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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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