Going on a Road Trip With an Infant

Nov 05, 12 Going on a Road Trip With an Infant

While it may not be an ideal situation, many families every year find themselves gearing up for a long car ride with their infant. Taking a vacation with your little one may cause you to feel a little anxious about how the trip is going to progress, but there are things that you can do to make it easier on yourself. It is important to realize that your baby will get fussy at some point; however, keeping them from a major meltdown is possible if you read and follow the advice found in this article.

Pick up a few CDs that are geared to young children. While this might not be the most stimulating musical choice for you and your spouse, the tunes will be comforting for your young child. Remember that you will have a chance to listen to anything that you want while your child is napping (which, no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time, they will do sooner or later). During the time that they are awake, sacrifice your own interests for an hour or two and it will pay off for you in the long run.

Keep several toys (of different shapes and sizes) within arm’s reach. It does you no good to pack them if you can’t access them, and your infant is naturally going to need to see a variety of brightly colored objects to help keep them from getting too bored on the trip. Try to switch out the toy every thirty to forty-five minutes; just like anyone else, an infant will get tired of staring at the same thing for too long. If you know well in advance that you will be leaving on this trip, go ahead and put a couple of toys out of your baby’s sight so that they will seem new and interesting to them when the times comes to take them out again.

While older children often enjoy snacking in the car, remember that this is not a safe option for babies. Not only can he or she choke, but because they are rear-facing, you don’t have quick access to them. If the unthinkable happens, you could lose precious moments attempting to get to him or her and dislodge the item that is causing them trouble. The safest thing to do is to feed the baby only when you are out of the car.

If you don’t already have one, purchase an inexpensive mirror that allows you to see what your baby is doing throughout the trip. Not only will it set your mind at ease, but older babies can see themselves in the mirror and it will keep them entertained. You may also be able to recognize certain signs that your child is starting to lose it a bit and can pull over and take a little break before things spiral out of control.

Although it isn’t easy to go on a road trip with a baby, it can be done. Use the advice contained in this article and do your best to enjoy the time you are spending with your family.

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Getting Better Airplane Seats

Oct 30, 12 Getting Better Airplane Seats

Being comfortable when traveling on an airplane seems impossible most of the time, with carriers reducing the space per traveler and adding more seats whenever they can get away with it. Buying First Class tickets is not an option for most flyers due to the excessive costs involved, but this does not mean that there aren’t a few things you can do to get better seats. Read on for some ideas on how to snag the coveted locations on any airplane with little or no extra cost.

Never wait until the day of departure to book your airline seats. Book your ticket online and do not log out until you have chosen your seats. It is much better for you to see the seating chart yourself, rather than allow a reservation agent to tell you what is available over the phone. Seeing the layout will let you to notice undesirable features such as proximity to restrooms. Choose aisle or window seats for the most comfort, rather than middle seats where you will be trapped between other travelers.

If you travel often, or even if you don’t, make sure you join the airline’s frequent traveler program. When the most desirable seats are available at the gate, it is often those who are in the loyalty programs who get offered upgraded seats. These can be in First Class sometimes, which can be offered free or for nominal fees. If you do have frequent flyer points accumulated, check into the possibility of trading them in for a guaranteed upgrade ahead of time.

Arrive at the departure gate as early as you can and check in with the gate agent. Even if it is not required that you do so, this will give you the chance to ask about open seats and the possibilities for upgrading. You can ask to be put on a list for those waiting for exit row seats, which have more leg room, and for other desirable seats that are held until the last minute. These seats are often offered for a fee, or to frequent travelers with advanced levels, but if they remain empty before departure, you could end up snagging one. You must ask though, so don’t be shy.

Inquire about the availability of bulkhead or exit row seating, but also be aware that there are some drawbacks to these seats. Many of them do not have the capacity to store you carry-on bags at your feet, so it will be more difficult to access things you may need during the flight. Your bag will be stowed in the overhead compartments. Some of these seats also do not recline, and the arm rests do not have the ability to be lifted.

Flying late at night on what are called red-eye flights could give you a better chance to get more desirable seats. These flights are typically less crowded, thereby leaving more open seats to choose from. Ask the gate agent to assign you seats that do not have other passengers on the same row, increasing the chance that you could have room to stretch out and sleep. Most of these flights depart slightly before or after midnight, so you will appreciate the chance to sleep.

These are just a few of the things you can do to end up with better seats at little or no cost. Try some of them out, and enjoy the flight.

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Five Simple Ways To Get The Most From Your Cruise

Oct 24, 12 Five Simple Ways To Get The Most From Your Cruise

Heading out on the open ocean on a cruise ship is an exciting experience, but preparing for your voyage can be stressful, especially if you have never been on a cruise before. Here are a few ways to prepare efficiently for your upcoming trip.

Whether you plan to arrive in your departure city by plane, car, or train, delays are often an unavoidable risk anytime you travel. The last thing you want is for your ship to leave without you because your plane got delayed en route to your port city, so prepare in advance. Plan to arrive the day before your ship leaves, so you are not left behind in case of road detours or other delays. The small price of a night in a cheap motel is well worth the peace of mind that you will have with plenty of time to make your departure.

Disguise your valuables. Thieves are an unfortunate reality no matter where you vacation, and cruise ships are no exception. Nothing screams “steal this” louder than a jewelry box, so leave it at home. Even a small safe is prime for theft, as once removed from your room, the thief will have plenty of time to get past the lock. Instead, hide valuables in plain-looking containers. Consider a beat-up old tackle box if fishing opportunities are offered on your cruise, or even look into specialty containers. You can find hollow canisters that look like everything from soda cans to shaving cream, items most thieves will not bother with.

If you plan to visit any of the port-of-calls on your trip, pack a lunch from the ship’s cafeteria or room service. Most cruises come with complimentary meals or a food allowance, so take advantage of these included meals even if you are heading off the ship. You will save a great deal over the inflated tourist prices waiting for you on land, and you won’t have to take time out of your sight-seeing schedule to find a restaurant.

Pack a swimsuit in your carry-on luggage. It can sometimes take a few hours for your luggage to arrive at your room, so if you want to hit the pool right away, you’ll need something to wear. If you don’t have room in your carry-on, you can even wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes when you arrive.

A lanyard is a smart way to keep track of your room key. Your room key is an essential item to keep on your person at all times when on a cruise, and this can sometimes be a challenge when you are wearing a swimsuit or evening dress without pockets. A lanyard is an easy way to keep track of your room key by keeping it around your neck.

A cruise is a wonderful way to have a relaxing and memorable vacation. With the tips you learned here, you can prepare for your journey efficiently, and stress-free; allowing you to focus on the fun you are about to experience.

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