Contents

A family camping trip with kids is a lot of work but also a lot of fun and the more prepared you are the better time you and your kids will have. Here are 20 quick and easy ways to entertain children every minute while on a family camping vacation.

Family Camping: How To Have Better Family Camping Trips

Family Camping:  How To Have Better Family Camping TripsCopyright 2006 Karin ManningIf you can put up with being asked Are we there yet? precisely 57 times on the way, you can be assured that you and your children can have the experience of a lifetime camping together.A family camping trip with kids is a lot of work but also a lot of fun and the more prepared you are the better time you and your kids will have.Here are 20 quick and easy ways to entertain children every minute while on a "family camping" vacation.1. Hold a selection of secret treasures in a surprise box. Add one or two new ones every day for added enjoyment.2. Take your video camera. If you dont have on then think about hiring one.3. Teach your children about bush survival and safety around the camp site. Encourage help with meal preparation but always supervise them around the fire as it is a very dangerous place.4. Always bring a bug jar.5. Bring along some toy zoo animals and let your children create their own zoo in the wild.6. Bring some glow in the dark necklaces and torches. Bring along glow sticks for night lights. If your children are scared of the dark then tie a glow stick from the top of your tent.7. Bring a constellation chart and try and find different stars at night.8. Bring along scrabble, memory games and a deck of cards.9. Create a scavenger hunt.10. Have a nature hike giving each child a list of items to collect.11. Have a flashlight dance in the spotlight.12. Allocate one soft small bag per child to put their favourite items in like colouring books, pencils, reading books, etc.13. Have a special childrens tape handy in the car for just that moment when the car (heaven forbid) breaks down, your tyre goes flat, or you get stuck in a traffic jam.14. Let your children be involved in the planning and if they see places theyd like to go to or explore think of their needs as well. The more well-rounded your trip is the more fun every member of your family will have as a whole. Remember, this is a time for family togetherness so as long as you are together thats the main thing.15. Bring along a pack of pipe cleaners which amuse kids for hours. They can turn them into numbers, letters, animals, bugs etc. Theyre only limited by their imagination.16. Let each child create a little camp diary where they can do drawings, write stories, stick in pictures, glue in pieces of nature, etc.17. Get your children involved by collecting water, grating cheese, setting the picnic blanket, collecting firewood, washing the vegetables, etc. You can even create a little competition and split chores into groups and keep a tally for your whole trip.18. Bring along a couple of flashlights for some after dark exploring. Remember at night there is a whole different world of wildlife out there.19. Keep teenagers happy by letting them bring Game Boys, walkmans, their favourite books and magazines, etc. Teenagers are renowned for wanting to spend time alone so let them. Theyll usually come out when theyve had enough of their own company and if theyve done something they wanted to do theres less chance that theyll whinge (hopefully).20. Allow each member of the family to choose a meal and help fix it.

Poker Hands: Best and Worse Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

Poker Hands: Best and Worse Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

The basic poker lesson is when to hold and when to fold. Knowing whether your initial deal is worth staying in the game or if you should call it a day, is one of the most important decisions to make at the beginning of the poker game. One of the most common beginners mistakes is holding onto the worst pair of hole cards instead of folding and protecting your money. Therefore, if you are a novice poker player, one of the first things you should memorize is which initial hands are worth holding and which hands leaves you no choice but to fold. Since Texas Holdem is the most popular poker variation, here you can find lists of the best and the worth Holdem poker starting hands. Best Poker HandsIf you are lucky to be dealt one of these initial hands, you are definitely having an excellent beginning:Pair of Aces: as known as American Airlines or pocket rockets, it is the best possible "Texas Holdem" starting hand.Pair of Kings: not as good as a pair of Aces but still an excellent way to open a game of Texas Holdem.Pair of Queens: if you want to look at the bright side, you will be beaten only by Kings and Aces. Ace and King: if they are of the same suit, your condition is even better, since you can form the nut flush at ease.Pair of Jacks: unless the flop shows either a Queen, King or an Ace, you have decent chances of winning with this promising starting hand.Ace and Queen: the same as Ace and King, a suited hand would increase your chances of stepping out as a winner.King and Queen: unless the community cards contain an Ace, you are in a good shape with this starting hand and even better if it is suitedAce and Jack: even if appears unsuited, this starting hand is still worth holding.King and Jack: still one of the best Texas Holdem starting hands, but be careful with it, especially when unsuited.Ace and Ten: the Ace upgrades it to a pretty good hand, although requires a cautious play since it can be beaten by any of the starting hands mentioned above.Worst Poker HandsThese hands would suit you well if you play some of the lowball variations, but if you play traditional Texas Holdem poker, the best advice would be to fold.2 and 7: if you are dealt this hand, especially unsuited, you cannot even make a straight. Even if suited you should be so lucky to form a low flush or the lowest pair. In one word: fold.2 and 8: same as the previous hand; pair of 8s is still a low pair.3 and 7: although it can beat the previous hands, it still a worthless pair of cards3 and 8: again, hardly even a low straight.2 and 6: only if the community cards will feature 3, 4 and 5, you will have a chance of forming a straight. However, do not count on it, especially if there are more than 3 attendances in the game.2 and 9: thanks to the presence of the 9 you are in better shape than with the former hands, still you cannot form a straight and even a pair of 9s would be beaten by pairs of 10s, Jacks, Queens, etc.3 and 9: the same thing: higher than 8 lower than almost any other hand.4 and 9: as mentioned above; foldem.2 and 10: even though Doyle Brunson had won two WSOP bracelets with this starting hand, unless you have the talent and experience of Brunson, do not hold this hand.5 and 9: also known as Dolly Parton, this hand would get you nowhere near the final table.

The Lighthouse Hotel, Llandudno, United Kingdom

The Lighthouse Hotel, Llandudno, United Kingdom

Providing panoramic views across the Irish Sea, the Lighthouse hotel is a wonderful maritime relic offering accommodation of a rather unusual nature.Built in 1862, the Lighthouse warned the passing ships of the dangers of the North Wales coastline, offering safe passage for many a brave seaman.These days the Lighthouse is more interested in its guests than the passing sailors, converted during its lifetime from a great beacon into a guesthouse.The hotel resides on the rugged North Wales coast in the seaside resort of Llandudno. The nearest airport is Manchester International approximately 1.5 hours drive from the west.Sat perilously atop the limestone cliffs, the Lighthouse towers over the Irish Sea some 100 meters, its fortress-like construction standing sentinel over the rushing waters deep below.The hotel boasts three guestrooms, each commanding magnificent views. To the north rests the Isle of Man, and to the south sits Puffin Island.With the beacon removed, the glass panelled lamp room is now a dramatic lounge for its guests, with striking panoramic views across the ocean.The room is decorated early twentieth-century; its beautiful wooden chairs adorned with red upholstery and matching cushions, a wonderful throwback to the days when the building was more concerned with the safety of passing vessels.By the window rests a small telescope, available to all who wish to seek the more modern frigates of today.But the room really comes into its own of an evening. On a clear day the sunsets can be awe-inspiring, a romantic prelude to evening dinner.A short walk will take you into the town of Llandudno. Popular with the British tourists, Llandudno is the quintessential seaside resort of the UK.The ever popular amusement arcades keep the youngsters occupied while the adults can spend in the busy shopping streets.Away from the tourist spots are some lovely walks atop the rugged cliffs. Inspiration maybe for a certain Lewis Carroll who wrote part of his Alice In Wonderland around these here parts.

How to Be Prepared for Anything

How to Be Prepared for Anything

Your vacation is planned, youre packed, but do you have everything youll need? If you were going on a road trip, it would be wise to download a map and directions to any destinations you arent familiar with. Some overseas trips require a visa and immunizations. You can leave for your vacation with confidence and prepared for anything just by taking a few precautions and hints.Dont over pack. Know what your route is, and what youll be doing when you get to your destination. If you know there will be dressy events, bring a fancy outfit. If you know youll be casual all the way, then why bother? Know the climate of your destination. If you are going to the desert, is it necessary to carry an umbrella? Its probably not. If its warm in the day and much cooler at night, consider layers that you can add or take off to adjust to the changing temperatures. Do your packing around a main coordinating color. Neutral colors, black, or khaki are colors that you can dress up or down, add color, and accessorize for different days or unexpected events. Remember darker colors and prints are less likely to show dirt.Choose your clothes carefully. Select several different layers and colors that will pack easily. Make sure these items can be washed and dried quickly. Avoid taking bulky sweaters and heavy coats if several layers will be enough. You can always add different belts, jewelry, or scarves to change the looks of an outfit.Never take more than five or six changes of clothes. Make them interchangeable and durable and you will save space and have room for an article of clothing you might find while on vacation.Packing for a child is similar to packing for an adult. One step you might want to consider is putting each outfit into a large zipper close bag so its easy for your child to choose which outfit he or she wants to wear. Let your child pack a small backpack with a few favorite toys and snacks that he can carry himself. Dont make it too heavy and let him or her know that they are responsible for keeping track of it. Slip in a few treats or surprises that will make your child happy during your trip. If your child will only go to sleep with a favorite toy in his hand, be sure you dont forget that!Always be prepared with any medications they might need. If you know your child is prone to asthma attacks, be sure to bring the inhaler or breathing treatment machine. If your child had allergies to anything, bring the antidote; it may save you worry and a trip to an unfamiliar emergency room.Electronic toys should be picked with care. Choose the ones where the sound can be turned off or earphones can be used. If you are traveling with a preteen or teenager, you may want to pack their personal CD player, or iPod with their own choice of music to keep them happy.Some basic packing tips to remember are, stuff socks in your extra pairs of shoes; underwear in side pockets or mesh bags and protect clothes from leaks by placing all toiletry items in plastic bags.From experience, if you are on medications and you are flying, always pack your medications, a change of underwear, toothbrush, and paste, and make up in a carry on bag and take it with you. Once youve lost your luggage once, youll know this is one of the most important tips I could give you.Avoid packing important items such as travel documents, medication, keys, cameras, money, or other valuables in suitcases. On flights Ive been on recently, I wasnt allowed to lock our suitcases because of security risks. That also leaves your suitcase open to anyone who might want to check it out. Be prepared for anything that might come along on your vacation, it could be an unexpected cold spell, an unexpected earache or cold or maybe luggage that gets to your destination a day later then you do. It will save you several headaches if youve planned.

Boutique City Hotels

Finding a good hotel from the hundreds that populate the worlds biggest cities can be a daunting task, and choosing the wrong one can ruin your trip.Staying in a city gives you the opportunity to sample some of the best historical, cultural and cosmopolitan offerings in the world. From modern art galleries to internationally-famous theatres; exquisite cuisine to early-morning clubbing, a city experience is what you make of it, and part of that experience is the hotel.No matter which city youre visiting, it pays to choose your hotel carefully. If you been there before, then you can take the time to enjoy what the hotel has to offer; if its your first trip, then use the hotels expert knowledge to plan your days and nights during your stay. Choosing a city boutique offers you:A great location city boutiques are usually right where you want them to be; in the heart of the city. They may be round the corner from the most fashionable shopping area, next door to museums and art galleries or in the middle of the theatre district. Theres no need to spend a fortune on taxis or public transport because your hotels on the outskirts of town, and you can have a late breakfast and then move back and forth between the hotel depending on your days plans.Traditional buildings because these hotels are in central locations, they are often in fantastic buildings. From old townhouses to converted banks or offices, the building that houses the hotel is one of the main attractions and when the design is based around the original function of the building, retaining original features, the guest feels more at home than in a hotel, even in the middle of the city.Activities most modern cities have something going on twenty four hours a day, and chic boutique hotels are well placed to give you access to everything thats happening. Local knowledge and established contacts mean that the hotel can help you organise day-trips, theatre visits or restaurant bookings amongst many other activities.Whether youre visiting a city for business or pleasure, choosing to stay in a boutique hotel is one way to ensure that the whole visit is a pleasure.

Travel in the United States since the terrorist attacks of 9/11: How have things changed?

Long gone are the days when an airline passenger is able to go straight to the gate and catch their flight. As you all know, the way we think about travel has been profoundly changed by the events of Sept. 11 and their aftermath. These shifts have had a practical and psychological impact on all of us. Most of these changes have taken place in the airline industry although other parts of the travel industry and the nation as a whole have been forced to adjust also. Immediately after Sept. 11, as you know, travel was drastically reduced virtually across the planet. In the past year, it has been steadily picking up. However, in most cases, it has not reached pre-September 11 levels. Domestic travel In the United States has recovered much more quickly than international travel. In fact, domestic travel has been very strong this summer, with some destinations such as the national parks are reporting record breaking numbers of visitors. International travel has been picking up too, but more slowly. Recently, more people are beginning to plan international trips again.How has Sept. 11 affected the traveler? Well, many of you are no doubt familiar with the practical changes that have come about after 9-11. These have especially impacted air travelers. Airport security is much tighter. Access is much more rigorously restricted. Long lines are visible inside terminals and sometimes along the sidewalks outside the airport buildings. In short, you have to wait longer and in more lines than you used to. As a result, whether you are flying domestically or internationally, it is necessary to arrive at airports earlier than before, and make sure that all your documents are in order. One of the more drastic changes is that all security screeners at United States airports have been professionally trained. Passengers carry on items are passed through an X-ray machine where they are checked for what in todays terms are considered dangerous items such as knives, corkscrews, etc. Until just recently, scissors were considered a threatening item. They are now allowed in carry-on bags as long as they are no more than 4" at blade length. Screeners are now more frequently performing random searches of baggage and performing passenger pat downs. 100% of all checked baggage is checked for explosives and other dangerous items. Now all passengers are required to go to the ticket counter before check in. Passengers must have some form of government issued ID such as a state drivers license or passport. If you do not have ID, you are not getting on an airplane. Most airports allow only ticketed passengers to go to the departing gate, and you now have to walk quite a stretch before your loved ones can greet you upon arrival.Even the airplanes themselves are more secure. After 9/11, when the Department of Homeland Security was put into place, they were given the task of performing vulnerability assessments on over 75 of the United States major airports and actual airline security systems. As a result, every US larger passenger aircraft has now been equipped with hardened cockpit doors. Thousands of federal air marshals were assigned to flights in order to help ensure the safety of passengers, and to guard against terrorist acts. We have just recently witnessed an unfortunate event where a person on an aircraft claiming to have a bomb was shot by an air marshal. Make no mistake about it; these security measures are very serious.Psychologically, the changes have been profound. Americans are skittish travelers, and they tend to somewhat indiscriminately lump together vast portions of the world. After Sept. 11, they have tended to avoid travel to any country in the Middle East and much of Asia, as well as India and Pakistan. For the traveler, one of the results of travel in a post-9/11 world is that you need to be better informed about your destination. It is a good idea to read up on the places you are planning to visit, to understand their history, laws, cultures, customs and current conditions. The more you know about your destination, the better prepared you will be to anticipate problems that could have been avoided.Changes within the travel insurance industry as well have taken place as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Currently some travel insurance companies provide coverage for terrorist attacks committed in the United States of America such as CSA Travel Protection (http://www.csatravelprotection.com). Prior to 9/11, travel insurance only covered terrorist attacks committed overseas. Along with the travel insurance industry the methods Americans use to plan their trips have changed because of 9/11. More than 60% of US vacationers are now using the Internet to plan their vacations either alone or with assistance of a professional travel agent. Americans had already known about travel information and travel business on the Internet prior to September 11th, but many more began to utilize it after the attacks. A lot of online travel deals became available from airline companies and hotels desperate to regain business directly after 9/11. It soon became widely known that great travel deals were available online. Many comprehensive or all-inclusive packages have become popular due to value-added offers that have enticed many Americans to re-evaluate and re-adjust their take on travel. With the proper planning and contextual awareness, traveling can be enjoyable againAlthough the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are in no way seen as something positive, these same horrific events have lead to many improvements to the safety and security of travel within the United States. Some of these new security practices may seem like an inconvenience but they have been set up to ensure the safety and continuity of American and friendly foreign travelers traumatized by the events of September 11th.

Summary

A family camping trip with kids is a lot of work but also a lot of fun and the more prepared you are the better time you and your kids will have. Here are 20 quick and easy ways to entertain children every minute while on a family camping vacation.