Author: Stacey Goodale
Family Travel Specialist
Taking your children on their first overseas trip to Europe may seem like a challenge, but with a little planning, you and your family can have a wonderful experience.
Consider making a packet of fun worksheets about the country to which you are visiting. Although many planes have wifi, it is best to pre download any movies or apps on your devices and don’t forget your portable charger. Bring lots of snacks, too! Airplane food may not cut it when it comes to keeping your kids’ stomachs full and happy.
Barcelona is an amazing and vibrant city that is definitely worth adding to your wanderlist! Its architecture spans over 2000 years and includes its renowned modernist buildings inspired by Antoni Gaudi. This fantastic architecture, combined with the charm of the city's trendy restaurants, narrow winding pedestrian streets, and the sunny Southern Spanish climate and beaches, makes Barcelona an excellent vacation destination. Just be sure to consult a knowledgeable travel adviser who can help you to find a legitimate vacation accommodation that best suits your needs.
The proliferation of illegal apartment rentals has forced the city of Barcelona to go after popular apartment rental sites like Airbnb and Homeaway for allowing unlicensed properties to be rented on their websites. This is a matter of quality of life for the local citizens. Since landlords can earn five times as much renting to tourists rather than residents, sharp rent increases have driven residents out and the city center has become depopulated. The Barcelona City Council considers this irresponsible
by Stacey Goodale
Let’s face it— when most of us think of a Disney vacation we think long lines, overcrowded and hot parks, screaming kids and character meet and greets with Mickey, Minnie and lots of princesses.
What you probably don’t think of is an after-hours tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, private tour at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for a behind the scenes peek at pandas in their natural habitats, or glamping in style in a luxury tent in Yellowstone.
Yet, these are just a few of the unique offerings that Disney has with their Adventures by Disney Vacations that will keep you away from the long lines and crowded parks and have your kids screaming with excitement instead.
These 5-star vacations provide culturally immersive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that prove all vacations are not created equal. What makes an Adventures by Disney trip unique is the care and attention that is put into every aspect of your vacation from the moment you start.
Each Adventures by Disney trip includes 2 Adventure Guides, along with local experts, that ensure that you and your family become a part of the story. These guides give you a sense of connection to the people, culture and traditions of your destination. During an Adventures By Disney vacation, you don’t just see the sights, you participate in local traditions and activities. You can greet buddhist monks at a traditional “alms gathering” rite or paint boomerangs with the aboriginal Tjapukai tribe in Australia.
Each trip offers both guided time and time to tour on your own, as well as separate activities for kids and adults. Everything from your hotels and luggage, to your transportation and admissions is taken care of so that you can focus on the experience rather than the travel details. Because these trips carry the weight of the Disney name, you’ll bypass lines, have unique and unexpected experiences and personal attention that other small group tours can’t offer you.
Adventures by Disney has tours within to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America, as well as European River and Ocean cruises. Take an African Safari to see the Big 5, hike to Machu Picchu in Peru, dive into the refreshing waters of the Aegean, or mush your sled across the snow with an Iditarod dog sled tour. With Disney constantly adding destinations, you're sure to find one that is right for you.
Don’t have children? Or just want to get away on your own? Adventures by Disney offers adult-only itineraries to many of their destinations.
Right now Disney is offering a Book Early and Save for 2019 promotion.
Contact Stacey Goodale for more information on how you can book one of these exceptional vacation adventures!
Enlighten Excursions just added a new link to the Passport section on our trip information page.
If, like me, you geek out about great new resources you’re going to love this new online tool that answers the title question: Do you need a visa to go there?
Actually, for all those questions that we explorers have about visa requirements when traveling from country to country, or with foreign travel companions, we can now consult Passport Index an awesome online resource.
Let’s face it, Visa regulations are not always straightforward and every individual’s situation can be different and sometimes confusing. Passport Index tools can assist you in understanding what type of visa preparation you’ll need to embark upon in order to minimize your travel surprises.
Using Your Smartphone Overseas
I recently had to figure this out on my own while traveling to France and Turkey, so I hope this article saves you a wee bit of research. While traveling around the US very few of us ever think about the antenna, or radio system, on our smartphones. But unless your phone has a GSM band antenna it is probably not going to work overseas.
GSM which stands for global system for mobile communications, is the most popular mobile phone standard worldwide. According to PC Magazine, in the US currently AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM band. Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular use the code division multiple access band or CDMA.
GSM carriers put customer information on a removable sim card. So if your GSM phone is unlocked, then you can purchase a sim card once you arrive overseas and place it in your phone. Until you get your new sim card keep your phone on airplane mode to avoid international charges.
What you are doing specifically when you buy a sim overseas is buying a daily or monthly plan on a local network in your overseas location and registering your phone on that network. This means however, that people won't be able to reach you at your regular phone number, but you will be able to use your phone to reach them if necessary and to search the net, send and receive email depending on what plan you buy.
If you are committed to keeping your CDMA phone, but want to stay connected while traveling then you may want to buy a basic unlocked gsm phone at a store or online in the US, that only calls and texts. Currently these cost $25 and up. You can even opt for a basic gsm android phone for between $100-200 if you want to access your favorite apps etc while traveling. Either way, once you do this then you can buy and register a local sim card in your overseas' destination airport or city and be ready to go.