Safe Travels: 7 Tips for Staying Safe while Traveling

“Safe Travels.”

You probably heard or said that phrase dozens of times. Usually the meaning behind it is simple – we hope your car won’t break, your flight will be uneventful, and nothing bad happens while you’re on your way. However, the phrase could also mean – I hope won’t encounter any natural or man-made disasters while you travel, be it a tsunami, an earthquake, or, recently, a terrorist attack.

Wherever and however you travel, you can make your travels safer with a few precautions.

I assume that you have already researched the destination where you’re going, whether on U.S. Department of State’s Country Information pages, or an equivalent site.

Here are a few other tips from me and my fellow travel bloggers on how to stay safe while traveling:

#1. Register Your Itinerary with a Government Agency

Susan from Gen X Traveler says: “I register my travels with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) program. That way our government know where to look for me if they need to evacuate Americans.”

Sally from Our 3 Kids v The World adds: “Australia has the same, it’s called Smarttraveller website. You fill in your itinerary & if anything thing happens our government will know where we are. The onus is on yourself to register your movements on the site.”

Canadian traveler Alouise from Take Me To The World, registers with Registration of Canadians Abroad.

Do a bit of research to see if your country offers such registration service. Continue reading Safe Travels: 7 Tips for Staying Safe while Traveling

#ThrowbackThursday: Our Travels (with Kids) 10 and 5 Years Ago

I’m lazy today and don’t want to write much 🙂 so I thought I’d share some of our photos from our travels ten and five years ago. Sometimes it’s really fun to go down the memory lane!

2006 February – Rabka, Poland

During February vacation in 2006 I took my son to Poland to spend some time with my parents. We went to Rabka, Poland, a small town popular with families because of its salt works (it’s a spa town).

My son had fun going sledding with my Dad:

Dziadek (Grandfather) and Wnuczek (grandson) having fun on the sled being pulled by the sleigh in Rabka, Poland, in 2006
Dziadek (Grandfather) and Wnuczek (grandson) having fun on the sled being pulled by the sleigh in Rabka, Poland, in 2006

Continue reading #ThrowbackThursday: Our Travels (with Kids) 10 and 5 Years Ago

Tips for a Fun December Weekend in Boston

Every December the Boston Ballet stages a production of The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House. I know it’s a tradition for some families to see the performance every year, but I wasn’t sure whether taking my daughter to see it made sense, because I was afraid she wasn’t mature enough to sit through the two-hour performance.

I was wrong.

This past December 2015, we were lucky to win two tickets to The Nutcracker through a WBUR raffle. (WBUR is a local National Public Radio station, my favorite station that I listen to every day.)

Continue reading Tips for a Fun December Weekend in Boston

Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016

I’d been thinking that 2015 was not the greatest year for me, travel and otherwise.

I didn’t get to do a long weekend trip to Montreal in 2015, as I was hoping to.

My husband and kids went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina without me, because I was crazy busy at work during the April school break.

Peter and the kids having a great time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while I worked
Peter and the kids having a great time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while I worked

Continue reading Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Beautiful Art in a Beautiful Building

Whenever I start my question with “Do you remember that museum we saw in …” my kids give me the look and reply “Which museum? You drag us to at least a couple museums every place we go to!”

But with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna it was different. I only had to say “Do you remember that museum in Vienna where we had lunch in this really nice round room, where Daddy waved to us from the hole in the ceiling up above?” and they knew exactly which place I was talking about.

My daughter replied with “Was it that place where they had a lot of Egyptian stuff? And all that gold?”

My son added “Was it the one where they had this big painting of a mountain that looked like a tower?”

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Yep, that’s the one.

Continue reading Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Thanks to a stranger… Stories of Strangers’ Kindness around the World

As our family gets ready for the annual holiday of Thanksgiving, probably the most important holiday in the U.S. because it’s celebrated by people of all faiths, I think back to a November more than twenty years ago, when my husband and I, married just three months prior, got stuck on I-89 in Vermont when our car broke down.

We had just visited my husbands’ parents in Vermont, and with a huge turkey they gave us slowly thawing in the trunk of our old station wagon, we were heading back to our apartment in Boston, to celebrate our first Thanksgiving together.

Our car broke down about half an hour after we got on the highway.

And it was raining.

That was before everyone had cell phones, and in those days if you broke down along a stretch of a highway far from the nearest emergency call box in cold November rain … Well… it wasn’t fun.

Continue reading Thanks to a stranger… Stories of Strangers’ Kindness around the World

because the world is too interesting to stay home