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Travel Goals for 2018

Posted in family trip, lifestyle, personal, travel, vacation
on January 6, 2018

It’s quite ironic that even if there’s a VAT here in the UAE, I am still thinking of more travels to have this 2018 with my family.  2018 will be a year of new beginnings, new hopes, new chances, new plans, new goal-settings, and more memory-making, and definitely more travel.

I have been through a lot of painful stuff the past 2 years. I am more than happy to leave them in the past and focus on more important things that money can’t put a price tag, like spending more time with my family, learning new skills, be better in my blog posting, delve in my creativity, and definitely include more travels this year and onwards.

I know it will take a lot of money to be able to do all those travels but I believe in this quote and this year, it’s probably the one I am going to live by whether I have enough money or none. There are always opportunities to travel even locally.

(photo not mine, due credit to the owner/from http://www.picturequotes.com/)

Happy Traveling folks!

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Child-friendly Places to Visit in NSW

From wildlife sanctuaries to amusement parks and more, the state of NSW is full of places and activities that are perfect for children and adults alike. Check out some of the best places in NSW to keep your little ones entertained on your next Australian adventure.

 

Taronga Zoo & Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo Credit: Pixabay

With a spectacular location overlooking Sydney Harbour, award-winning Taronga Zoo is an unbeatable destination for animal lovers and budding zoologists. With over 4,000 animals to see and more than 20 shows to catch per day – as well as guided tours and the occasional concert – there’s always something happening at Taronga Zoo.

Those looking for an immersive experience can even stay overnight in safari-style tents, surrounded by the calls of Taronga’s native and exotic inhabitants.

Located in Dubbo, roughly 400 kilometres inland from Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is Australia’s oldest open range zoo.

Instead of gates, walls and fences, Taronga Western Plains Zoo uses concealed moats to separate visitors from animals, allowing you to imagine what an encounter in the wild would feel like!

 

Note: Although Taronga is NSW’s most famous wildlife institution, there are plenty of fantastic venues to explore across the state. For more animal adventures, check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, Blackbutt Reserve in New Lambton, Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, and Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast.

 

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Do your kids have an adventurous streak? Then head to one of NSW’s treetop adventure parks for the chance to embrace this spirit in a safe and scenic environment.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is one NSW’s most popular treetop adventure parks, offering different experiences to suit all ages and abilities. The Treetop Walk winds 1500 metres through the beautiful rainforest canopy on a walkway suspended 20-30 metres above the ground. Although this walk is suitable for all ages, Knights Tower (a viewing platform situated at the end of the walkway) is not accessible to prams.

If your children are at least 5 years old and over 105cm tall, they can also choose to embark on a Zipline Tour. This thrilling journey involves crossing suspension bridges and flying along a series of steel cables strung 35 metres above the forest floor!

With professional guidance, breathtaking views, and the option for parents to ride tandem with smaller children, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is perfect for the whole family.

 

Luna Park

Photo Credit: Pixabay

For some old-fashioned fun with a modern backdrop, there’s no going past Luna Park Sydney. Built in 1935, the huge grin which marks the entrance of Luna Park has become a beloved icon for generations of Sydneysiders.

Take your children to Luna Park to experience the nostalgia and simple joys of times gone by. Here, you can saddle up on the hand-painted carousel, marvel and laugh inside the Big Top, grab a bite to eat at the Coney Island Café, and clatter along the tracks of a rare wooden roller coaster.

Round out your visit with a ride on the ferris wheel, whose colourful carriages enjoy magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and a skyline from a completely different era.

 

Billabong Ranch

Make a trip to Echuca, found on the NSW-Victoria border, for a crowd-pleasing outing that’s perfect for groups with a range of interests. Billabong Ranch sprawls over 390 acres and includes a fun-filled activity centre with enough activities to interest practically anyone.

Horse lovers will be spoilt for choice – the ranch has a range of trail rides designed for both experienced and inexperienced riders, as well as pony ride options for younger guests. Guests can also get active on the bouldering wall, challenge themselves on the obstacle course, or strike up some friendly competition with a game of table tennis, beach volleyball, or ten-pin bowling.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also friendly animals for petting, bungy trampolines for bouncing – even camels for riding! The archery and mini-golf courses are especially popular during wet weather, so you can all have a great time at Billabong Ranch at any time of year.

 

Jamberoo Action Park

Less than two hours south of Sydney, Jamberoo Action Park is one of the wildest places to cool off in NSW. This theme park features 15 rides spread over 40 hectares of landscaped parklands near Kiama.

Ideal for children and parents alike, Jamberoo Action Park delivers high-speed thrills as well as more easygoing entertainment. Take the little ones for a paddle at Billabong Beach – a play area designed specially for young children – or join your budding adrenaline junkies on hair-raising rides such as Funnel Web and The Perfect Storm.

New to the park in 2016, Jamberoo’s latest ride hurls riders along a 290-metre trajectory to reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour! Of course, you can always float around in the wave pool instead.

 

So get organising and plan your school holiday adventure now!

 

About the Author

Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!

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How Hunting Can Be a Family Affair

Posted in activities, family activities, family trip
on December 9, 2017

When people think about hunting, they sometimes think about a group of guys going out into the woods and sitting in their deer stands for hours, drinking beers, and escaping from their families. What many fail to realize is that in a lot of areas hunting is actually a family affair. Brothers and sisters work as hunting partners since they were children. Many children who grew up hunting together still hunt together as adults. Children are naturally competitive, and hunting is an excellent way for them to use their competitiveness in a way that is safe and beneficial.

Parents bring their children hunting with them since they were infants. Families hunt together in groups that span generations. It is not uncommon for grandchildren to go hunting with their grandparents. Grandparents are usually eager to teach their grandchildren the tricks of the trade that they learned growing up.

Parents will often supervise their children as they hunt. When these children grow up, they will use the same supervision techniques that their parents used with them to help their children learn how to hunt. If a child eventually gets into a relationship with someone who is not a hunter, they will usually teach their boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse how to hunt, and it will continue to be a family affair. Even if both members of the family are not avid hunters, they will sit with each other in the hunting blinds, enjoy each other’s company, and just spend time together.

Some families have commented that going on guided hunting trips together has brought them closer. Not only are they able to explore areas that are relatively new to them, but they are also able to build memories that will last for a lifetime.

Bow hunting is an exceptional sport for family members. What makes bowhunting so awesome is that families can practice with each other at home, at the archery range, and in other places as they prepare for the hunting season. Parents can pass down tips to their children, and children feel a sense of accomplishment as their accuracy improves.

More and more families are learning the joy of hunting. They see it as a way to teach their children about the value of nature, and it serves as a tool to encourage children to want to preserve nature for the generations that come after them.

 

 

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My Bucket List of Things To Do In Colorado

 

I have been to several parts of the US but I have not visited Colorado yet. Colorado is one of the places I want to visit someday. If there is one thing in my  travel bucket list that I am most excited about, that is to have the opportunity to stay in any of the Colorado vacation rentals like those fancy chalets or log cabins in any of the famous ski resorts in Colorado. I will tell you why. Read on.

The state of Colorado is a mountainous region. It is part of the Western and Southern United States, and the Mountain States.

Colorado boasts so many majestic slopes that are perfect for winter activities. It is home to many rich and famous celebrities and prominent figures in society. And I am not surprised why. Colorado just screams opulent living, scenic winter vistas, beautiful ski resorts, and winter activities that will tingle your spine! And because of that, I created my own bucket list of things to do in Colorado.

 

Do Ice-climbing in Ouray Ice Park

The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made climbing attraction in a natural gorge in Ouray, Colorado.  If you are an avid ice climber then this place is a great recreational destination for you. I have not tried any ice climbing in my life, let alone rock-climbing but I added this place in my bucket list because I want the challenge. Maybe you need that kind of challenge too!

 

Check out the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods

A lot may not know this (unless you live in Colorado) but Colorado has an interesting and diverse geography.  Some parts are mountainous, while others have arid plains and deserts, big sand dunes, plenty of lakes and rivers, lush forests, and interesting rock formations like the ones you will find in the Garden of the Gods.

I enjoy looking at nature. While I may not be the best camper out there, I am willing to let go of my fussiness to be able to view this natural beauty with my own eyes. I have seen numerous photos of this natural park but I know, seeing the rock formation in person will still be a good choice than settling for photos in the magazines or travel sites.

The rock formations in the Garden of the Gods are sedimentary red, pink, and white sandstones, limestones, and conglomerate formations left in the park by the natural uplift of the Rocky Mountains, and Pike Peaks massif movements.

There is one very famous rock formation in the park that is worthy of a great photo-op – the Balanced Rock which is a fountain formation.

I want to see this particular one and a photo-op standing next to it will be the cherry on top of the icing in my Gardens of the Gods visit.

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org

 

Experience a weekend in any of the luxurious villas, log cabins or chalets in any ski resort

I am a budget traveler. I try to stick to a rigid budget as much as I can but once in a while, I do splurge. Staying in any of the luxurious villas, log cabins or chalets in any of the ski resort in Colorado is definitely in my bucket list.

I would prefer a lodging for us with a panoramic window so I can see the view outside right away. Nothing beats the beauty of nature’s charm.

Photo credit: https://www.luxuryretreats.com/

 

I have seen plenty of photos of vacation rentals in Colorado, especially the ones at the mountain areas. I just love the idea of waking up in the middle of a lush vegetation with a view of the snow-capped mountain to complete my morning.

I also love winter time. I want to feel how it is to sit by the fireplace and sip a hot chocolate to cap my relaxation. And of course, a weekend in any of these types of accommodation with my family will be a perfect getaway for us.

 

Learn how to ski

I am not an extreme sports kind of person but every now and then, there is a dream that I want to fulfill and that is to learn how to ski. I am terrified of speed so a beginner’s lesson will suffice. I just want to be able to enjoy the snow’s powdery texture against my ski while I glide on a less challenging terrain in one of the many ski resorts in Colorado.

Colorado has plenty of ski resorts for the family to visit and enjoy. Vail is one of the famous ski resorts in the whole of Colorado. Many famous celebrities spend some of their quality time here to be away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Aside from being the magnet of the rich and famous, it is also known as the biggest mountain resort in the world. It is not as high as other mountain resorts but it boasts of good snowfall that will never disappoint the avid skier. It is also home to some of the best terrains in Colorado so you can expect an exhilarating ski experience whether you are a beginner or a skiing pro.

Another famous ski resort worthy of your time is the Breckenridge . It has well-groomed runs through the trees. It also has high alpine bowls that you can access with a ski lift. This place will make the advanced skier thrilled because of its elevation. There are also nice restaurants at the base of Peak 7 where you can dine after a long ski adventure.

 

Visit the Mesa Verde National Park

Photo credit: https://www.nps.gov

 

I have a thing for history. I like checking out ruins, and the Mesa Verde National Park is teeming with interesting finds like the Cliff Palace, the Balcony, Spruce Dwelling, and the Long House. All these are just few of the more than hundreds of cliff dwellings in the Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado.

The Mesa Verde National Park has been named as one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites due to its exceptional archaeological finds. You can drive through the park on certain period too.

 

There are many more things to do in my bucket list for Colorado. These are the top of the activities I want to fulfill while I am able. Do you have a bucket list too?

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Things To Check Before Going On A Road Trip

*Sponsored Post*

 

The Fall season is a good time to travel because of the beautiful foliage, the colorful sceneries, and the cool weather. It is a nice way to take a vacation, even if it just a weekender in a nearby county or a drive across a state to unwind. And in doing so, we need to also consider many things before we take the road trip.

Whether you are traveling nearby or taking a long road trip for your vacation or have been taking road trips regularly, it is still wise to check these things for your safety, security, and ensure your car’s road-worthiness to enjoy a fun time with your family or friends.

 

Schedule for a car check-up

Even if you are a pro in taking regular road trips near and far, it is imperative and smart to have your vehicle checked before the drive. Go to a reliable motor vehicle inspector and service unit to ensure everything in your car is in good condition, like the battery, tires, lights, and the brake is working properly.

 

Make it comfortable

Bringing small stuff toys and pillows for your kids can make a big difference in giving them comfort especially on a long drive. And as for the driver, a good back seat accessory to provide lumbar support is a perfect addition to keep you comfortable. And if you have toddlers traveling along, you may want to ensure they have proper car seats that is not only high-quality made but has met the highest standard in quality and safety.

 

(Photo credit: cars.com)

 

Bring your supplies

There is nothing wrong with being prepared. It is wise to carry first aid kit and some medications in case someone else falls ill and no immediate medical attention is at hand.  While it is understandable that a road trip will make people hungry, bring snacks like cut fruits, biscuits, and lots of water.

Also stock your vehicle with another kit that will be very useful in case emergency arises like a bag filled with spare batteries, flashlight, gloves, socks, blankets, and spare basic clothes.

 

Update your GPS

Make sure that your GPS system has been updated properly so you are on the right track. Set your GPS to pick up information on traffic congestions, road blocks/work/constructions, and even pit stops for those necessary potty breaks.

 

Insurance

It may just be a weekend getaway or maybe a longer one, no matter what the trip is and how long it will be, if you have the extra budget to cover yourself and family, do purchase an insurance coverage that will give you a piece of mind while on the road, and on your vacation.

 

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Spending Time Abroad As A Family Without Falling Out

Posted in family trip, family vacation, lifestyle, travel, travel tips
on December 8, 2016
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Creating a family holiday without arguments doesn’t start when you get in the car or arrive at the airport. It begins way back at the planning stages. Be sure that every member of the family is considered and allowed to have a say. This goes for when you go, where you go and what you plan to do there. If one person is excluded, you’re at risk of them spending the whole time complaining. Children aren’t the only ones guilty of doing this- adults do it too!

There is a good chance that you won’t be able to please everyone 100%- but that is life! Just be sure that the ones who feel a tad disappointed know that you will do their thing next time. If two kids wanted Florida and one wanted New York, and you chose Florida? Then find a way to please the one who wanted New York. Maybe you could let them plan a half-day itinerary one day. Giving them a project and something to focus on will help distract them, and point them in a positive direction.

Once you are on your holiday or adventure, it is important to keep everyone busy. Yes, this may just mean busy relaxing! But while relaxing in the sun can be great fun for adults, kids can find it really boring. Plan for this in advance, and counteract it by heading to a place with a kids club. Alternatively, look into some different activity holidays designed for families. As they are designed with families in mind, there will be something to please all ages. There will often usually be an opportunity within these activities for some family bonding. This is always a bonus. It could mean that not only do you spend time together without arguments, but you also get on better than usual! It could help you find some common ground with your kids too. Plus, you can show that mom isn’t as weak as they thought, or dad not as boring!
We’ve covered making the time abroad suit everyone, and involving all in the organization. We’ve also mentioned what you should do with your time. Finally, let’s touch upon keeping the family dynamic happy.

Often, we spend only pockets of time with our entire family. So, we might only see one another at breakfast and dinner, for example. However, during time abroad on a holiday, you might see each other a lot more. While this can be a blessing, it can also lead to spending too much time together. Counteract this by ensuring everyone has their own space. If you are sharing a hotel room, book two separate rooms. Considering hiring a holiday home, so that teens can have their own room away from their parents. If you are camping, go for three of four smaller tents over one big one. Sometimes a little distance can help keep everyone sweet! Plus, if a falling out does occur, individuals have their own space to go to in order to cool down again.

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Travel Leave!

Yes! This travel blogger deserves a nice R & R with the family this coming 4th of July and Eid in the Middle East. The last foreign travel I did was with my daughter during our summer Euro vacation last June 2015. After that, it was just quick trips to Manila and the very eventful February 2016 trip back home that saw me crying over my mum’s unexpected demise, few days after my daughter’s 18th debutante dinner party for family and friends.

So yes, forgive me if I take this brief vacation very seriously because I need it badly. I need to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city life. I need to chill, unwind and see places  to recharge and hopefully, help me heal.

So, this travel blogger will be away from her fave lappy and will try her level best to avoid posting anything in-between (unless really, really necessary) from the 3rd until the 10th of July.

Tuh-tah for now! See you later fabulous people!

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