Tag Archives: family travel

Travel with Baby

There is many a parent I know who choses not to travel when their child is a baby. I completely respect this decision.

But this post is for those who would like to continue travelling, even after baby, and might be looking for some tips. The tips here are a combo of practicality and inspiration …

5 Tips for Travel with Baby

Tip #1:  Try and keep your bedtime rituals going for the evening, but flexibility is the name of the game during the day.

Unlike most adults, babies can sleep just about anywhere.

Unlike most adults, babies can sleep just about anywhere.

Tip #2: When you see a fascinating new sight or a breathtaking view — look at baby to see her reaction. Is she focusing on a particular new sound or perhaps the sensation of wind in her hair — try to mimic her focus and take it in as well. Your experience will be all the richer.

Tip #3: If you know you’re travel-bound once baby arrives, don’t get him accustomed to food at a certain temperature. Room temperature food is just as yummy and makes eating anywhere possible.

Some places make nicer feeding spots than others!

Some places make nicer feeding spots than others!

Tip #4: Although marketers are keen on developmental or educational toys for babies, everyday objects can serve the same purpose. Expose baby to textures, shapes and colours just like the toys do and baby will be just fine.

Tip #5:  Budget-conscious travel as a family will often mean going without some of the comforts of home. Accept this before you pack your bags.

Rub-a-dub-dub in the SINK? Water is water.

Rub-a-dub-dub in the SINK? Water is water.

 Now that I’ll be travelling with children and not babies, I’ll need a new arsenal of tips. Do you have some to share with me?



Filed under Family, Travel

Staycation? Um, no thanks.

I keep hearing about the popularity of the “staycation.” The idea is that because of tightened family budgets, we’re choosing to stay home instead of travel on our vacation time.

I don’t know about you, but if I have to sit around my house and look at the do-it-yourself projects we have yet to do and the growing clutter caused by two growing children, well, I’d rather stay at work, thank you very much. Plus, I do work from home so the allure of being at home instead of the office is completely lost on me.

But naturally, I do want to create those special warm-and-fuzzy summer vacation memories for my children, so here are my Top 3 recommendations for a, let’s call it, a “mini-cation.” It’s not staying home per se, but it’s also not hitting an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Cuba. And if you can manage to do one mini-cation each month of the summer, I think you’ve done your fair share of memory-making.

The criteria is:
(1) Must be kid-friendly. This means no fancy carpets or precious antiques in the room, and preferably child-specific activities available for at least some of the time.
(2) Must be budget-friendly. This means that Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara, which classifies a “great deal” as $255/night is not on my list.
(3) Must not involve insect bites. Nope, camping is not on the list.
(4) Must not be more than 3 hours drive. Car sickness does not equal fun family vacation memories in my book.

Okay, so here’s my three mini-cations. I hope it’s helpful to you … to spark ideas, to save time thinking of something to do … all that stuff. If you have other ideas — please add them in the comments sections for us all to take advantage of.

Where to stay: go to www.hotwire.com, enter Montreal and your dates. You’ll be able to pick a room at a downtown 4-star for under $100 but you won’t know the hotel name until you pay for it. (Don’t worry, it’s totally legit — I’ve used this system countless times and never been disappointed.)
What to do: The Montreal Insectarium is the largest insect museum in North America. There is plenty to see and do and you could easily spend an entire day here. There is a free shuttle service between the Insectarium, Botanical Garden (also interesting for the whole family), Olympic Park, Biodôme (a must for the nature lover) and Viau metro station. The cost for a 3-day pass to all of Montreal’s museums is $35 and a single entry fare into the Insectarium is $16/adult, $8.00/child, $2.50/infant.

Mont Tremblant
Where to stay:
Summer deals are to be had here. For example, you can click on the “Last Minute Lodging Deals” section of the Tremblant Resort site and book into a 5-star unit for as cheap as $105/night.
What to do: Besides just hiking, swimming and eating ice cream, the resort offers countless ways to spend your time. There are lots of family-oriented activites and the price is great: free! For a fee, you can also go to the indoor water park which never fails to please and is a nice Plan B for a rainy day.

Where to stay:
Fairmont’s Le Chateau Montebello sounds super fancy, and well, it kind of is. But it’s not that bad for price. It’s website advertises that rates start at $199/night and that a 20% discount is also available in the summer. I tested this out by inputting dates for next weekend into the reservation booker and I did find a room for four priced at $211/night.
What to do: You don’t have to step foot off the property to experience it all — swimming, tennis, golf, horseback riding, spa treatments. And yes, you can partake in these adult activities because the hotel offers an excellent children’s program that includes 3 hours of supervision a day, dinner, evening films and special activities and crafts. The cost is $29 for 6-12 years of age, and $15 for  4-5 years of age.

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Filed under Activities, Budget, Family, Family, Living, Ottawa Fun, Travel