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The Many Joys Of Holiday Travel With Kids

Traveling with children, especially during the holidays, can be exhausting. And some things are just inevitably going to happen. 

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Raising children, no matter how many you have, what gender they, or what age they, will always be stressful. There are plenty of tricks and tips out there you can use to make it as easy as possible, but in the end, there’s only so much you can do. And there are plenty of things that are just plain unavoidable.

But traveling with kids? Now that’s a whole different beast in and of itself! There are so many different things that can come up or happen that you will not be prepared for. And there is plenty of stuff you’ll just inevitably do because, heck, what choice do you have?! So let’s go through some of these inevitable things so you can be prepared as possible the next time you travel with your kids during the holidays.

SAY GOODBYE TO ANY SCREEN TIME RULES

Screen time rules are an important part of raising children in today’s day and age. With TVs and computers and tablets, there are so many options of things your kids could watch. So you have to be careful to not let them spend too much time staring at a screen. It’s just plain bad for them! That’s why screen time rules are key.

But when it comes to traveling with your kids, especially during the holidays, those screen time rules pretty much disappear. For most of any vacation, just avoiding a temper tantrum and maintaining your sanity is all that matters. So don’t feel bad about letting your kid watch a few more cartoons than usual. It will keep everyone happy and you can go back to the normal rules as soon as you’re home.

SAY GOODBYE TO ANY SUGAR RULES AS WELL

Just like with your screen time rules, any rules about how much sugar your kids can eat in a day are pretty much going right out the window. Breaking these rules will similarly keep your children happy and keep you sane. But there’s also a lot of unknown factors on a holiday vacation like grandma making too many cookies. We can’t just let those cookies go to waste now, can we?!

YOU’LL MAKE THE HOLIDAYS SPECIAL IF IT’S THE LAST THING YOU DO

All that stress can certainly go to your head. But you’re putting yourself through all of it for one reason and one reason only: to make a special holiday memory for your family! And damn it, you’re gonna do it! So everyone better stop complaining and better start having a wonderful time! OK?! OK.

This can materialize in all sorts of ways. Matching sweaters, Santa hats, too many gifts, perfectly wrapped gifts, and everything in between. Your kids may look at you like you’re crazy while you’re doing it. But they’ll finally appreciate you and your efforts once they’re a little older!

YOU WILL FORGET SOMETHING IMPORTANT

There is literally nothing more inevitable when it comes to holiday travel with the whole family. You will forget something. It will be important. There’s no point in trying to fight it, people! It’s going to happen. Have you ever even seen Home Alone?? But you’re smart, you can problem solve, and you’ll figure it out.

YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SOMETHING

This is a tough one, but unfortunately, it is very likely that you will end up feeling guilty. Everyone will be so stressed out and so exhausted that eventually, someone will complain. And no matter how much you try to tell yourself they’re just tired and they don’t mean, you will still end up feeling guilty for “forcing” them to do whatever family activity they claim they don’t want to do or present they claim they don’t like.

It’s a really difficult part of parenting, but it’s sadly all too common. Just try to not let it get to you any more than it should or affect any further decision making. It will pass. And you’ll feel better before you know it.

YOU’LL REMEMBER WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT

In the end, despite all of the stress and guilt and frustration, I promise you something will happen that will make you remember why you do it. What Christmas is all about. It could be as simple as everyone laughing at the same joke or spilled plate of food, but it will be special and it will make you want to cry. Because Christmas is all about coming together as a family, being thankful for what you have, and showing each other how much you love each other. And that perfect little moment will make it all worth it.

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Travel

The Best Holiday Gifts For The Traveling Man

If you’re having trouble finding a gift for the man in your life that loves to travel, look no further than these perfect suggestions!

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We all know at least one. The guy who seems to be traveling every few months. They just can’t help themselves! They need to see the world and they need to see it now. So, with the holidays right around the corner, we thought we’d help you out by giving you some great gift ideas for the men in your life that love to travel. Take our word for it, they will love every single one of these items!

YETI RAMBLER 30 OZ. TUMBLER

Nobody loves staying hydrated more than frequent travelers! Whether they want to keep their water cold or their coffee hot, Yeti has some of the best products and this particular tumbler is one of the best on the market. It can be used for week-long camping trips, way-too-long flights, tailgating, you name it. They also look pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

72-HOUR MERINO TEE BY HUCKBERRY

Huckleberry is one of the lesser-known men’s wear brands out there, but that should really change. Especially when it comes to gear designed for travel. Take, for example, this amazing merino tee. It was specifically designed so it can be worn 3 days in a row! How perfect is that for those long travel days where you sometimes go well over 24 hours without access to a shower.

And get this… it’s also available in a long-sleeve version!

GOPRO HERO

GoPro’s almost seem like a thing of the past these days as we don’t hear about them all that much anymore. But make no mistake, they are still very cool. And they’ve only gotten better over the years. Their latest version, the GoPro HERO is truly amazing. It’s waterproof, comes with voice control, and features jaw-dropping stability regardless of whatever rocky terrain you may be traveling on while documenting.

So if your travel dude loves to livestream his adventures or recap them in videos after the fact, this is the perfect holiday gift for them.

RENEW LIGHTWEIGHT HOODED PUFFER JACKET BY EVERLANE

A good, durable jacket can be a literal lifesaver in some climates. But it can also be so hard to find the right one! Well, look no further than this perfect puffer jacket from Everlane. It’s reversible, surprisingly lightweight, and can be zipped into it’s own travel pouch, making it extremely easy to pack. This really is a must-have for any serious traveller.

LUMINA 5200 MAH ULTRA COMPACT PORTABLE CHARGER

It doesn’t matter how much we fight it, we simply can’t survive without our devices any more. We need them! Even if it’s just to play games to pass the time. But traveling is one of the easiest ways to accidentally let your battery run out.

That’s why a portable charger like this one from Lumina is vital to any successful travel experience. It’s one of the more affordable portable chargers out there and it comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s also available on Amazon so it couldn’t be easier to buy.

COMRAD COMPRESSION SOCKS

For whatever reason, foot comfort is one of the often overlooked elements of successful and enjoyable travel experiences. I don’t know why so many of us forget to take of our feet. We do use them to walk everywhere! But so many of us still do.

That’s why these compression socks from Comrad make such a simple yet perfect gift for the traveling man. They provide comfort, warmth, support, circulation, and can even prevent swelling. These really are a must-have.

HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO. BAGS

These Herschel Supply Co. bags most easily found at Nordstrom are the most affordable and durable bags out there. The duffel bag is ideal because it’s has all the room he’ll need but is still small enough to be a carry on. And the travel kit bag makes organizing easy by providing multiple pockets to make it easy for him find whatever toiletry or grooming accessory he needs in a flash.

I’ve actually used both of these bags and I really love them.

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Travel

The Best Games To Bring Along On Your Next Vacation

Check out this short list of games that a great for any vacation.

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Those of us with kids know how important keeping our kids happy and occupied is. Sometimes we’ll do just about anything to avoid a tantrum and save our sanity. And this is especially true during a vacation! That’s why bringing along a game or two is always a good idea. So check out this short list of games that a great for any vacation.

BANANAGRAMS

Bananagrams is just a great game. Kind of like a kid-friendly Scrabble. You similarly create your own crossword puzzle as you go, but you’re not constricted to a boring old board. And it comes in a perfect little travel bag that you can practically fit in your pocket.

 

PASS THE PIGS

I’ve played this one and, trust me, it’s a blast! And like many other games on this list, it’s small and easy to pack. It’s a bit like Yahtzee as you literally “roll” two miniature pigs as if they were dice, and based on how they land you’re given points. First to 100 wins!

MAGNETIC GO! CHECKERS

If the picture and the name weren’t clear enough, this is basically just an easily collapsible and magnetic checkers board. So it can be busted out and enjoyed under just about any conditions. In the car, on a plane, or in the hotel. Checkers is still a great game and this is a great travel-friendly version.

FUNNYBONES

Funnybones is kind of like Jacks (does anyone even remember jacks anymore?!). But as old as jacks may seem, Funnybones was created years and years ago in Greece! It eventually spread around the world and has seen many iterations – all of them involving varies challenges of dexterity. But most importantly, it’s small and easy to pack!

CONNECT 4 GRAB AND GO

We all remember Connect 4. It’s a classic, simple, great game. This is just a compact version that can easily fit in a carry on bag. Great for delayed flights or rainy days in the hotel.

RACE ACROSS THE U.S.A.

What better game for a road trip than one about a race across the country?! What’s really fun about this board game is that you can get it customized! There’s a banner in the top left corner that you can have your family’s name put on. You can even personalize the player pieces to look like you and your family members! It’s also a simple and fun game that teaches kids a few things about this great country.

KURIO WATCH 2.0+

When it comes to distracting your kids and giving yourself a little peace and quiet it doesn’t get much better than the Kurio Watch 2.0+. It’s similar to your average smartwatch, but it has games on it! Some of them are even two-player games and watches can sync up if you want to get in on the fun. Plus they’re waterproof!

PROSECCO PONG

Ok, this one isn’t exactly kid-friendly. This game is definitely best suited for a girls trip! If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s exactly like beer pong but it involves 12 plastic recyclable champagne glasses and three pink ping pong balls. And, obviously, using Prosecco instead of beer is encouraged!

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Travel

Life Lessons Learned From Living Abroad

Living abroad can be a very scary and very rewarding experience all at once. If you’re considering making the move yourself, read through these common experiences first. 

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 For some of us, the thought of living abroad is a nearly unachievable fantasy if not a completely unappealing and crazy decision. But for others, it’s the most magical and exciting choice available. Regardless of what your personal opinions are about living abroad, there are plenty of positives and negatives that come with it. Here are some that anyone who has actually done it can agree with.

RELATIONSHIPS COME AND GO

One of the greatest things that comes from living abroad is new and wonderful friendships. Meeting people from different areas of the world with different experiences than yourself can be invigorating. It can help you learn more about yourself and give you a new and powerful perspective on life.

But on the flip side, moving abroad can greatly damage your existing relationships. Is it so hard to believe? Suddenly everyone you’ve ever known and gotten close with is halfway around the world. So naturally, you’ll lose some friends. Some of those losses will be organic, some will happen because certain friends are angry you left.

This can make the experience very difficult. But if you’re considering making the move don’t let this deter you. The most important people, the relationships that really matter, will always be there. And in some cases, it will even make the bond stronger.

SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEWFOUND CONFIDENCE

Deciding to move to a different country where you have little to no comfort zone can be very scary. How are you supposed to get comfortable in this new, foreign city? How are you supposed to just build a new social circle from scratch? How on Earth will you get comfortable?!

But dealing with those questions, and eventually answering them, can be an extremely rewarding experience. It will force you to know yourself better than you ever have and achieve a level of confidence and comfort with yourself that you never thought was possible. And you can take that newfound comfort and confidence with you for the rest of your life, wherever you may go.

GET READY TO MISS VERY IMPORTANT STUFF BACK HOME

This can be one of the hardest parts for anyone living abroad. There will be some many important events: birthdays, funerals, weddings, the arrival of a new baby, etc, etc. And you will most certainly miss at least some of them. It’s just impossible to travel back home enough to be there for every important moment. So it will be very difficult to pick and choose which ones you use your vacation days on.

But while you’ll miss lots of memorable events with family and friends, hopefully you can convince plenty of them to come and visit you for always enjoyable memories abroad!

BE PATIENT, BE WILLING

Many people, when visiting or moving to a new country, will remain in their own comfort zone and make very little effort to truly immerse themselves into the local culture. This is a sure fire way to make sure you move back home much sooner than expected.

It’s important to really make an effort to take in whatever city you move to in all its glory and imperfections. And, possibly even more crucial, it’s important to be patient and give yourself time to get comfortable there. It could take a while. Longer than you think. But if you give yourself plenty of time to adapt and get comfortable in your new city, you will eventually get the full experience you set out to get in the first place.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

The concept of “home” has a lot of different definitions for different people. For many people, it’s as simple as where they’re from – where they grew up. But for others, it’s as simple as where they live. Either way, it’s easy to move to a foreign city and find yourself missing that feeling of “home,” regardless of how many friends you have or how much you’ve immersed yourself in the culture.

This can be a very difficult emotion to live with and there’s really no perfect answer for how to deal with it. It will vary from person to person. But be sure to give it the proper amount of attention and really evaluate on your own time what “home” means to you and how important it is. Because that childhood home that you’ve barely spent any time in over the last decade may not be as important as it used to be anymore.

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