Child’s passport: What should parents consider when traveling abroad

I can fly

Whether Canada, Mexico, or Southern Utah – No matter where parents spend the holidays with their children, a passport for the offspring must be in the luggage. Because since the 26.06.2012 the child’s entry in the parent’s passport is invalid and the child is no longer entitled to cross the border. What mom and dad often do not know: Even babies need them when traveling abroad. These are some of the hoops we had to jump through traveling from Canada to Zion National Park with our babies (twins).

Child passport for babies
Everyone needs a passport! Such is anchored in the new passport regulations, which brings many parents since 26.06.2012 before the holiday sweat. By that date, it was enough if the little ones were noted in the parent’s passport. Since June of children must now have their birth with a private passport document when they want to travel abroad.

Apply child passport: Three to four weeks waiting time schedule
Which means parents need to apply for your young one e-pass (electronic passport) or a child passport. So whoever is planning a trip with your children abroad in the near future, which should run quickly into public office, because generally it takes about three to four weeks until the new child passport is ready. This is up to 12 Age required is valid for six years and may be renewed once.

What is needed for a child passport in public office
Whoever is the first one applying for a passport for his child needs:

a) $50
b) the child’s birth certificate 
c) a current passport sized picture
d) agreement (declaration) of the guardian 
s) custody proof with only one guardian

Apply child passport: If it is to go fast
if the trip but just before and are not yet available to the child’s passport, it is possible in exceptional cases, to apply for a provisional child passport. Citizens offices need to use the same documents. However, the immediate pass for children currently costs around $60 and is valid for only one year.

Note: Some countries require child passport and visa
Many countries require in addition to the child’s passport, a visa. Time prior to travel inquiries about the Foreign Office should be sought.

Photo Credit: Pammy B

Suitcase made easy – tips for the holiday luggage

We all do it with the best intentions? Despite planning and trying and being ready – your holiday suitcase is already bursting at the seams and yet you feel that you’ve forgotten something most important? The following tips can pack your bags for your next vacation will prove helpful. These are some of the things we learned while packing our bags for a vacation at a beautiful southern Utah bed and breakfast

Before packing the trunk: Plan first aid kit

Time to pack a suitcase before, you should plan your travel kit. Which drugs for which holiday destinations are advisable, you can at the pharmacy, the doctor or research on the internet. Also important is the conclusion of a travel health insurance. Find out therefore timely with your insurance company.

Check papers

When traveling to countries outside the EU a passport is usually required. Check therefore before the suitcase validity. The passport can not be extended in principle. If the existing passport has expired, a new one must be requested. This is then made in Berlin and delivered only within a waiting period of two to three weeks. Do you plan your trip abroad also in a round trip with a rental car, you should think of an international driving license.

Excess Baggage – This can be expensive

The baggage policy of many airlines are often strict and straight for a longer holiday, it is often difficult to remain below the permitted luggage weight. Therefore, you should have in front of you suitcase on the allowed number, the information and the extent allowable weight of suitcases at the airline to avoid unnecessary additional costs during check-in. Because the charges for excess baggage can significantly beat the holiday fund and thus on your holiday mood.

Pack your bags – Good planning is half dragged

After you have checked the current baggage rules of the airline, it is also important to inform yourself about the local climate in the country of travel. Is rainproof clothing needs? If you pack light, airy clothes, a hat and a sunscreen in the trunk?

Pack heavy items in the trunk (eg, bags, shoes) to the office, which is located below the conveyor. Light clothing should be placed in the upper part of the case, so it does not crumple as possible. Obtain in pharmacies or drugstores small tasting jars or bottles for your favorite perfume or cream.

Technical Equipment

So you can capture all your impressions for eternity, you should see your camera or video camera to pack the luggage. Which charger (eg mobile phone, camera) you can not forget?. Note also that not all outlets differ in every country of our standard connector, so it makes sense to bring a travel adapter for sockets.


Final Tip: List out the suitcase

Whether in the subway or in the waiting room at the doctor: Use a few days before departure clearances in daily life and keep a list of things you want to take. Go this list through the suitcase again. In this way you can be sure not to forget anything. And best you put the same list with the others. So you also do not forget anything at home.

Photo Credit: Pamela Schreckengost

Six Ideas to Prepare Your Family For Vacation

The preparation and the countdown for a family vacation leaves many parents unnerved, where you about need to schedule some time off to get ready for your leisure. Ironically, it is clear that a family getting ready for the holidays is, frankly, exhausting and filled with a huge set of tasks, hand-offs, packing lists, arrange pet care, care in details home, just in case of emergency plans, all need to be in synchronized coordination apparently as much as the space shuttle launch. These are some quick tips or family vacation ideas to help you get where you need to get in style.

FamilyPhoto Credit: photon_de
Here are six great ideas to simplify the preparation and de-stress before your family vacation. Along with some of my other test preparation shortcuts vacation time and services, preparing for family trip vacation can be easier than ever.

  1. Use a holiday counter-List preparation: Put all the key chores a counter list to coordinate and communicate the number of items such as postal mail, newspaper, pets, plants, and safety home will be treated while they are gone. Including an “outside the gate” checklist with all the last minute or two reminders for tasks such as watering plants, cleaning fridge, setting thermostats and recalling entries.
  2. Create a single page Pet Sitter Instruction Sheet: Leaving your pet with a pet sitter requires write transfer instructions and need to know the information for your pet. Feeding information, exercise instructions and emergency contacts should be written, revised and easy access to your pet sitter. This way you can easily communicate Fido schedule and essential elements of pet care. Adding a tracking graphic mini-pet to pet care to mark and record the daily activities and time for supplying water and play activities.
  3. Three. Get the kids to pack for themselves: Impossible, you say? Not with a little planning, smart list and a little fun.In my house, is “Every packer for themselves” with a little help from a checklist of saving time, a designated area for the staging of its packaging and checkpoint mom before closing up bag. If the bags, which have a better chance of finding items in your bag and avoid the endless questions like “Where is my swimming suit?”.
  4. Creating a Family Share bag essential: No need to pack 4 different bronze’s or toothpaste tubes. Tagged and create a family holiday bag Essential share. Items like hairbrushes, headbands, shampoo, suntan lotion, toothpaste are easier to handle in large zipper bag. And let the kids (who are now packing themselves) know where these items are shops and packaging.
  5. Create a Contact List Home and Maintenance: Every home needs a centralized list of home maintenance and emergency contacts including family, neighbors information with phone numbers, the security company contact information codes Incidentally, plumbers, etc. Just in case the unexpected happens, that will have these important numbers at your fingertips. And those who have been asked to “keep an eye” on the house — so do.
  6. Create a snapshot Itinerary, Travel plan: Gone are the days of writing a resume with your flight schedule, hotel information and details of the trip — and then print them yourself and email it to important members of the family. Now there are a number of free services and small fee, you can do this for you without writing anything. My favorite is a web and mobile app called TripIt. TripIt makes all the details of your flight, hotel, car and instant travel itineraries that can be viewed on your mobile or email easily and shared with others from your PC or smartphone.

Get your family on vacation to a smart start! Armed with these time-saving helpers, you can get the family and the house ready, ready and willing guys the pet with less preparation and less stress. And then use the time to relax and enjoy your fun in the sun.

Guide to Diamond Jewelry Buying

Purchasing diamond jewelry can be a little overwhelming to some people and it is only natural because it will not be like buying a simple jewelry piece. You need to at least understand things regarding certificates, grading scales, color and inclusion. It is always better to have a good comprehension about diamonds before you start to shop. That is what I learned after shopping for St George engagement rings awhile back while traveling with my fiance. We call is traveling with a purpose, a diamond ring purpose.

Diamond jewelry is undoubtedly one of the most popular jewelry forms. It is usually associated with romance, and a piece of jewelry with diamonds is highly appreciated for its style, brilliance, and specific meaning. Diamond jewelry’s popularity though and its persistent presence in our lives does not make it any easier for anyone to simply pick and buy.

Titanium-Wedding-Band-2aPhoto Credit: Maria da Costa

Diamond buyers are constantly facing the issues of modern designs and the right budget as well as how they can express their individual tastes. It is no wonder therefore, that people shopping for diamond jewelries are overwhelmed.

In that respect, I present a simple diamond buying guide for jewelry shoppers that will help them have a better knowledge of what to look for; after all, one should enjoy buying diamond jewelry.

Brief History of Diamond Jewelry

For centuries, people from all walks of life have been charmed by diamond jewelry. Centuries ago, it was only the most influential and rich people that can afford such pieces of jewelry. It was in the 15th century that the world has become really and completely aware of the brilliance of diamond jewelry when Maximilla of Austria married Mary of Burgundy; wherein the groom presented his bride with a dazzling diamond engagement ring.

Up to that time, people were not very much aware of the laborious processes involved in mining, cutting and polishing the stones before being crafted into diamond jewelries. Maximilla though has started a trend and that trend has carried on today.

Basic Considerations when Choosing Diamond Jewelry

There are five basic questions to be considered prior to purchasing diamond jewelry, and they are the following:

·       What type of Diamond should be purchased?

There are many different types of diamonds that are available in the market today. The type you must choose should be based on the occasion the piece is intended for. Diamond rings are usually associated with romantic commitments and unless a man wants to marry a lady, it should not be an option. A diamond studded pendant or bracelet though will be appropriate as a gift.

·       What is the budget required?

If you want to really have an enjoyable diamond jewelry shopping experience, you should first evaluate your shopping budget. Once you have determined your financial capacity then you will be able to really choose the best diamond jewelry that fits your budget.

·       What is the best style?

Diamond jewelries come in different styles, which may make it more difficult for anyone to choose the best style. If you are buying one for yourself, you may be able to easily accomplish the task of choosing the style. But, if you are making it as a gift, it could be a little harder to decide. Sometimes the best way to do this is to ask for suggestions from family and friends.

·       What is the right size?

Usually when it comes to the size of the diamond jewelry, a person should not worry too much. Size is only important when buying a diamond engagement ring. For other types of jewelry like necklaces and bracelets, size is easy to determine.

Tips for Buying Jewelry

They call it their best friends, some their first love, some their passion whereas others their obsession. Each one has her own verdict. Each one shares a different bonding. No, I am not talking about their boyfriends, but something that stays for good with them– Jewelry. Jewelry; the perfect gift for your lady, the most valuable belonging of a woman; comes in different shapes, sizes, prices, brands, metals, stones and more. The more options jewelry have and craved for, the more difficult you feel to find that perfect piece. However, believe me buying jewelry; be it for yourself or gifting purpose was never made so easy! It’s even exciting to do what some call specialized traveling to find the best jewelry, that is really when things get serious though. Although that is what I did when I had to go traveling for a St George wedding band. Let us take the drill. There can be broadly 2 scenarios:

custom-wedding-band-4Photo Credit: Chris Parry

1.     If you are buying for yourself

Much a simpler task! You know thyself better and this is what the most important aspect when you set in to buy your jewelry. Know your purpose, occasion, the piece of jewelry you desire to own and not to forget, your budget. If you are a brand savvy jewelry hound, you already know where to go for your pick. Otherwise, it is always advisable to explore a bit before deciding on the final pick. Not many jewelers know the in and out thoroughly of what they are selling. So it is crucial to check and compare their products and knowledge with their peers.

2.     If you are buying to gift or for others

Now this is quite involving! You aren’t sure of what to buy and where to start. However, identify the person and his/her likes. An important point to take care of is your intention. Just do not purchase for the sake of impressing her but do it to vest your love and because she would love it. Try to personalize the jewelry piece by customizing it. For example, use her Birthstone; engrave her name, initials of her name or her favorite pet. This in turn also unleashes your love and time you have taken to pick the gift with all the homework. Sure shot way to impress her. And if you still feel it to be not your cup of tea, then my dear fellows try to take her for shopping and gift her something that locks her eyes. This can be an expensive deal although.

Having said this, it is equally important that you are aware of the following checks before going for the final round – payment!

·   Check for the purity of the metal, carats and weight of the stones

·   Check if it is hallmarked

·   Reliability of the source from where you buy

·   Future returns derivable from the jewelry

I would also recommend you to understand the charges applicable besides that of the metal/stones used. These include the making charges, brand royalty among others. So all in all, it is very easy to adorn yourself or the beloved with the most beautiful gems. I would only say to go by the aforesaid points and also the current style in vogue.

Zion Park Adventures

Human beings are generally very daring and always seeking for adventure. If you are the adventure chasing type, then you must consider visiting the Zion National Park to try out the fun and adventure filled package offered in an around the park. Some of the most interesting adventures in the Zion Park include ATV riding, paint ball, Horseback riding, wall climbing and rappelling, and trampoline bungee jumping. These are just some of the things you can do while in using one of many hotels in St George Utah.

Kolob Terrace Road - Zion National Park, UtahPhoto Credit: Isaac Borrego

ATVs are very compact toy-like muscle vehicles used to traverse the dense landscape around the park. However, do not let their toy-like nature deceive you. These are custom built full throttle vehicles designed to comfortably blast through the rocky and hilly terrains of the park, and pass through intense stream beds. You would be intrigued by the power and speed of these big toys, as you blast your way through the course. There is even more fun and glory when you decide to get dirty and speed through the mud and make splashes as you go. However, ATV tours are limited to visitors with a valid drivers license or learners permit, and must be over the age of 16. However, smaller ATV’s or Golf carts may be provided for those under 16. You must however agree to the fact that ATV riding might be dangerous, and you are therefore responsible for your actions, and could be asked to discontinue any further participation in the tour, if you are found responsible for any act that may cause possible damage or harm to others or yourself.

Paintball is another very exciting activity you do not want to miss while at Zion. There are many courses with a lot of space dedicated just for the game of paintball. Paintball is more exciting here because the arena is naturally designed with lots of obstacles and locations where you can easily take cover or camouflage without easily being noticed, as you take revenge on opponents and cover them up in paint. The paintball ground has been further customized to create opportunities for you to sneak around your opponents and knock them out. In fact, the experience can be measured to that of a US Marshal in combat, but only less dangerous.

While at Zion Park, you could test your guts by going visiting a shotgun range. The shooting range is safely located at a considerable distance away from human or animal settlement, to ensure that the only casualties are the targeted clay pigeons or cans. Though hunting is prohibited in or around the park, grab a taste of the hunting experience in this natural environment by shooting on flying cans or clay pigeons that are being thrown across the valley with a provided 20 gauge shotgun. You also have the option of shooting stationary target that have been placed against the hillside. It is possible to bring your own gun for this exercise, but strict rules apply in such situations.

If you have a passion for riding on horseback, or maybe you are just eager to learn the art of horseback riding, then you should consider signing up for a horseback riding tour. Zion Ponderosa Ranch resort, working in collaboration with East Zion Adventures, is just one of the many places where you can actually get a one on one horseback riding training with some of the most experienced wranglers you could possibly imagine. Just an hour in the training session could immediately eliminate all your fears about horses, and transform you into an almost perfect horse rider.  You would be teamed up with the most suitable young, strong, and well trained horses that would gracefully carry you as you embark on the ride of your life.

Zion National Park Kid’s Camping Adventures

When we think of national parks in all their beauty and grandeur we often don’t associate them with our kids. Bringing them along to see the majesty of what this world has created. Oft times because it’s seen as a rugged and harsh place out in nature, out in the wild where there are outside dangers that we often are prepared for. But if you are willing to do some homework and find the right hikes and guided adventures then taking your kids to a place like Zion National Park is a fantastic idea. That’s what we did recently as we used a Utah national park hotel as our staging area before our endeavors out into the mother natures playground. The kids were prepared and ready for some hiking, biking, and all around good time. And us, the parents were prepared to whip them out everyday so they would sleep like they’ve never slept before. And as well they would begin to get an appreciation for the big beautiful world they have all around them; that their video games just don’t compare to real life.

HikingPhoto Credit: Moyan Brenn

Zion National Park is a hot spot for tourists and adventurers from all over the world. It is also a perfect location to visit when in need of a perfect vacation home, or when you are planning a retreat. But what happens when you have to go on a cherished hiking adventure, or an ATV guide around the park, and your little six year old insists on making the trip with you? Well, we all know that taking the risk to go on such a long tiring walk, or potentially dangerous ride with your kids could place you both in great danger, and completely shatter your plans to have as much fun as you would desire. In fact some tours or adventures are prohibited for kids below eleven, and some for even those below sixteen.

What then are the options at hand? Do you shut your kids up in your room or cabin and take off, to let them battle with fate till you return? Or do you give up that adventure which you have been planning for a very long time? Well, if you consider either of the above options, you would both be on the loosing side; and the whole fun idea of the trip would not be achieved. Besides you know how dangerous it is to leave a toddler unsupervised in a room for even a second. Well then, any other options?

So what are you waiting for? Round up your kids and take them to a national park where they can experience the awe inspiring mountain monoliths for themselves.

Trail Running Tips

MarathonPhoto Credit: Jan Willem van Wessel

Trail running is about function and not fashion, making it critical to choose the right trail running shoes for your beneficial running experience. Trail running shoes have better traction and are used on rocky terrain and off-roadrunning, walking and light hiking. It has rubber lugs for better support on loose gravel and slippery rocks. The upper portion is made of sturdy materials for protection against sharp rocks and sticks. These are some of the things that I learned while on a Saint George Utah vacation.

 It is ok to run the smooth trails while using your favorite road shoes, but investing on trail shoes can prepare you for the rough off-roads ahead.  Trails are unpredictable and demanding.  If you consider trail runs more often as part of your training or for seeking out some adventure, then buying at least one trail shoe could be a wise decision. Herein are reasons why getting trail shoes for your regular trail runs is a wise investment:

 Trail shoes or off road shoes have three main benefits:  stability, traction and protection.

Below is a comparison between the NB1064 which is a road shoe and the new NB910 which is a trail shoe or for off-roads.


Trails have uneven surface.  The road will have rocks, cracks, and sloping edges.  Sharp rocks can be painful in the soles and the sloping edges can make you slip.  Trail shoes adds more features to keep your feet stable like some posts on the medial or lateral side to reduce chances of twisting your ankle.


It is obvious that trail shoes need more traction than road shoes since you�d encounter slippery surfaces, mud and dusts.  Thus most trail shoes have deeper lugs to prevent slipping.  The soles would have patterns like that of a tire and makes it heavier than road shoes.



Trail shoes have thin plates in the soles to prevent sharp rocks from poking thru your soles.  Others have steel or thick rubber constructions on the toes.


So choose the right  shoes for your daily activities so that you will be comfortable and have fun at the same time.


The Things To Do In Ketchikan

During our time in Ketchikan at an Alaskan fishing lodge we soon found there was many more alaskan activities to do than just slay the mighty king salmon. Soon we became overwhelmed at how much we could do realizing we had so little time to accomplish so much. Here are some of the best things to do while in Ketchikan Alaska.

Boating / Diving

While in Ketchikan, you can engage in some undersea exploration with the help of the Wind & Water Dive Center, or enjoy sailing with the Ketchikan Ocean Racing Circuit.


If you seek solitude while in Ketchikan, reserve one of the remote cabins the U.S. Forest Service maintains within 75 miles of the community. Some sit on the seashore, others are on the shores of lakes and the banks of streams and estuaries. A number are so remote, they are only accessible by floatplane. The accommodations in the cabins are truly rustic. They include plywood bunks, oil or wood stoves, and outhouses. Contact the Forest Service to reserve one of them.

Ketchikan Alaska range and activitiesPhoto Credit:Steve Betts


Exploring the sea is not the only thing you will want to do while in Ketchikan. You will also want to hike the miles of trails surrounding the town maintained by the Ketchikan Outdoor Recreation and Trails Coalition. The trails traverse a little bit of everything, from seashores to mountaintops.


If you want to catch a baseball game, or play a little basketball, it is available here, too. There are tons of sports leagues and recreational groups such as the youth Dribblers League and the Ketchikan, Alaska Youth Football League. For the adults, there is basketball and softball. The Gateway Recreation Center, established in the early 1990′s, furnishes several different athletic outlets. Activities include basketball, soccer, roller-skating, racquetball, handball, aerobics, martial arts, and even fitness equipment. During winter months, snowshoes and alpines skis may be rented. A full-size competition swimming pool is also available, as well as saunas and a warm-down pool. Don’t know how to swim? No problem. Master swimmers give lessons on technique, fitness and endurance.


It is truly inspiring to experience southeast Alaska from the sea, taking in picturesque scenery on a ferry, private charter or your own craft. The Alaska Marine Highway, traveling the waters of the Inside Passage year round, provides service for passengers and vehicles. If you come in your own watercraft, call the local visitors’ bureau ahead of time to verify mooring. If you want an intimate tour of Ketchikan’s waterways, venture out in a canoe or kayak or even a bicycle. If you want to venture out on land on your own, there are several car rental options in Ketchikan.

Our Time In Ketchikan Alaska

Trust us, recreation in Ketchikan, Alaska is not limited to fishing for King Salmon! Recently we spent some time at an Alaska fishing lodge in Ketchikan, but we did more than just fish as the the surrounding area offers many different activities, from snowmobiling to hiking to judo to chess. Below are some of the museums and exhibits you might enjoy during your stay in Ketchikan, Alaksa:

 -Tongass Historical Museum

-Dolly’s House

-The Saxman

- Totem Bight and the Totem Heritage Center

- Art and Craft Galleries and Shops

Ketchikan Alaska fishing lodgePhoto Credit:Frank Kovalchek
Ketchikan, Alaska is home to many galleries displaying a wide variety of art, including native art and handicrafts. It also hosts many arts-themed festivals, thanks to the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council. The most popular aspect, however, is the visual and performing arts composed of the community’s performing arts groups such as the First City Players, Ketchikan Theater Ballet and Ketchikan Community Band, host performances all year round.

Well-known crafters also reside in Ketchikan, adding to the rapidly increasing arts scene. The people share creative development, designs and accomplishments. Among the local concoctions popular in Ketchikan is the Wearable Art Show every February. It is free for anyone with a passion for fashion, giving them the opportunity to showcase their stuff along the runway.

If you want arts, Ketchikan surely has them. The community’s galleries and events are ideal for amateurs and professionals. When you visit, do not miss the arts scene in this charming southeast Alaskan town.

As mentioned, a lot of activities are available. You can attend native craft and dance exhibitions. You can experience the granite cliffs and glaciers of Misty Fjords National Monument. Visiting the Metlakatla Indian Community and nearby Prince of Wales Island is a must. You can also find the perfect souvenir of your trip at Ketchikan’s variety of galleries and shops.

Some of the most popular activities in Ketchikan include:

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba diving
  • Scenic Flights
  • Boating
  • Wildlife Viewing (Ocean and Land)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Logging Shows
  • Shopping
  • Bear Tours
  • The Theater