Category: Travel Tips

Are we there yet?

The only thing more annoying than hearing, "Mom... Mom... Mom... Mommy... Mom... Mama... look at me! Mom... Mommy... Mom" on repeat are the dreaded road trip questions, "are we there yet?" and "how much longer?" This past weekend, we had an impromptu six-hour road trip (each way) to Northern Ontario for a funeral. With limited notice and time to get ready, I didn't plan much to keep Taylor, our three-year-old, busy. In a mad dash to remember everything from snacks to clothes, I forgot to load the iPad with new Paw Patrol episodes. We try to avoid extensive amounts of screen time but let's be honest, this is the easiest solution while on road trips. So, this left us to improvise. Here are a few easy and cost-effective solutions to entertain toddlers in the car. 1. Braiding/Bracelet making (almost 1 hour) One of the few toys we did manage to bring was a Barbie with long hair. I often braid my daughter's hair, but she had never tried and to my surprise, she picked it up fast! Barbie's hair being long enough to braid, but short enough not to get tangled at the bottom really helped her concentrate to learn the pattern. I also...Read More

The Diaper Challenge

Travel with infants is hard for minimalist packers such as myself. I try to pack as little as possible and buy what I can upon arrival, especially if I'm travelling within North America or to a major city. Nothing's more frustrating then carrying a diaper bag, your carry-on, and your childrens' carry-ons in addition to your infant. But where is the line? How do you know you're not overpacking and will still have enough in the event of an emergency. I'm talking about diapers, specifically. Let me tell you a little story about a time I pushed the limit of only packing eight diapers when returning home from visiting my brother and his family in Halifax. Upon arrival, I bought a large box of diapers, figuring I'd leave the leftovers for my niece who was the same age as Taylor. Our flight home included two legs, Halifax to Hamilton and Hamilton to Winnipeg, a total of nine hours. Typically, because of the tiny bathrooms, I never change Taylor's diaper on the airplane, unless it's an emergency of course. So, I calculated that I would need four diapers, and then doubled it just in case. As normal, we boarded the airplane twenty minutes...Read More

It Takes a Village

You know that cliche statement that we keep hearing when we need help. It takes a village. It takes a village to raise our children; it takes a village to protect them; and it takes a village to influence them. This also applies traveling. Traveling with the village makes traveling easier. Yes, it might cost more to bring the village, but can you really put a price on rest and relaxation? You will get more value out of your trip if you have help; you will be able to enjoy the beach instead of chasing your child through the Louvre or arguing with them at a ristorante.But, the good news is, that this doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Bring your parents Your parents make great villagers, and company, too! In my experience, parents are always happy to travel  (and help out) with the grandchildren. The best part, they'll often pay for their own way! Take advantage of this while you can. Nothing can replace the relationship and memories your children will build with them while exploring foreign territory. Plus, if you ask nicely, they may hang in the room with the little ones, while you and your love...Read More

Traveling with Teens

Living with teens can be hard enough. And then, we think we can surprise them with a trip of a lifetime, but instead, they can be ungrateful and potentially put a damper on a family trip. Follow these tips to lessen the stress, and hopefully save your family vacation. I used to teach dance to 15 and 16-year-olds. Just before spring break, I heard one of the girls complaining to her friends that her Mom is forcing her to go to Paris for spring break, with her family. My first thought was, "What a brat! She doesn't know how lucky she is." She went on, telling her friends about all the plans she had already made, but had to cancel. After they returned, I asked her about her trip, and she was surprised by how much fun she did have. I also taught her younger sister, who also said the trip was great. But then, I spoke to the mother who confided in me that she wished she had never bothered, "the girls complained about everything - getting up early, walking, eating strange food." It was like she was on a different trip than her two daughters. What went wrong?...Read More

3 Secrets to Affordable Travel

Travel doesn't have to break the bank. Follow these three not-so-secret tips to save big when traveling: Road Trips Flights for a family of four or five can easily rack up to $2,000 when traveling cross country. Why not load up the car and iPod and hit the open road? You'll also get to see more of your home country - some of the small towns have the coolest sights. For example, the swinging bridge in Souris, Manitoba, or the Boswell Embalming Bottle House, a house built of discarded glass embalming fluid bottles, located in southern British Columba. These and many other unique attractions would be missed if you fly directly to your destination. Keep in mind that there may be the added cost of overnight stays at hotels if you're going on a long road trip. This can be managed by staying at motels along the main highways or camping. Even with gas prices rise, and the new carbon tax, the price will be significantly less than flying. However, I wouldn't recommend this, if you're tight for time. Time is money, after all. Plus you might want to consider if the savings worth listening to your kids argue for six hours...Read More