Whether you’re packing to go for a walk to the park or your planning a trip across country, when your travelling with toddlers packing poses a problem. How to pack light travelling with toddlers is a little more difficult than packing for an infant. Toddlers need stimulation in the form of toys and snacks not to mention the clothes and equipment. Toddlers require almost constant attention and need supervision almost all the time. So how do you decide how to pack light travelling with toddlers and what do you need to pack? This will depending largely on where you’re going, how long you’re going for and how you’re getting there? Whatever the answers you will need to consider all the possibilities. If you travel with kids, things to keep on hand all the time include diapers, spear clothes and sanitary items. It is often not a matter of how to pack light when travelling with toddlers it is more a question of how to pack effectively. No matter what you have to plan for the unexpected that is likely when you travel with kids. Things to keep in mind when planning for your trip is that you can’t predict everything so it is better to prepared. Start planning and preparing early, don’t leave it to the last minute. Write yourself what to pack travel checklist and cross of the items as you get them. Put those items aside and get them ready for packing so you don’t misplace them and have to rush at the last minute. Before you start packing consider what you are going to use for packing. When you travel with kids things to keep in mind are the mess factor. You are better off using a bag for your toddler that is waterproof and easily cleaned. Your what to pack travel checklist should consist of at least the following; ? Diapers – required and extras in case of emergencies ? Blankets – you should take at least two blankets for your toddler ? Plastic bags / ziplock bags – for storing diapers, clothes and rubbish. This will just help keep mess to a minimum. ? Tissues / wipes – essential when you travel with kids, things to keep handy ? Sanitizer wipes –these are the best option for cleaning up any mess when it comes to your kids. ? Toys / books – to keep your toddler entertained, long trips can be very hard on children so you want to provide adequate stimulation. ? Clothes – enough for two changes a day. You never know what accidents or spills will happen so take a change of clothes on the plane, boat or in the car as well as two changes per day. ? Sun hat – a sunburnt toddler is not going to be fun on a long trip. ? Juice boxes, sipping cup – something that won’t spill, you also want to keep hydration levels up when travelling. ? Food – snacks for the trip ? Laundry soap / pre-laundry stain stick – This could be a lifesaver for removing nasty stains while away from home. ? Car seat – this is essential for travel by car or plane. ? Stroller – another item that will help you enjoy your time as you won’t be worried about carrying your toddler or them having to walk long distances. These are essential items you need to have on your what to pack travel checklist to ensure you are able to enjoy your trip. Some other items that you need to think about when considering how to pack light when travelling with toddlers are items that will help you as a parent. These include changes of clothes for you in case of travel emergencies, snacks and drink for you, a separate bag for you and your toddler, something to read and your camera. These will just make it easier for you to relax and enjoy the trip. Your what to pack travel checklist is a guide that reminds you of general considerations for when you travel with kids. Things to keep in mind as well are any specific requirements your kids may have. This could be medicine, nightlights, speciality foods, allergy medicines or cream, comforters, favourite toys or teddy bears. All of these things will make your trip run more smoothly and ensure your toddler will have everything he/she needs.
So you’ve gotten the flight in and checked out Bodrum/Ismir/Antalya/Your Local Tourist Town. You’ve seen the ruins, dismissed the coffee and embraced the raki. And you’re thinking like Betty Friedan, is this it? Restless vagabond, you are in luck. Turkey is a country once and a half the size of France, or larger than Texas, with of the most efficient public transport systems in the Near East. So let me help you make the best of your attempts at getting around in this wonderful country. At the lowest tier of the system is the humble dolmuş. This is a publicly-run network of minibuses that covers most of the coastal area of Turkey, and some of the populated inland areas. As the routes often circle peninsulas it can be a cheap way to take in some of the most beautiful scenery Turkey has to offer. The routes in the Turquoise Coast especially are too spectacular to be missed. The dolmuş itself can be a daunting experience if you don’t know how the system works, so let me give you the insider’s low-down. First off, there are no bus stops. Your best bet is to stand by a shop or restaurant along its route and hold your hand out as if hailing a taxi. You’ll also be thankful of the shelter if the bus is running behind schedule. Expect one to come every 10 minutes or so on popular routes. When the bus stops double check with the driver that he’s going where you want to be: Bodruma gidiyorsun?(Are you going to Bodrum?). Now take a seat and work out how much you have to pay from the price list, usually stuck above the windscreen. Now for the fun part! Hand the money to the person in the seat in front of you. It gets passed hand-to-hand, man to child to donkey, all the way up to the driver. He will make out the change when he gets a clear stretch of road with, if you’re lucky, one hand on the wheel and hand it back as before, person to person. Imagine that working in London! When you want to stop, shout something appropriate and say good evening (Yakşamlar!) as you go. For longer distances Turkey has a well-run private coach network serving the larger towns and cities. At the station the various drivers will shout out their destinations as if selling fruit. You can buy a ticket in the station or from the drivers .They are very reasonably priced and shopping around is possible, though haggling is not likely to get you anywhere and will not be appreciated. As coaches are by law required to give regular rest breaks, trips are always relaxed and easy. On the more expensive coaches an attendant (usually a local teenager working for his holidays) will give out complimentary soft drinks, minerals, cologne and cool face towels. Very long trips, for example the route from Bodrum to Istanbul, are usually run at night. Through the smaller coastal roads can leave something to be desired, the major roads and inter-city routes of Western Turkey are of as high quality as any you’ll find in Europe or America. That leaves air transport. Disappointingly domestic flights in Turkey are still prohibitively expensive for anything but tight-schedule business trips. The budget airline craze has not yet taken a foothold in Turkey so you could pay as much for a short internal flight as you paid to get to the country. As the Turkish saying goes, Epey acele, epey artık: great haste makes great waste. Above all, take the time to enjoy the beautiful Turkish landscape as you travel and I promise you will not be disappointed.
If you’re moving or you want to take your pet on holiday with you, chances are that you will want fly to wherever you are going to. So it’s good to know what you can do and what you can’t so your pet is exposed to as little trauma as possible. If you know in advance exactly how you can travel with your pet, it means you don’t have to waste time at the airport which could be tough on you and your pet. Traveling with pets means you are subject to a different set of rules. It would help if you are familiar with them even before you book your tickets. First of all, check whether the airline you plan to go in allows pets as not all do. Then clarify if the pet you have will be allowed onto the flight. Again, certain pets might be allowed, certain others may not. If you go ahead and book without being sure, you could end up at the airport with your pet and not be allowed on board. Be very specific when you ask for information before you book your ticket. You will have to bear in mind that your pet will have to be kept contained during the flight. So your dog or cat or bird will have to be put into a carrier. Again, enquire about what kind of carrier needs to be used. Not all carriers are allowed on board. Then find out whether your pet can travel with you or has to be checked in like baggage. Some airlines insist on this. There are a few rules you will have to follow if you take your pet into the cabin with you. Your pet can in no way affect the well-being or the peace of the others passengers. Remember not to place the carrier on any seat, even if it is empty and do not place it on the aisle where it can trip up a passenger or a member of the crew. Each airline has its own set of regulations over and above this. Ensure that all your pet’s documents are in order. Here again, it would be good to check when you are booking your ticket so that you have enough time to make sure all his vaccinations have been done and no shots that need to be given have been forgotten in that last-minute rush. These are necessary not only to protect your pet but also all the other passengers he is traveling with. Some airlines need for you to have a medical examination just before boarding so they are assured that your pet is healthy enough to fly. Once you have everything ready, your tickets, your pet’s health papers, the right carrier, make sure that you get to the airport earlier that check-in time. This just helps iron out any last-minute hiccups should they occur. And you can, no doubt, have enough time to sort out things and board your flight without problems. Both your pet and you will have to go through airport security and your pet too will have to go through the metal detector. It is likely that the pet carrier he is in will also be subject to checking. It usually involves sending this through the X-ray machine together with your carry-on bag. In this case, very often, it is just the carrier that goes through, not your pet. However, there are airlines that say a big No to pets. Which is why it is so important for you to make sure whether or not your pet will be allowed well ahead of your traveling time. Some airlines that do allow you to might charge quite a bit extra for a pet. Do enquire about all the details before you buy that ticket!
My mother used to say visitors were like fresh fish, great for the first two days, OK for the next day but that they start getting a little hard to bear on day four, as for days five and onwards, the fish or the friends….a little hard to bear! Now try spending two weeks, in one four-by-four doing the “Botswana” or other safari “thing”… as passengers in a friend’s car, my wife and I looked forward to a stunning experience with two of our best friends. Planning was fun with us enjoying many a meeting gathered around maps on the table, lists detailing packing methods, food and equipment, list upon list developed and added to around eventful evenings sharing good food and fruits of the vine. What for I call a friend, we have known each other for many years, shared fun and laughter and know each others good and bad points, personality failings and deepest secrets, that kind of friend is who I refer to in this context. To put this differently, forgive me if I over elaborate, we were all four, ready willing and able to head for the savannah together with no hesitation. Going back to my mother for a moment, we once did the caravan “thing” with another family in a large caravan with supporting tents and spent two weeks in the rain, needless to say that was my mothers first and last camping trip. Moving on to the present, the day arrived and off we went, the first and last days being dedicated totally to travel, via the exciting metropolis of Maun and into what can only be described as one of the most wonderful of all the last remaining natural wonders of Africa. Dare I digress again but with names like Moremi; Third Bridge and Savuti rolling of one’s tongue, if one can put to one side the exorbitant prices and the few acceptable facilities one should normally expect, this is top of the pops, bite the bullet, pack well and head for Botswana, it’s worth it. Our bookings along the way, and I mean a….long the way, we started out in the Eastern Cape which necessitated sleeping over a few times, accommodation organised with thanks to www.staysa.co.za … at last we finally arrived. Our friends are fanatical bird watchers….now lets put this into perspective, one gets nature lovers who enjoy a broad range of the boundless beauty of nature, like most of us, then one gets the nature lover who also takes a little turn towards birds – we are in this category, my wife and I watch birds, we do this in most places, we log them and we enjoy spotting the different birds in each region. We love climbing into a hide or securing a quiet spot, perhaps with a glass of Chardonnay, to sit and watch. We do not however need to spend fifteen minutes at each bird, particularly if it is the tenth example of the exact same bird on that particular game drive! To cut quite a long story short, by day three, when I had stopped to see a Superb Starling for the umpteenth time we were quite ready to never see another bird ever, and I mean ever again! Have you ever experienced real claustrophobia, the fear of closed or confined spaces? Well let me tell you, that was the smallest four-by-four that ever travelled Botswana, every time I was in the mood to gaze over a waterway to watch a family of Hippo frolicking about with the young males play-fighting, perhaps even a bird or two, we were allocated about thirty seconds tops and then whisked away to another Superb Starling or similar. Thank goodness our friendship is and was so sufficiently strong we could deal with this, an agreement in the evening limiting a five minute stop and only for a first sighting or at least a good sighting was soon agreed and the four of us ended up sharing that can only be described as the holiday of our lives, made possible through friendship and trust. So much for the happy ending, how can you ensure the same thing when on a combined holiday: • Most importantly, select a destination and friend carefully; repeat carefully, to ensure all of you have the same expectations and desires for your holiday enjoyment. • Obviously, the friends would not be classified as such if you did not share similar interests in food; people; the environment; fun activities and the like. Make sure they are really friends, do you know them well, make sure you have been on the odd weekend away before you commit to something like the trip mentioned above or perhaps a yacht cruise or similar confined quarter. • Agree everything in advance, where are you staying; what are the costs; who is responsible for what.
Think positive! The year’s not half over, there’s still half to go. That is when it comes to Photography Events and Festivals. At least once a year, all across the country, smalltown America comes together to show their spirit by holding family-friendly festivals. These events are generally held on a weekend and feature local art, music and culture. And then there are the week long functions, such as the Yamhill Fair and Rodeo, which is held Sunday to Sunday in McMinville, Oregon. Not only will you FIND local art and cultural here, but you’ll want to have your camera handy for those awesome rodeo riders and prizewinning flower entries. But the Photography Events I’m going to acquaint you with now are the ones held in metropolitan areas throughout the world. These functions draw both local and internationally acclaimed artists. There are several well known events planned for the second half of 2007. Some of these festivals are being held in various cities throughout the United States, one in Canada and two in France. If you’ve dreamed of combining a vacation with your love of photography, this may be your chance to do just that. Choose a destination, pack your suitcases and camera bags and head out for the experience of a photographers lifetime. First on the calendar is the Les Rencontres D’Arles Photography held in France. Although this has already begun, it runs until September 16. If you are fortunate enough to travel to this phenomenal show, you will encounter 50 magnificent expositions. Next on our calendar is the Photo September USA, held every year September 1 – 30 in San Antonio and other Texas cities. This is an International Photography Festival which is a popular destination for both artists and photography enthusiasts. Not only do they provide a forum which allows artist to exhibit their craft, but they also operate through a website and publication. This provides exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers the additional valuable support of internet exposure. Next we head north to our Canadian neighbors in Montreal. The Le Mois de la Photo has been held every year since its inception in 1989 to celebrate the 150Th anniversary of photography. It is dedicated to Fine Art Photography and will feature 30 exhibits in galleries and museums throughout the city. The goal of this event has always been to educate the general public about photography as an art form. This year’s guest curator will be art historian Marie Fraser whose theme will be The Narrativity of The Image, which should prove to be a captivating topic. Next we’re headed south to Georgia for Atlanta Celebrates Photography, ACP9, held in October. This is a citywide festival which is in its 9Th year. It has art exhibits in diverse locations throughout the city. You will enjoy lectures by international and local artists, a pushpin show, a film series and the public art program. On to The Big Apple and the Photo Plus International Conference + Expo 2007 being presented October 18 – 20. This is being called the premier event for forward- looking imaging solutions and photographic education. It also promises to bring leaders, pioneers, and rising new stars together for unprecedented networking events. Paris Photo which is considered by many to be the leading fair for still photography will be held this year on November 15-18. It will offer photo enthusiasts some 100 galleries and publishers from all over the world. In addition to the exhibits, there will be book signings, prize award ceremonies and lectures. What could be better than to be in the City of Lights with your camera and other photographic devotees. We wrap up the year in Florida at the Photo Miami scheduled for December 5-9. This International Contemporary Art Fair will be held in the Wynwood Art District of Miami. It focuses on Photo-based art, video and new media. Any one of these Photography Festivals would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip whether you’re a hobby photographer or photograph for living. Dust off you your camera bags and hit the road.
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