3 P’s to Relieve Parent Stress While Travelling With Kids, Toddlers, and Young Children

Travelling with “little ones” can be one of the most joyous events of all-it can also be one of the most stressful. Parent stress is usually high when travelling with small children or toddlers as children in this age bracket have multiple needs, short attention spans and are easily bored or agitated when cooped up for a long time. Travelling with children can be stressful, but with enough preparation and forethought you can ensure a relatively tears-free trip, for both you and your child.Here are the 3 P’s to prepare you before travelling and alleviate parent stress:Plan:
Planning… Planning… Planning, there is no escape from this. If adventurous, unplanned holidays gave you a high in the past remember one thing – they have to be forgotten when you have kids – else you will only create more parent stress. There are ways to reduce anxiety when travelling with little children, though it takes meticulous planning in advance and flexibility during the trip. Planning involves:
o deciding where to go to,
o how to go,
o what to do and know about the place you are visiting and
o how to be prepared for the travel.For deciding where to go, ask your travel agent for family-friendly suggestions. See your doctor about vaccinations beforehand. The most important step is to decide how to travel. Take all the pros and cons of different modes of travel before deciding the mode of travel. Depending on the mode of travel, plan for stuff like breaks, overnight stays, availability of airport transit facilities etc so that you and your child are comfortable.An important tip to relieve parent stress while travelling is to ensure that you have enough rest breaks. Do not jam-pack the trip with lots of activities; have days of relaxing so that your children do not feel very tired. Keeping your trip as simple as you can and it will reduce the number of problems.Prepare:
Once you are through with planning a trip the next step is to prepare for the trip. This step involves actually mentally, physically and emotionally preparing you for the trip. Once you have decided on the place to travel and the mode of transport you will need to prepare for the following:o How do you prepare for the place you are visiting?
o What sort of accommodation you want?
o What to bear in mind and prepare depending on the mode of travel?
o What do you need to carry with you?Preparing for the place you are travelling requires you to know about the facilities that the place provides like supermarkets, availability of key food and hygiene brands required for your child, availability of medical care, what to avoid eating and drinking, where to avoid visiting etc. This research will help you to be better prepared for the trip and you would know what to expect.The most important preparation is for the mode of transport. If you are travelling by air or train remember to:
o Purchase an extra ticket if you can afford, else request an aisle seat, which can give you more mobility and quicker access to your seat when boarding and de-boarding. Also, in case of air travel ask for bulkhead seats or seats near an exit to give your child a safe spot to play on the floor.
o Schedule the flight during night so that your baby sleeps most of the time.
o Allow more time for security checks, getting to the gates or your platform at the station, and unexpected events.
o Bring nutritious snacks for your kids and for yourself; you don’t want to be caught hungry with no food options in sight.When travelling by car:
o Use appropriate restraints, such as seatbelts or car seats.
o Don’t stack items in a way that they fall all over if you have to brake suddenly.
o Use shade cloth to keep the sun from shining in your child’s face or wear sunscreen.
o Be prepared for plenty of toilet and rest stops are taken to reduce motion sickness. This needs to be planned in the travel. Also check with your doctor on the drugs you can give to your child to reduce motion sickness.The last step in preparation is to decide what you should carry with you when you travel. Here the key tips are:
o First aid box containing items such as baby paracetamol, thermometer, anti-itching lotion, oral rehydration preparation and band-aids. Also pack sunscreen, hats and insect repellent.
o Take sterilising equipment if your child is bottle-fed.
o Pack, lots of toys that keep your child busy and not bored. Also avoid too much of sharing between kids, which can lead to quarrels.
o Prepare to carry loads of nutritious snacks and food when going out for sight seeing.
o Take your own stroller or pram, even though it is bulky.
o Take some familiar items from home – blanket, stuffed toy – this will keep your child occupied and give them some comfort.Pursue:
The final step to relieving Parent Stress, while travelling is to pursue your plan and execute on it when you are on vacation. Before you even embark on your travel, if the baby is sick, postpone the travel – if they get sick during the travel try and cut the travel short. Actually visit the doctor and get all vaccinations and clear all doubts regarding the place you are visiting.Before travelling, to help pack for the trip and to keep your child’s various supplies organized, it might be a good idea to make a personalized travel box for each child. If travelling by air, feed your baby or child when starting and towards end of the trip, as the frequent swallowing can help prevent the build-up of pressure inside the ears. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration. During the flight, stick to smaller and more frequent feedings. Also supervise flight attendants when they heat your meals for the child.If travelling by car, make sure your child eats something before travelling, but avoid heavy or greasy foods. Entice your child to look out the window by pointing to several things along the way. Also try and have a few surprises up your sleeve, like a travel toy or game that can be opened only after you begin your travel. This will avoid boredom in travel for kids especially when doing long haul flights or long road/train journeys.Once on holidays, take all precautions when visiting new places – like not leaving the child unattended, being vigilant about the potential dangers of unfamiliar places, such as unfenced swimming pools or balconies. Try to keep a little bit of familiar mealtime routine so that the kids do not get cranky. Ring ahead and check out for availability of children’s menu to avoid surprises and for younger kids prepare them to eat “jarred” or “tinned” baby food as fresh food might not always be available. Wherever possible, use disposable items and use any babysitting facilities at your hotel so you can have a break.The most important thing, however, is to be flexible! Your baby won’t be able to have the same sleeps, so if you think the baby is tired, take a day off. Use the extra days you have planned to relax and don’t pack them with more travel.For kids above five years, you can allow them to choose some items to pack or provide them with a choice of seat or allow them to move around the platform or terminal while waiting for next train or flight. This will help them gain a sense of control in the experience and they will be lot better behaved and less bored. Finally maintain a cool head during the trip. Remember to focus your attention on the trip itself and all the fun that comes with it, rather than on the hassles of travel as these hassles are short lived. This way you can have a wonderful time with your family.

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Travel Insurance for Older Travellers and Pre-Existing Conditions

Young people seeking to purchase travel insurance do not have the worry of increased premiums that face many older travellers. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable fact of life that many older travellers have pre-existing medical conditions, and consequently have to pay more for travel insurance.The need for higher premiums is not because insurers have anything against older people, but because the reality is that older travellers are more likely to make claims on their travel insurance for health-related problems.There are several factors at work:Older people tend to have more disposal income and free time and therefore can afford to take more trips and holidays. Unfortunately, this translates to more claims for emergency medical care for accidents and illnesses abroad.
A larger number of older people than ever before are travelling long distances. They are statistically more likely to claim on their travel insurance for emergency medical care – and the costs can be astronomical. This is particularly true if medical problems arise in destinations like the United States where medical treatment is extremely expensive. Consequently, insurers have to make up for the losses, and it inevitably means higher premiums for everyone – but especially for older people travelling to the U.S.
The cost of repatriating someone by air ambulance from far-flung destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada and the United States is extremely costly (up to £50,000 or more).
In remote destinations of the world the medical facilities may not be adequate to treat serious illnesses or injuries,making it necessary to transport the patient to a neighbouring country for treatment before repatriation. Again, all very costly.Frequent travellers who faithfully renew their travel insurance policy with the same company each year may find there is a sudden jump in the premium. They may have crossed an age threshold that they were not aware was imminent and have to decide whether to stay loyal to their trusted company, or shop around elsewhere to find a better deal.Insurance premiums for older travellers vary from company to company, as far as age ranges and premiums. If pre-existing medical conditions are an issue there may be an additional charge to cover a certain condition, or the insurance may be issued to exclude any claims related to that condition. Some may have specific cut-off ages for any type of travel insurance and some may increase the premium and/or excess for certain age groups.Comparison sites may be a way for an older traveller to search for a cheaper quote, but remember that not all insurers choose to be listed on the comparison sites and you may find a cheaper price by checking elsewhere. If you do opt for a cheap policy on one of these sites, always check the levels of cover – especially for medical care. A very cheap quote may mean that the levels of cover have been cut, or the excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) has been raised to compensate for the low priceIf you are one out of the five people in the UK that does not purchase travel insurance, consider whether you are in denial about the potential financial ruin you – or your family – could face. This is especially true if injury or illness should strike when you are halfway round the world. Contrary to the mistaken belief held by many, your consulate or embassy does not cover these costs and, without insurance, it is up to the affected person or their nearest and dearest to come up with the money!Many travellers are under the impression that insurers try to wriggle out of paying claims and so it is not worth having insurance. This is a very unwise attitude as insurance policies need to have sensible terms and conditions. Ultimately it is up to the purchaser to ensure they purchase the right insurance for their needs, and also understand what is and is not covered. The truth is that insurers pay out huge amounts in claims – and the higher the claims the more the premiums are inevitably pushed up for travellers in all age groups.Parents with grown children leaving on round-the-world trips or gap year adventures could save themselves a headache by purchasing travel insurance as a leaving gift, to ensure that these vulnerable young people are covered. A Backpacker or long-stay policy is very affordable for a young person and most provide basic cover for the very important medical, liability and legal costs. Check that cover is included for all their planned activities. If there is any possibility they may participate in skiing or snowboarding or other winter sports why not pay a bit extra to have this added to the policy, just in case.(For those who think that cheap Backpacker policies are only available to teenagers or those in their twenties, it may be a revelation to know that many companies offer policies that are valid for travellers up to their late forties in age).For travellers within the EU it is important to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as this will pick up most of the cost of emergency medical care in participating countries. However, it is important to also have travel insurance to pick up costs that are not covered under the EHIC – including very expensive medical repatriation, if this becomes necessary.When purchasing insurance it is important to check that the policy includes adequate cover for emergency medical care and medical repatriation. It is widely believed that the minimum should be £2,000,000, but obviously higher levels are better – especially for Worldwide travel. Medical cover up to £5,000,000 or even £10,000,000 would be preferable – especially for Worldwide cover – and should be enough to cover just about any serious medical problem.Paying a higher premium for travel insurance because you are in an older age group is an unfortunate fact of life. However, the extra cost is worth it for the peace of mind it provides. No matter what age you are, the important thing is that you feel free to enjoy foreign travel for as long as you want to and are able to!

What is the Secret? How Can I Afford $250,000 to Franchise My Business?

Actually, there is no secret…other than “those who do not know how to do it” think there’s a secret to it. With a little knowledge, you won’t have to shell out $250,000 big ones just to get your franchise off the ground. In fact, I will show you how to substantially reduce that upfront expense before you get in too deep… read on!For beginners…Franchising is the practice of using a successful business model that has been created by another company. A franchise is an alternative way to distribute products or services without having to invest in and be liable for a large company with many branches or stores. The franchisor succeeds because of it’s franchisees. The franchisee has a greater incentive than a paid employee because he/she has a direct stake in the business.Franchises account for:1.$1.5 trillion in total economic output and growing!2. Eleven and one half percent (11.5) of the U.S. private sector economy3. One third (1/3) of all retail sales in the United States4. Fifteen percent (15%) of all private sector jobsIf you already have a business that you want to franchise, begin by asking:1. Do I know what franchising is and what it can do?2. How do I determine if my business can be a franchise?3. Is franchising the right way to go for my business?4. What do I have to do to be a successful franchisor?5. What costs are involved with franchising?6. What steps should I take to franchise my business?7. Should I consider Franchising or Licensing?The following list of valuable “marketing tools” for your business/franchise that can be very expensive when purchased separately versus being bought as a package or with hosting that includes marketing options:1. Internet Marketing Tools and Streaming Videos: The list is endless these days and would require an entire article just to list a few2. Intranets and extranets: a) An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet Protocol technologies to securely share any part of an organization’s information or network operating system inside that organization to advance productivity, b) An extranet can be viewed as part of a company that is extended to users outside the company, usually via the Internet.3. Information or Corporate Portals: A framework for integrating information, people and processes across organizational boundaries.4. Static and Dynamic Web sites: a) Static page is a web page that is delivered to the user exactly as stored, b) Dynamic web pages are generated by a web application5. eCommerce and eProcurement Systems: a) eCommerce is buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet, b) eProcurement is the business-to-business, business-to-consumer or business-to-government purchase and sale of supplies, work and services through the Internet as well as other information and networking systems, such as Electronic Data Interchange and Enterprise Resource Planning.6. eMail Marketing Programs: I probably don’t have to explain this one7. Internet Autoresponder Programs: An autoresponder is a computer program that automatically answers e-mail sent to it. They can be very simple or quite complex.8. Opt-In Subscription Services: eMail marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial messages9. Other Web-based business applicationsHere are just a few types of franchises being offered…does your business fall into one of them:1. Automotive Franchises2. Beauty Franchises3. Beverage Franchises4. Business Opportunities5. Business Services6. Children Related7. Cleaning and Maintenance8. Computer and Internet9. Education Franchises10. Financial Services11. Food Franchises12. Health & Fitness13. Home Related14. Low Investment15. Master/Area Developers16. Minority Focused17. Pet Related18. Photo and Video19. Printing and Packing20. Retail Franchises21. Senior Services22. SBA Approved23. Sports and Recreation24. Travel Franchises25. Veterans Franchises26. Women’s Franchises27. Work From HomeThings you need to know that will help you avoid the high price tag for legal fees:Attorney and legal document fees for franchises can range from $25,000-$50,000 when they have to be created from scratch. And that doesn’t include expensive consulting fees that can range from $50,000-$200,000. The best way to gear up is to use a step-by-step approach that has already been created specifically to get the process in motion. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.Obviously, your best bet is to find a successful and stable company that has the experience and knowledge to guide you through all of the stages and processes; from beginning to end.1. Research is your friend and the Internet is the one of the most valuable resources available today and if you have time to compare companies, you will find one that is right for you.2. Finding companies that are attorney and FTC certified and employ industry experts who know their business and yours will save you precious time and energy over the long haul!3. A few companies provide “bundles/packages” that include everything a franchisor needs in order to save $$ in attorney and documentation fees (this really comes in handy).By staying focused you can find the assistance you need and be on your way to a successful franchise before you can say “How can I franchise my business?”