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Frequently Asked Questions
As Smart-Travelers.com receives questions we will post them on this page for everyone to read. Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions. We will do what we can to answer them or research the more. Remember, NO question is stupid so please ask away.

We want to take a cruise, but we are worried about getting seasick?
My family has cruised many times and so far, no one has ever gotten sick. You will find that much of motion sickness is aggravated by your own brain. During one of our cruises in Europe, my son began feeling a bit ill. Once he thinks he's sick, then his mind takes over. We didn't want to give him any medication at his age but we did come up with a brilliant idea. One evening, I told him I had gone to the ships doctor and he gave me some special sea sickness band-aids for kids. Having seen adults with sea sickness patches behind their ears he was buying the whole thing. I informed him that the doctor said it must be put on his buttocks to work (I just didn't want him to pull it off). So, my son dropped his drawers and I placed the 'special' band-aid. Not one single problem from that day forward, I kid you not. Don't get me wrong, seasickness is very real but it also gets worse when you think about it. If you have real problems, try a product called Bonine. It works wonders but must be taken 24 hours before you leave.

Can't we just fall off of a cruise ship?
We actually hear this question quite often. I have never heard of anyone just falling off of a ship. I've heard of people jumping, but not just slipping and away they go. It just doesn't happen! You and your kids are quite safe on ships. The railing is over 5' tall and you would have to climb to make it over.

Should we join an airline frequent flyer program? We don't fly very much.
Actually, yes you should join. Some airlines offer you specials when you are a member no matter your status. You can also sometimes request a 'challenge program' where if you travel 5 or 10 thousand miles they will grant you status. They don't offer these on there website so you must ask. You might only be flying one flight that is over 5k miles and could earn Gold or Platinum status.

How do you find contact information for hotel management?
You can certainly Google the hotel and use the word manager. I have found email address this way for managers. If this doesn't work, call the hotel and ask for the managers name and email address. Most will give it to you.

Is it difficult to tow a travel trailer or camper? They make me nervous.
When I first started towing our travel trailer I was terrified. I wasn't sure how I was going to maneuver this huge train down the highway. It's easier than you think. Just take it slow and make very wide turns. Watch for traffic and have extended outside mirrors so you can see the back of your trailer. Also, make sure you have some kind of anti-sway system! Very important.

How is it your family can afford all of those trips? Are you rich?
We are certainly not rich. My family bargain hunts for vacations all the time. We normally stay in the cheapest rooms both in hotels and on cruise ships. We fly using miles or book discount tickets. I've always said we prefer to go more often with less room size. If you are someone that likes suites, then go with a suite. Once you've stayed for a short while in an RV with your family you find rooms size doesn't matter.

How do you fly with your children? We cannot seem to keep them calm.
First, we only have one child so our situation is probably a bit different. We have traveled with other friends with kids and we have also flown overseas several times with our own child. Kids get bored really quickly and sitting on a plane for 10 hours is almost more than they can handle. Here's our trick... Go to a dollar store a few days before your trip and buy each child a cheap toy for each hour of the trip. If you are flying 10 hours, then try to buy somewhere from 8 to 10 toys for each child. Now wrap each toy separately. Yes, wrap them just like Christmas gifts. You will find that kids enjoy opening gifts just as much as playing with them. While on the trip, let them open one gift per hour. Kids love playing with new toys and even a cheap dollar toy can provide at least an hours entertainment. This will be the best few bucks you ever spend.

Do kids need passports... even to go to Canada?
Not necessarily. Kids under the age of 15 can cross at land and sea ports ONLY with parental consent with just a certified copy of their birth certificate. We still advise folks to obtain passports for kids, but you can go into Canada. Remember, this is for land and sea ports only. Everyone must have a passport to fly into Canada. These rules change from time-to-time so please check the State Department website before traveling.

What if my kids get sick when we are traveling?
Not only do kids get sick, but lots of adults do as well. Traveling is tough on your body and when you mix in different foods, early mornings, too much sun or even a small stomach bug, things can get a little dicey. We always travel with a sick kit. Our sick kit has things like Advil, bandaids, Gas-X, Anti Diarrhea medicine and even sea sickness pills (Bonine). Most travel bugs only last a day or so and can normally be treated with over the counter drugs. We never let the fear of sickness stop us from traveling, but we do watch what we eat when on the road. Remember, fully cooked food and bottled water are the best options if you are unsure of a country. We did this in Egypt and had no problems.