Top tips to help you and our family avoid food poisoning on holiday

The summer holidays are upon us, and for many of us, we’re crossing off the days towards summer end of term, where we can fly off to a well-earned sunny holiday.  As parents and children prepare to board the planes, it does well for us all to prepare our families for a problem that plagues many holiday go-ers: food poisoning on holiday.

It’s bad enough if you succumb to food poisoning this summer, but even worse if it’s your child who falls ill, as the heat and unfamiliar surroundings can increase the discomfort that comes with being ill. Your child, being less aware of food safety hazards, could be more at risk of contracting food poisoning at the hotel buffet.

You can take some measures to protect your family though, by staying vigilant and teaching your kids some good habits.

Don’t drink the pool!

One way that people can become ill on holiday, is by drinking contaminated water. Even if the hotel buffet is hygienically prepared, if the pool is not properly maintained, it’s possible for your child to ingest contaminated water. It’s difficult to avoid this, beyond encouraging your children not to drink the water if they are in the pool.

Keep your eye on the cutlery

While it isn’t always easy to see unhygienic kitchen practices, keep an eye on cutlery, plates and glasses, as these may be dirty if the kitchen staff is not paying attention to cleanliness. Check forks, knives, plates and glasses before they are used.  If any are dirty, take a photograph and request clean utensils.

Check the buffet

Although it isn’t always easy to see if the food is being prepared poorly, there are standard food practices that should be observed when an all-inclusive buffet is laid out. Food should be covered and kept at proper temperature. Food should also be changed and replaced with fresh food regularly. If these practices are not being observed, make sure you record this and make a complaint to the hotel.

Three Smart Tips for Parents Fighting the Common Cold While on Vacation

Vacations should represent a time to get some serious rest and relaxation.

However, what happens when you wind up falling ill when you’re supposed to be having the time of your life?

Perhaps the best way to avoid a flu snafu or common cold while traveling is being prepared. After all, something as simple as a stuffy nose has the potential to put a serious damper on your travel plans. This is especially true for small children or anyone in your family who’s particularly prone to illness.

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment in case of a cold while traveling. Instead, keep the following tips in mind when it comes to keeping you and your family healthy whether you’re planning a long excursion or a weekend trip.

Get Your Rest

It’s well-documented that proper sleep is the foundation of a strong immune system; however, there are plenty of potential disruptions and distractions to plague us while traveling.

Kids crying on airplanes. Noisy hotels with paper-thin walls. The list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

Instead of losing hours of sleep, take a proactive approach to ensuring that you get proper rest. For example, small investments such as ear plugs can help you sleep through noise regardless of your travel plans. Additionally, make sure that you’ve studied your lodging accommodations and be on the look out of any reports of noise complaints.

Supercharge with Supplements

Although sleep may very well be the best medicine, you can also give your immune system a boost through some cost-effective supplements. Consider any combination of the following to be fair game when it comes to keeping yourself in tip-top shape on-the-go:

  • Dramamine, which can help you avoid motion sickness during a long car ride or on a cruise ship

  • Vitamin C, which is noted to help keep your immune system in check

  • Fish oil, which offers up essential omega-3 fatty acids you may be neglecting from your vacation diet

The aforementioned supplements can be purchased for dirt-cheap online; however, you could potentially also pick them up at a drug store as-needed once you’ve reached your destination.

Pack Accordingly

In short, make sure that you pack appropriately based on where you’re traveling and how you’re getting there. This rings true for both your attire (think: layers for cold weather) and prescription medication.

For example, there’s no use in trying to bring an entire pharmacy in your carry-on bag. Given stringent regulations on what you can bring on a plane, you may not be able to bring all of your liquid prescriptions along for the ride. If you have access to a drug store or pharmacy, it may make more sense to make a quick trip once you’ve landed to ensure you have the medications you need.

On the flip side, if you’re traveling on a cruise ship, it’s absolutely crucial that you over pack as many cruise lines offer bare-bones medical treatment. Additionally, many cruise ships jack up the prices on even the simplest supplements. Instead of allowing yourself to get stranded in terms of your medications, make sure you fill them ahead of time and can bring them along with you.

Nobody wants to get sick on vacation, plain and simple. That being said, you can can steps to avoid the common cold both prior and during your journey. When it comes to avoiding illness while traveling, “be prepared” and “better safe than sorry” are most definitely the mottos to live by.

Family Friendly Travel Tips

Traveling with your family in tow is one of the best experiences in the world. Getting to see your kid’s faces light up with joy when they see something amazing is priceless. Having our families travel with us and being able to share the experiences together is my preferred way of travel. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few handy tips for traveling with kids in tow. Hopefully, you will find a few of them useful.


Getting there and long journey times: Long journeys are bad enough for us as adults. When you are a child, and you don’t fully understand why you’re cooped up in the car or on a train or a plane, then it’s worse. You could always fly private, if you have money to burn- and lots of it. You could always fly to London via private jet charter if you have a lot of money to burn. Take some time to explain to your children where they are going and what they can expect to see and do when they get there. Building a sense of excitement and making the whole trip an epic adventure is the key here. It’s not a chore for them to be traveling when it is part of this big, fun journey. Take plenty of things to keep the kids amused as they travel. Electronical devices such as Kindles, Nintendo DS, Playstation Vita and mobile phones are perfect. Anything that they can play games on is going to be a good start! If you want them to do something more educational, then invest in some new coloring books or activity books. These will keep their attention away from other things.
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Travel Toys and Tips


Taking your child(ren) on a trip, but worrying about how to keep them quiet on the plane or in the car?

You are not alone.  Many parents have the same concern.  Check out some of these great travel toys and products (and don’t forget to space them out- save some for when boredom hits so you look like the well-planning hero!)

B kids ABC Touch Pad

Learn ABCs, 123s, and more the fun way with this super interactive light and sounds touch pad. Teaches simple A,B,C, 1,2,3, colors and shapes. Includes three modes: learning, game and music.

For younger tots who want to feel like a big kid, this is a good “first” tablet type toy for them. With no delicate screen or electronics that will be damaged by getting chewed on or slapped around a little bit, this lightweight and colorful toy will keep your little ones attention. It will help baby learn letters and shapes, develop motor skills and hand eye coordination, and plays music depending on what setting it is on. Note- does not allow you to plug in headphones.$14.99. (

 Nenuco Travel with Me

My Little Nenuco Travel with Me

She loves to go for a ride! Take her with you in her own special car seat. Buckle her up and keep her safe. She loves to keep you company wherever you go.

This adorable doll lets your child care for her just like mommy does. Buckle dolly into her carseat, which keeps baby “safe” with Velcro, as well as instructions on how to secure the baby’s carseat into your car (modify this if you are taking a plane). This can encourage kids to stay safe inside their own seat (to set a good example for “their” baby), and to take good care of their baby by feeding it and changing it (helpful hints to remind your child of if they get fidgety).

$19.99. (

My First Green Toys Rattle Keys-Unlock the door to safe, eco-friendly teething for your baby with the My First Green Toys Rattle Keys. Made in the USA from food-safe, 100% recycled plastic milk jugs that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the four colorful pieces swing freely on the lightweight ring, allowing little ones to easily grasp, shake, and explore different shapes, colors, and textures. Recommended for ages 0 month and up. $7.99 at

When you are taking a trip, why not let even the smallest member of the family feel like they are “helping” move things along? Babies chew on anything- may as well make sure it is as safe as can be when you hand it over. When they aren’t gnawing on this toy, they can use the “keys” to take them where they want to go. The colorful pieces and easy to hold ring are not easily dropped- but since they are going to be held by a small child, you may want to consider a Velcro strap or set of rings to hold them onto his or her seat or diaper bag.

The Tidy Table Tray + Flexi Diner by Bambinos make meal time easier when you’re on-the-go withthe first of its kind new portable table tray. Offering a large eating space and rounded rims to keep spills off the table, it’s easy to use and attaches to most tables via a rubber coated clip, keeping it securely locked in place. It is also BPA free, phthalate free and dishwasher safe. The Tidy Table Tray + Flexi-Diner features an easy on/off insert which can easily turn meal time into play time at anytime!

This is easy to use and clean, and snaps apart and back together easily. Use for meal or snacktime, then just rinse or wipe off (depending on where you are) and pack it up. Great for home and hotel use as well as taking with you to restaurants and to family and friends homes. This is a great all in one, all purpose eating area for small children that even has a sippy cup holder. Bonus? Use it to let kids draw and create art on without having paper and crayons get all over the floor (keep it contained!) It clips to nearly every table and table type surface I have tried it on. (Yes, the plane too!)

$39.99 at or TARGET stores.

 journeyBee Black.jpeg


The newest, innovative must-have travel crib for parents on the go from ParentLab.  This innovative new travel crib literally opens and closes in seconds and weighs just over ten pounds plus it provides a safe, comfortable place for babies to rest and play all day long.

There are plenty of travel cribs out there, but the journeyBee cribs from ParentLab are the first we’ve seen that are actually light and flexible enough to satisfy the portable-crib needs of families who are always on the move. Weighing in at just 10 pounds and easy to carry on your back, you’ll need only one trip to move the crib from home to car or vice versa. And they’re sturdy enough for road trips, hotels, camping, outdoor play, or bringing along to friends’ and family’s homes for easy nap- or playtime. A breeze to set up, recommended for 0-18 months. If you’re looking for something a little more petite and you’re not in a hurry, the company is planning to release a bassinet version that weighs only 4.3 lbs and folds up smaller than most purses. $169.
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Top 5 Tips for Traveling With a Special Needs Child

Family vacations always create a lifetime worth of memories, but also bring with
them more than a fair amount of stress. Sure, it’s always great to reconnect with your
family and spend time with the kids away from the worries of your everyday life. But
your best laid plans can go horribly wrong, and even under ideal circumstances you’re
going to do battle with grumpy and hungry kids, traffic, and unexpected changes in your
itinerary. Now if you are traveling with a special needs child, you’ve got another level of
worry to manage. There’s no reason why you and your special needs kids can’t have the
same kind of fantastic trip that other families enjoy, as long as you do the proper amount
of planning. Here are five of the top tips to help you travel with your special needs

First of all, make sure you seriously research your chosen destination. You don’t
necessarily have to have every minute of the trip laid out, but if you’re not at least
aware of the possible pitfalls, you could end up dealing with something unexpected
that really ruins things. The key is handling all of the preparation without making your
child feel awkward or different. Reach out to all of the companies assisting you with
travel, the hotels you will stay with, and any other aspects of your trip to insure they
are prepared to handle any of your child’s special requirements. That way any medical,
physical or dietary needs will be covered, and you can rest easy and actually enjoy your
trip. But pull together a list of top contacts, so you know where all the pharmacies are
around your destination, and be clear before you leave that all of your chosen spots are
accessible for your child if he or she has any physical limitations.

Whether you are traveling by plane, car, train or horseback, chances are there will
be a moment when your child’s patience wanes. Since you would probably prefer to
arrive at [Read more…]

Adorable Travel Books For Kids – And Travel With Children Advice

Brandon Rudd, Publisher of the new travel book series for kids – Cooper’s Pack Travel Guides – has some tips and tricks on traveling with your kids- and of course, some cute books as well. Cooper’s Pack has launched four children’s travel books (so far) featuring London, Seattle, New York City and Alaska. Little Man loved checking these out- they are a fun way to introduce kids to new cities, and travel in general.

1. Learn about where you are going before you go.

EXAMPLE: Read a travel guide, search the internet, talk to a relative or
friend about their experiences there). Everyone wins when they are invested
in trip.

2. Bring a friend…

EXAMPLE: Bring your best friend…if they can’t go, bring your favorite
stuffed animal friend. Stuffed animals love to travel too!

3. Take a camera!

EXAMPLE: Take pictures of your favorite sites, stuffed animal and things
you can’t see at home.

4. Bring a small backpack

EXAMPLE: Bring a small [Read more…]