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Holiday travel with kids: Top survival tips

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 3:06 PM

5 Free Things You Can Get When You Fly

Holiday travel with kids can be a challenge. Whether you’re driving or flying, normal routines are interrupted, and challenges such as traffic jams or delayed flights can lead to boredom and fussy children.
 
A little preparation can go a long way to making a holiday trip with kids go more smoothly.
 
The following tips from sources such as ParentsReader’s Digest and the AJC will help everyone keep their sanity when embarking on holiday travel with kids.
 
Pack ahead of time
If you’re stressed at the start of your trip, you could be setting the tone for your entire first day. If possible, have everything packed the night before so you’re not rushed and cranky when you’re starting your trip.
 
Prepare some snacks
Even adults can get cranky when they’re hungry, so why should kids be any different? Be prepared with snacks like cereal, pretzels, granola bars or string cheese and have them easily accessible in the car or on the plane. Water is also a good choice for a drink, since kids aren’t likely to guzzle more than they need. If you’re flying, you can pick these items up at an airport store after you’ve gone through security.
 
Bring some distractions
Help your child pack some small, quiet toys, books, a small box of crayons, paper and a favorite stuffed animal or blanket for the trip. These will help keep them busy and offer comfort in unfamiliar places or situations.
 
Let kids help plan
Allow children to have input on sightseeing when making travel plans. Maintaining a child’s interest can make for smoother travel. Let kids choose their own entertainment when traveling. On long road trips, try to find points of interest along the way if you have time.
 
On the road
 
Prepare for emergencies
If you’re hitting the road for a long trip, have your mechanic check your car out before you go. Few things can ruin a trip faster than a breakdown along the way. While you’re at it, also pack a basic first aid kit, a flashlight and jumper cables.
 
Get enough sleep
This advice holds true for both parents and kids. If everyone is sleep-deprived, they’re likely to be cranky. And if you’re driving, you’ll need to be as alert as possible.
 
Use Pull-Ups
For those with very young children, you may want to use Pull-Ups even If they are potty-trained. If you’re stuck in traffic and are miles away from the nearest bathroom, they can provide an emergency back-up. The same goes for flying, during takeoff and landing when passengers are not allowed out of their seats.
 
Take frequent breaks
Stop every couple of hours if you’re on a long road trip. This can give kids a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. 
 
Prepare for messes
Have an extra change of clothes for everyone, as well as wipes and resealable plastic bags. Traveling with kids often means dealing with a diaper blowout, car sickness or other unexpected mess.
 
Point out the sights
Holiday travel with kids can involve some long, boring stretches, but they can often enjoy mundane sights like a funny billboard and farms with cows and horses. If it’s a long trip, your child may also enjoy seeing changes in terrain along the way.
 
In the air
 
Fly early in the morning if possible
Early flights are less likely to experience delays, and they’re often less crowded. With any luck, your kids will end up napping for part of the flight. 
 
Dress in layers
You’ll be outdoors, in the airport and in the airplane cabin, so your child can experience a wide variety of temperatures. Dressing in layers can allow him or her to add or slip off a jacket or another layer if necessary.
 
Make sure you’re sitting together
Since computers assign seats, make sure you’re sitting together before you board the plane. Be sure to check and sort it out before boarding begins.
 
Board early
Parents with young children are sometimes allowed to board the plane before other passengers, so you can have a minute to let your kids check out the seat, window shades and bathroom. You’ll have the chance to get settled in and not feel like you’re in such a rush.
 
Keep it clean
Wipe down surfaces that can harbor germs, like trays. Also carry along hand sanitizer to use before eating or in other cases where germs can easily be transmitted.
 
Don’t pull out everything at once
Don’t pull out your child’s entire stash of snacks and entertainment right when you’re seated. Most kids will find flying to be exciting at first. Once they’re been in the air a while and have become bored, then you can reach for the toys and food.

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Southern Living names this resort best in the South

Published: Sunday, June 10, 2018 @ 8:47 AM

Rocking chairs are lined up outside for guests to relax while enjoying a view of the Smoky Mountains outside the Blackberry Farm main house in Walland, Tenn., on June 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
WADE PAYNE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rocking chairs are lined up outside for guests to relax while enjoying a view of the Smoky Mountains outside the Blackberry Farm main house in Walland, Tenn., on June 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)(WADE PAYNE/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Southern Living recently polled its readers to discover their picks for the top places to visit in the SouthBlackberry Farm, in Walland, Tennessee, south of Knoxville, took home the top prize.

>> Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

Southern Living noted, "Blackberry Farm emanates hospitality, from its farm-to-table offerings to the porches on guest cottages."

Blackberry Farm is a luxury hotel and resort situated on a 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains.

There is a spa, brewery and working farm on the property. The resort offers plenty of wine and dining options, musical entertainment, workshops and more. 

Activities include horseback riding, archery, fly fishing, hiking and paintball.

>> Read more trending news 

One Facebook reviewer noted, "Have traveled quite well in my 50+ years, but Blackberry Farm stands out as the BEST of all. They anticipate your every wish and deliver it with cordial efficiency. Understated, approachable elegance. Go there, go there, go there! It is transforming."

Southern Living honored The Barn at Blackberry Farm by awarding it the best restaurant in Tennessee, too.

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Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

Florida Beach Named the Best in the Nation

A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards.

>> See the full rankings here

The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016. 

>> Read more trending news 

Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for the best beach worldwide.

>> Click here or scroll down to see which other beaches made the lists

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How to plan your perfect weekend in Asheville, North Carolina 

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 @ 2:59 PM

We've got your weekend in Asheville planned out for you.

Are you planning your ideal summer getaway? You don’t have to fly to the Caribbean to have your perfect summer trip. This news organization has chosen several destinations that are easy to get to for a long weekend trip. From Hocking Hills to Cincinnati, we’ve got the best places to eat, see and visit on a budget this summer. 

Spend a weekend tucked away in the mountains. Asheville, located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is a funky town with amazing art galleries, live music and a thriving foodie scene. The drive from Ohio to Asheville is a little more than six hours.

Here’s what to do in Asheville:

1. Go for a hike 

Hiking in Asheville is the perfect way to spend a morning. Head to Chimney Rock State Park, where you’ll walk up flights of stairs to see a stunning view of the mountains. You can also hike to the summit of Table Rock Mountain, catching panoramic views of the soaring mountaintop in Linville Gorge. Another option is the 1.5-mile round-trip hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain. The hike climbs about 700 ft. in elevation. 

2. Browse a bookstore 

Pick out a book from Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe. The independent bookstore has organic coffee, author events and a cozy vibe. Battery Park Book Exchange is another perfect place for bibliophiles. Readers can browse thousands of books while sipping on fine wine or Champagne. The used bookstore and Champagne bar is located in the heart of Asheville. 

3. Visit the Biltmore Estate

Explore the 8,000-acre beautiful Biltmore Estate built by George Vanderbilt. Take a rooftop tour of the grounds to see a birds-eye view of the estate for $25. The Biltmore also has special wine, cheese and chocolate tastings, or experience an elegant dining experience. The Biltmore has special food events like the “Biltmore Brewing Beer Dinner” or the “Enchanted Tea at Vanderbilt Room at The Inn.” 

4. Drink a beer 

Asheville is packed with breweries. Grab a beer at Wedge Brewing or sip on a cherry stout at The Lab. The Amazing Pubcycle, Asheville’s pedal wagon, will take you on a tour of some of the city’s best breweries. You can even get beer ice cream at The Hope Ice Cream Cafe

5. Treat your taste buds 

Asheville is a foodie paradise. Order some light Caribbean food and a margarita at Salsa’s and sit outside in the sun. Some other best restaurants: Buxton Hall Barbeque and Red Ginger Dim Sum. For brunch, head over the Mayfel’s for Louisiana-inspired fare or Biscuit Head for house-made jams, killer biscuits and amazing 

grit bowl specials. Don’t forget to grab some sugary goodness at Vortex Donuts before you go. 

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Fort Ancient, other Ohio sites step closer to World Heritage status

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 6:59 PM


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The Fort Ancient Earthworks in Warren County and other sites comprising Ohio’s Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are a big step closer to being designated as World Heritage sites.

RELATED: Lawmakers join push for World Heritage status

“The U.S. Department of the Interior is scheduled to publish a notice in the Federal Register tomorrow inviting Ohio’s Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as the United States’ next nomination to be prepared for World Heritage List consideration by the World Heritage Committee,” according to a press release issued Thursday by the Ohio History Connection.

This is the next step in the process through which officials with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decide the sites deserve the designation making them international tourist attractions.

MORE: What you should know about Fort Ancient Earthworks

“The final decision on inclusion on the list will be made by the World heritage Committee, composed of representatives from 21 nations elected from the members of the World Heritage Convention, and advised by the International Council on Monuments and Sites,” according to an announcement by the Department of the Interior.

Other sites include in the Ohio application are the Earthworks at Newark, the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park near Chillicothe, along with the Hopewell Mound Group and Seip, Hopeton and High Bank earthworks.

MORE: Warren County postponed projects due to questions about Trump support

Area lawmakers had joined an effort to win the designation for the sites. The bid had been placed on hold during the transition to the Trump administration, as the appointee to the U.S. Park Service was being made and the department’s direction determined.

“For more than a decade we have worked to recognize Ohio earthworks on the World Heritage List and we are excited to be one step closer,” Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection, said in a press release.

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