Three Time-Saving Travel Tips

If travel can be likened to living, then not even a minute should go to waste. Undoubtedly, somewhere along the line, valuable time does get hung up on the logistics of travel. But there are ways to minimize your losses. Here are three time-saving travel tips.

1. Find a Quality Hotel Close to Your Tourist Activities

You won’t believe the amount of time you save by booking a hotel that is centrally located! Instead of spending long commutes in the car to and from activities, you’ll cut down on travel time simply by choosing a hotel nearby. Another way to save time is to prioritize hotel quality when it comes to booking. When you secure a hotel that meets your comfort standards, you won’t have to waste vacation time moving to a new hotel, or staying awake all night because of your room conditions. You’ll get restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a full day of fun.

2. Get a Rental Car

Although public transportation and popular ride-sharing services may save money, they don’t always save time. Both options also have limitations based on location and time of day. To save time, consider getting a rental car. To start, you’ll be able to hop right off the plane and get started on the road to your hotel. This same convenience will present itself time and time again throughout your trip. You’ll never experience the time-loss of waiting around for someone to pick you up and all the time saved can be used for more important things: your vacation!

3. Make Reservations Ahead of Time

Don’t waste precious vacation time deciding what to do or waiting in line for tickets. Spend all the time you need at home thoroughly researching all the hotspots. Once you settle on your vacation activities, pay for the tickets and book all your events before you ever set foot in your home away from home. Using this method, you can even make dinner reservations at the city’s best restaurants, or take the opportunity to buy fast passes to skip the lines at amusement parks. Because you are doing things in advance, you have plenty of options.  

When traveling, every minute counts. Travel should be about enjoying your experience, not spending most of your time waiting around or getting from point a to point b. So, before you set out on your next trip, use these three tips during your planning process to help save some time. You’ll be glad you did! 

Ryder and Nicole EricksonThree Time-Saving Travel Tips
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Cool & Fun Outdoor Tours Around the United States

Are you an avid traveler in need of a new way to check out the sites? Do you love the idea of being one with nature? If so, an outdoor tour may be exactly what you’re looking for. There’s no reason that all vacations must fit into a cookie cutter mold of lounging beach-side, visiting museums or taste testing foreign foods. The adventure doesn’t have to stop where the street ends. For every mode of transportation, there is a tour to match. Pick your favorite landscape and see which unconventional tour sounds the most fun to you.  

Desert Tour

Desert tours are in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. These tours give vacationers up close views of expansive mountain ranges, picturesque sunsets and a vast variety of wildlife. Guide-led group tours by foot, helicopter, all terrain vehicles, horse, jeep and segways are all available to the public.

Swamp Tour

Swamp tours can be found in bayous of Louisiana and the everglades of Florida. Most tours take place on an airboat. On your tour you will see native wildlife while learning about the ecosystem and history of the land. Under the watchful eye of experienced guides, travelers revel in the unique thrill of catching glimpses of alligators up close.

Boat Tour

Boat tours span across the country in almost any state that has large bodies of water within or nearby. Boat tours include steamboats, cruise ships, jet boats, river boats and canoes. These tours typically showcase the surrounding scenery, its history and interesting facts about the area. On larger boats and ships, dinner is sometimes served as well.

A few notable boat tours are:

Antelope Canyon Boat Tour of Arizona

San Antonio River Walk Tour of Texas

Architecture Boat Tour of Illinois

Maid of the Mist Tour of New York

Hawaii Glass Bottom Boat Tours of Honolulu

Helicopter Tour

Because helicopter tours take place in the air, they have few limitations and are available is almost any location. Helicopter tours are popular because travelers enjoy soaking in the breathtaking, bird’s eye views of cities and landmarks they’ve never seen from a different perspective. One caveat to keep in mind is hot air balloon tours similarly offer majestic views from the sky, but don’t typically travel as far or fast as helicopters can.

Cave Tour

Many southwestern states have hundreds of caves just waiting to be explored. But caves aren’t exclusive only to desert terrain. The tropical land of Hawaii offers tours of caves and caverns in the form of lava tubes. Three thousand miles away in Alaska, caves are a shocking shade of blue and formed completely from ice. You can travel to the midwest to find the Rushmore Cave of South Dakota. Depending on which climate you choose to explore, caves can contain bats, mammals, insects, reptiles and much more.

Next time you sit down to plan a vacation, remember to include outdoor tours in your brainstormed list. These tours stretch across various temperature zones, terrain types and vacation goals. No matter your preference, there’s guaranteed to be a tour that meets your needs. When researching, spend a few extra minutes to learn the physical demands, cost and duration of your tour of choice. Once you’ve locked in one, bring your camera along and let the memory making begin.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonCool & Fun Outdoor Tours Around the United States
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Five Tips to Stress Free Travel With Young Children

One of the best parts about having children is the opportunity to visit new places and show your children the world. However, many parents run and hide at the mere thought of navigating an airport and flying with young children. Traveling with children can be very overwhelming, but with focused planning, direction and a little bit of experience, flying with young ones will seem much more manageable. Although there is no way to say you won’t have any turbulence ahead, these tips will hopefully help you to avoid a mile-high meltdown.

Choose Your Flight Time Wisely

One of the easiest and most helpful travel tips for families is to thoughtfully choose your flights based on your children’s needs. If possible, plan to fly around your little one’s nap time—Ideally, they would stick to their schedule and then sleep while on the flight. Also if there is a direct flight option, take it. By avoiding layovers it will simplify the entire travel process for you, require less planning on your end, and eliminates the stress of rushing to catch your connection.

Prepare Your Supply Bag

It is easy to overpack a diaper bag, or carry-on suitcase with who knows what, but when traveling with children it is essential to pack the right supplies for in-flight needs. The supply bag includes diapers and wipes, and two changes of clothes in case of an accident. Also be sure to bring hand sanitizer and wipes to avoid germs that live on planes. Bring any medications your child may need in your supply bag rather than checking it in case the luggage gets lost. Bring lots of mess-free snacks like crackers, and a spill-proof cup for each child. It is better to be over-prepared with supplies than at 30,000 feet without a clean diaper for your little one, so keep the length of the flight and total time to your final destination after the flight in mind when determining your supply quantities.

Engaging Entertainment

You may feel the need to pack your children’s entire playroom for a plane flight, but if you strategically plan and select toys and entertainment for the kids, you will be just fine. The key is to entertain and engage your child. Bring wrapped surprises for each child, such as a new toy car or mini doll. When you board the plane, ask the flight attendant for some plastic cups that the kids can stack and play with. Choose toys that last a while like coloring books, stickers, lace-up toys, etc. If your child is old enough, ask them to pack their own backpack with their toy choices for the flight. Be sure to load up any tablets with lots of videos for longer flights. And finally, use your children to entertain each other. Ask older children to help with their younger siblings—this will keep both busy and occupied with each other.

Minimize Carry-On’s

Depending on how many children you have, you may have your hands full without even carrying any actual baggage. Now add all the carry-on luggage, car seats, strollers, and maybe an infant in there and you probably won’t even be able to get from the car to the check-in desk without falling over yourself. With that said, it is best to check anything and everything that you can so that you can be as hands-free as possible. Most airlines allow you to check up to one stroller and one car seat per child at no additional cost. If your child is small enough, use an ergonomic carrier or wrap to hold your child. They even allow you to “wear” your babies through security which is a huge plus. If you opt for the stroller route for younger kids, swap out your heavy-duty wheels for a smaller, travel-friendly stroller that can be easily gate-checked. Your most important responsibility is getting your children from point A to point B, and that is much easier accomplished by only bringing the necessities.

You’ve Got This

No matter how hard you try to prepare for flying with children, things still happen. A baby may cry, drinks might get spilled all over the seats, and the iPad might die mid-flight. Take a deep breath, and keep your cool because it is all ok. Let’s be honest, crying from babies is toddlers is pretty much inevitable, and although you may think the passengers around you would throw you out mid-flight because your little one is upset, they won’t. Most people have been there before and get it. As long as you are doing your best to console, and diffuse the situation, the majority will understand.

Having children shouldn’t limit your travel opportunities, it should encourage them. They always say the hardest part is just getting there, but that doesn’t mean getting there has to be so hard. If you plan ahead, thoughtfully pack, and prep for the journey ahead, traveling with young children will be stress-free and enjoyable for the whole family.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonFive Tips to Stress Free Travel With Young Children
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3 Tips For Traveling With Your Spouse

There are few things more romantic than traveling to a faraway destination, running away from reality, and exploring a new part of the world with your spouse. Travel compatibility is a must for any travel partner, which makes your spouse the perfect travel companion given that your spouse is likely the person you are most compatible with in the whole world. Not to mention, a different level of growth, development, and bonding is possible when traveling, so traveling with your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your relationship.  Read on to find out some tips to make your next trip with your spouse the best it can be!

Be prepared to compromise

This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the very essence of marriage is built on love and sacrifice. When it comes to travel, make sure the two of you are open to each other’s ideas and take turns when deciding where to eat, what to do, and where to stay. Before you leave for your trip, make sure you are both on the same page as to how decisions will be made when you’re on your trip. Staying open and remaining flexible is the recipe for a successful trip no matter where you go.

Get creative with your activities

Look for activities you wouldn’t be able to do at home and are always more fun with a partner to do them with. Maybe it’s learning to cook pasta from scratch in a small town in Italy or riding in a hot air balloon above Napa Valley’s beautiful landscape. Whatever you choose, be sure you both agree you wouldn’t be able to have the same experience if you were back at home.

Plan enough time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate

While it’s always a good idea to take advantage of whatever your location offers, make sure you schedule in some downtime in between activities. A nap on the beach or a spa day at the resort are perfect options, but if your hotel bed is calling your name, that’s just as acceptable. Your bodies and your moods will thank you later! Sometimes there truly isn’t anything more comforting than just relaxing with the one you love most anyways.

Traveling with your spouse is one of the best ways to grow your relationship and your love for each other. Follow these tips for the best trip yet!

Ryder and Nicole Erickson3 Tips For Traveling With Your Spouse
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How Travel Makes You a Better Person

When you stay in one spot, you get comfortable. You learn the ins and outs of your home, and you never want to leave. You feel safe. But, just like a plant relegated to an adequate pot, you never get to grow beyond your allotted space. When you travel beyond the confines of your comfort zone, you inevitably become a better person. You see the world from new perspectives; you learn things about yourself you wouldn’t have otherwise, and most of all, you grow in ways you could never have anticipated.

It’s undeniable: travel just makes you a better person.

Travel Forces You to Adopt New Perspectives

Traveling to a country you’ve never been to before forces you to adopt new perspectives you might never have considered before. The people you’ll meet will, no doubt, have a different way of looking at the world than you do.

The beauty of intercultural exchanges is that everyone involved leaves with a broader sense of the universe.

Travel Helps You Learn About Yourself

Even if you learn nothing about the way other cultures operate—which would be a real shame—travel helps you to learn about the one person you’ll definitely spend the rest of your life with: yourself.

When you’re without your metaphorical safety net, you get the chance to explore who really you are. Traveling to a place where no one knows you allows you to be a more authentic version of yourself—a version that doesn’t care what other people think.

Travel Lets You Grow in Amazing Ways

Let’s say you’re dropped in the middle of Sri Lanka. You know nothing about their culture. You have a vague conception of their history, and you know maybe one word in their native tongue—and it’s probably, “Hello.”

In order to get around, you have to be able to communicate in other ways. You have to have the fortitude to stretch outside of your comfort zone. If you’re an introvert, you’ll have to break out of that shell of yours. And, if you’re an extrovert, you may have to temper your outgoing tendencies to go with the flow. Either way, you’ll be growing in amazing ways. You’ll leave having learned so much about yourself, your surroundings, and the people whose lives you’ve touched.

Travel doesn’t force you to grow or change; really, it just allows you to expand your personal horizons.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonHow Travel Makes You a Better Person
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