How to prepare for road trips with the kids

If you have kids you know that even a short drive to the store can quickly turn into a nightmare so just imagine what a road trip could be like. If you are getting ready to pack the kids up for a family vacation and are driving to your destination there are a few things you can do to prepare for the upcoming road trip. Who knows these tips could even make a long road trip fun for you and the kids.

 

 

Prepare

 

Remember when you were younger and single, a road trip could be easily planned in an hour. Know that you have kids this isn’t possible, unless you actually enjoy being stuck in a car for hours at a time with miserable children. I’ve learned that it actually takes me a week to pack before a road trip and chances are I still forgot something, but it is usually pretty minor and we can happily survive the trip without it.

 

 

Checklists

 

4Don’t laugh, a checklist can actually be your best friend when you packing for more than one person. Simple items like socks or even underwear can be easily forgotten when you are stressed and in a hurry. I like to create a list for each person in my family, and I even have a general one where I keep track of games, toys and snacks so everyone can stay happily organized in the car. You can even keep a checklist of the maintenance needed on your vehicle so you really are prepared for your upcoming trip.

 

 

Snacks

 

6Trust me when I say one of the most important things you will want to prepare for any road trip with kids are drinks and snacks. You also want to make sure that you pack enough for the adults. Bottled water is always a great choice, along with juice boxes. Filling a thermos with hot coffee will help you stay alert when driving, and it is definitely less expensive and time consuming than standing in a long line. When it comes to the snacks remember that kids will be eating in the vehicle so you don’t want to pack anything too messy. It should also be easy for smaller kids to eat by themselves since you probably won’t be sitting next to them. Fruit, sliced veggies and crackers are all great snacks to bring on a trip.

 

 

Emergencies

 

5With kids an emergency will always happen and it is easy to be prepared. An emergency first aid kit should be one of the first things you pack in the car, and you will want to make sure that you can easily reach it in a hurry. Extra diapers if applicable are also a must, along with extra wipes, paper towels and I always bring small bags so I can keep the trash relatively contained.

 

 

Another tip that I’ve learned is to always make sure that your devices are fully charged before you leave on your trip.

Why you should get a dog for your children

do1Many parents tend to think that getting their children exposed to pets can make them prone to developing all sorts of health conditions such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. The fact of the matter is that pets, especially dogs, are loving beings that are compassionate and trustworthy, and that can sometimes prove to be a valuable protector for your children. Of course, there are a plethora of reasons you shouldn’t get a dog if you don’t have space or time to devote to caring for an animal. If you live in a house with a small garden or just patch of grass where your kids and the dog can have some fun outdoors, you shouldn’t have any second thoughts. To make matters easier, I decided to put together a short list of the reasons you should consider getting a dog for your family. A pet dog can:

  • Help your child cope with anxiety and behavioral problems. Playing with a dog has been shown to calm hyperactive children, as well as significantly reduce stress. Whenever your kid might be sad or scared, interacting or cuddling with a dog can stimulate the release of oxytocin, a hormone that’s known for soothing the human body.
  • Promote your kid’s emotional development. The main advantage of owning a pet such as a dog is that it’s capable of uplifting anyone’s mood. Especially when they are young, puppies are always in the mood for play, which is why they can entertain children at any time. The neat thing about dogs is that they can also promote the bond between siblings, especially if both kids choose the same pup and care for it by the same measure.
  • do2Develop social skills. Kids who might be just a tiny bit socially awkward can understand values such as having a responsibility just by caring for their dog. At the same time, it is important to underline the importance these pets can have on developing the reading skills of children, particularly if toddlers take the time to read books aloud to their dogs. It goes without saying that the best feature in a dog is the fact that it cannot ever criticize the child. Last but not least, it’s worth underlining that socializing can be improved by getting out there and walking the dog along with your kid. Everyone’s heard about friendships being struck thanks to pets, and there are high chances that another kid at the park might come to your son or daughter just to be able to spend some time with the dog, as well.
  • Keep your child’s immune system in top shape. While some argue that being a dog owner isn’t all fun and games, the most notable pro consists of spending time outdoors, running around, and simply walking the dog. Physical activities should be a priority of parents because overweight and obese children are a common sight nowadays. If you’d like to be on the safe side, try to spend at least thirty minutes in the garden or walking the dog with your kids every day. Just remember that you are the core protector of your child, and not the dog, at least until your kid grows up and is capable of choosing right from wrong.

Spending a great weekend with your kids – a few tips

When both you and your children are home on weekends, free from the usual weekday commitments, how can you spend a fruitful time together? Weekends are the best times to have bonding moments with your kids. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done since you can find fewer shared interests especially as your children grow older. Hope is not lost, however. There are plenty of activities you can do together with your kids when they you’re not tied to work and they don’t have to be in school.

 

Go on road or nature trips

 

Road trips should not simply be relegated to the status of holiday activities. Take them every weekend to discover the road less traveled with your kids. Visit new, unexplored places together or go food hunting in different towns and explore more than the ordinary. Plan picnics along the way. Road trips can serve as live geography lessons where you and your children learn about the people in various locations and their culture. See the soul of the area in the eyes of the locals as you get a taste of their culture and breathe their air, albeit only shortly. Who knows what rich insights your kids and you could pick up along the way?

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Go on hiking trips. This can help you become one with nature. Participate in organized community hiking trips if there are any in your area. Those kinds of group activities present an excellent opportunity for your children to mingle with other kids who share the same interests. Besides, the exercise will do you all a wealth of good. Navigate a different trail every month.

 

Explore what your neighborhood has to offer in the way of entertainment

 

While most kids nowadays no longer appreciate the silver screen, if you can motivate your kids to watch movies with you, bring them to cinemas that play age-appropriate movies. A lot of today’s animated movies are a hit among adults and children alike, and even the in-betweeners. Movies make for a fantastic night out on weekends, especially when capped with an equally fantastic dinner at a family restaurant afterwards. Go shopping for groceries together, and let them decide which cereals to buy or which milk brand they like best, among other things.

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You could also visit the neighborhood playground or park. Just seeing your kids bike around or run around with others their own age can be stress busting or relaxing. You can even have picnics or family outdoor games there. An alternative would be watching live or outdoor shows or art performances. Tell your friends and relatives who also have kids to join you. After all, the more, the merrier! Or you could simply visit relatives and friends together with your children. Agree with the adults to meet for lunch or dinner so you can all catch up on each other. Do some volunteer work together. You and your kids can participate in animal rescue activities or you can visit a retirement home together to introduce them to the concept of caring for the elderly.

Stay home and do something interesting/exciting together

 

Board games are a fantastic way of engaging children in mind-developing concepts. Face-to-face games are better than computer games that only promote interaction on a non-personal level. Play games in the yard. An alternative to visiting an art gallery would be doing arts and crafts at home. Encourage your kids to collect leaves during outdoor trips so they can use them for making art pieces. Remember that the simple piece your child creates today could help them grow to be an artist in the future. You can always have a good laugh together if the art piece does not really match your and your kids’ expectations.

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Do some baking or cooking together. The best thing about these types of activities is you can always eat your mistakes. You can also check out the stars at night, and for starters, get a star chart and a good quality telescope. The fresh air can even help your children sleep better later.

Fishing in Colorado

These days we are mostly in a hurry. Unfortunately, other occupations take most of our time and leave less space for us to leave the horrendous urban environment. Even so, busy and stressed, we managed to make some time for a new fishing trip. We’re planning a getaway in one of Colorado’s most popular fishing places. As the options are numerous, we’re having a hard time deciding on the specific spot we are going to visit, but also on the gear that we need to take with us. For starters, as my little kids don’t deal well with intensive heat, we’re searching for some heat protective gear for them and a pair of new waders for me. If we went on a trip including various activities, I wouldn’t be thinking about buying a new pair or even about packing my old ones, but as this trip is solely intended for fishing purposes, I think their addition to our baggage is an absolute must.

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For the moment, I’m having a hard time choosing the right material and design for me, but it will all sort itself out once I have a little time to inquire into the matter. Right now we have more pressing matters like deciding what fishing area in Colorado we should visit, so that we can start researching the main species we can fish for there and, thus, decide on the type of gear we are taking with us. As many species of trout are to be found in the Colorado River or South Platte River, I’m seriously thinking to invest in some quality fly dog2fishing equipment maybe 1 or 2 rods, lines and baits. Of course, one of the rods is intended for my wife’s personal use, as I have never tried to convince her that fishing is a lovely activity by showing her a new and funny technique (I think I’ve exhausted all other ideas). Another option would be to visit Mount Evans, where besides the many fish species, the kids can see deer and other animals. As it is not far away, while in the area we can also make a stop at the Colorado Scenic Byway to admire the scenery and spend a little more time into the wilderness. I’ve gathered that is one of the best places to visit with family and offers excellent lodging facilities – always a great news for my wife.

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Surprisingly, she didn’t object to my plan to try fly fishing yet, giving me hopes that she’ll try it herself, though she doesn’t yet know she’s getting a new rod for our marriage anniversary. My kids are just excited with the idea of being near water and nature, and they’re also curious about the types of fish we’re going to catch here. I’ve hindered and decided that, in the end, we’re taking Marshmallow with us, though he had some health problems this past week, fortunately nothing serious, but I’m quite sure leaving him behind would worsen or, at least, delay his healing process, so there’s no way he’s staying at home while we have so much fun.

Fishing hats for all

As the weekend approaches, I’ve decided that my family needs some new hats. In our last tent trip I didn’t manage to convince my wife to go fishing with me because she claimed it was too hot and she didn’t have the appropriate hat with her to protect her from the sun. Because of this, I had to fish alone and had 0 success rate as well. In the evening we had to stay with our children and there were too many mosquitoes at the lake, so… all in all, a great fishing occasion wasted.

 

dogs4When talking about fishing hats, this is an item that probably interests many outdoor lovers for various reasons. It’s really hard to find a multipurpose hat, especially for ladies. So I’ve spent awhile looking for one that would be suitable for a day at the beach, and for a fishing trip as well. I reckoned it should be comfortable, heat and water resistant, and with a delicate design, as my wife doesn’t like heavy clothing items in the summer. Therefore, I opted for a waterproof Australian canvas hat on a light shade with a wide brim to protect her against the baking sun. The hat is fitted with a chin strap so that the wind doesn’t blow it away.

 

dogs5I have my own basic fishing hat with a neck cape, but since I was in the hat shop already, I acquired a new one for me as well. I always wanted a navy cap, so when I’ve run into one made with Nautical cotton canvas, white with a navy blue bill, I didn’t think twice and just bought it. I don’t believe I’ll be sweating much when wearing it, as it is fitted with ventilation holes on both sides and doesn’t feel heavy when I put it on.

 

dogs6The hardest part came when I had to find hats for my kids. I bought them two nylon hats last year, a pink and a blue one. My daughter wanted the blue one, as she said pink was a girl’s color, so my boy wore the pink hat, then he gave it to Marshmallow, and from that point on we don’t know what happened to it. We never found it again. That is why I decided to take two hats for them. Bought them two bucket hats, to protect their necks as well, as they play a lot in the sun, and then I purchased two sailor hats (that they can wear when we’re in a crowd so that we don’t lose them).

 

They totally loved them, except for the buckets, but I told them it was for their own good, as the sun can be damaging for their skin and they might end in the hospital if they don’t comply to wear those when we ask them to. Even my wife loved hers when she tried it in front of the mirror. What is left now is finding something that fits marshmallow’s head too. I think he felt a bit left out. Ahoy!

How we prepare for the summer holidays

The summer holidays are here, so I’m free to take my kids, my wife and my dog outside the city. We’re starting our long journey into the wild. For starters, 3 nights of camping, in an organized family camp. I wanted to go in a secluded area, see how my kids are dealing with it, but my wife strictly prohibited it, menacing she’ll lock herself and the kids inside the house and lock me and Marshmallow out, if I wanted to experience sleeping under the stars. So, besides our tent that can fit 4 people inside easily, we rented a small cabin with a shower that was available inside the camp. She said it would be better for us to have a private shower and sleeping there is safer for the kids. I know she’s right, but I’m secretly hoping the kids will choose to sleep in the tent even if she’s offering better conditions. I mean, they sleep in a bed most of their lives.

 

dogs1We’re leaving in two days, so the preparations are taking all of our time. Marshmallow is participating by stealing numerous useful objects that we take hours to find after, but we’re making visible progresses. Today we went shopping for some items we did not have or that have become shabby and unreliable over the years. I’m all for precise planning and safety travelling, even though I don’t consider sleeping in a cabin with a private shower camping (because it’s not). What is new to this experience is not the place, but the fact that I’m letting my kids pick the items they want to take with them and leave behind what they think we won’t need there. Of course, I always check what they’ve chosen once they’ve made their choice, but it will be nice to see how they assemble the whole luggage.

 

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dogs3The camp offers boat tours into the wilderness and plenty of activities for kids: games, sports, shows, seeing wild animals, so it will be a great adventure for them, much more than it will be for us. Maybe, while the kids are enjoying their kids’ activities, I’ll have a bit of time alone with my wife and convince her to join me for a fishing session. I’m sure she will be reluctant in the beginning, but if she doesn’t have anything to do, I may be able to persuade her. She took some things to occupy her time while I’m fishing, but those are one of the items I told my kids we can leave behind, and instead, add another light rod to the gear.

Our bass fishing adventures

Bass fishing has been one of my greatest pleasures ever since I can remember being alive. I used to go out fishing with my father, who was the one who taught me the basics of the techniques. I don’t consider myself a professional fisherman, but I do enjoy some time on the shore or the boat, depending on the fishing expedition that I’m joining in. I have two kids, a boy and a girl, and I’ve always been eager to teach them about bass fishing, which is why I started looking for the right equipment for children. Soon enough, I came across the Ready 2 Fish Bass Spin Combo, which I bought once I went through the reviews of many fishermen who say that this kit is the best one to have been designed for the use of beginners and youth.  

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I recently went fishing with the kids and I’m happy enough to say that we’ve all had a great time. My wife doesn’t share my passion for bass fishing, but that’s all right since she’s the one to cook the fish once we get back home. She’s delighted that I now get to spend more time with my son and daughter and my fishing buddies, as well. While the rod and reel did their job as they were supposed to, I have to say that what appealed to my children the most were the lures. The kit came with baits such as purple and silver glitter rubber grubs and even some 6-inch plastic worms. dogs2My daughter fell in love with the rubber lizards that we found in the package and she made sure that she used one of them whenever she had a shot at fishing for a bass. Of course, I had to give them a hand once in awhile given that they don’t yet have the expertise required to grab a hold of a big bass. For now, I’ve bought just one of these combos, but I intend to purchase another one so that they’re able to have their shot at getting a catch at the same time. Even so, it was more than fun to see them both get excited about capturing a bass that we would, later on, cook and eat at home.

dogs3Another detail that I’d like to add is that we even took our dog, Marshmallow, along. In spite of the fact that he hasn’t been a puppy for years, he’s full of energy and really knows how to excite my kids about new adventures. My daughter had a lot of fun running around and through the bushes near the shore with Marshmallow. As I mentioned earlier on, we had just one combo for beginners with us, which is why I believe that bringing the dog along was the best thing I could have done given that both of the kids couldn’t have used the rod and reel at the same time.

In the end, our fishing trip was one of the most entertaining activities that we ever did. I’m looking forward to the next weekend when I will get some time off from work so that I’m able to take the kids fishing once again. Maybe my wife will join in, as well, although she hardly considers herself a fishing lover at all.

I’ve decided to write an adventure blog

When I was a kid, I used to accompany my father everywhere he went. He was an amateur fisherman and a skilled hunter, so I had my part of adventures growing up. Unfortunately, he wasn’t much of a photographer and neither did he like taking notes about the places we went through. So, many years later, after he died in a tragic hunting accident, I found myself deprived of many of the memories I had with him, and I barely remembered the amazing fishing and hunting trips, which had become all the more valuable to me now, that he was gone forever.

marshmellowI’m a fully grown man now, and I have a wonderful family. I love spending times outdoors with my wife, my two lovely kids and our dog. However, the idea of them not remembering all the marvelous details of nature, the discoveries that we made together with our dog, Marshmallow or the life-changing experiences that a trip can offer, is troubling me. For the purpose of leaving them with a legacy and heritage to keep with them throughout their lives, I’ve decided to start a blog where I tell the stories of our travels together. I don’t want them to forget the day we found Marshmallow or their first night in a tent. In addition, relatives that are far away from us and can’t be here, will this way be able to feel a take part in our joy.

Moreover, through this blog I could map their transition from children to teenagers and, who knows adults, along with measuring how their survival skills have improved in time as well.

fisshing adventuresI haven’t taken them hunting until now, as I gave up doing it a while ago, but we do take many outdoor fishing trips, testing the newest rods and the most exquisite places we set our minds on. The curious thing is that I see my daughter becoming an amateur fisherman more than I do my son. At the moment, she seems so much more patient than him, but I can definitely see him as a great climber a couple of years from now. Unfortunately, my wife is not a fishing lover, but she loves us, so she accompanies us in all our small endeavors. So is Marshmallow, our golden retriever that is so restless and full of energy whenever we go in a trip that we’ve started to blame him for our bad luck at catching big fish.

I’m planning to write this blog as a logbook and a story altogether. My kids loved the idea and I hope they will love what I write about them as well. In time, I hope we all contribute with small stories about various significant trip events. On the platform, I will also make sure to upload several photos with the wonderful places we visit, the fish we catch, the fishing techniques and gear that we use (maybe somebody finds them useful) and little videos with a happy Marshmallow that can’t be missing, since he can’t contribute in writing.