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The Benefits of Hosteling

June 12, 2017
The Benefits of Hosteling

If you are looking to save money on your next trip while meeting people from all over the world, hosteling may be the answer for you. Once thought to be limited to youths and foreign exchange students, hosteling has become popular with travelers of all ages. There are hostels all over the world, even in the heart of major American cities like New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Believe it or not, it is possible to spend a night in downtown for less than $30 by choosing a hostel instead of a regular hotel.

Benefits of hosteling: Cheap lodging

Obviously, saving money is the main reason most people choose hosteling over staying in hotels. In major cities, even the cheapest hotel room is often $89 or more. A hostel bed rarely costs more than $20-30 per night, which can make a significant difference over a long trip. Keep in mind this discounted rate is for a bed in a shared room, usually dorm-style. The kitchen, bathroom, and shower facilities are communal as well, so you may have to allow some extra preparation time in case you have to wait for other guests. Despite these minor inconveniences, hosteling is often the best choice, especially if you do not plan to spend much time sitting around in your room anyway.

Benefits of hosteling: Meeting fellow travelers

Hostelling is great for those who are unfamiliar with the area or simply want to meet other travelers along the way. The hostel staff is usually willing to help you work out bus schedules, find local attractions, or recommend a great place to eat. They are accustomed to helping foreign travelers find their way around town, even those who may not be fluent in English. Many hostels offer group activities like communal dinners or movie showings to give travelers an opportunity to socialize. Hostelling is an excellent choice if you are traveling alone because you can often find other people willing to visit the local attractions with you.

Benefits of hosteling: Great locations

Many hostels are located in unusual buildings or locations, giving you a unique experience in that particular city. There are hostels in converted lighthouses, railroad cars, tents, treehouses, and many other interesting configurations. You can often stay in popular areas for much less by hosteling. For example, San Francisco has hostels downtown, near Fisherman’s Wharf, and in the heart of the city, all for under $30 per night. Hotels in similar locations would cost in the hundreds of dollars each night, if rooms were even available. In addition to being located in interesting places, most hostels are also in convenient locations near local tourist attractions and public transportation. This makes it very easy for hosteling guests to get around town without having to spend money on expensive rental cars.

Benefits of Hostelling: Learn New Cuisines

When you’re hostelling, you’re going to be able to learn so much more about other people’s cultures – including the food that they eat and how they prepare the food.

When I was travelling in France, I stayed with a wonderful couple who created the most fantastic of meats. I figured they were baking them or doing some sort of smoking, but I was very wrong.

It turned out that they were cooking with a French food technique called sous vide. I had never heard of sous vide before, but man was it fantastic. Apparently they put the meat in a vacuum sealer bag to suck the air out. When the air is sucked out, they put the meat inside of the new best sous vide machine to cook the meal to perfection. The meat always came out juicy and tender and amazing. When I got home I immediately bought a new sous vide machine. It was the best purchase for cooking that I have made in along time.

All of this is because I went hostelling.

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Great Tips for Helping to Reduce the Amount of Packing for Traveling

June 11, 2017
Great Tips for Helping to Reduce the Amount of Packing for Traveling

Traveling can be a hard time for people when it comes to determining what to pack. When you are figuring out what all you need to pack you must take several things into consideration when determining what you need. The factors that you need to consider are how long your vacation is going to be, if you are going to have access to laundry, plan on purchasing additional clothing while traveling and if you will be staying with family or in a hotel.

The first thing you need to consider is how long your vacation will be. If your vacation is going to be for a week you will need to at least take enough clothing to last that long. For instance you will probably need at a minimum seven pairs of underwear, and enough clothing changes to last that long to. Some people will end up re-wearing pants or shirts, which will help reduce the amount you have to pack.

If you have access to laundry facilities it will lessen the amount of clothes you need to pack. However, if you do plan on using a hotels laundry room you might want to pack a small bottle of detergent due to the high cost for a pack at the hotels. Granted it is better than having to pack your whole closest, but it could end up costing you a small sum of money.

Another option that could really save you a lot of packing and space while traveling to your destination would be purchasing new clothing at the vacation spot. Now this option saves you quite a bit of space when you are traveling and possibly when you go home if you ship them via a shipping company. This option though can be very expensive because purchasing new clothes each time you travel might not be feasible.

Depending on where you are staying if it is a hotel or with family you might have a wider variety of options available. For instance if you are staying with family you might be able to borrow clothing to wear if they are the same size. Now this might not be the healthiest solution, but it could work in a pinch if you are desperate for clothing.

When you’re traveling to visit your family, it would be nice if you brought them a gift or two to remind them of the stay. One popular thing that people are doing is making family shirts using a best heat press machine. They’ll typically use heat transfer vinyl to press their design onto the shirt. Once the vinyl is placed onto the shirt, then it’s super easy to use the heat press machine to transfer the vinyl onto the shirt. By doing this, you’re going to be giving your family member a piece of clothing that they’re going to be remembering for the rest of their lives.

Traveling does not have to be hard when you figure out what you need to pack. Packing is easy if you know how long your vacation is going to be, if you have access to laundry, plan on purchasing additional clothing, or if you are staying with family. With these options figured out you will be able to have a fun and relaxing time on your vacation.

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Top 11 Favorite Airports

June 2, 2017
Top 11 Favorite Airports

Travellers hate to spend more time than they have to at an airport. I’m no exception.

But if I had to spend some time at the airport, these 11 would be my favorite airports to spend time at.

Denver International Airport, Colorado- The Rocky Mountains come to the airport.

Salt Lake City International, Utah- It’s very close to the city of Salt Lake and like DIA, the Rocky Mountains really come to the airport. When you land, the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains are the first thing you see.

Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania-Who needs to go to the mall when this airport has all the stores you want or need?

Boston Logan Airport-Massachusettes- At what other airport in the United States besides Baltimore -Washington International can you pick up a live lobster to bring back home?

Las Vegas McCarren Airport-Nevada- Ching! Ching! even before you hit the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Singapore Changi Airport,Singapore- Free internet, comfy sofas in the lounge area, not to mention the free movie theater. No wonder this airport is ranked as one of the best airports in the world.

Minneapolis-St.Paul International,Minnesota-For the child in you, where else can you be greeted by a statue of “Snoopy”?

San Francisco International, California-Ghiradelli chocolate and sourdogh bread stands. It’s easy to leave your heart in San Francisco.

Kuala Lumpur International, Malaysia-An airport in the middle of a rainforest.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Georgia- Home of my favorite airport restaurant, Paschal’s for good old Southern style comfort food.

Calgary International, Canada-You know you’re in cowboy and cowgirl country when the Customer Service agents greet you with a smile and the famous white cowboy hats.

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Parenting Young Children: How to Be a Calmer Parent

May 31, 2017
Parenting Young Children: How to Be a Calmer Parent

Raising children is not easy. Raising children is generally not calming, but rather chaotic and sometimes stressful. Siblings fight, rules get broken, and bills pile up. It can be very difficult to juggle family and career as well. All of this combined with all of the other aspects of life can leave parents feeling anything but calm.

The truth of the matter is that none of the above matters to your child. Little kids don’t know how hard it is to raise a family, pay bills, or juggles work and home. They don’t know and they don’t care. All a little kid knows is that they don’t feel happy or good if mom and Dad are stressed.

Parents need to try their best to be calm despite anything. We need to do this for our children. Here are some ideas to help you be the calmest parent you can be, despite it all, for your children.

The first thing you can and should do in order to be a calmer parent, and person, is to make sure that you are making and taking the time to take care of yourself. All too often parents take care of everything but themselves. When this cycle continues for too long parents burn out. Make time and take time to take care of you every day. Eat a healthy balanced diet, enjoy a daily shower as a relaxing getaway, take a vitamin to keep yourself in tip top shape.

Exercise ties into the first tip but is actually the second. It’s more than just taking care of your body. Exercise is also a form of stress release. Stress relief, if you will. Setting twenty minutes or so to work out or to walk can greatly lower your stress level leaving you not only calmer for your children, but also healthier.

Many parents lose their calmness when their children start to act up. Did you know that when a parent loses their cool when their kids are misbehaving that they are actually giving their children a reaction that will encourage more unacceptable behavior? Oh yeah, it’s true. If a child is doing something wrong and they get a good reaction from their parents they consider it attention. They also see that it is bothersome and will not hesitate to keep it up until Mom or Dad gives in, giving them what they want or allowing them to do whatever. When parents remain calm and do not allow their feathers to be ruffled it takes all of the fun out of it for the kids. They realize when a parent remains calm that it won’t work, only discipline will be enforced. Consistent discipline along with parental calmness can reduce unacceptable behaviors to almost none. That is calming in itself.

The last way to be calmer as a parent is to not let the little things bother you. Kids will be kids. Hen parents allow every little thing to make them lose their calm they are never going to be calm. Learn to let the little things go. Don’t worry so much, or at least try not to. Don’t fret over every problem or every squabble your children have. Use problem solving skills when big problems arise and let all of the rest go. That alone calm make you calmer as a parent, and as a person, giving you and your family a calmer life all together. Good luck and relax!

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Bad Parenting Adages: Forget These Sayings

May 25, 2017
Bad Parenting Adages: Forget These Sayings

When you were a kid, you probably swore to yourself that you would never, ever repeat certain adages and proverbs that your own parents told you. But, now that you’ve got children of your own, you probably find yourself making the mistake of repeating mantras you grew up hearing.

Childish rebellion isn’t the only thing that points out the fault in adages like “Say you’re sorry” and “If you can’t say anything nice…” Logical, responsible parenting can also reject the use of some negative and hurtful sayings.

Bad Parenting Adages: “Because I said so!”

Children ask “why” because that’s the only way they know how to learn. When a child wants to know why you’re leaving the playground, why he can’t play with matches, or why he can’t spend the night at a friend’s house, it’s not because he’s challenging your authority: it’s because this is the only way he can understand the adult world.

To tell a child that “because I said so” is a legitimate answer, is to tell him that explanations don’t matter and that he should blindly follow any and all authority figures without learning how any of it works– a sure method to render him unable to make his own decisions. It is never wise to deny your child education about the functions of a society.

Bad Parenting Adages: “Say you’re sorry.”

When we insist that children apologize because we think they should, we are essentially telling them to lie. The child may grunt “I’m sorry” under his breath to a sibling or playmate he just hit, but unless he actually feels remorseful about his action, this will just built resentment. Instead of forcing children to apologize when they don’t mean it, we should work toward getting them to understand what they should feel sorry in the first place.

If we instill our children with a sense of empathy by pointing out how their actions affect others, they will naturally apologize without force or resentment. Instead of “You’ve been bad! Say you’re sorry!” something like “Look how you made your sister feel when you hit her! How would you have felt?” can work to create true sympathy, rather than fake apologies.

Bad Parenting Adages: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Like adults, children need to feel heard in order to feel secure, and no one’s opinions include only nice things. Imagine what our world would look like if adults only said nice things about politicians, consumer products, and world history! We may not have nice things to say about the holocaust, ecological destruction, or social injustice, but we say what we think anyway. Dissent is what keeps the world spinning round.

Children must be taught that it is okay for them to have a negative opinion of someone or something: be it the kid across the street who stomps bugs for fun or the taste of last night’s dinner. Rather than teaching them to avoid expressing their opinions, parents should focus on teaching them polite and productive ways to go about creating change.

Bad Parenting Adages: “You’re a bad girl/boy!”

If you tell a child that he is bad, he just might believe you. And if he believes you, he is likely to follow with behavior patterns that fit this assumption. Children will eagerly follow nearly any label that we apply to them. If we call them “spoiled”, that is what they become. If we call them “hateful”, they to the best they can to live up to our expectations.

No child is perfect, but the best way to insure a child’s imperfections is to communicate that his identity and his behavior are one and the same. There is no harm in telling a child that something he does is hurtful, silly, or mean, but there is a great deal of harm in tellling him that his own identity is based in these labels.

As parents, we owe it to our children to put thought into our roles as parents. Beyond repeating the mantras that we grew up hearing, we must teach them with dignity, thought, and respect.