Thursday, October 13, 2016
There was never such a relief to have experienced when I saw the first smile from my infant daughter's three month old lips, while boarded on her first flight outside the womb. When her face lit up with the rumbling sounds of the jet engines as we taxied onto the runway, I knew she was going to be my new travel partner for life.
My daughter, now 19 months old, has already traveled to 3 continents and logged over 50,000 kms! Although she is a natural happy traveler, there are always things to be prepared for when traveling with an infant. Here are my top five best tips when stringing your little one in tow;
1) PACKING ESSENTIALS: Who knew that babies come with a lot of baggage as soon as they arrive into the world? And can they live without their essentials? The answer is no, not without your sanity.
One of the very best benefits of traveling with an infant aged 0 - 24 months when they sit on your lap is they travel for free! However, their luggage is not. After a few trips of trying to jam in 50 diapers, food, clothing, wipes, toys and more, into my already stuffed suitcase (yes, you still need 5 pairs of shoes and a case full of make-up to travel even as a mom), I decided it was well worth the extra $30 to pay for an extra suitcase. It's the best $30 you could ever spend. No cramming required and things are much easier to find, especially if you get some luggage organizers such as the Air Canada Travel Packing Cubes found at Walmart. These are great for keeping those itsy little socks and shoes together and also to be pool or beach ready in seconds.
Most airlines will allow one extra carry-on for items for the baby such as a diaper bag. Here you will need a few diapers and wipes, a mixture of toys including some high concentration ones that captivate their attention for awhile and distraction toys that you can whip out anytime you need their focus. Make sure they are not prized-possession toys as it's not uncommon to lose a toy or two in the abyss between the seats or the floor.
Don't forget a change of clothing for both your baby AND for you. You seriously never know what could happen when you're 40,000 feet up in the sky and you don't want to have to sit through the remainder of a flight with baby vomit or diarrhea all over yourself (and yes, I had to learn this the hard way).
When packing baby food, remember that security will not allow liquids, and this includes the squeezable food packs, unless it's under 100 ml. For this reason be sure to bring only small packs onboard and the rest in your luggage. Sometimes the baby bottle gets the pass and sometimes I've been told to dump it out so it depends on the individual screener. Powdered foods/formulas are best as you can add water on the plane. I absolutely love the new Baby Gourmet @babygourmet Individual cereal pouches. You don't need a bowl! You just pour in the water to the line and stir it with a spoon and voila, your little one has a healthy and filling meal in seconds.
If you're headed to a place with a swimming pool, then I suggest investing in a good baby pool floatie. I don't leave home without ours. It's important to get one that collapses, compresses and packs well and one with a sun visor is a bonus. These are available at Canadian Tires and Bed, Bath and Beyond and stores of the like. Remember however, they are a seasonal item in Canada so be sure to get it while you can in the summer months.
Of course you never leave home without your baby sunscreen, bug juice, children medicine, first baby passport, and a sun hat and be sure to always keep them hydrated.
2) COMFORT IS BEST: Throw away those glitzy-glam tu-tus and tight blue-jeans and dress your baby in comfort. Breathable cottons and even pajamas work for those flights where you want them to relax and/or sleep. It's always good to dress them in layers as well as temperatures between air conditioned airplanes and hotel rooms and the outside can range from 20 degrees upward. Trust me, they are going to thank you for their comfort in their many special ways with happy naps and smiling and giggling squeals.
Try to save the drinking for take-off and landing (and in between). It's best to nurse or drink from a bottle during these times to help their little ears adjust with the quick elevation change as swallowing helps clear the ears. Even munching on snacks works. Now that my daughter is older, we bring raisins, crackers, yogurt drops and more.
3) WORK YOUR LITTLE MIRACLE: I'm not going to say pimp out your baby.....well, yes I am. Once you travel with your baby a whole world of extra spoiling just automatically occurs. Suddenly people are giving up their seats for you on the airport shuttle, helping you lift your suitcase to the overhead bin, and words cannot even begin to describe the feeling when you hear that heavenly announcement come on the airport intercom advising, "Pre-boarding is now commencing for flight 4356 with service to Lisbon. All those traveling with small children or those needing assistance, please make your way to the front of the line..." It's a euphoric feeling similar to holding that first class ticket, like you're someone important. Yes, I get why they do it is because it takes us parents an extra five minutes to get sorted and settled on the airplane and so they can hurry the rest of the 'sardins' in but it feels awesome never-the-less to surpass that long line of weary travelers.
Utilizing your little one for preferred room locations and possible upgrades also often works too. Put in that special request to the resort in advance and also at the front desk for a room close to the pool or ocean as weary parents certainly can't walk as far as non-parents....especially with a stroller that 'drags' you down. (Are you sensing my sarcasm yet?) But in fairness it does help a lot when you don't have to lug all of your baby paraphernalia half way across the resort or have to hike miles to your room because you forgot your baby sunscreen. I found the best rooms are ground level with a patio over-looking the pool or ocean and close to the amenities that way you can still hang out outside on your patio while your baby naps inside safely, quietly and close to you. For this reason, it's great to also bring your baby monitor and camera.
4) BOOK WITH THE RIGHT PEEPS: Not every resort or airline caters to babies so it's important to work with a travel agent who knows the right travel providers from the not-so-right ones and get you the right seats and the right rooms. This can really make or break your family travel experience. If your child is daycare friendly, there are a handful of all-inclusive resorts that now have baby clubs for those younger than 4 years of age, including Melia, Memories, Beaches, Palladium and Karisma. These play rooms are secured, managed by a team of certified childcare providers and equipped with infant toys, cribs, games and so much more.
The Azul Hotels by Karisma @AzulHotels takes their infant offerings it to the next level by providing strollers, baby monitors, bottle warmers, sterilizers, baby baths, change tables, high chairs and even gourmet baby food.
Air Transat @AirTransat offers a Kids Club wherein if you pre-register the kids online, they (and you in tow) will get access to the Kids Club or Club check-in counter, priority luggage, free seat selection, free onboard snacks, an young travelers profile logging their flight history and more.
5) DON'T STRESS: If this is your first time traveling with an infant, don't stress. I think babies can sense when you're under distress so if you're relaxed, they will be relaxed. It can and will be a fun experience if you let it be. Of course use precautions and be safe wherever you go but strap them along for the ride of life. I can assure you that they'll love to travel as much as you do, so get them started early.
By: Laurie Keith
Travel Specialist and Agent Extrodinaire Since 1994.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The 30 Over-Water Suites have glass-bottom floors, direct ladder access to the ocean, outdoor ‘Aguas del Amor’ showers, private infinity pools and oversized decks with lounge chairs that look out onto the ocean horizon, perfect for that romantic getaway or truly unique honeymoon experience. Guests can also dine at the Over Water Ocean Grill & Wine Bar, and spa treatments at Náay Spa Over the Ocean.
Rates start at US$950 per adult, per night, including Karisma’s Gourmet Inclusive Experience.
Contact Romantic Planet Vacations today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-247-8123 for your travel quote.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Friday, April 01, 2016
The Islands of the Bahamas is giving away 16 destination weddings in 16 exotic locations at 1600 hours, on November 16, 2016.
Entering is easy. All you have to do is select an island location in The Islands of The Bahamas and upload a short video and/ or photograph of you and your spouse along with a description of your dream Bahamian destination wedding and why you should be selected to win no later than May 16th, 2016. Creatively incorporate something indigenous to that island location using the suggested themes.
A panel of judges will select a group of 20 semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will be notified and their submissions will be placed on a microsite for the public to vote for the most creative entries. The voting deadline is June 10th, 2016.
The 16 prizes available to be won are valued at approximately $12,000 each and consist of round trip airfare for two to the Bahamas, 6 days/5 nights accommodations including a wedding package.
Visit www.bahamas16weddings.com to submit your entry.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
|Hacienda Tres Rios Resort Spa and Nature Park|
- Located in the Riviera Maya
- It’s the only environmentally responsible luxury resort that offers select access to the Tres Ríos Nature Park in the Riviera Maya through their All Inclusive Plan
- A romantic secluded location only 45 minutes from Cancun airport
- 4 event locations to choose—from beachside romance to nature lovers paradise
- Choice of ceremony styles including legal, symbolic and Mayan
- Wedding and bridal party salon services available on location
- Honeymoon packages include spoiling’s such as bottles of house wine, in room sweet-basket deliveries, and incense/essential oils
- Hacienda Tres Rios is a leader in sustainable tourism development, focusing all its actions towards the responsible use of resources, the preservation of local ecosystems, the operation of good environmental practices, the creation of high quality experiences for visitors, and the establishment of its social responsibility.
- Nature Park activities include bike, snorkelling, kayak, nursery and Hobie Cat tours
- Environmental Supervision Team on staff to look after resort waste management, environmental education, plant and wildlife management.
- Located in Playa Del Carmen along the Riviera Maya
- Includes 3 sections of inclusive resort – family section, Select Club Adults Only, Royal Elite
- Provides a very local and authentic Mexican experience for those interested in Mexican culture
- Weddings allow guests to immerse themselves in the jungles, culture and beaches of Mexico’s Riviera Maya at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa.
- Gorgeous natural scenery for a tropical wedding experience
- Green Wedding features include;
- Resort is located amoung dense jungle and mangrove forests
- Cenotes are beautifully preserved and cared for, as the rest of the property
- Resort thrives on highlighting the natural surroundings
- Innovative in how they preserve communities local resources
- Committed to reducing the impact of the resort’s daily activities
- Various recycling programs used, as well as information to raise awareness with workers, visitors, suppliers and the local community.
- Resort staff works to improve the lives of local school kids in the Playa del Carmen area by suggesting visitors to bring school supplies on their vacation
- Located 15 minutes South of Puerto Vallarta
- Smaller and more intimate resort
- Located on one the most exclusive beaches in the Bay of Bandera’s and is only accessible by boat
- Best for winter and spring weddings (closed July-September due to extreme heat)
- Eight casitas built for each couple to enjoy an perfect ocean view
- Resort run by solar energy and completely void of television and modern conveniences for a more authentic retreat experience
- Resort highlights the use of composting organic materials to enrich garden soils and decrease the need for extra watering
- Features an ecological 3-tiered sewer system that releases clean water for garden.
- Resort built with local materials and through the employment of local craftsmen
- All resort décor is locally sourced.
- Employees come from the immediate community and no less than 50% comes from the indigenous community of Chacala.
- Uses plants on the property that are native to the region, requiring the use of less water.
- Garden features 22 different fruits and vegetables
- Food bought locally such as from local fishermen, ensuring not only the freshness of food but support for the local economy
- Majahuitas is the perfect place to host an intimate destination wedding for your closest friends and family.
- The ceremony is performed just steps away from the waves at sunset time, followed by a beautiful beach reception
- Coordination staff to work with couple every step of the way to make sure everything runs perfectly the day of and days leading up
- Staff creative and flexible to making day just as imagined
- All ceremonies are symbolical, perfect for a couple who has eloped and would like family to join for the celebration
- Can host up to 120 guests
- Located centrally in the Maya civilization in jungle area/private 365-acre nature reserve
- Recognized as one of the Caribbean region’s best sustainable, Green tourist resort
- Includes destination wedding and honeymoon packages
- Perfect for an authentic in-jungle experience
- Rainforest wedding day with very affordable packages to chose from
- Choose from 3 intimate all-inclusive destination wedding packages including highlights like horseback riding, romantic sunset canoe trip and couples massages
- All inclusive honeymoon packages from 3-5 nights for more adventurous couples; activities including canoe trips down the Macal River, exploring Belize, and discovering ancient city sites
- Chaa Creek is highly involved in their community by continuously offering assistance to local schools, training centres, sporting teams, conservation projects etc.
- Philosophy includes a “give-back” mentality where the resort is committed to maintaining a steward-like relationship with their surrounding environment
- Partners with local conservation projects that centre on preserving wildlife
- Kitchen and organic waste is later used as fertilizer for the garden
- Restaurant leftover given to local farmer as pig feed
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Melia Nassau Beach all-inclusive resort has entered phase two of its $19 million dollar renovation and, as a result, has new features and offerings in store for 2016.
The enhancements to the 694-guestroom resort includes new kids club services, resort-wide complimentary wi-fi and food and beverage enhancements.
Among the enhancements include:
· The newly-opened O’Grille restaurant, a beachside eatery that serves Caribbean dishes made with authentic, locally sourced ingredients.
· The property’s tapas lounge Estavida has expanded its list of premium wine selections.
· A la carte healthy dining menu and expanded wine list available at the property’s Black Angus Steakhouse.
· Enhanced VIP services, including exclusive buffet breakfasts at O’Grille, the property’s beachfront restaurant.
· Extended hours at The Kids and Co kid’s club.
· The property’s two outdoor hot tubs have been revamped and reopened.
· Check-out has been extended an additional hour, from 11 A.M. to Noon.
Visit www.romanticplanet.ca for more details on how to book your destination wedding or honeymoon at this perfect locale!