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Travel To Tahiti with Kids

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When most people think Tahiti, they think “honeymoons”.  Actually there’s a lot to see and do for kids as well, especially on Tahiti Nui (the main island) and Moorea.  On the less touristy/popular islands, it’s mostly going to be about playing in the pool, on the beach, snorkeling, paddling, etc. and there will be fewer guided tours and activities.  

For the most part, you can get by with just English, although I’d recommend learning “hello” (“Ia Orana”) and “thank you” (“Mauruuru”) – you’ll get a nice positive response from the locals for trying (no matter how badly you butcher the language!).  If you speak French, you’ll find everyone is fluent in French on all of the islands.

Getting There

If you’re coming from the USA, you’ll probably be taking an overnight flight from LAX (Los Angeles).  You’ll keep the kids up a little late getting to the airport, then they’ll be tired and sleep on the plane (hopefully you will too), and you’ll all wake up in Tahiti about 8 hours later.

But the main island of Tahiti Nui, where international flights all land, is unlikely to be your final destination.  The vast majority of travelers will end up on one of the other islands, like Moorea or Bora Bora.  Moorea is cheap to get to via an inexpensive and short ferry ride – the other islands require an additional plane flight.

What Makes it Great for Kids?

If your kids are pretty young, they’ll probably be happy just hanging out and doing activities with you, or splashing around in the pool or at the beach.  If you have teenagers, you already know how easily they get bored, and how much they’d rather be hanging out with other teenagers. 

Many resorts will have babysitting available, so that’s an option if your kids are very young.  The larger the resort, the more likely it is that there will be other kids the same age as yours, which makes it more fun for them.

If your children are old enough to be unsupervised, then any of the islands will offer them fun, safe things to do: hiking, snorkeling, playing on the beach or in the pool, bicycle riding (mostly just on Moorea), boat and jet ski tours, and Polynesian shows (like a Hawaiian luau).

If you want some “us” time, and your kids needs supervision, it’s worth looking at resorts that have a “kids club” with supervised activities, so the two of you can go scuba diving, take a romantic boat ride, or just have quiet time.  Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has their “Kids For All Seasons” program, with a supervised kids club; the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort has a Kids Creativity Club.

Pro Tip:

Before we dive into the different islands, I’ve got an important piece of advice for you:  use a Tahiti specialist travel agent.  They’ll be booking through a big Tahiti wholesaler like Classic Vacations or Tahiti Legends—if and when something goes wrong, you’ve got big leverage on your side to get it fixed and FAST.  If something is overbooked, or a transfer is reserved for the wrong day, or whatever, the vendor is going to “bump” the travelers whom they’re never going to hear from again.  If they have to make some client unhappy, they’re going to choose the one who booked online, because it’s not going to affect their business in the future.  They’re going to make sure first that the clients from the wholesaler who brings them 30% of their business are taken care of; and the wholesaler is going to make sure they take care of the clients of the agent who books a lot of Tahiti trips through them.

The best news is that, in general, the big wholesalers have deals as good as or better than the online travel agencies, so it’s not going to cost you any more to have that agent on your side.  Some agents will charge a planning fee, but it’s typically minimal, and mostly they’re making their money as a commission from the wholesaler and the hotel.

True story:  on my last trip to Tahiti, we got off the plane with our 3 kids and went to get our transfers for the ferry.  The local inbound operator didn’t have our reservations.  We showed them our printed itinerary from Classic Vacations, and they immediately gave us transfers and told us they’d figure it all out later.  Going through their most important wholesaler meant that although there was a problem, it wasn’t going to be OUR problem.

OK, let’s talk islands now!

Tahiti Nui

You’re going to land there anyways, so might as well get to experience a little more of the non-resort Tahiti culture.  Papeete is the main city there, and the airport in Papeete is called Faa’a. Accommodations are relatively inexpensive, but you’re not going to get that Polynesian experience like on the outer islands.   Still, there are a few things to see and do that make it worthwhile taking a day and a night on the main island before you scoot off to another island for your overwater bungalow fix.

Les Roulottes – these are Papeete’s food carts, and they were popular here before the rest of the world caught on to what an awesome idea they are; night time only, opens at 6PM.Marche de Papeete – That’s just French for “Papeete market”; local fresh fruits, flowers, vanilla, crafts, and pearls.Arahoho Blowhole -it’s about a half hour east of Papeete, and one of the most visited natural wondersPaofai Gardens – maybe a good walk to stretch your legs before getting on a ferry to Moorea, it’s right near downtown, and there’s a playground for young kids.Paul Gaugin museum – this is one of those things that probably SOUNDS like a great idea, but it’s likely over most kids’ heads, and it’s about an hour’s drive from Papeete.

Moorea

Moorea is super easy to get to by ferry (30 to 45 minutes, about $15 USD).  For a family of 4, that’s $60, vs. about $1600 to fly all of you to Bora Bora and back.  You can also fly to Moorea from Faa’a, but why?  The ferry is fun and scenic and after 8 hours from LAX, you’ll be ready for some fresh air and a little more legroom.

Moorea has a really good variety of accommodations, including garden bungalows, beach bungalows, and overwater bungalows.  The overwater bungalows get all the attention, but don’t discount the beach and garden bungalows – they’re generally pretty spectacular and roomy, some with outdoor showers, some with private plunge pools. 

At the Hilton, you have the option of adjoining bungalows, so the parents can have some privacy in one, with the kids next door; and the Sofitel Moorea has a luxurious 2-bedroom villa.  The Manava Beach Resort and Spa has the Family Garden Duplexes, with a king bed upstairs and 2 single beds downstairs; the Garden View Duplex has a king and a double sofa bed.  Les Tipaniers has the Vanilla Api bungalow, with 2 bedrooms and capacity for 6 people. 

Hotel Hibiscus has garden suites and bungalows available for that host up to 5 and 7 people respectively.  Hotel Kaveka has many options suitable for families.

We recently stayed at the Intercontinental Moorea, in two adjacent bungalows—parents in one, and the kids (9, 11, and 11) right next door. This resort is currently closed due to COVID however.

On Moorea, you’ll find tons of activities and adventures.  Just a couple of years ago, a zipline adventure opened up.  The staff, safety equipment, and setup were all first-rate, and we had no qualms about taking our kids on it.  They had so much fun the first time, we did it twice….and the torrential downpour just made it a better adventure.

You can snorkel (safely) with sharks and stingrays – roughly 500 to 1000 yards off the shore near the Intercontinental.  There are a number of tour boats that will take you on an outing that includes a stop here.   The water is about 5’ deep, the reef sharks are about 5’ long, and the rays come up and eat out of your hand.

There are tons of safe, shallow reefs around the entire island, and lots of other snorkel and boat tours.  There’s also a terrific ATV tour up into the mountains, to the famous Belvedere Lookout (spectacular views!), and a pineapple farm along the way.    There’s also jet ski rentals, golf (the only golf courses are on Moorea and on Tahiti Nui), terrific hikes with fantastic views, sea scooter tours, parasailing, intro to scuba classes, and license-free boat rentals.  You might think that’s brave (stupid?) of the rental company, but really the waters are super calm and you can’t really get lost.

There’s also a lot of very “local” restaurants, feet-in-the-sand, etc., as well as dine-in the resort.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is more expensive to get to (figure on about $400 per person for airfare from Papeete), but with dramatic views of Mount Otemanu that will astound you.  You’ll find this island caters much more to luxury honeymooners than Moorea, although there’s still family-style accommodations and activities available.  This is also the only island where resorts have a Kids Club (Four Seasons and St. Regis).

There’s great (and easy and safe) snorkeling within the surrounding reef – Bora Bora is basically a big volcanic mountain (Otemanu) of an island, surrounded by motus (a little ring of atolls) that creates a protected donut-shaped lagoon around the central island.

Fantastic snorkeling is available via short boat trips from any resort at the Lagoonarium (on the east side motu, between Le Meridien and St. Regis), but there’s also a lesser-known but amazing coral garden at the southeastern end of Bora Bora. It’s an easy swim from your bungalow or the beach if you’re at the Intercontinental Le Moana, or the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island resort, or Hotel Maitai; if you’re at the Sofitel Marara Beach resort, it’s more like a 1/2 mile away.

If you’re at the Conrad, you’ve got great snorkeling there too, as you’re on a little island off the west side of the main island, but still within the protective outer reef.  At the Bora Bora Pearl, at the northwest end of Bora Bora, there’s snorkeling just south down the beach about 300 yards from the main walkway that goes out to the overwater bungalows. 

Most of the resorts are on the motus, which means that most of the non-aquatic activities require a short boat shuttle ride to Vaitape, the little town on the main island.  You can do 4wd safaris, ATV tours, hikes, and there’s also the Turtle Center at the Le Meridien resort, which is always a kid-pleaser.

Huahine

Not as well known as Bora Bora and Moorea, Huahine is pretty laid-back and has modestly priced accommodations by comparison.  Like Bora Bora, it’s going to require an air transfer to get there, and it’s nearly as far as Bora Bora and Le Taha’a.  Hotel Le Mahana Huahine has Lagoon front bungalows with 1 king bed and 2 single beds; Royal Huahine has overwater bungalows, and their overwater, garden, and beach bungalows are all capable of serving parents plus 2 children.

Le Taha’a

Near Huahine and Bora Bora, Le Taha’a is home to the ultra-luxurious Le Taha’a Island Resort (where I’m told Bill Gates likes to go, and play tennis with the gardener).  But it’s also home to another real gem:  Vahine Private Island resort.

Le Taha’a Island Resort’s rooms mostly are only suitable for parents and one young child, but they do have the Royal Pool Beach Villas which have capacity for up to 5 people.

Vahine’s Beach Suite has capacity for parents plus 1 child on a sleeper sofa, plus the amazing Villa Royale – a large house that sleeps up to 20.

Tuamotu Atolls

The furthest-out islands in French Polynesia, the Tuamotu Atolls are famous for spectacular scuba diving.  If you’re a serious scuba diver, the Tuamotu Atolls are already on your bucket list.  They’re known for hammerhead sharks, barracuda, bottlenose dolphins, eagle rays, manta rays, and the massive Napoleon wrasse.

Expect to pay $400-$500 per person for the air transfer from Papeete.

This is not your typical “family” destination, but if your kids are older, certified divers, this would be quite an adventure for them.  If your kids are younger, make sure the resort is currently able to offer supervision/babysitting.

At Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, most of the rooms are suitable for parents plus 1 young child, but they do also have the Pool Beach Villa, which can sleep 2 adults plus 3 children.  At Maitai Rangiroa, the Vini and Lagoon bungalows can accommodate parents plus 1 child on a sofa bed.

Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa has a range of options suitable for families, including the family suites with private pool and the Beach Duplex bungalow (link: https://www.hotelkiaora.com/room/bungalow-beach-duplex-rangiroa/).

Ninamu Resort is a boutique resort with a total of only 8 bungalows, three of which that sleep up to 4, and the Tamanu bungalow which sleeps up to 6.

Author Bio

By Michael Cottam

BIO:  Michael is an avid traveler, photographer, and scuba diver.  He’s the founder of Visual Itineraries, a travel planning website, and Bright Yonder, a travel agent tools website.  He’s been to Tahiti multiple times, and has taken his son there, as well as to Mexico, Canada, Key West, Jamaica, England, and France.

The post Travel To Tahiti with Kids appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Travel To Tahiti with Kids
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/oS1rpJAGvA8/travel-to-tahiti-with-kids.html
Published Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2020 14:37:09 +0000

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Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday

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Days spent on hiking is beneficial to every individual involved. It boosts up metabolism, burns out calories, releases oxytocin, and strengthens the muscles while keeping our bodily functions alert sharpening our senses. Hiking is a delightful way to explore places with our loved ones, friends, and relatives, so if you know a hiker inside your closest circle, giving them quality presents that can be used for hiking can enhance their experiences.

Black Friday Outdoor Equipment Deals

Hiking and wilderness exploration can be an excellent dynamic activity open to everyone. For some of us, a common detriment that we encounter is the amount of gear and equipment to prepare and bring for each of our adventures. These things should ensure our safety and convenience while being able to function proportionate to our needs.

Every seasoned backpacker or trekking enthusiast may indulge in quality tools and equipment that can assist them with their undertakings. If you know a passionate hiker you can read this review of the north face jester backpack in case you are wondering what to give them as a gift this coming holiday. Remember that the gear you want to present to them is manufactured with rugged materials built to withstand the strains and difficulties of natural terrain and different atmospheric conditions.

Black Friday is one of our most awaited shopping days of the year since it gives us the opportunity to land affordable deals with items of interest. Several companies have already launched many discounts and sales three weeks early before the actual event happens. More enterprises and products are expected to follow this trend until the ultimate showcase of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to purchase gifts in the form of outdoor gear and equipment, some of them are already accessible for early acquisition. But it is recommended to wait for Black Friday to avail them at their most discounted price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping experience you do not want to miss when choosing and buying the best equipment for your next hiking activity.

Top Black Friday Gifts for the Hiking Enthusiast

Every outdoor specialist or hiking enthusiast knows the value that every tool on their arsenal can bring them while on the trail. They know that the quality of each item is proportionate to the function with their primary purpose. Modern-day equipment is built with robust materials that perform in conjunction with each personal need during any hiking adventure.

Hiking Jacket

Any person that wants to go on a hike should be prepared with every possibility. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, are probabilities that come naturally with adverse atmospheric conditions. Having a reliable hiking jacket layered with quality waterproof and tear-resistant fabrics keeps you dry while regulating your sweat output and body temperature.

Hydration Flask

Modern fluid flasks come in various forms such as the camel bak that lets you sip water or the rugged hydro flask manufactured with industrial metals. One of the difficulties caused by strenuous activities such as mountain climbing, jogging, hiking, or PT is the onset of dehydration. Outdoor items such as flasks and hydrating-equipment are designed to accompany every adventurer while providing them enough fluids during their journey.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are built with nylon, advanced composites, and durable yet lightweight fabrics. These shoes are designed to be waterproof while having a slip-resistant base that helps you grasp even the slimiest surfaces. They are also incorporated with enough padding and fits well with the contours of your feet that aids in preventing physical damages and discomfort while hiking or navigating rough terrain.

Campground Tents

In case your hiking ends up in a two or more day ordeal, having a convenient camping tent may provide you immediate shelter and a forward outpost. Camping tents are now capable of fitting in 8 people all at once built with reliable and flexible all-weather fabrics supported by modular poles for quick builds. These tents can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag for travel convenience.

Conclusion

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that everyone can benefit from. It is great for exploring natural areas of the earth while providing enough exercise to burn out calories and excess fat stored while sitting in the office. If you know an outdoor enthusiast, then Black Friday can be a great opportunity to gather items valuable to their next adventure.

The post Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Shahbaz Ahmed
Title: Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/iLTbl2wK9RE/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:44:00 +0000

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6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip

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Fishing is a favorite pastime of many. Unfortunately, due to the current lockdown restrictions imposed upon us by our governments, we are unable to go fishing for the foreseeable future. With that said, however, we can still prepare for our next fishing trip, whenever that may be. Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies the world over, and for a good reason, for it is both relaxing and exhilarating [as any fisherman will attest to].

Now, whether you are a new fisherman or an experienced one, it is important that you prepare and have your kit full of equipment and essentials ready for when you can go fishing again.

This page will tell you what essentials you need to get ready for a fishing trip, for arriving at the lake and realizing that you have left some important equipment behind can be soul-destroying, or at the very least, can ruin the day.

Here are six must-have essentials to prepare for your fishing trip:

Gloves

Bringing gloves along with you fishing is very important and not only for keeping your hands warm. Many are completely unaware that diseases like Weil’s Disease may lurk just below the water’s surface, and a tiny cut can allow it in.

Additionally, it is very easy when unhooking a fish to get the hook stuck in your skin, which then opens you up for infection. By investing in a pair of the best gloves for fishing that you can find [providing they are anti-hook gloves], you will prevent illness, disease, infection and ensure that you stay warm through long winter’s days on the water. Never neglect the importance of a pair of gloves when you are fishing, for they can make the difference massively.

Keepnet

Many fisheries do not allow for keepnets on their waters, so it is always good to research beforehand if they will be allowed on the one you are going to. Keepnets are large nets that can be left in the water, and they allow you to store your fish alive in them. Not every fisherman kills his fish, and many do catch and release. Even if you are a catch and release fisherman, you can still make use of a keepnet, for it will allow you to store the fish for photographs afterward. And, for fishermen who eat their catches, it allows you to keep them alive and fresh before killing them.

Unhooking Mat

Most fisheries throughout the world demand some form of unhooking mat or another. If you are fishing on private land, it is always good practice to bring one. An unhooking mat is a padded mat that you put the fish on to, as the name suggests, unhook it. Unhooking mats prevent the fish from becoming covered in mud and potentially hurting itself. Unhooking mats are a very humane way to unhook a fish, and it is always good to treat the fish respectfully by using these.

Barbless Hooks

Look, this is a bit of a point of contention. Some fishermen will swear by barbed hooks, others won’t. For the sake of being kind to animals, opt for barbless hooks. Barbed hooks can tear away at a fish’s cheek and can cause serious harm to them. When you are fishing, always have a pack of barbless hooks in your rucksack. While there is more of a chance that the fish may get away, to us, that makes it more exciting. For much larger fish like sturgeon and pike, admittedly, you may have to use barbed hooks, but avoid it if you can.

6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip

Non-Conventional Bait

When going fishing, it’s fun to get creative. Rather than splurging on tackles and lures, why not invest in some non-conventional bait. Many carp, barbel, and trout fishermen swear by using Spam and sweetcorn, as well as bread, prawns, and capers. Getting creative with your bait can be a lot of fun, and it can save you a lot of money. While preparing, raid your cupboards for tinned snacks and load up your equipment bag. Non-conventional bait can be very exciting, and even if you just end up pulling out Breams and Chubs, you will still have a good day.

Bivvy

For long, rainy sessions, a bivvy is essential. We’ve all seen the so-called ‘experienced’ fishermen using these, so why not you? They provide shelter while fishing and ensure you can stay dry, warm, and even brew a pot of tea if you should want to.

With the help of this page, you now know six essential pieces of equipment to bring with you on your next fishing trip. Fishing is a great hobby that is a lot of fun, and one that many, unfortunately, cannot do at the moment. But with time, all things pass. Before you know it, you will be back out on the water.

The post 6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/JcEbWUpReOg/6-must-have-essentials-to-get-ready-for-a-fishing-trip.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 03:13:22 +0000

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4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle

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Known as one of the most stunningly beautiful and stylish cities in America, Seattle is also the perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Revelling in the boundless nature based activities with your sweetheart or touring the art scene around the city are wonderful ways to spend a romantic day.

Romance is sure to bloom if you and your sweetheart are enthusiasts of natural beauty. Seattle has everything from statuesque mountains, rugged shorelines and wandering forests to explore. You can sail out from Emerald Landing and explore Puget Sound searching for a pod of whales and enjoy a life changing experience together.

Seattle also has a variety of fun and sophisticated indoor activities for couples to enjoy. From first class dining on local cuisine to thrilling entertainment and art installations, there are plenty of places to take a romantic stroll with your partner. Let’s take a look at a few of the ultimate romantic destinations that truly makes Seattle a paradise for lovers.

The Most Romantic Things To Do In Seattle

Bainbridge Island Ferry

After a short cruise where you and your sweetheart can enjoy unparalleled views of the Seattle skyline you will arrive at the beautiful and charming island of Bainbridge. A visit to the island is like taking two steps back in time. Bainbridge island’s quaint downtown area is filled with shops and restaurants to keep you busy all day. On your ferry ride back to the city you can enjoy a romantic sunset view as the light slips away over Mount Rainier.

Gas Works Park

Nestled at the northern end of Lake Union sits one of the most unique parks in Seattle. This one-time industrial area was converted in 1975 to a family-friendly recreational area that has something for everyone. Enjoy a sun-filled day by the water, walk along the promenade, and enjoy a romantic picnic at the top of the park hill that gives one of the best views in Seattle. Gas Works Park is host to many festivals and celebrations throughout the year and visitors can enjoy outdoor entertainment and catering at a few parkside restaurants and cafes.

Paramount Theatre

Allow you and your partner to be transported back into the last century with a trip to the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. This historical entertainment venue has been expertly restored to reflect the style and opulence of the 19th century. Enjoy big name concert entertainment or settle in for a worldwide sensational stage play like Hamilton which debuts in 2020. Sweep your sweetheart out for a night at the theatre and then enjoy one of the area’s many excellent restaurants after the show.

Golden Gardens

This popular park located along the shores of Puget Sound has something to keep romance seekers busy all day. You can ride bikes along the boardwalk, lay out the perfect romantic picnic lunch, visit the exoctic array of gardens through the area and enjoy the stunning views of the shoreline. Settle on the beach for the day and watch the kayakers and volleyballers or enjoy some fishing from the dock.

Whether you enjoy indoor or outdoor activities, Seattle has much to offer couples that are looking for a romantic getaway. You can explore an unlimited amount of nature activities or spend your day together enjoying the sophisticated Seattle art scene. Whatever your taste, Seattle is a great place to fall in love all over again.

The post 4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/fgDpys-FlWA/4-romantic-things-to-do-in-seattle.html
Published Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2020 00:25:03 +0000

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