4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

With all the responsibilities that traveling involves, including your papers, insurance, tickets, accommodation, local sightseeing tickets, and other important details, it’s almost impossible to think about maintaining your fitness regime while visiting another country with your kids. In all fairness, that’s difficult even in your hometown when you consider all the things parenthood involves on a daily basis!

Still, people have tried and succeeded in staying physically active while traveling. So, before you pack your bags and make peace with the fact that you won’t be able to work up a sweat during your travel, take a look at these simple tips on incorporating a workout into your trip without compromising your family fun time!

Include it in your itinerary

If you’re visiting the French countryside or a Swiss mountain range, there will be countless options for hiking, biking or even mountain climbing for the bravest among you! For example, there are family-friendly trails in Austria that can be physically demanding, but you can always hire an experienced  professional, who’ll help you to enjoy the local wildlife and beautiful landscapes.

Then again, playing football on a Copacabana beach with the locals or fellow travelers can be a memorable experience, a perfect chance for you to embarrass yourself in front of your kids and an ideal way to work out while experiencing life in a new culture. What more could you ask for from a perfect family vacation?

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

Exercise before breakfast

Even though you might try to use jetlag as an excuse, or the fact that you can’t be held accountable for your own actions before that first cup of coffee, including a quick bodyweight workout is a perfect way to turn your exercising into a travel habit. If there’s a park or a beach right next to where you’re staying, you can step out for a quick jog, and a few sets of pullups and pushups.

Make sure to include a brief warmup and cooldown routine to complement your exercises because you don’t want to get injured during your stay in a foreign country. Moderate morning workouts can give you the perfect energy boost for the rest of your day and help you manage your weight when you’re tempted to dive into insanely large portions of the local cuisine.

Explore local options

Visiting a completely new, exotic destination can tempt you away from your regular fitness routine, but there are creative ways you can use the local offers and turn it into a fun activity you won’t even perceive as an exercise plan! For example, visiting Australia usually ends up with entire families hurrying to see the monumental city architecture, unique culture, and untamed nature as much as possible.

To get an even more intimate taste of the Aussie lifestyle, join the local runners on the gorgeous Sydney or Adelaide coastline, explore their pristine parks. However, if you insist on sticking to your original fitness plan, you can look for some local fitness trainers in Adelaide that can motivate you and make sure you don’t skip a single workout in your routine!

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

Get your kids involved

If you’re traveling with toddlers and very young kids, it can be tricky to include them into your exercise regime, simply because they wouldn’t be able to keep up and you’d have to keep an eye on them all the time, making it almost impossible to stay true to your plan. However, some kids are tireless dancers and they can always challenge you to explore new moves and steps that a typical grownup would never think of.

Luckily, there are other ways you can use your traveling time to work out. The local playground is a perfect field for you to experiment with your training and include your kids in the process. Mix and match various activities to get the most out of your journey while still staying active. A good example is taking your kids for a long walk and taking photography breaks that will give them just enough time to rest. Playing volleyball or water polo as a family, or swimming with your kids can be surprisingly taxing and fun at the same time!

4 Ways to Stay Fit on a Family Trip Abroad

Whether you decide to keep your kids busy with drawing or playing in the sand while you and your better half find an innovative solution for working out, or you decide to motivate them to tag along, there is no valid excuse for taking a break from your fitness routine while traveling as a family.

Think and plan ahead, research the country you’re visiting and you’ll find a perfect way to keep those pesky pounds at bay. Who knows, maybe you will discover a new fitness passion during your travels and learn a new skill that you can continue perfecting even when you return home.

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

When we had our first baby 10 years ago, I really was concerned about keeping him safe in the car. I can remember being so concerned that I was going to assemble the car seat wrong, or that the bumps in the road would hurt him. I was so afraid I was going to do something wrong driving him home from the hospital. I’m still concerned and think I will always be concerned because I’m his dad. Now with 4 kids, I want nothing more than to do all I can to create a safe travel experience for them. There’s a lot of craziness and danger out there on the highways, so knowing how to best protect my kids is at the top of my list of concerns.

Here are five simple ways we can keep our families safe on the road – especially during the holiday season.

  • Make sure everyone is properly restrained
  • Avoid road rage
  • Avoid distractions
  • Know where you are going
  • Keep your car’s maintenance current

1. Make Sure Everyone Is Properly Restrained

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

Making sure your child is properly secured in his or her carseat is one of the most important ways to protect them in the even of an accident. In the United States, each state has its own laws when it comes to age requirements for rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, and lap belt restraining. The best way to find out the age limits is to check out the Child Safety Law Tracker at safekids.org then seach by your state.

There are several types of car seats. It is critical that all parents understand which seat is right for their children, and abide by the state-specific laws at all times.  Adult lap belts can be dangerous for kids if they are too young to be wearing them.

*The rules below are for the state of Ohio.  All other states’ laws may vary. Consult your local BMV for state-specific laws.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

Babies and young children are required to be in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2, or until they have reached the maximum height and weight specifications of their convertible car seat.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

Kids who have outgrown the requirements of their convertible car seat can now face forward provided they are no younger than 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. They must use a harnessed car seat until they have reached the height/weight limits of the seat.

Booster Seats

In Ohio, children can use a booster seat once they turn 4 years old and weigh at least 40 pounds.  He or she must use the booster until the age of 8 or has reached 4’9″.

Lap and Shoulder Belts

Once a child has reached 4’9″ they are ready to use a lap and shoulder belt without the booster seat.  Children who are under the age of 15 must use a child safety seat or seat belt until they are 15.

2. Avoid Road Rage

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

This is one of the hardest things for me to do, and I’m sure I’m not alone.  It was one thing to lose my temper with road rage before I had kids, but now with 4 kids in the car, it’s even more important just to let things slide.  Other drivers do some crazy things out there, but being a defensive driver is critical to maintaining safety for all on the road.

It’s often too easy to blow the horn, give the finger, tailgate, or stare down someone when something doesn’t go our way on the highway. No one knows better than me that this type of behavior is childish and doesn’t ever solve anything. Whenever I think about responding to an aggressive driver, I tell myself over and over again to put things into perspective and move on with life.

3. Avoid Distractions

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

Texting while driving has been banned in most states in the USA. Most modern cars now come with Bluetooth technology allowing for a hands free operation.  As parents, we often think we need to respond to an email or to a text right away because we are so busy, but nothing is so important that we have to take our concentration off of safe operation of our vehicles. It can wait!

There are more ways to be distracted behind the wheel than just texting.  With the kids in the car, there’s often a lot of screaming, fighting, begging for a movie to be played, etc. If you are traveling with your spouse, always let the one who is not driving handle the situations that come up inside of the car.

If you aren’t familiar with your car, fidgeting around trying to play a movie, changing the radio, or adjusting the temperature can all be equally as distracting as texting. Get to know your car and all of its features. Most modern cars have adjustments on the steering wheel, or even voice-activated commands to make driving less distracted much easier.

4. Know Where You Are Going

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

It’s so easy these days to rely upon our trusty (or not-so-trusty) GPS devices. With Google Maps, we can basically find our way to just about anywhere we want to go. It’s always a safe bet going to a new destination to know how to get there ahead of time.  I don’t know about your experiences with the accuracy of a GPS, but mine have been interesting.  For the most part, my in-car GPS and cell phone are usually accurate. 5 or 6 years ago, I had the GPS set to to take us to the lake house for our summer vacation, but it literally took us to the edge of the lake – literally.  I could have hung a fishing rod out my window.

I make it a practice to go to MapQuest or Google Maps and familiarize myself with the directions before hitting the road. There have been horror stories of families not making it to their destinations because they only relied upon their GPS and not their actual surroundings. GPS systems can make mistakes, so think ahead and verify the directions are accurate.

If you are using your GPS as a means of getting you to where you need to go, familiarize yourself with all of its features before hitting the road. Many features, such as detour, avoid tolls, etc. can save a lot of headaches, time, and money.  Some GPS units also account for construction, weather, and traffic. Knowing how to use the GPS is important in understanding how it operates.  GPS units are very advanced today, so knowing all about them will help you keep your family safe on the road.

5. Keep Your Car’s Maintenance Current

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

It goes without saying – a car only runs as well as the condition in which it is in. It is crucial to keep a car’s normal maintenance up to date. Things such as oil changes, tire rotations, fluid changes, brakes, etc. are all important aspects of a well-performing car.  Proper maintenance leads to longer car life and optimal performance.  Traveling with kids in a car that is not well-maintained can put a whole trip at risk, not to mention lead to serious damage and higher repair costs.

As car owners, it’s important that we keep regular maintenance records, and make sure all vital systems are kept in working order. Keeping current with local promotions is also a good way to get multiple maintenance services performed all at once, and for cheaper. Many shops also post coupons and discounts on their websites. Some dealerships now offer coupons and discounts on their website, so staying up to date with the available promotions can help you save money when it comes time for scheduled maintenance.

When taking your car to the shop for regular maintenance, always take it to a place you can trust.  The dealership, while usually higher in price, has specially-trained technicians for your car. Many times, you can get as good of deals with the dealer as you can with independent shops – you just have to look for them. Go to your dealer’s website and try to sign up for coupons/specials. Most of the time, you’ll get something in your inbox you can use. My Toyota dealer usually sends me discounts and specials when they know I’m getting near my next service date.

There IS help out there for new and veteran parents!

All parents have the responsibility to keep everyone safe when traveling. If you are new to the game or have been doing this for years, there is help out there for you.  Here are a few links to get you started:

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Discover the Best Holiday Retreat with Spectacular Family Caravans

Discover the Best Holiday Retreat with Spectacular Family Caravans

Many thanks to David Fenton for supplying the guest post below.  I hope you all enjoy!

During holiday season most people plans for going away from the daily grind to a caravan break in the winter. These camp sites offer you a chance of spending quality family time with your loved ones. The family caravans are dedicated to those who love to stay cocooned and yet want some flavor of adventure. These caravan sites come in all sizes and shapes, from vast grassy, lush sites to laid-back, more secluded and cosmic types. Plenty of sites provide you the option of exploring fascinating outdoors, nestled in the lap of nature. You can also visit the local areas, villages, countryside or historic locales situated within a close distance from the site. There are breathtaking views that make up a perfect background for a family album as you gear up and get into the caravan mode with your family.

Things to See and Do

Discover the Best Holiday Retreat with Spectacular Family Caravans

For family caravans, you have five-star or decent campsites in the beautiful countryside areas offering vast watches of grass and hard-standing pitches with 14-18 amp electrical hook-ups. They can take RVs going up to 40 feet.

  • Many are located just miles from the cities, states border and have a coastline, Riviera or beach in the vicinity. The unspoiled and pristine peninsulas are a great addition. The sites provide a perfect base for exploring these areas in short and long drive.
  • There are amenity blocks that entails a lot of refurbishing with under floor heating, family rooms, infrared controls, disabled facilities and baby changing rooms. Common facilities that you can also look for are hand and hair dryers, free showers and make-up spaces and hair-straightening sockets in the ladies segment.
  • There are dedicated facilities for the disabled, which includes National Accessibility Standard tools and showers. They also contain under floor heating units and adjustable shower controls with advanced ‘no-touch’ technology. The toilet block is clean and well-maintained.
  • When it’s about family caravans and you want further active break, you can go for sites with heritage trails, water-sports facilities in the nearby lakes and rivers or gold courses. For those who love reveling in seaside retreats with traditional buckets, there are sites decked with sand dunes overlooking the beryl lagoon.

More on regular activities

Discover the Best Holiday Retreat with Spectacular Family Caravans

For children, you can find adventure games and play areas. There are laundry and Wi-Fi services too. There are sites with small shops selling takeaway food and freshly baked cookies and bread.

  • The best thing about these places is that you will not find noisy and raucous making discos or bars to kill the peace. These are attractive and clean landscaped sites offering an extensive range of facilities.
  • Campsites have traditional family parks thriving on eco-friendly credentials and pleasant surroundings. You will find sites with refurbished amenity blocks; flow control valves and great LED lightning ensuring each modern facility to be the helm of their efficiency in water usage.
  • On the site, you have plenty of things to do with your family. You can play large-scale carom, chess or connect to different games for kids. During rainy days, you can try some indoor activities like swimming and indoor climbing that is provided in most of the caravan camping sites.
  • There are on-site laundry rooms featuring commercial washing machines, hand-washing sinks, tumble dryers and ironing boards along with the iron. With dotted pitches across the big roads and spectacularly graveled grass, they have huge capacity for family caravans. There is numerous fresh water filling points along with proper drains.

About Camping Pods

Discover the Best Holiday Retreat with Spectacular Family Caravans

Well, if you need some noise or clutter, then you can make use of the pods. These are wooden, eco-friendly camping pods that provide a unique experience. The great outdoors remain open while you can stay dry and cozy inside. Properly equipped with essential home comforts and fine insulated, these camping pods provide a fantastic stay as well. You can find sleeping and sitting bags, electric sockets, washing and toilet facilities. Some sites offer a huge range of restaurants, bars and subsequent nightlife.

An Amazing Weekend in Lexington, Kentucky

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Clip art image by Cliparts.co

This past weekend I took my kids on a 2 hour drive south of home to Lexington, KY.  I’ve started a tradition of taking my boys to the UGA/Kentucky football game because it’s pretty much the closest location to my house where Georgia plays.  It was also my wife’s birthday weekend, so she had traveled down the day before to have a girl’s weekend.

If you are a long-time follower of my blog, you know that I’m a huge UGA football fan. I was super excited about going to Saturday’s game because I knew that it was going to be an exciting evening, and it surely did NOT disappoint!

UGA’s record this season was 4-4 coming into Saturday’s game.  A new head coach, a true freshman quarterback, and a lot of other changes to the team has made this year’s team fall a little short of previous years’ success. As with anything, with change, comes times of struggle.  UGA has struggled this year, but I truly believe this is a team that’s going to be fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoffs if not next year, within the next 2 years.

Kirby Smart is the right answer for the Georgia Bulldogs.  He’s got these guys fighting hard and working to finish every play strongly. He learned a lot from Nick Saban during his tenure at Alabama, so I know he’s had some very good experience coaching NFL-ready talent.  Plus, he’s a former UGA player!

Saturday’s game started at 7:30.  The stands were absolutely packed by kickoff. 2 years ago when we went to the game, there were a lot of empty seats.  Of course, Kentucky’s team at that point was not nearly as talented as their team is today.  We ended up beating them by 40 points. I knew that this year’s game would not be such a spread!

Georgia struck first and scored the first touchdown of the game.  But, it wasn’t long before Kentucky found their rhythm and scored too.  By halftime, it was a one point game.  At one point, UGA was down by 8 points, but eventually found the endzone for another TD, went for two, and tied the game.

By the time we got to the fourth quarter, my nerves were almost shot.  The game was still tied late in the game.  Georgia had a very solid drive well into Kentucky territory.  With 3 seconds left, UGA kicked a game-winning field goal!  Georgia fans erupted in excitement, while UK fans left in shock.  It was beautiful!

We had to walk about a mile from the stadium back to our hotel, and I knew it would be right through campus housing.  The houses were mostly quiet, but as we walked past a group of UK fans sitting around a fire pit, one guy yelled, “F*** Georgia!”  I laughed and just told my boys to ignore him.

I love the tradition I have started with going to this game every two years. I hope my kids remember it for years to come and will even start the tradition with kids of their own. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, like SEC football.  The games are so fun and exciting. Everything that college football has to offer makes me a lifetime fan.

If you’ve never been to a big-time college football game, make it a point to go. You will not be disappointed. There is so much excitement in the air, and the games themselves really show how well-coached these boys are.

Here are some pics from this weekend’s fun trip to Lexington.

GO DAWGS!!

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A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated for any purchases you make through those links. Thank you for your continued support!

A few months ago, we took an hour and a half drive to Columbus, OH to spend the day at the wonderful Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  This was the first time we had been to this zoo in years.  We decided to buy the annual membership, which basically paid for itself after one visit.  The Columbus Zoo is one of the top zoos in the US so we are lucky to live so close to it.

Unless you get there early, it’s nearly impossible to see everything in one trip. Plan ahead and map out what you want to see the most.  It gets crowded this time of year so be prepared to wait in line at some exhibits.

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Keep Your Car Clean While Traveling With a Toddler

Many thanks to Molly Dennis for supplying this great post!  Enjoy!

Traveling with kids can be pleasant and interesting. You probably won’t feel bored if you are in the car with your toddler, but the problem is the mess which is usually left after that. You should provide regular and proper cleaning of the seats, mats and areas in the car which is tiresome and tedious work. Here you will learn how to maintain your car clean while traveling with a toddler.

Maintain your car clean while travelling with a toddler

No drinks other than water

You should be prepared keeping bottled water in the luggage of your toddle just in case. Have rules to keep only water and no other drinks in it. Beverages like juice, milk and others will inevitably spill on the seat or mat and you will have to try remove them later leaving sticky substances on the fabric.

Keep your toddle busy with toys

You can keep your kid entertained and busy during the travel with small toys. Bring them with the luggage and take them as you leave. During the travel the toddler can scatter toys playing with them and leaving them on the floor. Just remember to gather the toys as you get out of the car or try to teach your toddler do this. This way he/she won’t cause more mess.

Let your toddle choose 1 item which they want to bring with them in the car

This can be a coloring book, notebook or whatever he or she is interested in. This will ensure an interesting and exciting time of your toddler during the travel and he/she won’t get bored or try to make a mess. Make sure to take with you that item after you leave so, your car won’t get cluttered. Next time you can let your toddler choose another item.

Keep things in containers – a plastic cup and another for trash and small items

This way you can gather napkins, wipes and wastes in one place and throw them away as you leave. Keep another container for storing small items like toys which can easily get lost in the car or end up on the floor. Keeping your small items and rubbish tidy at designated places will ensure you some comfort during the travel and less mess.

Vacuum the car at least once in the week

Car seats, headrests and mats get filled with dust, allergens and stains when being regularly used. So, CleanToPerfection Camden Town advises that vacuum cleaning is necessary to be done once in the week or if you don’t have time at least once per 2 weeks. Traveling with a toddler can be an extra challenge for maintaining your car well sanitized, but is a responsibility as well. Your toddler and your own health will benefit from this.

Use a basket with dividers to keep snacks for you kid

You know that kids can get hungry at any time so, keeping a few snacks for your toddler in a basket in some of its dividers is a good solution. Store dried fruits and other snacks which create less mess and are appropriate for the car.

Keep your toddler’s belonging packed at the back of the car in the luggage compartment in organizers. Put only the essential in the bag you place near them – wipes, napkins, toys and books.

Remove the trash and wipe down the surfaces in your car regularly

Don’t forget to empty the containers which you use for rubbish and wipe down all hard surfaces in the car – handles and others. You should do this every week or oftener depending on the condition   of the vehicle.

If you keep your toddler’s possessions organized and tidy you will have less cleaning work to keep your car sanitized. It is necessary to supply with suitable organizers, dividers, containers for wastes and food which won’t make stains. Keep the water and suitable food in baskets. Provide once per week vacuum cleaning and wiping of the car interior.