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?
According to a recent study from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia, children who learned to swim at an early age were ahead of their peers in developmental milestones, such as oral expression, literacy, math and more. Considering swimming’s mental and physical benefits, it’s no wonder parents are increasingly interested in enrolling their children in swimming lessons early.
Read my article about the advantages to learning to swim at Marmalade Magazine.
Whether it’s trying to find a place to nurse your baby or balance your check book, apps made for moms make it hard for a lady to be without her phone. Need to keep track of savings for college — there’s an app for that. Trying to find a bathroom that you would actually let your kids use without dousing them in hand sanitizer? Yep, there’s one for that, too. Apps for moms can teach you how to do yoga, remind you to pick up some milk at the store and help you cook a healthy meal. It’s no wonder no one can put down their smartphone anymore.
So moms, listen up, here are eight apps you shouldn’t live without.
Mom Maps: Mom Maps can help find fun, family-friendly locations on the go. Need a restaurant on the road? Mom Maps has got your back. From playgrounds to museums to indoor play parks, you’ll find contact info, parent reviews and directions at the touch of your finger.
Pristine waters, unspoiled nature, white-sand beaches and striking natural wonders — that is what I love in a vacation and it can be found in our own backyard, La Paz. Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the “aquarium of the world” and La Paz is its gateway. Located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, a short flight away from Los Angeles (Aeromexico flies direct), a once-in-a-lifetime adventure awaits families. Here are five activities that the La Paz Tourism Board recommends for a memorable family vacation.
1. Espiritu Santo. Espiritu Santo is a UNESCO-protected natural area north of the Bay of La Paz and home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the world. Families can swim with the sea lions at a rocky atoll known as Los Islotes. The experience was called the “best animal encounter of 2014” by Scuba Diving Magazine — and you don’t even need your scuba gear. FunBaja provides daily transportation to the site.
2. Eat Like a Local. As a traveler with a passion for food, Mexico holds a special place in my heart and is my favorite food destination. Mexican food is also exotic enough to be a culinary coup for adults, but not to strange to turn off young palates, making culinary adventures enjoyable for the whole family. The La Paz Tourism Board recommends stopping into El Bismarkcito, (located on Paseo Alvaro Obregon, between Constitucion and Hidalgo) to savor the local flavors of the sea. The family-friendly seafood restaurant offers a variety of fresh, authentic seafood dishes, including what are arguably the best fish tacos in town. Kids don’t despair: There are a variety of kid-friendly, non-fishy dishes, just for you.
Afterward, La Fuente (located onAlvaro Obregon and Ocampo) offers homemade ice cream with flavors such as jamaica (hibiscus) cucumber with chile and pitahaya (dragon fruit) for the adventurous as well as your standard strawberry and vanilla.
3. Play Like a Local. Stroll the malecon (boardwalk) for an afternoon to get a feel for the heart of the city. The three-quarter-mile paved cement boardwalk is lined with bronze sculptures and a perfect place to watch the sun set.
4. Beach Day. Uncrowded crystal waters and miles of white-sand beaches are located within minutes of the city. Balandra Beach offers calm, shallow waters perfect for young children and is one of La Paz’s most famous natural sanctuaries. El Telecote Beach is also popular with children for its variety of activities, including Jet Ski, kayak and paddleboard rentals.
5. Nature Tour. Exploring La Paz’s rich cultural history is not enough. An eco-tour is a must. Companies like RED sustainable travel offer turtle conservation expeditions that will enrich educational experiences for families. The kids can play marine biologist for a day monitor sea turtles, interact with researchers and care for the endangered species.
It’s hard to imagine that such biodiversity can exist just a short distance from Los Angeles. Families who dream of heading to the Galapagos one day or who desire natural and cultural experiences will delight after a trip to La Paz.
Need a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift? What about escaping to the Post Ranch Inn for a secluded getaway? Located in Big Sur, Calif., with jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn is an ideal place to rekindle the romance.
Couples who want to relax and spend time together for an unforgettable honeymoon, anniversary or birthday can book the Romance at the Ranch package and celebrate a retreat with a three-night stay with a variety of luxurious accommodations from which to choose. The package includes three nights in a Pacific Suite, Ocean House, Peak House or Tree House, featuring wood-burning fireplace, large soaking tub, and mini-bar stocked daily with complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Relax with a choice of two one-hour spa treatments in your guest room, or one two-hour Couple’s Shamanic Session. The Shamanic Session is designed to balance and cleanse the body and soul for a more energized and all around healthier self. Also included are two, four-course dinners at Sierra Mar; champagne in crystal flutes; activities, including yoga, nature walks, stargazing, swimming and more