Travel

Moray Inca ruins with kids

Cusco – Sacred Valley with kids and visiting Moray Inca Ruins

Sacred Valley with Kids: Moray Inca ruins

The Moray Inca ruins with kids was a great warm-up for our next day tour. After visiting Chincheros, we head to Moray Inca Ruins called Quantus Raquay, it was right before Salt Maras Moray Pond.

Also, Moray was a great warm-up for Ollantaytambo which we visited the following day.  Usually, you can get this tour together because their proximity is convenient. I strongly recommend you to do your research to customized your tour if possible.

Peru- Cusco our way to Moray Inca Ruins. Our kids were excited
Our view from the road
Adventure in Sacred Valley with our kids start
Great a view of the Sacred Valley. The view of the farmland that is planned to be the home of the new airport

Quantus Raquay

Basically, in Moray,  Quantus Raquayis is an Inca ruin that contains circular terrace used for an irrigation system. The Incas build this system to grow crops in different microclimates. Every level has different temperatures.  It was sort of Inca agriculture laboratory used to grow resistant plans high in the Andes.

Seems that they were build to use the different microclimates that the Peruvian Andean terrain provided and experiment growing of different types of plants. A true statement of the genius of human archeology and hydraulic.

To get in here you need to buy tickets on the entrance, get the partial tourist ticket III (Sacred Valley) for $25 or the full ticket for $47. Get your tourist ticket at the office or DICERTUR Main square at Calle Mantas from Monday to Sunday or on site.

Entrance of Moray Inca ruins with kids
The entrance of Quantus Raqay
Moray Inca ruins with kids
The amazing view

Once there we were lucky to witnesses a ceremony where they recreate the ceremonies that use to happen here.

Moray Inca ruins with kids
Hundreds of people carrying Incas flags and dancing
Going down all the different terrace levels
Moray Inca ruins with kids
They were coming to the center from every angle
Moray Inca ruins with kids
It was amazing to see them getting together and dancing

We climb up and down and admired and learn about this amazing place!

Moray Inca ruins with kids
A really impressive view for this little
Moray Inca ruins with kids
Can you see the people?
Moray Inca ruins with kids
This caught the people dressed on Inca Attired with the Inca flag

I hope you find this helpful t travel here with your kids. good luck!

Moray -Sacred Valley - Cusco - Peru

Family Trip to Peru: tips to do Maras Salt Ponds with kids

Maras Salt Ponds with kids

After visiting Moray we head with the kids to Maras Salt Ponds, a truly amazing place. Although I have visited Cusco several times, this was my first time visiting Maras Salt Pond. Sacred Valley manages to still show new amazing places used by the Incas.  I couldn’t be happier that kids got to see this amazing place. You won’t believe it!

Cusco with kids Maras Salt Pond
The view of Maras Salt and background the Sacred Valley

 

Getting There

Maras Salt Pond was a great place to take the kids. The pond is located on the mountain and surrounded by a gorgeous view. The bus drive by a cliff in a two ways road. It is scary!!! I’m not going to lie, my heart almost stopped when we turn a curve and another bus was going in the opposite direction. We were by the cliff side Oh! I could see the cliff so close…. fortunately, the driver was an expert and we made it. The good news is that the road will improve soon because an airport is projected to be built on Chicheros.

A dusty road
The road to there is very dusty
The view of Sacred Valley amazing places
Getting closer
Going down the road in Sacred Valley
The view gets better and better
A little garden in Maras Salt Pond
Our way to Maras Salt Pond
Maras Salt Pond
There is a little garden area maintained by locals. Not surprised since Sacred Valley has such a fertile land
Maras Salt Pond with kids
People can walk around the ponds carefully

WHAT IS IT?

Basically, this is a salt farm and it has been used by Incas at the time. This place is full of salt evaporations ponds. The salt comes from the salty water from the underground stream.

Almost every pond is four-meter square and no more than 30 centimeters depth. It is own by the community in a cooperative system. Every family owns a pond that takes cares of. Basically, a whole family and the size of the pond depends on the size of the family.

When the water evaporated from the ponds, water become oversaturated and salt in the form of crystal precipitated to the surface.  After closing the water feeder the water dries and the salt can be scrapped from the pond. Families are in charge of taking care of this process.

THE PONDS

After getting off the bus and walk in a very narrow parking lot, we walked down the dirt path. It is very dusty so I cover my kids’ faces with their t-shirts (I wasn’t ready for the mush dirt, I wish I brought sunglasses for them).

Once we pass all the stores there are at the entrance, we went down the stairs and the amazing view opened. The guide explained to us that this has been working since Inca’s time and is maintained by locals with a comunity system. It was pretty easy to see how the water run down and form this pond and touch the crystals that grow around there.

We were fascinating, we touched the water and the salt. We learned something new and I was so happy they learn this about the Incas. I found out they were super hydraulic engineers!

Sacred Valley world schooling
The boys dig their hand on the water. It was easy to see the crystal when they took their hands out
Cusco, Maras Salt Pond
This is the path of the water
Exploring Cusco with kids, Maras Salt Ponds
My boy was so surprised at the amount of Salt. A great summer lesson for him

 

Let me know if you have any question when planning your trip. I am happy to help!

Rocio

Salineras Maras Moray in Cusco
Maras Salt Pond in Cusco Peru
Maras Salt Ponds in Cusco Peru

Cusco with Kids: an Amazing Visit to Sacred Valley – Chincheros with kids

Cusco – Peru with kids – Chincheros

Our first stop exploring the Sacred Valley was an amazing visit to Chincheros with the kids. Chincheros is well known for its great artisans. It is located in Urubamba before Moray and Mara’s Salt Pond’s

The first thing you want to know about Chincheros it is that is a small town close to Cuzco. It has great artisans that have created beautiful textiles since the Inca’s time.

Second, I highly recommend it for kids. They are great weaving centers and local women gave us a great educational show. They explained the Inca’s process of getting colors from plants in English and Spanish in a very entertained way. You can watch the video here. scroll down

Cusco with kids
Just leaving Cusco you started getting the beautiful view of Sacred Valley

peru with kids: our way to chicheros
There was still some snow on the mountains

Peru with kids: Chincheros' view

Cusco with kids
Leaving Cusco

Leaving the city behind

Cusco with kids
Kantu the artesian place we visit

Once there you get inside and find this little ginny pig house where they raised them. The kids were able to see them, they are kind of cute.

Chincheros with kids
they have ginny pigs

Peru for kids
They are adorable

My kids love them

Next, we are greeting by the artesian and proceed to seat down.

Artisans ladies are so friendly and entertaining!

They provide us with some coca tea

We can find on the display what plant belongs to a specific color. It was wonderful and educational to see where they come from. I feel this visit was very educational for the kids.

Basically, they ground in a mortar the desired color. Once they get the sheep wool they watched and make it boiled together with the desired color.

love the colors

The kids were able to see all the process while the artesian explained

After they get the colors. They show us the waiving process

 

amazing artisans

Have fun!

 

 

 

Top things to do in lima with kids

Lima: The legends Park – Zoo

Peru with kids Lima zoo
Kids ready to explore the Legend Park a local favorite zoo

This is the oldest zoo in Lima.  The legends park is an extended park where you can appreciate not only the zoo, also a botanical garden, archeological sites, butterfly rides, playground amusement, restaurants and more. For these reasons is a local favorite spot.

The park is located in the Av. Parque de las Leyendas 580, San Miguel Lima. The unique thing about this zoo is that you can find many birds and animals from South America and Central America.  The entrance costs $2.3 per kids and $4 per adults and It is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Lima with kids
There is a Huaca (pre-Inca building) archeological area inside The Legends Park

Lima with kids in the legends park
More views of the Huaca

One of the highlights of this zoo is that houses lots of animals from Peru. The zoo is divided into geographical regions Cost, Jungle and Andes showing typical animals from those areas and the world.

Remember, It is always better to arrive when they open (9 am) if you want to avoid the crowds, especially on weekends and holidays. You can see llamas, jaguar, cougar, Amazonian monkeys, elephants, zebras, lion, tiger. You can easily spend a half day here looking at the animals and visiting all the areas.

This park is very big and open, so during summer time, it can get very hot. So, you can buy an umbrella at the kiosks by the entrance or wear protection (hat, sunblock). If you have little kids bring a stroller if you can.

 

Peru with kids
Amzonian birds

Peru with kids watching the monkeys
Trying to find the mokeys

A close view of monkeys

Visiting Peru with kids zoo
The fences made hard to see the african penguins

Lima with kids
kids admired the penguins anyway

Lake
We took the zoo ride and saved time. The zoo is bigger than you think. These are the beautiful dolphins made out of grass in this artificial lake. You can rent paddle boats here.

Entrance to the botanical garden

Paddington Bear Lima Peru
The Peruvian bear

Peru paddington bear
We spend lots of time looking at this beauty

He was very friendly

Peru visiting with kids
Kids really appreciate these open spaces

Peru in family
A great Maze

Peru for family

As you explore the park you will notice there is one court food area but many kiosks. On the court food, you can find the famous Peruvian roasted chicken, yummy but not many vegetarians options. There is plenty of candy and snacks on the kiosks.

I hope this will be helpful on your trip!

Lima with kids: walk in Barranco and Bridge of sight

Barranco Lima Peru

Barranco is a little district, well known for its bohemian history. It was home of inspiration of very well know Peruvian musicians, artists, designers, and photographer. The bridge of sight or Puente de Los Suspiros is one its main attraction for local and foreigners. It is a that inspire compositor  Chabuca Grande and photographer Mario Testino. 

I love to show this area to my family we had a great afternoon walking by the Bridge of Sight, looking at the Colonial architecture and admiring the street art, and of course, enjoying the Ocean View and even playing soccer at the little main square.

Bridge of Sight or Puente de Los Suspiros

This district used to be the area of Beach Resort for aristocracy locals. Currently, is very popular among the locals that love to walk to the sea that runs through Barranco.

This is a beautiful Colonial bridge with a bohemian style and it was inaugurated 1876. According to the tradition when you cross the Bridge you are supposed to hold your breath and make a wish. Under the bridge, you can find a path that leads you to a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean where usually street artists sell jewelry and play music.

 

Peru with kids Barranco Lime Bridge of sights
Beautiful view of Bridge of Sights

Lima Barranco Bridge of sightAnother side of Bridge of Sight

Family fun in BarrancoLa Bajada del Puente de Los Suspiros

Lima fun with kids
Kids really enjoyed exploring and touching
Family fun Barranco Lima
Climbing the Chalan statue

Pacific Ocean

In Barranco, you can find art galleries, Contemporary Museums, boutique hotels, Coffe shops, and bars. Its little main square is a good place for kids to run around. After crossing the Bridge of Sight you go to la bajada. My kids really enjoyed walking down the path the leads us to the Pacific Ocean view. Here is the Gallery:

Ocean Path in Lima BarrancoThe way to the Ocean Path

Fun with family in Barranco

Colonial Art and Modern Art

This District is known for its romantic and bohemian feeling with his Colonial Mansions from the 19th Century. It is a mix of modern and Art and Colonial Art. Although is the home of modern art Galleries just walking on its street let you see the work of many modern street artists and their designs. In recent years the graphitic art has increased so much and making Barranco a colorful place.

In Barranco, you can find amazing art street, as well as contemporary art galleries or art gallery as Museum Pedro de Osma.  Colonial style is found also on its streets and if you go to the Museo of Ofma, you will appreciate a great Colonial Art collection.

 

Peruvian Food

This district is popular among locals for its many bars, restaurants, and clubs. At night it can get very crowded with people looking for parties. During the day is easy to find inexpensive restaurants and expensive ones depending on your budget. Don’t miss to enjoy the traditional “anticuchos” and other Peruvian food.

Enjoy!

Rocio

 

 

 

 

Lima Peru – Plaza de Armas

Lima Peru – Plaza de Armas is the home of the Government Palace, Lima Catedral, and other important Government buildings. It is one of the most beautiful Plaza de Armas build by Spain in Latin America.

Its beautiful well maintains garden and streets make Lima such vibrant and historical City.  And it is a safe place for adults and kids. Lima Center has changed from being one of the most dangerous places in Lima 30 years ago, to be one of the safest.

Lima Peru Government Palace

Plaza de Armas

History

Build in 1535 in a baroque style with Carve wooden balconies. The Plaza de Armas was created following the Procedures of the New Cities in the world back in 1535 when the Spains arrived on Peru.

With the new Procedure of New cities after outlining a city’s plan, the growth followed a grid centered on the square shape of the plaza. For this reason, the Plaza de Armas is surrounded by Jiron Junin, Jiron de la Union,  Jiron Huallaga, and the Jiron Carabaya Avenues.

Lima Peru Plaza de armas. Traveling with kids
Wooden Carved balconies

What To See in Plaza de Armas:

Government Palace

The Government Palace is where the Peruvian President lives. It has been rebuilt several times, and the French-inspired Palace was built in 1930.

The Government Palace and Lima Cathedral are located here. If you have time to visit, try to get to the Government Palace around noon to see the changing of the palace guard. You don’t need tickets for this just be on time to be on the front line!

Lima Peru Government Palace. Traveling with kids

Fun places to go with kids. Lima Peru View of Palace
Lima Peru with kids. View of Palace

Lima Peru with kids beautiful view of Government Palace door
Close view of Government Palace. Peru with kids

Fun with family. Lima Peru with kids. Government Palace
You can admire the French Style of Peruvian Government Palace with your family

Lima Peru Cathedral

While Lima Cathedral was built originally in 1600. The Cathedral houses a great collection of art and while the Government Palace access is restricted, the Catedral is open to the public for an admission of $2. Remember if you want to get in they restrict access to people wearing shorts and sandals.

 

Peru with kids, plaza de Armas Lima Cathedral
View of front of the cathedral

Peru with kids: Lima Peru Government Palace

One of the fun things to do in Peru with kids visit Lima Cathedral
My son admiring the Cathedral French doors. It is fascinating by it

Visiting Lima with family. Inside Cathedral
More amazing of the outside is inside the Lima Cathedral. A gorgeous piece of art that you and your family will appreciate.

Choco Museum or Chocolate Museum

On the North side, you find the park of the flag and the “Oidor House” converted to a  Pisco bar and the Choco Museo or Museum of chocolate. In this museum, you can get to make Cholotaes and get free testing of them as well. Kids really appreciate fun things to do. They don’t only get to learn how to make chocolate they test it!

Exploring Lima with kids. Fountains by the Odor House
The Oidor House

Lima with kids. CathedralLima with kids. Chocolate Museum

Lima with kids. Fun activities: Chocolate museum

San Francisco Chruch and Monastery

This Monastery and Church is located on the North Side of the Plaza de Armas. A block from Government Palace and is the house of the Lima Catacombs. You can access to direct guide tour every hour. Check details of this impressive place here.

Honestly, my kids were not ready to visit the Catacombs but we did it. They did enjoy feeding the bird by the front door I think is upon personalities, some kids are fearless!

Lima with kids. San Francisco Church
Located on the right side behind Government Palace

One fun thing to do with kids is show architectural art in Lima Peru: San Francisco Church
I love to show my kids this architectual beauty

 

Lima with kids. San Francisco Monastery
You can get a ride around Plaza de Armas in a carriage in Lima Peru

Places for kids. Lima Peru San Francisco Monastery
Kids really enjoyed feeding the bird

Lima with kids indoor view of San Francisco Monastery
A beautiful and peaceful view of the indoor of the Monastery

 

 

 

This is an amazing place for kids. Catacombs Peru
View of one of many catacombs inside the Monastery

Municipal Palace (City Hall)

Another building located on Main Square is the Municipal Palace (City Hall). While in the South part, you find the magazine Caretas headquarters. Also, Pasaje Olaya where you can stop in one of its many restaurants to enjoy some Peruvian cuisine.

Travel with kids. View of plaza de Armas Lima

Lima with kids. View of beautiful fountain

View of balconies and Plaza de Areas Lima

 

Jiron de la Union

Starting on the south part of Plaza de Armas is Jiron de la Union. Favorite things to do by locals since it has a  public Pathwalk that goes many blocks and ends in  Plaza San Martin.  It has some of the most important post-colonial architecture. It was some of Lima most elegant shopping centers on the lattes 19th century and the beginning of 20th.   At the end of  Plaza San Martin, you can find the Hotel Bolivar, where the famous Peruvian Drink – Pisco Sour was created.

Lima Peru Jiron de la Union one of favorite locals spot

Casa Aliaga is a beautiful building along Iron de la Union
Beautiful building along Jiron de la Union

Fun places for kids in Lima Peru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Bolivar

At the end of Jiron de la Union and by La Plaza San Martin is the Hotel Bolivar. This stunning hotel is where the famous Peruvian drink was created. You have to try it here!

Visit Lima with Kids and explore Gran Hotel Bolivar

Hotel Bolivar entrance
Hotel Bolivar entrance and hall

I hope this information is useful and you enjoy your travel experience!

Putucusi the hidden hike in Machu Picchu

I was lucky to have hiked to Putucusi the hidden hike in Machu Picchu. Putucusi is not a super well know hike although is located across from Machu Picchu. It is a hike that not many people do because everyone focuses on the hike to Mach Picchu. However, if you have a few hours to spend, it totally worth it. Once on the pick, you can get an amazing view of Machu Picchu. However, getting it is not easy.

Unfortunately, after a massive flood has kept it close and still need to be repaired. Honestly, I didn’t have expectations when I hike it for the first and only time, because I never hear of it before. It was tough for my fear of heights but totally worth it.

I remember we hiked it on a rainy day without researching about it or asking locals how difficult it was. I honestly thought it is dangerous people won’t go and it will be close,  I was wrong!

The entrance of Putucusi on 2005

First view after stairs

Honestly, who hike this stair on the rain. right? On my defense, it wasn’t raining when we start the hike. we were lucky to have brought ponchos that help us once we were there.

Crazy stair. Seems like a bad idea

No many people agree

the view right away

Getting higher

Right after crazy stair we head to this little path. Where we saw a lady carrying her baby on the back wearing flip flops

Just need to cross this bridge

And climb these stairs

When we started the hike it wasn’t the stiff until this latter came. I really didn’t want to climb but my then boyfriend and his brother put some pressure on me. How can as local couldn’t climb. So, I did it.

Once on the top, the ground started getting flag again, and then stiff and I told the guys. We shouldn’t keep hiking since we didn’t know the way and have no plan or a guide of the area, we could get lost.  Suddenly a lady shows up carrying her baby on her back show up. She was wearing just flip flops and was coming down the path. I didn’t have another option than keep walking following the signs and praying we will find the promised view.

view once on the top

The view kept getting better

One more turn!

It was a crazy hike!

This view absolutely worth the insane hike. Here some pictures!

Then this. Yes, we could see Machu Picchu!

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We came back after 11 years with our kids and it was close. This is how gar we could go.

 

Peru for kids: How to Do Nazca Lines with family

Nazca

Seeing the Nazca Lines from the air with kids is no joke. If you are afraid of taking your kids in a little airplane to fly around thousand-year-old geoglyphs, this is not for you. Despite the anxiety that I have of flying in little airplanes, I did it with my family, and I have no regrets. My kids couldn’t believe what they were seeing!  It was really a blast seeing the wonder on their little faces – and the best part is they didn’t puke!  Here is how we did it and how much it cost.

WHAT ARE NAZCA LINES

Nazca is one of Peru’s many treasures. It is a small town, the home of an amazing thousand-year-old civilization, very well known for the giant lines drawn on the sand. They were created approximately between 500 BCE and 500 CE.

These geoglyphs expand in an area of around 75,358.47 ha. Every Individual figurative geoglyph designs measure between 0.4 and 1.1 km that means about.2 and .7 mile across! It is amazing just to think about it.

The whole length of all the lines is over 1,300 km that means 808 miles. Some people think they can see them by land. There are few spotting sights on a road, but I’m telling you don’t set your expectations high if you do. You can’t see the whole enchilada, believe me, I tried once!

Peru with family: Nazca Lines
Nazca dessert. This one of the picture we took from the air

HOW WE GOT TO NAZCA

We went to Nazca by bus and it took us 6 and a half hours to get there from Lima. There are many bus lines you can take, but we chose Cruz del Sur. We chose their Cruise Suite Service that cost $40 per person. Seats were comfortable which is important for traveling with kids. It includes food, however, the food wasn’t the best.

You will think seven hours is a way to long ride for two littles. My kids are used to long rides. But in Peru, the buses come with a bonus of electronic board entertainment. They look forward to it.

STAY IN NAZCA

Nazca is a little town and there is not much exciting to see but we wanted to grab the first flight the next day so we stayed there for a day.

We chose the Hotel  Casa Hacienda Oasis. It cost around $100 per night, of course, you can find cheaper places. We stayed here because the pool and hotel were pretty. Although you probably won’t spend much time on there, to be honest. The restaurant was pricey, and the pool was full of bugs during the night. No swimming at night.

After our flight, we used the pool. It’s early summer in January so the weather was perfect for us. It was a perfect day.

FLYING THE NAZCA LINES: THE FLIGHT

We got our tickets to fly through Nazca Flights from its good reviews on Trip Advisor.  The cost was of $102 per person with an additional $10 per person airport tax.

Travel with kids: Nazca Lines
Ticket to fly Nazca

They picked us up from our hotel around 7:30 am and took us to the airport. At the airport, we got weighed and our documentation was checked (everyone had to have a passport or DNI, the Peruvian ID card).  After all that was done, we waited 20 minutes to pass through a simple security check. Then waited about 10 minutes for our airplane.

We were greeted by a friendly co-pilot that gave us the safety information. The kids couldn’t have been more excited to ride the small airplane. We took some pictures, and the co-pilot was nice to take pictures of us and provided us with maps and an explanation of what we will see and when we will see them. The little map with the route of what we will see was very helpful when in the air.  They sat us according to our weight to balance the plane, and everyone had a window seat.

Family fun: Nazca Lines with kids
All of us, ready to go

Peru with kids: Flying Nazca Lines with kids

The tribulation, using a map, explained to the kids and us what we were about to see. The order of the lines

Nazca Lines
Here is the map!

Once in the air we were able to see for the first time the whale draw on the sand. I had flew the Nazca lines before, but is the first time I saw the whale. Finally! and  pretty amazing. Check the pictures of the fly:

DURING THE FLIGHT

The astronaut geoglyph was one of the most impressive. This figure is located on a mountain it was hard to spot. Although we flew in circles several times, my husband and 7 years old kid couldn’t see it. It was right there! I took pictures for them.

After a while, by the time we spotted most of the lines,  my 7-year-old was feeling the altitude of the flight. He started resting his head and keeping it straight to stop the dizziness.  It was great that the crew kept an eye on everyone constantly, so that was helpful. Luckily he didn’t puke and we were able to land without any incident, but in case your kid does there are bags for it 😉

How did the Nazca people create these amazing geoglyphs? I still have no clue. There are many theories out there of how and why, but the only thing I know is that they are spectacular!  After landing, we hydrated getting some food from the little store on the mini airport and got some souvenirs at a good price ( t-shirt for $4 and little 3-key chains for $1, an example). Then, we were able to use the pool at the hotel and the weather was perfect at 10 AM when we returned. Next our next stop Dunas of la Huacachina!

Trip Item Cost
Adults Kid second Adult
Bus Lima to Nasca on Cruise Suite Service * $40 $40
Hotel one night for a family of 4 ** $100
Nasca Flight $102 $102
Airport tax $10 $10
total cost  per family of 4 $708
* you could get other services for $20 but they do stops and seats are different
** but this for one of the more expensive end this included taxi from bus station to the hotel

Finally, I hope you find this information helpful when planning your trip!

 

 

Universal Packing Checklist for International Travel

For years when I traveled, I got overwhelmed with the task of packing. But finally I learned how to make it easy – the hard way.  After numerous experiences packing for travel abroad, I mastered the art and nowadays, packing for a long trip comes naturally and easy to me. So today, I’m sharing with  you my universal  packing checklist for International travel.
Now, let’s get this packing thing done right! You don’t want to learn the hard way, as I did. Here is my shortlist to get the suitcase for your needs, pack light and have fun.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

What I learned after years of packing is to follow a basic rule: do not overpack!  Bring only what you really need – after all, if you leave something critical behind, you’ve just found a great excuse for a shopping trip!  You don’t want to pay extra money at check-in for overweight suitcases; make sure you know what the weight limits are and weigh your luggage before you leave for the airport. If you’re only bringing a backpack you don’t want to hurt your back, so be careful there. Believe me, I know what it’s like to hurt your back from carrying too much on it, and it’s no fun!

I have found there is an easy way to avoid overpacking:  make a packing list!  We all tend to  wait until the last minute to pack.  Life is busy, right?  If you’re like me you’ll probably wait until the last minute  to actually pack, but I can often find the time to write up a list plenty of time ahead.  It doesn’t take long!.   Just grab your phone and write it down in the Notes app or wherever you prefer and create your own master packing list – or just copy and paste this.

MAKE SURE YOU DON’T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS

First things first. You need to make it simple, especially if you go abroad. Also, you don’t want to find out you left valuable items at home after landing thousands of miles away. Sometimes what you bring or forget can make or break a trip!  While shopping is great fun, let’s be real:  you don’t want to spend time and money on some mundane items like socks and underwear you already have a home.

Passport

Although this is pretty obvious, you should check to make sure that your passport is current, right after you get your ticket. When it comes to international travel, make sure you check and double check that you have your passport on had and ready to go. So go ahead and double and triple check the expiration date of the passport of every family member or whoever you are travel with. Be aware that most countries will require that your passport be valid for at least six months after your arrival date!  If you need to get a new passport, it can take six weeks unless you want to pay huge “rush” fees.

Credit Card for foreign transactIon

Don’t forget to tell your bank that you are traveling overseas, and consider getting a credit card for foreign transactions. Getting your credit card blocked because your bank is trying to save you from fraud is no fun when you’re far from home!  Also, stay updated on the exchange rate for U.S. dollars where you’re going, as well as how much your bank charges for foreign transactions.

Money belt travel

Courtesy of Amazon

Depending on where you go, a money belt may be an essential, or not. It’s still important to keep your valuables close and safe when you far from home, regardless of where you travel to. The money belt is a time tested way to hide your cash, cards and important documents. This is especially the case when you’re traveling through airports. Do not hesitate to use it if you want to be one step ahead of pickpockets and other opportunists.

 

 

And you should know that today’s money belt isn’t like grandpa’s!  They are super cute looking, comfortable and convenient. The best recommendation from amazon costs less than $20. It has enough space to carry your passport and even six credit cards.

Standbaxh has made one that can be use for running as well, made from Lycra material. It’s comfortable to wear, whether you are running or traveling around. You can wear them under your clothes and go unnoticed, without worry. Remember: out of sight brings peace of mind.

Medication

Among  the basics you need to bring are your medications, or anything you need that you will be afraid of buying in a foreign country.  I usually bring basic medication for kids like for cold and sinus remedies.

Essential oils

Essential oils have been around a while but today they are becoming more popular. I really became a believer in them after our last trip to Machu Picchu. My husband’s cousin who came with us used them a lot and she did great with the altitude and walking for hours with a bad knee.  I will write about her essential oil regimen and the brand she uses: St John Wort Oil   .

Filtered pured water BOTTLE:

I usually don’t bring water bottles but this is a must have for a water filtration system. You can safely drink water from any contaminated water source world-wide. Drinkable water can be accessible with  technological breakthrough in filtration design thanks to Puritii.

This is non-toxic, chemical free (no BPA or phthalates) and available in in portable sweat-less stainless steel or durable plastic ($139), with new technology that not only keeps you hydrated on the go, but gives you peace of mind, too. You’ll want to make sure you snag enough filters to get you through your travels.

When you’re traveling with kids, it’s very important to make sure they get clean water to drink because nothing ruins a trip faster than a bad case of diarrhea – or worse!

BASIC GADGETS

Besides your tablet and/or laptop, mobile phone, and headphone, here is the list of gadgets you may need to bring along as well:

Portable Battery CHARGER

Don’t forget your batteries and bring those that take up less space. A great battery that doesn’t take  much space and you can re-chargeable is Jackery Bolt , and another good choice is the Amazon nailed basic. 

Adaptor

When you need to bring your devices abroad this days, it’s important to bring an adaptor where you plug in all your devices. So you don’t need several pieces. You can find a variety of them, but this is great recommendation by amazon for superb value.

 

WIFI hotspot

courtesy of Amazon

WIFI Spot  has become a new must have specially for those who travel, but still need to get business done while away from home. If you need to stay connected and you can’t miss any e-mail.  You simply make a one-time purchase of the device and you won’t get stuck with slow Airport WIFI service.

This device just works and  you get it fast. You link it to your G3 to a GlobalMe account, deposit money and use it to buy a data package valid for the country you’re traveling to. Then you just boot up the device. It finds and connects to a local cell network and creates a password-protected WiFi hot spot you can log into with your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. You’re good to go. You can find it in Amazon for $165

TABLET/ ipad/device for kids

This days you don’t always need to bring devices many airplanes have them on every passenger seat but if that or your phone is not enough for your kid. You should  bring wherever devices he plays with including a great case. However, if you kid is happy with one thick “Harry Potter book” yes bring it! He can pass it on check in carrying it.

Luggage Scale

This  is such a important accessory and if you use it you can end up saving maybe hundreds of dollars. Sometimes you can come back from a country with so many gifts that your luggage weights much more on the outbound flight than when you arrived.

 

THE BASIC TRAVEL LIST

FOR PARENTS
Clothing
  • Usually for 2 weeks of traveling I bring  4 or 5 tops that go according to the season of the place I’m going.  I add 1 top per a week of the trip but I have never needed more than 6. The less you bring the more space you have in luggage to bring gifts for the folks back home.
  • I like to bring 2 shorts and 2 pants in summer and when staying more than 2 weeks. In other seasons I bring  3 pants.
  • 1 black dress or a dress that you can dress up and down.
  • A suit or semi-formal outfit for man
  • One pair of undergarments per day as well as socks
  • A set of exercising clothes.
  • Two sets of pajamas
  • One jacket for cold nights according to season winter or summer.
  • A rain jacket is always a good idea for places that rain
  • A pair of tennis shoes
  • A pair of sandals you will need for beach or bathroom (sometimes if better to be safe and they don’t take much space)
  • A set of comfortable travel shoes that you could dress up and down with style. My favorites are Ferrel and Naturalizer.
  • A swimming suit.  Reversible swimming suits can help you feel that you brought two.
  •  If heading to the snow, bring powder pants and jacket as well as snow boots and googles. You need to evaluate if renting is more convenient than bring them and taking up space and maybe paying for the extra weight.
ACCESORIES
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat for summer or winter
  • Set of jewelry
  • Handbag
  • Gloves for winter
  • Headphones
  • Neck pillow
TOILETRIES
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant (my favorite brand is Schmidts)
  • Shampoo and conditioner is a must. I have to bring mine because my hair is used to my products so I bring travel sized containers of it. You can bring a  T.S.A. size-approved toiletries on your carry on or just put them on your suitcase. I always put them in a suitcase inside a ziploc’d bag so air pressure doesn’t make them spilled all over the place. It has happened too many times already!
  • Make up in a small traveling bag
CARRIERS

If you are a parent traveling with littles don’t forget your Ergo, I used to travel with my kids and carry them on my Ergo or in the Moby wrap. Latter we fall in love with the Kelty Carrier when they get heavier is a must have for hikes, but we never brought such a big carrier overseas. You can hike with kids to Hawaii or Machu Picchu and make it easy breezy with the right carrier. If you are nursing a nursing blanket is need it. There are great on the market.

 

FOR KIDS
CLOTHING
  • Hat for sun or winter hats
  • 4 to 5 tops or 3 pants, or
  • 2 dresses and 2 pants
  • 7 sets of underwear
  • Training shoes
  • Rainy coat
  • A set of semi formal clothes
  • Backpack, our favorite is North Face they know how to build them.
ACCESORIES
  • Sunglasses if your kids can keep them mine hate them. They get always lost
  • Hat for summer or winter
  • Gloves for winter
  • Headphones.  Kids love to use the airplane devices and you don’t want to pay for headphones( some airlines charge for them)
  • Neck pillow
TOILETRIES
  • Toothbrush,
  • Shampoo and conditioner is sometimes hard to find them on different countries Im use to one line T.S.A. size-approved toiletries. I put them in an extra bag in case the air pressure make them explode on air. You never know and you don’t want surprises.

Make planning for your trip easier with these packing lists, Now I’m ready to pack!

Good luck and Happy travels!

Back in the Redwoods – My first hike after breaking my ankle

Last week I was back in the redwoods, on my first hike after breaking my ankle in the summer of 2018. However, I didn’t realize how much I missed the forest until I was there. Nisene Marks Park, is a great place to visit and explore for hikes and I will explain to you why.

During the summer I broke my ankle I didn’t want to go into many details and make it  a big negative thing. Although there are many things I learned from the experience, I wanted  to focus on recovering and being positive. You can easily fall into depression if you just focus on the negative part of injury. Being dependent sucks.

Talk about a Surf Break

I broke my ankle learning to surf.  To make a long story short, after two hour of catching wa