Category Archives: Tips

Tips for Baby’s First Flight

Checklist // (c) 2014 Dako
Checklist // (c) 2014 Dako

Are you flying with baby for the first time? Karina Corona, the baby concierge at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, provides some tips for parents headed to the airport. Here are her suggestions:

Before the Flight

• First off, be sure to check with your pediatrician to see if your baby is old enough to travel by plane. Most experts agree that travel after three months shouldn’t be an issue. But, every baby is different and it’s best to have your doctor’s approval before you even start to plan.

• The night before your trip, get absolutely everything ready for you and your little one, including your clothes. Being extra-prepared will allow you to avoid feeling pressured and forgetting anything important.

•Now it’s time to pack! I recommend packing at least one change of clothes for baby in your diaper bag. It’s always a smart idea to pack an extra blouse or top for yourself as well- changes in air pressure can disturb your baby’s sensitive digestive system and cause messy accidents. Finally and most importantly, pack enough formula for the flight- it’s better to have more than less. Just remember that TSA regulations won’t let you bring water bottles through security; they can be purchased near your gate. If you’re nursing, bring a comfy oversized cover-up to give you plenty of privacy.

During the Flight

• Arrive early. Passing through security will take you a bit longer than usual. Be prepared for them to scan your diaper bag and all of its contents- especially formula, juice or breast milk.

• Try to feed your baby or offer him/her a pacifier during takeoff. This will lhelp your little on with the changes in air pressure, prevent his/her ears from popping and hopefully keep your baby from getting sick on the plane.

•Relax! Enjoy the journey and try not to stress- remember, your baby is sensitive to how you’re feeling and can easily mirror your mood. You’ve done everything you can; now it’s time to just hug and pamper him/her.

The Transportation Security Administration has information for getting through security quickly and efficiently here:  http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/traveling-children.

In addition to providing families with a baby concierge, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit offers specialized accommodations for parents traveling with small children, including cribs, toys, baby floats, bath and shampoo gels, and more. Also offered is baby’s first haircut which comes with special pampering and a certificate celebrating the milestone. This can be combined with a 25-minute Sunrise Massage for 1- to 3-year-olds to stimulate the child’s senses, allowing him or her to recognize the differences between textures and sounds. Organic foods and beverages are also offered on request. Private babysitting services are available as well, with nannies who have certifications from the Emergency Care and Safety Institute and the American Red Cross.

 

Unaccompanied Minors — Children Traveling Alone

Children traveling alone. // (c) Swiss Air
Children traveling alone. // (c) Swiss Air

It’s summertime and that means that kids and families are traveling — and sometimes not all at the same time. Which always brings up the topic of children traveling alone. There’s been a lot of press on children traveling alone. CNBC reported on a story about the re-seating of male passengers on two Australian airlines, and a story by AP told of an airline losing an young girl traveling as an unaccompanied minor. So, with these stories in mind, would you let your child travel alone?

‘Game of Thrones’ Tour in Croatia

Winter is coming this weekend and fans of the HBO drama (like me!) will know that this “Game of Thrones” tour in Croatia is too good not to share. If you are a fan of the show and want to know what King’s Landing really looks like this tour will introduce you to the magic behind the stunning “Game of Thrones” locations.

Dubrovnik is the backdrop for King's Landing.
Dubrovnik is the backdrop for King’s Landing.

The Game of Thrones: A Unique Tour of Croatia is a 7-day, guided immersion into the breathtaking locales of Split, Krka National Park, Hvar, Ston and Dubrovnik. While others may offer one-day trips to “Game of Thrones” filming locations, this week-long tour will introduce visitors to the wonders of Croatia, showcasing the best scenes from the beloved series as well as the historical and cultural highlights of this beautiful destination.

Highlights Include:

  • Explore newly added filming locations for the 4th season of “Games of Thrones” in Croatia; Split’s Diocletian’s Palace and the rugged Klis Fortress, where Daenerys memorably plots her return;
  • Immerse into Dubrovnik, the real-life setting of King’s Landing;
  • Get a lesson in falconry, which has long been regarded as the Sport of Kings;
  • Marvel at the beauty of Krka National Park and Hvar island;
  • Enjoy gastronomy delights in Ston – home to some of the world’s best and rarest oysters – and Peljesac Peninsula known for some of the best wines in Croatia.

Pricing for this private tour begins at $3,200 per person, double, based on travel during mid-season (2nd half of September). The package includes accommodation at 4-star hotels, daily breakfast, airport transfer*, land transportation, entrance fees, expert English-speaking tour guides, some additional meals and wine tastings. Travel dates and level of hotels are fully customizable. Travelers who book by June 15th will receive the Blue-Ray/DVD Combo sets of Seasons 1-3, PLUS the 5-Book Boxed Set of “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin.

http://www.zicasso.com/luxury-vacation-croatia-tours/game-thrones-unique-tour-croatia

Five Inspiring Adventures for the New Year

Adventure travel treks: The Great Himalaya Trail // (c) 2013
Adventure travel treks: The Great Himalaya Trail // (c) 2013

These are definitely not adventures for families, but it is that time of year when people consider their “best of” lists, dream destinations, bucket lists and what have you, and I though that this was a pretty awesome list of over-the-top  treks. At the very least, it can provide some inspiration for next year’s travels. These specific trips are provided by World Expeditions.

The Great Himalaya Trail: The Full Nepal Traverse
Be amongst the few who have trekked the Nepal Great Himalaya Trail in one continuous 152-day trek! Along this 1700km trail you’ll encounter some of the wildest and most remote mountain environments imaginable. We’ve also crafted seven treks that interlink to make up the full traverse.
Departs: 01 March – 30 July 2014 (152 days)

Great Patagonian Traverse – North to South
Mostly on foot and at times by boat, be among the first to discover the rarely used pass between the shores of Lago O’ Higgins (Chile) and Laguna del Desierto (Argentina).
Departs: 4 February, 29 November 2014 (15 days)

Bhutan Snowman Trek
One of the world’s most challenging treks is undertaken by only a handful of trekkers each season. It accesses the remote region of Lunana, where tiny Buddhist monasteries and secluded villages remain isolated many months of the year.
Departs: 15 September 2014 (27 days)

Dominica – Trek the Waitukubuli Trail
The Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica is the longest walking trail in the Caribbean crossing the entire island. Along the way, hikers encounter a varied canvas of contrasting landscapes.
Departs: 2 February, 9 March, 20 April, 5 October, 16 November 2014 (12 days)

John Muir Trail
Celebrate the centennial anniversary of the John Muir Trust hiking the Sierra Nevada trail, covering some of the most pristine and dramatic backcountry in North America.
Departs: 10 July, 31 July, 4 September 2014 (21 days)

www.worldexpeditions.com

 

Top Colorado Resorts for Families This Winter

Winter family vacations in Colorado // (c) Matt Inden/Miles
Winter family vacations in Colorado // (c) Matt Inden/Miles

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter and what does that mean — that’s right, the ski season is here. It’s time for families to start planning their winter vacations. Here in Southern California, we have to wait a little longer before it’s cold enough to head to the local mountains, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t plan an early-season trip to Colorado, where family-friendly resorts are gearing up to welcome young skiers and snowboarders.

From magical Ullr Nights, train rides to ski trails just for kids and kids-ski-free deals, families are welcomed in Colorado ski country, and there are seemingly endless options from which to choose when planning a winter family vacation. Take advantage of this Colorado.com list of family-friendly options at the following resorts:

Aspen/SnowmassPlan the ultimate family winter getaway this season with plenty of unique offerings at Aspen and Snowmass. Friday nights during ski season, families are invited to Elk Camp, the new mid-mountain restaurant at Snowmass, which transforms on Ullr Nights into a nighttime winter wonderland. Ullr Nights include winter outdoor activities like Ullr’s Ghost Ship made of snow with lights and a slide, a Viking sledding hill, snowshoe tours as well as s’mores and hot chocolate by the bonfire. For little chefs, Little Nell in Aspen is hosting a series of cooking classes for kids ages four and older that will teach kids how to create savory and sweet items along with skills like measuring, mixing and chopping. Classes will be held on November 20 and December 18. Families can also book the Perfect Holiday package where kids ski, rent equipment and eat lunch free with the purchase of an adult lift ticket, equipment rental and lunch at select on-mountain restaurants (book by Nov. 15 for travel Dec. 20-25).

CopperCopper Mountain takes winter fun to the next level with Woodward at Copper’s Barn, a 19,400-square-foot indoor playground with year-round ski, skateboard and bike programs. The Barn features mini ramps, foam pits and Olympic fly-bed trampolines for athletes of all skill levels to practice their tricks for their next trip down the slopes. For some friendly competition, Copper Mountain also presents the Alpine Rush Zip Line where two riders can soar side-by-side 30 feet above the West Lake ice skating rink, reaching speeds of up to 30 miles per hour along the 300-foot line. Currently at Copper Mountain, guests can book the One. Two. Free! package and book two nights of lodging and two days of rentals to receive a third night of lodging free, a third day of rentals and group ski lessons free as well as free skiing for kids 12 and younger.

Crested ButteThis winter, Crested Butte brings lots of new activities for kids to explore and discover. Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) has created three new trails for kids, including a trail that winds through the trees for a forest-like experience. The resort will also introduce its own mini Elk Avenue (Crested Butte’s Main Street) with façades along the trails for kids to ski through and play. Additionally, kids will be able to ski through a bear cave, U.S. Forest Service Lodge and gold mining building with interactive activities. CBMR also features the Adventure Park with a Zero Gravity BagJump, rock-climbing wall and bungee trampolines. The Grandest Christmas package ties the whole experience together with stays fromDecember 13-26, including four nights at Grand Lodge, three days of skiing and three days of Adventure Park access, starting at $999 for a family of four.

DurangoFamilies are in for a magical experience this winter with the return of the Polar Express on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Christmas-themed train ride invites kids to get in their PJs and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies along with a reading of the Polar Express. At their destination, the kids will get to visit the “North Pole” where they are greeted by Santa and his helpers who join for the return trip, sing Christmas carols and give each child a special Sleigh Bell gift, bringing the story to life. Heading to the slopes at Durango Mountain Resort, a new offering from the Durango Dog Ranch includes dog sledding with hour-long, hands-on experiences where riders are whisked along the Old Flume Trail by Siberian and Alaskan huskies. Durango Mountain Resort also presents the Kids Ski Free package where four nights of lodging and four days of lift tickets for adults gets kids’ lift tickets for free, starting at $299 per family, per night.

Glenwood SpringsJust a few miles south of Glenwood Springs, Sunlight Mountain Resort covers 680 acres of skiable terrain with 67 trails, including one of the longest runs in the state. The friendly and affordable ski environment is great for families looking for a spacious locale to hone their ski skills. Starting at $99, Sunlight’s Ski Swim Stay package is a favorite for families, offering a lift ticket, admission to the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, slope-side or in-town lodging and free skiing for kids 12 and under with a paying adult.

KeystoneTaking children’s programming to the next level, Keystone Resort offers a Kids Ski Free program with no blackout dates, no lift ticket requirement for adults, availability on all weekends and Holidays and only a two night minimum stay required. This season the Resort is introducing the first-ever family ski trail. The Schoolyard will debut on Keystone’s signature green cruiser, Schoolmarm. The Resort is also introducing Free Family Front-Row Parking in its main parking lot, just steps from Keystone’s gondola. Other family-oriented amenities will include convenient wagons and gear chauffeurs available throughout the resort to help guests easily transport skis and snowboards to and from the lifts. Throughout the season, visitors can enjoy special family programming including a weekly Kids Après gathering, a Sunday morning Ripperoo Brunch, a mountaintop Snowfort and the fourth consecutive year of the resort’s popular Kidtopia programming.

Steamboat SpringsKnown as Ski Town U.S.A., Steamboat Springs has built itself over the past five decades as one of the best family ski resorts in North America. With a focus on award-winning family programs, the resort offers a variety of options on and off the slopes. Steamboat provides the perfect environment for kids and families learning how to ski with kids-only lifts in the form of beginner magic carpets, private full- and half-day lessons for the whole family and Sunshine Family Trail, complete with Snow Monsters, Steamboat Olympians and other characters along the way. To make a trip to Steamboat Springs even simpler for families, when a parent/grandparent purchases a 5-or-more-day regular adult lift ticket or rental, one child/grandchild age 12 and under receives a free lift ticket and rental.

http://www.colorado.com/articles/top-ski-resorts-families-colorado