International Travel

Fun for Dads (and kids, too!) at Beaches Ocho Rios in Jamaica

Family trips are usually more work for parents than staying at home. Packing, schlepping and entertaining is a mission with kids, but I found a place that turns this paradigm on its head: Beaches Resorts in Ochos Rios, Jamaica via Funjet Vacations. Beaches offers plenty to do for kids and parents alike. As fun as it is to hang with the little ones, isn’t it nice to know there’s a destination where you can drop off the kids at Camp Sesame for a few hours without guilt? After all, they are not only being taken care of by professional...

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Cuba 101: A Traveler’s Survival Guide

Cuba, one of five existing communist countries, evokes intrigue and curiosity in the American psyche. La Habana (Havana’s proper name in Spanish) is the capital of the dictator led Cuba, an island floating only 90 minutes from the border of the global superpower United States. Cuba is filled with mystery and the unknown. With few stories from casual travelers, and no personal stories from friends or family, we (sans kids) decided to go with the utmost open mind. Our pep talk on our flight was to roll with the punches, expect the unexpected, and anticipate the absence of modern luxuries....

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How to Travel to Cuba from the U.S.

I’ve always wanted to travel to Cuba, the forbidden fruit of the American traveler, to see a place that time and technology forgot…and finally did. Here’s how: Booking Your Trip Traveling to Cuba no longer requires the casual American traveler to book through a complicated application process, or via some clandestine travel itinerary through Canada or Mexico. I kept hearing that it was still difficult to get to Cuba so I, along with a few brave others, took the Cuban travel challenge to the test. After asking many people about the logistics, and getting many opinions, I found a...

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Pleasantly Surprised in Phuket

I’ll be honest, before this trip, Phuket was a place that held little interest for me to visit with my family. From what others told me and what I read, Phuket was an island of overpriced luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts, overcrowded beaches, and a place that was great 15 years ago. Thanks, but no thanks, I thought, as my family prefers places a little more off the beaten path where local flavor and culture is still evident. It wasn’t until our recent sailboat charter that departed out of Phuket’s northern Yacht Haven Marina that we were forced to...

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Australia Day Trip: Fun for Kids (for Wombats, Not So Much)

The dead wombats are tricky. You have to watch for them so you can divert the attention of your little one before it’s too late. Dead wombats look like sad, discarded teddy bears. Dead kangaroos can be sad, but it depends on your kid. Dead wombats don’t depend on your kid – they’re just plain upsetting. Keep your eyes open. Dead wombats are just one part of a day trip to South Gippsland from Melbourne, though. The rest of the day certainly makes up for them. Heading east on the Princes Highway early in the morning gives you a...

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Practicing “Train Manners”

Traveling with a family of eight presents its own set of challenges, above and beyond “regular” family travel. For example, one common strategy that people suggest is for parents to use a portable DVD player to help maintain the peace during long car trips. Unfortunately, for those of us with teenagers AND toddlers, there is not a movie on this earth that a 13-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl will both want to watch!! :-D. We’ve actually had some success in taking long car trips with no electronics at all!Another problem we’ve run into is that we make a LOT...

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What To Do in Paris With Kids

I’ve seen Paris as a kid and as a grown-up, but not yet as a grown-up with kids, so as I often do when my own expertise is lacking, I reach out to people who know what they’re talking about. In this case I tracked down some Parisian parents past and present, families who often visit the city, and travel pros – to get their ideas on the very best things to see and do in Paris with kids. Have some game. I love a good scavenger hunt, especially if I don’t have to do the work to come up with one, which...

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Club Med in the Snow? You Bet.

Ahh, the joys of Club Med.  Sand and sea.  Beautiful beaches. Sexy girls for the guys.  Sexy men for the girls.  Snow capped peaks. Snow capped peaks? Hey, this ain’t your mom and dad’s Club Med.  Welcome to the 21st century. Known over the years for its inclusive resorts, Club Med has operated ski resorts since it opened its first one in Leysin, Switzerland in 1956.  That has grown by leaps and bounds to some 23 resorts in a most diverse set of options ranging from Europe to Japan and China.  Yes, China. With China opening up to the...

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How to Fly with a Toddler

The birth of our son has kept me and my wife close to home. We have ventured out on some road trips and train rides, but it wasn’t until recently that we flew with our baby for the first time on our recent Baltimore adventure. We weren’t sure how flying with a 2-year-old would go, but we were sure that any number of things could go wrong. He might get scared with every bump. Or, he might have an ear infection that would cause him pain while we flying over the Mississippi River. How could we prepare for these...

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