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Old 01-30-2010, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Canada
6 posts, read 10,136 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi

We live in Canada and I want to take my DS (7) on a vacation. The world is our oyster - where should we go? I want to do the Disney thing when he's about 10.

I'm not interested in Asia but otherwise would be open to suggestions for either US / Canada / Europe / well - anywhere.

Doing an Africian safari sounds nice. He's mentioned Alaska to me. We both love the beach but nothing too hot.

I just don't know what's out there to see/do. Can you help? What's interesting around where you live?

Kelli
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Home of the best seafood
645 posts, read 1,289,386 times
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you should visit Florida/Miami since you want to visit a beach or how about a cruise?
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,031 times
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Hmmnn - okay, need a bit more info: when, for how long and budget considerations (low/medium/high)?
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Canada
6 posts, read 10,136 times
Reputation: 10
Smile What/When

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
Hmmnn - okay, need a bit more info: when, for how long and budget considerations (low/medium/high)?

Hi

Ok when - well again kind of open but it has to not be during school, so summer vacation, Christmas, March break. I don't mind a few days before/after a shutdown from school.

How long - again flexible. I think depending on the location and method of getting there might determine this but I'll say maximum two weeks.

Budget - I would prefer medium
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,316,376 times
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There is no "medium budget" on African wildlife safaris, not to mention the huge cost of flights to that condinent. For a 7-year old, I'd say it doesn't matter where you go, just get off a plane somewhere and absorb the local culture. I took my 8-year-old stepdaughter to Mexico, and just sat and let her play with Mexican kids in the park. At that age, all beaches are the same.

If you're going to have to find Big Macs and Coke and Pizza to feed him, no point going anywhere. If he'll eat whatever is put in front of him, anywhere in Latin America will have great, interesting sit-down food in market stalls.

When my son was 7, I read him "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and Castaneda's "A Separate Reality", and he was all enthusiastic about getting dirty Mexico for a few days, where we just checked into the cheapest available grungy hotel and mixed in with the street crowd. He loved it. So, wherever you plan to go, read him some stories about what life is actually like at that place. I guarantee he'll enjoy it, if he has some pre-conceived idea of the romantic nature of the place, and then you just let him flow with it.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Canada
6 posts, read 10,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There is no "medium budget" on African wildlife safaris, not to mention the huge cost of flights to that condinent.

If you're going to have to find Big Macs and Coke and Pizza to feed him, no point going anywhere.

When my son was 7, I read him "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and Castaneda's "A Separate Reality", and he was all enthusiastic about getting dirty Mexico for a few days, where we just checked into the cheapest available grungy hotel and mixed in with the street crowd. He loved it.
Hi

Thanks for your response. How right you are about that medium budget with the Africian wildlife trip. Depending on the divorce settlement, it may/may not happen.

Although my son does enjoy his Big Macs and stuff, his favorite appy is spinach artichoke dip. So I'm hoping he'll embrace local culture and cuisine.

I think reading to them prior to going is a great idea. Although checking into a cheap grungy hotel is not for me. Because my son and I will be travelling alone (no men for protection) I will tend to stay in locations more "general" and "common".
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,031 times
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Okay, I'll take a shot keyed to timeframes, a 7 year old munchkin and that Canada (one of my favorite countries ) doesn't have a lot of warm weather in the winter.

A) Summer: July or August (skip June, the water can be cool) - fly into Baltimore, stay two nights at an Inner Harbor hotel, preferably on the water, go to the National Aquarium (a really cool place) (1/2 day) and the Baltimore Science Center (it has a huge kid oriented number of attractions)(1/2 day). Cruise around the harbor in a water taxi and visit the tall ship and possibly take in a baseball game. Rent a car and then head off to the Ocean City Maryland beaches for a week. OC rentals generally start Friday, Sat or Sunday so bear that in mind. Rent an oceanfront condo if the price doesn't bite you too much (I can give you some suggestions) and enjoy all that OC has to offer. Rent a jet ski and go cruising, hit the water slide park, go-cart track, ferris wheel, miniature golf courses, go para-sailing, visit Assateague Island to see the ponies and collect some shells, visit the Boardwalk and see all the honkytonk stuff (more kid stuff than I can enumerate), have some Thrasher french fries, Dumser's ice cream and build a sand castle and be a beach bum. OC is a family resort and you won't have a bored munchkin (although you may need a lot of energy to keep up ). I did beach week at OC with my daughters for 20+ years and they still love the place. Its not upscale or pretentious, just a fun place for kids. You could also throw in a quick visit to the Smithsonian in Washington. It has an enormous amount of interesting stuff to see (think dinosaurs, etc.).

B) Costa Rica Caravan Tours (Feb/March is best) (Costa Rica Tours | All Inclusive, Fully Escorted) - its an 8 day in country fully escorted, all inclusive tour (excluding airfare) that is superb. We like it so much we're doing it again as part of our annual month in Costa Rica (this will be our third Caravan tour). Take a look at the website and ask any questions you care to. This tour is great if you think your munchkin would enjoy a rainforest treetop tram ride, seeing weird frogs and bugs, a volcano visit, butterfly farm, cruise the canals at Tortuguero with monkeys and exotic birds overhead, and some incredible scenery. It might be a bit too mature for a 7 year old and it is basically a series of bus rides (you'll definitely need a favored video game as a time occupier during transit). Whether it fits is your call, it depends on the youngster. You might curse me if your young man gets bored with the bus rides but it is a really neat experience. I've seen it both ways with children.

C) Maui Hawaii (March) - rent a week at a B&B or condo, go whale watching, see the volcano, waterfalls, take the road to Hana, watch the surfers, take a snorkling cruise to Molokini, be a beach bum (too many too list).

Thats all for now, I have to go pack, we leave for Costa Rica early Tuesday. Hope this has been helpful .

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 01-31-2010 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Canada
6 posts, read 10,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
Okay, I'll take a shot keyed to timeframes, a 7 year old munchkin and that Canada (one of my favorite countries ) doesn't have a lot of warm weather in the winter.

B) Costa Rica Caravan Tours & C) Maui Hawaii (March)
.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sounds of that Costa Rica trip. That's 100% something my son would be into. Another right on the mark is the Maui trip. My son loves volcanoes.

Thanks again for those GREAT ideas. My neighbour is from Costa Rica so I'll have to start having her over for coffee to learn more.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,031 times
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Quick words of warning: Maui volcano - it can be 90 at the beach, but the top of the volcano is COLD and extremely windy (no hats that can blow off); CR, it can be 90 in the Central Valley and totally sunny but at the top of Poas volcano you may be in a rain storm, definitely take a poncho and quick dry shoes. Best of luck .

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 01-31-2010 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,644 posts, read 40,010,157 times
Reputation: 23801
What part of Canada are you from, it is quite diverse? (and full of fun too, superb camping and trekking)

We did a lot of traveling with our kids and lived in 3 international destinations. They always had fun with the local kids, but were also glad to get home. We rarely did tourist things, and stayed in private guest homes with locals. I highly recommend this means of travel lodging, as the homes are very welcoming and safe. I sent a single mom and her 2 teenage daughters off to circle the USA with my guest home directories. The first one they stayed in was so delightful and safe, they schedule their route based on guest home availability. These accommodations are very helpful in determining local venues and quite helpful internationally. (DM me if you want some suggested directories).

for age 7 - 10, adventure, fun, and activity is key (You can buy an annual pass to science centers worldwide for rainy days). Definitely do a language immersion school if possible Costa Rica is a good choice, and will work well with tourism. You get room / board, classes, tutor, and tours (+ plus plan your own tours on tail end of school). All for very cheap.

age 12-14, museums and history (Good time for Washington DC, & historical quests. WWII Europe and Asia pacific were favorites of our boys at that age. They loved talking with the veterans who staffed the museums) good time to get him in a camera club with some older men to mentor on composition. (my kids had a 'WWII war-corespondent' as photography teacher, they both are very skilled and happy for that talent). Music is key at this age too, attend some summer music fests (In a variety of venues). Follow up with getting him involved in a community production / orchestra... (I much prefer to school / age segregated, your kid will than you when he is 25, and seeking a career...)

Age 13-18, Daring Action and vocational training to help determine career options. (spend a week on a charter commercial fishing boat in Alaska). One of my sons worked on a boat out of Petersburg, AK that took charters on weeks where commercial fishing qty was reduced. Great adventure, great scenery, great eats. Do some trips to working farms. New Brunswick has some really nice farms and people. I usually select farms in my guest home directories so we can help with chores and projects. I like to help on harvest or round-up crews, very high stress and long hours, good for teenage boys!

age 18-25, more adventure with nature Rock Climbing, XC skiing in Yellowstone, Windsurfing, Grand Canyon Float trips, Whitewater camping, sailing.

You are gonna have a blast!! Get some time (weekend eves) watching 'globetrekker', Rick Steves, Europe through the back door.

Best wishes, stay flexible, go frequently. Enjoy your times together.
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