Youth Portal of South Africa
Vacation of beautiful vacation – The greatest thing about being in school has to be the extended holidays. And you need them after exams, that’s for sure. When you daydream about these holidays you picture relaxing by the pool, chilling in front of the TV, waking up at noon and spending countless waking hours in your PJs. And that’s exactly what you do… for the first two weeks. But after that, being lazy can get a bit much.
So, what do you do when you get over the whole “being a lazy ass” thing? Well, here are a few ideas:
Be a tourist in your own city
And in South Africa during summer that means making your way to one of our many blue flag beaches or hiking up one of our beautiful trails. Go to the aquarium or visit an amusement park. Or sip cocktails at the Waterfront. Whatever tickles your fancy. And if you want to add a little more fun to the mix, why not put on your best (or worse) foreign accent and make up a backstory?
Get your friends together and start a “just for fun” sports team. Or maybe take up a yacht course in Cape Town. There are so many great hiking spots in this country, so if you choose to start a hiking club, you’ll be spoilt for choice. South Africans have a habit of moaning about the cold all winter long, so why not get out there and enjoy the sun? Just remember the sunscreen lotion.
Explore your creative side
Whether you want to start a fashion blog, paint a masterpiece or write a book, exploring your creative side can be a great way to spend your summer vacation. You never know what you may get out of it. You never know, your random holiday blog could actually end up making you some money.
Get work experience
This may not seem like the most exciting thing to do with your free time, but it may be a really good idea. Getting work experience is making an investment in your future. When you graduate you’re going to need to find a job and even a little bit of experience will make all the difference. Plus, the extra pocket money could make it all worth it in the end.
All in all, you’ve got to enjoy these holidays while they last because once you enter the working world you’re going to have to get by with 15 days a year. So, make the most of your December, whether you’re investing in your future or getting out there and enjoying the sun.
Summer holidays can be an excellent opportunity for parents to spend time with their kids and bond. However, it can be hard to keep them entertained with the hot weather and longer days. This is especially true if you want them to learn new skills or improve existing ones to make this break more enjoyable than last year’s vacation. With no activities lined up beforehand, it felt like forever.
Don’t worry, though, because there is plenty that parents need to do before their little ones head back to school. Whether you’re searching for things to do at home or ways to get out and explore, we’ve got you covered. So, get ready!
#1. Make plans
The key to a successful summer break is organization and planning. This means making sure you have a list of activities for your kids to do each day and some backup options in case of rain. Planning can also help you avoid overscheduling, leading to stressed-out kids (and parents!).
There are different ways you can go about this. One is to sit down with your kids a few weeks before the holidays begin and ask them what they would like to do. This way, you can get an idea of their interests and develop more ideas together.
Another option is to create a list of activities yourself and let your kids choose which ones they want to do each day.
#2. Set goals
Before the summer break begins, it can be helpful to sit down with your kids and set some goals. This could involve reading a certain number of books, learning how to swim, or improving their math skills.
Setting goals will give your kids something to work towards during the holidays and help them make the most of their time off. It’s also a way to keep them motivated and avoid boredom.
If you’re not sure where to start, plenty of printable worksheets and online resources can help.
#3. Making time to organize the child’s space
It’s essential to ensure your kids have a clean and organized space to come home after a long-playing day. This will help them feel relaxed and ready for bed when it’s time to wind down.
Spending some time organizing their bedroom, playroom, or any other areas they spend time in can make a big difference. You can also encourage them to help and learn how to keep their own space tidy.
Organizing doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Just a few simple changes can make a big difference in how your kids feel about their space.
#4. Including the child in the plans
Including your children in the planning process can help them feel more invested in what they’re doing and make the most of their summer break.
If you’re unsure where to start, try involving them in simple tasks like making a list of activities for the day or packing their bag for a trip. As they get older, you can give them more responsibility, such as helping to plan meals or budget for a family vacation.
Including your kids in the planning will help them feel ownership over their summer break and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
#5. Make time for learning
Summer break is the perfect opportunity for kids to learn something new. Whether they’re interested in history, science, or another topic, there are plenty of ways to incorporate learning into summertime fun.
One option is to visit a local museum or trip to a nearby historical site. You can also find educational activities online or in library books. There are also many educational TV shows and movies that kids can watch during the summer.
Remember, learning doesn’t have to be boring. You can make it fun and engage your kids with a little imaginative mind.
#6. Explore nature
Your kids can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities during the summer break. This could include swimming, hiking, biking, or playing in the park.
Getting outdoors is an excellent way for your kids to stay active and explore their surroundings. It also helps in inhaling some fresh air and vitamin D.
If you’re perplexed about where to begin, many online resources can help you find local parks and trails. You can also talk to other parents for recommendations.
#7. Enjoy indoor stay
If the weather is too hot or your kids are not in the mood for outdoor activities, there are plenty of indoor options available. This could include arts and crafts, baking, playing games, or watching movies.
Indoor activities are an excellent way for your kids to stay calm and avoid dehydration. This can also turn into a fun bonding experience for the whole family.
When choosing indoor activities, it’s essential to consider your child’s age and interests. Many accessible resources can help you find good ideas for your kids.
#8. Make use of local resources
Many resources are often available in your local community that can help make the most of your summer break. This could include library programs, museum passes, or discount tickets to local attractions.
There are towns and cities that offer free or low-cost attractions that are perfect for families. Have a “staycation” and explore your city or town. Visit landmarks or go on a walking tour.
Do some research to see what’s available in your area and take advantage of these opportunities. They can help you save money and provide great experiences for your kids.
#9. Give the child some downtime
It’s essential to allow your kids some time to relax and recharge during the summer break. This could involve reading, playing quietly, or spending time with a pet.
Having some downtime each day will help your kids avoid burnout and stay refreshed for the rest of their holiday. Plus, it’s a chance for parents to take a break too.
So, make sure to include some downtime in your daily schedule and encourage your kids to use it however they want to.
To wrap up
Summer break is a beautiful time for kids to relax and have fun. But it’s also a time when they can learn new things and explore their interests. With some planning beforehand, you can make the most of summer break and create lasting memories for your family.
Research shows it’s not worth it.
As more and more employees shift to flexible work schedules, it’s become increasingly common for people to work during time off. But new research shows that working on weekends or holidays can have a significant impact on intrinsic motivation, leading to both lower employee satisfaction rates and lower quality work product. To combat this, the authors suggest a simple but effective strategy for situations in which working during time off is unavoidable: by mentally reframing time off as “work time,” you’re likely to feel more motivated, find your work more meaningful, and put more effort into your work.
Research shows it’s not worth it.
How — and when — we work is fundamentally changing. Data from the 2018 American Time Use survey indicates that 30% of full-time employees report working weekends and holidays, and even when people officially have time off, that doesn’t mean they stop working. Moreover, the recent global shift to remote work due to the Covid-19 crisis could further exacerbate the situation: as the formal boundaries that separate work from non-work become even more blurred, employees may feel conflicted about what time is — and isn’t — meant for working.
Many people assume that flexibility in when we work should boost motivation. Being able to set our own schedules should empower us to coordinate our days to maximize productivity at work, which would suggest that people might actually be more motivated when they work on weekends and holidays. In addition, research shows that keeping yourself busy (as opposed to doing nothing) can make you feel productive, and thereby make your work feel more meaningful, suggesting that working at a time when others are not could actually boost motivation.
However, our research finds that the opposite is often true. Spending weekends or holidays working undermines one of the most important factors that determines whether people persist in their work: intrinsic motivation. People feel intrinsically motivated when they engage in activities that they find interesting, enjoyable, and meaningful. Our data shows that working during leisure time creates internal conflict between pursuing personal and professional goals, leading people to enjoy their work less. Yet, in doing this research during weekends and holidays ourselves, we also uncovered a solution to this problem: reframing time off as “work time” can help people maintain intrinsic motivation for their work.
How does working during time off affect intrinsic motivation?
To answer this question, we analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of 1,298 U.S. employees. Employees indicated whether they worked some weekend days or worked only Monday through Friday. In this dataset, intrinsic motivation was captured with statements such as: “the work I do is meaningful to me” and “my job lets me use my skills and abilities.”
We found that on average, people who worked some weekend days felt less intrinsic motivation for work. Given that this was correlational, it is possible that there are other factors that might influence how intrinsically motivated people feel, such as working in a lower-level position. That said, we did control for many potential confounding factors, including household income, education level, weekly work hours, and general life satisfaction, and found that the relationship between work time and intrinsic motivation held consistently.
To further examine the relationship between work time and intrinsic motivation, we ran four additional experiments with both adults working on the weekend and students studying during school holidays. Across all studies, we found that working during time off reduced people’s intrinsic motivation for their work.
For example, in one study, we interviewed students studying in a campus library during a federal holiday. We either reminded students that it was a federal holiday (“Today is February 17 th , President’s Day”) or not (“Today is February 17 th ”). When students were reminded that they were studying during a time that others had off, they found their study materials to be less engaging or enjoyable — that is, they felt less intrinsically motivated to study.
Why does working during time off undermine intrinsic motivation?
Similarly to how many people think of Monday as the “true” start of the week, people generally categorize their time as either for work or for leisure. When they engage in work during time that they think of as leisure time, such as the weekend, they experience conflict between their expectations and reality, and as a result, they find their work less engaging and less meaningful.
What should you do if you have to work during time off?
Unfortunately, in many roles, occasional work on weekends and holidays can feel unavoidable. So, what can you do to stay motivated when you have to work during time off? In our research, we found an intervention strategy that helped students studying during Spring Break and employees working on a Saturday maintain their intrinsic motivation: re-labeling time as “work time.”
For example, in one study, we told one group of people working on a Saturday, “People usually use weekends to catch up or get ahead with their work” and told another group, “People usually use weekends to relax and take a break from work.” Our data suggests that even though both groups were working during time off, the first group felt more interested and engaged in their work goals because they were thinking about the time as time to work (versus time to relax).
Does working during time off undermine all work motivation?
One caveat to note is that intrinsic motivation isn’t the only kind of motivation that inspires people to work. People also work because of extrinsic motivation (i.e., to receive a salary, support a family, etc.). And while working during time off has a negative effect on intrinsic motivation to work, across our studies we found no evidence that it impacts people’s extrinsic motivation. While goal conflict associated with working on weekends or holidays undermines our capacity for finding work inherently meaningful, it doesn’t change the value of getting paid or having job security. Nevertheless, research by Kaitlin Woolley and Ayelet Fishbach shows that without intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation is often insufficient to keep people content and doing their best work.
The takeaway is clear: Whether we enjoy the work we do is shaped not only by the type of activities we engage in, but also by when we engage in these activities. If you have to work during time off, try to reframe it mentally as work time to help you maintain your motivation. Managers can also support their employees by encouraging them not to work during time off, as our data suggests that working during time off can undermine intrinsic motivation and thus reduce the effort that employees put into their work. Understanding how to stay motivated has always been important, but as the pandemic forces many employees to work remotely and burdens them with additional demands on their time, these strategies will be particularly crucial to ensure you and your team stay as productive and engaged as possible.
Long roads ahead don’t have to mean boredom. (Photo: road trip image by Blu-Mu from Fotolia.com )
- What to Do With a 2-Year-Old on an Airplane?
- Toddler Car Travel Ideas
- How to Plan a Long Road Trip With Newborns
- How to Travel With a Toddler by Car
Keeping entertained during long trips in the car is a a matter of good planning and choosing the right traveling companions. A good attitude and determination to make the trip fun also can go a long way in making your long road trip as successful as possible, with a minimum of monotony.
Items you will need
- Travel companions
- Satellite radio (optional)
- Food and drinks
- Portable DVD player
- Travel games
- Books and magazines
- Pillow and blanket
Travel with people whose company you enjoy and with whom you wouldn’t mind spending a lot of time. This will be a key element in keeping entertained in the car, as you can pass the time much more quickly with good companions. Take the time to talk to one another, tell jokes or play games during your road trip. You might end up getting to know one another better than you’d have expected.
Take turns driving to add some variety to your long car trip and allow yourself to get a different perspective on your surroundings. Changing up who drives can be a good way to break up the monotony of hours on the road, as well as giving drivers a chance to get some much-needed rest.
Pop in a mix CD that you’ve made for the road trip, your favorite music, or a comedy CD to keep your mind off of the long trip. Take a vote on which CD your passengers want to listen to and sing along with whatever is chosen. You also can download podcasts from your favorite radio shows or bring along an audio book, both of which can provide hours of entertainment. Consider subscribing to satellite radio in your car if you don’t already, since this service provides hundreds of channels suited to different tastes, including highly entertaining comedy and talk radio. For passengers, a portable DVD player and a stack of DVDs can be another excellent, if more costly, way to pass the time.
Munch on prepared snacks and drinks stored in a cooler, as this can money and time during long car trips. If you’re driving, have one of your travel companions hand you a snack that’s easy to eat using one hand. Not only will snacking help you pass the time, it’ll also cut down on pit stops at roadside convenient stores. Bring along some bags that you can use for garbage.
Play car games to keep yourself entertained. There are a variety of games you and your fellow travelers can play without any other material (see Resources for ideas), or you can pack some travel-sized editions of your favorite board games or a pack of cards. If you’re not into games, spend your time on the road with a good book or magazine, crossword puzzles, or a camera to snap pictures of the landscape. For kids, this step tends to be doubly crucial, as their boredom can put a major damper on the trip.
By Lia Garcia | Updated on: November 17, 2021
As anxious travelers, travel safety was once our biggest concern – especially before we left on our year-long honeymoon. What if we got robbed? What if we got lost? What if we got kidnapped by guerillas in a jungle or something and nobody even noticed we were gone until our faces showed up in the news like something straight out of a Wes Anderson movie?!
… We may have particularly active imaginations, but leaving the comforts of home and exploring a foreign country is undeniably a little scary. If you feel vulnerable and like a target for professional scammers and thieves who prey on innocent tourists, you’re not alone. We’re right there with you!
Some of the worst advice we’ve gotten from seasoned travelers is to “not worry about it.” As if “just chill out and enjoy your vacation” is actually useful advice. Y’all: IT IS NOT. That advice never helped us and frankly, we’re not going to tell you to just relax and not worry, either. Worry leads to preparation, and preparation is what’s gonna help you feel a lot less vulnerable and a lot more savvy. Once you’re armed with our travel safety tips, you’ll feel like an informed, prepared traveler – and not like a walking target.
Table of Contents
Psst: Planning a trip? We’ve got a few more posts that might help you! Take a look:
Why Travel Safety Is Important
For a practical traveler like me, there are loads of emergency worst-case scenarios to anxiously envision before traveling abroad. From injury to kidnapping to theft, a lot of disorienting things can happen in a foreign country. And the farther from home you are, the more confusing and scary that can be!
That kind of anxiety can make you so nervous that traveling sounds more like a nightmare than a dream come true. And letting your anxiety keep you from traveling would be a real shame.
But there’s also a nice middle ground between “don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine” and worrying so much you never leave the house, and that middle ground is where you take reasonable precautions and prepare yourself to face any of those scary circumstances that can pop up on a trip.
Step one, I think, is to take a deep breath and acknowledge that something bad might happen – and that it’s all part of the adventure. And most things either aren’t as bad as your imagination makes them out to be, or aren’t as likely as the news – and your overly concerned parents – would have you believe.
For example, although everyone’s heard horror stories of being mugged and left stranded while traveling abroad, in my personal experience, most theft while traveling abroad is an opportunity crime: make one rookie mistake and you become an easy target.
And it’s not just traveling abroad, either. I was robbed no less than 3 times when I moved from the safe, friendly Midwest, to the big city of San Francisco. In my first 3 months, I had my phone and ID stolen twice, and my purse was stolen out of a locked locker at a gym (stupid cheap lock). I even had a man attempt to mug me in broad daylight on a crowded street at 5 pm in front of my office!
Am I just like, a walking bad omen? (Yes). But other than attracting catastrophe like a magnet, I can point to a few things I could have done better in each instance:
- The first time I had my phone and ID stolen, they were sitting in my purse in plain sight on the floor of a restaurant, with easy access to the door. Nowadays at a restaurant, I keep my purse underneath me or the table where they can’t be accessed easily.
- The second time I had my phone and ID stolen, they were in my jacket pocket … but I took my jacket off at a dance club, stuck it in the corner, and hit the dance floor. I wasn’t watching them, so I never saw them get taken. I don’t do that anymore.
- The locked locker was kind of a fluke – although I no longer use cheap locks – and I’ve learned to keep things in the trunk of my car instead.
- My attempted mugging? My mistake was that I was staring at my phone while walking down the street instead of paying attention to my surroundings. (My second mistake was that I fought off the guy who tried to mug me – that’s a really dumb move. Don’t do that. Phones are replaceable.)
Now that I’ve I wised up and built my city-slicker street smarts up, I have not been robbed a single time since at home or abroad.
But that’s not all: combined with the other precautions I take, I know that even if I am robbed, I have a way to access money, insurance to replace my belongings or cover me in case of injury, a network of people who know where I am at all times, and copies of the necessary legal documents to return home. That brings me incredible peace of mind so that I can actually enjoy my trip!
Learn from my mistakes and use these basic safety tips for travelers to protect yourself and prevent theft.
Always be aware of your surroundings when traveling abroad! By the way: this photo has always struck me as an excellent “travel safey” anxiety-inducing photo, but actually the girl in the bright neon shoes was just taking selfies in this awesome street art alley on Bogota while Jeremy (in the blue jacket) waited patiently for me to catch up.
Travel Safety Tips: Before You Start Your Journey
1. Research, research, and more research
Travel safety starts before you even get on the plane.
Ensure you’ve done sufficient research on your destination: what are common safety risks and what scams are prevalent in that country? What neighborhoods are known to be unsafe? Read reviews on the places you’ll be visiting and the hostels you’re staying at.
Google “[Your Destination] Common Scams” or “Is [Your Destination] Safe?” to find suggestions and experiences that will help you to prepare. (But try not to let it make you too anxious! You want to be prepared, not terrified.)
Doing research will help you to feel more comfortable and confident when traveling to a new country… and to not buy that train ticket from that pushy French guy at the airport metro station in Paris who just happened to be sitting around waiting for a crowd of tourists to help him offload his definitely-not-fake $20 train ticket. I nearly fell for this on my first trip to Paris, by the way!
2. Scan your passport, drivers license, and other important legal documents
In case of theft while traveling or simply bad luck, you may find yourself in need of a replacement passport, which is much easier when you’ve got some identification to provide.
Print out a hard copy of your passport and driver’s license and keep them separate from your actual passport. Upload a digital copy to a secure online location, like Dropbox or Google Drive, and share it with a trusted friend or relative.
You might also want to upload copies of other important documents into this Dropbox, such as a Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, or a Living Will (both of which are fun legal documents that you should definitely consider filling out before a major trip, like our year-long honeymoon).
Ideally, you’d have already had physical copies of these documents notarized and on file with a lawyer or your most responsible family member.
We went full “just in case” and also uploaded things like a copy of our marriage certificate, just to be safe. Just make sure you’re uploading them to somewhere safe and fully encrypted (again, like Dropbox)!
Suffering from the post-vacation blues? Here’s how to ease the re-entry into your regular life.
For many people, a vacation is like a trip into space. The nerve-wracking blastoff takes place only after weeks of careful planning. Then a few days of serenity and peace are followed by a harrowing re-entry. The old routine may feel like the force of gravity after days of weightlessness — a familiar burden that suddenly feels harder to bear. But with a bit of planning, you may find that you actually did get some rest on vacation and you are ready to resume your regular life again.
Tip No. 1: Plan a Smooth Return
A vacation meant to be relaxing actually can create post-vacation stress. Careful planning certainly can help the vacation itself go smoother, but a good recovery strategy afterward is essential.
Janet Keeler has learned to leave herself at least one free day after vacation before returning to work. As the food and travel editor of the St. Petersburg Times, she is never entirely free of her job.
“With a cell phone and Wi-Fi, we’re more connected to work than ever before,” she says.
On top of that, she and her husband Scott, a photographer for the paper, like to come back from vacation with at least one travel story, and maybe a story and some pictures for the food section too.
During a recent three-week vacation to California, for example, they visited “John Steinbeck country,” taking pictures of Cannery Row and other places significant in the writer’s life and fiction. Having the story all but written when she returns to work will help her get caught up.
She also made a point of going into the office on Sunday and plowing through the 1,000 emails that awaited her attention.
“I deleted about 95% of them,” she says.
But the rigors of re-entry didn’t end there. There was unpacking, and laundry, and an empty refrigerator, and their son’s baseball schedule to attend to. After crossing three time zones their sleep cycle was a little off, too.
Tip No. 2: Watch Sleep and 2 Other Vacation Variables
Sleep, alcohol, and kids tend to be interrelated, says Michael Breus, PhD, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.
“Vacationing with small children can turn out to be more effort than staying at home,” says Breus, who writes a blog for WebMD.
“If you stay home, the kids have all their toys and they can run around, while in a hotel room that may not be the case.”
Kids also wake up during the night, which means a sleep shortfall for parents.
In addition, people on vacation tend to drink more alcohol and stay up later — a double whammy that easily disrupts sleep.
“Alcohol may make you fall asleep quickly, but you don’t get into the deeper stages, so you end up sleep deprived,” Breus says. “I’m not against drinking, but you have to realize the effect. If you watch the amount of alcohol and food you consume, and get to bed at a reasonable hour, and get some exercise, which will help you sleep, you might be able to get rid of your sleep debt.”
Jet lag also disrupts sleep.
“In truth, jet lag is a natural process your body should be able to get through,” Breus says. “Your body will normalize about one time zone per day.”
If you do want to use a sleep aid to help you overcome jet lag, avoid Benadryl, Breus says. “Benadryl has a long half-life, so you couldn’t pick a worse thing to take.”
Tip No. 3: Be Realistic About Your Relationship and Trip
Some couples discover that the togetherness of a vacation exposes weak spots in their relationship, according to Emma K. Viglucci, founder and president of Metropolitan Marriage and Family Therapy in New York City.
“People think their problems will go away on vacation, but your problems come with you no matter where you go,” Viglucci says. “For some people, vacation is like Christmas — everything has to be perfect, but often the vacation falls short of those expectations.”
On top of that, spending so much time together actually may create hostility and allow resentment to fester, according to Everett Worthington, PhD, professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Humility: The Quiet Virtue.
“A vacation provides lots of little opportunities to argue,” he says. “They have to make all these decisions: Where do we go? When will we arrive? What will we do when we get there? This gives them plenty of opportunities to disagree.”
The best strategy for coping, according to Worthington, is to recognize that such friction is a part of the vacation experience.
“They must resign themselves to the fact that they are going to disagree,” he says, “and then focus on the question: Can we get past this decision so we can enjoy the rest of the vacation?”
Tip No. 4: Let Vacation Give Your Everyday Life a Boost
A vacation can help a family start eating better, according to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, the “recipe doctor” for WebMD’s Weight Loss Clinic.
“Usually when you’re on vacation you eat out a lot, so when you come home, everyone is probably looking forward to having home-cooked meals. So embrace that, celebrate that — use it as a way to kick-start your plan for making more home-cooked meals,” Magee says. “It’s a great time to get wonderful food into your diet.”
Magee also urges people to get some exercise while on vacation. Besides contributing to sleep, exercise helps avoid weight gain brought on by those generous vacation portions.
“Some people actually come back from vacation surprised that they haven’t gained weight, even though they’ve been eating out in restaurants, because they’ve been getting exercise,” Magee says. “When you come back rested and happy, you can use that as motivation to keep exercising and preparing wholesome meals.”
SOURCES: Michael Breus, PhD, author, Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program toBetter Sleep and Better Health. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD Weight Loss Clinic dietitian. Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT, CIT, founder and president, Metropolitan Marriage and Family Therapy, New York. Everett Worthington, PhD, professor of psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University; author, Humility: The Quiet Virtue.
Check out our list of best travel tips when planning a long haul flight!
Noise Canceling Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones come in all different shapes and sizes for your desired comfort. Some of us have anxiety when flying and need a little bit of distraction. Traveling in a tight area with a lot of people comes with challenges such as chatty seat neighbors or cabin noise. Noise cancelling headphones allow you to focus on sounds and things that are important to you, while drowning out the stressful or distracting sounds around you.
Lets face it, when you are stuck on a long haul flight, sometimes even those red eye flights, getting a good rest is close to impossible. Your legs are squished between strangers and some people just love to keep those pesky overhead lights on above them at all hours of the night. Eye masks block out lights around you, giving you that much needed rest for your busy next day. Consider investing in an eye mask that is hollowed out around the eye since it will cause less irritation for longer wear.
Stay well hydrated / bring water
Did you know that flying in an airplane causes dehydration? Especially on a long haul flight, research has shown that we lose fluid in our bodies due to the humidity and altitude. Our bodies are considered dehydrated if you lose 1.5% of water. Keep in mind, our bodies are made up of 60% of water. Prepare yourself for travel by staying hydrated before your flight, during your flight, and even after your flight. Pack an empty reusable water bottle on your carry on bag. This will allow you to get through TSA and then you can fill up your water bottle as many times as you would like.
Proper comfortable clothing
Unless you are heading to an important meeting straight from the airport, we are not exactly needing to go for style here. Keep in mind that airplane cabins can get quite chilly at times. Dress for comfort! Consider packing yourself a cute pair of sweatpants or leggings. Also, lightweight jackets are a great go to. They are compact enough to put into a bag without taking up a ton of room.
Traveling while on your period
What’s worse than having to use the lavatory on a long haul flight? Being on your period and needing to change your pad or tampon. Luckily things have come a long way for womens period products. With leak proof underwear, you have the convenience and comfort while having no need to change your pad or tampon. Leak proof underwear has a variety of absorbency to tailor to what you need at that time of your cycle. A great option for a long haul flight would be one with heavy absorbency. Leak Proof heavy absorbency underwear can help reduce orders, help with bladder leaks. And can hold up to 4 regular tampons. When you are on a 10 hour plane flight, this will give you the ultimate protection and comfort.
Wear a comfortable bra
Lets be honest, as a woman, sitting for hours on end with an uncomfortable bra on can be the worst. Over time the straps start to dig into your shoulders and the underwire starts to dig in. Wearing a comfortable bra for those long haul flights is essential.
Proof Everyday Bra
Proof Everyday Bra provides all the benefits and comfort of a bra without sacrificing the protection you need. The everyday bra has no straps to dig into your shoulders, instead they offer a seamless full coverage shoulder strap. The scoop neck design allows you to wear a variety of shirt necklines. The best part of all, it’s wireless. It does come with padded cups that are removable as well.
Important things to pack in your carry on bag
– Face masks that are either disposable or reusable. It would be a good idea to bring a back up mask in case the one you are wearing gets dirty or lost.
– Hand sanitizer is also important not just because of COVID-19, but also because of all the difference surfaces that you touch in high traffic areas
– Sanitary wipes. These are a staple for plane flights. A lot of retailers carry surface wipes that kill germs upon contact. Did you know that the trays alone on airplanes are considered more germ filled than a public bathroom. The seat back trays are considered one of the dirtiest.
– If you are on your period or preparing for your period consider packing a heating patch in your carry on bag just in case. One patch is discrete and can be placed above your underwear. The patch can last for up to 12 hours. You can always be prepared in case you develop cramps during that long haul flight.
– Headphones or ear plugs to cancel out noise around you
– A book or computer
– A neck pillow if it is a red eye flight
– A ultra lightweight throw blanket in case it is cold in the cabin.
From one woman to another, do we ever feel we are fully prepared and packed for a flight? How about a long haul flight of over 6 hours… or how about 12 hours? The best advice is to be prepared and make a checklist of things you need. Consider making a checklist for things you need to pack in your luggage, and another for your carry on bag. If you are on your period during your vacation, purchase a mesh laundry bag for your period underwear. This will keep your period underwear away from your clean clothes and you can even wash your period underwear in the mesh bag as well. It can’t get any easier than that.
Strategies to help you manage an extra workload.
When covering for a coworker who is out of the office, it’s difficult to keep up with everything the way you usually do. This sense of overload can compound when multiple individuals are out of the office or there are longer absences such as sick leave, sabbaticals, or maternity leave. What do you do when you have to carry the load of two or more people? The key is finding a solution where you keep up on the essentials but avoid putting the full weight of multiple jobs on your shoulders. Six strategies can help you to strike that delicate balance: accept reality, ask for a plan, focus on deadlines, pause the nonurgent, limit extra work time, and ask for help.
Strategies to help you manage an extra workload.
The summer vacation season may be behind us, but the holidays are right around the corner. And soon enough your colleagues may be asking you to cover for them while they’re away. All of a sudden, you’re juggling not only your normal work but also someone else’s. That’s potentially more email, more tasks, more meetings, and more searching for answers to questions about items outside of your normal day-to-day.
You want to help where you can and act like a team player. But sometimes it feels overwhelming. You can’t keep up on everything the way that you usually do. You don’t want to let your colleague down, and you don’t want to fall behind on your own work.
This sense of overload can compound when you have multiple individuals out of the office or longer absences such as sick leave, sabbaticals, or maternity leave. What do you do when you have to carry the load of two or more people? Do you work crazy hours trying to do everything for everyone? Do you just give up and hope the fallout isn’t too bad when everyone gets back? Or is there an answer in between?
As a time management coach, I believe the best option is the final one — finding an in-between solution where you keep up on the essentials but avoid putting the full weight of multiple jobs on your shoulders. These six strategies can help you strike that delicate balance.
Accept reality. When someone asks you to cover their projects while they’re out, be aware of what you can reasonably do. You can’t do everything — and that’s OK. If you also have some time out of the office at the same time (for example, a business trip), you may not have the capacity to take on extra tasks. The same holds true if you have large important deadlines that correspond with the request to cover for a coworker. In cases like these, you may need to encourage them to find someone else. But if you do take on the extra workload, starting from the place of acceptance puts you in a position to not freak out when your responsibilities rise while colleagues are out. Your coworkers’ work will not get done to the same level as if they were in the office, and some of your work may also need to happen at a slower pace. Again, that’s OK. This natural and normal consequence of vacation time needs acknowledgment. And if your office tends to have consistently heavy vacation times during certain times of the year, factor that variance into planning milestones, before someone asks for your help.
Ask for a plan. Your colleagues need to take the onus to do a clear handoff to you of responsibilities while they’re away. That may mean an email where they detail the status of projects, next steps, deadlines, and any key contacts, or you may have a meeting to communicate this information. Either way, it’s essential that you have clarity on what needs to be done, so you don’t have to figure out what to do while you’re handling the extra work. If appropriate, have them put your email on their out-of-office message so that others will proactively contact you about items you need to accomplish for others.
Focus on deadlines. When you need to do multiple jobs at once, revert to survival mode. That means a radical focus on deadlines and what’s critical to accomplish that day or that week. If possible, have one consolidated list of your deadlines and those you need to meet for others. When you look over the week, think through how you will meet them. Because you have to juggle multiple people’s tasks, that may mean working further ahead than usual because there’s more of a chance of the unexpected happening or having multiple deadlines clustered together. On a daily basis, focus on the deadline items first. Other, less-urgent items likely will need to wait.
Make a to-do list, learn something new…or take a vacation.
Almost everyone’s work has ebbs and flows. Most people focus on how to stay productive during the busiest stretches. But doing the same in slower periods can have a dramatic impact on your output and well-being. There are five key ways to manage these slower times. First, make a plan to help you turn a potentially boring day into a series of mini-sprints. Next, focus on your professional development; this could mean brushing up your LinkedIn profile or taking an online class. You can also use the time to get ahead on work you know is coming down the road and to build relationships with coworkers. And don’t forget to give yourself a break, too. This is an ideal time to take a vacation.
Make a to-do list, learn something new…or take a vacation.
When work is flying at you, you know you have to execute at a fast and furious pace. Deadlines loom, you’re busy and engaged, and, sometimes, just barely keeping up. Having breathing room in your schedule seems like a dream.
But when work slows down, you might find yourself drifting — unable to get excited about the tasks you could do, moving more slowly than usual, maybe reading articles and watching videos that have no particular relevance to your job. You just feel bored.
We all feel these ebbs and flows, whether they’re seasonal or due to events like a conference, project, or new client on-boarding. Most people are able to focus on getting work done during the peak. But how you handle the valleys also has a dramatic impact on your overall productivity and happiness. As a time management coach, I often counsel people on how make the most of slower times at work. Here are a few strategies:
Make a plan
When the pressure is off, it’s easy to let any little thing distract you. You might over-invest in email, wander the internet, or focus on unimportant items or errands, thinking “I have plenty of time.” To counteract this tendency, aim to start each day with a clear plan. Write down your two to three most important tasks and any smaller ones you would like to check off your to-do list. You have to be more deliberate about planning than you would during a busy period.
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It’s also a good idea to estimate how much time you want to invest in each activity. For example, by 11 AM I want to finish my first most important task. From 11 AM to noon, I’m going to knock off three small to-dos. Break for lunch. And then from 1 PM to 3PM, I’ll work on my second large, important task. This granular plan can help you turn a potentially boring day into a series of mini-sprints.
Slower times at work present an opportunity to enhance your entire life, if you take advantage of them. Consider professional development activities that you wouldn’t normally have time for and add them into your daily plans. These might include attending an industry conference, meeting up with a former boss, brushing up your CV and LinkedIn profile or taking an online class. You are making an investment of time that will either help you in your current job or open up future doors.
Off-peak times also offer a chance to get home and office administrative work done before emergencies arise. You can file paperwork due in June or finally fix that old printer during some down time in May, so it’s not an anxiety-provoking annoyance before a big deadline. Or schedule your annual wellness visit and a trip to get your driving license renewed at a time when taking a personal day is no big deal. Being proactive keeps you from having to squeeze in these life maintenance activities at other times when you feel exceptionally tight on time.
If you typically decline when colleagues ask you to join them for lunch, this is the time to say, “Yes!” You can get to know your coworkers through lunch, coffee, or simply stopping by their office when you’re not rushed. Building rapport in this way paves the way for effective collaboration down the road and give you some relationship capital for times when work is more stressful.
Take a break
Finally, off-peak times open up space to invest in life outside of work. This is an ideal time to take a vacation or stay-cation or even just a half day on a slow Friday, which some of my colleagues do in the summer. You can even take smaller amounts of time away from the office to reengage in personal relationships, maybe by having lunch with your spouse or taking a friend for coffee. Or you can tackle household projects like purging your closets.
Instead of frittering away time when work is less pressured, choose to remain focused. Then reallocate the extra capacity to activities that would be stressful to fit in during busy times when work is really busy but feel hugely satisfying to accomplish when you have breathing room. It is important to manage your time in an intentional way and maximize your output through not only the peaks but also the troughs.
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Do you ever find yourself longing to take time for yourself? Many of us are so busy with work, school, and home life that often there is no time left over to do something that you enjoy. What follows are some ways to carve out that essential time you need to slow down, enjoy life, and rejuvenate your mental and physical health.
The Importance of Self-Care
In today’s on-the-go society, taking time for yourself is often looked upon as being selfish or unproductive. You have a job to do, kids to take care of, meals to cook, bills to pay, and the list goes on. How can you possibly justify taking time out for self-care without feeling guilty  ?
The truth is that without self-care, you’re not giving yourself a fighting chance to give your best to each aspect of your life. If you don’t take care of your own needs first, you’ll find yourself burnt out and struggling in everyday life before you know it  .
Shift your perspective and accept that taking time for self-care is key if you truly want to live a productive, happy, and successful life.
Simple Ways to Take Time for Yourself
Finding time to focus on self-care can be difficult, especially with the demands of work and family life. Often, scheduling time before you need it can be a great to way to ensure you don’t skimp on the all-important personal time. Here are a few simple ways to take time for yourself.
Evenings With Yourself
Try to save certain weeknights just for you. If others ask you to do things those nights, just tell them you have plans. Use the time for gardening, reading, exercise, thinking, or the ultimate luxury of doing nothing!
Schedule a treat for yourself once a month. It could be on your lunch break, a weekend, or it could be leaving work early. Maybe you get a spa treatment, go see a movie, a haircut, play golf, or whatever treat you’re always thinking about but rarely get to do.
Schedule it in at least a month before to ensure that nothing gets in the way of that time.
Buy Tickets in Advance
Buy tickets for a baseball game, theater production, concert, or any other event you would enjoy. Having the tickets already in hand will force you to make it happen!
Leave Work on Time
This is one of the simplest things you can do when you’re craving personal time. Many of us stay at work late on a regular basis. If this is you, make it a point to leave work exactly on time at least once a week, if not more  . And then enjoy that time by participating in your favorite hobby or spending time with a friend you rarely see.
Join a Group
Joining a group can be a great way to include socializing when you take time for yourself. Find a group or club that revolves around an interest or passion of yours or something you’ve been wanting to try. You can find a book club, photography club, or bird watching group. It can be anything that helps you feel rejuvenated.
Take an Adult Education Class
Have you been wanting to learn something new or brush up on something you learned a while back? There are tons of free online classes, and many community colleges also offer free or cheap classes.
You can learn a foreign language, try yoga, or brush up on your painting skills.
For busy people it can be difficult to make time for this, but it’s important to do so. A new habit is started with just one step.
For example, you can walk for 20 minutes in the morning, and then build on that success daily. Vary how you spend that time. On some days use the time for thinking and daydreaming. Other days you can listen to motivational audio, and on days you want a real boost, listen to your favorite music!
However, if you’ve been exercising for a while and usually listen to music, try go without any input for a change. Instead, let your mind wander and expand.
Here are some ways to find time for exercise in your busy life.
Taking Time for Yourself on the Go
Some of us spend hours commuting to and from work. This can be a great chance to take time for yourself!
Commute Via Public Transportation
If you can, ditch your car and let someone else do the driving. Use that time to plan your day or do some reading, writing, creative thinking, or even meditation.
Driving in Your Car
Make the most of this time, and vary how you spend it. If you always listen to music, perhaps also try educational radio (NPR), audio books, or even quiet time.
Use that quiet time for brainstorming. Either think in your head or even talk your ideas out loud. Bring a voice recorder. You could write a book via voice recorder over time.
Waiting in the Car
If you find that you have a certain amount of “waiting time” in your life, change how you perceive it. Instead of “waiting time,” you can instantly change it into “free time” by reading a book, writing a to-do list, or practicing meditation.
Two Birds With One Stone
Look for ideas where you can fit in time for you within things you need to do already or that will have multiple benefits. See the ideas below to give you an idea.
Walk to Work
This is a a great one because you’re accomplishing many things at once. You’re getting exercise, you have time to think or enjoy music/audio, and you’re helping to save the environment.
Any appointment that you have, plan to arrive 15-30 minutes early. Then use this time to sit back and relax with a book or magazine.
There are so many benefits with this. You make a difference for others, escape work and personal worries, and grow as a person. This about what kind of volunteering interests you and find a group to join. It could be environmental, educational, or anything that brings you a sense of purpose.
Eat Lunch Alone
Try sneaking away for a quiet lunch alone on a park bench or even in your car. Enjoy some quiet time with no one to talk to and no distracting noises.
Time Away From Kids
You love your kids, but sometimes you just need a break from parent life. Here are some ideas to help you step away from that role for a bit.
Organize a “Mom’s/Dad’s Morning Out” Circle
If you have a friend or group of friends, you could arrange to share babysitting services a few times a month so that others in the group get some time alone.
Hire a Babysitter
Make a plan to have a babysitter that you trust watch your children once a month or once a week so that you can take time for yourself. Take it a step further and make that a date night or a night you participate in a class or hobby.
Find a Gym With a Babysitting Service
Find a gym that offers childcare so that you can take a yoga class, do some strength training, or even work out with a personal trainer. Make sure you fully research the safety of their childcare program first, though, and get some references if possible.
The Bottom Line
If you feel like you need to take time for yourself and relieve stress, there are many ways to do it. Even if you have a chaotic life where there seems to be only seconds to spare on any given day, it’s possible to carve out time for yourself by simply planning ahead. Make this a monthly occurrence to begin a healthy self-care habit.
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“Busy” is a popular English word — but not in the way that many learners think.
For example, “busy” has become a common response to “How are you?” (“I’m doing well! Just busy studying for my exams”). Research has even found telling people about what keeps you busy has been common in Christmas greeting cards.
But if you use this word to tell a coworker why you can’t take their call or your boss why you can’t attend a meeting, what you’re really saying, according to the BBC, is “‘I’m not very good at prioritising my time and, at the moment, you’re not a priority at all.”
So it’s safer to avoid using the word “busy.” It’s blunt and often just not the right word. Below are 10 English expressions that’ll do the job much better.
1. I’m preoccupied.
Imagine someone knocking on your office door while you’re having a meeting. Or imagine getting a call while you’re driving to work. In either case, you can say you were “preoccupied,” because you were already (“pre-”) occupied (busy doing something).
- Sorry, I’m a little preoccupied at the moment. Can I call you back later?
- No worries about the late reply. I understand you’re preoccupied with more pressing matters at the moment.
2. I’m tied up.
Think of each task you need to work on as a rope. Each time you take on a new task, another rope is tied around you until you’re all “tied up” and not free to work on anything else.
- “I’m all tied up with this project. Try asking Janet for help.”
- “Sorry I was unable to return your call today. I was tied up in meetings all day.”
3. I have a lot on my plate.
If your plate is full, there’s no room for you to put more food on it. In the context of life, this means you can’t take any more work.
- I’d love to help, but I’ve got too much on my plate right now.
- That’s a nice idea, but our team already has so much on our plate right now, I don’t think we’ll be able to work on it until at least next year.
4. I’m juggling a lot right now.
“Juggling” takes a lot of energy and focus and it’s easy to make mistakes. So if you’re busy with a lot of things, it can feel like you’re “juggling” them.
- I’d love to help, but I’m juggling two jobs on top of taking care of my newborn son right now. Sorry!
- No matter how much stuff I’m juggling, I always have time for online English lessons, because I can take them anytime and anywhere.
5. I don’t have the bandwidth.
“Bandwidth” is a technical term that has become a popular way to tell someone you don’t have the time for something.
- “Tim, I don’t have the bandwidth right now, sorry!”
- “I don’t have the bandwidth to handle that right now. You could try asking me about that again in October though.”
6. I’m spread pretty thin.
If you only have a little butter to spread on a piece of toast, it’ll become a very thin layer of butter. So if you’re “spread thin,” it means you’re spreading your limited time and energy among a lot of tasks.
- I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t take on another commitment this semester. I’ve already spread myself too thin with two part-time jobs on top of my extra courses.
- I realize that your resources on your team are spread thin at the moment, but please do keep this initiative in mind.
7. I’m swamped.
It’s easy to get stuck in a swamp or even sink into one! If you’re “swamped” with work, it’s like you’re stuck in a pile of work or sinking into it.
- We’re launching our marketing campaign this week, so I’m really really swamped. But starting on Sunday, I’ll be quite free.
- It’s my first day back at work, so I’m swamped. Can I get back to you on this next week?
8. I’m buried in work.
Imagine you’re buried in piles and piles of work and you can’t escape.
- Our team is low on manpower, so we’re constantly buried in work.
- There’s no way I can take a vacation right now. I’m buried in deadlines.
People also say “I’m drowning (in work)” or “I’m snowed under (with work).”
9. I’m up to my ears.
Think of a pile of work that is stacked all the way up to your ears and giving you anxiety.
- As a secretary, I’m always up to my ears in paperwork.
- We’re up to our ears in work before the holiday season.
You can use this one for many situations. For example, you can be up to your ears in laundry (if you haven’t washed your clothes in a while) or debt (if there’s a lot you need to pay off).
10. Things are really hectic.
“Hectic” means that there are a lot of things going on that are difficult to control. Imagine all your tasks frantically flying around you, and you have the right idea.
- My schedule is quite hectic these days, but let’s catch up next time you’re here.
- I realize things are really hectic on your end with the PR scandal, but I must remind you that your payments are weeks overdue.
Keep in mind you can’t say “I’m hectic.” “Hectic” describes a schedule, your life, and things in your life. It can also describe periods of time, such as a day (“it’s been a hectic day”) and a week (“this week has been hectic”). But hectic never describes people.
Too busy to sit down and study?
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Plus, our English tutors aren’t just experts in the language. They’re also experienced in many different fields, from sales and graphic design to medicine and music. So you’ll definitely learn English that’s most relevant to you.
Your first lesson is free, so why not give us a try?
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Let’s face it, people are more concerned about their jobs and livelihood now more than ever. This may be because we are returning from the recession and are now more aware of keeping those things we have. However in a bid to selfishly guard our time, we lose some important things in our lives. We need to work, yet we need to get off being busy and experience a vacation, too.
1. You reduce your stress
Whether you are experiencing a burnout or are embattled with lots of pressures at work, going on a vacation will dramatically reduce whatever stress you are experiencing. Stress doesn’t help you seeing things clearly. But when you do take a break you understand how to balance your work and life and decrease the effects of stress and any signs of burnout.
2. You do your health a lot of good
According to a study by the State University of New York at Oswego, after surveying 12,000 men it was discovered that men who go on vacation reduce their overall risk of soon death by 20 percent. According to an article by the New York Times you increase your rate of dying soon by 21 percent when you do not take any annual vacations.
3. You improve your productivity
According to a survey by Sam’s Club it was discovered that very few small business owners take days off. This caused exhaustion, impatience, poor decision making and illness. You will be helping your work by becoming more productive after taking a vacation. According to experts from the University of Pittsburgh, people are satisfied with life on vacations and return more energized and positive.
4. You become more creative afterwards
Vacation provides you with the time to refresh and recharge your brain cells. According to experts we are wired to recharge and not go the long haul or stretch without a break. That is why many workers or busy people get their best ideas away from work or the office space.
5. You become happier
A recent study shows that taking time off actually improves your happiness. People who took a vacation were happier than those who did not after 1,500 Dutch adults were surveyed. This was because of the wild anticipation and excitement involved for their vacation. Even after returning from the vacation the elation was sustained. According to the study leader, Jeroen Nawijn, it will be better to spread the vacation experience twice or thrice in a year rather than taking one big vacation!
6. You are open to new perspectives
Whether you are going to the beach in a foreign country or driving through the heat of Las Vegas, time from work gives you an excellent time to reflect and open yourself to new possibilities. At such a period away from work you can see the world from a holistic angle rather than a lopsided angle. You could be pushed to read a business book, learn new cultures and change your perspective to one that will help you gain better vision as you return to your every day job.
7. You offer yourself some family or self time
Quality of life is dependent on how you appreciate yourself and those who are around you. It could be with yourself, family or friends; but only vacations from a busy schedule can offer you time to appreciate the people around you. Doing a vacation offers you an opportunity to truly think about those things that matter, whether it is by reflecting or planning, vacation gives you a sense of peace and warmth you will never get in a workplace environment.
It is important to be selfish sometimes. As the old saying goes, “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” In a way we are social animals meant to spend and challenge ourselves from regular routine. Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new is good for your body, mind and those around you.
It ’ s that time of year where we have a lot of rain in our forecast. Sometimes it ’ s hard to come up with new ideas to keep little ones busy, so today I am sharing 15 ways to keep kids busy on rainy days. Or you really could use these ideas any time you need something different to keep kids busy!
1. Make a Big Race Track
My boys love playing with cars, so to make it really fun we set up a big race track! I used the same gutter we used for our soap boat racing. We just put it on the stairs and it made the cars zoom down so fast!
This is also great exercise for kids because they are running up and down the stairs to get the vehicles.
2. Create in the Kitchen
To do this activity, just pull extra or expired items from our pantry and let kids create whatever they want. It usually looks disgusting, but they are so proud of their work! And it is a great way to clean out your pantry.
3. Make a Pom Pom Shooter
This one is so much fun! We got the directions from this blog and it brings a lot of fun on rainy days to our house! (Please only try this idea if your little one does not put things in their mouths. Also please watch your kids carefully since balloons are involved!)
4. Build with Cups
For this activity, simply take plastic disposible cups and let your child build and be creative! It is simple, but you may be surprised at how entertained your child can be with this. My boys built towers, castles, and tried knocking them down with the pom pom shooters. Lots of fun!
5. Make New Crayons
If you need an activity that is a little longer, then try making new crayons! All you do is take old crayons and peel off the paper (that is the time consuming part!). Then you break them into pieces and place them in a silicone mold or muffin tin. Lastly, you bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and then let them cool. If you want detailed instructions with pictures, check out this post.
6. Marble Racing
Make your own marble race track with pool noodles! This is our pool noodle water wall, which also is great for racing marbles! To see instructions on how to make it, visit this post.
7. Baking Soda & Vinegar Experiments
Baking soda + vinegar = lots of fun! You can find 5 fizzy experiments in this post.
8. Paint Rocks
An easy activity is to collect rocks from outside and paint them. You can use acrylic or washable paint. We also added some googly eyes!
9. Car Wash
Create a car wash for toy vehicles using your sink! Just fill the sink up with soapy water, have a bucket of water to rinse with, and add a towel. You could also wash action figures, plastic dolls, etc.
10. Make a Rainstick
A fun craft to make is a rainstick! Here is how you make one:
1. Take a cardboard tube and poke brads through it on the outside of the tube.
2. Cover it with aluminum foil. Cover one end and tape it shut. (You could also stuff the bottom with aluminum foil if you don ’ t like the look of tape on the outside.)
3. Fill the tube with items like rice, beans, and popcorn kernels.
4. Cover the open end and tape it shut. Then decorate it with stickers.
Move the tube back and forth and listen to the sounds. It should sound like rain!
11. Freeze Dance
This is a game where you put on music to dance to and then pause it during the song and have your child freeze. Then resume the music and pause again. If you play with multiple children, you can play that if a child moves during the freeze time, they sit out. And then keep playing until there is a winner. My kids love dance time and this game burns energy on rainy days!
12. Upcycled Crafts
If you want to make a craft, then you can try one of these upcycled crafts using materials from around the house. You can find instructions for the crafts here.
13. Rain Gauge
Measure the rain with a rain gauge. This doesn ’ t have to be anything fancy, but just leave a sturdy cup outside and check on how much rain goes in it throughout the day. You can stick a measuring stick in the cup for an accurate measurement.
14. Window Markers
Window Markers are so great! They are just like markers, but you draw on your windows. The best part is that it is easy clean up! All you do is just wipe with a wet cloth.
15. Play in Puddles!
If it is a light rain, with no lightning, go on a nature walk with rain boots and make a splash! You will score mom points for letting your kids get wet and messy with puddles!
As Utah’s first national park, Zion holds an important place in the state’s history and culture. It’s been home to the Ancestral Puebloan, Fremont and Southern Paiute people for time immemorial. Zion — with its striking red-rock walls and sheer canyons — is thought to be a sanctuary, a desert oasis created over many years by the power of water and wind.
To best experience this special place, visitors should approach their travels thoughtfully. Plan ahead. Do your research. Slow down and take time to appreciate all that makes up Zion. Learn from and give back to the local communities and caretakers. Here’s how to visit Zion in a considerate way to ensure this wild place stays a spot that future generations can continue to enjoy. We call this responsible travel ethic Forever Mighty.
Choose the Right Time to Visit
Zion is the most popular national park in Utah and among the most visited in the U.S. and it continues to see record-breaking visitation numbers in the millions of people each year. Zion National Park is open year-round, though the most popular months to visit are April through October, when the shuttle busses are running in Zion Canyon. Spring, summer and fall are more crowded than winter. But winter visitors to Zion will still find plenty to do.
Fall is the best time to visit Zion if you’re a serious hiker, because spring runoff can make canyon hiking difficult or dangerous and summer temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To simply take in the grandeur of Zion National Park, there is no bad time of year. It largely depends on your preferences for activities and crowds. Whichever season you choose, just be sure to secure your preferred lodging and activities with advance reservations, like an Angels Landing hiking permit. As the park’s most popular hike, hiking permits will be required for Angels Landing to prevent crowding, damage and strain on federal resources.
Explore the Region Thoughtfully
The more time you allow, the deeper your experience, so consider giving yourself extra days to explore the region thoroughly and take in other special places around Zion National Park. Find the right basecamp for you, be it Springdale, St. George, Cedar City, East Zion, La Verkin or Kanab. Start with The Complete Zion itinerary for ideas.
All of these unique gateway communities offer lodging, dining, shops and guided outfitters to help make the most of your visit to the area. Give back to these communities by supporting local businesses and being a considerate visitor. If possible, consider volunteering, supporting local organizations or giving back in other philanthropic ways. The Zion National Park Forever Project is another great way to show your support for the park and surrounding area.
The most popular trails in Zion are located in Zion Canyon, but there are several hiking options located in Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of the park.
Consider hiring a local expert in the Zion area — guides and outfitters allow you to deeply experience the outdoors, without any planning or wayfinding stressors.
Photo: Mark Wade/Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Do Your Research
Check the Weather
Be sure to read the weather forecast and understand how the climate and conditions will impact your day’s outing and be aware of your own limits. Pack accordingly and be sure to bring enough water, food, proper clothing and sun protection.
Get the Latest Information
Check the current regulations and suggested guidelines for the places you intend to visit. Beginning April 1, 2022, Angels Landing will require a hiking permit. For the latest information, visitors may follow Zion National Park on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or check park alerts on nps.gov for conditions, traffic and park recommendations.
Know the Area or Hire a Guide
Study maps to understand the various entrances and transportation options within the park. If you’re riding a bicycle, read up on where bicycles are allowed within the park and other guidelines on cycling. Or consider hiring a local expert — guides and outfitters allow you to deeply experience the outdoors, without any planning or wayfinding stressors. Learn more about how to find a guide.
Take the Shuttle
Read up in advance about the mandatory shuttle service available within the park during the most popular months in Zion Canyon. Parking lots fill up on busy days, so get there early or plan ahead for alternative parking options.
Apply For Your Permit
Hiking permits will be issued via a lottery system. You will need to apply during specific application windows depending on when you want to visit. There is also a day-before lottery, where you can apply during a specific timeframe the day before you want to hike. If you aren’t granted a permit, you can try again during a future lottery.
Visit With Respect
Experiencing the stunning beauty of Zion should inspire you to want to preserve and protect this hallowed place. Practice Leave No Trace principles to ensure that all parts of the park are left as nature intended it. Leave places as you found them, respect wildlife, plant life and geology, dispose of waste properly and be considerate of others.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trash or human waste behind (Read: “How to Poop in the Outdoors”). Zion requires visitors to pack out solid human waste, toilet paper and hygiene items.
- Leave rocks, plants, animals and natural objects as you found them. Never leave marks or scratches on rocks or other surfaces and admire artifacts and natural features from a distance without touching or disturbing. Tree carvings, rock etchings and spray painting are forms of vandalism and graffiti, which are illegal on public lands.
- Due to overcrowding and traffic, it’s now common to see vandalism and other types of damage throughout national parks. By respecting the new Angels Landing permit process and other national park regulations, you’re protecting the natural beauty of Zion.
- Stay on existing trails and do not travel off course or “bust the crust.” Camp only in designated areas on durable surfaces and follow all campfire rules and regulations. Rock cairns, or rock piles, are trail markers. Do not disturb them or add new ones, as they could mislead other hikers.
- Leave drones and pets at home. The use of off-highway vehicles (ATVs, OHV, UTVs, etc.) is also not allowed in Zion National Park.
- Be courteous to other visitors by minimizing noise, yielding to others on trails and respecting trail and transportation signage.
- Show consideration for other visitors, and be a mindful photographer.
Unfortunately, vandalism is becoming common across Southern Utah’s red rock canyons.
10 Ways to Take Control of Your Day
“So, what did you do at the weekend?” begins the water cooler conversation. It can feel like some welcome downtime from your intense workload during a busy day, but time flies and, 15 minutes later, you realize that you’re late for a meeting with your manager. And the stress returns.
Sometimes, it seems as though our workplaces have been designed to break our focus. Even when you’re “snowed under” with work, you’ll still likely check your emails regularly, read customers’ Twitter comments, or – even though your manager would disapprove – surf the internet for cheap vacation flights.
Dr Gloria Mark, Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, says that distractions such as these are both stressful and costly. She has found that it takes an average of 23 minutes for a person to fully regain his or her focus on a task after being distracted.
Click here to view a transcript of this video.
The Overload Research Group – a collection of academic and corporate researchers dedicated to reducing the amount of information that people have to deal with – has found that U.S. workers waste about 25 percent of their time dealing with “an incessant stream of data,” losing their employers a staggering $997 billion a year.
In this article, we’ll identify the 10 most common distractions that we face at work, and examine strategies for managing them, or even eliminating them altogether.
1. How to Avoid Distractions From Technology
Our smartphones – and now smartwatches – have blurred the line between personal and professional communication. We can now receive work emails and phone calls on the same device as private Facebook comments, Instagram photos, and an array of other personal information.
Given such technology’s addictive nature, policies to control their use at work are rarely effective, as it’s hard to enforce rules about what people can look at on their own devices.
It’s usually more helpful if individuals understand and manage the challenge themselves. For example, you and your colleagues could agree to put away your phones for a certain time during the day, to help you to focus on a particular piece of work.
2. Email-Management Strategies to Keep You Focused
Many of the emails in our inboxes are not particularly important. However, we often feel the need to look at them as soon as they arrive. So, here are five ways to manage those messages so that they don’t take you away from important tasks.
- Schedule checking time – Turn off the alert that appears on your computer screen when you receive an email, and check and respond to messages at set times of the day. Give yourself a maximum of 30 minutes for each session. Manage your co-workers’, manager’s and customers’ expectations about how and when you will reply to them.
- Choose “low productivity” times – There are likely certain times of day when you do your best work , maybe in the morning or maybe late at night. Schedule an email check-in for your less productive times, and save your peak hours for high-value work.
- Turn emails into actions – If you need more than a few minutes to read or reply to an email, add it to your Action Program or To-Do List.
- Use the trash – Don’t keep emails forever. If you do, you run the risk of losing sight of the important ones as your inbox grows, and of your inbox becoming harder and harder to manage. Once you’ve replied to them, put the ones that you don’t need in the trash, and archive or file the ones that you want to keep.
- Smartphone syncing – Try redirecting your email to your smartphone, to help you to free up your computer from distractions. Then apply the advice we’ve given above to your personal device.
Take a look at our articles, 10 Common Email Mistakes and Overcoming Information Overload , and listen to Mike Song on Managing Email for more on this type of distraction.
3. How to Stay in Control of Social Media
Social media offers us new ways of communicating with unprecedented numbers of people. It can also be a productivity killer, taking our attention away from work tasks and breaking our concentration.
Organizations can no longer just block people’s access to websites that aren’t work-related – smartphones can get around this, as they operate on cellular networks independent of any work-based internet access. So, people must be gently encouraged to use social media responsibly, so that their productivity and focus aren’t affected.
A study by Myrian Herlle and Vivian Astray-Caneda, of Florida International University, recommends that organizations apply Adams’ Equity Theory to explain to team members the serious impact on output of excessive social media use.
Try tracking your own social media activity over the course of a week, and noting down just how much time you spend on these sites during work hours. Then, schedule a few moments each day for posting updates or answering messages.
4. Managing Instant Messaging (IM)
Many workplaces use an IM platform to keep team members in touch with one another. However, it can also be a source of distraction, thanks to non-essential notifications and emojis.
Get into the habit of Using IM for small, quick queries only, not for conversations. Resist the pressure to reply instantly, and consider setting specific times during the day when your status is “online.”
5. Limiting Online Distractions
Reading the latest headlines, checking sports scores, and ordering new clothes online (even for the office) can easily steal 30 minutes of our time, as well as often being a breach of workplace rules.
Turning off access to the internet isn’t normally an option, as organizations are increasingly using cloud-based software that requires an internet connection to work fully. But, you can install blocking software, such as Freedom, to help you to decide which websites or content you want to block for yourself.
If it’s acceptable within your organization, use a brief personal browsing session as a reward for an hour or two of high-quality, focused work. The Pomodoro Technique could help you with this approach.
6. Limiting Distractions on the Phone
The ring of a phone often prompts an intense need to answer, even if we’re deep in concentration. To minimize this source of distraction for you and your team, consider arranging a rota so that team members can take calls for one another. They can use IM to check if people are able to deal with the call.
If you don’t want to turn off your personal phone because of family concerns, pre-program some quick text replies, such as “In a meeting – will return your call ASAP.” You can also explain to friends and family that you will only be available for calls at lunchtime or in the evening.
7. Staying Focused in the Office
Rather than trying to ignore such distractions as strong cooking smells or loud colleagues, get away from the problem. Set yourself up in an empty meeting room to regain your focus. Wear noise-canceling headphones, or play “white noise,” to blank out anything that would otherwise grab your attention.
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Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.
Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.
Many people don’t take vacations often enough. One study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association found that American workers had 768 million unused vacation days in 2017.
Now with increasing frequency, when people do take vacations, they often bring work along with them. This keeps people essentially still in the work mindset they are trying to escape. This is unfortunate for several reasons.
A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best.
Stave off Burnout
Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
Can Keep You Healthy
Taking regular time off to ‘recharge your batteries’, thereby keeping stress levels lower, can keep you healthier.
Promote Overall Wellbeing
One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, their quality of sleep, and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacations.
Can Strengthen Bonds
Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of the hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
Can Help With Your Job Performance
As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, and that can lead to increased quality of work on the job.
Vacations Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways
It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later. That means that vacations are the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.
The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so that we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.
While not everyone is able to take a vacation, for those who can take several days or a few weeks off for a trip, even a short respite can be restorative.
One study showed that a four-day “long weekend” vacation had positive effects on well-being, recovery, strain, and perceived stress for as long as 45 days. While the reduction in strain was greater for those who spent the vacation away from home, the other effects were similar for those who stayed home.
For those who don’t have the time or money to take a ‘formal’ vacation, you can look into cheap vacations and creative ideas on how to get a nice break for less. And don’t forget the option of taking a stay-cation or play-cation, too.
Sure, you love your job. After all, you wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t.
But after years of email upon email and never-ending phone conferences, even the best of us can face burnout.
To find out how to successfully combat—even avoid—this phenomenon, we asked 13 startup founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council (a.k.a., the hardest-working people we know) what strategies they rely on. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Take a Vacation and Fully Unplug
Vacations with loved ones will help entrepreneurs avoid burnout. It’s important to put on an out-of-office message, too, and not respond to emails. Another benefit of taking a vacation is you set a good example for hard-working employees.
2. Forget Balance, Find Harmony
I think people who say it’s all about work-life balance are wrong. I value finding passion and harmony in my work by being connected to and caring about my team and my customers and making a big difference in their lives. I would burn out way faster working five hours a day at a job that was hurting my soul than I would working 15 hours a day at a job that’s feeding my soul.
3. Know Your Breaking Point
I think most entrepreneurs will tell you it’s impossible to unplug—so burnout is almost inevitable. However, it’s important to know when you’re close to or at a burnout stage. Something as simple as taking a day off, going for a bike ride, or having a fun night out with friends can help to take the edge off.
4. Fill Your Day With Joy
Our business works to fill our people’s day with what they love. When work feels like a job, we redirect those tasks to someone who loves them. Not a great organizer? We have a team member who is. Hate numbers? We’ve got someone who loves them. We are fueled with so much joy that we have a term around the company called the ‘joy hangover.’ When work is such a blast, burnout doesn’t exist.
5. Schedule Free Time
Schedule free time on your calendar, just like you would schedule a meeting, and stick to it. It’s crucial to take the time you need for yourself, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. You’ll get back to work feeling recharged and inspired, and chances are, you’ll accomplish a lot more than you would if you worked straight through the day.
6. Travel and Change Your Environment
Traveling is the best way to avoid burnout. Take your laptop and spend one to two months working from somewhere else, preferably internationally. With the internet and cloud tools like Dropbox and Skype, there’s very little that can’t be done from abroad. The change in environment sparks your creativity and allows you to bring new energy into your work.
7. Pursue Your Passion
Starting a business is a time-consuming endeavor that doesn’t end once things start to take off. On the contrary, the more successful you are, the more time you will be asked to contribute toward your enterprise. That’s why it’s important you focus your time and energy on doing something you enjoy and are passionate about.
8. Take a Nap
Naps are not just for children. Instead of having a second cup of coffee, sleep for 20 minutes. It’s the best way to refresh the brain.
9. Work Out
When I feel so mentally burnt out from juggling multiple projects, there’s only one thing that can recharge my brain and my enthusiasm—working out. It’s a way to unplug and just focus on the task in front of me, whether I go for a long run or a four-hour bike ride around my city. When I’m done, I have a high so powerful that all of the stress from my day-to-day activities is gone.
10. Live With Mindfulness
Personally, I find the best way to avoid burnout is to have an ongoing focus on mindfulness rather than only when on breaks and vacations. Find ways to detach during the week in a way that works for you. Yoga and exercise work for some, while meditation works for others. Be mindful of those moments. Try to take consistent mini-breaks throughout the week to detach and re-center.
11. Find a Hobby
The best way to avoid burnout is to find a hobby you can deeply immerse yourself in for a few hours a week. I play ultimate frisbee, and when I’m on the field, I’m definitely not thinking about my company. Hobbies (such as basketball, ceramics, and climbing) can provide a therapeutic release, and you can come to work recharged and ready to go every day!
12. Build a Great Team
I used to think vacations would recharge me, but I would just come back to piles of work. In the last year, we’ve built our team to eight people. The quantity doesn’t matter—the key is that it’s a strong team. I know that whether I’m working or not, great things are being done. Feeling the support from all sides has been critical to my personal happiness.
13. Meditate Daily
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, spending the time (especially in the early afternoon) to just breathe has been extraordinarily powerful for me. It keeps me fresh and sharp, and taking self-care seriously sets a great example for the rest of the team.
There’s only so much Netflix one can take.
Chances are, if you’re like most people, you enjoy a little alone time—and, by the way, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, research shows it can be beneficial: In addition to giving you the chance to unwind and actually rest, it can also boost creativity and productivity, and improve your overall happiness. Not to mention that it can also enhance your relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues. Just take it from Oprah, who in a 2005 What I Know For Sure column, said, “Alone time is when I recharge and go back to my center, distancing myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own with clarity.”
Of course, though, that doesn’t mean spending more time alone is effortless. There’s the questions of: What are some fun things to do by yourself? And, inevitably, what should I do when I become bored? Which is exactly why we’ve compiled a list of things to do alone at home, many of which can also be done outside now that summer is just around the around the corner. You can try to meditate or step up your fitness routine. You can make a dent in your to-be-read pile or finally catch up on your favorite Netflix shows. You can learn a new skill, like cooking or gardening. You can even spend a night (or weekend) catching up on sleep.
The best part? Getting started is easy—because all you need is yourself.
If you aren’t able to get to the gym, there are plenty of ways to shake-up your workout routine from the comfort of your home. Want to practice yoga, for example? These apps can get you started.
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the soothing voices of Oprah, Betty White, and Chrissy Metz reading children’s books. StorylineOnline’s YouTube channel features 62 different clips.
It’s never too late to pick up a new language, and there are a multitude of apps that can teach you from home. One of our favorites? Duolingo.
Essay On Vacation: A vacation offers everyone a break from work with a chance to relax and recharge oneself. Performing various tasks on a daily basis can stress anybody. It will even directly affect your mental abilities as well as physical stability. Thus, your mind and body will start destressing when you leave your worries behind for a couple of days. Besides, vacation is a few days of fun and pleasure with family or friends.
You can read more Essay Writing about articles, events, people, sports, technology many more.
Long and Short Essays on Vacation for Students and Kids in English
If you are searching for an essay on vacation, you will find below two different articles that you can use to complete your class assignments. Short essay on Vacation is ideal for kids of classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. Long essay on vacation for the students of classes 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Long Essay on Vacation 500 Words in English
Vacations are something loved by a person of every age. Taking out time from your tedious days to go on a trip to a new place offers you a much-needed retreat. It is the biggest gift you can give to yourself to rejuvenate yourself from the daily hustle and bustle.Some people desire a long vacation amidst the mountains while others fancy a weekend getaway. Cities, small towns, forests, all have their own attractions to allure different tourists. People select the best location with the sole motive of enjoyment and recreation for a few days. Also, taking one vacation in a year is not a hard and fast rule. You can even go on 2 or 3 trips according to your convenience.
After all, it more about happiness than anything else.Either you go by train or flight, both have their own perks of appreciating the tour. In case you have a few days in hand, you can also plan a road trip to a nearby spot. It is an affordable and quick vacationing option. Regardless of your choices, all that matters is spending free time to unwind. From exploring monuments, relaxing beside a river, to beachside walks, and indulging in some thrilling activities, every kind of trip comes with its own fun element. Either you are planning to travel within India or internationally, no travel leaves your senses untouched. Thus, you can plan a vacation as per your preference that will make your holidays a pleasant experience. Moreover, when you go on a vacation with friends or family, it is an opportunity to enhance your relationship with them.
Holidays with loved ones can do wonders in rekindling the lost bond among you. Parents these days find it difficult to give time to kids due to busy life, vacation is your best bet to take out that time. Your kids need your time and an outing is equally important for them to develop their minds. Children even enjoy vacations the most because they do not have to spend time studying. Instead, they have fun and frolic days that they always desire. Furthermore, holidaying lets the youngsters spend some time in outdoor space, away from their gadget addiction. Parents also feel amused by seeing their kids happy.
Further, a tour to some new region allows you to expand your mind by interacting with the inhabitants. You can explore more about their tradition by relishing their cuisine, buying the popular souvenirs, visiting cultural and historical sites. No doubt, an expedition is one of the best ways to utilize your vacation. It is something you should never ignore. Thus, no matter how long are your holidays or where you want to head, vacation is essential once in a year for everyone to stay fresh. Do not think any more; coming holidays do go on a tour at some stunning location. You will definitely love to experience this every holiday season.
Short Essay on Vacation 200 Words in English
When the summer holidays arrive, going on a family vacation is the best option for a fun-filled time with family or friends. Whether you are a beach person or want to be lost around nature by going to any hill station, you have a lot of options for planning your next trip. There are several beautiful locations to choose from in both India and abroad. Going on vacation means you get to loosen up yourself without worrying about your daily routine life. Additionally, you get to experience new places and attractions that you never saw before. It gives you a chance to learn about a new culture and lifestyle. You can explore monuments, parks, theme parks, outdoor activities during your vacation. Vacations are also your reason to improve your bond with loved ones. Families can create a memorable trip by clicking lovely pictures and enjoying tasty food together. So, take your pick pack your baggage and get ready for a tour to cherish forever.
10 Lines on Vacation Essay
- Vacations let you socialize more with your family and friends.
- A trip to a new location introduces you to a new culture.
- You can have a better outlook on life by visiting new places.
- Always choose a tour destination that excites you and matches your preferences.
- You can go for a weekend getaway, mountain trekking, beachside vacation, or cultural trip as per your choice, convenience, and time.
- The most significant factor of holidaying is you get to unwind and refresh your mind.
- These days people even like to go on a solo trip to explore the new place all by themselves.
- People who take vacations have a lower risk of heart disease and stress.
- Vacations make children happy and they will love you more for this beautiful surprise.
- You can make a lot of delightful memories during the vacation.
FAQ’s on Vacation Essay
Why should I go on vacation at least once a year?
The key to vacation is to enjoy and get a mental break by not focusing on work for some days.
What is the best way to go on a vacation?
Always try to plan your trip ahead of time by deciding a spot, booking tickets, and packing bags. In this way, you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
If I have lesser time, how can I plan my vacation?
You can either go on a road trip or book your trip through the assistance of travel agents.
What is the benefit of going on a tour with family?
When you go on a family vacation, you can give your kids more time, which is otherwise difficult to due to work life. Also, it builds the family bond.
On Assignment For HuffPost
Vacations can be tricky for those of us who struggle with body image.
Sometimes the clothes we think we’ll look hot in suddenly feel wrong. These thoughts can mess with our mood and get in the way of us enjoying time off — which is frustrating, yet hard to beat. The conversations we hear in real life and from the media about “bikini bodies,” as well as systemic fatphobia issues, such as hotels not giving out size-inclusive towels and airplanes making too-small seatbelts , exacerbate this predicament.
While you may not be able to avoid focusing on body concerns entirely, you can pack and prepare in a way that helps foster better body positivity on your trip. A few eating disorder and body image experts shared their best tips.
Start with your packing list
When you’re staring at your closet, trying to decide what to pack, go for comfort first. Think of the temperature at your vacation spot, what materials feel best on your skin, variety and pieces you know you love.
“People should pack whatever clothes they feel most comfortable in and are suitable for the climate of their vacation or types of activities that they’ll be doing,” said Rachel Evans , an eating disorder psychologist. “If you have space in your suitcase, then it’s probably a good idea to pack a range of clothes, some with a looser fit and some with a tighter fit … You can decide in the moment what clothes make you feel more secure about your body.”
Then, consider what feels fit for the occasion. “Look at styling and function,” said Carolina Mountford , an eating disorder expert with personal experience and a mental health advocate. “Do you need smart or casual? Is it an active holiday or relaxing by pools or on beaches? … Once you’ve narrowed it down to comfort and function, pick your favorites.”
And don’t forget about what feels stylish to you as far as colors, prints and styles. “Are you able to dress up in a way that feels less about the body and more about who you see yourself as?” said Kerrie Jones, a psychotherapist and founder of Orri , a specialist day treatment service for eating disorders. “Turn your attention towards the individual items themselves as opposed to how they are making your body look.”
Plan ahead for scenarios that may bring up body image issues
You can also prepare for vacation by brainstorming triggers and how to handle them.
“Whether it’s social media, a certain person or group of people in your friendship circle or an experience — perhaps changing rooms — if you’re aware of situations or activities that trigger negative body image, you can work to process and respond to them in a healthy way,” Jones said.
That may look like deleting your Instagram app while you’re away or changing clothes by yourself. Mentally preparing for the circumstances you know don’t make you feel good can help you navigate them or avoid them.
While an amazing chance to explore a new place, travel is not without its ups and downs. In a third and final guest post for liligo.com, blogger Georgina Lawton – who shares her honest travel stories, tips and tricks on her blog Girl Unfurled – offers her experienced advice on what to do if disaster strikes on vacation.
Georgina Lawton – Girl Unfurled
Currently traveling around Nicaruaga and the Caribbean, Georgina is originally from London and writes about her travel adventures online and for a number of publications. With an honest and witty style, she’s also visited countries such as Vietnam and Costa Rica and lists fried plantain, lip balm and listening to bachata as her current addictions.
“The benefits of travelling are well-touted; you try new things, broaden your horizons, discover how to interact with different people and learn how to be alone. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll even fall in love or learn a new skill along the way. But what happens when disaster strikes? Because it will at some point, trust me on that one; some travel problems are pretty much de rigeur. Whether it’s getting sick, getting lost or just getting fed-up with foreign climes, when you find yourself facing a travel problem or three, while hundreds of miles from home, it can push you to your limit and maybe even cause you to cut your trip short.
So that doesn’t happen to you, I’ve broken down how to bounce back from 6 of the most common travel problems.
1. Gross Accommodation
Problem: So the hotel of your dreams doesn’t quite match the images online. You arrive and find; stain-covered carpets, a grime-covered bathroom and four cockroaches crawling way too close to your wobbly bed. Ew.
Solution: Travelling for hours only to find sub-par accommodation is one of the most fixable travel problems, but at the time it feels like your entire trip is completely ruined. However, simply knowing your rights as a consumer before you set off can facilitate the right outcome. If you booked through a tour operator, they’re liable to to fix your issue and you should contact them right away. Similarly, if it’s an Airbnb that’s let you down, they offer assistance in finding a new place and/or a refund. And if it’s an (unreasonable) hotel or hostel? Well you could always gently try asserting your power as a customer: if they try to swerve your complaint warn them that a bad social media review can go a long way in this day and age…
2. Getting Sick
Problem: Falling ill far away from the sympathy of your loved ones in a country where access to healthcare may be limited or impossible can be scary and isolating. And if you don’t have the language skills to explain your symptoms to healthcare professionals sometimes getting sick abroad can even be life-threatening.
Solution: Always pack a first-aid kit that’s also equipped with any additional medication you anticipate needing so you can treat yourself if possible. Anti-diarrhea tablets, anti-bacterial hand-wash, painkillers and rehydration salts are also a must. And if you do have to go to a foreign hospital, try and find an accomplice who can help translate any paperwork and medicines before you commit. If in doubt, check with your insurance provider about what’s covered and what you should be taking.
3. Feeling Lonely
Problem: It’s normal to feel lost and confused on the road especially if you’re going it alone, but it’s a travel problem that can feel overwhelming at times and have you reconsidering all your plans. Whether it’s the foreign customs which are proving too much, you’re frustrated at being unable to locate other travellers, or it’s just harder to connect with people than you anticipated, feeling lonely or homesick can turn a dream trip into a total nightmare.
Solution: Bite the bullet and get out there to start communicating with people if you want to feel less alone. Although it might seem scary at first, learning a little of that foreign language (see below) and introducing yourself to that group of strangers at the bar is the only way to make solid social connections with others. You have to put the effort in – even if it means feeling exposed or out of your depth. Most of the time people will be receptive if they can see you’re really trying.
4. Language Barriers
Problem: Not being understood in foreign climes is proving to be more of a hassle than you’d anticipated. In fact, it’s making you feel more than a little alienated and frustrated.
Solution: It’s never too late to brush up on your language skills; making even a very basic effort will endear you to locals and make your trip far more enjoyable in the process. Download language app Duolingo to practice anywhere, enroll at a local language school for a few hours a day and take each opportunity to immerse yourself in your new culture, no matter how small. Failing that, investing in an old-school guide book or pocket dictionary to whip out in emergencies is always useful.
5. Losing Your Stuff
Problem: Uh-oh; you could have sworn you had your phone/passport/camera at that last bus terminal or hotel. And now you don’t.
Solution: Planning ahead for possible losses is smart; make copies of your passport before you set off, store the address and number of your foreign embassy in your phone or bag in case of emergencies and always split-store your money. If you’ve lost personal items, insurance can be your best friend in situations like this, provided your policy doesn’t come with ridiculous premiums and you’ve kept all your receipts for the lost items, of course.
6. Delayed / Missed Flights
Problem: Nobody likes being stranded in an airport because of a delayed flight or missed connection and it can be one of the most expensive (not to mention soul-destroying) travel problems to put right.
Solution: Be sure to keep in contact with your airline both before, and on, the day of flying. Check the status of the flight online and also through the airline app (if available) so you’re always aware of any changes to your itinerary. It’s also possible to minimize the risk of cancellations by being savvy about what type of ticket you buy; non-stop flights won’t have you waiting around on connections and flights with earlier departures often avoid the effect of other delayed flights. And if you do find yourself stranded, this handy directory of all the free wi-fi spots in airports around the world will save you from boredom. Happy travels!