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It is apparent that technology has begun to exceed our expectation when it comes to the delegation of menial tasks. A new invention is created every day that helps ease the burden and stress of our everyday lives. Alternatively, there are also inventions created every day to ease the stress of vacation. When you embark on a vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is how to share your memories or keep track of them once the vacation is over. Life would be easier without having to manually upload pictures, share them, and discuss them. Luckily, there are many ways to optimize your website so you can spend more time creating memories and less time worrying about sharing those memories.

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Easy Sharing Options

There are various applications you can use in order to curate a memory book. However, some have advantages over others. Instead of utilizing Facebook or Twitter, you can spend your time creating memories instead of thumbing through the latest pop news article. In our experience, the best applications to ease the burden of editing and sharing photos (available for iPhone and Android) is Instagram.

Instagram encourages seamless linking between your web site and your mobile device. In fact, Instagram wants you to share your memories on as many platforms as possible. When you finish touching up your photo, simply upload to Instagram, and click the option to upload to your personal website. The photo will appear exactly as you uploaded it. The only downside to using this application is the inability to delete the frame surrounding the picture. When you upload a photo to Instagram, the Instagram watermark is automatically placed around your photo along with your username.

Invest in Drupal Hosting

A new form of website has begun to take the travel industry by storm. Many people have not heard of this option however, it is the best option when creating a website that is mainly composed of content. The Drupal community is open source, meaning it has been created by people all over the Internet with many variations in performance. There are several key things to understand about drupal hosting.

  • There are many distributions (types) to choose from
  • It is primarily used for content management
  • Many large organizations use Drupal
  • There are versions which require extended maintenance or none at all

Don’t let words like content or maintenance move you in a different direction. Although this type of hosting can be quite complicated, the opposite is possible too. There are many companies that will help you understand how to optimize your website for your needs. Among these companies, many have specific specialties like photography, travel, and e-commerce.

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Why Consider Drupal?

Drupal was created with the goal of offering an easy-to-use content management system for the average person to share content with the world. Alternatively, it is powerful enough for worldwide organizations like Amnesty International and NBC to utilize as their framework. Therefore, if you want a reliable system that was created for content management, creation, curation, and sharing, it is perfect for you. Lastly, the framework is free! It would cost you $0 to try out.

Your Favorite Applications and Websites Use Drupal

Oftentimes, the type of hosting someone utilizes will be based on proven results. There are many examples of Drupal on the website, from news outlets like the Economist to Weather.com (which utilizes a variety of Drupal applications to create the visuals on the website).

The beauty in Drupal is its versatility. Whether you want a website that will track your whereabouts for your family back home, or you want an all-encompassing website that will hold your pictures, blog posts, and your itinerary. Drupal has the power to create a smooth and visually appealing website that will accomplish anything you wish.

And the Verdict is…

The best way to optimize your family vacation will be whatever makes your life easiest. If you wish to create an easy-to-use and beautiful website, we recommend utilizing a type of Drupal server to bring your ideas to fruition. If you simply want an area to post your photos for loved ones, utilize an application like Instagram or vscocam. These applications offer seamless integration, and Drupal hosting gives will give you any ability you wish for. The option you choose should depend on how much you wish to work however, both options will work with any smartphone device so you can enjoy the vacation, because that is what really matters!

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A family holiday can be both fun and exhausting. With the right approach it can also be hugely satisfying for all of you as well.

Choosing the right things to do while away on a break is the key to having a fantastic time, but getting it wrong can lead to a disastrous holiday for all of you. You don’t the kids to be bored but you don’t want them to get hurt doing some dangerous either.

Bearing that in mind, the following are some of the top ideas for family activity holidays worth taking a look at for your next trip.

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Go Swimming

Heading to the beach is a classic way of enjoying the sun in a family group trip to somewhere warm by the coast. However, it doesn’t have to just be about lying there on the sand all day and getting a tan, does it?

If you go to place with a safe swimming zone then getting in the water together can be tremendous fun for all of you. Of course, if anyone in the family isn’t completely confident in the water then some swimming lessons before leaving home could be ideal.

Away from the beach, hotel swimming pools, lakes and rivers also often offer great places to swim. Just be sure to check that it is safe to do this wherever you go.

Get Out on a Bike

Cycling is another fun activity that the whole family can get a lot of enjoyment out of when you carry it out with them all while you are away. No matter where you go in the world you are likely to find some suitable trails or roads which you can explore on your bikes at the pace that best suits you all.

Many hotels or travel agencies can easily arrange bike hire for you, with it sometimes even being included for free as part of the holiday. You will want to ask for a map as well and maybe take a packed lunch out with you.

This is an adventurous sort of family activity but if there are young children in the group then just a short ride to a nearby park or somewhere similar can be a safe but still enjoyable option. Of course, if you are somewhere amazing like the French Alps then you could opt for a far more exciting ride.

 Take a Boat Ride

We have already looked at the idea of swimming but there are many other ways of enjoying the water without even getting wet. For example, you could hire a pedal boat or rowing boat and head out for some action in this way, with rowing a boat being a surprisingly easy task once you get started.

A lake or calm bay if perfect for doing this, as it will be easier if you have never been in control of a boat before. If you are going to do it on the open sea then you will want to be very careful not to get too far from the shore.

Going on a boat trip with someone else in control is a bit less exciting but may be a smarter move if there are young kids in the group to be looked after. Some cruises and boat trips even give you a chance to explore a local island or caves during them.

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Go For an Interesting Walk

Sometimes the oldest and simplest ideas are definitely still the best ones. This is certainly true on most family trips when you want to make the most of your time without getting stressed out or worried.

In many cases, just heading out from your hotel for a walk together can be the best way of enjoying a fun activity together. It is great exercise for everyone and it also allows you to see more of the area where you are staying.

A smart move is to ask in your hotel or local tourism center about local trails or paths that are popular on walking holidays. There are sure to be some good options that are worth exploring and that make your day far more memorable.

Some Quad Bike Excitement

For families with older kids a bit of quad bike excitement could be perfect for an action-packed day out doing something completely different. This is the kind of thrilling activity that maybe no-one in the group has ever tried before and would love to try out for the first time.

You will want to check what age limits are in force for the use of the quad bikes before building up everyone’s hopes, though. For safety reasons you will often find that children under the age of 13 won’t be able to ride one, while the limit could be higher by law in some places.

This sort of activity can sometimes be enjoyed as part of a group outing with a guide and a number of other riders too. Riding over dunes, on trails, and along the beach are just some of the ways that you can get a kick out of using a quad bike.

Windsurfing for Pleasure

The wonderful sport of windsurfing is usually enjoyed by adults rather than kids. However, there is no reason that you can’t all get a memorable day out doing this.

There is no strict age limit in place for windsurfing and it is not unknown for a child of 5 or 6 to give it a try. However, it really comes down to the attitude, attention span and strength of each individual kid.

If you can find a friendly teacher who is happy to give lessons to all of you then you can all enjoy getting started on an amazing outdoor activity at the same time.

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Skiing for All the Family

Another interesting sport that the whole family can enjoy is skiing. As with windsurfing, there is no strict age restriction to bear in mind. It is possible to get lessons for youngsters who are as little as 3 or 4 years old, for instance.

Again, it really comes down to the child in question and how their parents feel that they would cope with learning a fairly tricky new sport like this. Certainly, getting a good, experienced instructor give them lessons would be vital for younger skiers.

Another factor to bear in mind here is that different ski resorts are aimed at different groups. While some are regarded as lively party destinations, there are many others where family groups would feel very comfortable.

Any family trip away can turn into an incredible adventure when you put some thought into the activities that you could all carry out together. This means that thrilling holidays with unforgettable days of exciting moments is easier to arrange than you might think.

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Do you ever feel like you work and work and get no further ahead? Do conversations with your friends make you realise that you have no real safety net, and if the dog eats chocolate, the car breaks down, or you need an emergency flight across the country you’ll have to max out your credit cards…again?

Getting your finances sorted isn’t something that happens overnight. Financial freedom is the result of numerous small choices and behaviour made each and every day. While this may sound exhausting, it’s much better to take control of your finances using small steps which are achievable and can be continued than to overhaul your entire life only to give up two months later.

Here are some tips for improving your financial situation:

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Be a Goal Setter

Unless you’re writing your goals down, they’re not goals. They’re fantasies. Think seriously about what you want. If you want to be able to afford a new car because your current car is a gas guzzler and keeps falling apart, make a list of all the steps you need to take to get there. Maybe you need to scope out the market or check your credit rating, or maybe you simply need to make some changes and save a little each week to make this goal achievable.

Whether you want to take the family on holiday or save for a rainy day, writing your goals down allows them to be achievable and you can see what steps you need to take to get there.

Send Money the Right way

If you know you’ll need to make an international transfer soon, you may be putting it off because you’re worried about how much you’ll need to pay in fees. Use Currency Fair instead and you’ll be able to take advantage of a much better rate, saving you cash which could go in your savings.

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Make it a Family Affair

The kids don’t want to hear that mum and dad are cracking down on their spending, since that means less fun for them. But this is a great opportunity to talk to them about finances and how important it is to save money. Now is a great time to open bank accounts for your kids and teaching them to put their pocket money into their account each week.

Once they learn the importance of saving, and how they can afford a new bike if they don’t buy new toys each week, they’ll understand why you’re trying to save money as well.

Talk to Your Boss

Simply telling your boss that you’re trying to save money isn’t enough since most people believe they should be saving more. Ask if you can work remotely from home once or twice a week, which will make you more productive and save you money you’d spend on commuting. Consider reviewing your work goals and asking if you can have a pay rise, or what targets you need to meet in order to achieve a higher salary.

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Family holidays are wonderful, but there is no denying that the part that comes before you touch down in your destination has the possibility of being a little, shall we say, stressful?

Tears, tantrums, tiredness, feeling too excited, these are all easily featured in any travel day scenario, and while it’s not always possible to cut it out completely, there are ways to at least reduce the frequency or intensity of it! The key thing? Well, I guess it’s staying calm, and even though that can be difficult when you’re feeling just as tired and eager to get there as they are, remember that your little darlings will pick up on any frustration you’re feeling, and probably amplify it ten-fold! Calm is the way forward.

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If you have all eventualities covered, this calm feeling is going to be infinitely easier to manifest, and one of the best ways to do this is to make sure you have organised adequate travel insurance cover well ahead of time. There are lots of different types of cover, so it’s worthwhile picking the best one for you. For example, do you plan on going away more than once? If so, then an annual multi-trip policy could be the way forward. Always check restrictions and limitations, but overall, the feeling of comfort, knowing you’re covered for all eventualities, will certainly go a long way to helping you feel calm and serene during that travel day!

Being organised is another way to stop you feeling out of control, which certainly does nothing to reduce stress. Being organised can take many forms, but I always find double checking all travel plans is the best way to do this, and then print out all your confirmations, keeping them in the order you’re going to need them in your hand luggage bag. You can never be too organised!

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Once you’re at the airport, it’s really a case of distraction techniques to help pass the time. Travel has been made infinitely easier by the invention of iPads, Kindles and other tablets, so always make sure yours is well charged up, and full of games and movies to keep everyone occupied. I’d personally keep this side of things for the flight itself, because at least in the airport you can distract them in other ways, such as looking at the planes taking off, going for a sit down meal in a restaurant, having a wander around the shops. Once you’re on the plane, if you can get them to sleep, that’s great, however if not, whip out the iPad and find some earphones!

To some degree, there is no way around travel day stress, but if you can lower it at least a little, you can start to look forward to touch down at your resort much quicker.

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Traveling as a family can be a little stressful – it can be hard finding a balance between keeping the kids entertained and ensuring that the adults feel like they’ve had a holiday too. Depending on your kids age, they’ll be able to have differing levels of freedom. Say for example, you’re traveling with some teenagers then you can let them go and do their own stuff, but toddlers or small kids will be a lot more dependant. As such, you really need to take your children’s ages into consideration when you are planning where you’ll go, where you’ll stay and what activities you can all do together.

First Choice offer numerous great holiday villages for kids that let them have fun while you relax and have some much needed adult time. Here’s more information about what holiday villages offer and the benefits of staying in them, so you can get some inspiration for your next holiday:

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There are Lots of Outdoor Activities:

Most kids love to be outside, exploring. Whether it’s swimming in a pool, building sand castles on the beach or going for a bike ride, the outdoors is where they can be wild and free. First Choice understand that keeping your kids happy will keep you happy, so they’ve gone a step extra and host circus workshops and treasure hunts.

Aerial Adventure:

If your kids are over six, then this might be their favourite place you go on your holiday. It’s an assault course with lots of fun and challenges, keeping your kids well entertained. They can climb, swoop and swing their way around the course.

Splash Parks and Pools:

Water slides, flumes, pools, loungers… there’s everything your kids would want, and you would want from a holiday park. Even if you’re staying at a beach location, it’s still nice to be able to swim in fresh water in a controlled environment. Pools are also great for the little ones, as you can help them become more comfortable with swimming all while enjoying some serious sunshine.

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Evening Entertainment:

There are few things more fun than taking your children to a show and watching them be entertained by live performers. This is something most of us rarely do at home, so taking some extra time to do in while on holiday really makes for a fun experience. There are different shows each night so you should find something that suits your kids tastes while you’re away.

Staying at holiday villages for kids is a great way to keep your children entertained so that you can focus on enjoying your holiday too. With oodles of entertainment jam packed into your holiday village, you can rest assured knowing that you wont be stuck with moaning kids who are bored. If your kids are having fun, you’ll have a bit more breathing space to enjoy your holiday too.

 

Photos: Maria Luisa PedrosaAndrew Bowden and David Sanabria used under Creative Commons License

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Traveling with kids can be some parents’ worst nightmares, but it doesn’t have to be that bad if you plan a little to get ahead. Here are our tips and suggestions for traveling with babies and toddlers to make your flight a little less stressful:

1) Take the Car Seat with You
It’s better if you book a ticket for your child, so they can have a reserved seat, but often if the flight is not totally filled up you will be allowed to have a spare seat for the carseat, just ask at checkin. Putting your baby or wiggly toddler in a car seat during a flight is one of the best things you can do for them. They’ll get the security of being in a familiar setting, all while being safer than sitting in your lap or in a seat by themselves. Kids who are in car seats also tend to sleep more in flights as they’re used to being in their car seat during car trips.

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2) Ask for a Bassinet
You can book a bassinet on a number of different airlines and they’re free to reserve. This means that the baby can lay flat and get a good chance of sleeping through the flight. We suggest checking if this is an option when you book your flights as leaving it to checkin might make it a bit too late.

3) Bring Spare Clothes in Your Carry On
Chances are, your baby or toddler will make a mess at some stage of the flight. Having extra clothes for you and baby ensures that you don’t have to sit in your vomit covered clothes for the duration of the flight.

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4) Feed Baby During Takeoff and Landing
Ensuring that baby is fed either by breast, bottle or sipper cup during take off and landing will ensure that their ears are relieved. The change in cabin pressure is very painful for small ears and taking some time to feed your baby whenever there is a change in pressure will do a lot to help relieve your baby’s discomfort during the flight.

5) Bring Extra Towels
Bring baby wipes, kitchen cloths and plastic bags with you so you can tend to any messes quickly and easily. Often the airlines will be supplied with kids to help clean up a mess, but just in case, bring your own kit along with you.

Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially if you use these tips to ensure your flight goes smoothly!

 

Photos: jpmatthAbilityPath1 and meme_machine used under Creative Commons License

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Picking a place to visit that you and your family will love can be a challenge. You want enough to keep your children entertained, while some fun stuff for the adults too. There are a few places that are “stand out” for family holidays and the perfect destination for creating a very memorable family holiday. Here are our top 4 family destinations:

Miami, Florida:
The USA is actually a great place to travel as a family as it is very kid friendly and easy to get around by car, meaning you can cart as much stuff with you as you need. Florida is a standout family destination because it combines the beach, that people of all ages can enjoy, with a bunch of fun theme parks. There’s roller coasters, water parks and rides for even the smallest family members. SeaWorld is also a great place to take the whole family and it proves to be very educational. Miami, Florida is jam-packed with lots of fun, family adventures.

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Paris, France:
This might not be your first choice of family holidays, but it is such a beautiful city that will delight and entice even the youngest of travellers. There’s so much history, art and museums here that will keep the older people fascinated, while a great Disneyland for the smaller members. The iconic Eiffel tower will amaze and delight all, as it is a very popular symbol and offers a great view.

London, England:
Probably not the most obvious choice, but maybe it should be. England offers numerous museums, art galleries and exhibitions that are all free – perfect when you’re traveling with a few people as admission fees can really ad up. There are also ample parks, such as Hyde park which are lovely for the whole family to enjoy. Factor in the Royal icons, such as the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace and you’ve got quite an extraordinary trip in the making.

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Barcelona, Spain:
Spain is a wonderful place to travel as a family, as Spanish culture really embraces children and parents are very social with their children, often staying out past midnightin the summer, even with little children in tow. There’s a beautiful beach here, lots of wonderful parks including the stunning park by Park Güell. You’ll also find an impressive aquarium here which is sure to delight children and adults alike.

Wherever you choose for your next family destination, make sure there are ample activities and sights to keep everyone entertained. If you choose any of these destinations, you’ll be spoiled for fun things to do together.

 

Photos: Terrazzo and Kristof Valgaerts used under Creative Commons License

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Planning a trip away with your family is both exciting and scary. It can be hard to plan out a holiday that will entertain family members of all ages, but there’s a few sure-fire things you can do that will please (almost) everyone in your family. There are some family friendly destinations that are great to visit, but if you can’t make it to any of these places don’t worry most parts of the world have something to offer, you just need to know what to look for. Here are our suggestions for the best family holiday activities that will ensure you have a great time away:

Go Skiing Together

Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or iceskating, whatever wintry sport you choose, will be a wonderful way to spend some fun bonding time with your family. There’s few things more fun than learning a new skill together, pushing your boundaries and watching your children excel. If you are more experienced at the winter sports than your children, you can always enroll them in a ski or boarding class so that you can have some time alone to carve up the slopes while they improve their technique.

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Have Fun in the Sun

Beaches make for great family destinations as kids can entertain themselves with sandcastle, the older kids can carve up some waves on a surf or boogie board and the other members can enjoy cocktails on the beach. Sounds perfect, right? Through in a bunch of water sports such as jet skiing and you’ve got yourself the perfect summery escape. Bonus points if your children are old enough to go snorkelling, as this is a really fun family activity.

Hit Some Theme Parks

Disneyland, Universal Studios, Wet and Wild… there’s no shortage of theme parks around the world. The great thing about theme parks is that most kids can hardly get enough. They’ll be happily entertained running from ride to ride, thrill to thrill. Parents can join in with the kids and feel like kids themselves again. Planning a holiday to a destination with a theme park or two is a surefire way to keep your kids happy. Failing that, why not find somewhere that has a carnival?

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Explore a Good Museum

So long as your child is old enough to walk, chances are they’d enjoy a well designed, hands-on museum. Certain cities around the world are well-known for their impressive collection of museums, such as London, Vienna, New York and Sydney. Planning a trip to a city with a great museum is an easy way to turn your trip into a little bit of an educational pursuit. Bonus points if you can find museums or exhibitions that have an interactive area or display. The Cultural Museum in Bangkok frequently has interesting and playful exhibitions that would easily entertain some kids for hours on end.

Traveling the world with your children is one of the best gifts you can offer them. Use this list of suggestions to inspire a great family adventure together.

 

Photos: Jamie McCaffreywoodleywonderworks and bhenak used under Creative Commons License