Geysers by the Road in Northern Thailand

geysers by the road
Geysers by the Road in Northern Thailand

Looking at these geysers by the road in Northern Thailand as cars pass by is but incredible!

Wiang Pa Pao is a district southwest of Chiang Rai, and a common stop-over for buses, vans, and private cars traveling to and fro. Chiang Mai is a three hour drive from Chiang Rai, and so this stop-over is definitely a welcome one. And why not! Wiang Pa Pao’s geysers are awesome.

Any one who’s passing by will definitely give this place a second look. From a distance you could already see random white steam patches against the greens as you travel up and down the hills. If you’re new to the place, these would seem like smoke as if someone’s burning something except that it doesn’t dissipate in the air.

Innovation

What we like about Wiang Pa Pao, is that they actually took advantage of these wonders without ruining it. They’ve paved the surrounding ground and constructed a fence around it. They also built satellite pools where people could dip their aching legs. It has become a great tourist attraction of the place and consequently a decent source of income. And we believe the entire length of the road that stretches from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai was so design having the geysers in mind.

Source of Income

As mentioned, these geysers by the road have attracted so many tourists. Thus increasing the district’s revenue. Here, you’ll find restaurants, souvenir shops, Seven Eleven, Accommodations, and even jewellery shops. Some locals sell hard-boiled eggs cooked in one of the pools. Water’s temperature is at 98 degrees celsius. Really hot!

Foot Spa

The place has at least 3 to 4 pools where you could dip your feet or legs. The water is so warm! It took us a while to get used to the temperature before we enjoyed the dip. A lot of people enjoyed it too, and really took their time while chatting with friends and munching on some tropical fruits.

Is it a great place to visit?

Absolutely!! One, the place is free. It requires no money whatsoever to enjoy this rare phenomenon called geyser. Second, the foot spa is relaxing and refreshing and you get to do this amidst the trees around. The geysers are by the road, so accessible. You need not hike hundreds of kilometers into the mountain just to see one. Lastly, it would be a great financial help for the people of Wiang Pa Pao who so graciously share nature at no so much cost.

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Singha Park Chiang Rai: A Must Visit

Boon Rawd Farm, famously known as Singha Park, sits a few kilometers away from the center of Chiang Rai. It is less than 10-minute drive from the White Temple. Singha Park Chiang Rai is one of the visited attractions in the city. Aside from it’s vastness and beauty, going in and exploring the place is free of admission.

Singha Park/ Boon Rawd Farm/  บุญรอดฟาร์ม.

It is a vast open land with so many beautiful attractions.  A giant effigy of a Lion (Singha in Thai) greets visitors at the entrance with numerous variety of colorful flowers prettily landscaped behind. There’s a designated place for parking. Cars are allowed during low seasons. There are however two means of going around the park,  biking and by trams. There are different types of bikes for rent -mountain bikes, grandma’s bike,  and double bikes at 120 baht an hour.  Trams are scheduled at regular intervals and it cost 1.67 USD (50 THB) per child and 3.34 USD (100 THB) for adult. This takes tourists around the park and stops at the park’s destinations.

Telephone: 091 576 0374

Opens: 9.00 am to 5:00 pm from Saturday to Sunday

Attractions in Singha Park

  1. Flower Park. Different species of beautiful, colorful flowers are displayed here for at least a week or two and mostly during the first two weeks of January. The flowers were totally breathtaking.  The park is quite big that a couple of hours, which was the only time we had, is definitely not enough to leisurely roam around. And I suggest that you fully charge your mobile phones and cameras before coming,  The place is so amazing you can’t stop clicking.  I would certainly go back as I have not really fully enjoyed the place due to lack of time. I’d also make it sure that I have the appropriate camera. The photos I’ve taken of the flowers and the place are not great due to again lack of time and limited battery life.  In fact there were several attractions I haven’t photographed.  
  2. Swan Lake. Next stop is the swan lake. From the name itself this huge lake has plenty of white swan, and giant coy fish. Children could feed them through bamboo tubes that piped the sides of the lake. And just recently (as of November 2019) at the opposite side of swan lake is a large effigy of a rat made from hay.
  3. Tea Plantation follows. Here, you’ll see vast field of tea plants, such a pleasant sight of well-contoured greens. There’s a tiny station around here that sells tea powder. They also got customs and baskets tourists could use to take photos with.
  4. Zoo. Watusi cattle and short-legged horses are the main attractions in this part of the park.
  5. Strawberry farm. During the winter season that is from December to February, strawberry is aplenty. They are big and sweet in this part of Thailand.
  6. Mushroom and Herbs. As of 2019, they have develop a certain variety of mushroom (please see video). They also have variety of herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, and many more.
  7. Zipline. Oh yes, I guess one of the highlights! We Zipline for the First Time, Made the More-Than-24 Hour Car Drive Worthwhile! This is the last stop of the tour. This place has a very nice restaurant that opens until the night. They also sell their own-made ice cream, the Boon Rawd Ice Cream. The zipline has a separate fee of 10 USD (300 THB). Aside from the zipline, they also offer other activities like wall climbing, biking, and survival trail.

Here’s a short video clip of the rock climbing activity in SIngha Park.

There you go folks. Hope you’ll have a great time there.

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Tips for Planning a Family Trip

tips for planning a family trip
https://pixabay.com/photos/family-trip-italy-alps-wander-789029/

Going on a family trip can be one of the best experiences for both you and your children. Trips provide opportunities to experience new environments together, and can open your children’s eyes to the world. However, without proper planning, traveling in large groups with kids can quickly turn stressful. In order to make sure you make the most of your vacation, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a family trip.

Hold a Family Meeting

The first thing to do before starting off on any family trip is to hold a family meeting. Why is this important? According to the Center for Parenting Education, a family meeting is a great opportunity for children to feel like they have a voice in family decisions, and can increase family closeness. When it comes to planning a vacation, this is a great opportunity for family members to touch base on where they’d like to go and what they’d like to do. You can discuss dream destinations, as well as streamline and adjust vacation plans to fit family members’ schedules and expectations.

Plan Ahead

Once you’ve got an idea of where you want to go and how long you want to be away from, it’s time to start planning. While it may be tempting to leave things until the last minute, planning ahead will definitely save you a lot of worry and headaches in the long run. The Huffington Post recommends forward planning because it leads to less stress, as well as helps you spend less time and money. The earlier you start shopping around, the higher the chance you can snag rooms or tickets at a discount, especially if you’re looking at taking a trip during the holiday season.

Research Your Transportation

Traveling with kids can be difficult, especially when they’re young. You’ll need to do more research on your modes of transportation, as children have different needs compared to adults. If you’re renting a car, look at insurance packages and child safety regulations. For longer haul trips that require time in the air, an article by Aviation JobNet recommends comparing airlines before making a decision. Among the factors they suggest for consideration are ticket prices, luggage surcharges, customer satisfaction, and frequent flyer status.

Manage Expectations

Finally, before you head out on your trip remember to manage expectations. Traveling with children comes with unique challenges that will require a bit of creativity on your part, so you should be realistic about what you expect from this holiday. For example, child development psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer recommends that international trips be reserved for children older than five, as they’ll be less likely to remember the trip at a younger age. Children also react differently to high-stress situations on the road, so parents should be patient and be ready to take lots of breaks. However, although being realistic is important, remember that vacations are supposed to be fun bonding moments. Leave some space for you and your family to have fun, and you’ll be sure to make tons of beautiful memories.

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Culture Shock: What Is It and How Can You Get Over It?

When you travel, you’re more likely to get culture shock. If you’re unsure of what culture shock is but you want to be prepared for it before you head off to pastures new, this guide can help you. Here, we’re going to look at what culture shock is and how you can get over it.

What Is Culture Shock?

Culture shock is where you are thrown out of your daily routine, and into a place with a brand new culture and different attitudes. Things are no longer familiar; gestures, tone of voice, how we wait in lines, how people interact, etc. These things rely on collectively understood cultural cues – they are the norm for us and we don’t really pay attention to them. We are hyper aware of things that are different in other countries because they are so different from our norm. You may not have literal shock, but you may feel disorientated and struggle to process the changes. However, there are usually a few stages to culture shock that you should be aware of.

credit

Stages Of Culture Shock

    • The honeymoon stage – you’ll probably notice the similarities and be charmed by the differences at this stage.
    • The negotiation stage – the honeymoon feelings will diminish and you’ll get more annoyed at things you’re not used to, you might even become confused, angry, and scared.
    • The adjustment stage – you can relax and come to terms with how different things are.
  • The mastery stage – you reach a high level of comfort in this new place and your routine is more natural to you.

Just know that there will come a time when you feel more comfortable – the uncertain stages won’t last forever!

Dealing With Culture Shock

Now let’s talk about dealing with culture shock.

Learn as Much As You Can Before You Travel – make sure you learn as much as you possibly can about a place before you travel. Read up on different reviews and forums, and watch YouTube videos. You’ll get a good idea of what to expect, and hopefully, the shock won’t be too severe.

When You Arrive, Write Down What You Love – as soon as you arrive, write down what you love about the place. Maybe you love the hustle and bustle of Downtown L.A., or how friendly the people are in South East Asia. Write down as many things as you can so that you can look back on it when you’re feeling low.

Find A Healthy Distraction – find a distraction to help you deal in the tough stages. You could work out. listen to a podcast, read a book, or do something else you enjoy.

See If You Can Talk To Others About How You Feel – you may be able to find other travellers and talk to them about it, or there are always forums you can use.

Are you ready to deal with culture shock after reading this, or have you experienced it already? Leave your comments below!

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Kayaking: What You Need to Bring


One of the major outdoor activity we had recently was kayaking. Kayaking is to move across a body of water through a kayak, which is low-to-the-water with double blade paddles, and paddlers sits forward with legs in front. Kayaking started with the Inuit as a way for hunting and fishing. And through the years kayaking became a sport, and nowadays people kayak for recreational purposes. In our case, we kayaked in a river called Wang Sai Thong in Langu district, Satun, Thailand. This is the major activity in this part of Satun, Thailand. 

Satun is one of the provinces in Southern Thailand, rich with natural beauty and resources like lush green rainforest, waterfalls, caves (Phu Pha Phet and Chet Cot); rivers, and a must go beaches; one of these is Koh Lipeh. Aside from this, the “disappearing tribe” of Thailand called the Sakai tribe can also be found here.

We went kayaking with our children, and of course they were beyond themselves with excitement. The first time we went there, they were still too young to go on a kayak. But this time, we thought they could already handle it, since the water was not so rough. If it was, we would not risked it for sure.

two kids kayaking
Diverse Outdoor Activities for Children

Having gone there, done it; here are some of the things that we found important.

1. Bring your own kids life jackets. Usually life jackets are available and are provided by the accommodation, however,  the sizes may not be the right fit. It is essential that life jackets fit, otherwise it could be uncomfortable and could possibly ruin the moment. And also it could restrict movement as well as block ones view of the surroundings. And another thing, if you are super particular about hygiene I think having your own life jacket is a great idea.

2. Wear a comfortable attire.  Most of the kayaks used here are sit-on-top,  with the foot rest almost the same level as the seat. So wearing jean shorts or other attire made of stiff fabric can be very uncomfortable and could cause abrasions on the skin. Cottony shirts and shorts are fine. Beachwears like top-bottom set,  burquini-type and wet suite-type beachwears are also great. One-piece or bikinis might be a little too much for the culture here,  and besides it won’t give so much protection in case the kayak tips over.

3. Anti-mosquito lotion. The place is surrounded by greeneries and water; two things mosquitoes love the most. Protect yourself from malaria and other diseases brought by mosquitoes. Anti-mosquito lotion is available in convenience stores and other SkinStore.

4. Pain relieving ointments. You would find this really handy and helpful as muscles would be stiff and sore the next day or even a few hours after. Wang Sai Thong river is 7 to 10 kilometers long, this could be a lot for the not so trained muscles.

5. Water-proof camera. Yes, yes, yes! Document every moment of it, every scream, every laughter; capture the emotions, the beauty, as well as the risks.

Oh by the way, the kayaks are generic. There are no special kayaks for our little ones. That’s why our children had to go with a guide.

Have you gone kayaking? Where? How was the experience?

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Things to do in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one such dream destination, that narrowing down to the best of all the fun activities becomes quite a task. The lush green jungles, the exotic bird life, pristine unspoilt beaches and the spectacular scenery all go into making this country a paradise for holiday makers and nature lovers alike.

 

This striking and diverse terrain which is a heady combination of sun, outdoor fun and nature offers something or the other to every traveler, right from the Pacific coast to the Northern plains. Stunning Costa Rican villas amidst jungles and beautiful valleys, make for perfect retreats.

 

To make it easy for the first time visitor, some of the leading attractions of this enchanting country are highlighted here.

 

NICOYA PENINSULA

 

A four hour drive from San Jose will bring you to the northwestern tip of Costa Rica where the Nicoya Peninsula extends right up to the Pacific coast. The sparkling shoreline which is all of 80 miles long, offers a plethora of fishing, cattle ranch communities, mixed with trendy restaurants and hotels which have sprung up to cater to the influx of the increasing number of tourists that throng here round the year.

 

ARENAL VOLCANO

 

Every year, between the months of February and April, visitors come in hordes to have some of the best undisturbed views of one of the most active volcanoes of the world, namely, Arenal Volcano. Standing 5000 feet above sea level, this constant spewing mountain can be viewed in its splendor from the Arenal Observatory Lodge, which occupies a vantage point.

 

The base village of Fortuna, offers perfect opportunities to viewers to access Arenal, and fog or no fog, travelers come here in numbers to enjoy the experience.

 

BIRDWATCHING

 

From toucans,macaws, parrots and a host of tropical birds, Costa Rica with around 800 different bird species, is a mecca for birders. The top bird spots around the towns of Arenal, Puerto Viejo, Osa Peninsula and Montverde are all a haven for naturalists. Many hotels provide conducted tours with an expert guide to take enthusiasts bird watching either through forest hikes or from observation towers.

 

TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

 

Accessible only by boat or a light airplane, the TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK is located in the North Eastern part of Costa Rica and is an extremely popular tourist destination. The major attraction here are the phenomenal sightings of endangered species of turtles, like the green turtle, hawksbill and other varieties that come onshore during the breeding season in their thousands to lay their eggs.

 

CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK

 

This biologically rich rainforest area is home to some of the most exotic animal species like the jaguar, anteaters, tapirs, a diverse bird life with the water bodies sheltering crocodiles and bull sharks.The abundance of mangrove swamps are reminiscent of scenes from any popular nature film.

 

GUANACASTE

 

Nestled on the border with Nicaragua, this area is home to sleek resorts and luxurious retreats along the Pacific coast. Rainforest, Savannah and an active Rincon de la Vieja volcano, leaves visitors spoilt for choice while visiting Guanacaste.

 

TRAVEL ON HORSEBACK

 

Simply one of the best way to see the beaches and mountains of Costa Rica is on horseback.Though locally a common activity, visitors today can visit almost any popular destination, especially in Guanacaste. Horses can be hired from the local farmers at a nominal charge and are great options while visiting beach towns, such as Samara, Tamarindo or Montezuma.

 

SUNSET CRUISE

 

One of the most relaxing and romantic activity along the Pacific coast is to go on a sunset cruise along the many beautiful beaches. Towns like, Playas del Coco,Playa Tamarindo and many others offer this excursion to let visitors get a feel of the ocean and view marine life. Snorkeling equipment, water, snacks and drinks are all included in this super romantic activity.

 

GO ON A ROAD TRIP

 

Embarking on a journey by road through Costa Rica is a breathtaking experience. It allows one to venture off the beaten path and explore the cities and its surroundings in a more natural and authentic manner. A trip through Central Valley for example, offers stunning landscapes and let’s the motorist experience the small town life and taste local cuisine which otherwise is not possible in the more touristy zones.

 

FINCA 6

 

Located in the Osa Peninsula, is a unique UNESCO world heritage site dedicated to spheres made of stone. Though their origin and purpose have still not been established even till today, this mysterious site is a great attraction and of incredible interest.

 

CATARATA DEL TORO

 

Dropping from a height of 270 feet, this stunning waterfall is the tallest in Costa Rica. Located inside an extinct volcanic crater in the Central Valley, the steps down the waterfall offer a great walk and close-up views of the cascading water. The waterfall can be reached while driving to La Fortuna from San Jose. Private cabins are available for overnight stay at this reserve.

 

RAINFOREST BY TRAM

 

This is the ideal way to see the rainforest from close for those who cannot hike or endure strenuous excursions. The tropical jungle unfolds a variety of bird and animal life and the guide is always ready with the names of the different flora and fauna. The tram passes through many vantage points which offer stunning views of the rainforest. This facility is available at Arenal and Monteverde, while there is one on the Caribbean side and Jaco as well.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Family Vacation

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Family Vacation

If you are planning to head off on a family vacation, you will want the experience to be as fun and exciting as possible. Here are ways on how to get the most out of your vacation.

Plan

Before you go on your vacation, it is important that you all sit down together and brainstorm exactly what you want to get out of the trip. Having a list will help you know what it is you plan to do whilst on vacation and all the activities you want to try out. You may find that each member of the party wants to do different things, so a little compromise will have to come into play to ensure you all get to enjoy the vacation.

Inject Some Fun

Going on a family vacation should be a fun and exciting time for you all, and there are many ways that you can inject a little fun into proceedings and get your trip off to a good start. If you enjoy sporting matching outfits, you may want to feel and look the part with your own personalized t-shirt. Websites like Heatpressmachineguide.Com will give you all the information you need so you can be sure that you create some of the most funky and innovative t-shirts for your vacation.

Book in Advance

To get the best deals, it is always advised to book in advance. You will want to cut corners wherever you can which can potentially help save you a vast amount of money. Make sure that you take the time to research into vacation locations and deals that are affordable for you and your family. If you decide to book late, you run the risk of having limited options as well as higher costs.

Read Reviews

There are many specialist review websites on the internet such as Trip Advisor which can help you figure out exactly where is right to go for your vacation. Reading reviews of the places you want to visit as well as hotels will help you get a better idea on where is best to stay and visit. If a hotel you have seen has predominately low ratings, it is best to look for somewhere else to avoid any problems that could arise. Being able to read first-hand and honest reviews will help put your mind at ease and ensure you make the right decision.

Stay Safe

No matter where you go in the world for your vacation, it is always important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Being somewhere completely different will put you out of your comfort zone so you will need to have your wits about you throughout your vacation. There are simple measures that you can take such as keeping all your valuables in zipped pockets as well as having locked luggage.

When going on vacation, always make sure that you have everything planned out well in advance to avoid any issues, but most of all, have fun!

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Unplanned Staycation: Rimlay Park Resort

Book your next staycation/vacation: Booking dot com

Rimlay Park Resort Review

If you would like to know our experience in this resort read on.

 

My husband and I work full time. Parents out there could surely empathize with us wanting to getaway and simply relax.  And in today’s busy and structured world, this does not come by easily.  Parents have busy schedules and kids’ have timetable full of classes from dusk to twilight, plus special classes here and there. With all these crazy sched in the family, finding the common time for a holiday is rare and difficult. Fortunately though, the previous week we had that rare time. And so we grabbed the opportunity and went on our unplanned staycation.

For us, a perfect staycation means staying in a new place with a nice accommodation, clean air conditioned room with wifi, fridge, and coffee maker, and most importantly a place with kids pool. So we hurriedly booked Rimlay Park Resort at Phattalung Thailand.

As soon as the booking was confirmed, we drove there the following day. Since it is unplanned, I forgot the kids’ life jackets. They love swimming but they do not know how to swim yet, thus the life jackets.  We ought to enroll them in a swimming class. And yes we will, it is important.

We got to the resort after hours of going back and forth exploring the outback. Yes it is in the countryside. It is a little haven in the middle of acres and acres of rice fields and forest.

The place is good and we rated it 4/5. But it does not have a proper kids pool unlike Haad Kaew Resort. It is actually an adult pool with a shallow area where adults could sit around and tête-à-tête while in the water.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well.  The kids had so much fun.  The accommodating lady owner lent them swimming aid noodles. Although short, but it had been a relaxing stay and an enjoyable one for the kids.

Rimlay Park Resort is a great staycation place for families or a getaway haven for group of friends. If you would like to know more about this resort, read Rimlay Park Resort Review.

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How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids In Tow

family-road-trip

Road trips are one of the most common choices for family vacations. Of course, that involves spending more than a few hours in close quarters with your kids. Before you hit the road with your children, take a moment to plan out how to get to your destination without losing your mind along the way.

It might not be the way you first imagine a road trip with the kids – your thoughts probably turn to backseat shenanigans and endless questions along the lines of “are we there yet” – but it’s entirely possible to leave the stress behind when you take your children on a road trip. The secret to smooth sailing on a family road trip is to keep your expectations reasonable and do as much advanced planning as possible. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Confirm Your Vehicle’s Readiness

Suffering a breakdown on the road is always irritating, but it can turn into a real disaster when you have a pair of rambunctious toddlers in the backseat. Pay a visit to your favorite car mechanic before you hit the road. Have him check the air pressure and condition of all of your tires, including the spare, as well as check your mechanical systems (including the air conditioner and / or heater, and fluid levels) in advance, too.

Consider Signing Up For Roadside Assistance

AAA is still the gold standard when it comes to nationwide roadside assistance services, but there are other options in the same vein as well. If you aren’t already a member of a similar service, you should strongly consider signing up before your trip. It may be handy to download an app like EmergenSee, too. This turns your smartphone into a live recording device (capturing video, audio, and GPS data) and sends it to chosen contacts or law enforcement officials when you’re in trouble. Also, check with your car insurance to see if they offer roadside assistance.

Make Your Kids Safe

Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the car and/or booster seats your kids need before you set off. Confirm they’re installed properly. You can find a local authority for this service by visiting SeatCheck.org. Alternatively, just inquire with your nearest fire station – most of them handle this safety check for free.

Bear in mind that the latest advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to use rear-facing car seats for children under the age of two. Kids should always be strapped in when the car is moving. If your children need a break from their seats, plan these kind of stops into your travel plans to give everyone a break from the car.

Always Have A First Aid Kit

Bring along all the usual items you might need to deal with minor ailments: Band-Aids, antiseptic, fever reducers, medications used by your family members, and perhaps even a little extra toilet paper for unplanned bathroom breaks.

Schedule Your Departure Wisely

If your kids are experienced backseat sleepers, think about kicking your trip off at either bedtime or in the early morning. Feel free to leave them in their PJs and enjoy a restful, quiet start to your road trip. Also, consider travel plans of others. Are you traveling during a busy holiday time? You may want to avoid heavy traffic by leaving at a time when you’ll hit big cities at their least busy times. Sitting in a traffic jam while on a road trip with kids is NOT fun!

Comfort Is A Priority

Make sure your children are dressed in clothes they like for the trip. Wearing PJs or other comfy clothes is always recommended. Shoes that are easy for your child to get on and off by themselves is another good tip. This makes stops easier on mom and dad. You should also bring along any familiar items that will help the kids feel at home (stuffed animals, blankets, and even favorite pillows) to encourage sleeping in the car.

Assign Seating

If you’re hauling a large family in a large vehicle, keep your family dynamics in mind when placing people in their seats. Break up fractious siblings by putting them into separate rows. This will be appreciated by both the youngsters and the adults who are driving. You’ll also want to consider keeping smaller children who frequently need help close to the front or near someone capable of helping the younger passengers.

Pack Snacks

Bring along as many healthy snacks as you can comfortably manage. Stay away from sugary, high-energy foods; your kids don’t need any surplus pep for a long car trip. Perfect road trip foods include raisins, bananas, rice cakes, Cheerios, and crackers. Try to avoid snacks that are messy or crumbly and that don’t require utensils to eat. But be prepared for messes, pack wipes and a small car trash can.

Plan Some Welcome Surprises

Kids love a surprise, and a road trip gives you ample opportunities to cook up some unexpected delights. Look for fun stops your family can make on your way to your destination. If you can spring something like a trip to a candy store or a water park on your kids they’re less likely to get bored and grumpy afterward.

Visit the dollar store to buy up a supply of small toys and treats. To keep everybody amused on the trip, let each child pick out something new for each hour you spend on the road. This stash of goodies also makes a great incentive and encourages good behavior! If you’ve got enough time, try wrapping up the treats in advance to make each pick more exciting – and time-consuming – for your kids.

Bring As Much Entertainment As Possible

While too much screen time is a bad thing for your kids, that rule goes out the window when you’ve got a long road trip to get through. Feel free to bring along smartphones, tablets, and portable DVD players to keep the children amused. Make sure you load your devices up with apps, songs, and videos you know your kids will enjoy. And bring headphones for each person!

Don’t Challenge Your Kids’ Endurance

The grownups might be ready to handle six hours of uninterrupted drive time, but that’s not going to fly with youngsters. Plan on stopping at least every two hours, if not more frequently. A clean rest stop can be a life-saver – the first time you pull into one. After the first half-dozen, your family is going to get bored. Plan out stops at local parks (the sort with slides, swings, and other kid-friendly equipment) as a refreshing alternative.

Preserve Bedtime Rituals

Although you’ll probably be tempted to jump right into bed after a long day on the road, try to keep up as many of your standard bedtime routines as you can. Bathe, read, nurse, and do whatever else you normally do at home to get your kids ready for a good night’s sleep. Bring the pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals in from the car to make the kids’ vacation room feel as homelike as possible.

Follow these simple tips to get your family vacation off to the right start!

Traveling by car with kids is plausible, and a great way to strengthen family bonding, follow the above tips when traveling with your children.

 

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Bathe In The Sun At….

Summer in Samal

When we went home to the Philippines for a month long, very much needed vacay, my husband and I decided to book a weekend stay in the Island Garden City of Samal or IGaCOS, the Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort. This is our childhood favorite resort. Since we were kids this resort has been like a… well… a paradise. It seemed like the name Paradise Island was synonymous to GREAT FUN.

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort is located at Barangay Caliclic, Babak district Samal Island. Please note that Samal Island used to be a part of Davao City before it was declared a city of its own on 30th January 1998; some websites though, still use the old address. This resort can be reached via a boat ride from a port in Sasa Wharf Davao City to the resort or via a Ferry if you so choose to bring your vehicles to the Island with you.

In general, we had a pleasant experience. My husband and I definitely had a great time at the beach. We love the powdery white sand, the blue clear water, and the fresh air. At that time there were only a few guests, so it felt like we had the beach to ourselves. It felt like paradise.

However, there were a few inconveniences.

For example, checking in was quite a hassle as the resort is quite strict with a lot of things. They do have a rule book that you need to familiarize with or else your stay will be ruined. Checking the bags to make sure you have no food, drinks and/or spirits brought with you, as one of the rules in the book says “NO FOOD AND DRINKS FROM OUTSIDE ARE ALLOWED”, was a bit annoying.

It was like we were being searched in a detention camp rather than a resort. Children under 12 years have additional fees. It was quite saddening especially when all the other resorts especially resorts in Thailand would consider them free.  The food and snacks in the resort are delicious but rather expensive. The drinks and spirits are downright overpriced.

And then there is this, no swimming pool. When we were kids it was OK because we never really had any idea about it, but now that we have gone to other resorts it seems like a pool is a given.  Our kids were extremely disappointed. They love hanging around the pool. In fact it is the very first thing they always look for whenever we check in on a hotel/resort.

I guess we sort of overlooked this. We were probably unconsciously expecting it after all these years. Anyway, the beach was irresistibly inviting, even to the kids.  They had so much fun that they didn’t want to get out of the water.  That reminded me of our childhood days. It was a blast.

If you are the kind of person who wants coffee in the morning just right after waking up… you’d be disappointed to know that there are no hotspots or whatsoever in the rooms. I know it’s not really a necessity for everyone but it’s kind of good to have just in case you need one. No refrigerator. Yup… you heard me right. There is no freakin fridge. So if you bought a large bottle of soda or bottled water from the bar or restaurant, drink it while it’s cold. It’s not a deal breaker but it is definitely disappointing since these are the kind of amenities even cheap hotels offer.

But then again when we got to our room that morning Lo and Behold… The room was really clean. The toilet was well maintained. We were able to breathe a sigh of relief as my husband and I are really particular about cleanliness. We have had very bad experiences with hotel rooms even with the pricey ones in Bangkok and in Penang Malaysia. The beddings, the mattress, the floor under the bed are well dusted. We are very particular about this since my husband and kids are all asthmatic.

We’ve been to quite a few resorts and hotels may it be for long vacay or just a weekend getaway, all these accommodations have their own good and bad points.  Nothing is perfect as they say.  But perfection is relative to one’s needs and preferences.

So, Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort despite its imperfection and the inconveniences we had, it was still a GREAT experience generally speaking.

Have you been to any of the beautiful beaches in the Philippines? How was it?

I’ll Return Back Your LOVE

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