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11 Family Fun Ideas for Your Next Boat Trip

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11 Family Fun Ideas for Your Next Boat Trip

Many people purchase boats so they have a good reason to spend more time with family members. Together, on the water, you’ll have plenty of time to chat, interact with each other, and partake in activities. But what are the best activities to try? How can you keep the kids engaged throughout the trip? And how can you make your boat trips consistently unique and interesting?

Family Ideas for Your Next Boat Trip

These are some ideas you can use to make your next family boat trip more exciting and engaging for everyone:

  1. Host a barbecue. With the right barbecue grill and gear, you can easily host a barbecue on your boat. Whether you like the classic staples of hot dogs and hamburgers or more sophisticated dishes, you can cook them up as needed and eat while enjoying the fresh air. Make sure you bring plenty of sides and drinks to make the most of this event.
  2. Pack a picnic. If you’re not much of a barbecuer, or if you don’t like the idea of grilling on a boat, you can still arrange an interesting activity around food. One of your best alternative options is to pack a picnic, preferably including plenty of sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and finger foods. Once packed, you can enjoy the picnic on the boat or head to a local beach and eat there.
  3. Venture to a new cove or anchorage. Are you feeling adventurous? Consider venturing to a new cove or anchorage. If you don’t know what you’re going to find, you’ll be able to cultivate an atmosphere of intrigue and mystery. Plus, aimlessly meandering through a new area is a great opportunity to talk to each other and enjoy each other’s company.
  4. Try fishing. For some families, fishing is already a common boating activity. But if you’ve never tried it before, now could be the perfect opportunity. And if you do fish regularly, you can still try fishing a little differently; fishing for a different species or using different equipment and tactics could be exactly what you need to make it more interesting.
  5. Visit historical landmarks. Are there any historical landmarks in your area? Consider visiting them. Historical sites tend to be visually attractive and interesting, and it’s a valuable learning experience as well.
  6. Start a scavenger hunt. One of the best ways to keep children occupied is to send them on some kind of scavenger hunt. Whether they’re looking for physical objects or sights like seagulls and certain types of fish, they’ll be constantly on the lookout for fulfilling their personal objectives.
  7. Join a convoy or parade. Are you familiar with some of the other boaters in the area? Consider joining a convoy or parade. It’s a great way to get involved with the community and bring different families together.
  8. Head to a child-friendly marina. There are many child-friendly marinas for you to explore. These areas tend to have playgrounds and other interactive activities where kids can go a little wild. If your kids are especially young, or if they get impatient on long boat rides, this could be especially valuable.
  9. Try a water sport. There’s no shortage of ways to have fun with sports in the water. If your kids are older, you can try more dynamic activities like wakeboarding. If they’re young, going for a swim might be more their speed. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, there are dozens of water-based activities for you to try.
  10. Play cards. Of course, if you don’t like being in the water directly, you can always stay on the boat. Card games are a classic marine activity, simple enough that anyone can learn but challenging enough to keep you engaged.
  11. Make up your own games. You’re not limited to the games that already exist; You can consider making your own games! For example, you could come up with a unique kind of guessing game or add a personal touch to an old classic. It’s a great way to exercise your creativity and invent new ways to have fun that you can use in the future.

Getting Ideas From Everyone

You don’t have to be responsible for all the family activity planning. In fact, it’s better if you get everyone involved. With all your family members thinking of new ideas and volunteering possibilities, you’ll have a more robust selection of activities to try and everyone will feel like an active participant.

Ask your partner, your kids, and anyone else included in these adventures what they want to do next; you might be surprised what they have to suggest!

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Travel

Explore the Magic of Florida’s Glowing Waters

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Whether you call Florida’s Space Coast home or travel there for business or pleasure, be sure to set aside time to explore the splendor of Florida’s glowing Indian River lagoon. When you participate in a late-night tour in a clear-bottom kayak courtesy of A Day Away Kayak Tours, you’ll experience firsthand the beautiful, mind-boggling effects of dinoflagellate bioluminescence — water flashing blue and green and illuminating literally beneath your feet. It’s something you simply don’t want to miss.

What is bioluminescence?

If you’ve ever spent time in the summer as a child trying to capture fireflies in a jar, you know what bioluminescence looks like. It’s that flash of light that may last but a second or for several seconds. According to the Smithsonian Institution, bioluminescence is created by a living organism as a result of luciferin, a chemical compound reacting with oxygen. Unlike other sources of light, it generates little heat and is therefore considered a cold light.

What organisms cause bioluminescence?

We’ve mentioned fireflies already. And some fungi also cause bioluminescence. But most bioluminescent creatures including some species of fish, jellyfish, worms, sea stars, and even sharks find their home in the ocean. The spectacular bioluminescence found in the lagoons of Florida’s Space Coast is created by dinoflagellates, miniscule single-celled organisms in the algae family that are typically found in marine plankton.

Why do they glow?

According to National Geographic, there are many reasons why some organisms glow. For example, some squids will use their bioluminescence to confound their attackers. The sudden flash creates a deer-in-the-headlights frozen reaction to predators giving them time to quickly slip away. And the brittle star, a type of sea star will detach a bioluminescent arm so its predator will chase after it leaving the main body of the star to escape. (It’s little matter to the brittle star as it will grow a new arm in its place.) Other sea creatures including worms and small crustaceans use their bioluminescence to attract suitable mates. Earthbound fireflies use it for the same reason.

Dinoflagellates flash blue light whenever the water they are in is disturbed, including when hungry fish swim by — or when curious kayakers paddle through. Scientists believe their response works to distract predators while also attracting the kind of prey those predators might prefer to dine on.

Where can bioluminescent waters be found?

Bioluminescence can be found in Jamaica, the Maldivian Islands, and other warm water ecosystems, but you don’t have to go nearly so far to experience the beauty of bioluminescent plankton. The Indian River lagoon on Florida’s Space Coast and the Banana River near Cape Canaveral provide amazing kayaking opportunities to enjoy this magical experience.

When is the best time to see the glowing water?

Dark, moonless nights anytime between the months of May and November are good, but if you want a truly fiery night, July and August are prime time. You can experience this extraordinary phenomenon from a traditional kayak, observing glowing droplets of water as they swirl from your paddle, or you can immerse yourself in the magic completely with a clear-bottomed kayak and perhaps catch a glimpse of a graceful manatee as it glides below you.

The choice is yours.

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Travel Vaccine Checklist: What Vaccines Do You Need for Your Upcoming Trip?

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Are you planning on leaving the country? Before you depart, it is a good idea to check in with a travel clinic for a pre-travel consultation to see whether or not you require any vaccinations or booster shots. 

Give yourself plenty of time because the full effects of immunizations can take anywhere from four to six weeks to manifest, and some people may require more than one dose. 

You will, of course, want to ensure that you have had all of the standard vaccinations that are recommended for daily living in the United States. If you take precautions against these diseases at home, they won’t be as dangerous for you when you go to other places where they are also found. 

What Else Do You Require, Exactly? 

The vaccinations you need are going to be determined by your destination. 

Check to see that you are up to date on all of the usual immunizations, including for COVID-19, measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis B, and the yearly flu vaccine. 

Hepatitis A vaccination is a must for travel to most of the world except Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australia and New Zealand. A typhoid vaccinations is also recommended for many tourists destinations. In addition, other specialized vaccinations may be recommended depending on where you are going. For instance, you are required to get vaccinated against yellow fever if you are intending to travel to particular regions in Africa or South America. 

However, if you are traveling to places like Canada, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand, as well as Western Europe, it is quite unlikely that you will require any destination specific vaccinations. 

In the event that you want to go to a region of the world in which contracting malaria is possible, your physician will prescribe you medication to ward against the disease. Although it is not a vaccination, you will need it in order to defend yourself. Make sure you take all of your anti-malaria medication, including the pills that are prescribed for after you return home. 

You should also take precautions against getting bitten by mosquitoes if you are going to be traveling to a region where mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever or Zika, are prevalent. Vaccines against these diseases may not currently exist. 

If you go to the “Travelers’ Health” section of the CDC website, you will find out just what you need to bring with you to your destination. You are able to search depending on where you are going as well as any unique requirements that you may have, such as whether or not you are pregnant or take medications that have an effect on your immune system. You may also be going somewhere with limited access to medical care if you are going on a humanitarian mission or to provide assistance following a natural disaster. In addition, the website provides a “healthy travel packing list” tailored to the specific nation that the user would be visiting.

As you prepare for your trip, make an appointment with the travel health experts at Travel Bug Health or visit their website to learn more: https://www.travelbughealth.com 

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Warning: Don’t Get Scammed on Vacation

Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. […]

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Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. I’ve had some of these happen to me so everyone is susceptible.

Common scams:

Pick Pocket

This is number one for a reason, it happens all the time. Why do people not take care of their valuables? First rule of traveling: NEVER keep your wallet in your back pocket!

Simple rule but so many people fail to follow it. I carry a traveler’s wallet, it slings over my shoulder and I keep it under my shirt. The pickpocket would have to literally take my shirt off and only my wife and doctor have that privilege.

Women keep your purse under your jacket or double wrapped around your wrist. Ladies, your purses are a huge target and pickpockets can plan their attack from any angle.

Pickpockets run all sorts of scams to get your attention away from the fact that they are taking your wallet. Here are the most common pickpocket scams.

The Bump

This is a great diversion, since you are physically being bumped; all your attention is being diverted to the initial strike. While you are being bumped, your wallet is skillfully being taken out of your pocket or purse. When in large crowds or small areas pay extra attention to your loot.

Misdirection

This is usually a two-person scam. The first criminal is somehow stealing your attention while the accomplice cleverly snags your goodies. The misdirection can be anything from asking for directions or trying to sell you something. As long as they break your concentration and you are sidetracked, they’ve already won. Again, an easy way to avoid this widespread trick is to keep your wallet or purse safe.

The Spill

Pickpockets will clumsily spill something on your clothing and while they haphazardly try to clean it up, they are expertly pilfering your stuff. So, if some stranger spills coffee on you, DON’T let them help you clean it up. They will not only get coffee on your fantastic pea coat, but they will be spending your cash in no time flat.

Taxi Scams

The Overcharge

This is the most common one and happens everywhere, even in your hometown. Taxi drivers can spot a mark from a mile away and will exploit your naivety for their benefit. I’ve had this happen to me a few times and its more common than you think. The cab driver will either take you on an extremely long route or flat out overcharge you. They think you have no idea where you are going and they are probably right. The key is to ask someone knowledgeable that you also trust how to get somewhere and how much it should cost. The airport has many officials that should help you and your hotel concierge will provide you with all the help you need.

Wrong Change

This scam isn’t just relegated to cabbies, any shop or restaurant employee will try this scam on you. Image for a second that you are in a foreign land and you are unfamiliar with the currency or exchange rate. You simply try and pay for something and the clerk gives you change, how e=on earth are you supposed to know what’s right? This is a tough nut to crack, but a little pre-planning and homework should fix this. It helps to actually know what the currency is and how much the exchange rate is. It isn’t hard work to find these things out. Here is a handy currency converter you can use for free.

An additional nugget of knowledge: Never get in an unmarked cab, these illegal taxis will scam you, guaranteed.

Other Popular Scams

Free Jewelry

Never trust anything that seems like too good of a deal. If a person tries to give you free jewelry, food or really anything, it’s probably a scam. They will give you the free thing then immediately demand money for it. When you at first don’t pay, they will make a huge scene and hope that this makes you pay. The key to staying safe is simple, never take anything from anyone.

Overly Aggressive Woman

This is an age-old scam, send an attractive woman to hit on a guy, she gets him to buy her drinks and then something happens. This is where the narrative changes; the woman drugs you, a man comes up pretending to be her boyfriend or she pickpockets you. Any of these are no good and can easily be avoided by being smart. Nobody wants to wake up with his or her kidneys gone or their passport missing.

Scammers are out there everyday trying to get over on someone, flip the script and be one step ahead.

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