Seattle or San Francisco: Rain, Fog, or Shine

It was a sunny July day when I left Seattle for San Francisco. Two days later I was shivering on the beach wearing every item of clothing I had with me watching muted fireworks explosions through the fog on the 4th of July. Fun fact: it’s not always sunny in California, and Seattle isn’t constantly rainy. Having lived in both San Francisco and Seattle, I’ve got tips on the best sights and activities no matter the weather.

San Francisco, Golden or Gloomy

San Francisco on a sunny day is glorious, but if sun’s what you’re after, visit in spring or fall, not summer. Summer in San Francisco is typically cold and foggy, and an excellent time to make day trips to Napa or Sonoma which aren’t affected by the coastal gloom and happen to be full of excellent wine.

If you are in the city on an overcast day, this can be an excellent time to take advantage of San Francisco’s great museums, especially the lesser-known Walt Disney Family Museum or the iconic Cable Car Museum.

Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco

A stop at The Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee (where this caffeinated cocktail was perfected) is another excellent way to warm up, and it’s conveniently located between Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, two tourist meccas you’re likely to visit no matter the weather.

If you know enough to visit in the spring or fall for a sunny trip, you probably already know about the tourist highlights: Golden Gate Park, a walk across the bridge by the same name, Dolores Park, Ocean Beach, Sutro Baths, etc. Here are a few unique experiences best enjoyed on a sunny day:

Angel Island is a short ferry ride into the bay and offers incredible sweeping views of the city. Rent bikes for a pleasant and not too challenging ride around the island which is virtually devoid of cars.

Coit Tower also offers beautiful vistas of the water and the city and is located near iconic crooked Lombard Street for checking things off your tourist bucket list. The monument offers great views even from its base, which is free to visit, or for a small fee you can take an elevator to the top for a true change in perspective.

Seattle, Damp or Dry

Summer is the season to visit Seattle. Full disclosure, there may be a slight drizzle some mornings, but most days are warm and dry.

Spending time on the water in Seattle is the ideal way to celebrate the sun. There are myriad boat tours to be had on Lake Union, beach days and bonfires on the Puget Sound – Golden Gardens is a local favorite – or laid-back relaxing in an oversize floatie on Green Lake. Stand Up Paddleboards are readily available to rent at any of these locations as well.

green lake seattle

Green Lake – Seattle

 

Other lesser-known outdoor adventures include the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is downtown just past all of the tourist-focused waterfront and Seattle’s small but lovely Woodland Park Zoo, which feels like a botanical garden with animals tucked away in the foliage.

Given the good chance of rain most of the year, having an indoor backup plan is wise. MoPop, the Museum of Pop Culture has exhibits focused on Seattle’s music scene, all things sci-fi, and an excellent array of rotating exhibits.

My favorite place to take visitors is the Future of Flight Boeing Factory Tour, which is just north of the city. It’s truly incredible to visit the warehouses that are the size of small cities and watch airplanes come together before your very eyes.

No  matter which left coast city you visit in any type of weather, you’re sure to have a good time enjoying either of these lovely cities full of culture, natural beauty and unique experiences. Enjoy!


 

Christina is a So Cal native who now calls Seattle home. She loves to explore cities on foot, eat all the things, dance, and shop. When she’s not doing any of those things, you’ll find her on the couch, snuggling her French Bulldogs and knitting.

 

Co-Founding a Business and a Home – The life of a Mompreneur

It’s 2 am in the morning. My middle kid just woke up screaming and, because I can tell one cry from another, I run with him to the bathroom, and he throws up his dinner. An hour prior, my older kid threw up all over the bedroom’s hallway, and a little bit in the guest room, where we currently have guests staying. The baby is also sick, and woke up at the same time, screaming. It took me over an hour to put him back to bed, clean everything up, calm the older kid, bathe him and put him back to bed.

I went to bed at 3 am, with all the kids sleeping in my bedroom, since they’re sick and needy. No biggie. This could be the description of every other mom’s daily life.

 

The life of a mompreneur

Except that in two days I’m soft-launching the startup I’m co-founding. I had the idea for it coming back from the one-month appointment of my youngest kid. He just turned one a week ago, and this also marked a year of craziness, where I raised three energetic little boys and turned my idea into a business.

This year I barely slept, I potty trained, I taught a kid how to read in two languages, I played Mario Kart more times than I can count, I was the Yellow (Power) Ranger, I sang lullabies, I told Bible stories, and I traveled abroad by myself with three kids. This year I also wrote a business plan, raised capital, learned my way around UX and wireframes, designed websites, made marketing campaigns, and became an entrepreneur.

How I did it all

I’m co-founding a business and a home. It’s impossible to separate one from another. And it would also be absolutely impossible for me to do it if it wasn’t for the “co” in “co-founder.” You see, this little word means that I didn’t do it by myself. Co-founding my home without my awesome husband would be impossible. To start off, if it wasn’t for him, the kids and I wouldn’t have a roof over our heads, or food to eat while I embarked on this crazy “work all day, earn nothing” startup journey. But he’s also my partner, the super-hero dad, the hard worker, and the consultant for pretty much everything I didn’t know about when building my startup.

As for building City Catt, I had the honor and privilege of having my family buying the idea and joining me as Co-Founders. My ever restless aunt Lis with an entrepreneurial soul joined in. My all-in, committed, hard-working, trooper cousin Anna, who’s been by my side working day and night while listening to screaming kids and crying babies. My cousin Louie, who’s been an unbelievable ambassador for our brand, attending many entrepreneurial meet-ups and being a true voice for City Catt. Not to mention my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and cousin Denise, who all played a vital role in the beginning stages, brainstorming, giving valuable inputs, insights, ideas, and imagining together what we could build.

My co-founders ☺️

 

All that to say that maybe you can’t have it all when trying to do it yourself. But I dare say that if you find people to buy your crazy ideas, be them raising awesome kids or building a great business, yes, you can have it all.

I found supporters for these dreams of mine. Now, on the 18th, City Catt will be officially born to the world, and we aim to upgrade vacations all over the globe. When it comes to this dream, I already found hundreds of Catts willing to join me, and I’m counting on reaching thousands more. And because I have them, I believe I can fly, but I also know that every little thing is gonna be all right.

 


Lizia is the Idea maker and Co-Founder of City Catt. She’s also a wife, a mom of three little boys, and a journalist. She loves road trips, exploring cities, traveling, and spending fun and meaningful times with loved ones.

The 10 Most Romantic Spots in Chicago

Chicago, a city known for its rugged neighborhoods, deep-dish pizza and of course, brutal 50-mph winds… doesn’t lack in character or culture. However, there’s a softer side to Chicago that they don’t show you on the big screen. Whether you’re looking to surprise your significant other on an anniversary or want to impress a first date, these are 10 of the most romantic spots in the Chicago area.

1. Dîner en Blanc

Dîner en Blanc is an immersive experience that turns some of Chicago’s most beautiful public spaces into a chic rendezvous for over 1,000 invited guests. Head-to-toe in all white garb, the Dîner En Blanc attendees can enjoy their dinner, mingle with the eclectic crowd and reminisce on the prestige of high French society. This is a date-night for the books.

2. Chicago River Walk

Whether you take on the river walk by boat or foot, you will feel the true magic and energy of the city. This romantic escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown is all you need on a crisp Chicago evening.

3. Tropikava

Most date nights include a stop at the local cocktail bar. But what if hangovers aren’t really your thing? Head to Tropikava and try a relaxing, non-alcoholic, non-addictive elixir by the name of Kava. This drink derives from the Kava root and has long been used socially and ceremonially in the South Pacific. Kava is said to induce clarity, relief from anxiety and a calm sense of euphoria. Elevate to another state and relax with your partner at this innovative juice bar.

4. Millenium Park

You’ve seen the iconic images of Millennium Park and its prominent artwork on TV shows, movies and popular Instagram feeds. But this expansive civic center has much more to offer than meets the eye. Watch a movie under the stars, buy tickets to one of the colorful concert series or sneak away for a private picnic.

5. Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Nothing says romance like a walk through vivid displays of flora and fauna. You’ll find captivating experiences at the conservatory that stretch far beyond the flowers. Sign up for one of the conservatory’s cooking classes and fall in love with the art of creating culinary classics from scratch. Make pasta, collect herbs, perfect Chinese recipes or even learn how to make holiday jams. Just make sure you make it out in time to see the sunset over the conservatory’s greenhouse.

6. Promontory Point

Most travelers overlook this breathtaking lookout point, which makes it the ideal spot for those who are willing to venture off the beaten path. Grab your loved one, pack a light lunch and take a stroll along this peninsula of Lake Michigan.

7.  The Signature Lounge at the 96th

Enjoy a cocktail above the clouds as the Chicago cityscape leaves you completely bewildered. The Signature Room at 96th is placed 96 floors above the ground and offers a slew of perfectly crafted cocktails from a team of world-class mixologists. Watch the sunset, order a few small-bites for the table and enjoy the timeless ambiance.

8. The Chicago Theatre

The emblematic lights in the windy city do not shine any brighter than when you’re underneath the marquee at the Chicago Theatre. Catch a show and marvel at the French Baroque-style architecture that was designed in 1921. It is the essence of sentimental charm.

9. North Pond

North Pond was originally built as a warming shelter for ice skaters back in 1912. Since then this spot has evolved into a wholesome restaurant with seasonal, locally sourced products and at atmosphere that is true to the culture of arts and crafts. Located in Lincoln Park, this restaurant is adorned with floor to ceiling glass windows that are especially dazzling at dusk.

10. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

Nothing sets the mood quite like the melodic tones of live music. The Green Mill was frequented by legendary popular figures and continues to amaze crowds looking to kick-back and unwind with an ongoing jazz soundtrack.

  


As a Las Vegas native with an affinity for global excursions, Perri left the United States for love, self-discovery and amazing European pastries. This lucky girl hasn’t stopped traveling since. You can check her out her latest adventures at her Instagram @princeandthepear. 

 

What working as a local guide taught me about authentic travel

By Sebastian Wojnar

Defining how to travel authentically can be a challenge. Does authentic travel involve exploring a village that’s been untouched by foreign influence? Or perhaps researching the customs before beginning your trek? How ever much you prepare, you’re still an outsider. How can you even be sure if what you’ve experienced can be considered “authentic?”

Why not go local? You can get the inside scoop on what makes a place tick by teaming up with someone who already knows your destination by heart.

Learn more from your visit

Most visitors to Warsaw are mesmerized by the meticulously reconstructed Old Town. Yet without knowing their history, the narrow cobblestone alleyways all meld into a colorful blur. Likewise, the people can appear enigmatic until you get to know them. A local guide can bring to life the stucco on the hundreds of anonymous buildings. Each structure, from Zygmunt’s Column in the Castle Square to the Mermaid in the Old Town Square, illustrates just how remarkable the city’s post-World War II resurrection truly was.

Guides are also representatives of their cultures, introducing their guests to the customs and mindsets of a country through a unique, personal perspective. It was always my pleasure to share snapshots of the last few years of life in the country.

Curtail culture shock

Innately well-versed as they are in the day-to-day complexities of the destination, local guides also serve as the bridge between the traveler and the often exotic wonders of an unfamiliar environment. Obstacles like language barriers and differences in currency and customs – things which can sometimes cause culture shock – are replaced with the consideration of an enthusiastic guide willing to share his or her home.

You are also able to visit the places that are unlikely to be found in any guidebooks. Of course, the most popular attractions are that way for a good reason. But there are many places most tourists don’t see – and don’t post recommendations about on travel websites! Even if the backroads seem less glamorous, they provide a glimpse of the everyday lives of the population.

Take for instance Istanbul, divided not only by the Bosphorus but also by two distinct paces of life. Tourists naturally flock to the ancient neighborhood of Sultanahmet to visit the majestic Blue Mosque and try their luck bartering with touts in the spice market. Crossing over to Kadikoy presents one with another side of the city. Nothing in the district’s tightly-packed, sparsely-decorated shopping streets was marked for tourist consumption. With the labels and conversation all in Turkish, I could not even differentiate between all the unfamiliarly-scented dishes at a restaurant. Luckily, my local contact helped me to navigate through the crowd as it engaged in its daily grocery shopping.

Save time

Going local also saves a ton of pre-departure preparation time and stress. No more long hours searching online for the best things to do at each location. With a local tour guide at your side, you’re not only sure to get an individualized experience, but all the work is already done for you! All you really need at this point is a pair of comfortable walking shoes and a smile.

It was only while recently planning my own trip that I realized the impact of my own work. As a guide I had navigated my city’s transportation timetables, bought tickets to attractions, sourced restaurants, deciphered maps, and more. All these things had seemed like second nature to me. Yet as a traveler about to embark to a foreign country, having someone to rely on for the nitty-gritty details is priceless.


Sebastian Wojnar has lived in a number of different countries, becoming acquainted with the quirks and rewards of life in the global village. He shares his insights on work and travel in his writing, through which he hopes to instill a curiosity for the unknown.

Your Roundup of Chicago’s Best Senior-Friendly Tourist Attractions

Chi-Town’s diverse range of attractions makes it one of America’s loveliest destinations for senior citizens. We’ll help you plan your itinerary by presenting a roundup of Chicago’s best senior-friendly attractions. These landmarks aren’t solely senior-friendly, however; they’re fun and fascinating for tourists of all ages!

If you have a generous budget, you may consider hopping on a motorcoach tour. You’ll ride in comfortable luxury coach buses with tourists of similar ages, and stop off at Chicago’s main attractions such as the Willis Tower (previously known as Sears Tower), with casino hotel accommodation included. Book a motorcoach tour if you would like your trip pretty much planned for you. In addition, if you’re interested in meeting other tourists, this would be a great social vacation for you.

For those who enjoy more flexibility, take your pick from any or all of these captivating Chicago senior-friendly treasures:

Boat Tours

Chicago Boat tours

Skip the walking, and lounge on a beautiful boat for 90 minutes. Here are a few fantastic boat tour options.

Chicago First Lady

Lounge in comfort while expert tour guides present features of Chicago’s stunning architecture. Visit the website to purchase tickets; we recommend purchasing in advance. The First Lady Cruise features a full-service bar, snack shop, and restrooms. Previous guests recommended this river cruise as a well-worth-the-price, must-see attraction for locals and tourists alike.

Wendella Boats

Offers Chicago River and Lake Michigan cruises, architectural tours, beer cruises, and wine and cheese cruises.

Chicago Boat Tours

Similar to Chicago First Lady, offers an architectural cruise, as well as a historical cruise (for those not so interested in buildings) as well as an architectural cocktail cruise.

Museums

Chicago Museums are a must-see

You can’t stop in Chicago without stopping to admire its museums! Don’t worry if you’re not interested in art, though; there’s still plenty for you to see.

Art Institute of Chicago

If you do love art, this is your first stop. Here, you’ll enjoy works by legendary artists such as Pablo Picasso in one of the country’s oldest and largest art museums! Some of its exhibitions change from time to time, so check out the website for a current list of displays.

The Field Museum of Natural History

Even if you’re not a dinosaur nerd, The Field Museum is still a must-see for one special exhibit: it’s home to the biggest and most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found!

Museum of Science and Industry

Science lovers, don’t forget this stop. Some of its permanent exhibits include a replica coal mine and a genuine WWII submarine.

“Above and Beyond” Vietnam War memorial

If you know a Vietnam vet, or you are one yourself, this display is a must-see. “Above and Beyond” is an exhibit of over 58,000 hanging dog tags, one for every American soldier killed in Vietnam. This work of art literally depicts the “weight” of the Vietnam War hanging over American society, in a stunning and unparalleled way.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza

The Memorial Plaza is another interesting stop for Vietnam vets. Inscribed in its memorial fountain, you’ll find names of the American soldiers that lost their lives serving our country in Vietnam.

Rosehill Cemetery and Civil War Museum

A must-see for Civil War history buffs. Several Union military officers are buried there.

Sears Tower, Yay or Nay?

Skydeck, Willis Tower – Chicago, IL

Note that we did not include the Skydeck of the Willis (Sears) Tower on our list. Why? Many tourists mentioned that the wait times were excruciatingly long and that the elevators up to the Skydeck were cramped. Not to mention the height might be too overwhelming for some people. Thus, we did not consider this attraction to be senior-friendly. However, you certainly may use your own judgment here! If you decide you would still like to visit Skydeck Chicago, be sure to purchase tickets in advance here.

Add any of these options to your itinerary for an exciting, educational, senior-friendly tour of the great city of Chicago. My final tip: visit Chicago between the months of May and September, or else you might end up with a frostbitten nose!

 

 

Taylor Blanchard is a traveler/travel enthusiast, blogger, and freelance writer. She enjoys discovering places she’s never been before, learning more about herself and the world we live in, and sharing her experiences on her blog, You Belong Everywhere.

20 things we endured when going on road trips in the 90s

There’s nothing more American than road trips. But, hitting the road with iPads, GPS, organic snacks and unlimited data plans is no match for what the 90s kids used to endure.

Times were tough then… crammed into the back of a station wagon, driving endless hours, filthy gas station bathrooms, dad’s corny road sign jokes. How did we survive? Here are some more of the hardships people had to endure when going on the road trip in the 90s:

1. We listened to music in Walkmans.

No streaming, no shuffle, no skipping. You actually had to listen to the whole thing from beginning to end. For the kids who never heard of such a thing, here’s a pretty cool explanation of how this ancient device worked.

 

2. We talked to each other. Sometimes it was a bit too much, and some of us got annoyed.

 

3. We took naps in dangerous ways.

 

4. Our mood was influenced by the songs playing on the radio.

 

5. We danced to Boybands’ hits like there was no tomorrow, and without the intention of posting to make it go viral.

 

6. We fought with our siblings (also like there was no tomorrow).

 

7. We had to wait for the cassette tape to rewind to listen to it (and pray that it didn’t get tangled in the process).

 

8. If the car broke down, we played outside in the rest area. No cellphone, no Netflix. WE.HAD.TO.PLAY.WITH.EACH.OTHER. Can you believe it?

9. We rode in the backseat in unsafe ways.

 

 10. We played games in the car. Some innocent (I spy with my little eye round-robin, license plate scavenger hunts), and some a little dangerous…

 

 11. Some of us – the strong ones – could read entire books in one road trip.

 

12. We knew the lyrics to 1000 songs and we sang together shamelessly!

 

13. We knew how to read paper maps. And there was no Siri to tell us all about nearby things.

 

14. We ate unhealthy snacks. And there was much more where this came from.

 

15. We stopped at random diners, the food was great and the people there were the friendliest.

 

16. No such thing as car selfies. We took photos of beautiful sceneries and our fashionable outfits.

17. We searched for Payphones to let the family know we were all right.

 

18. We made mixtapes especially for the trips. Not everybody thought it was awesome, but they all had to listen to it anyway.

19. We had to be very selective of the pictures we took, as regular camera films allowed us about 36 photos. And we still had to pray they didn’t develop blank. Polaroids were the closest to Instagram we had, and we had family gatherings after the trip to show off our pictures.

20. And after enduring it all as a family, we got closer to each other. It was the ultimate test of our love!

— The City Catt Team 😽

12 Travel lessons from A Goofy Movie

No best way to break the routine than traveling. Visiting non-familiar places can be one of the most enriching and transformative experiences you’ll have in your life. However, sometimes all this newness can also trigger many uncomfortable situations. And just as an avalanche begins with a small snowball, one slip and soon your trip is buried by unpleasant odds.

This, of course, has happened or will happen to everyone. Who never had a travel fail? In A Goofy Movie, a poorly planned fishing trip made you laugh as a kid. But I bet that if you go back and watch it again, you’ll realize that as an adult you’ll totally relate to Goofy’s agony. But you don’t want to repeat his mistakes, so let’s dive in and learn 12 lessons learned from this 90s gem:

 

1- Experiences are personal

 

Goofy had the brilliant idea of ​​taking his son on a fishing trip.

Goofy had the brilliant idea of taking his son on a fishing trip.

As a kid, Goofy had the most fantastic experience when his dad took him to Lake Destiny, so it only made sense to make it a tradition, right? However, work on your expectations, as it is likely that you will never be able to 100% replicate that feeling to others. Each trip is unique and brings its opportunities. Don’t be stuck in the past, open yourself to new experiences, even if it’s a repeat visit to a destination you’ve been many times before.

 

2 – Communicate!

Max learns he’ll miss his first date

A loved one surprises you with: “get on the car and let’s travel”! To many, that’d be a dream. However, it can become a nightmare if you, like Max, has other plans for the weekend. So, either plan your surprise really well or do your best to keep your travel companions in the loop on all the details when planning dates and destinations.

 

3 – Less is more

Goofy’s car can’t take his overweight baggage.

We already respect the weight restrictions when flying. But road trips are another story. We see all that space, and we tend to pack the whole house. But, in the long haul, the lack of extra space will cause discomfort, and lead you to spend more fuel. Not to mention that you won’t have much space for souvenirs. So, check the weather, pack accordingly, and remember that you can always wash your clothes on the road.

 

4 – Co-pilots are key

After a series of near misses, Max decides to co-pilot.

Driving itself requires a lot of attention. Add to it things like checking the GPS, finding nearby attractions, and restaurants, dealing with the passengers’ hunger, bathroom breaks, and so on. Even if you have a smartphone, signals can be bad sometimes, and Siri sometimes just doesn’t get it. So you don’t get yourself in an accident, elect a co-pilot and make sure he or she can deal with paper maps.

 

5 – Prepare activities to kill the time

After an awkward silence, father and son fight over music.

Watching the surrounding landscape in silence can be invigorating for some people or incredibly tedious for others. In the movie, Max and his father, have difficulty finding something to talk about and fight over choosing a song to listen to the point of breaking the car player. To avoid all that, make in advance a good playlist, as music often sets the mood of the trip. In addition, research games you can play as a group, and take new toys (and favorite ones too) for the kids. A good car DVD can be a lifesaver as well!

 

6- Choose your attractions well

Goofy and Max can’t seem to agree on what to do.

Much of Max’s struggles in the movie are because Goofy tried to recreate the same trip he and his father took in the past, without adjusting to his son’s personal preferences. Travel planning is tough (that’s precisely why we founded City Catt), but do your best to include something for everybody in the group in your itinerary. And then organize things with some of this criteria in mind: distance from the hotel, duration of attraction, restrictions on other people in the group, etc.

 

7 – Register your memories on different devices

The encounter with the Bigfoot remained only in their own memory.

In these modern times, you won’t have problems with Bigfoot destroying your camcorder, but other accidents can happen. Low batteries, cameras that fall and break, low memory…it’s all very annoying. To make sure your memories are recorded elsewhere, take photos and videos on different devices, and if you can, store them on the Cloud. Also, Travel Journals are old-school but remain so relevant! What better way to travel down memory lane than reading your own perspective of the trip back then?

 

8 – Take a survival kit for the ride

Road Meals don’t sit well with everybody.

Hunger can come in the oddest moments when you’re traveling. It happened to Max and, thankfully Goofy was prepared. Don’t forget to bring familiar snacks and drinks. It’s smart to avoid foods with excess salt, sugars, and fats, as these can wake not so pleasant sensations when combined with the car’s motion. Wipes, tissues, and a simple first-aid kit are also a must.

9- Make sure you have good dreams

Goofy and Max have a hard time crashing.

Unless you’re very young and resilient, resting well during your trip will prove key to ensure you have fun. So, if you have trouble sleeping, anticipate your needs and bring whatever you need to ensure you have good dreams. Here are some things that can help: your own pillow, ear plugs, eye masks, white noise machines, a good travel pillow (have you heard of the Trtl?), etc.

 

10 – Tune up your car

Goofy’s car ends up as a total loss.

In cartoons, characters go through all sorts of accidents and leave unharmed. Not the case in real life. To avoid unpleasant surprises, tune up your car a few days before the trip. You should also look into a road car assistance service, if not included with your insurance.

 

11- Follow the rules

Things get ugly when Goofy and Max decide to go around the rules.

Rules are there for a reason. So follow them, even if you don’t fully understand or agree with them. Nothing worse than having the tour interrupted by a scolding. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s important to continually remind them of each attraction’s rules, especially if you’re visiting a place with a different cultural setting.

12 – Be patient

Surprises are sure to happen in trips.

No matter how well thought out, no trip will go exactly as planned. Reality doesn’t always meet expectations, an attraction might close due to bad weather, your travel companion might snore louder than usual. Hang in there! A cool mind and a flexible heart can always find solutions. Goofy and Max needed a whole trip to learn that. But it’s even better when we leave the house with that idea in mind.


 

Don’t lose the momentum!

How about you sit down and start planning for your next trip now? Last but not least, here comes the best tip of this article: If planning your trip becomes too complicated, come back here and find a Catt to help you the best things to do at your destination. Only a local can open the doors to the best side of your destination, and you don’t want to miss that!

City Catt Launches partnership to promote Autism-Friendly trips

Published by IBCCES on 07/13/2019

IBCCES is excited to announce our recent partnership with City Catt, a P2P Trip Planning Startup, to help families with individuals on the autism spectrum plan autism-friendly trips around their sensory challenges.

The new program, called Autism on the Go, connects traveling families with trained and certified residents living in their destination cities that help them find the best places to visit and accommodate their needs. Starting today, City Catt is recruiting locals interested in working as Autism Certified Catts.

City Catt’s model connects any traveler with like-minded locals – called Catts – that can help them plan autism-friendly trips to their cities. By partnering with IBCCES, they are now able to connect families and individuals with Catts who are also Autism Certified living in these destination cities.

The platform already has Catts in 29 US states and is expanding! Travelers and their families have specific needs and expectations, and by being able to talk to locals, they can ask questions, get suggestions and build a customized itinerary, instead of scavenging the web for reliable information.

Learn more about the program at autism.citycatt.com.

authentic attractions

Authentic vs Touristy. How should you travel?

Authentic travel is all the hype now, and those of you that appreciate the good ol’ touristy attractions, may be feeling some prejudice coming your way just because you’re pictures are not #wanderlust worthy, or so they say.

Well, us at City Catt for once think that both touristy and authentic have its place in the realm of awesome trips. But, since “touristy” is fairly easy to be achieved, here are some tips on how to go full on “authentic” on your next trip.

 

Know the country and its people

Authentic travel means you can experiment with the best and the worse of each country. And it also means your concept of best and worse will have to be largely widened. Try wearing the cultural glasses of the place you’re visiting. Leave your prejudice at home.
When you choose the authentic travel path, you know things won’t be roses and sunshine and that’s what makes the experience more unique: you are meeting real people, not characters on some well scripted Hollywood movie.

 

Go beyond pre-packaged attractions

Now, we’re not saying you´ll be the one to reinvent a country, but one of the rules of authentic travel is looking beyond the pre-packaged attractions. It’s sort of like a game. While everyone else goes to the famous X attraction, you’re that exotic character who’ll get extra points for going for “attractions” Y or Z.

 

Travel = learning

Authentic traveling is like a BOGO deal. You have fun and end up learning tons. Once in contact with everyday people all around the world, and their struggles and successes, this will be a time where you can reevaluate yourself and your own way of life. Maybe your problems will become smaller, or you may find out there are different ways to solve it. One thing is for sure, authentic travel is a one-way journey to endless learning.

 

New cultures, all the same needs

While many countries speak different languages, universally speaking we’re all the same. At the end of the day, we all need food, water, a loving family and a roof over our heads to keep living. In your search for authentic travel, try learning the different ways people have adopted in order to fulfill those needs. You’ll be surprised to learn there are many ways to love, live and laugh!

Beyond meeting new places, travel can be a way to realize how we all are human and labeling things as “better” or “worse”, or 2 stars and 5 stars might sometimes keep you from getting to know this imperfect yet wonderful world!

 

— By the City Catt Team 😽