A family getaway is the perfect chance to unwind and reconnect with loved ones away from the distractions of daily life. However, peak travel times like Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend are some of the busiest times of the year, which can mean limited options. Booking travel early not only gives you more time to get excited leading up to your trip — it gives you more time to plan, helping take some of the stress out of family vacation. Learn how to plan your getaway today by reading the full Medium article here.
For many, traveling offers an opportunity to disconnect from the everyday and experience new places and cultures. With the beginning of a new decade, it is the perfect time to start deciding your next travel adventures. Explore the top 10 travel destinations to start the new decade in the full Medium article here.
Stretching from 59th Street to 110th Street, Central Park has 843 acres to explore. This urban oasis is the crown jewel of New York City, featuring a host of activities and stunning natural scenery. Here are four tips to keep in mind when exploring Central Park.
In general, weekends are the most crowded times to visit Central Park. The morning hours tend to see more foot traffic on the paths as runners and walkers get in their daily workout. And, naturally, the beautiful days particularly attract the crowds. Visiting during the middle of the workday will yield the lowest number of people, making it easier for you to take pictures and get in that perfect shot.
Exploring the Museums
Two of New York City's most popular museums line the edge of Central Park, allowing you to easily tour these while visiting the park. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) boasts over 2 million pieces of work that span over 5,000 years. Or try touring the American Museum of Natural History, which has the distinction of being the largest type of museum of its kind in the world. The MET is located on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street, while the Natural History Museum is located on the other side of the park at 81st Street and 8th Avenue.
Packing a Picnic
A quintessential Central Park experience is packing a picnic lunch, laying down a blanket and enjoying the beauty of the magnificent surroundings. There are some businesses that even sell pre-packed picnic baskets for your convenience. It is easy to get comfortable and relax in this tranquil setting; however, just know that there are some restrictions about going barefoot. So if you’re planning on kicking off your shoes while exploring, make sure you check the laws and regulations about that first.
Consider a Tour
There is no shortage of fun tours designed to showcase the highlights of Central Park. Tours are a great way to see the most popular attractions and sites in the park. The tour you should choose largely depends on your individual preference and interests. You can choose a bike tour or a walking tour if you want to get active. If you want to sit back and relax, consider a horse-drawn carriage or a pedicab tour.
Visiting this lovely park is a rite of passage for many travelers. Be sure to leave plenty of time to explore all of the wonders of this outdoor wonderland.
Here’s another article you might like: Family Travel You Can Afford
Hawaii is known for being one of the most scenic places to visit in the United States. From the sparkling waters to the amazing food, music, and culture, Hawaii is on the "must-see" section of many people's bucket lists. However, before you go booking your flight to the "Big Kahuna," there are a few things you should know first.
Contrary to what you may assume, the weather in Hawaii is not always nice and sunny with rainbows and gentle breezes. The island actually has multiple climate zones such as tundra, wet, monsoon and more. If you are visiting the island during the summer season, the temperature can tend to be especially humid and hot. You may want to keep these things in mind and pack clothing that will allow you to be cool and comfortable, especially during the summer. Sun hats can help to shield you from the blazing rays while linen materials, loose, or flowing garments can help as well.
Hawaii is made up of several islands which can be accessed either via a small plane or by taking a ferry. The six islands are Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the big island of Hawaii. However, if you are just trying to maneuver around a particular island, then you could definitely rent a vehicle. There are a few rental rules to know if you're thinking of renting a car while in Hawaii. For instance, if you are renting a vehicle online, you are required to be at least 21 years old and have a credit card. Also, the rates, as well as fees, may vary drastically for drivers who are under 25, so be mindful of this as well.
Know the People
Not everyone you come across is an actual Hawaiian as this term is reserved for those who are descendants of Hawaiians. Only about 10% of the people on the island are actual Hawaiians while the rest of the population are known as locals. Locals are people who were born on the island and can be Caucasian, Asian, and more. To be on the safe side and avoid offending anyone, using the term "locals" is a good bet.
There is so much to explore on the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Just remember to take your time and enjoy as much of the amazing vibe and culture as you can.
If you enjoyed this article, check out this one on the perfect nature destinations!
A good vacation allows you to recharge your mental, physical and emotional batteries. It also gives you the opportunity to see places you’ve only dreamed of and to taste memorable local cuisines. The last thing you want to do is run into problems that threaten to ruin your good time. While there are plenty of issues that can turn even the best vacation into a nightmare, here are three of the most common ones.
Few things feel as exhilarating as traveling out on the open road with the wind blowing in your hair and miles of countryside in full view. That’s one of the reasons why people love road trips so much. There’s a unique freedom to them that doesn’t come with other kinds of travel.
However, there’s a drawback to taking a car on vacation when you run the risk of getting stranded due to mechanical problems. Common auto maintenance issues that could disrupt your vacation include: bald or blown-out tires, cracked windshields and brake problems. To eliminate these issues before they sideline your trip, bring your car in for a checkup with a reputable mechanic before you embark on your journey. Have the brakes, oil, tires and other systems checked. Make sure your car gets a clean bill of health before you head out on the open road.
Too Much Sun
If you haven’t seen the sun in months, it’s tempting to spend as much of your vacation time soaking up the rays as you possibly can. However, a bad sunburn can ruin a good vacation. Avoid overdoing sun exposure by staying out of the sun from about 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That’s when the sunlight is the strongest and UV rays pose the most danger. Be sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen to protect yourself from the dangerous rays.
Going Over Budget
Even on budget vacations, your money habits can get the better of you, and nothing ruins a vacation quite like running out of money while you’re hundreds of miles from home. When you’re planning your trip, you need to create a realistic budget that you can stick to. That means you know how much you can spend on meals, campgrounds, transportation, etc. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised when you have money left over at the end than to run out before your trip is done. No one likes to think of all the things that can go wrong when they’re on vacation, but not planning for challenges can backfire. It's best to do what you can to avoid problems ahead of time. Taking steps to have your car serviced, packing extra sunscreen and creating a proper budget are just a few of the ways you can ensure you enjoy your trip.
Also, check out our fitness tips to help you get that body vacation ready!
Whether you are from the East Coast looking to escape to the West or you’re from the West and looking to explore something new, New Mexico is a great place to take a family vacation. There are so many beautiful things to see and do. Regardless of how old your children are, you can find things to do for just a couple of days or a full week. Let’s take a closer look.
Play in the Sand Dunes
At White Sands National Monument, you’ll find the world’s largest gypsum dune field, according to Just Go Travel Studios. Located on the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert, this is a beautiful place to play, take family photos and explore. You can grab some free maps at many locations in the area. The sand is pure white, the sky is blue, and you’ll feel like you’re inside the pages of a book. You’ll be dealing with a lot of sand, so bring some items along that will help you clean up rather than trek a bunch of sand into your vehicle when you’re done.
Go See the Fish
According to Budget, the ABQ Biopark Aquarium is a great place to visit with young children. This aquarium is located directly next to the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s easy to access, there is plenty of parking, and you can keep the kids busy for hours with all there is to see and learn. There is also a botanical garden attached to the facility. Plan to be at this location for at least a couple of hours, if not more. You can easily spend a good majority of the day at the ABQ Biopark Aquarium if you pack a lunch and take your time.
Check Out the Local Cuisine
This is a great area that is rich and diverse in culture. Head to Santa Fe if you want to try authentic sopapillas and chile rellenos. El Corral Café offers authentic Mexican cuisine at affordable prices that your whole family will enjoy. Even the pickiest kids will love trying things like churros, homemade enchiladas and Spanish rice. The great thing about New Mexico cuisine is that you can dine out incredibly affordably throughout your whole trip.
There is so much to see and do in New Mexico that will help you and your children learn about the culture and people. You should plan to spend at least a couple of days in each area so you can truly absorb all of the culture there is. This is a memorable trip that you and your family will enjoy looking back on for years to come.
The US boasts an abundance of places that allow you to experience the true beauty that is present in this world. From towering mountain ranges to lush forests, you can immerse yourself in a variety of landscapes that demonstrate the wonder of this nation and its natural scenic beauty. Here are three US travel destinations to visit if you want to feel the awe-inspiring wonder of nature.
The Hoh Rainforest
Located in Olympic National Park in Washington state, the Hoh Rainforest is an amazing example of a temperate rainforest. A variety of hiking trails make it easy to get up close and personal with the wonder of this unique destination. This rainforest boasts the highest annual precipitation in the country. In fact, according to Dew Drop Inn, the Hoh Rainforest gets a grand total of 140 to 170 inches (or 12 to 14 feet) of precipitation a year! The lush green growth of the forest is something to behold and unlike any other spot in the US. The Hoh Rain Forest is home to a “hall of mosses” where there are tons of beautiful, tall trees that have various mosses growing on them. It makes the rainforest look like a true otherworldly nature wonderland.
The Smoky Mountains
Spanning both North Carolina and Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains is an expansive demonstration of the beauty of nature. According to Smoky Mountains By Owners, the mountain ranges, some of the oldest in the world, boast the most biodiverse ecosystem in the whole National Park System. While visiting the Smoky Mountains, you will encounter a myriad of wildlife including black bears, coyotes, deer, bobcats, and elk. At over 6,500 feet, Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the park. Visitors can climb to the top of Clingman’s Dome's observation tower to be rewarded with views of this impressive mountain range and its biodiversity.
Rocky Mountain National Park
There is a variety of amazing National Parks throughout the US. According to Elevation Outdoors, one of the most stunning is certainly Rocky Mountain National Park. With mountain peaks towering over 12,000 feet and over 260,000 acres of wooded paradise to explore, there is always something new around every corner. Although it is opened only seasonally, Trails End Road is a must-see drive for anyone. The beautiful Sprague Lake area offers majestic views of the Continental Divide, helping you to feel connected to the power of Mother Nature. As a bonus, the nearby town of Estes Park is a charming place to call home base while exploring this gorgeous region of the country.
The United States is truly full of natural treasures. There are beautiful forests, mountains, and plains that are available for anyone to explore. Regardless of your travel destination, be sure to take the time and effort to disconnect from the real world so that you can truly appreciate them. Your oasis of beauty and tranquility is waiting for you!
The options for experiencing an amazing vacation are so plentiful, such as exploring a cruise port, eating and drinking your way around a city or simply visiting a new destination, you may find yourself struggling to narrow down the choices. Once you’ve determined how you’d like to spend your time, you can begin to explore some hot travel destinations, such as these.
Bucket List Travel Destinations for 2019
(Family Features) Taking time to go on vacation or to just unplug from everyday life can be beneficial, and there’s certainly no lack of options when it comes to choosing an ideal vacation spot. The options for experiencing an amazing vacation are so plentiful, such as exploring a cruise port, eating and drinking your way around a city or simply visiting a new destination, you may find yourself struggling to narrow down the choices.
By focusing first on what type of vacation experience you would enjoy most, the details of the location may more easily fall into place.
“Often, would-be vacationers get so hung up on figuring out where they want to go, they forget to consider what they’ll do when they get there,” said Matthew Phillips, director of travel for AARP Services, Inc. “It makes sense to keep location in mind when it comes to considerations like climate, but knowing what types of activities, entertainment and sights you hope to experience can help ensure you plan a travel experience of a lifetime.”
Once you’ve determined how you’d like to spend your time, you can begin to explore some hot travel destinations, such as these:
California: Rent a car and take a road trip down the California coast and experience sunshine, culture and more as you drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It may be one single coastline, but California is filled with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and tourist attractions, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Hollywood sign.
Caribbean: There are few better ways to escape the cold weather than with a Caribbean cruise, where breathtaking excursions, first-rate cuisine, exciting nightlife and spectacular entertainment fill every day and night. There are dozens of cruise options available, so it’s a good idea to do plenty of research and look into special incentives and offers to complement the experience. For example, the AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia provides exclusive offers to members on select cruises, including up to $1,000 in onboard credit.
Florida Gulf Coast: The warmer seasons are perfect for unplugging and relaxing by the sand and water. Head to the beaches of Florida and get a room with a view so the water is never out of reach. For example, Sarasota, Florida offers miles of beaches, including Siesta Key, known for its majestic waters and luxurious amenities.
Southwest France: Explore the beautiful wine-growing region of Southwest France through a fascinatingly historical and invigorating river cruise. For example, the Uniworld Bordeaux river cruise allows guests to sail three rivers: the Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde. The experience blends land and water with archaeological and historical tours, artisanal wine tastings, sprawling gardens and charming villages to explore. Take your experience a step further and see the sights while feeling like a local by going on a spotlight tour, an intimate way to uncover hidden gems.
Singapore: If you want to immerse yourself into a completely new and unique culture, hop on a flight and explore Singapore, commonly referred to as a “shopper’s paradise” for its emerging brands and bargains stores. Enjoy both the urban and natural attractions while indulging in the eclectic dining scene. Singaporean cuisine is full of diverse plates, such as bak kut teh, laksa and friend carrot cake, derived from several ethnic groups.
If you’re ready to start planning a satisfying getaway, a resource like AARP Member Benefits can assist with planning and saving money along the way. Learn more at AARPBenefits.com/travel.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
AARP Services, Inc.
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