Suitcases & Strollers

Suitcases & Strollers

Africa

Little Globetrotter: Emily Steele

Which family holidays do kids like the best? Emily Steele has been to 9 countries around the world including visiting the Neuschwanstein castle that inspired Walt Disney in Germany and climbing Mount Fuji in Japan. At 8 years old she is eager to learn about the world around her and she and her brother Matthew (10) are already planning their next trip with their parents to Uganda. She tells suitcases&strollers about the value kids see in family vacations and why you should travel with your kids.

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Why Travel By Train With Kids

The Man in Seat 61 tells suitcases&strollers his favourite train journeys with kids. Mark Smith is a career railwayman who has travelled all over the globe including from London to Tokyo via Moscow’s Trans-Siberian Railway, to Turkey, Syria and Jordan and around Hong Kong, Mongolia and Beijing. His kids Nathanel (9) and Katelijn (6) have followed him and his wife Nicolette on train journeys from the UK to Italty, Switzerland, Spain, Morocco and right across the USA from New York to Los Angeles. Wherever he goes, he always tries to sit in Seat 61 and documents his travels plus lots of other useful information for train enthusiasts on his website. Here are his really thoughtful insights into why travel by train with kids is so much more rewarding than any other form of transport.

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Little Globetrotter: Jed Cole

Which places make the best family holiday destinations according to the kids? Five-year-old Jed Cole lives in London with his mum, dad and big brothers Ezra (8) and Isaac (18). Jed is very much an urban babe, who enjoys playing football in the park and looking cool on his scooter. As well as being well traveled around London, he’s also been to Nice, Corsica, Antibes and is looking forward to spending Christmas in Nigeria. One day he hopes to visit New Zealand where his Nana is from originally. He tells suitcases&strollers his travel tips for how to make travel with kids fun for the entire family.

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Profile: Luxury Travel Mom

Kim-Marie Evans lives a pretty envious lifestyle. Not only is she a travel writer who gets paid to holiday, her specialty is luxury travel (hence her fabulous name for her website Luxury Travel Mom). She travels at least 2 weeks a month and has been to 23 countries including Cuba, Haiti and Rwanda. Better yet, she gets to do almost all of it with her four kids Macie (15), JJ (14), Wilson (11) and Keaton (8). She tells suitcases&strollers all about the realities of luxury family holidays. (And yes, you will be jealous.)

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Nambiti Private Game Reserve

A novel, fun and exciting family safari provides an ideal opportunity to develop and promote your child’s love of the wild, says Cara Mullin, founder and owner of the go-to guide on things to do in South Africa with kids, www.kidzworld.co.za.If you’re coming from Johannesburg or Durban, Nambiti Private Game Reserve is a great option for a family adventure holiday destination and an excellent place to embark on an African safari with kids. It boasts all the Big 5, an impressive variety of landscapes and will inspire you and your kids to help conserve and protect our natural world.

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The Ultimate Barbie Experiences

If your little girls can’t get enough of the blonde bombshell that is Barbie, perhaps it’s time to embrace their love of hot pink and seek out these fantasy-like experiences. Whether it’s just an afternoon in a mall to dedicating an entire island holiday to Barbie, here are some of the most memorable kids holiday ideas for Barbie fans.

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Underwater Hotels

Under the sea is always a fascinating place for children and sometimes just a few hours snorkeling is not enough. To really indulge a love of marine life and nature, an underwater hotel room is a unique family adventure holiday activity for everyone and (in some cases) you don't even need to know how to swim. Whether you are sightseeing in Singapore, lazing around in Florida or in Africa with kids, Here are some amazing and exotic family-friendly hotels for parents traveling with kids...that are actually under water. 

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Durban Insider

It may not be South Africa’s most famous city, but Durban still has a lot to offer says local Cara Mullin. The founder of www.kidzworld.co.za, the go-to guide for parents in South Africa, and mother of two kids aged 9 and 11 says if you want to stunning beaches, amazing coastlines and to go on safari with kids, Durban has it all. She tells suitcases&strollers her insider tips for a family-friendly way to experience South Africa with kids. 


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Living In A Safari Park

Brian Munashe Chaonwa is experiencing every kid’s dream – to live on an African safari reserve. He, his parents and his sister, Anna, live inside the property of River Bend Lodge in Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa where his father, Darlington Chaonwa, works as a guide. Yes, lions live there too. The 7-year-old tells suitcases&strollers what it’s like to wake up to zebras right in your front garden and elephants drinking from your water tanks and why you should do an African safari with kids too.

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Top 5 Destinations 2013

What are the hottest family holiday destinations among suitcases&strollers readers? Where are people going, what are they doing and where do the kids want to go on family vacation? This month suitcases&strollers turns one and and in the last year we've covered kid-friendly destinations from the Peruvian Amazon to Iceland, theme parks to beach resorts. To celebrate our first anniversary, suitcases&strollers brings you the round up of the most popular of these kid-friendly places to travel, as chosen by you. It's been an amazing journey taking you on these virtual trips around the world. We can't wait to see what the next year brings, but for now, here's the round up for 2013. 

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Family Friendly Accommodation: Addis Ababa

Ethiopia’s capital might not be a popular family holiday destination but if you do happen to find yourself there, it is quite a safe city, the people are extremely personable and there are plenty of family-friendly hotels where you can put your head down while you either transit onwards or finish up whatever business brings you to Ethiopia with kids. There's a good reason why this is not a well-trodden visitor path – there is not a lot to see and do in Addis Ababa with kids as a tourist and it really is a pit stop on your way elsewhere. With that in mind, finding the right accommodation is crucial since you are likely to be spending a lot of time there. Here are a few to consider. 

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The Permanent Travellers, Part 4

For some people, traveling with kids is not a family holiday; it is a way of life. In 2000 Pampa Zapp’s parents (Herman and Candelaria) started out on their dream to travel permanently around the globe. Pampa was born on their long journey between Argentina and Alaska. He is now 11 years old and has 3 younger siblings including his brother Tehue (8), born in Argentina. The family has traversed the world almost non-stop in their vintage Graham-Paige 1928 car from New Zealand to Asia, all over Australia and now in Zimbabwe, Africa on their way to Mozambique. Pampa and Tehue tell suitcases&strollers the best places to travel round the globe…from a kid’s perspective.  


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The Permanent Travellers, Part 3

Herman Zapp and his wife Candelaria are fulfilling their lifelong dream to explore the world and have been travelling since 2000. Apart from a few months here and there, they have been on the road in their 7-seater Graham-Paige 1928 from Alaska to Argentina, all around Australia and around 13 countries in Asia. Their four children are truly global citizens and were born in the course of their parents’ travels – Pampa (11 in the USA), Tehue (8 in Argentina), Paloma (6 in Canada) and Wallaby (4 in Australia). Herman (currently in Zimbabwe) tells suitcases&strollers about the joys of permanently traveling with kids and why their life is so much more than just an extended family holiday.


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Profile: Mrs Smith

Boutique hotel website Mr & Mrs Smith has long been the go-to resource for trendy getaways. But no longer is the brand just about couples’ retreats. This year they are going global with their new website Smith & Family providing choice child-friendly accommodations for family holidays. Founder Tamara Lohan and mother to Tom (6) and Alexandra (4) gives suitcases&strollers her personal recommendations for the best places to stay and travel with kids all over the world. 


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Flying to Bring Home Baby

Imagine how surreal it would be to be sipping Champagne and relaxing on a flight from Singapore to halfway across the world, only to return on the same plane a week later with two small babies in tow. This was Katherine Blair’s* introduction to parenthood when she and her husband, Nico, adopted two baby girls (4 months) from Ethiopia in November. She tells suitcases&strollers about the bizarre situation of being a first time parent packing to travel with children you don’t actually have yet and how air travel changed for her in just the space of one return flight. 


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Profile: Journalist Tracey Spicer

Her face is most recognisable as a news anchor who has been in our lounge rooms on television screens in Australia, but Tracey Spicer has also been a travel writer for the past 7 years. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Mama Holiday is also mother to Grace (7) and Taj (8) whom she takes on vacation, both locally an internationally, about twice a month. She tells suitcases&strollers about her favourite family holidays and why she thinks it’s important to travel with kids. 


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International Adoption

Adopting a child from another country is certainly not the same as planning a holiday, but it does involve international borders, multiple countries and families with young children. While every individual family’s experiences are completely different, suitcases&strollers also recognises that there is a distinct lack of information to help guide people who want to understand more about the process. With that in mind, here is a bit of a starter kit of things parents should think about if you are considering adopting a child from another country.  

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The Garden Route

One of the most picturesque drives through South Africa with kids is known as the Garden Route. From Cape Town, over Sir Lowry Pass, the Houw Hoek Pass and surrounded by the Outeniqua and Tasitsikamma mountains are white beaches, seaside townships and inspiring scenery making the area the perfect beach family holiday destination. If you’re traveling with the kids to South Africa and need a little bit of sea and sand, this is it. 


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Family Friendly Accommodation Booking Websites

Most villa and hotel booking websites are great pre-kids, but after that they somehow fail to deliver all those little details you need to know as a parent travelling with children. “Kid-friendly” can mean anything from a mere tolerance of children to step stools in the bathroom and a fully accredited kids club. So the best way to find the type of accommodation that works for your family – no matter the kids’ ages – is to go to the sites that specialise in helping parents find the right fit in accommodation when planning family holidays. Here are some of the best accommodation websites for families for vacations primarily in Europe. 

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Cape Town

Cape Town is South Africa’s least intimidating major city and absolutely the easiest and safest to travel to with children. With its glorious waterfront location and close proximity to stunning beaches, it offers everything one would expect from a cosmopolitan, thriving metropolis and is (in the tourist areas) happily without too much danger or visible poverty. If you're going to South Africa with kids, Cape Town should definitely be on your family holiday destination list. 

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