Kid-friendly budget travel destinations

Picking the right destination is very important while travelling with toddlers, tweens, and teens.

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Kids are quite impatient so the trick is to choose destinations that will arouse their curiosity. Places with inspiring history, animals and those that offer hands-on activities are best suited for kids.

Here are a few travel hotspots in the U.S. and Europe that won’t break your bank.

 

WASHINGTON, DC
The National Mall in D.C. is a must visit. But how about riding in a boat on wheels? Take D.C. duck tour (90 minutes), and experience both land and sea. It will take you to the history-packed National Mall, which covers the Capitol building, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian museums, and then go for a scenic river trip.

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, VA
Everyone loves to play dress-up. A stash of old-timey accessories awaits you at the Great Hopes Plantation, where the original 1700s farm has been recreated. Wearing mop caps (for girls) and hats (for boys) and other costumes kids can perform 18th century household chores in the field.

LONDON
London is associated with mystery and discovery, thanks to a number of classics based in this city. And the city doesn’t disappoint. Along the muddy banks of the River Thames you can go on two-hour trawls. The Tower of London is an unforgettable experience for young history buffs. Also, take a Yeoman Warder tour, which is filled with hair-raising adventures!

SAN DIEGO
The San Diego Zoo with more than 5,000 rare and endangered animals is one of the most diverse in America. The Polar Bear Plunge is the highlight of the zoo. You can burrow into a snow den, climb in the cockpit of a helicopter that was used on actual Arctic explorations, and let the bears sniff you through the wire mesh from the Experience Wall. Your kids can also interact with Dolphins, enjoy thrilling rides, watch Shark Encounters and the parks legendary sea mammal shows.

BERLIN
Berlin has a vibrant art and food scene. You can tour the entire city on bikes with rear baskets which are available on rent. Even the kids can get a set of wheels, with child seats and trailers, and helmets for all. You can also visit the 168-year- old Zoological Garden, Germany’s first zoo and watch zoo keepers feeding pandas and penguins.

NIAGARA FALLS, NY
The Cave of the Winds tour will be a delightful experience for the kids. To reach the Niagara Gorge you will have to take an elevator 175 feet down and stand on the Hurricane Deck, where the water from 181-foot Bridal Veil Falls will drench you with the tropical- storm-like spray.

BARCELONA
Barcelona has a made-for- children, fairytale quality about it. And those who have visited the city will vouch for it. One of the most popular attractions is La Sagrada Família, the basilica built by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. You can visit Museu Picasso, in the La Ribera neighbourhood, among other delightful things.

Must-see places to take your kids before they’re grown

Visa ServiceDinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose, Texas

Take a prehistoric walk on the wild side by travelling million years back in time. You and the kids will delight in exploring five trails at Dinosaur State Park in Texas. You can see the dinosaur footprints, swim in the river and can even have fun on a mountain bike. Junior Ranger Explorer Pack is there exclusively for kids, which will keep them entertained for hours.

Stingray City, Grand Cayman Island

Want to be surrounded by dozens of stingrays or even kiss them? Welcome to this aquatic city, which is a surreal world indeed. The water is crystal clear and only one metre deep. And the dozens of gentle residents will not sting but will only tickle.

Glass Igloo Village, Finland

Here is where fairytales are made. No kidding. The experience is straight out of a fairy tale. You can stay in a glass igloo with attached toilets and showers at this snowy resort and watch thousands of stars or admire the Northern Lights.

To keep you nice and snug, sleeping bags are provided. The Kelo- glass igloo is for those who prefer a little more warmth. It is an igloo and a warm log cabin rolled into one, complete with a fireplace, sauna and kitchenette.

Santa opens his doors during the festive season for the little ones. There are husky safaris, and snowmobile rides for older kids.

Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Disney World is a family favourite. Some of the world’s most adventurous rides, children’s famous cartoon characters, and more come to life here. Disney World has a lot of exciting adventures to keep the whole family entertained. You’ll likely spend most of your time in the Magic Kingdom if kids are in charge. If you stay at the Walt Disney World Resorts you will be able to spend more time at the park.

Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Guests are transformed into astronauts for the day at the spectacular Kennedy Space Center. You and the kids will have a ball learning about life in space. From the family-friendly astronaut training experience to experiencing a shuttle launch you get to know all about life in space.

If you are visiting the Disney World in Florida you can visit the space centre easily as it is just an hour away from Orlando.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Southwest Florida

The beaches are covered with pretty white shells which is a sight to behold. Hunting for their perfect holiday memento will keep the little ones preoccupied for hours. This is a great place for tots to safely splash about as the water is shallow. You will spot dolphins swimming off-shore and ghost crab burrowing on the beach, which makes a visit to the islands even more worthwhile.

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How To Get A Visa: A Beginner’s Guide To Travel Documents

Visa rules and regulations differ from country to country. Here are the basics of how to get a visa.

Visa ServiceWhat Is a Visa?

A document issued by a foreign country, which allows you to travel there is a Visa.

Types of Visas

Depending on your purpose of travel there are several types of visas issued. You can get visas for study, tourism, work, business, or research purposes.

 

Electronic Visa – An online version of your visa available prior to your trip

Visa on Arrival – When you arrive you get visa at the airport or border

Pre-approved Visa – The visa that is applied before you travel

In this article we discuss pre-approved visa as that is something most people who are travelling abroad on a holiday need.

Documents Required

To apply for a visa based on the territory you are visiting you need to furnish a few or all of the following documents.

Passport and photos
Employment status and proof of funds
Letters of invitation/sponsors

Vaccination requirements (not all countries ask for this)

Travel insurance

It is advisable to visit the websites to know the list of documents required to apply for a visa as different embassies/consulates have different requirements. You can proceed further once all your documents are in order as listed on the embassy/consulate’s website.

Scheduling an Appointment for Interview

To go ahead with the visa application process you need to appear at the nearest consulate/embassy. Countries like the US are quite strict with their interviews. Before appearing for the interview you need to schedule an appointment with the nearest consulate/embassy.

Sending Passport and Other Documents

You need to visit the consulate/embassy for stamping the visa if you apply for a pre-approved visa. You will have to either visit that city or send your documents by post if the embassy/consulate is not in your city and is far away. It may take between a few days to several weeks for the visa to be issued once you send the passport and documents to the concerned embassy/consulate.

Visa Services

You can avail the visa services of agencies that specialize in visa applications if you find the procedure too cumbersome. They assist you with gathering all the necessary documents and procuring a visa.

After procuring Visa what next?

Ensure that it is free from factual errors. Check your name, passport number, date of birth, number of entries, validity dates, and other information. Opt for comprehensive travel insurance, once your visa is procured, to be on the safer side and enjoy your trip!

Top 10 adventures to try in your lifetime

This list is sure to excite you if you’re in love with adventure and exploration.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

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Machu Picchu is now a popular tourist destination. The ancient city with its glorious history offers unbelievable adventures. A journey to the lost city of the Incas, a travel along the Inca Trail to the top of the mountain all offers epic adventures. The entire area is scattered with ancient ruins that deserve exploration and it also surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenes on the planet.

2. The Great Ocean Road, Australia

Australia has more to offer than beaches and cities. If you love adventure don’t miss out on the Great Ocean Road, which has so many adventures to choose from. It is one of the most beautiful and amazing stretches you’ll ever see in your life. Check out misty waterfalls, explore iconic surf breaks, and see the world-famous 12 Apostles. You can also go surfing, scuba diving and sea kayaking here.

3. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

For the greatest wildlife adventure you must visit the Serengeti National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site it is immensely beautiful and is as romantic as it is adventurous. It is one of the only two destinations to host the Great Migration in Serengeti, a natural phenomenon where millions of cattle, wildebeest, and zebra walk from one national park to the other in search of greener pastures. Its magic never fails to impress no matter how many times you visit the Serengeti.

4. Amazon rainforest

The Amazon is a surreal destinations and is truly magical; a place unlike any other on the planet. Here you will find exotic amphibian species, a variety of mammals, species of plants, fish and birds. A trip to the Amazon is a classic adventure and is more than exploring a dense rainforest or sailing along a river. You can hike through dense trails watching howler monkeys and canoe through a flooded forest. The sights and sounds of Amazon are something you will never find elsewhere.

5. The Himalayas

To enjoy dramatic landscapes and ultimate mountainside beauty a visit to the Himalayas is a must. The iconic Mt. Everest, steep slopes, remote mountainside villages that offer great cultural experiences, all adds to the experience. From gut wrenching mountain passes to jaw-dropping gorges this place has it all.

6. The Grand Canyon, USA

The Grand Canyon has some of the cleanest air on the planet and is maintained as a wilderness area. It presents the most colourful scenes you have ever seen. The Grand Canyon is always beautiful and will bring you closer to nature’s true spirit. Head over to the North Rim, which is 8200 feet high, for the ultimate adventure of your lifetime. It has mesmerizing views and boasts of cooler temperatures, and stunning wildflower meadows.

7. South Africa

Want to swim with the sharks? South Africa is the place to go. A tour to South Africa is for the adrelanine junkies as it gives you an adrenaline rush unlike any other. Africa will offer an experience of a lifetime.

8. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef stretches for 2300 kms and is the largest coral reef system on the planet. Visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site is always an epic adventure. The reef will enthral you with its more than 1000 fish species, varieties of corals and marine life. The reef system is one of the fastest disappearing attractions of the modern world so visit soon.

9. The Great Zambezi River, Zimbabwe

For rafting enthusiasts the Zambezi River is a haven. It is one of the best river rafting destinations on the planet, and is visited by the most seasoned rafters. You can see a pod of hippos and crocodiles, apart from the dramatic drops and gigantic swells from up close.

10. Finland

On a snowmobile you can explore the best of Finnish wilderness. Here you can enjoy unparalleled natural beauty by embarking on a husky safari that lets you control a team of dogs, sleep in wilderness cabins and cook over open fires. This safari is a truly remarkable experience, which you will not find elsewhere.

Four Simple Ways To Make Your Business Travel Enjoyable

Corporate travel is a vital cog in the wheel of businesses of all sizes. With companies spanning across the globe with an international customer base and new offices coming up at a rapid pace,  business travels, though taxing and strenuous you may find, can still be fun and, at the same time, productive. Let us enumerate these one by one and discuss the impact it would have on a corporate traveller.

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Going for better travel paths and connections

This is important, in the sense, you need to chalk out a plan of your route and travel points with more efficient connections, city-visiting orders and layovers. For example, you can check the four best cities to connect through, the likes of which can provide you with extensive, resource-laden airports and disciplined streamlined services. And this means you needn’t fret about getting help up.  Therefore, plan a trip with improved transitions and better stops to save your money with quality time to work and deliver performance results.

Identifying cost-cutting means
There are some areas that you can go on to cut costs and some to splurge. For example, use of Wi-Fi can be an added cost, but it is almost always worth the upcharge as it would offer you greater productivity. Renting a deluxe car, as another example, would just give you that much needed good first impression with your new client, if that would serve as an objective or a primary goal.

Having your workplan cut-out – a clear agenda

One of the easiest ways to make your business trip a breeze is to schedule your work well in advance. The advantages are manifold, in that, it will help you prioritize your goals and organize your thoughts. This, for sure, is a way of pampering yourself with motivation to get more done in possibly less time. Ensure what needs to be done while you hit the roads, as well as how, where, and when you are going to do it.

Develop a system for receipts

To maintain a track of your business expenses, it is important to create a system for maintaining your receipts and it could be as easy and simple as a sandwich bag or envelops in which you can stash all your receipts in no time. This will prevent your crumpling up the receipts in the pocket and inadvertently throwing them out.