March 2021


Bring Alaska Home: Spring Staycation Ideas That Mimic an Alaska Tour

Going to Alaska should definitely be on your bucket list if you love traveling with your family. But with today’s circumstances, booking a trip is risky and inconvenient. No matter how ready you are to pack your bags and go, the pandemic and health protocols can still impede you.

That’s not a reason to mope, though. You can still mimic a tour to Alaska without leaving your hometown. Consider the staycation experience your “warm-up” before actually going to the state. Your improvised itinerary may never be close to the real thing, but it’ll satisfy your desire to travel just the same.

Without further ado, here are some brilliant staycation ideas inspired by an Alaska tour:

  1. Hike in the Woods

Alaska is teeming with forests, wildlife areas, and parks. If your family is interested in hiking, bring them to the closest (and safest) woods in your area. Spring is a comfortable season for hiking, so you may not have to don several layers of clothing. Just keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for animals. The bears might be coming out of hibernation, so choose a trail where you won’t likely encounter them.

  1. Learn About Wildlife

If your family are inexperienced hikers, learning about wildlife before going on a hike is necessary. It’s important to know how to react when you spot a bear, wolf, moose, or reindeer in the woods.

In Alaska, you can learn about wildlife at Kroschel Films Wildlife Center. It is a place where filmmaker and naturalist Steve Kroschel provides shelter to abandoned or orphaned wild animals from Alaska and Canada. The animals roam free, and you’ll be walking on a protected trail a safe distance away. Though you can mimic this experience by hiking, you may be in for some trouble if you’re clueless about wildlife yet. Not to mention there are no safety gear and equipment to protect you. Watch a film about wild animals first, and learn everything you need to learn before venturing out into the woods.

  1. Go on a Reindeer Forest

It’s totally fine if you can’t handle the risk of encountering wolves or bears in the woods. In that case, try finding a reindeer forest instead. You may even meet a cute chipmunk or two. Reindeer are conserved in Alaska, and they live freely in the Running Reindeer Ranch. However, they are untrained and often unpredictable, just like the ones you’ll encounter in your area’s forest. So don’t make any move that may provoke or terrify them.

  1. Play With Dogs, Especially Huskies

One of the most popular tourist spots in Alaska is the Husky Homestead. It a quaint log cabin that represents the Alaskan lifestyle, including the difficult side of it, and of course, the huskies.

Find an animal shelter near you and play with the puppies and dogs. Try to teach them tricks and commands, too. In Husky Homestead, the grown-up dogs are well-trained, so see if you have a dog whisperer in you by starting out with some cute shelter pups.

  1. Grill Salmon

The closest thing to a wonderful all-inclusive fishing trip to Alaska is grilling some fresh salmon in your backyard. Do it at night, so you can also build a fortress and go stargazing. The cool air can make you feel like you’re camping in an Alaskan forest.

  1. Visit a Garden

Your spring isn’t complete until you see the beautiful flowers blooming, especially the cherry blossoms. There’s surely a lush garden in your neighborhood or vicinity, so pay it a visit with your family, and enjoy the seasonal sight. Your stroll will be similar to a tour in the Jewell Gardens, a tourist spot in Alaska located in Garden City Glassworks. The garden showcases a beautiful flower and organic vegetable collection that thrives in Alaska.

  1. Visit a Historic Site

Be it a museum, a park, or a whole town, take your family on an educational, historic tour, so that you can mimic a trip to Sitka National Historic Park. It was the place where the battle between Russian traders and indigenous Tlingit tribespeople took place, known today as the Battle of Sitka.

A historical tour will teach your kids the importance of knowing their roots, and the hardships their ancestors had experienced. They may not appreciate history’s significance right away, but in time, they’ll thank you for the lessons!

These Alaska-inspired staycation activities may be simple, but no less special. In fact, they can spark your family’s excitement for a real Alaska tour even more. Indulge them in these “warm-up” activities, and watch them have the best time of their lives when you finally visit the state.

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Hiking is Fun for Kids: A Guide for Frustrated Parents

Going on a family hike is one of the best ways to encourage kids to connect with Mother Nature and be active at the same time. But not all children are for hikes. Their reasons are aplenty: “It’s too hot,” “I’d rather stay at home and be with my phone,” or even “Is it even Instagram-worthy?”

In reality, hiking is not IG-worthy or an overall comfortable experience. As a result, parents have to endure the whining, complaining and endless “Are we there yet?” questions from impatient kids. Some children even go as far as “Well, OK. I’ll come, but I’ll need a new pair of Xtratuf shoes, though.” 

Instead of succumbing to the cajoling and bribery, try to make the whole hiking experience fun for the kids. Create more memories with the family by considering the following ideas.

Plan Your Hike Together

Kids are most likely to join when they have a say in the planning. Even if they are too young to even pick the location, give them choices. Should you climb some rocks? Is it better to walk by a river? How about the family searches for the biggest tree?

Build up the anticipation for the trip while giving them a sense of ownership over it. Think of it this way: no one likes getting dragged to trips they didn’t even plan. Give your kids options. Together, you browse online for guidebooks so you can plan your hike as a family.

When planning the hike with the kids, be flexible and have fun. If these are your goals, everyone will be happy. Remember: you’re trying to introduce your family to hiking. They won’t enjoy it if things go according to your plan, but they don’t have a say in it. Change plans if things are not working out.

Choose a Hike with Different Terrains and Features

Exploring makes everyone better, which is why you should be flexible with your trails.

Consider your trail options. To make hikes more interesting and active, go for trails with plenty of bridges, logs, rocks, boardwalks or creeks. Find trails with things kids can do like climbing or playing. These features can also spark their imagination as they pretend to be walking through monster-infested waters.

Also, brainstorm ways you can entertain your kids along the hike. Throw rocks into a pond, hike with benches or play in a shelter. Finally, hiking trips with plenty of flowers and animals can be entertaining and interesting for your children.

For the older kids, choose quick-changing surroundings to hold up their interests. Tell them to watch out for a specific species of tree exclusive to that area or the upcoming river crossing.

Everyone Should Have a “Job”

Kids appreciate trips more if they are in charge of something. On the trail, assign roles to your children. Let them take turns leading the group. The leaders get compasses and maps. They also get to choose the trail you’re hiking. Let the leaders hold the map and lead the way of the trail (with your guidance, of course).

The other children can serve as the medic who is in charge of carrying the first-aid kit. Photography-savvy and IG-aesthetic expert kids are in charge of the photos.

Pack Plenty of Snacks

Kids burn off calories faster than adults. Along the way, they’ll need more fuel for their energy tanks. Pack a variety of snacks for your trip. Ask your children what they want to eat and have them help you pack the snacks or carry the food in their packs. Hiking is also a good time to break their favorite treats that you reserve for special occasions.

Go at Their Pace

Let your children set the pace for the hike, even if it’s slower than your normal pace. For most kids, the journey is more important than the destination. Allow plenty of time for the hike and refrain from rushing the kids so you won’t miss the opportunity of checking things out. A slower pace also enables you to see everything at your children’s level. Most kids, especially the younger ones, want to touch everything. They’re inevitably going to find things that you miss.

Be the Rewarding Parent

The mere fact your kids joined a hike with you deserves a reward. Give them rewards like small treats when you reach certain landmarks. An end-of-hike reward may also motivate them to finish the hike despite being tired. Once they reach the end, let them pick where to go to eat — whether it’s at their favorite lunch spot or frozen yogurt place. If their spirits are low during the hike, dangle this reward to encourage them.

Hikes are one of the best ways to build memories with your children. Connect with your kids and encourage physical activity by taking them on a hike they’ll love.

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3 Reasons To Choose A Sicilian Villa With A Private Pool For The Next Holiday

Sicily is the perfect holiday destination. The island has a versatile array of attractions, and even a walk down the street could be an adventure. But none of these would be enjoyable without suitable accommodation. Thus, the growing popularity of Sicilian villas among tourists. Nonetheless, with the candescent sun all year round, villas with private pools are necessary if you wish to have an unforgettable holiday experience. And here’s why.

Why You Should Rent A Sicilian Villa With A Private Pool

  • Ultimate privacy

With a private pool, you do not have to share with other guests. Not that it’s a bad thing to share, but sometimes we all crave some me-time. Moreover, all pool amenities are at your disposal at all times. During high seasons, most hotels are typically packed to full capacity. This means that you and your family have to share most hotel facilities like pools, dining rooms, and gyms. And most times, you will have to wait to access the pool or gym to avoid overcrowding. But if you rent a Sicilian villa with a private pool, you can take a peaceful swim underneath the dazzling sun whenever you feel like it.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, governments and health authorities have introduced stipulations to curb its spread. We are advised to minimize social interactions with each other, and when we have to, we are urged to maintain a certain distance between any two people. Swimming at a hotel means sticking to one portion of the pool, which limits your enjoyment. On the other hand, someone in a villa with a private pool doesn’t have to worry about social distancing.

  • Tranquility and comfort

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a private villa might be what you need. You also get to avoid crowded beaches if the villa comes with a pool. Your privacy is always protected. There is no stress and no rush. The poolside may be set in a spectacular landscape with dreamy outdoor spaces to inspire some tranquility and relaxation during your trip.

  • Exquisite experience

Sicily is a cultural melting pot with fantastic scenery, history, and art. There is something for everyone, whether it’s the crystal clear sandy beaches, the museums, sites, or the aberrant cuisine. When you rent a Sicilian villa with a private pool while enjoying the landscape and island activities, it transforms your trip into an unforgettable experience, full of pleasure and comfort.

Tip For Thought

The three reasons aptly mentioned above should be sufficient to convince you to consider choosing a Sicilian villa with a private pool during your next vacation. And if you are bringing your family along, you will appreciate the privacy and comfort. An online search for a credible tour agency like Select Sicily will provide you with viable recommendations of private villas with pools you can rent. The lovely island of Sicily is the perfect holiday destination for you and your family this year.

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8 Important Camping Tips

Going for an adventurous trip can be really fun. However, it is essential to be well-equipped with the necessary gear and a solid plan. Here are a bunch of brilliant camping trips, and a quick guide to how you can pitch your tent like a pro at any trip!

Camping tips and hacks

  • Never forget storage boxes and bins

Organize, organize and organize. One thing that will let you have a smooth and peaceful camping experience is organization. It is important to plan your days ahead, but it is also to know how to organize all your stuff that you are taking along. Your space is limited, and you don’t want to lose essential items such as food and so on.

To avoid misplacing your belongings, make it easier to find your items with the help of storage bins. There are many storage bins available with different sizes and features. Some even come with lids and wheels so it’s safer to store valuable items in such boxes. Rather than filling up plastic bags and making your backpacks heavy, these storage boxes can be a great way to save time and remain organized. You will also find storage boxes with compartments very easily.

  • Large ice blocks

Ice cubes are easily available, and therefore many people take these to their camping trips. However, these cubes last for a lesser time compared to large ice blocks. With a block of ice, there is less surface area for heat to be transmitted, and hence it melts slower than cubes.

If you want to arrange ice cubes for your cooler, make use of large water jugs, water gallons or even emptied milk cartons and freeze water in them before the trip. This is a great alternative to ice blocks since the melted content can be clean and safe to drink or add in your food as well. Another tip for ensuring good cooling for your food items is to freeze the items before you put them in the cooler.

  • Zip lock bags are a must

Zip lock bags make a great companion on your camping trips. They can accommodate multiple types of items, ranging from food to your gadgets. These bags are reusable, and you can even store the ones in good condition for your next camping trip. Zip lock bags come in a variety of sizes and are easily available too.

One way to use these bags for camping is to put your mobile phone or tablet in them. The transparency of the zip lock bag will help you look at the screen and even use it. These bags are also flexible, so you can fold the extra space or the loose ends and put it in your pocket just like you carry your phone in regular days. This protects your phone from accidental exposure to water, heat, moisture, and reduces chances of damage if your phone falls.

  • Carry some cash

Since camping is done mostly in slightly remote areas, your credit cards or digital modes of payment might not work. You may come across locals, and they might not have facilities such as credit card machines and ATMs around the camping site. In such cases, cash comes in handy. You should always carry some cash with you on camping sites.

  • Plan your meals

You can be fully equipped with all kitchen essentials and food items, but you will still find yourself in a hurry or stressed out if your meals are not planned. While you are spending time planning your outfits and routes, don’t forget to plan your meals. Make a list of meals you can have with the items you are carrying. You should also decide on which days will you be making what food item, so that you can keep check of the available ingredients and also don’t waste time deciding what to eat.

  • Lanterns as a backup

Handheld torches and flashlights are a must-have on camping. While you are carrying those with you, don’t forget extra batteries. However, sometimes torches and flashlights give up on us. It is very common for these lights to face technical issues and stop working. Since you will be outdoors, bad weather conditions can also damage these lights. So here is a solution and a backup plan— carry a couple of lanterns with you. Go old school, and get a chance to even capture some aesthetic pictures with these lanterns.

  • Battery powered fairy lights

Since we are on the topic of aesthetic lighting and backup plans, battery operated fairy lights are a great choice. You can use these to light up the area inside your tent, or even outside if the weather allows. Use your cheap internet plans to find some great ideas on how to decorate and take dreamy pictures. Fairy lights are also a good way to give your kids some tasks to do, as they can put these up all by themselves.

Tips for safely pitching the tents

  • Practice setting up the tent

If you are camping for the first time, make sure you practice setting it up at home first. This can help you learn better, so you don’t face any trouble at the site. Moreover, practicing at home lets you identify or inspect any issues with tent that can’t be fixed at campsite. If you  are not camping for the first time, still practice beforehand, so you can see if any repairs are required.

  • Repair kit

Invest in a high quality repair kit before you go off camping. A repair kit can fix small to medium issues that occur with the tent and its setup materials.

  • Waterproof layering

Some camping tents come with a waterproof layer that form a protection between the tent’s surface and the ground. This way, damp ground or pests from the ground stay away from your tent. However, if your tent does not have this layering already, or it is damaged due to regular wear and tear, there is a way to fix this. Tarpaulin is a great material to create a waterproof layering between your tent and the ground.

  • Finding a location

It is very important to choose the best and safest location to set up your tent.  Make sure you choose campsites that are already used for camping, so that you do not affect any natural area and minimize the impact on the environment. Moreover, avoid camping near any water source, such as a lake or a river. This will ensure that the wildlife’s access to water is not disturbed. Stay away from damaged trees and tree limbs. In terms of weather, keep the windows or the door of the tent towards the wind. To avoid impactful drag caused by fast winds, place the tent’s smaller side towards the wind.


Now that you know what things you need to carry with you, get your gears ready and go off to a smooth and safe camping trip!

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