Stress-Free Family Travel Tips

Getting ready to hit the road or the friendly skies soon? (My own family is planning a week-long trip in August for 10 people, and yes, I’m already overwhelmed just thinking about it!) This guest post from Kristy Rodriguez of Pure Nurture is full of stress-free family travel trips that will help minimize the hassle and maximize the fun.

 

This summer, more than 82% of Americans will take a family trip, according to the annual study conducted by Gas Buddy. While vacation can be fun for kids, studies have found that it’s often stressful and exhausting for parents. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be, with proper planning. These self-care travel tips are inexpensive, easy to find and helpful for the entire family!

Self-massage with a tennis or lacrosse ball:

These can be used to massage your back, neck, or hamstrings by resting the ball between your body part and a wall or floor, or even just holding it in your hand.

Essential oils for relaxation and rejuvenation:

Plug into a car diffuser and enjoy some uplifting, de-stressing or relaxing scents. My favorite oils for travel are lavender for relaxation, orange for a mood boost and peppermint for an energy boost.

Coloring books (adult and kid varieties):

They say coloring is the next best thing to meditation, so pack up some colored pencils, crayons, and/or markers along with plain paper or coloring books for you and the kids.

Bring your own snacks:

Highway gas stations and airports are two of the most challenging places to find healthy snacks! Grab a small bag and pack your own—ones that will keep your blood sugar and mood stable, as well as boosting your immune system, which is really important when you’re traveling. Aim for a nutrient-dense variety of items like fresh fruit, trail mix, and cereal bars, preferably the low-sugar kind.

Try a Kids’ club:

All-inclusive resorts can be a great option. Check out kid-friendly resorts in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica that  are relatively low cost. Food is included, which means you won’t be paying for a meal that your kids don’t end up eating (I know this situation very well). The kids’ clubs offer fun for all ages. While your kids are having a great time, you will have some down time to do whatever fills you up—reading on the beach, taking a nap, getting a massage, etc.

These are just a few ideas to help make your next family getaway feel more like a vacation and less like a trip. The better care you take of yourself, the better you’ll feel . . . and the more energy you’ll have to keep up with your kids, giving you a better chance of coming home feeling more relaxed and refreshed.

About the Author:

Kristy Rodriguez, pre- and postnatal wellness expert and advocate, is the owner and founder of Pure Nurture, a business devoted to educating and inspiring women to nurture and nourish themselves through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. As a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher, Kristy works with individual clients, as well as teaching classes and workshops, both in person and online. She is also the author of Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby.

Chuck Woolery Anti-Semitism “Controversy”

There seems to be a lot of controversy lately about what constitutes anti-Semitism. The subject in question who stirred up this mess is none other than former Love Connection host Chuck Woolery. (Anyone reading this and laughing, I also share your amusement…and confusion. I seriously did a double take when I heard it.)

Mr. Woolery is vocal about his conservative affiliation and enjoys discussing politics on his podcast and social media. No problem there, as we’re all entitled to our own views. What then, started the chaos? This tweet:

“Believe it or not. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin were both Jewish. I was shocked to find, most of the original Soviet Communists were Jewish.”

Obviously, talking about Jews and Communists dredges up all kinds of ancient history and hurt feelings. Is there a strange, untrue stereotype that all Jews are Communists or secretly support them? Unfortunately, many misguided folks believe it. Let’s set the record straight, once and for all: Did certain members of the Communist party have Jewish ancestry? Yes, absolutely. But nobody, in their right mind, would think it’s possible to be a practicing Jew and a practicing Communist simultaneously! Those ideologies are just not compatible. (And, since we’re discussing it, I want to go on record and state that I despise every single thing about Communism and I do mean every! I am a proud American that supports Capitalism.)

While I have no way of knowing what’s in Chuck Woolery’s heart, I will say with 100% certainty, this is nothing like Mel Gibson’s sick, vile, repeated attacks on the Jewish community. Gibson is, without a doubt, a true anti-Semite and an enemy of Israel and the Jewish community. Chuck Woolery, is not, to my knowledge, a Holocaust denier, does not disparage the Jewish people, etc.

Those of us who have experienced anti-Semitism firsthand understand the true nature of such evil and would never make apologies for despicable behavior. I would condemn it with my last breath, and I think the majority of folks, Jews and Gentiles alike, would do the same.

If we label any statement we dislike as Anti-Semitism, it diminishes true prejudice. Instead of worrying about political correctness and tripping over every tweet that a has-been actor types, I’d rather focus on the sickos that vandalize cemeteries and make bomb threats and actually shoot innocent people. Those are the real and dangerous anti-Semites that we must focus our attention on and try to stop.

 

Readers are welcome to chime in. Do you think the controversy over Chuck Woolery’s tweets is much ado about nothing or true anti-Semitism?

Blue Apron: Half Price Box (Save $30!)

After reviewing Blue Apron’s meal delivery service, the number one question readers have asked is about price, mainly wanting to know if the service is too expensive. Cost, of course, is subjective, but we can all agree that a discount makes anything seem—taste?—better!

If you’ve been wanting to try Blue Apron, now’s the time, because you can get $30.00 off a box. That’s half the normal cost, making the meals only $5.00 per person. (I can spend twice that amount on a junk food binge at the drive-thru and be hungry again thirty minutes later!)

Wondering what’s inside the box? You’ll find step-by-step recipe cards, farm-fresh produce, meats, starches, and miscellaneous items (spices, vinegar, etc.)  that are called “Knick Knacks.” The ingredients are good for three meals (selected by you!) that feed 2 people. Sample recipes for the week of June 19 include:

  • Seared steak, fingerling potatoes, & butter lettuce salad
  • Cajun spiced chicken, potato salad, & red cabbage slaw
  • Spring vegetables, toasted pearl couscous, & halloumi cheese
  • Spinach and ricotta cannelloni & marinated shallot salad
  • Chiles Rellenos, summer squash, & Monterey jack cheese

By having everything I need, grouped together and portioned, it’s so easy to put a healthy meal together with very little effort. No shopping, no waste, and no wondering either.

$30 Off Your First Blue Apron Order

Books I Love – The Four Agreements

Do self-limiting beliefs rob us of joy and create needless suffering? According to author Don Miguel Ruiz, the answer is definitely “Yes!” In his book, The Four Agreements, he shares a unique approach to self help based on Toltec wisdom.

The Toltec were an ancient people that lived in Mexico over 3,000 years ago. They developed a philosophy that offers an interesting way to balance our deeply held but little acknowledged beliefs, expectations, agreements, and assumptions. By learning theses tips, we can live a happier, more authentic life:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

“Speak with integrity and say what you mean. Avoid using words against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

I must admit that I am guilty of saying mean and hurtful things, both to myself and other people. Usually it’s because I get caught up in the heat of the moment, but I recognize that words have power and I need to carefully chose mine.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Of all the agreements, this one speaks to me the most, on such a deep level. For most of my life, I literally could not understand why others wouldn’t see my point of view. Only now, at 35-years-old, do I recognize that everybody has their own idea, their own way, their own path. By focusing on myself only and not trying to change them and refusing to let anyone change me, life is so much simpler. This is precisely why arguing is such a waste of time. Nobody is listening, they just want to express their own ideology. Better to agree to disagree and move on. I truly wish I had learned this lesson decades ago!

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

“Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.”

I’ve never had a problem expressing my opinion. The problem was that I often had a self righteous attitude and was convinced that others should feel exactly the same. Guess what: my way is only good for me! I’ll offer an opinion if asked, but I don’t push them on others anymore. Big lesson learned.

4. Always Do Your Best

“Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, try to do what’s best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”

My biggest mistake in this area was confusing “best” with “perfection.” I am not perfect, nobody on earth is perfect. By accepting life’s limitations that things can—and often do—go wrong, there is no impossible expectation to live up to. Making reasonable allowances, for myself and others, is a much better strategy.

We can’t change others, we can’t change the world, we can’t change the weather, we can’t change anything at all—except our own attitudes and behavior. By adopting that mindset, no matter what happens in life, good or bad, we don’t have to feel like victims and we can learn to cope in a healthy way.