On my social media channels this week, we’ve been talking about trips you can take with your kids that will make their textbooks come alive. We’ve mainly been focusing on weekend getaways that can give your kids practical skills and/or let them stand in the middle of history. If you want to learn how to make Savannah, Atlanta, Warm Springs, and even Universal Studios educational, head on over to Facebook and check it out. Of course, even narrowing it down to weekend getaways, there were still a few that missed the social media feature list. So, here they are (in no particular order):
Tour Plantation homes, see the oldest Live Oak tree east of the Mississippi, and take a ferry to visit the spot where the first shots of the civil war rang out. It's also in Charleston where you will find what is thought to be the country's oldest museum. And if you're interested in nautical history, you'll definitely want to see the H.L. Hunley- the world's first successful combat submarine lost at sea in 1864 until it was discovered off the coast of Sullivan's Island in 1995.
St. Augustine, FL
Is it any surprise that this awesome city made my list? :) You definitely won't see all of St. Augustine in one weekend, but it's an easy trip to make. We do this one 3-4 times a year. There is so much to do and learn in St. Augustine. Obviously, the nation's oldest city is full of historical sites. Your kids (and you!) may enjoy the Fort, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, the Old Jail, the Oldest Store Museum, the Spanish Military Hospital Museum, or the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Site (yes! It's an active dig site!). Or, maybe you get a little bored with history and would rather learn how wine is made or see an actual chocolate factory in action. Fancy marine animals? Head to the St. Augustine Aquarium or nearby Marineland. You can even have a little fun learning all the interesting facts and oddities at Ripley's Believe it or Not! Oh, and there's beaches. Hop on & Hop off the trolley and hit all the highlights. St. Augustine is a wealth of learning for adults and kids alike, and it's right at our back door. If you've never been, we definitely need to talk!
Also a town you'll probably not be able to see in an entire weekend, it's still one that made my list. To do this one in a weekend, you'll need to hop aboard a train for a non-stop ride. Once there, you'll have a chance to visit the living history museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown/Yorktown, and maybe even a trip to Busch Gardens for that all-important lesson in gravity! A rail package includes rail, hotel, and attraction tickets. The Williamsburg by rail itinerary is one of the best values on the east coast!
These trips grab an honorable mention because they are great for educational field trips, but would probably be better suited for a long weekend (or longer!) due to travel time
New York (by rail): A wealth of history, arts, and economics
New Orleans: The birthplace of jazz is a must for any music lover
The Florida Keys: Make sure to visit the Turtle Hospital and the Hemingway House
Fort Myers, FL: Tour the winter homes of Thomas Edison & Henry Ford (they were neighbors!)
I hope this week has been fun and educational for y'all! Which trip are you most excited to take with your kids?
Sometimes, you just want to bring your pet along.
But before you decide to make your pet your traveling companion, you should really consider the pros and cons. If you’re going to a place where you’ll be out most of the day and not spending much time with your furry family member, it might make more sense to leave your pet home.
If you’re going on a camping trip or staying in a cabin by a lake, your dog might just have the time of his or her life!
Of course, cats will always be happier at home, provided they have someone to keep their water fresh and change their litter box as needed.
If you do choose to vacation with your family pet, here are some tips to follow:
TRAVELING BY CAR Go on a trial ride. Never went on a long trip with your pets before? Take a few shorter drives and gauge how they react. Do they get anxiety or restlessness? It’s good to have a general idea of your pets’ travel habits before you embark on a cross-country journey.
Don't let your pets roam inside the car. For everybody’s safety, it’s important that pets are secured in the backseat while they’re in the car. Using a blanketed crate or a carrier secured with a seat belt will ensure that they remain comfortable and stay safe in case an accident occurs, as well as keeping them from distracting you when you’re behind the wheel.
Make sure to make frequent pit stops. Animals can get cramped while hanging out in their crates. To ensure that they’re happy and comfortable, take rest stops every 2-3 hours so that your pets can relieve themselves and get a little exercise.
Never leave your pet alone in the car. Any loving pet parent knows this, but just be sure you never leave your pet alone in the car. Temperatures inside of an automobile can skyrocket to dangerous levels after just a few minutes in a hot car if the windows are shut, leaving pets in grave danger of heat exhaustion, breathing problems and death.
TRAVELING BY PLANE According to the Humane Society, its recommended that pets never travel by airplane unless absolutely necessary. Driving is always a better option for them, but if you can’t travel by car, your pets are likely to be happier and healthier if you leave them with a family member, a pet sitter or put them in a kennel back home. But if you do fly, follow this advice:
Choose the cabin. Make sure to contact the airline well in advance for permission to accommodate your pet in the cabin. Generally, most airlines allow a cat or a small dog in the cabin for an additional fee. They also make concessions for service and emotional-support dogs. Contact your airline for further details about their pet policies.
Do your research if your pet must go cargo. Letting your pet travel via the cargo hold is not ideal. It’s definitely not recommended for brachycephalic animals (or those with “pushed in” faces) such as pugs, bulldogs or Persian cats, because the risk of oxygen deprivation and heat stroke is higher for animals that have short nasal passages. To ensure that your pet has a safe experience, make sure that you follow some of these tips:
TRAVELING BY SHIP In general, very few cruise lines allow you to bring pets on board unless they are assistance animals. Contact your cruise line well in advance to inquire about their policies regarding pets, as some do have kennels below decks.
I'd love to hear some of your favorite pet travel stories! Leave them in the comments below :)
Tales of a travel agent. Reviews, lists, and anything in between. *Opinions are my own and do not reflect the views of any travel companies mentioned. There may affiliate links in these posts. If you use these links to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.