Travel Posts

Why Take a Road Trip?

Road trips cut out all of the waiting around for delayed flights and allow you to start your vacation the moment you pull off your drive. Sound good? It should. Below, we’re going to cover some other reasons to take a road trip.

Why take a road trip

But first, it’s prudent to mention that the open road attracts large transportation vehicles, and accidents do happen – try calling a Toronto truck accident lawyer if you are affected. Now, let’s get to it…

There’s more to travelling than turning up

There’s nothing wrong with a beach vacation. You sit in the sun, you indulge in the various cocktails, you put up with the hotel entertainment in the evening, and you go to bed happy that you’re living the beach vacation dream. Then, you wake up the next day and you do it all over again. What could possibly be missing? Well, quite a lot…

If you’ve never taken a road trip, you’re missing out on multiple daily experiences that you just can’t get from package trips. Simply chauffeuring yourself from A to B means paying attention to the area’s geographical layout and taking in visual cues as you learn your way – you don’t get the same sense of size and distance and location when you arrive by plane.

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the stories on the way 

Travel broadens the mind. It also makes you more chatty. Not necessarily in a boorish way, but more so that you will be able to chime in with remarks and opinions whenever anybody mentions places that you’ve visited. When you travel by car on a road trip, your potential for expanding your collection of travel stories is increased exponentially.

For example, nobody wants to hear about the person sitting next to you on the plane who insisted on hogging the entire armrest for the duration of the uncomfortable flight. However, people’s ears will prick up at the mention of the time you had to stop on a cliff edge mountain pass because an aggressive llama blocked the road ahead. Road trips have a natural ability to attract a whole library of stories that just can’t be experienced and compiled via any other form of travel. 

Plan your trip, your way, every day

Package holidays are old news, a throwback to a pre-internet era when people would struggle to conduct their own research, and so instead relied upon a travel company to lead the way. Bizarrely, that’s what some people who don’t mind paying for experiences that may not interest them still want. But if you’re somebody who likes to get the most of life, and if you’re somebody who wants to squeeze every minute out of your trip, road trips are the answer.

Choose a different city every day. See the things you’ve always wanted to see. Do all of the things in one trip that you previously thought might have to be drawn out over several years of vacations. Fill up the tank and start ticking off those bucket list destinations.

How to Manage Long Car Journeys with Little Kids

Long car journeys with little kids can be stressful. While most adults don’t particularly enjoy sitting in a car for hours on end, we can see the bigger picture. Little kids often can’t.

While you might not be too worried about your kids being bored, there can be serious implications. When they get frustrated, kids can distract the driver and accidents become more common. If you get into an accident, you might wish to speak to this car accident lawyer (Orlando) for more information. Bearing this in mind, it’s important to try to keep little kids happy during long car journeys. Here are some ways to help manage long car journeys with little kids.

Refreshments

We all get cranky when we’re hungry. But, as a parent of young children, you’ll know that they’re the most susceptible to this. They often don’t associate their feelings with hunger. So, help to keep the hunger cranks away by providing lots of refreshments for the journey. While you don’t want to plug them with sweets, having a few road trip car snacks to keep them happy will make the journey go much quicker. Don’t forget to keep them hydrated with plenty of water, too.

Comfortable clothing

Kids can get cranky when they’re uncomfortable. No one enjoys sitting for long periods of time in clothes that dig into the stomach or make us too hot. So, make sure that your little kids are clothed properly for the journey. Think loose fitting clothing, plenty of layers for fluctuating temperatures, and something easy to remove when they need the bathroom.

Audiobooks

Keeping your little kids distracted is key in enduring, long car journeys. When they’re focusing on something else, they’ll forget that they’re stuck in a car. Audiobooks are a great way of keeping the whole family entertained in the car. You can listen collectively and be unanimously gripped by a story. The Harry Potter audiobooks are a great choice for long journeys, as they are good long stories with plenty of plot to keep your child engaged.

Regular breaks

manage long car journeys with kids

It’s important for people of all ages to take regular breaks in the car, but it’s especially important for little kids. Stopping and taking a quick walk, having a bite to eat or simply getting some fresh air will make them feel refreshed and less cooped up. If siblings have been bickering, try to separate them for a little while to give them some space.

Car games

Who doesn’t love a game in the car? While new technology means that kids can watch films or play video games, nothing quite beats a traditional car game. Playing I Spy or Twenty Questions keeps them engaged and develops their skills, while being entertaining and fun. Much better than being glued to a screen.

Jolly Jingle Christmas and Entertainment in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

It is almost the end of year 2019.We had a fabulous year with lot of milestones in our lives. This year we also traveled to few places including Batam and Bintan.It was another busy year. And now we are waiting to welcome the New Year 2020! In this year, our kid will go to school and it will be another busy year for us. But, we never forget to plan our time to spend as a family. We are just after a holiday in Sri Lanka.

Jolly Jingle Christmas Johor Bahru

Therefore there were no other plans during the year-end holidays other than having a short trip to nearby Johor Bahru. JB has become our most frequently visited destination per year as it is easy to travel, affordable and with shopping and dining options for the whole family. So, here are some of moments from our most recent trip to JB, Malaysia!

Jolly Jingle Christmas Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru City Centre was decorated for Christmas and New Year with the theme Jolly Jingle Christmas.It was the most entertained area for our kid just after entering to the country.

With the theme Jolly Jingle Christmas,there were few entertainment activities for kids including a meri go round,kiddie rides and events.The day we visited was the last day of celebrations.There was a Clown and Magic show was scheduled as the last day activity.Therefore kid watched the clown and magic show while surprising!

Clown & Magic Show

After having entertainment at City Centre we headed to Komtar JB for further shopping and dining options. Kid wanted to spend time on a Ride-on car and we were happy to join with him at the KidZon.

KidZon is located at KOMTAR JBCC and it is another place where kids can enjoy their time in Johor Bahru.

KidZon is located at KOMTAR JBCC

After all the activities,kid likes to visit Johor Bahru simply because of his Happy Meal treat from McDonald. 🙂 In each and every trip,we happily take him to the McDonald as he enjoys the meal and of course the toy for his collection.

McDonald-JB

We even see Christmas Decorations in Galleria Mall @Kotaraya.It was nicely decorated with Winter Wonderland theme.

Galleria-Mall-Kotaraya

After having a fun filled weekend,we returned back to Singapore.It was a well entertained day at nearby Johor Bahru,the closest neighbour of Singapore.Now it is time to prepare for the New Year!

How about you?How did you spend the Christmas?

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year 2020 with good health and happiness! Stay in touch with this blog.There will be more posts in the coming year too… 🙂

Getting an Emergency Dental Appointment Whilst Travelling

It is a fact of life that medical or dental emergencies can happen at any time, regardless of whether we are on holiday or working away but you can negate the risk to a certain extent. If you suspect you have a problem or a potential problem with your teeth, the best course of action is to visit your regular dentist before you actually leave home. Far too many people overlook a niggling tooth problem and put it off to another day but the main problem with this approach is that it can make matters worse. The advantages of visiting your local dentist before you leave are obvious, they have your dental records and may be able to apply a temporary fix until you return from your holiday or work placement. But this scenario belongs in an ideal world. At the end of the day, if your teeth need urgent attention, you need to visit an emergency dentist wherever you may be.

Getting an Emergency Dental Appointment Whilst Travelling
Image Source: Pexels

Australian Dental Expertise

Australia is well known across the world for its world leading standards of dental care. From Bangkok to Bali to Hanoi, you can see dental practices that proudly display their Australian accreditations, these accreditations reassure people that they are getting a high standard of dental care from people who have qualified in Australia. If you happen to be in Australia and need to see an emergency dentist in Brisbane, there are a number of high-quality dentists you can rely on. Finding a dentist whilst on the road is relatively straightforward but if you haven’t spotted a dental practice in your present location, you will probably begin your search by using the internet.

Getting an Emergency Dental Appointment Whilst Travelling
Image Source: Unsplash

Finding an Emergency Dentist

As previously mentioned, if you haven’t seen a dental practice in the area where you are staying, the internet is a good place to find one. By simply typing ‘dentist + location’ into a search engine you should be presented with a comprehensive list of dentists in the locality where you are staying. If you need some specialist dental expertise such as denture repair or orthodontics you can also include that with your search term.

 As a general rule of thumb, you should try and find a dentist that can work around your schedule and enable to you to get back to your holiday or work as soon as possible. Obviously, this does not apply if you are in severe pain, in which case you will need to be treated as soon as possible regardless of other commitments.

Should you be needing an appointment for a small child, you may need to check whether your chosen dentist has any expertise in paediatric dentistry. Although dentists are qualified to work on anyone’s teeth regardless of patient age, some have more experience of treating young children than others.

Getting an Emergency Dental Appointment Whilst Travelling
Image Source: Pixabay

Regardless of where you are travelling, you are guaranteed to receive an extremely high level of care from all dentists regardless of whether it’s an emergency or not.

Entertainment at Zone 2000 ,Ramayana Mall ,Bintan-Indonesia

Zone 2000 is a family friendly arcade game center located in Ramayana Mall, Bintan, Indonesia.If you look for things to do with kids in Bintan Island then this arcade center can be one of the places you should visit during your shopping trip to Ramayana Mall.

Zone 2000 Bintan

It was the time for another weekend getaway after our Batam holiday. We spent 3D2N holiday in Bintan and it was full of happy experiences. Among the good food, family time and shopping activities we want to find some entertainment activities for the kid. Basically he loved the hotel we stayed. Other than the playtime at the hotel premises, Zone 2000 is one of the places he enjoyed his time during the stay in Bintan.

Zone 2000 Bintan Island

On our 3rd day of Bintan trip, we planned to shop at Ramayana Mall. It is one of the popular shopping malls in Tanjung Pinang area. We hired a taxi to reach the shopping mall. Although it is not a big shopping mall, there are enough shops inside with items such as clothing, souvenirs and groceries. The upper level is dedicated to Zone 2000 family game center.

Zone 2000 arcade center Bintan
Entry pass to Zone 2000 arcade center

Kid was happy to encounter this games center. Anyway we do not encourage him to play in arcade centers unless we are on a holiday. We bought the entry card with the basic amount of money needed. As I remember it was Rp 35,000 (Around SGD 3.50).This amount was good enough for the kid to play few games until he was tired.

Bintan with kids
A Happy Train ride 🙂

I was in a plan to top up if necessary. But, he was happy with all the games and entertainment he had in Zone 2000 arcade center.

Zone 2000 games center
Playing an arcade game
Things to do in Bintan with kids
Bintan
Kid had so much fun with catching frogs
Bintan Indonesia with kids
Zone 2000 Bintan
Happy rides
Zone 2000 Bintan
This crocodile was going up and down and was not a smooth ride for the kid.In the middle of the ride he asked me to take him down.
Zone 2000 Bintan

Overall it was a good break during our shopping trip to Ramayana Mall.After all kid was happy with the games and entertainment at Zone 2000.If you wish to pay a visit during your Bintan getaway,it is located at the Ramayana Mall.Usually taxi drivers know this place and they will take you to the shopping mall.

Location: Zone 2000,Ramayana Mall, Tanjung Pinang, Bintan Island (Riau Islands), Indonesia

Also check our visit to My Little Giant.

Halloween Fun at Johor Bahru, Malaysia

During the last weekend when we visited Johor Bahru for a short weekend getaway, my kid was lucky enough to catch some Halloween fun! I was lucky because from few weeks kid was asking me to bring him to any place to experience Halloween. Finally, we could experience Halloween during our JB weekend getaway. Let’s walk along with the story of Halloween fun at Johor Bahru,Malaysia!

Halloween fun at Johor Bahru

Below are some captures from the Halloween events organized at shopping malls in Johor Bahru.

Halloween at KOMTAR JBCC

KOMTAR JBCC is one of the popular shopping malls in JB City Center which we visit in each and every visit. Their Halloween event included fun activities for kids full of fun and treats. Not with tricks! My kid was so happy to find this event during our visit.

Halloween at KOMTAR JBCC
Kid wanted to show that he was scared of these pumpkins.. 🙂
Halloween Fun at Johor Bahru
Halloween Fun at Johor Bahru
Halloween at KOMTAR JBCC
Halloween at KOMTAR JBCC
Playing the witch hat game
Halloween at KOMTAR JBCC
Time for having Halloween art on the hand
Halloween at KOMTAR JBCC
Finished Halloween paint on kid’s hand
Halloween Fun at Johor Bahru
Science experiments for Halloween

Science experiments was a fun activity for the kids.You can also check these fun science experiments to do with a toddler.

Halloween celebration at KOMTAR JBCC was full of fun for kids. The activities are full of fun. Kid enjoyed his time there. Later we visited the Halloween Celebrations at Johor Bahru City Centre.

Halloween Celebrations at Johor Bahru City Centre.

At Johor Bahru City Centre,it was little spooky.But,my kid enjoyed his time among the Halloween decorations.

Halloween Celebrations at Johor Bahru City Centre.
Spooky halloween at Johor Bahru City Centre
Halloween Celebrations at Johor Bahru City Centre.

We had loads of fun among these Halloween activities.

What is your favourite Halloween activity this year?

3D2N Batam Getaway by Ferry and Our Stay at Harmoni Hotel Batam – Indonesia

I know you are looking at this post because you love family travel.It is same with us.Any long weekend or school holiday time filled with outdoor activities and short getaways.Here is our 3D2N Batam Getaway itinerary and our experience and review of staying at Harmoni Hotel Batam.

It was last June school holiday which we decided to spend a weekend in Batam, Indonesia. Malaysia and Indonesia are the perfect destinations for short getaways for families live in Singapore. This is why we travel to these countries frequently.

Below is a short photo story to show our experience in Batam and in Harmoni Hotel Batam which is a great hotel for family holidays.

Batam getaway
My little explorer at the Harbourfront ferry terminal before the departure
Batam getaway
Waiting till departure
Batam by Horizon Fast ferry
At Harbourfront ferry terminal
Batam by ferry
We travelled by Horizon fast Ferry
Batam by ferry
My kid spent time to draw this while we were in Ferry.He was bored simply by looking at the sea.I was worrying about sea sickness.But we had a smooth journey.
Batam getaway
Welcome to Batam Island-Indonesia 🙂

We booked a Delux room for our 2 nights stay.As it was June holiday and the last weekend of the holiday period,most of the hotels were fully booked.Luckily this hotel had few rooms left.The first reason to book this hotel is that it has a kid friendly swimming pool.

Other than that it was mentioned the room size.Compared to other hotels in Batam,rooms size is larger.

Free breakfast included in hotel room price is another reason for us to choose this hotel.Having breakfast in the same hotel is something we like in any holiday in order to save time.We also get opportunity try several local food when we have breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Harmoni hotel Batam review
Our spacious room at Harmoni Hotel Batam
Harmoni hotel Batam review
HarmonyHotel Batam -Indonesia #Review
Harmoni hotel Batam review
The view of the swimming pool from our room balcony
Harmoni hotel Batam review
Dining area of Harmoni Hotel Batam
We enjoyed a variety of good food.These are a few only.
Congkak -Used for traditional Indonesian game (Found in Harmoni Hotel batam)
Kid had so much fun at the swimming pool
Yes,it was another funfilled holiday for the kid.At the swimming pool of Harmoni Hotel Batam.

Although there are many attractions in Batam,we didnt visit much places.Instead of that we spent more time at the hotel premises and walking in nearby.

Kid was so happy when he found the McDonalds next to the Harmoni Hotel Batam

Yes,kid was happy to find the McDonalds next to the hotel.If your kid is also a Happy Meal fan,then this hotel is a great place to stay in a kid friendly holiday to Batam.

Nearby Nagoya Shopping Mall is a great place for families to shop and dine while engaging in kid friendly activities such as game arcades and kiddy rides.

3D2N Batam Getaway
Kid friendly Nagoya Shopping Mall- batam
Maha ViharaDuta Maitreya Temple-Batam
At Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple-Batam
Teh Susu

We enjoyed a short weekend getaway in Batam Indonesia.Our stay at Harmoni Hotel Batam was comfortable.Hotel staff is nice and it was easier to hire taxis at the taxi counter in hotel.And at the Nagoya shopping Mall)

In this September School Holiday,we are planning another getaway to Bintan Island.Wait for the updates! 🙂

More Travel stories and tips:

10 Things You MUST Do In Indonesia With Your Children

Have you found great deals for cheap holidays in Indonesia for your family? If yes, you’re in for exciting times ahead. 

Read on to find out activities that your whole family take part in and enjoy while in this paradise.

Indonesia With Your Children

Relax On The Beach

Indonesia has some of the most beautiful and sandy beaches, and enjoying the surf, sun and sand should be your priority. As your kids enjoy a dive, you can relax on the beach and focus on your tan.

Meet The Orangutans

Indonesia has some really exotic and unique wildlife. If your kids are animal lovers, seeing animals like tigers, different species of reptiles, rhino, and bearded pigs is going to wow them. You will find Orangutans in the lush forests.

Take Your Kids Island Hopping

If you only have limited time in Indonesia, taking your kids island hopping on the boats will give you and them a chance to experience the entire place. Visit the Derawan Archipelago, or the Raja Ampat islands. 

Explore The Rice Terraces

Indonesia With Your Children

Even though the beaches are the main attraction to Indonesia, the rice terraces offering spectacular lush, green views are breathtaking. Experiencing the original rice scents will leave you craving for more, and you won’t want to leave Indonesia.

Find A Komodo Dragon

If your kids love a little action and adventure, this is a great activity for them. Imagine their excitement at seeing a dragon in real life. These gigantic dragons are found in the islands of Rinca and Komodo.

Experience The Culture In Bandung

Many of the cities and towns in Indonesia are rich in culture, history, and delicious food. Bandung is a popular weekend escape for many of the locals, and you can have a meal on the private ships.

Bandung

Enjoy The Waterpark Waterbomb in Kutua 

This is the best waterpark in Asia. With the availability of numerous water slides and other cool attractions, your kids will have non-stop fun. Remember to carry sun screen and protect them from the hot sun.

Become Artisans In Ubud

Here, you will find beautiful artwork. You can also try a family course offered by many of the artisans and enjoy making jewelry, wood carvings, and painting. Nothing else beats leaving a holiday destination with a new skill.

Enjoy The Crazy Slide “Atmostfear At fx Sudirman.”

Most kids love slides, and this is one of the craziest slides they will ever experience. Also known as “Atmosfear,” this ride is found at fx Sudirman, and your kids will fully enjoy it.

Visit the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

This is an enormous park and is known as mini Indonesia. It has a Jurassic Park, the “Taman Legendar.” It contains parks and 15 museums. With so many activities, your family will be spoilt for choice.

The activities on this list include parents too. So make sure you plan to have as much fun and play as your kids’ will. Have an open mind, and be ready to explore, and enjoy the beautiful sun struck beaches.

Read: How to manage homesickness while traveling

How to Manage Homesickness When Traveling

Traveling offers lots of exciting opportunities from picturesque scenery to delicious new foods and different cultures, but when you’re away from home longer than a couple of weeks, it can also mean homesickness. That house you bought among the Birmingham homes for sale, or in any other city, brings familiar comforts – as a study in ResearchGate notes, home helps one to “develop and maintain identities and  a sense of continuity in their lives.”

How to Manage Homesickness When Traveling

Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways to manage homesickness when traveling so that you can enjoy the moment.

Social Media

If you’re missing friends and family at home, take advantage of social media to share your experiences which can help make you feel more connected. You can also use technology like FaceTime and Skype Calls. Just don’t rely on it too much or it could not only make homesickness worse, but you’ll probably end up missing out on the joys of travel too.

Meet Up With Others From Home

Sometimes just being around other people from your home country can make a significant difference, as homesickness is often worse when there’s a language barrier and a whole new culture. By staying in hostels, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone to talk to, but talking to other travelers in local pubs and bars, joining get-togethers through sites like Meetup.com or even taking a tour, can all be good ways to find that connection. 

Keep Busy

If you’re outside enjoying the sites, taking advantage of tours, and especially outdoor activities that get your heart pounding and feel-good endorphins flowing, you’re unlikely to feel homesick. On the other end of the spectrum, sitting in your hotel room online watching what your friends are doing back home is probably going to really make homesickness set in. Do anything but sit inside on your laptop feeling sorry for yourself.

Stay Healthy

When you’re traveling, it’s easier to fall into bad habits like poor diet and not getting enough exercise. But that can leave you feeling lethargic, increasing homesickness, creating a vicious cycle. Combat that by planning activities like hiking, biking and/or paddling into your sightseeing, and aim to eat healthier meals, eliminating junk foods if possible. You’ll feel better and have more energy to appreciate all that your destination has to offer.

Learn More About Where You Are and Where You’re Going 

When traveling, you’re stepping into the unknown, but the more you know about it, the less you’re going to experience discomfort. Try to learn as much as you can beforehand so that you’ll feel more prepared once you get there. Once you’ve arrived, join local events and seek out every opportunity possible to get to know those who live there, making the culture shock a lot less “shocking.”

Dine on Foods From Home

Your favorite foods from home can be a major source of comfort. See if you can find a restaurant that serves whatever it is that you’re missing. Depending on the location, you might be able to find something easily with a Google search, otherwise talk to your B&B/Airbnb host or hotel staff, and/or look for travel forums focused on the area for advice from others who’ve been there, or are there right now. 

Snowy Bubbly Show at AMK Hub – Singapore

Last week I shared about the Magical Christmas Dream Party at AMK hub.We visited the shopping mall again during the night time to experience the Snowy bubbly show.

Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub
Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub

It was fantastic for kids.My son also enjoyed his time catching bubbles and shouting and running here and there with other kids.

Also read about our recent Christmas experience in Johor Bahru.

Snowy Bubbly Show at AMK Hub
Snowy Bubbly Show at AMK Hub
Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub
Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub
Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub

On one side,it was snow effects.Kids had great time experiencing ‘snow’ and it was great for both young and elders.

Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub
Snowy Bubble Show at AMK Hub

See,lot of snow till kids get covered with some snow! 🙂

Snowy Bubbly Show at AMK Hub

My son was bit surprised with his new experience.He was checking foam on his hands.

Snowy Bubbly Show at AMK Hub

Finally,it was a great night at AMK hub.

How about your week?Please share your posts with memories and stories.

Also Check easy ways to make Christmas memorable for kids.

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