Vital Tips for Mastering a Perfect Family Holiday

Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

A trip with the youngsters can either be a nightmare or a dream-come-true depending on how you approach the planning process. Every parent knows how hectic a holiday can turn out to be if you don’t have a fun schedule planned ahead for the kids to enjoy and be occupied, while you also need to factor in some alone time with your spouse, you know, to stay sane for the duration of your holiday!

Without further ado, let’s see how you can make your family journey more adventurous, relaxing, and stress-free both for you and your little rascals.

Snack up for the road

If your kids are adventurous little earthlings, they are probably already ecstatic you’re heading for a week of camping in the woods or exploring natural reserves in the vicinity of your hometown. However, what can make kids more irritable than anything else is a lack of energy sources that are both delicious and accessible.

For brave parent souls who do embark on a road trip with their offspring, make sure you prepare, pack, and divide snacks for your little ones. They’ll get cranky after spending hours on the road; if the weather isn’t perfect, they might be tempted to throw a tantrum or two, but well-packed, healthy snacks paired with road trip games can be life-savers.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Do your homework

Whether you’re headed to a beach resort, a mountain ski resort, or you’re more of urban travelers, you need to be informed beforehand. The old saying that knowledge is power truly comes to life when you become a parent, and you get flooded with questions as you’re unpacking in your hotel abroad.

For example, a trip to Paris makes a wonderful choice both for you and your spouse, plus it hosts a wide range of fun activities for kids – it’s up to you to find them, and book them in time because these get snatched up pretty quickly! If you’ve been saving up, a trip to European Disneyland is a must, of course.

Photo by Juan Cruz Mountford on Unsplash

Be the early bird

We love them to bits, but raising kids in this day and age comes at a hefty price, from getting new clothes as they grow, all the way to covering their various interests and hobbies. That’s why every parent soon becomes a skillful budget manager, and booking early flights, accommodation, and looking for discounts is a significant part of this travel endeavor.

While in search of a perfect family cruise with reliable consultants such as Barge Travel Connection, you can take your kids on an all-encompassing, educational adventure of numerous European hotspots. Looking into such offers early on will give you a head start to plan your budget and save up a decent sum to invest in other aspects of your holiday, or something entirely different for that matter!

Photo by Rhone on Unsplash

Include the youngsters

Unless they are really young, your kids can be the best go-to peeps for finding the right activities and excursions for your holiday. In fact, they might come up with some of the most appealing options for the entire family that you or your spouse would never think of, simply because they’re in the right frame of mind for the adventure.

Have a talk with them, read through available options you can afford; see how they feel about cruises, beach holidays, winter vacations, or an urban getaway. Then, you can do some research together, collect the most interesting activities and create your itinerary with your kids by your side, so that everyone will know what to expect.

Photo by  Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Think all-inclusive thoughts

Sometimes putting less thought into something is the best solution you could hope for! Some of the finest resorts and cruises out there come with a package of entertainment options for all age groups, including kids, and they’ll make sure that your little ones are constantly busy and engaged.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about food and snacks, which is one less worry for your list of to-dos. If you create a list of pros and cons, you might be surprised to discover that for certain destinations, these all-inclusive options can turn out to be more affordable than those where you’d have to have a separate budget for food and fun.

Ladies’ Gym Ideas

If you haven’t watched the episode of “The Simpsons” when Marge decides to open a gym for ladies, you should. She realized that a regular gym was not meeting the needs of “ordinary” women, so she took the matters into her own hands. This is just one of many examples where fiction reflects reality.

It happens all too often that women find themselves in awkward and unpleasant situations in a gym. They are often mansplained, looked down on, hit on or even touched inappropriately. For all those reasons, it makes perfect sense for some gyms to allow only women members. Still, that poses some problems when it comes to equipping such establishments.

It should offer various amenities

Gyms that accept only women often make a mistake and specialize in what is perceived as “feminine” workouts, such as Pilates or yoga, but not all women want that. If such a gym was to be a resounding success, it should also offer weightlifting and high-intensity interval training, for example. Although the main focus may be shifted to other types of exercises, it’s the variety that attracts more customers.

It should be run by a woman

No matter how successful and experienced a man entrepreneur is, he can never understand the needs of women as well as a woman can. Who can provide better service than a person who knows exactly what is required and desirable? This is also important when it comes to purchasing bathroom supplies. To most men, women products are a mystery they’d rather have nothing to do with, so you can’t expect the same level of service and care from them.

It should stand out

o

Needless to say, a ladies’ gym should have all the best gym equipment available and hire the most skilful and devoted instructors, but it still may not be enough to attract enough members. In order to make it unique and more appealing, some small touches are needed. For example, the gym might feature a space where clients can socialise when they’re not working out and where they can treat themselves to a glass of wine or some other beverage.

It should cater for special requirements

l

Religious reasons might prevent some women from working out and staying fit or removing some items of clothing in front of men. Should they be confined to their living rooms to get the benefits of exercising? Of course not. Also, women who have just had a baby or have certain health issues might feel uncomfortable in the presence of pumped up men. Should they give up on their needs? Of course not.

It should show that you think outside the box

k

Long gone are the days when we had a pretty clear distinction between activities for men and women. It may have been unimaginable until some time ago that women would be interested in boxing, weightlifting or Krav Maga, but the situation is quite different today. Some women take up such activities in order to learn self-defence, while others simply experience sheer joy when venting their energy (and frustration). Whatever the reason, a modern gym for ladies should have all the necessary equipment and trained professionals who can cater to such requirements.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why women-only gyms make perfect sense. This, of course, shouldn’t be interpreted as some exclusive feature available to a certain group of people, but merely as an attempt to provide services that an increasing number of clients are interested in. Finally, it is important to equip such a gym with the right kind of equipment and staff it with professionals who are able to respond to the needs of women. Only then does the idea become successful and sustainable.

Checklist for Your Wedding

Months and months of planning can make you completely overwhelmed and, due to all that, you may forget some more or less important details. And trust me, you sure don’t want that type of stress on your wedding day. So in order to avoid that, I’ve created this ultimate checklist you can follow.

Vendors

v

Make sure you confirm the arrangements and make sure everyone has the exact directions and the cell phone number to your official contact person.

Final payments

A good idea would be to pay your vendors ahead of time. This way, you don’t have to try to remember what you owe to whom on the day of your wedding.

Insurance policy

When you give the final payments to the vendors, have each of them sign a document that indicates they received it. So if anyone tries to claim they weren’t paid, you will have proof against them.

Tip envelopes

If you are planning on tipping someone such as the DJ, wait staff, banquet captain etc., make sure you prepare envelopes with their names on it and fill them with the correct amounts of money you are willing to give.

Some extra cash

Speaking of tips, you might want to show your gratitude to someone who has gone beyond his call of duty. This is why a good idea would be to carry some extra cash with you on the wedding day.

Luggage

lug

If you are staying in a hotel overnight before the reception, make sure you drop your luggage off the night before, or have someone such as a friend or family member drop it off the morning of the ceremony.

Honeymoon packing

Speaking of early packing, make sure to pack your honeymoon luggage as well as all the required documents and passports earlier. This way, you will have one less worry.

Wedding items

Things like wedding favors, cake knife, toast glasses etc. should be delivered to your reception site 2-3 days beforehand so the employees can prepare everything and set the tables on time. A smart move would be to find a trusted friend or family member to get everything to the ceremony site beforehand as well.

Car hire

car

You should ask around to see which companies are trustworthy and check whether the car you hired is only for the bride or for both of you. For my fellow Aussies, I would definitely recommend Queen street wedding & car hire because they are the best around.

Naming the tunes

Your favorite song may already be covered or remade by thousands of different bands or DJs, so make sure you double-check with your band or DJ whether they have the version you want.

Discussion with the photographer

bch

You shouldn’t leave anything to chance. Give the photographer a list of people you want to be photographed together and also talk to them about the type of photos you want to have – vintage style, candid, classic, black and white etc.

Photography schedule

This way, you will ensure that everything goes smoothly. If you and the bridesmaids, for example, have your photos scheduled at 2 pm, be at the location at 1.45 fully dressed and made up. And make sure everyone takes this seriously.

Prepare for the rain

If you’ll be having an outdoor ceremony, make sure you have the tent set up and umbrellas for all the guests just in case.

Gift caretaker

Designate someone to take presents home in advance and give them the house key so you have everything there when you return from the ceremony.

Supervisor

wed

Have someone well-organized arrive early to the ceremony and ensure everything is in order.

Legal documents

Give those to someone responsible in order to ensure nothing gets lost. Some honeymoon locations may give you special perks if you prove that your trip is actually a honeymoon trip.

The end time

Double-check the end time with the venue and give this information to vendors and guests to prevent unnecessary costs of overtime fees.

Finally, a good idea is to also pack an emergency kit for your big day including: hairspray, bobby pins, lip gloss etc. for last minute preps, as well as pantyhose, umbrella, stain remover, tissues and backup copies of your desired music just in case.

5 Alternative gift ideas everyone will love

Dare I say it…but Christmas isn’t too far away. Now that summer is a distant memory, so many of us are already spotting Christmas displays in our favorite stores, seeing hints of the festive season on our social media timelines and even the occasional Christmas film being shown on our favorite TV channels! Even if you’re not interested in Christmas cheer just yet, many of taking pride in having everything planned and sorted by the time the festive season really begins. So, if you’re already worrying about what you’re going to get your nearest and dearest for Christmas – fear not!

Read on for 5 alternative gift ideas that everyone will love.

The gift of trees

What do you get for the person who has everything? Well, how about a little piece of nature? Giving plants and flowers is quite a common occurrence for something like Mother’s Day and Birthdays, but why not step it up a gear and gift trees from The Tree Center? Adding a tree to someone’s garden will add color and depth to their outside space and if it’s a tree that bears fruit? Even better!

Delve deep into your family history

If you’re struggling for a gift for a family member, then why not step back in time and give them the gift of your family history? There are plenty of online resources as well as free information available in local libraries to help you trace your family back from just a few decades to even hundreds of years. Piece together certificates, photographs, dates, and details and you’ve got an incredible portfolio of the past that they’ll just love to show everyone!

Make something

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what the gift is, it’s just knowing the time and effort that’s gone into it is what makes it really special. If you’re a creative type, or you just want to try your hand at some homemade gifts then check out some online tutorials or head to YouTube for some inspiration. From scented candles to cookies, cakes, and delicious bakes, photo frames, toys, dolls even clothing! You can do it!

Give the gift of learning

For the younger recipients, why not give the gift of learning. Don’t worry, I don’t mean filling their arms with heavy books. You could give the gift of some music lessons, or lessons in a particular sport that they want to take further. Survival lessons, even fishing or jewelry making classes – whatever the little one is into, you don’t just give them the gift of learning, but the gift of your time by going with them. It’s a win, win.

Special Memories

Who says that gifts have to be physical things? Why not treat someone to a trip somewhere you’ve both always wanted to go. The National History Museum, tickets to see their favorite comedian, a trip to see a show on Broadway or in the West End, ice skating, or a hike through a National Park? You could even take it one step further and book nights away in a particular city. The possibilities are endless!

Those summer plumbing problems

Every so often the summer brings with it joy and merrymaking. However, there are times when it might bring with it some bad news, like bad plumbing issues. You might find yourself with plumbing emergencies of various kinds. The first thing you should do in such situations is not to panic. There are many plumbers that will happily and quickly solve your problem for your restoring your summer to the default state of joy it should be in.

Once you call a good plumber, they should be able to give you some practical advice on what you can do to mitigate the situation before they arrive, based on the name and address that you have provided them with. That said, they should be able to solve the problem as soon as they arrive and even prevent it from ever occurring again. If you determine that the specific emergency you are facing with your plumbing is especially serious or even life-threatening, then it is a good idea to call the plumbing service’s emergency number at once for a much quicker response. You should also call 911 for the case where the plumbing emergency poses a threat to human life.

That said, the right plumbers should be well-trained individuals who can handle all kinds of plumbing and other emergencies, such as gas leaks, whether your emergency is at a residential or commercial property. They should be able to arrive in a minimum of time and solve the problem in the most professional manner. If you figure that the plumbing or other emergency poses a danger to you or those around you, then you should make an effort to keep both yourself and your belongings safe.

If the plumber instructs you to turn off your electricity at the meter, then please ensure you do so. You might also be asked to turn off both your water supply and your gas supply. Please do not hesitate to do so. Never try to solve a plumbing emergency by yourself or to carry out any inspection or repair procedures alone. The professionals have been trained hard and long to do exactly the kind of thing you are trying to do by winging it, so it’s obviously not a very good idea. Call your nearest California plumbers to come and handle the situation straight away. That said, here are some of the common emergencies you might face in the summer.

Gas Leaks

This is usually as a result of normal wear and tear. When your gas system has been around for long, then the seals in your gas appliances or the joints in gas pipes may wear down to the point of leaking. Gas leaks can be dangerous if you do not attend to them immediately.

Luckily, it’s typically very easy to detect a gas leak. The first sign is the smell. While the kind of gas you use in your home is naturally odourless, a certain chemical is added to it by packagers to make it easily detectable. If you smell gas in your house, especially near the meter or a cylinder, then waste no time in calling in a plumber on their emergency number. If you happen to smell the gas in an area that is heavily populated or, God forbid, have already witnessed an explosion or fire due to a gas leak, then you should act immediately. Call the local authorities and the emergency numbers of Santa Clarita plumbers or other nearby plumbers. Meanwhile, you should make an effort to help as many people as you can to evacuate the vicinity.

Hot Water Issues

Sure, this isn’t an exclusive summer issue, seeing as summer is hot by nature and it might seem counterintuitive that you would want hot water in the summer. However, people do have their preferences, and they cannot be held against them. There may naturally be a problem with your hot water supply so that the water coming out of your hot water faucet is always cold. In that case, it means there is a problem with your hot water system, and it either needs repair or a complete overhaul.

The first thing to do in such instances is to check that the pilot light is still on, in case your hot water system runs on gas, and the circuit breakers, in case your hot water system runs on electricity. Sometimes they’re just off and need to be turned back on. However, sometimes it could also be a more serious problem requiring the complete replacement of your hot water system. In that case, a good plumbing service should give you plenty of options as far as water heating solutions are concerned, including gas, electricity, and solar options, all being eco-friendly, of course.

If your water supply has been cut off, there is a high chance that it has been cut off by the local authorities. You should call your local authorities to find out if they have any planned maintenance activities in your area and also ask when the water supply is likely to be restored.

Blocked Sewers

Blocked sewers can be very frustrating, especially when the effluent begins to back up into your toilet and the foul smell fills up your house. This tends to happen when sewer lines have been blocked, such as by tree roots. You will see the warning signs long before the effluent actually backs up into your toilet. For example, you will hear a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet and notice the water taking longer to drain than usual. The best thing to do when you witness these signs is to call your local SoCal plumbers immediately to fix the problem.

Good plumbers should have the right tools to inspect the sewer system and rectify the problem that led to the blockage as soon as possible.

In the event that a blocked sewer occurs at your commercial premises, it is especially important that you call an emergency plumbing service to rectify the problem immediately as it could severely interfere with your normal business operations and make your customers uncomfortable. It could even ruin your products and floors.