Going to Athens may be one of the most culturally-rich experiences your family might have. Whether you’re doing some shopping in the winding streets of the Plaka, enjoying a fresh gyro sandwich at a local lunch joint, or marveling at some of the most important historical sites in all of Europe and perhaps the entire world, Athens has something for everybody.
This is precisely what makes Athens an awesome one-stop city for every family member to enjoy. The history-loving parent will find lots of ancient sites to explore and museums to learn from, the teenager craving the perfect instagram capture will find beautiful scenery and photo opportunities, and hipster foodie in your family will find all sorts of treats to delight all of those gastronomical senses.
So where’s the catch?
Well, to be frank, Athens is expensive. While Greece is touted to be one of the more budget-friendly major European countries, even just renting a hotel room can be quite pricey.
Not to mention that you’ll have to account for all sorts of other costs when it comes to planning your activities. Entrance fees, expensive dining options, and boat tours can all make the trip hard on the wallet.
In my first trip to Athens on my own, I remember that taking a short cruise and paying for entrance fees alone added up to be a small fortune, not to mention the fact that I was paying for my hotel, food costs, and transportation.
It just ended up being quite pricey even as a solo traveler. Upon deciding to go back to Greece with my family, I came up with a plan to experience all of the above activities with them, but at a wallet-friendly budget that would still allow us to do all everything but without the cost of paying for a hotel.
How is that even possible?
Well, you can hire a yacht in Athens. Quite simply, it’s an easy-out. You get your Athens cruise and your shelter at the same time for the cost of basically, just a hotel. Surprisingly, the price of renting a yacht averages out to be about the same as staying at a hotel. So, why not just combine the cost of two separate budget items, sailing and accomodation, into one?
It’s not an immediately obvious solution, but it works. Not to mention the fact that most of these yachts come with a kitchen, so you could even save on the cost of some meals by opting to prepare your lunch and then go out for dinner.
For my family, we prefer to take our morning easy so we’ll just sleep in late, fry up some eggs onboard, and then venture out to explore the city and have lunch out. We save on the cost of breakfast, have an awesome time cooking together, and then start the day.
Bond with your family, save money
Sailing together is also an awesome family bonding experience. Whether you’re a parent that wants to teach their kids about teamwork or you’re an adult child that wants to treat their hard-working parents, there is always room to bond and grow together when you’re sharing a yacht or a sailboat.
For those with older family members that might not be able to spend quite so much time being out and about, having a yacht with onboard kitchen facilities allows more flexibility to take a break in your schedule to go back onboard, relax, cook up some food, and then venture out once more after a nice break.
You also get your share of watersports experiences when you decide to rent a boat. You can go snorkeling together, or if you rent a smaller boat, you could attach a kneeboard to the back and experience an adrenaline rush like no other.
It just opens you up to more experiences and possibilities in tailoring your holiday to suit your family’s needs.
Dogger-Lust: Finding Places to Stay for You and Your Dog
Travelling with your pets is rewarding but like all adventures, can be an expedition into the unknown. Whether it’s navigating quarantine laws or finding a pet sitter for a night out, getting sorted with a pet in tow on the road, air or ocean can take time. However, the good news is that as the digital economy matures there are countless resources to assist you. Pet sitters? Plan ahead and Skype interview them for piece of mind before you arrive at your destination. Need a recommendation on pet friendly dining options? Most review sites will have a selection of places for you and pup to frequent. And perhaps most importantly, there is the ability to locate online the closest (and open) veterinary clinic. This can be vital in an emergency situation.
But what about accommodation? Some hotels are finally cottoning on the burgeoning market of travelling with pets and some accommodation sites are adding ‘pet-friendly’ filters to their search criteria. Of course, good old fashioned word-of-mouth and online reviews will also enable you to find less obvious pet friendly lodgings as well. However, we have had the most success by finding our ideal accommodation and then contacting the owner/management to make our case for allowing a pet to stay. In this case, developing a slick looking Pet CV may seem a tad twee, but it is generally only seen in the case of long term rentals – rather than travellers and those on holidays – so it’s worth a shot. It’s also worth noting that in dire circumstances many private or hotels will allow pets – at a price.
For the ultimate in pet friendly accommodation, there are several destinations that should be on bucket-list. In Europe, see Le Bristol in Paris and The Hoxton in Amsterdam. Dogs even stay for free at the Hotel Beau Rivage in Geneva. Leading the way in Asia is Japan’s KAI Kinugawa, a sumptuous onsen lodging with a Japanese-style pet friendly room. If you’re heading Down Under, check out The Langham in Sydney and Somerset on Elizabeth in Melbourne who both willingly welcome your pets. Worldwide, large chains such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Best Westerns, Fairmont Hotels and Ace Hotels (selected properties) all offer pet friendly accommodation of luxurious quality and an array of services from doggy spas to fine dining pet menus.
Another way to ensure you and your dog are always welcome is to take your home with you – wherever you go. While Tiny Homes are making their mark in sustainable living, the humble caravan is ultimately more portable and your ticket to travelling with pets.
Best of all, when you’re back on home turf, just park your caravan and protect it until you’re ready for your next adventure. We recommend the Adco motorhome cover for its durability and zippered panels meaning you don’t have to completely remove it to get your vehicle. Bonus points for breathable, premium fabric that filters 99.8% of UV rays that over time damages your caravan’s paintwork. Happy travelling!
6 Tips to Choose a Good Tent and More [Infographic]
Probably one of the best ways to get away from it all is to return to a simpler existence, with just a handful of needs to cover. If you are looking for something like that, outdoor life and camping can be a good option, whether in a campsite or in the countryside.
If you need to buy a tent for the first time or if it has been a long time since the outdoor experiences, you should take into account some basic concepts due to the large number of models and new materials. The following are some tips that will help you in the choice.
>> Camping essential – a personal GPS tracking device that would work without cell service.
1. How many people will sleep in the tent?
Although normally each model of tent indicates the maximum occupancy that it tolerates, this number does not take into account the storage of equipment, the size of people, pets or the sleeping habits of each, for example, if they move or turn much. Then it is not bad to consider the team as an extra person and if you want to be standing inside it you will have to find out the maximum height.
2. Do you have to transport it long distances?
Not all tents are designed to be super light and, at the same time, shelter six people with all their equipment. If you are going to carry it in a backpack, you are clearly looking for the first, a small tent, with limited capacity and made with lightweight fabrics, but if you are looking for the second, then you should focus on heavier fabrics and materials that allow larger spaces.
The backpackers’ tents are less spacious than the family ones that are normally transported by car and usually offer very little height.
3. The weather should not be set aside
In the case of strong winds, freezing rain, excessive sunlight or insects and bugs that bite the best will be a good and solid tent. That means polyester / nylon and mesh panels to provide protection and ventilation. Water resistance is indicated by a number that ranges between 400 and 2,000 (2,000 is the most waterproof).
Anyway do not overdo it, it is not the same an expedition to Aconcagua than a weekend a couple of hours from home. For a summer camp with 400 it will be fine.
4. With or without rooms?
Some tents offer divisions to create separate “rooms” inside, which is ideal for families with children. There is also the option of a porch area with waterproof windows that allow you to create an indoor / outdoor space in a tent, which helps keep annoying insects at bay and prevent entry with wet or muddy slippers. It is best to have an eave or apse, something very useful for storing equipment, cooking, changing wet clothes.
5. With a roof – much better
Tents that have an over-roof to the floor retain heat better and protect more from rain. It is important to keep in mind that a light color of the over-roof absorbs less solar radiation and warms its interior less, although it has a disadvantage that it allows the light to pass through a lot. On the other hand, if it is dark, and the tent is located in the shade, it will be cooler and less bright.
6. What material?
A minor aspect is the fabric. It must have cross ventilation so that condensation does not occur. The rips top or anti-tear fabrics are better than those of aluminized nylon and, obviously, those of common nylon since they are lighter and do not wear out.
The following infographic gives more tips for camping tent, including preparation, how to pitch a tent, pest control, etc.
Here’s What Your Travel First Aid Kit Should Look Like
If you have heard it once, you have heard it a million times: do not travel away from home without at least a basic first aid kit. That is good advice. And if you frequently travel to remote locations where emergency help is hard to find, you might need more than just a basic kit. Plan to take a few more items with you – just in case.
As a benefit to readers, this post will explain just what a basic travel first aid kit should look like. It will also explain how to use your kit should you ever find yourself in an emergency situation. It goes without saying that first aid is often the determining factor in how well a patient recovers from accident related injuries.
Contents of a Good Kit
Basic, travel approved first aid kits are pretty common. You can buy them online and in all sorts of brick-and-mortar stores. A good kit suitable for a couple of days of hiking or camping in an area fairly close to civilized society would include all of the items listed below:
- Strip Bandages – These are small, adhesive bandages ideal for small cuts and lacerations. They are also great for blisters and boils. Covering a small wound with a bandage helps keep out dirt and prevent infection.
- Gauze Bandages – Whether your kit has gauze patches or a roll of gauze strips, this material is suitable for deeper wounds. Gauze is a material designed to absorb blood and promote clotting simultaneously.
- Medical Tape – Gauze pads and strips are more easily held in place when you have medical tape. A high-quality medical tape will hold up even under wet conditions. It resists perspiration as well.
- Antibiotic Ointment – Preventing a wound from getting infected is the purpose of antibiotic ointment. A decent tube of ointment can be very helpful without taking up a lot of space in your kit.
- Pain Medication – A bottle of over-the-counter pain medication goes a long way toward making an injured patient more comfortable. Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are all good choices for pain relief.
- Scissors – A good pair of scissors will be useful for cutting medical tape, trimming gauze pads, and safely removing skin from an open wound.
- Tweezers – You might need a pair of tweezers to deal with splinters and small objects embedded in open wounds.
- Thermal Blanket – It is a good idea to include a thermal blanket in your travel first aid kit. Though a lot of similar articles don’t mention the blanket, the need for one becomes obvious when you understand how easily shock can set in following an accident. A thermal blanket is critical to keeping someone who is in shock warm.
The items listed here are the starting point for a basic first aid kit. If you plan to travel into remote areas for any length of time, you might want to consider some additional items such as water purification tablets, antidiarrheal medicine, rehydration salts, butterfly bandages, and a quick clot medication.
How to Use Your First Aid Kit
By now you should understand just how important it is to have a first aid kit with you when you travel. But there is more to first aid than simply assembling the supplies you need. You also have to know how to use them. There is no better source of knowledge than a first aid class offered by a qualified organisation.
Anyone who travels away from home regularly could benefit from taking a first aid class. A typical class teaches basic first aid techniques including wound dressing, stabilising fractured bones, performing CPR, and even dealing with a variety of animal and insect bites.
One of the things you quickly learn in first aid class is that the care you provide to an injured patient is not intended to be a substitute for comprehensive medical care. First aid is really just to stabilise an injured person until he or she can be transported to a medical facility.
The take-away here is that it is a good idea to learn how to use the supplies in your first aid kit to render emergency care for the purposes of stabilising an accident victim. If you do not know how to properly dress an open wound, for example, your patient could end up with a serious infection before he or she ever makes it to the hospital.
A travel first aid kit, even if it is just a basic kit, should be non-negotiable for people who frequently travel away from home. Good first aid kits can be found online and at brick-and-mortar retailers. You can make your own kit as well, by starting with a weatherproof container and filling it with the sorts of things listed in this post.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
New on Four Jandals
- Dogger-Lust: Finding Places to Stay for You and Your Dog August 14, 2019
- 6 Tips to Choose a Good Tent and More [Infographic] August 14, 2019
- Here’s What Your Travel First Aid Kit Should Look Like August 9, 2019
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