Tag Archives: Family

Travel With Your Family Cheap

Do you want to go on a vacation with your family? However, is your small budget kind of hindering you to start planning for an exciting family vacation? Well don’t worry as there are so many cheap family travel rates available out there these days. Don’t be worried about the term “cheap” though because in spite of being on a budget, that does not automatically mean that such kind of vacation will automatically not be as fun as those lavish vacations.

The trick to being able to plan and enjoy, cheap family travel vacations is to always keep an open mind when it comes to planning, budget well, do extensive research on the place that you want to visit. For some truly unique and exotic, not to mention, cheap, Asian destinations have always been a big hit among tourists as it allows them to country hop as much as they want without having to worry about the cost – except for Japan and South Korea. Still, budget travel is well alive in those two countries; you just really have to research well in order to get the best rates possible.

So how will you able to go about this? Easy, for true cheapskates, make sure to plan your holiday on off peak seasons as rates in airfare and hotels tend to significantly drop during these times. Your family might even like the idea of enjoying their vacation in peace given that there are less noisy tourists to be around with. However, if your family is okay with joining big festivities or is looking forward to shopping ’till they drop in massive sales, then the best way for you to score great deals is by booking way ahead of time. This way, you will be able to enjoy the big discounts that airline companies and hotels usually give out for early bookings.

If you are truly bent on making this trip though, do make sure that you start researching on your dream Asian destinations early. For cheap family travel, it is always best to have a plan and a decent itinerary which caters to every member of the family. Make sure that the activities are all something that the kids will look forward to joining. Traveling by group can also be seen as very practical as sharing hotel rooms also help cut down on costs. However, do make sure that your hotel is located at a decent location so that you would not end up spending so much on transportation.

As for food, Asian countries are all popularly known for the many hawker-stalls that about in the streets. These stalls offer great food at very affordable prices, and since it’s the local street food, expect it to be absolutely unique to the country you are visiting and gives you a taste of what the country’s culture is all about. If you or your kids have certain allergies, make sure that you read up on the different food that are popular in the country or city that you are going to visit so that you don’t end up ordering food that will trigger you and/or your child’s allergy. Always bring some medication just in case you or any member of your family develops an allergy and you should also read up on what’s the translation of some thing to their local language so that you’ll know how to ask if a certain food has this or that, thus avoiding possible allergy infections.

Bruce Basic is the expert travel guy based in Singapore. He is founder of http://www.urgentroom.com, a leading hotel search tool which allows users to search and compare millions of room deals globally from a single website. If you need to search hotel and accommodation rates fast, go to http://www.urgentroom.com

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Family Tree Research Made Easy

Learning about your family history and the personalities that constitute it is not such as big a feat as it may seem at first. It is just a matter of being patient and determined. The motivation has to come from within. You will have to want to get to know your relatives in order to complete your family tree project. Here are some tips that will help you do research on your family tree:

1. Interview your older relatives.

Don’t underestimate your older relatives. They may sometimes be a pain to deal with, but the wisdom and knowledge they impart is invaluable. And more importantly, they can be a big help in starting your family tree project. Pay your granny, aunt or even grandaunt a visit and ask them to tell you everything about your family history.

2. Find out their first, middle, last and maiden names.

Ask these relatives for the complete names of your ancestors. Don’t walk out of the interview not knowing who ‘”Teddy” was. Don’t be afraid to ask for the full names of your ancestors. Get their middle names and maiden names too. Ask them to double check the spelling as you write these names down as well.

3. Find out the names of the children of these relatives.

When you are looking through public records, old yearbooks, magazines, newspapers and search engines, you will come out with a multitude of results for a certain name and family name. It is easier to link these names to your family tree if you know that children and spouses of your relatives. So don’t be afraid to ask for these when you are conducting your interviews.

4. Find out where your relatives resided and some important dates related to their existence.

It is easier to know where to start researching when you know where your relatives lived and when you have a rough estimate of how old they might have been around a certain time.

5. A picture is worth a thousand words.

If your relatives cannot provide you with information on where your ancestors lived and worked, ask them if they kept old photographs of your ancestors. These pictures just might have leads as to where they lived at a certain time, where they went to school and worked and other vital information on your family history.

6. Surf the Net.

Genealogy websites are the perfect place to look when you are looking for extensive data on your family. These websites hold official public documents that have accurate information on the birthdays, occupations, spouses and children of your ancestors.

Most genealogy websites charge a certain amount so that you can access their website. But it is well worth the fee because these sites offer a wealth of information right at your fingertips. Most free sites are hard to search on. Thus, paying for these sites is a worthwhile investment.

Michael Beardon is an expert on Genealogy. If you want to learn more about Genealogy you should check out his great information on Genealogy at http://familytreeguidebook.com/ or check out his e-book at http://familytreeguidebook.com/tips/

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The Family of Humanity

I had a dream last night that, for some reason, really touched me. I will attempt to tell you the dream and the Golden Rule lesson it taught me.

I was at the end of a youth sports event when I saw a young man and his father loading up in their vehicle. The boy saw a friend across the road and asked his Dad if he could say Hi. His father replied with an absolute “NO!” Then exclaimed “What would your Mother do if she found out you talked to that boy, after what his family has done to us?”

I further observed the boy across the street look towards his friend but did not venture any gesture of acknowledgment.

Now I know this was a dream, so it was not real, but in this dream I knew both boys and both families. I did not know what action had created such a disdain for each other that the boys could not be friends. After the dream my mind kept going on about this. . . . .

What was the lesson this Father and Mother were teaching those boys? Both boys! I became sad in my heart. I decided, for me, that I am going to be more aware of what I say and do that teaches my kids to learn NOT to hate, even towards those who have been set “against” us.

Teams or schools are chosen to do battle on the field but we all belong to the family of humanity. Countries and races can be different and have cultural differences, but the Human Race is the same. Friends and families can get into “feuds” over the simplest things but we all share a commonality that should over come all of these things. We belong to the same “FAMILY” and we can unite this blood with one thing, LOVE!

Live The Golden Rule, Do Unto Others in your own life and in teaching those around you, especially children.

Randy J Bradley

Family Friendly Holiday Destinations

All family members want to have fun on their holiday, finding a destination that suits your family can be a little tricky if you have children of different ages. There are many options so that everyone can have a great fun time. Here are a few suggestions that may suit your family

For a Relaxing Holiday

Go camping in a tent or RV, for a long weekend close by or travel further and explore your state or go interstate. Stay in a cabin at a Caravan Park or Holiday Park. Make sure it’s a family friendly park with many activities to keep you all busy. Some Parks have kids clubs and scheduled activities for the whole family. The beach is always a winner, especially if you don’t live near the beach. That makes it all the more special. All ages can enjoy the waves, the sand, reading a book, checking out the rock pools and the view. Accommodation may have to be booked well ahead as the beach is a very popular destination. Animals are always popular there are many, zoos, wildlife parks, aquariums etc all over Australia.

Try an Adventure Holiday

If you don’t normally go camping consider hiring a campervan or camper trailer. Have an adventure and discover new places, travel your state or territory or go interstate. Go on an organised tour that includes the adventure activities you are interested in eg. rock climbing, scuba diving, cycling, hiking, rafting etc.

Experience the City or Country Holiday

If you live in the country you make choose to stay in a motel in your nearest city within walking distance of the cities attractions. Be amazed by the shopping, cafes, attractions. If you live in the city stay in a country town or in farm stay accommodation, Enjoy the fresh air and country landscapes and everything else country living has to offer.

Have a Blast at Fun and Theme Parks

Everyone loves fun and theme parks, they are very family friendly. The most popular are at the Gold Coast QLD these are Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild Water World and Dreamworld. My family visited these parks in 2002, they are an incredible experience, so much to see, enjoy. Totally Family Friendly – Something For Everyone!

Tina Dean is the founder and editor of the family Friendly Oz Camping Guide. Her site specializes in information about family camping, including tips, checklists and suggestion for how to go travelling Australia. http://www.familyfriendlyozcamping.com.au

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How to Make a Family Tree

A family tree is a way to keep a record of your ancestors. It is generally represented by a genealogy chart that shows family relations. The chart essentially contains the names of the family members, important days such as their birthdays, states or countries where they lived and sometimes their occupations. Each individual is connected to the other using lines that represent different types of connections such as marriages etc.

Building your family tree is quite easy. There is absolutely no need to make expensive phone calls or travel to different parts of the world to meet your distant cousins. You can also purchase family tree software at reasonable prices and some are free. Family tree software uses very user-friendly step by step techniques to help you get the complete family tree. It helps you to organize all the data, pictures and heirlooms you have from your family. Best of all is that it can search online databases of family histories, so that you can access related information and decide if it is connected to your tree. This is an easy way to find your relatives.

Genealogy has become a favorite past time for many who are interested in their family history. Easy access to the internet has made searching the family tree relatively easy and no longer poses a challenge. But the most difficult part is to start the searching.

Initially you may feel to have a snow ball effect. But you will gain speed by gathering information from your immediate family members. Before long, you will have loads of paper, photos and also documents. This large mass of information may be confusing for you as you may not be prepared to store and plan the information. You might know which person belongs to which part of the family tree or to which branch. Now after all the hassle of gathering information you get tired. It no longer is a past time, its more of a chore. Hence you give up. Does this sound like you?

Researching about your family should be an enjoyable and a fun past time. You should feel a sense of achievement on finding a long elusive relative. Having direction and focus will help you greatly.

To begin with you need to find a chart on which you can write on or in your computer where you can document them. There are several such family tree charts available online which you can download and print for free. There is software which you can buy and which allows you to record your genealogy findings, add pictures and documents, and will even do searches for you. But I would advice you not to buy unless you are absolutely ready for it.

It is harder to find free information on the Internet. There is a wealth of information out there but you need to find where to get it. I advice you to do a thorough search of all the free sites on family tree until you can find no more information before you spend your hard earned money on buying any software.

Learn more about how to make a family tree today at: http://www.genealogybeginner.com/blank-family-tree-template

A Family Day Out in Rye

Are you looking for a great place to take your family? Rye may be the perfect choice for you. Rye has a number of different things to see and do. No matter what time of year you visit Rye your family will be in for a treat. 
The first thing that every family loves to do is swim and play at that beach. You can swim at Camber Sands, Winchelsea Beach or the new indoor swimming pool in Rye. Depending on how adventurous your family is you may decide to take up some exciting water sports. You can kite surf, fish, or sail. If you prefer to keep it a little bit lighter, you can have fun building sand castles with your children. 
While you are in Rye, enjoy time with the animals in the area. Many people like to bird watch. Rye is actually home to the Rye Habour Nature Reserve where you can see different birds. In Rye, you can also fish or go horseback riding. 
One thing that everyone seems to enjoy doing in Rye is visiting the castles. Camber Castle is probably the most famous of the area. It is located in between Rye and Winchelsea. You can walk around the outside of the castle any day or anytime. However, if you want to go inside, the castle is only open to visitors on Saturday and Sunday.
One of the greatest things to do with your family in Rye is exploring. It may sound simple, but take walks. Get to know the area and enjoy its beauty. There is a lot to see. If you prefer, you can also ride bikes. 
There are also many different attractions to visit in Rye. You can visit the local vineyard. It is remarkably beautiful. The farmer’s market is definitely a fun place for the entire family. Also, there is a museum and an art’s festival.
Besides the many things to see and do, you will definitely want to make sure you eat and shop at the local venues. There is definitely great food and fun shops to look at and purchase items from. The great thing about Rye is that it is easy to get from place to place. You can drive, walk through town, or take the train.
Start planning your trip to Rye today. It is the perfect spot for your family to relax and have fun together. There really is something for everyone.

This article was written by Tom Sangers on behalf of Flackley Ash Hotel in Rye who are perfect for a Rye Holiday.

Hiking With Your Family

You may have been hiking for years, but then you got married and had children, and now you just don’t think that its for you. You couldn’t be more wrong. Hiking with your family is one of the greatest ways you can spend time with your spouse and children. It is a wonderful way to spend a day, instill in your children a love of nature and physical fitness. There are some things that you need to know though to have the best time possible.

Know everyone’s limitations! This applies even when you are hiking with only adults, however it is even more important when you are with kids. Children can begin hiking around the age of three. Strollers do not work well because of uneven terrain, however, you can use a baby back pack to carry your child on your back. This will allow you to go wherever you would like with little difficulty. When you hike with children, there is a great emotional strain, but the physical exertion will and should be at a minimum. Kids are smaller and have shorter legs, and shorter attention spans. They will not be able to hike for miles right off the bat. Start at small and work your way up to longer more difficult hikes. By starting them young, your kids will have a wonderful lifetime of hiking ahead of them.

Hiking is a great time to teach your children about respecting nature and conservation. Be a good role model by leaving the environment as you found it one your hikes. Don’t pick flowers or move wildlife, if your children start to, explain why they shouldn’t so they don’t feel that they are just being scolded.

Make sure you have sufficient supplies for your trip. Large amounts of water and some high protein and carbohydrate snacks are necessary for your voyage. Kids will need snacks throughout the day to keep their energy up and their emotions stable. Everyone in the family should have good shoes, either hiking boots are sturdy sneakers for the trip. Thick socks (preferably hiking) are important, having a 2nd pair for each child will help if their feet get sweaty or wet during the hike.

Hiking with your children is one of the most fulfilling ways you can create family memories. They will learn to love nature and physical activity and will have fond memories for the rest of their lives.

Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike carrier store.

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Family Room Decorating Ideas

The family room is a room for many uses. Whether you are watching television, playing games, or just gathering for conversation, your family room should be a relaxing atmosphere designed as a multi-purpose room.

Most family rooms are designed around a media center with a television, stereo, game systems, or your family computer. And with all these electronics comes movies, CD’s, or games. It is essential to have storage for these items with good organization. there are many pieces of furniture specifically built for organizing these items. A lot of entertainment centers are designed to hold not only the television, but separate space to store DVD’s, stereo’s, or video games.

However, the flat screen television has become more popular, especially since it doesn’t take up so much space. A lot of homes have the flat screen television mounted to the wall, especially over the fireplace as the focal point of the room. You can even purchase different style frames for your flat screen television for added decor. In this case, when the television is mounted to the wall, separate storage pieces can be used for your movies and such. DVD/CD racks, or shelves which mount to or lean on the wall are great options for storage.

But don’t get too wrapped up in trying to make your television or media center the focal point in your family room. It isn’t really necessary. Really, almost everyone has a television now, so why make it your focal point when it really isn’t a special piece? It isn’t the focal point in my family room. I just prefer to have a nice ornate mirror or large framed photos above my couch, with decorative candle sconces on each side. Having decorative lamps on end tables that are on each side of the couch help pull together the focal point. Large figures or statues, or large vases with artificial floral or bamboo stems can be used at one end of your sofa instead of having lamps at each end.

Whatever style or color scheme you use to decorate your family room, be sure to keep it comfortable. I wouldn’t recommend formal style furniture in your family room since it is a gathering room where people want to relax. And remember, in a room where many gather, there are more spots and stains. Choose furniture with upholstry that is stain resistant or with covers that are easy to remove and wash. Upholstry with dark colors or having leather furniture are great choices for a family room. Adding ottomans or foot rests are also nice pieces to prop your feet up, and they provide extra seating when you
have a lot of people filling the room.

Decorating a family room is very easy. Framed family photos add a nice touch and are great conversation starters when you have guests visiting. Also, neatly placing books on your coffee or end tables will provide reading material when you want to turn the television off, and have a quiet place for reading. And, add a few throws or afghans, not only to add color, but to warm up and relax while watching a movie or reading a good book! And, if you decide to serve food in your family area, having snack tables or serving trays with stands will not only keep the food off of your nice furniture, but are very easy to clean up. And most of these trays with stands can be folded and conveniently stored away.

Using these ideas will create a family room designed for a large group of people to entertain, for a few to gather and have conversation, or for one just to kick back and relax with a good book. Whatever the purpose, make it a multi functional space that is comfortable and includes your own personal style!

For more information visit Home Decorating Ideas where you can learn more about home decorating and get family room decorating ideas.

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Racing is in the Family

When the green flag drops, mild-mannered Colfax resident Colby Wiesz lets the dirt fly.

Wiesz, who works during the week as an equipment mechanic for Placer County, can be found racing his sprint car on weekends at the Placerville Speedway.

Inspired by his father, the Colfax resident began racing as soon as he was old enough to drive.

“Colby has a good reputation of running a clean race,” said Jenny Wiesz, his wife of 11 years. “He is not out there to retaliate against other drivers. One of the things mentioned in the winner’s circle is his good sportsmanship.”

Jenny said she started watching Colby race when she was 14, and was on his pit crew until the couple had children.

“Now I am on the home pit crew,” she said. “I clean his uniform, help to wash out the car and restock the trailer.”

Nor does Colby Wiesz underestimate his wife’s role on the team.

“It means a lot to have her support. It really is a family event. You may only run one night a week, but sometimes you have to spend three to four nights on maintenance,” said the 1994 Colfax High graduate, who races in nearly 50 events each season.

“We support each other,” Jenny Wiesz added. “When the boys have soccer games, we all go and cheer them on. When Colby races, we cheer him on.”

Wiesz says he is following in his father’s footsteps.

“My dad, Gary Wiesz, was racing in 1976 and I helped out as part of his pit crew. I have been around cars my whole life,” Wiesz explained, adding he worked at the Napa Auto Parts store while he was in high school.

Now his father is a member of his son”s pit crew, while his mother, Bonnie, heads up the cheering section in the stands.

Wiesz’s racing career took off in 2006 when he was asked by Bullet Racing Team owner John Taylor to take his place at the Placerville Speedway.

“He had retired from racing and called to ask if I would drive for him. Up to that point I had just driven the family car,” said Wiesz.

The partnership turned out to be successful one with 13 races ending in the top five finishes. In 2008, Wiesz claimed his fourth championship title.

The highlight of his racing career, however, would have to be last fall’s victory at the Chico finals.

“The leader spun out after 28 laps. You have to concentrate and run your own race,”Wiesz said. “We race on a dirt track. It is always changing so you don’t have a lot of time to make adjustments.”

With 800 horsepower engines and power-to-weight ratio, the small sprint cars have the power of Indy Racers, Wiesz said.

Tracks range from one-quarter mile to one-half mile in length. And yet, the 24 to 30 laps per race can be unnerving, especially when driving at speeds up to 135 miles per hour.

“I feel safer being strapped into the sprint car than I do driving across town,” he said. “Riders are now required to wear a harness that stabilizes their spine as well as straps to keep the driver’s  arms inside the open cockpit..”

When the dust clears and the cars are parked, youngsters will scan the dirt track for the tear off sections from the racer’s helmet.

“Sometimes kids will have me sign the tear off and want their picture taken with the car. It’s kind of cool,”said Wiesz, who believes in being a positive role model. “I want to be someone who is worth looking up to.”

Marci Seither
freelance writer

Family History Brick Walls

Yes, you definitely will come across brick walls which you think you will never get over. Have patience, give it time and I feel sure you will get the results you want.

I have a few current ‘brick walls’ in my researches – some I don’t think I will ever get over, but one I did.

I had searched for my 3 x Gt. Grandfather for nigh on 25 years, I used to put him aside for a while when I got a bit sickened of getting no results. Then, I would take him out, dust him off, and start all over again.

One day, through the new Pilot Scheme on the IGI [international genealogical index] a marvelous tool for tracing family trees, I found him and I actually shouted out, causing my son to think I had gone a bit loony!!

I can’t describe the feeling I had, after all those years, and he had turned up. I have to say that he wasn’t where he was supposed to be according to details he had given when he joined the Indian Army at age 16.

However, I never gave up hope, I just widened my circle of search on the map, went over county borders, kept Googling my request for his details, going into family history message boards etc. in the hopes that someone might be researching the same name and have some information for me.

Along the way I did uncover more details about his family, his immediate family relatives, which all added to the sum total of my knowledge of him to add to the family tree.

The whole point is that if you don’t find that one person, you can never get past him. You cannot go further back to find your family because you have no idea where to look. When you get a breakthrough it is wonderful because everything opens up again and you can forge ‘backwards’ again.

Unfortunately, I now have a bit of a brick wall with his Mother. I have her name, but she doesn’t belong to the parents I first thought. When I rechecked her date of birth it didn’t fit with the other persons details. So, back to the drawing board as they say!

As long as you catch on to the mistake, then nothing is lost, just some of your time. This is why it is essential that you check, check and recheck your ancestry search details before you put them into your Family History Program on your computer.

The more you do this research the more you become clued in on what to look for when trying to find ancestors. Never give up hope and you will more than likely get over that stumbling block, given time.

Patience is the name of the game.

Jean is passionate about family history and genealogy and has a blog related to these topics. If you would like to take a look at the blog and maybe ask a question, she will do her utmost to give you a solution to any problem you may have. click here http://familytreetrace.com

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