Travel

Top Tips for Flying with Your Baby3 min read

Tips for Flying with a Baby

Ah, your little bundle of joy. While your baby is the light of your life, he or she may strike dread into the hearts of your fellow passengers if you’re not well prepared for your flight. Like flying with a toddler, your trip with your infant will be much more enjoyable and stress free if you take a few steps to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Follow these expert tips before and during your trip.

The TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule Does Not Apply

The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule is an easy way to remember what you can bring when it comes to liquids and air travel. You’re limited to 3.4-ounces of liquid in any one bottle, all liquids must fit in a quart-sized zip-top plastic bag, and every passenger can bring one bag.

Unless you’re traveling with food for your infant or toddler, in which case those rules are more relaxed. You may bring enough formula, breast milk, or juice to feed your child on the flight. You should inform the TSA agent if you are traveling with more than 3.4 ounces. You’ll likely be asked to have the liquid screened via x-ray – which is perfectly safe.

Dress Simply and Travel Light 

Babies require a lot of infrastructure: clothing, strollers, car seats, toys, bottles, etc. The more you can streamline these items on your trip, the easier it will be. Keep in mind that you will not ever be separated from your baby when going through security. However, you may be required to remove her from a carrier or sling if you’re wearing one.

You will also be required to remove your shoes, belts, bulky jewelry, and anything in your pockets, which can be tough while holding a baby. Simplify your outfit as much as possible.

Umbrella strollers are also a great option since they are light, maneuverable, and fold down relatively small for the flight and taxi.

Prepare for Mid-Air Diaper Changes

Babies go through a lot of diapers – A LOT. The airplane bathroom is small at best, and most don’t have a changing table. While it may be tempting to change your baby on the empty seat next to you, it won’t be a welcome sight or smell for other passengers.

If you need to change your baby’s diaper, your best option is to sit on the bathroom toilet with your changing pad and baby on your lap. This will provide the most possible room and also allow you to brace yourself and your baby if there is turbulence.

Avoid Ear Pain

Just like you, your infant will experience pain and pressure during takeoff, landing, and other times during the flight. If you’re feeling sensations in your ears, they are, too.

It’s impossible to have your baby yawn on cue or chew gum to combat the problem, but a pacifier or empty sippy cup can do the same thing. Keep it at the ready for those high-pressure situations.

Embrace the Crying

It’s inevitable. At some point, your baby will probably cry on the flight. When it happens, don’t stress yourself out, since it will only make things worse.

Do what you can to soothe your child and let the crying episode run its course. Many of your fellow passengers are parents, too. Most people will understand, even if they find the noise irritating.

Image is courtesy of SFGate.com

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 21, 2017 at 16:22

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5 Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Sweden3 min read

Outdoor Activities in Sweden

If your knowledge of Sweden ends at the innovative consumer products they create and a few pop songs from the 1970s, you should take another look at this Nordic gem when deciding where to go for your next trip abroad. Sweden is becoming a popular travel destination for its outdoor activities and emphasis on mental and physical wellbeing.

Activities like hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and cycling, have been made more enjoyable and accessible thanks to Sweden’s Allemansrätten, or “freedom to roam” – a right granted by the country’s constitution. The passing of this act allows Swedes and their guests to camp, travel, and explore nature wherever they please, all without restrictions. With your free pass to wander, make sure you check out these five can’t-miss summer activities:

Hiking

As summer begins to bloom, Sweden’s forty country-long trails will be heavily populated with natives and visitors looking to explore the beautiful countryside. These footpaths can provide overnight accommodations, coupled with luscious pastures, pristine evergreens, and shining lakes. The country’s most popular path, the Kungsleden, or “King’s Route,” stretches 285 miles through northwest Sweden and passes by its tallest mountain, Kebnekaise. Other popular trails include the Padjelanta trail, Höga Kusten trail, Skåneleden, and Upplandsleden.

Canoeing and Rafting

If you’re not one for blisters, try exploring Sweden through an alternate route. Sweden’s archipelagos, groups of thousands of islands right off the mainland, provide a paradise for canoeing and kayaking. With over one hundred thousand lakes, uninhabited rocky islands, and thousands of miles of rivers and canals, you’ll won’t have to look far for a new a new adventure. Another popular alternative is rafting down the Klarälven River in Sweden’s southwest. One rafting company, Vildmark Värmland, even offers rafting tours where you can build your own raft before departure.        

Swimming in Lakes

Lake swimming is a popular pastime in Sweden, with lots of options for places to cool off. Whether you’re in Stockholm and looking to take a dip in the Baltic Sea or you’re exploring the south around Sweden’s largest lake, Lake Vänern, the country offers a plethora of clean waters. For the daring, Sweden’s calm landscape also inspires frequent skinny dipping.

Fishing

Fishing is free along the coastline and in the larger lakes, including Vänern, Vättern and Mälaren. Before your swim in Lake Vänern, you can position yourself on one of 20,000 islands in the lake to reel in a wide range of fish. Tärnaby in the north of the country offers wonderful mountain and river fishing, while nearby Sorsele is a fly-fishing mecca. The U-shaped coastline of Sweden also features a multitude of islands where you can fish for salmon, cod, mackerel, and more.

Bicycling

Sweden is a cyclist’s heaven with hundreds of miles of paths to conquer. Riding your bike is a cheap, healthy way to get around while enjoying the country’s natural beauty. And with their “freedom to roam” law, bikers can stop at any point during the evening and set up camp before starting another expedition the next morning. Additionally, Sweden’s cities provide bicycle lanes for easy maneuverability and quick exploration.

A trip to Sweden is a perfect option if you’re looking for healthy living and a mobile lifestyle. Whether it be on the Kungsleden trail, in Lake Vänern, or around Tärnaby, this Scandinavian country encourages its inhabitants to get outside and embrace all of its natural wonders. If you’re an active person who enjoys beautiful forests, breathtaking lakes, and stunning mountains, Sweden is the place to book your next summer vacation.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 19, 2017 at 14:49

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Thalassotherapy: The Saltwater Cure3 min read

Thalassotherapy Forte Village

You know that sense of rejuvenation you feel after a weekend at the beach? Most people attribute it to time spent with loved ones in the sun, away from the stresses of daily life. But according to science, there’s actually another reason why you leave the shore feeling like a brand new person: the ocean.

You may be familiar with the curative effects seawater can have. What you may not know is that it has become a very popular type of natural treatment in many parts of the world. Thalassotherapy is the medical use of the seawater and its products for therapeutic purposes.

It may sound completely foreign to you, but you’ve probably heard of it before without realizing it. One of the most well known treatments involves bathing in the water of the Dead Sea.

Thalassotherapy treatments detoxify and purify the body. Recent research has shown that eight days in a thalassotherapy spa can restore your body’s natural balance for the next six months by stimulating circulation, improving oxygen supply to cells, promoting the immune system, and more. It’s recommended for anyone looking to improve their health in a natural way, especially those suffering from stress, heart or blood vessel problems, or skin issues.

Types of Thalassotherapy

There are three main categories of thalassotherapy treatments.

  • Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy treatments involve using the seawater itself and can range from a traditional spa bath to a mineral-rich seawater spray over the entire body. The water is kept at a constant 37 degrees Celsius (or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Algotherapy: Algotherapy is the use of the ocean’s products for treatment. This includes seaweed wraps, mud facials, and algae baths.
  • Physiotherapy: You’re probably familiar with this one, as physiotherapy is just another word for physical therapy. This type of treatment is available at thalassotherapy spas, typically in the form of massages and water exercises.
  • The Best Thalassotherapy Spas

Though thalassotherapy dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, it has seen a huge surge in popularity recently. If you’re one of the many who are interested in this alternative therapy, consider a trip to one of these top thalassotherapy spas.

Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo – Brittany, France

As the birthplace of the term thalassotherapy, it’s no surprise that France is home to some of the greatest saltwater spas. Just two hours outside of Paris, Saint-Malo is a gorgeous French port city famous for its Corsair citadel and Sillon Beach. It’s main spa, Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo, offers a huge variety of thalassotherapy treatments and is perfect for either a weeklong getaway or a quick day trip.

Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa – Montauk, New York

Gurney’s is the only true thalassotherapy spa is the United States. While there are many others that claim to offer this seawater-based treatment, Gurney’s is the only one that adheres to the standards set by the International Federation of Thalassotherapy. Their facilities are home to a Roman bath, Finnish rock sauna, Russian steam room, and Swiss shower. And their indoor seawater pool is the only one of its kind in North America.

Forte Village – Sardinia, Italy

This Mediterranean resort is made up of seven hotels located over 50 acres of tropical gardens. Forte Village’s main attraction is the thalassotherapy spa. It consists of six Sardinian seawater pools, a beauty center, park, spa, and performance gym. Just a 45-minute flight from Rome, Forte Village is the ideal destination for a weekend of relaxation during a busy European trip.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 16, 2017 at 21:18

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Tic disorders: Causes, types, and diagnosis

Tics are involuntary, repetitive sounds or movements. We take a closer look at three types of tic disorders: vocal, motor, and Tourette’s syndrome.
ADHD / ADD News From Medical News Today

Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 11:24

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Using your Smartphone Abroad: 6 Tips for Offline Use3 min read

Using your smartphone overseas and abroad

You don’t need an international phone plan or local SIM card to wring incredible benefits from your smartphone while traveling abroad. I just spent a month in Europe, and beyond using the camera and tapping into Wi-Fi, I relied on my phone to navigate, translate, and keep myself organized — without paying a single penny in extra phone charges.

Here are some offline smartphone tips and tricks I relied on throughout my trip.

GPS Still Works

Yes, GPS still works when you travel abroad — even while you are in airplane mode — so you’ll always know your whereabouts. This is incredibly useful, for example, when navigating winding city streets, tracking your progress along a bus route, or orienting yourself when you resurface at a subway stop. Sure, there are times when getting lost is part of the fun, but for every other time, GPS can be essential.

Download Maps for Offline Use

Before departing on your next trip, consider downloading an offline version of Google Maps for the city or region where you’ll be so that you can access it on the go. Use Wi-Fi to do this, as file sizes can be rather large. The offline version of Google Maps is nearly indistinguishable from the online version, except that it lacks real time traffic information and the ability to map walking routes to a destination. You can even search offline using keywords (e.g., gelato) and Google Maps will make recommendations and include basic information such as store ratings and hours of operation. If you want to plan even more elaborate itineraries, try the Google Trips app, which also has offline functionality.

Customize Google Maps for Your Trip

You will never get truly lost with GPS and a detailed offline map, and labeling and customization can make finding your way even easier. Before arriving in a new city or leaving the hotel room to explore, for example, take the time to label your hotel and highlight places of interest — museums, restaurants, tourist sites, etc. Doing so will make it easier to get your bearings, navigate, and understand where destinations are relative to one another.

Bridge the Language Barrier

If you have traveled abroad, chances are you can recall occasions where you deeply wished you knew how to understand and speak the local language. Perhaps you sat down to dinner and realized you couldn’t read the menu. Or, you had to resort to childish hand gestures and pointing just to make a purchase. Enter Google Translate to save the day. Download the Google Translate app in advance and download the languages you need for offline use. You will not need to use data to translate words and phrases.

It’s More Than Just a Dictionary

Google Translate is also more than just a digital dictionary. Because it can translate complete sentences and the interface makes it easy to toggle back and forth between languages, it’s entirely possible to have a written exchange with someone by passing your phone back and forth. You can even speak into the phone and the app will translate and repeat the phrase aloud, albeit in a robotic voice. Another handy but work-in-progress feature is the camera mode in which the app will (clumsily) translate foreign text in real time as you hover over it with your phone camera.

Keep Your Most Important Documents Accessible

When internet access is spotty, it can help to have key information and documents — your itinerary, travel insurance, directions — accessible on your phone offline. It’s easy to transfer files if you connect your phone to your laptop. Or, if you store your files in Google Drive, simply select “available offline” for each file you want to be able to access at any time.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 15, 2017 at 14:40

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Travel Like a Kid Again: The Best Vacations After Retirement3 min read

Senior Travel Vacation

You’re retired, the kids are out of the house, and the world is your oyster. Now is the perfect time to take that far-flung trip you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you already have a destination in mind and are ready to book your trip. But if you find the idea of picking and choosing from thousands of potential destinations to be overwhelming, use this guide for a little inspiration. Virtually anywhere in the world is perfect for a visit regardless of your age, but these options offer a little something extra for the baby boomer crowd.

Take a River Cruise on the Rhine or Danube 

River cruises allow you to vacation at the intersection of relaxation and exploration. You travel on the river on a luxury boat, sipping local wine and eating local food while taking advantage of onboard activities. New cities appear on the horizon, just waiting for you to disembark for a short excursion to explore museums, historical sites, restaurants, and local culture. A cruise on the Danube or Rhine in Central Europe are great options for seeing the lush country sides of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands. 

If you’re feeling particularly brave and want a completely different experience, try a cruise on the Yangtze River in China.

Soak up the Sun in the Caribbean or Hawaii

From North America, you’re just a hop, skip, and jump away from the tropical paradises of the Caribbean islands or Hawaii – depending on which coast you’re closest to. Many cruises to the Caribbean will include a stop in Bermuda too, which gives you a chance to compare and contrast all of different amenities these islands have to offer.

If you opt for Hawaii – and if you’re brave enough – don’t miss the chance to go on a night dive with manta rays. It’s an unforgettable way to get up close and personal with these gentle giants of the sea.

Explore the Charms of Old Mexico in Tulum or Copper Canyon

Tulum is Mexico like it used to be, before hordes of tourists and spring breakers turned it into a tequila-soaked scream-fest. This sleepy beach town gives you the chance to mix with locals and explore natural wonders like freshwater cenotes and the mysteries of Mayan ruins.

If the beach isn’t your thing, try Mexico’s Copper Canyon instead. It’s the Grand Canyon’s deeper cousin to the south. You can stay in one of the luxury hotels in or around the canyon, but our suggestion is to take a train trip through the wilds of Northern Mexico’s rugged landscape.

Rediscover Your Ancestry

If you’ve ever been curious about reconnecting with your roots, it may be time for a trip back to the homeland. Do a little research beforehand to make this trip extremely personal. Dive into your attic to find diaries and journals from parents and grandparents and make it your goal to retrace their journey from their home country. And if you can’t find any information on your own, there are several commercial companies that can help you learn more about your ancestry.

Wherever you go, use your age and retirement to your advantage. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, you can often find excellent deals that will help you save money on the trip of a lifetime.

Image courtesy of FlipKey.com.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 12, 2017 at 19:51

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Don’t Get Scammed on Vacation This Summer3 min read

Avoid Vacation Scams

Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than falling for a scam. Whether it happens during the planning stages or while you’re at your destination, it can leave you feeling cheated, gullible, and ripped off. In the worst case scenario, it can put your finances in jeopardy and force you to cut your trip short – or cancel it all together.

Scammers use variations on several common themes, so knowing what to look out for can help you avoid a costly mistake. Don’t let your kind heart and lack of travel experience part you from your hard-earned salary.

Airline Points Phone Call Scam

The scam: You receive a phone call claiming you’ve won airline or frequent flyer miles. They ask for information to process your winnings, such as a credit card number or frequent flyer number. In reality, they steal your identity and your money.

How to avoid it: Never give out your information to someone on the phone. No legitimate company will call to ask for account numbers or social security numbers. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

 Vacation Rental Scams 

The scam: You find a beautiful rental property online at a rock-bottom price. When you show up for your vacation, the property looks nothing like its listing – or doesn’t exist at all. Fake booking sites pull a bait and switch, or simply steal your credit card number when you book.

How to avoid it: Never book a vacation through a website you don’t recognize. You should typically book through the hotel itself, with a local realtor at your destination, or through a reputable rental aggregator like AirBnB.

“Free” Vacation Scams 

The scam: You’re told you’ve won a free vacation, but in reality it’s not free at all. You’re asked to attend a live presentation, where you’re informed about upfront fees, a travel club you have to join, or a timeshare you must buy.

How to avoid it: There are always hidden fees in these scams. If you receive a call, hang up. Also, do not follow any directions when prompted to “press 1 to be removed from our call list” – this is simply the scammers way to verify your phone number.

The Short Change Scam

The scam: A vendor or cab driver takes your money and then shows you a smaller denomination bill, claiming you underpaid or shortchanged them. In reality, they switched bills when you weren’t paying attention.

How to avoid it: Count your money out loud when handing it to the cashier. That way there is no room for questions or switches when your back is turned.

The Fake Limo Service Scam 

The scam: You arrive at the airport and get offered a ride to your hotel from an unlicensed cab or limo driver. They charge you extra by taking a longer route, or hold your luggage in the trunk until you pay more than what was agreed.

How to avoid it: Arrange for transportation to the hotel before your trip if possible. Or, use only licensed cab companies at the airport and follow these safety tips when traveling.

The “Need Money for the Train” Scam

The scam: Popular in big cities, this scam involves a sob story from someone who has lost their wallet and needs money to get home. There are many variations, but typically the person will say they have had some bad luck. They may even offer to send you the money if you give them your address.

How to avoid it: Don’t get sucked into the story they tell. It’s best to keep walking, or offer to help them find a police officer who can help. This will quickly put an end to their request. It’s also never a good idea to give your personal information, such as your home address, to a stranger.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 9, 2017 at 22:04

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Flying with Contact Lenses: How to Keep Your Eyes Comfortable on an Airplane2 min read

Flying on an Airplane with Contact Lenses

Flying with contact lenses can be unpleasant to say the least. The dry air and high pressure of an airplane can cause dehydration and irritation, making your contacts feel tight and uncomfortable. But wearing contact lenses doesn’t automatically mean you have to settle for discomfort when you travel.  Consider these few tips to ensure a pleasant (and irritation-free) flight.

Bring Rewetting Drops

Pack a bottle of rewetting drops in your carry-on bag (keep in mind that it should be 3.4 ounces/100 mL or less, in accordance with TSA standards.) Make sure you can access it easily during the flight so you can relieve dry eyes when necessary.

Skip the In-Flight Nap

As most contact wearers know, sleeping with contacts in cuts off oxygen to your eyes and can damage your cornea. To prevent damage and discomfort, avoid falling asleep or remove your contacts beforehand. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to take out your contacts, your solution and case should be easily accessible in your carry-on. It can also be more difficult to remove contacts while on the plane (you know how tiny those bathroom mirrors are, not to mention turbulence) so you may want to consider doing it before boarding.

Opt for Your Glasses Instead 

Ultimately the best option to guarantee comfort and avoid damage is to wear your glasses instead, especially if your flight is more than a couple of hours. If you’re cringing at the idea of having to wear your glasses for an entire day of travel, wait to put them on until a few minutes before takeoff. Upon arrival, switch them out for a fresh pair of contacts.

Other Things to Keep in Mind When Flying with Contact Lenses

  • Always keep contacts and contact solution in your carry-on. The last thing you need is to lose your luggage and be unable to see clearly.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep your entire body (including your eyes) hydrated.
  • Bring an extra pair of contacts. If you have an extra pair of glasses bring them as well.
  • If you are going abroad, bring a prescription for your lenses. Some countries require them to buy replacement lenses.
  • Carry hand sanitizer so you can disinfect before handling your contacts. Just make sure to let the hand sanitizer dry fully before putting your finger in your eye.
  • Contact solution is deemed a medically necessary liquid by the TSA and can be over 100 mL, but you must declare it at security and there have been instances where passengers were not allowed to take it. To be on the safe side, you may want to consider purchasing a travel-sized solution or daily contact lenses. Note: Do not simply transfer contact solution from a larger bottle to a travel-sized one, as this can cause contamination.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 8, 2017 at 15:17

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Three types of ADHD: What are the differences?

ADHD is divided into three categories: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and a combination. Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of each type.
ADHD / ADD News From Medical News Today

Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 7, 2017 at 19:39

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Healthy Recipe: Japanese Vegetable Udon Stir Fry2 min read

Japanese UdonThis delicious dish comes together in 20 minutes flat, making it the perfect meal for busy weeknights or quick weekend entertaining. Traditional fresh Japanese udon noodles, available in the refrigerator section of many supermarkets, make this dish authentic and super quick- you don’t even need to cook them! Tamari, a delicious gluten free substitute for soy sauce, and sesame oil, make a quick and flavorful sauce for whatever fresh vegetables you add. This recipe is vegan, but feel free to add some chicken, shrimp, or whatever other protein you like.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful mushrooms (try cremini, baby Portobello, or shitake), quartered
  • 1 handful broccoli florets, cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1 handful shredded carrots
  • 2-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 package fresh udon noodles, rinsed, drained, and separated

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to caramelize.
  2. Add the broccoli and carrots, along with the tamari, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the sesame oil, chili flaked, and udon noodles, and toss everything well to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until all the vegetables are crisp-tender and the noodles have soaked up some sauce.
  4. Add more tamari or sesame oil to taste if needed, and enjoy!

Note: This makes great leftovers, and also tastes delicious cold! Feel free to add whatever vegetables you love or have on hand. Shredded cabbage, scallions, zucchini, and even some crispy tofu or chicken would taste delicious.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 16:22

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