4 Cities to Consider for a Family Vacation

4 Cities to Consider for a Family Vacation

Assignment Content

Family vacations are so rare and precious that you have to make the most of them, which means going places that everyone will enjoy and participating in activities that will please the kids and the parents. Check out the following family-friendly hotspots for your next family getaway. What experiences will you put on your itinerary?

Share New Experiences in Columbus

Image via Flickr by Always Shooting

Columbus, Ohio, is a middle-America town with big-city experiences. It’s a wonderful place to take a family vacation because of the variety of activities waiting for you. At the North Market, the whole family can create their own meal and let their palates run wild. The Center of Science and Industry (COSI), is one of the highest-rated science centers in the country. It offers a wealth of hands-on exhibits that will inspire a love of science in your kids. The Columbus Museum of Art’s Center for Creativity is another place to set your imaginations free as a family.

Look for Columbus hotels in the downtown area. When you travel with the whole family, proximity is everything. Try to situate yourselves close to all the places you want to visit.

Play in the Water at Hampton Beach

Image via Flickr by Gail Frederick

Hampton Beach is one of the hottest vacation spots in New Hampshire. Unlike some boardwalks up and down the coast, it’s family-friendly through and through. Take a tour to Star Island on a Steamship. If the waters of the Atlantic are too chilly, head to Water Country and ride the slides. Let the kids learn how to surf, and then finish the day at the Seacoast Science Center.

Check out Hampton Beach hotels right on the beach for gorgeous views. Opt for a room in the city center to see the skyline from your window. Wherever you stay, you can smell saltwater in the air.

Get Your Museum Fix in Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky, is well-known for horses, bourbon, and bluegrass, only two of which are kid-friendly. Fortunately, the city is home to a wealth of museums as well, including the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and the Muhammad Ali Museum. The Louisville Zoo is another must-see spot, and you just have to book the family for a river cruise on an authentic riverboat. Check out hotels in Louisville in or near downtown so you’re near everything.

Enjoy a Taste of Everything in Jacksonville

In Jacksonville, Florida, there’s something for every vacationer—even the little ones. When you’re not at the beach playing in the water and learning new water sports, get to know the city. Picnic at Big Talbot Island State Park. Beaches Museum & History Park teaches the kids about the railroad. At the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, the family can get to know some very big cats. Find hotels in Jacksonville near the things you want to do, be it the beach, the zoo, or downtown with a view of Friendship Fountain.

Embrace the opportunity to make memories with your family. Ask the kids what they want to do, too. What are your most memorable vacations?

5 Simple Travel Pleasures Everyone Should Experience at Least Once

5 Simple Travel Pleasures Everyone Should Experience at Least Once

We live in an amazing time. There’s no two ways about it, what is considered commonplace today, would –– not even fifty years ago –– be considered close to a miracle. We can look up the Prime Minister of Australia on a phone that fits in our pocket. We can ask our car for directions. We can receive amazing medical treatments to deal with just about any issue we may have: from laser-eye surgery to correct poor vision, to reversing a tubal ligation with a tuboplasty procedure –– there doesn’t seem to be any problem modern tech can’t resolve. However, despite all the noteworthy technological, medical, and engineering advancements of the past few decades, sometimes the best experiences in life are the simplest ones. And when you take a trip, there are certain activities that need to be lived out to appreciate fully. Indeed, no amount of tech can truly recreate the most basic joys of travel. To that point, here are five simple travel pleasures everyone should experience at least once in their life:

Feel the Sand Between Your Toes

It may come as a surprise to the millions of people who live in coastal cities, but there are plenty of landlubbers out there who’ve never tasted fresh fish, taken a dip in the ocean, or enjoyed the sublime jubilation of walking on a soft, sandy beach. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure your next vacation includes a getaway to a proper beach.

Get Lost in a City

No it may not sound like the most enjoyable activity, but there’s no surer mark of a fabulous traveling story than getting lost first. Only then can you really get to know a new place intimately. So whether you find yourself trying to navigate the London Underground, or working your way through a winding street in Buenos Aires –– don’t fret if you feel lost. Rather, embrace the opportunity for adventure.

Fly

Can flying be stressful, boring, tedious, difficult, and uncomfortable? Yes. Still, everyone always remembers their first flight. And it’s impossible to replicate that feeling any other way.

Converse in a New Language

Even if you only learn enough to say hello and ask for directions to the bathroom, speaking another language with someone else is a thrill that many Americans miss out on. Don’t revert to English just because you assume other people speak it. Try the native tongue first; don’t worry about screwing up, either. Most people will appreciate the effort and your mistakes will only serve to endear you further to them.

Eat Actual Foreign Food

If you think that Chinese food in America actually tastes like actual food from China, you’re in for some kind of awakening. Far too many travelers stick to the meals they’re familiar with when visiting a new country. But nothing beats discovering a foreign delicacy that isn’t available at a kiosk at the mall. Be willing to try new things –– especially foods –– on your next trip. You won’t regret it.

Fun Times In Florida – Why You Should Check It Out This Year

Fun Times In Florida – Why You Should Check It Out This Year

Been thinking about the next best place to go for your summer holidays this year? Have you been looking for something that you maybe haven’t done before and you want to try something a bit new and interesting but you aren’t sure what? Many people are quick to head off on beach holidays in the Mediterranean or other locations like Portugal or the Azores, but why not go one step further and take off stateside this summer to check out one of the most welcoming regions – the south east!

The Region

The southeastern corner of the United States is one of the most beautiful and most popular areas for holiday makers – with children and without. From the gorgeous parks and cities of Alabama with their own small stretch of coastline to the fantastic variety that Florida has, there is something to do for everyone in this area. Don’t forget the welcoming inland state of Georgia, with its old plantations and estate homes that add to an air of southern sophistication of days of old.

What To See?

By far for both couples and families with children the best state of the region is Florida. Spend a day at SeaWorld watching the various marine life go about their day, or if it’s a blazingly hot day take to the water yourself in one of Florida’s many water parks filled with fun slides and themed water rides. For children of all ages (and adults too!) Disney World Florida is one of the main attractions offering restaurants, Disney themed rides, dinners and even accommodation. For something new and unique you can organise a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas – a chance for the kiddos to spend time with their favourite characters while you bask in the sun on the deck. For couples don’t miss the Florida Keys – a gorgeous stretch of white sand islands in the very, very south of the state.

More Choice

Florida isn’t just all water and theme parks though. From famous Miami Beach where you can kick back with locals to enjoy some of the best sunny spots to Daytona Beach where you can take in the famous Daytona 500 car race there are a number of things to do that don’t involve Disney. Check out Universal Studios – still a theme park but film themed where some of your favourite films come to life (like getting to take your photo with the shark from JAWS) along with themed rides into the magical world of films and TV. Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Centre are two other sights that must be seen, especially for science geeks where you can step back through time to experience the story of mankind’s space exploration including moon landings.

So if you’re looking for something exciting and new to try this year, why not try Florida? The Sunshine State proves to be a family favourite year after year and for good reason. With gorgeous coastline on nearly all sides, close proximity to other states worth visiting and a number of great attractions, it’s easy to see why this is one of the main go to states for families from around the world.

3 Reasons Why It’s Time To Ditch Your All-Season Tires

3 Reasons Why It’s Time To Ditch Your All-Season Tires

Despite their name, all-season tires aren’t really made for every Canadian season. When it comes to winter, only snow tires will keep you safe on the roads. If you’re still driving on all-seasons, thinki you’re safe on the roads, you’ll want to keep reading. Here are three reasons why you’re wrong.

  1. Winter Tires Brake Faster

The folks over at Edmunds (the same Edmunds behind Edmunds New Cars & Trucks Buyer’s Guides) conducted a brake test on a Civic Si, seeing how quickly it could brake from 40–0 mph using winter, all-season, and summer tires. Their tests show:

  • The Civic with snow tires took 11.7 seconds to come to a complete stop
  • The Civic with all-season tires took 14.5 seconds to come to a complete stop
  • The Civic with summer tires took 41.7 seconds to come to a complete stop

All-season tires are 24 percent slower to brake than winter tires. Though it may seem like a marginal difference, it’s a big deal. Nearly 3 seconds can feel like a lifetime when a car suddenly pulls out in front of you and your vehicle fails to brake. Driving on snow tires that can brake faster may be the reason why you avoid a fender bender this season.

  1. Winter Tires Reduce Hydroplaning

In the GTA, winter consists of a rolling cycle of deep freezes followed by balmy thaws. As a result, it’s not unusual for the streets of Mississauga to be covered in a thin layer of melted snow. While some people may believe wet roads provide better driving conditions than snowy ones, they’re not necessarily correct. Damp roads pose a danger to drivers.

When water collects on the roads, it impedes your tires’ ability to grip the road’s surface. If enough water collects between your tires and the roads, you’ll hydroplane. Also known as aquaplaning, hydroplaning causes you to lose control of your vehicle, and you’ll to skid or slide on the road.

Winter tires are constructed in such a way to decrease the chances of hydroplaning. If you’ve ever looked at a tire close up, you’ll have noticed it has a series of grooves to help them grip surfaces. These are called sipes. Winter tires have a crisscrossing network of sipes that divert water away from the rubber to increase the tires’ contact with the road.

  1. Winter Tires Exert More Pressure On The Road

When asked what tires are made out of, most people will say, “rubber” quickly and confidently. While they’re correct, this simple answer doesn’t get into differences found in the kind of rubber used in each season’s tires.

Winter tires have a unique rubber technology that tolerates cold temperatures better than any other seasons’ tires. Combined with its specialized tread design, winter tires remain flexible in temperatures that dip well below freezing.

Flexibility is an essential trait in a tire, as it improves the vehicle’s handling and braking. Without it, you run the risk of spinning out or sliding to a stop. Since all-season tires aren’t made with the same tech, it can’t tolerate the colder temperatures of a typical Canadian winter. It starts to lose its flexibility in temperatures as warm as 7°C. Once the mercury dips below zero, its rubber becomes brittle and struggles to maintain traction even when the roads are clear of snow, slush, or rain.

There’s no excuse — get winter tires now!

Now that you know why you shouldn’t keep driving on your all-seasons, book an appointment with your local automotive service centre to make the switch. If you’re worried you won’t have time to transition before the next big winter storm hits, contact a repair facility like Veerpreet Service Centre. Open 24/7 365 for the past 25 years, Veerpreet is known for their fast and reliable tire servicing at any time of day or night. When you can find a centre with these hours, it’s easy to get winter tires — even at the last second.

When an experienced and dependable repair shop can schedule you before the next big storm, there’s no excuse to keep driving on all-seasons. It’s time you make the switch; you’ll be safer for it!

London Underground, a guide to the past and present

London Underground, a guide to the past and present

The London Underground has gone through extensive changes since it was opened in 1868 but how has London city property prices and development changed since, take a look at our fascinating guide!

London developments such as the grand scale casinos being established in the West End is now considered as the norm for tourists in that area. Thankfully for people not living in London or near a casino for that matter, they can still access casinos like bgo online to give them the ultimate casino experience.

We all know famous London Underground lines such as Oxford Circus and Covent Garden but did you know these existed too?

British Museum – Central Line

Named after the British museum which was around the corner, it closed in the 1933 due to the expansion of the Holborn which was less than 100yards away. It was then used as military base for World War 2.

City Road – Northern Line

Located in Islington and originally situated between Angel and Old Street station, it was simply closed to a lack of customers using the service. It was closed in 1922

Down Street – Piccadilly line

Positioned in the wealthy borough of Mayfair, again similar to City Road it was hardly used by customers and the tube would often miss this station out of the timetable.  The station closed in 1932 but found a new lease of life during the Second World War when it was used as a base for Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet as a bunker.

Lord’s – Metropolitan line

Now a hotel, the once Lord’s Tube Station based near and named after Lords cricket ground.  When it first opened, it could not deal with the crowd demand from the local cricket ground and therefore it was redesigned and named St. Johns Wood.  However, after being renamed again, it eventually closed due to overcapacity in 1939. An alternative tube was built nearby and named St. Johns Wood which still exists today.

4 Reasons You Should Take a Vacation ASAP

4 Reasons You Should Take a Vacation ASAP

Consider the dentist. He works hard five days a week; he fills in cavities and removes wisdom teeth. He has good days and bad days, but in the main he likes his work and the people he works with. He may even have just completed a big project –– like retooling his dental office design, or  installing new, upgraded equipment. Still, something is gnawing at him. He has trouble sleeping. Feels tired. Looks forward to the weekend only to see it come and go in a flash. So what’s wrong? If this sounds at all familiar to you, don’t fret. Chances are all you need is some time off to yourself. And there’s no better time than now to take that trip you’ve always dreamed of. Here are four reasons why you should take a vacation ASAP:

Unique Timing

It may not sound like the ideal time to travel (February), but actually the “off months” for traveling can prove the best times to go. Not only will you receive the best rates from airlines and hotels, but it will also provide you with an opportunity to mingle with locals rather than other tourists. So unless you’re planning a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, February is a splendid time to budget in vacation time that goes beyond the norm.

Undue Stress

We all experience hectic times at work. It’s part of being a professional. However, there’s a difference between “normal stress,” and driving yourself into the ground. If you find yourself strung out and beaten down for weeks or even months at a time –– take a trip. It’ll vastly improve your well-being and energize you when you do return for work.

Limited Engagements

The only constant is change. So don’t assume that just because you have an opportunity to travel somewhere now, you’ll always enjoy that luxury. That’s not the case. Personal and professional commitments will pile up if you let them. And if you want to see something that has a limited running time, you need to grab that opportunity with both hands. Even majestic, prehistoric sights like the Great Barrier Reef won’t last forever.

You Can’t Recall Your Last Trip

Quick, without thinking, when was the last time you traveled solely for pleasure? If you can’t rattle off exactly where and when you last had a vacation –– you’re likely to be in dire need of one. Of course staying dedicated to your work is important. But recharging your batteries and indulging in adventure once in a while is vital to your mental health. Don’t deny yourself a great experience –– get going today!

3 reasons to take up fishing as a hobby

3 reasons to take up fishing as a hobby

Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies both in the United States and all over the world. There are about sixty million individuals engaging in this pastime on a yearly basis, at least in the U.S. Apparently, approximately 13% of the American population goes fishing or hunting regularly, which means that these two sports have won the hearts of U.S. inhabitants.

Let’s go through a series of reasons you should consider taking up fishing. They might help you better make up your mind in understanding whether it’s a good hobby for you.

Fishing can help you get in touch with nature

Given the hectic lives most of us lead and the number of hours we spend at work, spending time outdoors can be a real challenge. Fishing can help you get back in touch with nature by understanding the basics of fish anatomy and habits.

If you plan to go angling during the summer, you will also be exposed to the sun, which means that your body will be capable of synthesizing vitamin D naturally. Just make sure that you bring plenty of sunscreen on your trip, because the rates of skin cancer are on a rise. Always wear protective equipment to avoid hurting yourself.

It’s an educational hobby for kids

Few children have the necessary patience when it comes to learning how to fish, and that’s because some techniques might be overly complicated compared to others. Given that it is a somewhat static activity, fishing will involve parents spending quality time with their kids.

On the other hand, the child has a lot of opportunities to learn more about the type of fish that should be caught, its anatomy and biology, as well as fishing regulations and why it’s a bad idea to fish at certain times. If you do not want to hurt the catches, you can simply release them back into the water and explain to the kid all there’s to know about the catch and release policy.

Your research won’t be daunting

Whenever you might be thinking of taking up any sport, you might end up feeling a bit baffled as to what you’re supposed to do. Rest assured as fishing is one of the easiest sports to learn due to the immense variety of resources you’ll find online. You can even find out more about bowfishing from online videos and websites.

Plus, there’s always the option of your subscribing to a fishing magazine to keep up with the latest trends in terms of angling. On top of that, several fishing books can tell you absolutely everything you need to know as a beginning fisher. This information can mean anything ranging from your techniques and how you can better them to the type of angling gear you need to use to reel in a certain species.

Some of the best fishing magazines, according to some sources, are Sport Fishing, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, American Angler, Fly Tyer, and Marlin. These and others will tell you that fly fishing is one of the simplest techniques you can employ at the beginning of your fishing learning adventure.

4 Things to Do While Visiting Leeds

4 Things to Do While Visiting Leeds

An incredible city of real historical importance, Leeds is a city that has a little bit of something for everybody. Rich culture and vast history are only a few of the things that make up Leeds as a whole. From visiting the theatres, running in long and challenging marathons, to sipping cocktails in the clouds, there’s a huge amount of things to do while visiting Leeds. This gem in Yorkshire attracts millions of tourists from all around the world, and with a good reason. There’s always something to do, and it’s always great fun.

Shop in the Corn Exchange

A building of special importance, the Grade I-listed Corn Exchange is part retail centre and part food hub. It hosts a splendid community of shops and boutiques that entice visitors away from the bustling and noisy boulevards outside, and it welcomes them with grandeur. It resembles an inner chamber of some giant airship, and sports plenty of quirky shops, bookstores, salons, and lots of different food stores with all sorts of food available.

Explore the Arcades

The architecture in Leeds is a very unique case. It’s a fascinating blend between the old and the new, and the best place to witness that are the arcades. The bazaar-like atmosphere is only enhanced by the sheer number of the many independent shops you will find there – there are practically no chain stores present in the arcades. You can eat cake while perusing clothing stores, and after that try on some vintage jewellery. The arcades are definitely delightful.

Party and dance ‘till the early hours

Leeds is definitely a city that likes to dance. You can freely partake in the fabulous vintage tea dances that pop up around the city all the time, or join classes held at Yorkshire Dance that allow everyone to join the fun whether it’s lyrical jazz or flamenco. If that’s not your style, don’t worry, because Leeds has you covered. The nightlife is astounding, with its many areas coming to life in the late hours. Call Lane has been likened to Manchester’s famous Canal Street, and that’s where a lot of fantastic bars and clubs are located. It’s an entire pedestrianised road filled all sorts of locales, and the best of all; those aren’t the only party venues Leeds has to offer. You’ll definitely find a fun place like no other.

Drink cocktails in the sky

One of the finest things about Leeds is that the city is truly stunning at night. That’s a fact that its many bars and restaurants have come to appreciate, and they offer a fantastic panoramic view across the metropolitan skyline and beyond. A few places like the Angelica and The Alchemist – both of which are located in Trinity shopping centre – offer fantastic views of the already stunning and beautiful city. Located on the top of the shopping centre, you’ll be able to sip delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that you’ll never forget, on top of a balcony that overlooks the entire city. That’ll definitely be a moment you’ll never forget.

How to go Beyond the Expected on your Next Vacation

How to go Beyond the Expected on your Next Vacation

Traveling is a wonderful way to expand your horizons. A great trip forces you out of your comfort zone and places you face to face with a new culture. That’s why traveling is so rewarding, and people spend months if not years, planning for their “next great vacation.” Unfortunately though, if you’ve traveled enough, you’ve probably had at least one holiday that let you down. A disappointing trip can be heartbreaking; fortunately, though, there are steps you can take to ensure your next vacation avoids the common, touristy pitfalls that can doom even the most meticulously planned trip.

Forget the Hotel

You want to experience a city? Get ingrained in a new way of life? Then don’t book a hotel. A hotel – especially an expensive one – is the antithesis of authentic. It might be nice, but you shouldn’t be traveling to marvel at the inside of your hotel room. Depending on where you’re headed, there are many options superior to the hotel – Airbnb, hostels, or even renting an apartment short term can be a great way to get in tune with the true pulse of a place. You’ll never get that staying in a room where they tuck the sheets in for you.

Plan to Improvise

Having a game plan is a great way to squeeze the most out of a short vacation. But remember that surprise and serendipity are essential to a fulfilling travel experience. The quaint little record shop on the corner, the coffee shop with hand-painted murals along the walls, the mom-and-pop stand with the best shawarma in the city – these places aren’t going to have a fifty-foot banner sign plastered across their business. Their hidden gems because they’re well hidden. Give yourself time to explore and find them. They’ll provide better memories than standing in line at a tourist trap.

Fraternize with the locals

Most people love it when strangers take in an interest in their city and again, most will be more than willing to offer great advice on where to go and what to do. In this endeavor, the local bartender can prove an invaluable asset. They know where the best places are – especially the spots off the beaten track. In fact, anyone in the service industry will likely have a few hot tips on the best spots around town. Make sure to tip them, though! Who knows, you may even make a long-distance friend this way – the ultimate goal of a great trip.

Shahriar Ekbatani on Preparing for a Travel Photography Journey

Shahriar Ekbatani on Preparing for a Travel Photography Journey

Travel photography is interesting for both amateurs and professionals alike. However, Shahriar Ekbatani knows like no other how hard it is to travel while also bringing your camera equipment. This is why it is so important to know what everything does, so that you can bring the things that matter, and leave the things you don’t really need at home.

Shahriar Ekbatani on Packing

If you have ever been on a photography trip before, you will know how hectic it is. You probably have a huge list of equipment that you want to bring. This is why you need to start by thinking of a few key things:

  1. What you expect in terms of the type of photographs you want to take.
  2. What the climate will be like where you are.
  3. How long you will be going for.

Equipment Protection

The second thing you need to consider is your protection. You must have a high quality bag in which you can hold your lens, your memory cards, your battery, and your camera. If you can afford it, buy a hard case. They cost a little more, but you can use them again and again and they can withstand harsh climates.

Optional and Not So Optional Extras

There are always a couple of extras you need as a backup. This is where things get complicated, however, because you don’t want to waste space packing things you won need anyway. Usually, your backup will compromise of memory cards, filters, and batteries, but you do need to know how many you need. As such:

  1. Find out how many pictures you can take on one battery and how long it takes you to shoot that much. This will tell you how many batteries you need for one day.
  2. Have two cases with memory cards, one with empty ones and one with used ones. Memory cards don’t take up much space, so you shouldn’t compromise on the quality of your images just so you can shoot more pictures.

Cleaning

You should also have a few cleaning products with you. It is all too easy to have your equipment damaged by moisture, smudges, finger prints, dust, and more. Hence, you must carry:

  • A brush to remove small debris.
  • A hurricane blower to get rid of larger particles.
  • Lens cleaning solution and microfiber cloth to polish the lens.

Shahriar Ekbatani’s Final Tip

While this may not be possible for most people, if you can carry an extra camera, you should. Your camera may be your most expensive piece of equipment, it is also your most expensive one. You can buy extra batteries and memory cards pretty much anywhere. You can even have your equipment cleaned somewhere. But if you’re in the middle of nowhere and your camera suddenly breaks, then your entire trip will be ruined. Investing in an extra camera, even if it is one of slightly less good quality, is always a good idea.