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5 Reasons Kids Make Better Travel Companions

5 Reasons Kids Make Better Travel Companions

Compared to taking a solo trip, traveling with children as a guardian or a parent means worrying about another set of feet getting tired or about when you’ll hear the grumbling of a little stomach. Through kids’ eyes, however, you will see a whole new side of the world.

1. You’re constantly on the move

No matter how well behaved someone is, airplanes have a way of making kids (and adults) irritable. The amount of luggage you take with you will usually depend on your child’s age. Two years old and below? Dragging that stroller along everywhere is non-negotiable.

When it comes to planning out your days, as a guardian or parent, your schedule always starts hours earlier than the kids’. You have no choice but to wake up earlier to prepare for the day and help get them ready, too.  Time management in a different time zone is not as flexible in your home country.

One minute you’re inside a toy store, and before you know it, you’re off running after your children on unfamiliar streets, making sure they stay on the sidewalk. Any trip can feel like a marathon when you are trying to keep up with children.

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But, the extra exercise you will get is a good thing. Even picking up after kids’ messes helps you squeeze in crunches you wouldn’t normally make time for. Wherever there are kids, a mess will exist. Carrying an infant or a toddler burns about 211 calories per hour. Babywearing burns about 400 calories. So, your kids can actually help you lose weight or tone up those upper body problem areas.

2. Involuntary healthy eating

A healthy diet can be a nonexistent concept while you travel. But, when you travel with kids, there will be times when you consider skipping out on ordering a lavish meal because you know you won’t be able to eat it in peace anyway. You just saved yourself an extra few bucks and a pile of calories. Losing weight is inevitable when you’re sharing with a picky eater.

Overall health doesn’t have to be dictated by your diet alone, though. Generally, travel helps boost our overall well-being – salad or no salad. Being on the move in a foreign country will lift your mood and give you extra exercise. You have all the right to indulge and spoil yourself.

On the other hand, children usually have a major sweet tooth, so expect to buy tons of sweets and calorie-filled sugary goodness. Sharing is optional.

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3. Kids make you even more financially mindful

Kids often get 50% off bus and transportation fares, which is definitely a plus. However, little ones literally point at anything that catches their attention for more than five seconds and decide they want it. Immediately. This instant.

To buy or not to buy?

Before making you way to the cashier, first ask yourself: why?

With kids, you can visit the simplest places and just enjoy nature with no problem. No slides? No problem. We can just roll down this hill.  Natural, scenic destinations and places that don’t call for entrance fees offer just as much excitement for you and your kids without burning a hole in your pocket.

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4. Carefree and cordial

Strangers approach kids with more ease. This makes it easier for you to strike up a conversation with a local and even make a new friend. It’s not exactly manipulative; you’re just being resourceful.

Kids are nature lovers at heart. Instead of confining them within the walls of hotels and theme parks, take part in interactive and exotic adventures outdoors.  There are so many more places you should explore and visit at least once in your life. Time may be ticking, but travel has no time limit. Let kids bring you there.

5. Thrifty Transactions

You and the kids eventually develop certain rules and unspoken contracts. They know that acting out or throwing a tantrum mean less dessert and an earlier bedtime.

From negotiating with your child, you also learn to negotiate and strike deals with people you meet everywhere, whether they are vendors, random strangers, or your hotel crew members. Having a child is reason enough to ask for (possible) discounts and more comfortable services and accommodations, right?

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A study from Cornell University reassures us that travel experiences make us healthier and happier. Travel is not about collecting refrigerator magnets for every new country visited (guilty) or bringing back exotic souvenirs to exhibit.

Toddlers and children dictate where you eat, what you do (the small things, at least) and how long you stay in one place, but by letting them lead the way, you give them room for growth and empathy.

You also teach kids one of the biggest, most important lessons by travelling with them: the world doesn’t – and won’t ever – revolve around you, no matter how privileged or entitled you feel.

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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