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House Swapping For Families by www.aussiehouseswap.com.au

While virtually every individual and couple can enjoy lots of advantages through a house swapping (home exchange) holiday, perhaps families stand to benefit most of all.

Think about it...

Let's start with the money

 Firstly, there are the monetary savings to be gained: no accommodation costs; cooking "at home" instead of going out for meals; free use of car; free laundry, clothesline, dryer and DIY ironing.

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10 Packing Tips for Your Next Holiday

Packing for a holiday is often a dreaded chore because many people fear they'll forget something important. Whether it's an essential clothing item, daily necessities you take for granted or vacation-specific items, under-packing or over-packing can add inconvenience to your trip.   Before your next holiday, follow these 10 tips for packing wisely so that you can concentrate on your destination plans instead.

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Theme Parks in Australia - Sea World, Dreamworld, Movie World and more

Whether you are 12 or 52 years old, you are never too old to take a trip down to a theme park and have some fun. Get friends and family together and spend a day or two at one of Australia's famous and fun theme parks.   Parks are located in all regions of the country so you can find excitement wherever you live or holiday. Here are some of the top Australian theme parks to visit:

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Family Guide To Using Your Credit Card Overseas

Travelling with your family means that you are assuming not only the responsibility of travelling for yourself, but the added responsibility of making sure that everyone has a safe and fun-filled trip. This is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly and one of the things you can do to make sure that everything runs as smooth as clockwork is to get your credit card in order before you leave. You should also make sure that you use it wisely while you are away.

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Taking kids to London by Carolyn

London with kidsFor many Australians heading to Europe, London is their first port of call, and for first time travellers and particularly those with children, it’s a great place to start. The United Kingdom allows you to ‘ease into’ a European holiday as there are no language barriers and the English drive on the same side of the road to us, so the transition from life as they know it back in Australia isn’t too difficult for most kids. Add in the fact that your kids will already be familiar with lots of London’s major attractions and it makes for a perfect place to begin your European adventure.

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Dr Deb's tips on travelling with kids in Southeast Asia

 I’m travelling with my two children in Southeast Asia. Dr Deb are there any special health tips for that area?
Before you fly make sure all your kids vaccines are up to date. I recommend usual childhood vaccines plus Hepatitis A and sometimes Typhoid and Rabies.  A great tip for flying more comfortably and alleviating any ear pressure is to give you children something to drink as soon as the plane takes off. Swallowing makes the eustacian tubes open so the pressure equalises between outer ear and middle ear - screaming from pain does the same thing, but is less socially acceptable!

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European holiday park holidays - perfect for families
Eurocamp holiday parksAt BYOkids we are very excited as we can now offer a brand-new range of cabin accommodation in Holiday Parks across Europe.  These cabins are similar to what Big4 holiday parks offer in Australia.  We have cabins in 160 locations across 14 countries in Europe which is fantastic news for families. Not only are these cabins excellent value but they offer the freedom of the great outdoors and these resort holiday parks have exceptional recreational facilities for kids including daily activities, room to run, play equipment for kids, swimming pools and more.
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Holiday Parks – an alternative for families in Europe

eurocamp mobile homes

With the long flight time between Australia and the UK and Europe, most Australians holiday on the continent for at least four weeks. Without a doubt, one of the greatest expenses of a European holiday is the cost of accommodation and this is especially so when travelling with children.

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Family road trip - ideas and tips

Our latest holiday with the kids (5 and 3), was a road trip through NSW.  We went to Coonabarabran to see the big telescope in the Wurumbungles, visited Dubbo Zoo, visited The Dish outside Parkes, saw the sites of the POW Cowra breakout, drove on Mount Panorama, plucked the strings on the big guitar at Tamworth, sang with the Tenterfield saddler and tried some wine in Stanthorpe – all in 6 nights.  Harry (3) asked every day “new holiday today, Mummy?”, and he was right.  The round trip was 2,460km.  Here are some top tips for long car trips with kids. Some are obvious but good to note and others we’ve discovered on the journey.

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Visit Finland - the home of Santa Claus.

Santa Claus. Pic:www.visitfinland/Kaisa SirenEveryone knows the home of Santa Claus is Finland.  You can meet him on any day of the year, without any charge, only in Finland.  Finland is also the home of Santa Claus' favourite animal, the reindeer.  At the Arctic Circle, Santa Claus has a post office of his own and the world’s only Main Santa Post Office. The Finnish Santa Claus receives by far the most letters from children around the world. The only real amusement park of Santa Claus, the SantaPark, is also situated in Finland and there are many people in Finland that have committed themselves to helping Santa Claus.

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Take the kids to Legoland Germany

Legoland GermanyLocated about an hour and a half from Munich near the city of Ulm, Legoland (Germany) is a great place for both adults and children.  Whilst it is basically a theme park with the usual rollercoaster –type rides, the added bonus are the fascinating models of animals, buildings, cars and people, all made from thousands of Lego bricks. In fact, 50 million Lego blocks were used to create the park!

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TOP 10 TRAVEL SAFTEY TIPS FOR KIDS

Haircut on the streets of beijingNow that children are travelling overseas more than ever before with parents, schools or sporting clubs, Dr Deborah Mills, Australia's foremost travel medicine specialist, has devised a list of the 10 most important travel health care tips for children.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING TIPS for the Family Vacation.
healthy eating for kidsCut the Calories and the Costs. We all know that the Western world is facing an obesity pandemic. Sadly, we are now seeing this reflection in overweight kids. When you are on a family vacation you want to have a relaxing time while maintaining healthy eating. Additionally, we tend to end up spending a fortune on food on the run when you are out on daily excursions.
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PREGNANCY: HOLIDAYS AND TRAVEL
Just because you are pregnant, you don't have to be confined to the house! There is no reason why pregnant women should not travel, even by air, provided their general health is good. Here are some pointers to keep you and your baby safe.
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Orlando Bound? Make Your Own Disney World Calendar by Anne Marie Hayes
DisneyworldThere are 3 key parts to any great adventure: The Build-Up (before), The Adventure (during) and the Memory Sharing (afterwards). We've made more than a dozen trips to Disney World and still celebrate the traditions we've created for each of these 3 parts. One of the fun things we do during the Build-Up is to create a special calendar which we tick off daily as we countdown to our next Disney World vacation.
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How To Stay Healthy While Traveling By Ross Anderson
gastro on holidaysThere is little worse than planning a long-awaited vacation only to find yourself getting sick during that intended fun time. It takes months to plan a lengthy trip, and when you become ill somewhere along the way it can ruin your time and memories.
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MALAYSIA FAMILY HOLIDAYS - What is there to do in Malaysia with kids?

We've just recently returned from Malaysia and Borneo and found it a perfect destination to holiday with kids.  There's such a diverse range of activities to suit every member of the family.  English is widely spoken and Malay people are friendly, love kids and are never without a smile on their faces. 

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Top 10 tips to stick to your workouts and reduce stress whilst on holidays
go for a walk and stay fit next holidaysJust because you're on holidays doesnt mean you can't workout. Your health and fitness is as important as having a great family holiday. The holiday season brings with it a lot of magic. Unfortunately, the challenges many face of juggling their time effectively during the hectic holiday season with also keeping up with their normal daily activities can prove quite stressful.
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Hong kong for kids. What is there for kids in Honkers?

symphony of lightsHong Kong is a great family destination.  Hong Kong offers families an exciting culture, fabulous food, a range of accommodation and even a Disneyland.  Theres plenty to do for both kids and adults including plenty of free stuff. Whether you choose to stay in Kowloon or on Hong Kong Island its easy to get around.

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SINGAPORE FAMILY HOLIDAYS - What is there to do in Singapore with kids?

singapore brochureSingapore is a squeaky clean Asian city that has all the hussle bussle of markets, exciting cuisine, great shopping and attractions that make it a top family destination.  Taking the kids to Singapore is easy, its just a seven hour flight from the East Coast of Australia and five from the west. English is widely spoken, ATM's are readily available and yes there is even junk food.

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CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY activities on a budget

giant chess hervey bayIt's hard to believe that the Christmas holidays are just around the corner.  The summer break seems to be getting longer with some private schools breaking up in mid November this year making the holidays over 2 months long for many children.  Often parents find the summer holidays difficult, the costs associated with holiday activities adding to the financial strain of the festive season.  So the team at BYOkids have compiled some summer holiday ideas that won't break the budget.

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ADELAIDE WITH KIDS - things to do in the city of churches

Completely surrounded by impressive parklands, gardens and the River Torrens, Adelaide is home to Culture, Arts, Food, and Festivals and has a diverse range of things to do and see. You can go shopping in the city, visit cosmopolitan cafe's in the suburbs or head to the coast to surf or swim. 

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NAVIGATING AIRPORTS: Make the Best Use of Your Baby Stroller

Jogger Pram Beige

Planning a family holiday with your toddler? Getting from one place to another with infants and toddlers can be dodgy, especially if you are going by plane. Instead of loading up the family car, you'll have to deal with the crowds and bustle of airports, especially if traveling during peak holiday times. But no worries, your baby stroller or child buggy is an often overlooked tool for navigating the chaos.

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EUROPE IN A PUSHER - A single mum and a baby in Europe

Miles in EuropeWe made it! That's what I'm thinking as we arrive in Sorrento, southern Italy. It's not the end of our trip, hopefully far from it, but it's the end of most of the travelling that I actually planned. We set out from Australia 10 weeks ago, my 11-month old son, myself (a single mum), my backpack (mostly filled with my son's stuff), and our Quinny Zapp pusher.

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Travelling with children in Europe ...

Legoland DeutschlandWhilst the mere thought of flying to the other side of the world with children would put many people off, there are ways to make the journey quite bearable. Your choice of airline can certainly make your child’s flight an enjoyable experience. Many airlines flying long-haul sectors nowadays provide personal entertainment systems in every seat, and these include on-demand movies and music, sports and news, and the ever-popular Super Nintendo consoles.  With over 30 games to choose from, your kids will never be bored, and may even take a little persuasion to have a sleep! 

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Best of Beijing Parks by Tania McCartney

temple of heaven games in the gardensBeijing may be a relatively flat, grey city, but its myriad of green oases offer the illusion, at least for a short while, that you are somewhere far more exotic. Locals consistently attend the parks in Beijing, no matter the season. From the elderly and infirm to the tiniest tot, there is something for everyone and the entry fees are either non existent or nominal (3RMB).

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Beijings Historical Sites Kiddie-fied, by Tania McCartney

There are probably too many historical sites in Beijing (and indeed, in China) to be able to list in one life time (unless you are a Buddhist monk who lives for 150 years). Here is a short list for Beijing and I dare you to come over here and discover your own.

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GOT AN ALLERGY? Ordering food in a foreign country has never been so easy
SELECT WISELY FOOD ALLERGY CARDSA couple of years ago there was a movie called Lost in Translation.  While that film wasnt about communicating food allergies, it had a title that says it all when it comes to telling foreign-speaking restaurant staff about foods allergies.  You feel like you are lost in translation. 
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THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS - school holiday activities

take the kids to the park - family funSometimes during school holidays or on the weekends the kids will be looking for fun and interesting things to do.  Smart-Mums together with other Australian Mums we have compiled a list great activities and things to do with the kids. Have a look today! 1. Meet with friends at a park and play with the kids on the playground. Push them on the swings or catch them on the slides.

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TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH KIDS from Nappies to School age!

Travelling with children allows you to see the world with fresh young eyes. Things that were once trivial are suddenly riveting – like exploring every drawer in your hotel room, watching the luggage carousel whizzing round, or seeing what, exactly, is in the aircraft loo. More importantly, you are making incredible memories together each trip, that your child may want to lovingly repeat with their own kids.

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TODDLERS AND THEME PARKS - Our Tips for a Successful Family Outing.

"That's easy, just don't go" I hear a lot of you snickering as you read the title. Some cynics would say that the terms toddlers and theme parks should not even be mentioned in the same breath, never mind contemplated. Don't forget though, that there are many families out there with children of varying ages who are all clamouring for a family vacation day involving an amusement and theme park.

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SYDNEY WITH KIDS - 20 things to do in Sydney with kids

Sydney is Australia's oldest and busiest City, it is the economic powerhouse of the nation and home to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Surrounded by water, from the magnificent harbour to the sensational beaches, and blessed with a sunny Mediterranean climate.  Sydney is a great holiday destination for families with plenty to do and fun for all ages.

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MELBOURNE WITH KIDS - 20 things to do in Melbourne with kids

Melbourne with kidsMelbourne is an energetic, cultivated and cosmopolitan city with stunning architecture, world class facilites, bustling markets and an abundance of leafy parklands. Visitors flock to Melbourne for the Restaurants, Shopping, Sports Events and the many Cultural Activities. Kids and Adults alike, will love this lively city with it's remarkable choice of family friendly attractions.

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NEW ZEALAND MOTORHOME HOLIDAYS - family fun in NZ

Campervan rental Kea sydneyA guide for touring NZ in rental Campervans and Motorhomes - written by Adrian Tonks. A New Zealand motorhome holiday is arguably one of the best way to experience this popular travel destination; with stunning coastline, rivers and forests to isolated mountain passes all within easy reach of the independent traveller.

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HOLIDAY EATING - simple holiday cooking ideas and recipes
Keep the table laughing cookbookIn a perfect world we wouldn't cook while on holidays but in most cases the budget just doesn't allow that and kids tend to prefer your home cooked delights to fancy restaurant meals.  Self contained holiday apartments are a favourite with families on holiday as meals can be prepared and $$$$ saved.  Susan Whelan and Meredith Flynn co-authors of "Keep the table laughing" have come up with some holiday cooking advice and a simple recipe to feed the family.
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PACKING FOR YOUR HOLIDAY - our suggestions for light travel
cruising with kidsFor many people packing bags is one of the most difficult of holiday tasks, especially when you have kids.  We all remember when we'd just throw a few things in a bag and off we'd go, well with kids in tow its not a problem it just takes a little more planning. Here are a few tips you might find useful:
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ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS - The top 7 items to pack

Road trips with kids - the essential 7 itemsRoad trips with kids need a little bit of preparation, don't forget the following ....  1. Pillows Never underestimate the value of a pillow for each child.  Pillows not only comfort the little bobbing heads of weary travellers, but they act as totally useful buffer zones when cranky moods overcome the back seat.  They're also good to use as laptop raisers.

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SHOPPING IN VANUATU - something for everyone

Have you ever been stuck in a foreign country with a baby and realised that you forgot the stroller? Run out of disposables? Discovered that your baby won't eat the tropical fruit that you thought they would love?  Well, luckily most international tourist destinations have shops that stock what you forgot to bring, and sometimes you may even come home with more than you left with. If you find yourself in Port Vila, Vanuatu, there's a charming little baby shop that will remain in your memory for quite a while.

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DREAMWORLD and Whitewater World, Gold Coast - so many worlds in one

Dreamworld fun for the whole family

Dreamworld and Whitewater World are action packed family theme parks with some of the wildest rides and attractions in Australia. Dreamworld and Whitewater World are side by side and are located on the Gold Coast, Australia.  In Dreamworld experience spine tingling, knee-knocking thrills, brave some of the tallest, fastest rides in the world including the Giant Drop, Tower of Terror, Wipeout, Cyclone rollercoaster and Dreamworld's latest scream machine, The Claw!

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NEED A NANNY, BABYSITTER OR AUPAIR? weneedananny to the rescue

happy kids means happy parentsNeed a nanny, babysitter or aupair? Often when travelling parents just need a little time to themselves perhaps its a special occasion and a romantic dinner with your partner is just wait you desire.  Or maybe there is a day tour or some sightseeing that you'd love to do but they won't allow children. 

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Self catering holidays in Europe..

Panetteria in ItalySelf-catering is a great way to keep the costs down on your European holiday and to really live like a European!  One of the great things about travelling in Europe, is being able to experience the local food and wine and just because you are self-catering doesn't mean you have to miss out.  For centuries Europeans have perfected the art of cooking, and a meal is not just a slap-up affair, but a time to spend with family and friends, whilst savouring the delights on offer

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AUSTRALIAN CAMP CONNECT ASSOCIATION INC For Dads & Kids
camp connect - connecting Dads and kidsThe Australian Camp Connect Association is a Victorian based non-profit organization. It was founded in June 2003 in response to research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies that showed that back in the year 2000, 36 percent of children, within two years of their parents separating, had no contact with their father. Another 17 percent had daytime contact only.
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HEALTHY EATING - healthy food stops along the road

The Food Coach Team headed by Judy Davie are sick of fast food outlets and truck stops offering unappetizing half-cold, greasy fare. If you're travelling around Australia or taking a road trip on your next family holiday then you'll love the food coach's "Healthy Eating on the Road".   

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THE NATIONAL PUBLIC TOILET MAP

The National Public Toilet Map (the Map) shows the location of more than 14,000 public and private toilet facilities across Australia. A very useful resource on your next family holiday or day out.  You won't have to search for a public dunny when you are next travelling with kids.

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FAMILY TRAVEL INSURANCE - is not a luxury it's a necessity

A Family travel insurance policy for the family holiday was formerly looked upon as a luxury.  Travellers need to be covered. Covermore are one of Australia's largest travel insurers and offer discounted travel insurance rates. Generally, a comprehensive travel insurance policy costs around 6% of the price of your trip.

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HOUSE SITTING and HOUSE SWAPPING - is it for you?

click here to find houses available for sittingHouse sitters needed worldwide.... Did you hear the one about the family that took a holiday in a Melbourne house, Villa in Tuscany, then a London apartment followed by a cabin in the Rocky's and paid nothing for accommodation?  Well its no laughing matter, its absolutely true.  To top it all off they had a free car too!! 

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ARE WE THERE YET - staying sane on your next family road trip

the family road tripThe journey should be as good as the destination, so they say!  If only the kids could appreciate the road trip.  We've put together a few ideas to help on your next family holiday. If you are on the road with toddlers or babies try to work in with their routine if possible. Travel at times they would normally sleep, stop for a break when they wake up, feed and change them and let them have a play before moving on.

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TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH KIDS in their teenage years

We know that our teenage children can be delightful, exasperating, funny, sullen, adventurous, shy, talkative, slothful and manic – and sometimes that is just in the space of an hour!  All these moods are magnified when it comes to travelling, be it in Australia or overseas, as teens and parents are forced into one another’s company without a ‘get out of jail free’ card, such as time with friends.

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WWOOFING it's not just for dogs

WWOOF Australia - work for food and boardWWoof Australia - willing workers on organic farms.  If your family love to travel, enjoy meeting people, and dont mind a little bit of hard yakka, perhaps you should give wwoofing a go. Wwoofing stands for Willing Workers on Organic farms. The concept originated in England and has been operating successfully in Australia since 1981.

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BOOKCROSSING - Have you seen a book in the wild?

bookcrossing   Books, books everywhere.  Bookcrossing came to life in 2001 when Ron Hornbaker had an intriguing idea. It was to release books into the wild and track their progress. He decided the lives that books touched were fascinating, and that setting books free was more fulfilling than hoarding them on a shelf somewhere. What better way for a traveller to enjoy a book then leave it for someone else to enjoy.  So next time you go on holidays look out for "wild" books.

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