When it comes time to buy a travel-loving friend a gift, it’s easy to feel stuck on what to get. Journals are great — but not all travelers are journalers, and those that are often have at least a few blank ones on hand. Here are unique takes on classic ideas for the various kinds of travelers in your life.
For the foodie: send delicious global flavors right to their doorstep. Try The World with top chefs from Argentina to Morocco and assembles gorgeous boxes filled with curated delicacies from each country. Delivered every month, each box contains descriptions for how to use the tasty and exotic flavors in your own recipes.
For the well-accessorized: customize a favorite map to make cufflinks, bracelet, or pendant. Have a special place you want to commemorate? Maybe the place of a first date, or a favorite childhood destination? This can be a beautiful and deeply personal way to show your traveler that you know what matters to them most.
For the crafty commemorator: check out this simple, beautiful way to re-trace steps and wonderful memories with a map and thread. The maps can be titled, as well. Imagine a wall decorated with these minimalist representations of adventures!
For the traveler who has everything and wants to give back: Why not make a donation to a favorite cause in your traveler’s name? You can choose organizations that support environmental stewardship, advocate for people in crisis, promote education, or help bring beauty.
For the traveler who’s always up for adventure: I’ve written before about how experiences pack the biggest punch, happiness-wise. At Experience Days you can give the gift of a lifelong great memory to someone you care about. Try everything from hang gliding to art lessons throughout the United States. What a great surprise for honeymooners or a friend’s next big adventure!
For the gadget-junkie: this funky, color-coded 4-in-1 adapter is perfect for the tech-savvy traveling family and will help ensure everything stays running smoothly. For the hardcore gadget-junkie, what about these stylish vests, hoodies, and jackets with interior pockets (for men and women) to hold everything from smartphones to keys to water bottles?
For the photographer: If your friend is never without her smartphone or camera, why not make it easy for her to create beautiful, lasting photo albums, calendars, or prints of her best shots? At Artifact Uprising, she can connect directly with her Instagram account and assemble her most gorgeous memories.
If you need help planning the next adventure to fill an album, stitch on a map, or wear around your neck — contact me today! Let’s get started!
Australia is a vast country, with so many amazing places to explore and iconic monuments to see. Your trip to the land down under is sure to be unforgettable and the memories you make along the way will be treasured forever. However, if you want to make your trip as special as possible, it's important to do your research. Here are five things you need to know before embarking on your Australian adventure.
1. The weather is more varied than you might think
Australia is known for its dry climate and scorching temperatures. Many think that the entire country experiences temperate weather all year round, but this is not the case. The weather is incredibly varied, depending on the city you choose to visit.
Cities in Western Australia, such as Perth, typically experience drier summers with warmer weather while southern territories, like Tasmania, experience cooler weather. Many people don't realise that you can actually go skiing in the Hobart region of Australia and their resorts are just as amazing as European skiing destinations
2. Australia is huge
This might seem obvious, but have you really stopped to think about how big the country really is? It's the world's largest island, 32 times bigger than the UK, and has more than 7 million km² of land to explore. You should take this into account if you're planning to visit as many cities as possible during your journey, as it can take hours or even days to get from place to place. Flying from Sydney to Perth can take more than five hours, and it takes almost three days to drive if you're on a road trip.
3. The exotic animals aren't all scary
One thing that puts people off visiting Australia: the critters and creatures. But Australia isn't just home to giant snakes and crawling spiders waiting to pounce. There are so many other amazing animals to see; cute and fluffy animals are also in abundance. Embark on an Australian safari, where you might be able to spot a kangaroo in its natural habitat or even an adorable stubby-tailed wombat. You could even get the chance to cuddle or feed an Australian koala bear. Surely that has to make enduring the scarier animals worth it?
4. Travel insurance is a must
While travel insurance isn't mandatory in Australia, it is strongly recommended, even if you're already overseas. 38% of people aged 25-34 traveled without taking out insurance, which is a risky decision to make if the worst should happen. A reciprocal healthcare agreement exists between Australia and some countries (such as New Zealand and the UK), but this only covers you against very basic medical care and should not be considered a substitute for health insurance. Make the right decisions and cover yourself against theft, damage and last minute travel cancellations if you want to enjoy a carefree Australian holiday.
5. The people are very laid-back
It’s a stereotype, but there might be a grain of truth to this one – Aussies are famously laid-back! Whether it’s because of the climate, the miles of beaches, or the barbecue culture, one thing’s for sure: people in Australian love nothing more than kicking back and having a good time. If you’re travelling to Australia, you should definitely follow suit! Don’t take things too seriously when you’re there. Relax with the friendly locals, and let all the stresses of your life back home float away.
It takes a lot of work to get ready for a family trip, even if you have a travel agent doing the planning and booking for you. Choosing the right places and activities, all while trying to maintain some semblance of your normal routine, especially if you have younger kids — can be a real challenge.
In the hectic pace of everything, it can be easy to forget the bigger reasons families choose to travel with their children: to enrich their lives, expand their emotional and cultural horizons, and help them become better global citizens.
So it’s great to encourage kids to be involved in the planning and to participate in family activities — but what are some ways that you can really get your child curious about your travel destinations without adding yet another list of to-dos to a parent’s already-long list?
Here are some ideas for sparking the love of travel in your child on your next vacation.
Use your child’s natural interests to make a destination come alive. Does your kid love painting? Music? Dance? Sports? Animals? Have your child research ahead of time about activities or places that might speak to his existing passions. Maybe the place you’re headed has an incredible soccer culture, or was the home of a famous photographer. Maybe it’s known for a certain kind of food, or has some quirky museum. Have him gather as much info as he can, and let him choose a way to dig deeper into that interest — a play, an exhibit, a match, a festival.
Use a travel journal. If your child likes to write or draw, this can be both a wonderful way to document experiences and a way for kids to have alone time if they need it, or wind-down time in the evening before bed. Set aside even just 10 minutes for them to write down or doodle something from the day. A journal can be used before leaving, too — it can be a place where a child documents questions she has about where you’re going, things she wants to learn, a place to glue in pictures of places she wants to see, things she’s excited to try.
Try a scavenger hunt. How many kinds of gelato can you try? How many colors of cowboy boots can you spot? Can you track down all the famous buildings built by a favorite architect? Make a list of landmarks that were important to a local band? This is something that can be adjusted for younger and older kids, and can be an effective way to engage older kids especially. It keeps them tuned in more, and there can be a reward when a “list” is completed — dinner of their choice, for example.
Use photography as a way to help them pay attention. For a kid who loves photography, the lens can be an excellent way to help ignite curiosity and help them be present to the travel experience. For younger children especially, an inexpensive disposable camera works just great and can make them feel very grown up; older children might have access to a simple digital camera or a phone with a built-in camera. They might choose to just photograph whatever strikes their interest, and that’s fine — but they can also decide ahead of time to keep an eye out for something specific: interesting flowers, unique doorways, motorcycles or scooters they like, desserts, street signs, gardens, markets, sunsets. Being aware of and respecting cultural etiquette around taking photographs, of course, there are tons of incredible creative opportunities. This can be a wonderful way for a child to discover a new interest he didn’t even know he had.
If you choose to go the digital route, you can even set up an Instagram account specifically for your trip if you like, and your child can use a smartphone as her camera. This is a great way to visually and verbally record what they’ve seen and experienced. They can use it to build vocabulary in a new language by photographing an object, asking a local what it is, and then labeling the image with the word and its translation. If your child doesn’t enjoy traditional journaling as much, this can be an alternative way to have time set aside each day for remembering, documenting, and processing in a different medium.
Having an Instagram account also offers a wide variety of ways to print off and use selected favorite images — photographs, magnets, prints. And your child can use the Postagram app to instantly and inexpensively send postcards of the trip to friends, family, or back home again.
Use a recorder to capture new sounds, voices, and music. If your child is more aural and visual, you can use a small digital voice recorder to capture the unique traits of your destination. Car horns, street music, sounds of natural surroundings, food cooking, traditional ceremonies, language, laughter — all of these paint an auditory picture of your vacation that will spark wonderful memories for years to come. Again, if your child doesn’t enjoy traditional journaling, keeping a recorded journal might be just the thing that will really spark his interest.
Use the power of compare and contrast to sharpen curiosity, create awareness, and start good conversations. Have as a goal each day — and this can be something the whole family can do — to note one thing that’s similar to what you do at home, and one thing that’s different from what you do at home. Do kids play similar games? Eat different foods? Drive the same cars? Wear the same kids of clothes? Listen to different music? Have the same kinds of pets? In addition to observing similarities and differences, talk to them about their thoughts around what they’re noticing. What questions come up? What’s comfortable for them, and what feels totally unfamiliar? Do they see things that they wish kids did more of back home? This can be a powerful tool for kids to be present to what’s happening around them, and can help them process the culture shock that can accompany the newness of various environments, as well. It can be a way for you to get to know them better, and it can be a way for them to understand more about themselves, too.
An added bonus with these ideas is that they don’t really require any additional management or planning on the part of a parent. As with any other trip, each family will have to establish ground rules and be aware of the cultural expectations of the places they’re visiting. But other than setting aside some quiet time each day, which most families need, anyway, these activities are largely child-driven and executed. Yes, you’ll likely have to help your kid plan or reserve tickets for a chosen activity or event — but that’s something you would be doing for that day, anyway. The difference here is that your child will be a part of the process. And, yes, you’ll likely be stopping a little more as your child notices, points out, and talks about everything she’s taking in — but in the end, that seems like a wonderful opportunity for connection with your child, and a chance for parents to slow down and absorb a little more, too.
Traveling with your children provides a one-of-a-kind educational experience for them, and a powerful bonding experience for the whole family. I would love to help you design the perfect travel experience for your family! Click this link to schedule a “Let’s Get Acquainted Session” with me let’s plan your family’s next great adventure.
Amazing Travel Teams
We are member of Absolutely Amazing Travel team. We love to travel and share our stories to help our clients to fulfill their vacation dreams come true.