Road Trips and Your Child – How to Deal!

With the weakening economy, more and more families are forced to trim the fat off their yearly vacation plans and instead choose a more economical getaway. Although many families this past year chose to stay at home, some families bravely headed out in the family car with their children crammed in the backseat. The first hour or so may pass by swiftly – but as any parent knows who has gone on a long road trip, each hour can feel like an eternity with tired, cranky and bored children in the backseat!

If your vacation plans have you taking the long scenic route towards your destination, you’ll be saving plenty of money in airfare, but you’ll need to think ahead in order to keep your kids happy and entertained. So how can you keep your children distracted during those multiple hour road trips? Simple: just use these tips and tricks, and your children will be happy for the entire trip!

1. Break out classic road trip games – they were invented for a reason! Have your kids try to see if they can spot a license plate from every state, and keep score – this will keep them interested for a prolonged period of time. Another great road trip game is “I Spy”, in which everyone takes turns guessing at a certain object or landmark using only the clues provided by the person who is “it”. However, objects that are in the car or on the horizon for a few minutes (like a large landmark) are the only acceptable objects; it’s not fair to guess for an object that passed by on the highway seconds ago!

2. Bring your child’s favorite electronics. Although electronics like video games can have a bit of a negative impact on your child’s health (for example, interrupting sleep schedules, causing a lack of exercise, etc.), they’re practically lifesavers on a road trip. Buy a portable DVD player and brings lots of movies that will keep your children distracted. You’ll be so thankful for the peace and quiet!

3. In addition to electronics, bring plenty of fun snacks. Many kids get cranky on long road trips due to hunger, but you can nip this problem in the bud by bringing along fun and healthy snacks to keep them over until lunch or dinner. Crackers and granola are great snacks that are healthy and delicious too!

4. Of course, no child, no matter how much he or she likes road trips, is able to stay in a car for a prolonged period of time. Once you recognize this, you’ll be able to better handle your child when he or she becomes cranky or restless. Plan on making lots of side trips along the way – in fact, why not make them part of the overall vacation itself? See if there are any fun landmarks en route to your final destination, and use the opportunity to stretch your legs. Your kids will be grateful for the rest, and you’ll enjoy avoiding yet another cranky mood.

5. Heap loads of praise on your children for making it through hourly blocks without making a fuss. They’ll be so proud of themselves that they’ll continue their behavior in order to earn more compliments!

But above all these things, what’s the most important thing to bring along on a road trip with children? Easy: the understanding that no matter how much you plan ahead, you’ll never be 100% prepared for everything. Children have a wild and wonderful way of turning an itinerary into a free-for-all; yet that’s just part of the adventure that is raising children.

Travel Insurance For Thailand – Land of Smiles and Unrest

Each year, tens of thousands of Australians travel to Thailand, which is known as the land of smiles. There are plenty of positives for tourists in Thailand – it has an amazingly warm and stable climate, the unique regional economy means that our dollar can buy much more in Thailand, the locals are generally friendly, and tourism is one of the backbones of the country. However, there is also plenty to be cautious of in Thailand. Threats that don’t exist at home, from bird flu to frequent and violent government demonstrations mean that travel insurance is a must for the region. We look at the considerations for travel insurance holders going to Thailand.

Terrorism threats

Some travel insurance policies will cover the costs of a change of plans for terrorist threats, and some will not. Some will only cover you if the suspicion has been confirmed by the local police authorities, and may require you to provide proof of this when you make a travel insurance claim. Australian consulates have received a number of terrorist threats for Thai regions, including ones relating to popular tourist spots.

Government demonstrations

These are more prevalent in some areas of Thailand than in others. Your travel insurance may cover you for any medical emergencies incurred by public anti-government demonstrations, and could also cover you for loss of personal belongings, or needing to change your travel plans due to demonstrations arising in Thailand if they started after you had bought your insurance. Usually comprehensive travel insurance will be cover all of these instances.

What travel insurance can’t cover

There are daily reports of bombings and violence in parts of Thailand bordering Malaysia, due to terrorist activity. More than 3,400 people have been killed in the Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla provinces since January 2004. Travel insurance will not bring your life back if you lose it.

Insurance will usually not cover you for expenses incurred as a result of breaking the law – and in Thailand seemingly innocuous activities can be illegal. The possession of very small quantities of soft drugs can result in lengthy jail sentences, and defacing images of the monarch can result in sentences up to 15 years. This would include destroying bank notes with the king’s image on them.

Bird flu

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that there have been human deaths from bird flu in Thailand. You don’t necessarily have to eat raw chicken, handle bird droppings or touch a dead bird to get the disease, either. Improperly cooked meat from roadside stalls can be a source of bird flu, or you may pick up the bacteria form another person who has been in contact with infected birds. insurance will be a necessity if you contract bird flu, not only for the medical treatment but because you will usually be required to leave Thailand as soon as possible.

Activity-related risks

Diving and snorkeling are common in Thailand, and stings from jellyfish, rays and octopuses can be fatal. If you are some regions of Thailand, the expensive but very necessary Japanese encephalitis vaccination is recommended. Divers should also be aware of decompression facilities nearby their dive sites. Make sure you familiarize yourself with local customs – touching the top of someone’s head, and showing the soles of your feet, are taboo activities in Thailand.

5 Disposable Wedding Camera Tips

The use of disposable wedding cameras is fast becoming popular nowadays. The usual disposable cameras with a built in flash is commonly used and have 27 frames. The idea is that the guests will be the one to take their own pictures.

The guests can use these disposable wedding cameras to shoot candid moments as they see it. This will be a cheaper option for the bride and groom and the guests will surely have fun. The newly weds then can choose the pictures that they like and would include in their wedding album.

For soon to be married couples, I have here some tips on how to look for your own disposable wedding cameras. Hope these tips can help make your wedding be more memorable.

Tips on How to Choose a Disposable Camera for your Wedding

Tip 1 – Opt for Brand New Ones

It is unwise to purchase a used camera since it be defective and will not work on that special day.

Tip 2 – Film

If you are looking for a vintage or classic look then you should opt for black and white. If you like to see every detail of the occasion in living colors, then you should use colored film and these will be much cheaper.

Tip 3 – Film and Flash Speed

For general usage the best speed film is around 400. This will surely capture those precious moments.

Tip 4 – Waterproof Casing

It is much better to be safe than sorry. The best option is to buy a waterproof camera. Small spills can happen on tables especially during happy and raucous moments.

Tip 5 – Photo Taking

A lot of your guest might be shy at first and they would hesitate using the camera. It would be best to assign some of your groomsmen and bridesmaid to go around and assist your guest in taking their first pictures.