Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Posted On 9/28/2016 by Team iCynosure.

With the number of stories, I hear about Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya these days, I’m very scared as a parent. Not only am I a mosquito magnet, but also is my daughter. If there is a mosquito around, it is sure to find us from a zillion people present. And leave us with ugly large skin bumps that will itch, get hard and sometimes cause mild fever as well.

I’ve learnt to be safe than sorry when it comes to mosquito borne illnesses and hence I’ve always mosquito repellents. Two thing that I really hate about mosquito repellents is one that the lotion/cream is be directly applied to the skin and second is its terribly pungent fragrance. Most repellents are infused with chemicals and hence using them on my little one’s skin always seemed a terrible idea.


Recently I came across Buzz Off! Mosquito Repellent Patch that offer a 12 to 18-hour protection from mosquitoes. Each 3"x3" patch claims to be infused safe, natural mosquito repelling Citronella Oil along with Eucalyptus Globulus Oil and Natural Plant Extract that forms a protective shield around your body. The patch is to be applied either on the clothing, or furniture or any place but not on the body. 


The brand also offers an After Bite Itch Relief that gives instant relief from mosquito bites, insect stings and other minor irritations. Buzz Off! After Bite Itch Relief subsides the itchiness, redness and inflammation of the skin right after an insect bite. A pen shaped roll-on, the product to be dabbed on directly on the bite or sting and rolled on gently for instant comfort. 


My Experience: 
The patches totally worked for us. The patches are available in two variants, one for children; patches with the cutest animal faces from lion and tiger to pig and cow, from monkey to koala and more. The other is an adult pack that has no-show camouflage solid colour patches. The fragrance is light and lasts for over 18 hours, ensuring no mosquito bites even when we spent an entire evening outdoors during the Mumbai Monsoons. I highly recommend the product for its non-toxic and 100% safe and natural formula. Though we didn’t really get a chance to try the After Bite, my sister used it, and announced complete comfort on application. The packaging is great, with a set of two in each sachet that makes it convenient to use as well as carry. The price off-hand seems a bit on the higher side at INR 220 for a box of 20, however on use it makes sense completely. Same with the After Bite roll-on, that is travel friendly size at a reasonable price of INR 199. 


Both the products are a must not only in your first aid box but also in your handbag and your child’s diaper bag. Have you used repellent patches or itch relieving products? Share your experiences in the comments below.
- Heena

Posted On 9/28/2016 by Team iCynosure.

You'll know you're in Washington when the rugged scenery of snow-capped mountains and forested islands unfolds before you. Washington is quite diverse, with a blend of natural and manmade attractions, traditional and urban outlooks — something to fit the needs of every traveller. With monuments and memorials, local flavour and eclectic neighbourhoods, and a coffee shop at every corner, travellers will feel at home in Washington. 

For me, it’s time to plan a getaway and opt for accommodations that are hidden gems, places that seem off-beat but offer something very special for every guest. I've found some of these rare, yet unique options for you to choose from. Enjoy this guide on what to do and where to stay in Washington

De-stress at the Cave B Estate Winery and Resort
Image Credit: Cave B Inn

Stay surrounded by vineyards, fragrant orchards, and thought-provoking natural beauty at the Cave B Inn a one-of-a-kind, back-to-nature stay facility. The Inn offers four different accommodation options to choose from, ranging from private Cliffehouses, to Cavern Rooms, to gorgeously designed Inn Suites, and rugged Desert Yurts. The resort is perfect for a variety of experiences alternating from relaxation and pampering to fun and adventure.

Stay connected at the DoubleTree by Hilton
Image Credit: DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport

In the bustling city, stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport a hotel that connects every traveller across the city to the majority of Seattle's connectivity points and major attractions within record time. The hotel's proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the Sound Transit Light Rail Station makes the entire city accessible to travellers. With a full-service business centre, a fitness centre, and multiple dining options, it is a perfect home away from home. 

Shop by the Inn at the Market
Image Credit: Inn at the Market

Stay right by the most popular tourist destination in Seattle, the Pike Place Market, at the Inn at the Market. The Inn at the Market is a tranquil stay option that offers modern style and comfort amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront. Laze on the rooftop deck enjoying the panoramic view of ferries crossing Puget Sound into a glistening sunset. 

Book convenience with the Cedarbrook Lodge
Image Credit: Cedarbrook Lodge

One of the finest hotels in the city, Cedarbrook Lodge is not only popular for its proximity to the airport but also for the value and comfort it offers its guests. The lodge is built on 11 acres of lush green wetland, and is a visual delight with its stunning views of landscaped lawns and flower gardens. The culinary program inspired by the Northwest is one of the most valued aspects of the lodge that makes guests choose it above the other available options. 

Experience extra-ordinary at the Marriott
Image Credit: Seattle Airport Marriot

Travellers opt for the Seattle Airport Marriott for an experience beyond the ordinary. The magnificent interiors welcome travellers with its warm stone fireplace and wood-beamed atrium that spells luxury and comfort. The hotel offers an ideal setting for families with its spacious guest rooms equipped with the latest technologies and upscale amenities, a gorgeous indoor pool, and a 24-hour fitness centre. 

Are you ready to visit? Pack your bags now. 
- Heena 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Posted On 9/26/2016 by Team iCynosure.

My list of must-visit places while researching for my dream holiday in the U.S. is getting longer each day. I've unearthed Virginia, known for its slogan "Virginia is for Lovers," and decided it is everything I need to make my adventure unforgettable. 

Virginia is perfect whether I want to take a romantic trip with my better half or plan a fun-filled getaway with my entire family. The state offers numerous options for holiday makers to choose from, whether you want to explore its rich history with a modern twist, its breathtaking natural beauty nestled between mountains and beaches, its manmade adventure parks, or its local produce and award-winning wineries. Virginia has a something to offer to every traveller. My itinerary for Virginia is chalked out, however I'm researching stay options and have narrowed down my search to the following hotels. 

Experience Luxury at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel
Image Credit: Omni Charlottesville Hotel
One of the more luxurious properties in Virginia, Omni Charlottesville Hotel is a perfect blend between the city's unique history and expected modern luxury. The accommodations boast contemporary comfort and offer a host of amenities designed to make the stay unforgettable. The concierge service offers guided tours as well as admission tickets and passes for guests to the local attractions. 

Experience Convenience at the Richmond Marriott
Image Credit: Richmond Marriott
One of the largest hotels in Richmond, the Richmond Marriott is a property complete with modern facilities in the lap of natural beauty. The hotel connects with the Greater Richmond Convention Centre via a skywalk, putting guests just steps from all the local attractions. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to numerous dining and entertainment venues. 

Experience Heritage at the Linden Row Inn 
Image Credit: Linden Row Inn 
A unique historic urban hotel situated in downtown Richmond, the Linden Row Inn is a heritage hotel of seven row houses built in the mid-1800s and restored over the years. The hotel is conveniently located just a few minutes away from the local attractions in the capital area. Decorated with antique pieces, the guest rooms are perfect for romance of an era gone by. 

Experience Modernisation at the Omni Richmond Hotel 
Image Credit: Omni Richmond Hotel 
To enjoy the true refinement of Southern luxury paired with contemporary design, guests must consider the Omni Richmond Hotel. The Omni Richmond is a perfect choice whether you're travelling for business or pleasure. The hotel boasts timeless architecture, first class dining options, and numerous entertainment facilities that are sure to engage guests and leave a remarkable and unforgettable memory of their stay.

Experience Beauty at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel 
Image Credit: Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel 
The Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel situated at the end of the Virginia Beach, offers majestic panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The highlight features of the hotel are the rooms featuring private balconies with sweeping ocean views and contemporary amenities including complimentary internet connection and room service. 

Have you stayed at any of these hotels? Tell me in the comments below which hotel would you choose for your stay? 
- Heena

Friday, September 23, 2016

Posted On 9/23/2016 by Team iCynosure.

This post was originally published on 'Hipmunk's Tailwind Blog' on March 4th, 2016 by Kelly Soderlund.


As a travel expert, TV host, and writer, Brandon Presser is no stranger to life on the go. Presser, who has visited more than 100 countries, has penned over 50 travel books, and is a regular contributor for such publications as Afar, Travel + Leisure, The Daily Beast, and National Geographic Traveler. And while he may be well known in the travel industry, he’s about to experience a whole new level of recognition: Presser is the lead host of Bravo TV’s new travel-based reality show, “Tour Group“, which tags along as 11 travelers search for the ultimate vacation. (10 p.m. EST/PST on Bravo.)  We got Presser to stay in one place long enough to give us his best travel advice, his favorite places to go, and the items he can’t leave home without.  
Hipmunk: So, tell us. What’s in your carry-on?
Brandon Presser: A dopp kit with some small essentials like eye drops, moisturizer, a travel toothbrush, Advil, and Ursa Major face towelettes; a small pouch with some lucky charms (a few pebbles I’ve collected from different beaches around the world–I’m a little superstitious!); a good book (that I never finish); an iPad fully loaded with some of my favorite movies; Bose headphones; and Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Granola Bars.

H: Carry on bag of choice? 
BP: If I’m hauling some serious carry-on luggage and want the flexibility of bringing more things home, I go for the Dakine Over Under bag, which can grow and shrink in size. For quick trips I’m obsessed with Fjallraven’s safari duffle.

H: How often do you travel?
BP: I’ll travel through roughly 15 countries a year, which has me on one or two large trips a month. Last year’s highlights included everything from Tahiti to Portugal, and leading 11 strangers on a world tour through Africa and Asia while making “Tour Group.”

H: First, business class or coach?
BP: Each travel project I work on has different travel parameters–sometimes I’m in coach, other times I’m in first. I can tell you that it’s super hard to do a long-haul flight at the back of the plane after being treated to the flat beds up front.

H: Ok, now that we’re warmed up, let’s play a game of favorites. Favorite city to visit for work? Why?
BP: Tokyo is the best canvas for my work–whether it’s researching and writing articles and guidebooks or leading travelers through the incredible neighborhoods. The city is an endless well of oddities and curious fads. (Read Brendon’s articles on Tokyo’s oddities and fads here).

H: Favorite city for play? Why?
BP: Luckily, my work life and play life are closely intertwined. And Tokyo never stops inspiring me to get out there and explore with its thousands of cool restaurants, bars, shops and public spaces.

H: Favorite hotels?
BP: I’ve stayed in more than 2,500 hotels worldwide, so this is definitely a tricky one to answer. In the last 12 months some of my hotel highlights have included: Four Seasons Bora Bora, Twin Farms in Vermont, and Roch Castle in Wales.

H: Favorite airline? Airport? Airport Terminal?
BP: I’m really loving JetBlue’s newest aircrafts right now–the entertainment system is bigger and better than ever, the coach seats really aren’t bad, and there’s an endless supply of snacks. Portland’s PDX wins domestically for making a promise to its traveler to not price gauge on snacks and supplies. And Hong Kong wins internationally for Cathay Pacific’s awesome business class lounge with delicious food and state-of-the-art shower facilities.

H: Any travel tips before you take off?
BP: Change your place; change your luck.

Posted On 9/23/2016 by Team iCynosure.

This post was originally published 'Nomadic Chickon August 10th, 2016 by Jeannie Mark. 

Photo courtesy of Nenna via Trover

It’s that time of year to travel and a staycation is a great way to save money, but still have a satisfying trip. If you live in the northeastern part of the states, take a chance on some off-beaten places you might otherwise ignore.

They are less busy, have hidden gems, and are usually has something for every family member, children included. Enjoy this guide to what to do and where to stay along the northeast:

SpringHill Suites in Wheeling, West Virgina
West Virginia is a state full of history and natural beauty. Take a stroll through Oglebay Park or get a picture view of the suspension bridge, built in 1849. The most comfortable hotel is SpringHill Suties because it really caters to your needs. With a full service snack bar, indoor pool, spa, and fitness center, it really is a perfect home away from home.

Ambassador Inn and Suites in Newport, Rhode Island
Picturesque Rhode Island evokes ocean views and a calmer life (with a dash of luxury thrown in). One of the most beautiful drives you will ever experience is along Ocean Drive. And if you want to fit in a slew of historical sites and buildings, consider taking a historic tour. For cozy accommodations, the Ambassador Inn and Suites will be perfect for you. Savor a free breakfast and use free WiFi to plan your day. After you return from sightseeing, take a dip in the outdoor pool and then sink into your king-sized bed.

The Melrose Georgetown Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia
Just located outside of D.C., Alexandria is a quaint destination with fascinating historic tones. Don’t miss the Christ Church, Carlyle House, and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Since you’re taking a walk down history, why not stay at the Melrose Georgetown Hotel. Right in the heart of everything you’d want to be near (including the JFK Center), enjoy fluffy duvets, brocade love seats, and all the amenities, like room service or the hotel restaurant.

Aloft Chesapeake in Norfolk, Virgina
Norfolk really has a lot of treats and shouldn’t be overlooked. The MacArthur Memorial is a must-see, along with Harbour Park. Those two are a great mix of nature and architecture. A terrific place to rest your head is at Aloft Chesapeake, a charming hotel that’s loft inspired and pet friendly. Share a meal in the café and an exercise session in the fitness room together.

Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
A city with interesting history, you’ll enjoy what Bethlehem has to offer. Book a tour at the Burnside Plantation, to learn how a plantation operated. Another fun activity is to do a walking tour of the town and take in some sites at an easygoing pace. For that final touch of antique, stay at Hotel Bethlehem. Built in 1922, it’s a mix of colonial style with modern flair. Photograph the grand lobby with its Palladian windows as you make your way to two choices of restaurants. All the comforts are there!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Posted On 9/15/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Who wants to kick-start their day with something that is healthy and pure? I believe everyone. Trust me starting your day on that note is extremely easy with juices. I absolutely love to start my day with fresh, luscious, homemade fruit and vegetable juices. But I’ve seen my mother go through the terrible process of preparing juices each morning using the conventional juicer-mixer-grinder combo product. 


I had practically stopped drinking juices for the fact that it was a time-consuming, hectic process for my mom each day. Not only that but also as juices extracted by using high-speed heat generating products break down the nutrients and fibres of fruits and vegetables making the juice unhealthy to a certain extent. 

But I love juice and to give it up just doesn’t make any sense. 

That’s when I looked up about newer technology based juicers available in the market and came across the Cold Pressed Juicing method. One of the leading manufacturers in Cold Pressed Juicers, the Kent technology allows for extraction by crushing and pressing fruits and vegetables on a low PRM, that retains more nutrients and fibre while extracting more juice ensuring we #GetMoreJuice within a few minutes. When the brand sent me the Kent Cold Pressed Juicer and I started using it, my mornings actually became healthy and delicious. You can find details of the product on the Kent India website

Here are some simple, yet nutritious juices I made over the weekend....
I simple tossed in the fruit/vegetable into the #KentColdPressedJuicer and voila the juices were ready in a jiffy. For the beetroot juice, I added a carrot and some salt to taste. The detox juice was a healthy mix of cucumber, mint and lemon juice. For Princess I mixed a healthy dose of carrots, cherry tomatoes and a pinch of saffaron. 

What we loved about our fresh, cold pressed juices is that they were much more tastier and nutritious. As I chose a more pulpier blade on the juicer, the juice was more thicker and fibrous. I believe we as the juice pressed is so naturally fresh and nutritious, the vitamins and proteints are more easily absorbed in the blood stream, making one feel instantly recharged and rejuvinated. 

My Experience with the Kent Cold Pressed Juicer
As a person who rarely ventures into the kitchen, especially in the mornings; I started to experiment with juices. With hardly any time consumed to peel and cut the fruits and vegetables the process of cold pressing made it so much easier and user-friendly. The ease with which the product is assembled, used and cleaned makes the efforts worthwhile. Also I am more than happy that I can freely offer my little one various alternatives to the same standard breakfast of milk and toast while being rest assured about quality. I love the fact that each day I can experiment with mixing fruits and vegetables and satisfying our taste buds without blowing our diet or compromising on health. 

Have you tried cold pressed juices? 
- Heena

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Posted On 9/13/2016 by Team iCynosure.

You may have followed my Asus series for the phones and tabs on iCynosure and must be pretty familiar with how much I love the brand. The phones have occupied an enviable place in my list of gadgets to own over the last year and a half since I first connected with the brand especially for its ‘fashion blogger’ committed features, balanced specifications and its mid-level price point. With every phone/variant the brand has outdone themselves with a spectacular design, good quality parts, and focus on pricing. The win-win combination has been continues with Zenfone 3 there retaining the legacy. 


Now let’s talk about the #Z3NCREDIBLEIndia! Available in two variants 5.2 and 5.5 inch, I’m reviewing the 5.2 inch 3GB variant. ZenFone 3 is an agile, exquisite design inspired by the beauty of nature backed by a glass-and-metal body that ensures safety coupled with an ultra-fast 0.03s TriTech auto-focus technology that captures your world with absolute clarity.

As a person who is more into fashion than into technology, there are a couple of instant hits that instantly drew me to Zenfone 3. 


Stunning Craftsmanship
Zenfone 3 is such a stunner, a redefined craftsmanship contoured with a Corning Gorilla Glass, tapered into a thin 6.16mm edge and a fluid, multi-dimensional design. A diamond-like natural beauty with the signature concentric-circle pattern for a life less ordinary.

Elegant Display
ZenFone 3 is a sight for sore eyes with its fabulous wide display with 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution and 600 Nits brightness. With an almost 75% display screen to body ratio, viewing becomes a pleasure even under the harshest/brightest light conditions.

Touch Security: Zenfone 3 is armed with a fingerprint sensor that is perfectly positioned in the way the phone is held. All the personal data secure with this feature should it fall in the wrong hand while unlocking in 0.2 seconds when touch sensor used. 

Perfect Frame: Zenfone 3 is included with a four-axis optical image stabilizer (OIS) that senses and prevents hand movements from blurring photos; while a three-axis electronic image stabilizer (EIS) keeps the handheld videos rock steady for shock-free, steady and good-looking pictures and videos. 

Excellent Performance
Zenfone 3’s external beauty is supplemented with a rock-steady internal powerhouse processor, the Snapdragon 625 that deliver complete performance while reducing power consumption by 35%. The 4G/3G dual-SIM bay for complete flexibility, a powerful 3000mAh battery and reversible USB-C makes the Zenfone 3 a connectivity convenience!

Here are some of the pictures that I #ShotOnZenfone3 on my recent trip. 


My Final Thoughts: The Zenfone 3 is without a doubt the best in the series with a renewed focus on design and performance. A great display screen along with the camera highlights and an unexpectedly amazing battery life makes it a sure winner for me. 

To know more about the phone, check the brand page here or head to Flipkart to buy it here.
- Heena 

Posted On 9/13/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Oregon, on the Pacific Northwest coast of the U.S., is well-known for its diverse landscape of forests, mountains, farms and beaches. The state attracts numerous visitors for its very own "Seven Wonders," from Mount Hood to the Columbia River Gorge and from the Oregon Coast to the Painted Hills and even Crater Lake.

As I plan my dream holiday to the USI’m excited to not just visit these, but also experience them. Just as I chalk in the itinerary of exploring the rugged and beautiful landscape, I look forward to making my stay comfortable and convenient with some of the best accommodations available. 

Lounge in Luxury 
Image Credit: The Nines a Luxury Collection Hotel
The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Portland is right in the midst of the business district and serves as a perfect base to launch your start-up.  The hotel boasts of luxurious guest rooms, including three suites that offer plush bedding, maid service, and contemporary art featuring renowned artists. The hotel’s close proximity to the Portland Center, the Portland Art Museum, and the world-famous Powell's Bookstore makes it a fun stay.

Relax with Modernity
Image Credit: Hotel Modera 
Hotel Modera is a stylish luxury boutique hotel in the center of the theater district, a cynosure nestled between art galleries and museums. The hotel is known for its modern accommodations that include large feature windows overlooking the city, as well as a designated work area within the room. Numerous attractions are within walking distance from the hotel, while many others are easily accessible by rail and road. Of the numerous must-do activities, travelers must take a stroll along Tom McCall Waterfront park and take a bike tour to reach the hidden corners. 

Party on the Loft 
Image Credit: Hotel Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station
Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station just a few minutes’ walk from the Portland International Airport, is a gorgeous loft-inspired hotel. The hotel has some great facilities, including the signature rooms, custom amenities by the Bliss Spa, the WXYZ bar and more. Travelers can explore the Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Saturday Market, Powell's City of Books, and Voodoo Doughnut; all within a hop, skip, and a jump from the hotel. 

Immerse in Beauty
Image Credit: Riverhouse on the Deschutes
The Riverhouse on the Deschutes is a gorgeous, picturesque re-imagined hotel that brings together natural beauty and manmade modernity. The hotel attracts travelers for its great packages and offers guests a comfortable, relaxing, and invigorating experience in the indoor and outdoor heated pools and the spas. Situated on the banks of the Deschutes River, the hotel boasts a scenic riverfront, untamed wilderness, and natural attractions. It also offers an amazing river trail experience. Apart from the things travelers can do in and around the hotel, they can also have some unique experiences visiting the Les Schwab Amphitheater, The Old Mill District, Lava Lands Visitor Center, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, and Pilot Butte. 

So what stay option appeals to you best? 
- Heena

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Posted On 9/10/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Fall is on my mind and so is New York, where better can one be than in the Big Apple during the best season of the year. NY is unlike any other place in the world; however one of the points of differentiation is that it is way more welcoming and accommodating of who you are than any other place. And that’s the sole reason people from all over the world flock to there. 

Every traveller to the US will ensure at least a small stopover in New York to experience the civic intricacy, the cuisine complexity, the art and cultural authority and the architectural, technological or sartorial superiority.

Whatever is your reason to travel to New York, look for an accommodation that offers direct access to the varied worlds it offers. With the amount of research I’ve been doing for my dream trip to the US, I have identified some amazing things to do and places to stay at in NY during my visit there.

Walk to the Brooklyn Bridge
Image Credit: Aloft New York Brooklyn
Be one of the 150,000 people that walk through the 125 year-old, iconic bridge that links the borough of Brooklyn with Manhattan, whilst offering a majestic view of the New York City skyline. To enjoy the time exploring the Brooklyn Bridge one must stay close by at the Aloft New York Brooklyn, a hotel which has unique spacious loft-size rooms perfect for its comfort, convenience and economical pricing.

Enjoy a Musical evening at Knitting Factory
Image Credit: Hotel Le Jolie
The music scene in NY is something that cannot be explained but only experienced; with both veterans and upcoming musicians performing every night. To be in the midst of all the jazz, one must stop at Hotel Le Jolie, a euro-styled boutique hotel with all modern facilities and amenities. With so much to do in and around the hotel, one can be sure to make lifelong memories during your vacation.

Play Games at the Resorts World Casino
Image Credit: Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel
The gaming hub, Resorts World Casino gets you into the gaming action with over 2000 terminals. One can plan a day at the casino filled with an all-day gaming session, live entertainment and numerous dining options. To ensure all the action one must reserve a room at the recently renovated Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel to experience the magic while bagging some great discounts and promotional offers. 

Picnic at the Baisley Pond Park
Image Credit: Hilton New York JFK Airport
A natural habitat for numerous species of plants and animals, the Baisley Pond Park is home to giant lilies, colourful dragonflies, red-eared sliders and many more spectacular creatures. To engage with nature, one should book the Hilton New York JFK Airport for quiet time. With an array of rooms choose the executive room that offers access to a private concierge floor and lounge to make the stay special. 

Be Pampered at the Buttermilk Spa
Image Credit: Buttermilk Falls Inn
A super packed holiday needs a relaxing conclusion before one get back to the grind of the daily routine, which can be explored at the Buttermilk spa. The eco-friendly spa spread over 70 acres of lush green lawns, flowing streams and a majestic waterfall is just what one needs. Stay at the Buttermilk Falls Inn that offers the services among various other things to do. 

What do you say? Shall we get packing? 
- Heena

Posted On 9/10/2016 by Team iCynosure.

This article was first published by TheHipmunk on 'Hipmunk's Tailwind Blog' on July 19, 2015

When planning family trips, it’s best to keep kids busy with activities from crafting and music lessons to hiking and swimming. (No one wants to hear, “Mom, I’m bored” while lounging beach side with a cocktail in hand.)

Travel is one of the most fun ways for a parent to share the cultures and natural wonders of the world. These destinations are safe for kiddos, catering to the picky eaters, adrenaline junkies, nature lovers, and beach bums too. Not only will kids be welcome, they’ll find programs and excursions designed just for them on each of these global adventures.

Adventurous Resorts

While it may sound like a lazy beach vacay, this beautiful resort is on one of Hawaii’s most exciting islands – and one of the world’s top resorts for families. The resort offers tons of kid-friendly activities (think ukulele lessons and lei making) in-house. But families can also find breathtaking hikes, ziplines for the token daredevil, horseback riding and kayaking to name a few. For something more low key, splash in a two-tiered pool or the saltwater lagoon that meanders through the hotel’s property. By nightfall, kids will definitely be ready to crash.


River Kwai Floating Hotel, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

For the boy (and girl) scouts who are looking for a back-to-nature experience, this Thai getaway won’t disappoint. Thailand is one of Asia’s best destinations for kids. With a drive and boat ride to this hotel, they may start to feel a bit like Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Bamboo guest rooms float on top of the River Kwai and offer visitors a taste of Mon culture. It’s a bit rustic (as in there are wick lamps instead of electricity. But don’t worry, in-room bathrooms are a part of the deal). Kids love exploring the nearby jungles atop of a gentle elephant, or visiting natural wonders such as the Lawa Cave or the Sai Yok Waterfall. Get a few thrills without leaving River Kwai by river jumping or bamboo rafting — something to excite even the most adrenaline-seeking tweens.

Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Nicaragua makes for an affordable, and adventure-filled, Central American trip (and many parents are choosing it over the equally kid-friendly Costa Rica). Visitors won’t see nearly as many expats and will get a great taste of the local culture, plus tons of hiking and swimming! In a bungalow at Morgan’s Rock, guests are nestled in the treetops and have easy beach access. One of the more exciting excursions to make is to Ometepe Island, formed by two volcanoes, which can be reached by ferry. Explore ancient rock art and petroglyphs and brave the hike up the dormant Maderas Volcano. Parents will appreciate the beaches known for waves that are safe for first-time surfers, zip-line excursions, and an insider look at the lodge’s sustainable farm where kids get to collect farm eggs and milk the cows for an awesome family breakfast!


One&Only Hayman Island, Queensland, Australia

A trip to the Great Barrier Reef is an incomparable adventure. While a flight to the Aussie coast may not be ideal for many faraway travelers with tiny tots, the experiences offered through resorts like One&Only can change a nervous parent’s mind. If your bucket list includes snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, water skiing or a helicopter adventure above the reef (which is the largest living thing on Earth, mind you), then book a few tickets to Hayman Island. Of course One&Only also offers an entirely kid-centric program called KidsOnly full of excursions and meals from 9am to 6pm if parents need a break.

Traveling Adventures

Camping and cruising may appeal to families that seek adventure on-the-go. Many of these trips welcome first-time campers and those who are especially interested in learning the lay of the land, whether that’s in sunny California or rugged Maine. Nature lovers, budding botanists and eager explorers will get animal interactions, sparkling night skies and a new set of skills when signing up for one of these trips.


Appalachian Trail

For North Easterners, this trip will make an exciting escape from the bustling city, but any visitors will be in awe of the natural beauty of the Appalachian Trail. Eager hikers can find programs like the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Family Camps, which take families with kids as young as five years old around New Hampshire and Maine, near beautiful mountains and full of sleepaway camp-style fun. Expect canoeing, fishing, stream exploration and a classic campfire sing-a-long.

Galapagos Islands
While this isn’t exactly a family vacation, road trip style, there is so much kids can learn by a trip to this incredible archipelago. National Geographic is one of the few to organize a cruise to these islands near South America that is geared specifically at budding scientific minds. In the day, kids can snorkel in crystal blue waters and hike the shores among animals like giant tortoises and sea lions, all of which are completely unphased by the presence of humans. Parents will leave with zoologists and nature photographers on their hands.


Klamath River, California

This is a fabulous spot to dive into the world of camping as a family for the first time. Whether you’re interested in nesting up in an unassuming lodge or setting up a tent under the stars, a trip to this natural Cali beauty guarantees great views and swimming. Several programs like Orange Torpedo and Oars set up multi-day whitewater rafting ventures, but there are hikes to take and plenty of beach lounging to be done as well. On Orange Torpedo’s Klamath River Wild and Scenic trip, kids will get to swim in warm water and calm side creeks (the rapid on this trip is exciting, but never dangerous) and the guides will introduce anyone from five years old to the basics of both rafting and camping. These trips can also be as short as two or three days, ideal for any locals or those not wanting to commit to any extensive travel with kids.