic beach soaking up the sun, doing some surfing or maybe out to sea on a boat. The question is, have you actually made preparations for the actual summer holiday that you and your family are going on this summer? You might think it’s a little early for that, but it is never too early to plan your summer holiday.

Before anything else, you need to choose your summer holiday destination, preferably a year before the intended date. Do your research first, and the Internet is a great resource for that. Once you’ve settled on a place, dig up some more information about that particular destination through holiday brochures, websites and online reviews. This would also be a great time to find out the best accommodations and flights available. The moment you’re a hundred percent sure that that place is where you’d want to be this summer, you should then start making reservations.

Keep in mind that airlines, travel agencies, hotels and resorts typically offer great deals every now and then for those who make their reservations ahead of time. While it’s alright to be a casual booker who waits until the day of departure to buy tickets, it is always wise to book flights and hotels early if you have a thing for saving money.

In the months leading up to the date of your summer vacation, try to save up as much as you can. After all, the expenses of a summer holiday are not limited to transportation and accommodations. While a credit card would serve you well, it would still be best to have a little extra cash that you can use for, say, shopping at stores that don’t accept credit cards or buying a souvenir from a street vendor or something.

As for the things you need to pack, it is recommended that you keep it light. Since it’s a summer vacation, you need to prioritize packing clothes like shorts, t-shirts, swimwear and sandals. You should also remember to bring only the necessary toiletries such as toothbrushes, mouthwashes, sun block and wet facial wipes. Bringing your own soap and shampoo is optional since most hotels provide guests with these, but if you only use specific brands or types, go ahead and pack them. Just remember not to bring them in great, big bottles, because airport security might just seize those items from you.

First-aid kits are always a necessity when on a summer holiday. There are so many ways you could suffer minor injuries while on vacation. Scrapes, sprains, sunburns are all-too common among summer vacationers. It is also advisable to bring medication you may need to take. They could be maintenance medication, anti-allergy pills, anti-motion sickness pills, analgesics and antacids.

As with anything else, summer holidays turn out best when they are planned well in advance. So pull up an online search engine, pick up your phone, or read travel magazines and start planning your summer holiday now.

5 Tips For Travelling Safe

Stay safe when you're traveling - here's how!

Stay safe when you’re traveling – here’s how!

Traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. You get to see a myriad of attractions and soak in the culture of the country or countries you’re visiting. However, traveling could also be a source of trouble if you aren’t prepared. While it is true that you are more likely to have a trip that’s safe and incident-free, the fact remains that you are a tourist, a stranger in a strange land. You carry valuables, unused to your surroundings and more often than not, stand out in a crowd. That will make you an easy target for unsavory locals who regularly prey on tourists. You could also get in trouble with local law for one reason or another. To reduce your risks of getting in trouble, here are five trips for traveling safe.

1. Pack wisely. Traveling safely starts with packing smartly. If possible, you should travel light so you can move more quickly and not get tired to the point where you have to rest your things somewhere and leave it unattended. You would also do well to keep the valuables to a minimum. Don’t bring any expensive jewelry or any flashy clothing items that could mark you as a tourist of considerable means. It would also be smart to not bring lots of cash. Travelers’ checks and a credit card or two will suffice for your expenses.

2. Keep your documents secure. As a visiting foreigner, you will need to bring documents such as passports, visas and travel insurance with you. Just to be sure, it would be wise to have all your travel documents photocopied. Better yet, have them scanned digitally. That way, you can leave multiple digital copies of your documents in safe places such as your computers or in an online file hosting service and retrieve them anytime.

3. Keep in touch with your embassy. Knowing and remembering the contact details of your country’s embassy in the foreign city you’re about to visit is only logical. Should you get in any kind of trouble, you can seek help from your own countrymen.

4. Do your homework. The moment you step on land belonging to the country you are visiting, you are automatically subject to its laws. That is why it’s extremely important for you to know as much as you can about that place, from its laws down to its customs. You can do your research in a library or you can get information from the embassies, consulates or tourist bureaus of the country you are visiting. It would also be useful to be up to date about the recent happenings in that country through news programs and the Internet.

5. Give it up. If and when you actually get mugged in a foreign country, do not hesitate to hand over your wallet, watch and other valuables. Actually, this applies wherever you go, even within your own town or city. Stuff can be replaced; life and limb cannot. Just give it up and you can walk away unharmed.

The Best Credit Cards for Travelling

This post is a guest post from freelance writer Anna Hansen from the blog Beste Kredittkort.

What Credit Cards are the best for Travelling?

What Credit Cards are the best for Travelling?

When you’re going on an overseas trip, you need to do more than just bring the right amount of clothing, gadgets or shoes. As international travel offers a lot of opportunities to shop, it only makes sense to bring with you your credit cards. Walking around with lots of cash in your wallet is definitely not recommended. No matter how you look at it, using credit cards for shopping, paying for dinner or hotels and renting a car while you’re on a foreign land is the safest way to go. More importantly, using a credit card while travelling allows you to see where you spent all that money during your trip once your monthly statement arrives. Not all credit cards, however, are suitable for travelling abroad for a variety of reasons. So how exactly do you choose which of your credit cards to take with you?

For one, only bring credit cards that do not charge a foreign transaction fee or FTF. Most will charge the FTF, which is typically set at three percent for every transaction. That means that for every cup of coffee or pair of shoes that you buy while in a foreign country, you will have to pay three percent more. One percent of that is usually charged by the transaction network, while the issuing bank is the one that charges the remaining two percent. In the past, only Capitol One credit cards as well as premium cards such as the American Express Centurion did not charge the FTF. Today, however, other credit card companies have waived the FTF as well to attract low-risk cardholders who use their cards for practically everything. Among the credit cards that no longer charge the FTF are the Citi ThankYou Prestige, the British Airways Visa Signature from Chase, the Marriott Rewards Premier from Chase and the Chase J.P. Morgan Select.

It would also be smart to bring credit cards that offer several perks such as 0% interest rates, low long term APR, good rewards or even travel insurance. For instance, people who hold Discover cards are automatically qualified for air travel accident insurance. Anything that might happen to them in a flight that they booked, and the cardholder or the cardholder’s beneficiaries will receive compensation that is due them. Chase, meanwhile, offers reimbursement for delayed baggage to replace essential items up to three hundred dollars’ worth. There are also credit card companies that offer extra discounts or upgrades when you use them on a partner company or retailer. A fine example is the partnership Visa Card has with Celebrity Cruises. Once you book your trip using a Visa Card, you will get not only a two-category cabin upgrade, but free travel insurance as well.

To get more perks, it would also be advisable to call up your credit card company and tell them you’re going to travel and about to use their card heavily. More often than not, the company rep you will be talking to will be immediately offering more perks such as a higher credit limit or a much lower, albeit temporary, APR.

How To Afford A Family Vacation

how to afford a family vacation

It’s one thing to dream about going on a family vacation. Being able to afford it is another. With the economy down and the prices of just about everything reaching stratospheric heights, taking the entire family on a vacation is an idea that most people now just categorize as wishful thinking. That, however, should not be the case. As long you and your spouse earn an income that can be considered as fair enough, going on a family vacation should not be beyond your reach. In fact, there are a number of ways that can help you save money on a vacation and therefore allow you to afford one. Here are some of them.

1. Plan ahead. The most costly vacations tend to be the unplanned ones. However, if you do all your planning months in advance, you will be able to save enough money and have more than enough time to find the best deals available that will make your travel a lot less expensive.

2. Be realistic. There’s no harm in dreaming of travelling to places that you have been longing to visit for all your life, but if your finances do not allow it even if you plan way ahead, then you have to be realistic about it and instead take your family to a vacation that you can actually afford.

3. Be on the lookout for travel deals. Airlines and travel agencies routinely offer special tour packages that offer trips at slashed prices. You would do well to monitor their offerings, online and otherwise, and you will surely save a lot of money on air fare alone.

4. Book flights, hotels and car rentals early. As the cliché goes, the early bird gets the worm, and this is most certainly applicable when it comes to making reservations. Airlines, hotels and car rentals tend to offer discounts to those who book things in advance.

5. Book flights using your credit card. Credit card companies always offer a lot of benefits to those who use their credit card when booking a flight. These benefits typically come in the form of cashback rewards schemes, frequent flyer miles and travel insurance. Then there’s the convenience it offers, as your credit card allows you to book your flights online with just a few clicks of your mouse.

6. Travel light. As far as most people are concerned, excess baggage is their mortal enemy when traveling. It is not unknown for some people to be paying more for excess baggage charges than their airline ticket. Take only enough stuff that will last you throughout your vacation and you will be spared this major inconvenience.

7. Fix your own food. Sampling the local cuisine of the place you’re spending that vacation in is well and good, but also expensive. If possible, when booking a hotel for your family, choose one that has a kitchen so you can actually prepare your own food. This way, there would no need to eat out the entire time, and that will save you a lot of money.

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