When to Travel (Europe) ? Weather?

You can use Fodor's, Frommer's, etc to see what they say about traveling certain times of the year. But, I prefer using

You can easily use this site to see most cities (some smaller cities do not have data) on current weather, upcoming 14 day forecasts, and historic high and lows/averages.

This will allow you plan clothing and accessories (umbrella?).

You can keep checking weather for more current forecasts as you trip gets closer as well. Assuming that most trips are less than 14 days, you can see you forecast for about your entire trips before even leaving.

Venado Caves in Costa Rica

Venado Caves look difficult. I really wanted to try this, but even I have my limits with my 3 and 5 year old.

I put a link so you can see a video on the whole process of the caves. I just did not want my kids to freak out on two different excursions, so we did the zip lines (the loved it). I thought there was too much danger (and there was an age limit).

I am not too sure about the birthing hole you have to squeeze through. That made me anxious on the video. I do not think I could sell my wife on paying to: get excessively dirty, crawling around on wet (God knows what made it wet), muddy, rocky surfaces in which she could not see anything. I did not even get to the part where they are blind fish and other goodies (insects/snakes) that roam around and you bump into.

Also, I did not not tell her about the cave spiders. Yeah these ones have pinchers and arms, they are QUITE BIG!!!!

So after all that I thought I would save that trip for later.

Zip Lines or Canopy Tours in Costa Rica

Looking for exciting and at times scary? Try a canopy or zip line adventure. I left a link for the company I used on Costa Rica, but Munda Aventura was awesome.

They are established and the only place I could find and also my agent could find that would take children younger than 13.

Yes, yes I took my (at that time) 3 year and 5 year old on a zip line tour. I am pretty conservative, not quite sure what I was thinking.

The zip line was unbelievable. Look at the site to get an idea, but you will be half a day walking and flying through the air on wires. It is awfully high at times, not something I would reccommend for one with vertigo. Did I mention I took my 74 year father with me.

There are 10 cables you will "fly" across from 200-800 meters across. I cannot even tell how high we were at times. Let us just say there was a good football field between myself and the "top" of the trees below. The sites were unbelievable. At the end of the day, we rode horseback home.

They have other trip options rappeling down waterfalls etc. Before your journey you can see their butterflies, local frogs (such as the poison dart frog), and general farm.

They were quite professional and courteous.

It was kind of funny, my youngest slept (do not ask me how) the last 3 ziplines.

They show you videos on their website of the actual process.

Even though it is scary, I felt quite safe they had very professional people and 1 for each person going up.

To Travel Agent or NOT to Travel Agent

Back in my past travels (especially before the Internet changes) travel agent was the way to go. It ensured that everything got done and saved you time and frustration.

Today, anybody can successfully book a full trip with the Internet. You can easily research using many different websites. Again, I prefer using Fodors, Frommers, and Lonely Planet to help me decide what history and sites might be interesting. If you want to buy a book, I strongly reccommend Rick Steves. His books are fantastic. He is not bogged down in details or to cursory in his writings. He gives clear and concise information about cities with maps (even hand drawn) with a lot of his own opinion ( and sometimes humor).

Also, I use TripAdvisor to check past guest viewpoints on hotels. You can go to most hotels websites or other directories, however, the opinions can give some great info and even entertainment.

I would urge trying to book the trip yourself from finding flights early - then hotels / trains or rental cars. It is not that difficult and all your agent will do is email and do the same you will. Many times the agent will know less than you do.

How to Travel to Costa Rica - Travel Agent

While I have traveled a lot more to Europe and Asia, I had never been to Central America (excluding Mexico). After considerable research, I determined it would be much easier to break my down and use an all inclusive travel agent. I used I did a lot of research on their site and background or feedback they have on the web. I found only positive information and a good history. I planned out the whole trip and then had them book everything for me. They even added a fantastic fully furnished hotel I had not considered in La Fortuna.

I found Dave who helped me was great at responding to all questions and ensuring that my vacation was a success. They met me at the airport with vouchers for the whole trip and made everything quite easy.

When just traveling in one country, it seemed much easier to have them do everything. I feel much different about traveling to Europe.

Rooney Out??? 2 Months

Rooney (Manchester United) is out for 2 months. I would have been concerned, but looks like Sir F added some great additions to the team. I think this Tevez chap from Ham should fill in quite well.

Check out his moves on You Tube.

When they get Hargreaves and Tevez in the line up and get Saha and Ole back in, we should have sufficient strength and be well on our way to a treble.

Well, it may take a bit longer with Ronaldo going out for 2 games. A red card in the last few minutes is rough. But, next two games will be without Rooney and Ronaldo, ouch!

Ugh to Reading - especially Mr. Hunt

I cannot believe Reading has hurt another championship team. Last year they destroyed Chelsea's chance by brutalizing their players. This year they got Shrek err Rooney.

Did you see that crap that Hunt pulled with Van der Sar? I can see the team being anxious to aggressively go at the goal, but smacking at him after you practically kicked him?

Do not care much for Mr. Hunt or Reading.

How old should your kids be to travel?

First off I am not a doctor. But, when I consulted my own and my children's pediatrician, they said after 1.5 years is good to go. They have developed sufficient immunities and gotten all their current shots. I was bit worried when I took my first child to Turkey, I checked the CDC website ( for diseases and other fun. Check my links and you can easily access the CDC and check the area of the world you are traveling to.

But, I found no problems with my kids being 1.5 for our first trip to England, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and various Greecian Isles.

You will find that people can be quite thoughtful when traveling with smaller children. I will never forget Paris and the disgruntled Metro (subway) employee. When after being salty to other people he looked at youngest at the time who was 1.5 and helped graciously helped me out. This is even after I pulled the ignorant american, I did not know where we were going. Even though I had been to Europe 10-12 times, I had never been to France. That is another story.

Traveling with Children can be quite a positive thing. You will find that people can be quite open.

Timing on Travel to Costa Rica

Traveling to Costa Rica was a blast. Again, first thing is to time it right. Everyone says do not go during the rainy season. The rainy season is when I want to go. Less people more time for fun and it is cheaper. According to most people that lived there and what I heard is that they did not know there was a rainy season. It rains all the time.

I would suggest Septemeber. I have only been there once, but we had very little rain and there were hardly and tourists.

When to Travel (Europe)

Traveling time is essential to consider when traveling abroad. I would assume most people would not want to pay more for a vacation and deal with crowds. Well- that is what you get if you go to Europe during the summer. Yes, I have traveled to Europe for a couple of times during the summer and it was fun. But, now as I get older it has lost it's appeal.

Best time to travel to Europe May or October. Why? The weather is not so bad and there are virtually no crowds and everything is less expensive.

I remember waiting in line for the St Peters or the Vatican for hours during a Summer and discussing with my friend who went to the Eiffel Tower and said the line to get to the 1st tier was hours long. I went in May and October to Rome and Paris and no lines. I walked right up to the Eiffel Tower no wait. Yes, yes it was colder, but imagine what you can do with your time. I can sleep in deal with jet lag and explore experience new things because I am not sitting in lines.

Great resources in my links -- you can look at the big websites about timing your trip abroad with Frommers, Lonely Planet, and Fodors.

Other things to consider is what events or holidays are going on that might interfere or enhance your trip. I have a friend who is a Formula 1 fanatic. We try to arrange trips in Europe to coincide with the cities it is in. Some holidays can be fantastic to see. My wife and I planned out seeing a Saints procession in Sevilla off - season - what a find. It was a parade of part of the town carrying massive statues to honor the patron saints. Quite something to see. Since it was off-season, we stood right up front and saw everything. If you go for the major procession, it is a mess of people and very difficult to see. Unless you stand out all morning and stake out your spot.

Other fond memories include spending time at the hotel pool, relaxing at cafe, playing at the kids at a park and then entering the Riks Museum in Netherlands. Reason being off-season. Again it was cold, but my friend that traveled during August spent most of the day waiting in line for Anne Franke's house while we spent all day relaxing and just walked in.

Talk about your Sports -

Please feel free to discuss Soccer - World Football. My favorite team is Manchester United. I feel proud to watch them capture a treble again.

You can talk about your team even though it is not as good as mine.

**** Remember I am the MR. Ignorant American ******** I am always right!!!

I have an excuse for win or loss!!!

If I have to choose a second team in Premiership -- it would be Bolton Wanderers. That is only because my friend from Bolton, John forced me to.

Also, someone forced me into Partick Thistle - 1st Division in Scotland.

International Travel - particularly Europe

Please post any travel ideas or tips for ppl traveling. Especially traveling with kids. It can be challenging traveling with kids. My initial trips I did to I was always single, however, I only had 1 good/long vacation with my wife before we had children.

Now it is a challenge: I have a 7 year old son, 4 year old son, and a 2 week old daughter.

I am no expert (Rick Steve's) on travel. But, I will try to put up my learnings over the years on the site.

I started traveling at nine and did my last trip at 37 with two kids to Austria and Germany.