Tips for Traveling with Kids in Europe

When parents tell me they’re going to Europe and ask me where to take their kids, I’m tempted to answer, “to Grandma and Grandpa’s on your way to the airport.” It’s easy to make the case against taking the kids along. A European vacation with kids in tow is much more about playgrounds and petting zoos than about museums and churches. And traveling with kids is expensive. Out of exhaustion and frustration, you may opt for pricey conveniences like taxis and the first restaurant you find with a kid-friendly menu.…

Seals the deal: a winter wander on the Lincolnshire coast

At first all we see is a pale blob, but as we approach it resolves into a bundle of thick white fur – a week-old seal pup. Black-eyed and sleepy-looking, it lolls on the tussocky sand of north Lincolnshire’s Donna Nook nature reserve a few metres from its mother, who appears to be doing her best to ignore it. “She’s just given it a good feed and she’s having a break,” says Peter, one of the volunteer wardens who patrol the reserve year-round, but especially at pupping time. Peter tells…

City safari: overnight with wolves and monkeys in Bristol

It’s early evening and the gates to the wildlife park have been closed to the public. All is quiet, except for birdsong, the gentle rustling of wind in the trees and an occasional excited shriek from a gelada monkey. We (my six-year-old daughter Nell and husband Huw) are gathered around a fire pit along with four other families who are trying out Camp Baboon, a new night-time wildlife and bushcraft experience at the Wild Place Project, a satellite venture run by Bristol Zoo. The 125-acre estate – which once belonged…

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling: accidents, illness, missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die. Each traveler’s potential loss varies, depending on how much of your trip is prepaid, the refundability of the air ticket you purchased, your state of health, the value of your luggage, where you’re traveling, the financial health of your tour company and airline, and what coverage you already have (through your medical insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, and/or…

Encountering Racism in Europe

People who are not of European descent may worry about how they’ll be treated abroad. In short, does it matter that you look different from most Europeans? I’ve collected the following advice from a wide range of people of color who have lived or traveled extensively in Europe. First off, your Americanness will probably be more notable to the Europeans you meet than the color of your skin. Most Europeans can spot Americans a mile away. And, because American culture is pervasive worldwide, any stereotypes Europeans might have about your…

Getting Your Travel Documents Together

Your trip won’t get off the ground if you don’t prepare your documents — passport, student and hostel cards, rail pass, international driving permit — well before your departure date. Give yourself plenty of lead time. Passports In much of Europe, the only document a US or Canadian citizen needs is a passport. (The US Passport Card works only for those driving or cruising to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.) And for most American travelers, the only time any customs official looks at you seriously is at the airport…

Europe Trip Itinerary Tips

Turning a wish list into a day-by-day itinerary for your European vacation isn’t just smart, it’s fun. Filling in the blanks between the flight out and the flight home is one of the more pleasurable parts of trip planning. It’s armchair travel that turns into real travel. I never start a trip without having every day planned out. Your reaction to an itinerary may be, “Hey, won’t my spontaneity and freedom suffer?” Not necessarily. Although I always begin a trip with a well-thought-out plan, I maintain my flexibility and make…

Savvy Senior Travelers

More people than ever are hocking their rockers and buying plane tickets. Many senior adventurers are proclaiming, “Age matters only if you’re a cheese.” Travel is their fountain of youth. I’m not a senior — yet — so I polled my readers via my Travel Forums, asking seniors to share their advice. Thanks to the many who responded, here’s a summary of top tips from seniors who believe it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. When to Go If you’re retired and can travel whenever you want, it’s…

Why travellers should donate Asia Miles to fight wildlife crime – former Cathay Pacific captain’s campaign

Former Cathay Pacific captain Paul McIntosh has been fundraising to support wildlife conservation in Africa since the 1980s. Now he is calling on travellers from Hong Kong and beyond to donate their extra miles to the protection of some of Africa’s most endangered species, at Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. SCMP Today: Intl Edition Get updates direct to your inbox E-mail * By registering you agree to our T&Cs & Privacy Policy “There are 10 million Asia Miles members,” he says. “And nobody spends all of their miles. You spend some…

When to Go to Europe: Timing Your Trip

Some people have flexible enough jobs and lifestyles to cherry-pick when to take their vacations, but many others have less choice. Fortunately, Europe welcomes visitors 365 days a year — and each season offers a different ambience and experience. In travel-industry jargon, the year is divided into three seasons: peak season (roughly mid-June through August), shoulder season (April through mid-June and September through October), and off-season (November through March). Each has its pros and cons. Regardless of when you go, if your objective is to “meet the people,” you’ll find…

5 Travel Tips from Fabulous Fitness Instructors

When you’re on the go, it may be easy to get off track in terms of your health and fitness. As stressful holiday travel comes up, here are a few tips to help you keep control of your eating and moving habits. Personally, I like to use the hotel towel or yoga mat to stretch in the morning and enjoy walking. I’ve also load up on lots of local fruit!  When on vacation, I make sure to sweat before breakfast. I will find my little spot and switch up between…

Tips on safe traveling with man’s best friend

Field dogs do their part on a road trip by being good listeners, taking the blame for occasional foul odors in the cab and being eager for any hiking, hunting, fishing or camping situation we drive them to regardless of the weather or time of day. Our job as owners of active dogs is to take care of them. A little preparation can make a big difference in the pleasure of the trip. It can also help assure that your favorite traveling companion returns home with you if something goes…