Category Archives: Travel Essentials

Kooshy Kids KUSHION Review

KOOSHY KIDS sent us their Kooshion fo review ☺️ This wonder product which is so helpful and useful during long haul or red eye flights was heaven sent. @kooshykids (on Instagram) emphasises on stressfree travel and yes, I agree, travel can be oh so stressful and tiring especially when traveling with very young children like how I recently did in Japan. Stress levels to the max!!!

Here’s us testing the product during our night flight from Kansai to Manila! More legroom means happier kids and a less stressed mummy! I can’t wait to use this again on more long haul flights. Maybe I’ll be better off using the pump than manually pumping it with my foot, too 😂 But it worked!

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How To Have a Gagdet Free Vacation

While I personally do not recommend gadgets for young children, I know that it is a reality for many parents that use the iPad or iPhone games to distract their children so they can do whatever it is they need to do.

This post is to encourage these parents to TRY some of these tips / tricks / activities that I personally do and see if it works keeping your kids entertained and happy in your next vacation.

at Ernie Lim’s Jungle Gym in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

1. Story telling: Children LOVE hearing about stories of when you were young.  Another story technique I do with my son almost every night is called “Dungeons and Dragons”, I know it isn’t an original title but I have evolved it into a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-ish story telling sessions between us. We always start the story from a far away land in a castle with a dragon, warrior or wizard. Then let your imagination run wild! Try it, it’s really fun and creative!

2. Art: I always, always bring paper and crayons or pens with me wherever I go so that it keeps my little one’s hands busy during long haul flights and road trips. However, if your child is prone to motion sickness, he or she might be better watching the road.

Santi with Benny and Kai at our old farm property in Bacungan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

  

Santi runs amidst pine trees in Baguio Country Club

3. Make sure that you’re vacation destination includes child-friendly itineraries too! When you arrive, let your children out and MOVE! Walk, run, jump, dance, etc. Children learn and grow through their limbs. Some meltdowns may not have escalated is they were properly fed on time or allowed to move.

Maya tinkering with ‘Sungka’, a traditional Filipino game in Flower Island Resort, Palawan

4. Remember the old games we used to play like chess, card games and board games?  Bring a travel sized version with you. It’s also a chance for learning numbers, strategy, patience.. the list can go on and on!

Santi walking the shores of Laiya, Batangas

5. Let nature be the guide. If you’re going to a place that is rich with natural resources, then there isn’t much to do. Just allow your kids to discover on the I own sometimes to watch the sunset, play in the sand, look for shells, take a walk in the woods, observe the birds in the trees, make a snowman!

Santi gone fishing with a Mariana in Sarangani
Santi and Kai pretrending to know Martial Arts in La Union

The world is an amazing place and there is just so much beauty in the great outdoors. Make sure your next destination is one that your whole family will appreciate and remember for a lifetime. Set your children from from the superficial digital world and open their eyes to the brilliance of real life and play.

Join me in my instagram advocacy and use the hashtag #ProjectNoIpad while tagging me @dharmadreamsbig . Let me see how you creatively parent without gagdets in your vacations (or even at home). We can do this!

8 Natural Ways To Avoid and Remedy Motion Sickness in Travel

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Because my little one vommited on TWICE during our last trip; once during the long and dizzy 4-hour van ride and another time during the 1-hour “exhilirating” aka very choppy speedboat ride, one must definitely prepare before such inconvenience.

Here are my personal tips on how to avoid the dreaded puke sessions from you or your children on long journeys, whether it is by land, sea, plane or a combination of all three which was my case just recently —

1. RESEARCH on your realistic travel schedule and previous traveller’s experience! I did not check on these facts for this trip. If I had known that the van ride would be long and zig-zaggy, the boat ride choppy, I would’ve brought dizzy spells arsenal! If we had stayed any minute longer in those circumstances, I would’ve puked all over myself as well. Thank heavens I was able to stop myself.

2. KEEP LOOKING FORWARD. When I am not behind the wheel, I have the tendency to get dizzy real fast. A solution is to watch the road. I have to make sure that my body faces forward towards the direction of the vehicle or else all hell breaks loose. Same with kids. Make them sit face forward, please.

3. FORGET ABOUT TEXTING OR READING. Yep, for sensitive people like me, I can’t have the luxury of reading while in transit. Not unless I am on the plane where it is more stable. In cars, forget it! If your children are prone to motion sickness, please do not use gagdets to keep them busy during travel. It isn’t good for their eyes and brains, anyway!

4. EAT MODERATELY AND WISELY. They say not to eat greasy or spicy food before traveling. Also, no stuffing yourself silly either! My 1.5 year old vommitted soon after nursing so, I got smarter on the way back and withheld feeding until way after the winding roads.

5. GINGER. En route home, I brought freshly sliced ginger which I’d bite and when it got too strong I’d move onto my gums. No, this is too potent for young ones so another option is ginger candy if you can find some in your local health shops. I know Healthy Options carry them in branches around Manila.

6. PEPPERMINT PURE ESSENTIAL OIL is handy to have! Take a sniff of it when feeling nauseated. I usually bring therapeutic grade oils but didn’t get to on this trip. In Manila, you may purchase Young Living Peppermint Oil through Dolf Cheng or doTerra Oils from Essential Oil Natural Healing.


7. PEPPERMINT CURE DROPS is another weapon I had at home which I forgot to bring! This remedy from France is a keeper! You can use it for digestion, relief of stomach pains, fatigue, prevent colds, soothes headaches, cools skin. Relief of dizziness,nausea, blocked nose and tummy troubles. It’s great to have in your emergency kit!  I bought this at the airport in Hong Kong but I have seen it being sold online at SeekTheUniq.com.

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8. ACUPRESSURE was my salvation. I massaged a few points on my wrist when I was feeling queasy and the gag reflex miraculously went away!

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Do you have other remedies for motion sickness? Do share, I might just use it for my next trip!

Guest Blog: Keri’s Little Globetrotters

Yay for guests! This blog is hugely inspired by my mommy friends that roam with their little ones. Yes, independent traveling is exciting, even liberating and life-changing but as you age, get married and have kids – some moms want to experience all that travel has to offer with your children. I fall under that category of parents, just like my first guest blogger – Keri Zamora 🙂

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Keri with her Little Globetrotters: Amanda who is 14, Rocco is 10, Nicolas is 5 and Noah is 2 years old. IMG_2186

Most memorable trip so far
Our recent trip to Boston. My husband took a short course in Harvard so I had the kids all to myself. I kept them busy by doing different tours for a week and I really enjoyed their company even if it can get stressful. After the tour, I would have dinner with the older kids.

NYC in May 2015

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Bali, Indonesia

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You are blessed to have traveled with your Yaya? Can you share how to go about doing that process. Aside from attaining a Filipino passport, what other requirements will a Yaya be needing?
I really admire moms who can manage traveling with their kids with no help. I feel I need one for my sanity and also to be able to spend quality time with my husband- having dinner out or shopping . Although we’ve tried traveling without one when Amanda was the only child and she was 7months old, francis and I couldn’t stop arguing . I guess because we were first time parents and completely exhausted.
Rocco’s Yaya has been with us since he was born and has traveled to all countries/ places he’s been to. I made a mistake of taking Rocco with us to Europe when he was 2. Now we joke about it saying “well he doesn’t remember a thing but at least his Yaya can remind him of all the places we visited there!”.

I suggest to make sure you’ll be able to obtain their passports and necessary visas, you’ll have to comply with the requirements listed on the website of DFA and the destined country’s embassy (in the Philippines) website.  It’s very important to go over the list of requirements over and over again so as not to miss out on what’s needed.  Sometimes we tend to say “Pwede na yan” but when you go for your interview,  most foreign embassies are quite strict and thorough so you really have to make sure you have exactly what they’re asking for.

Japan January 2015

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Travel Tips For Kids
I really need their iPads whenever we travel because they become so restless on the plane especially on long haul flights. Also, my kids are very picky when it comes to food , so I bring cup noodles  just in case they don’t like the food on the plane . I know it’s not healthy but I don’t want them to starve especially on 12-16hour flights. I also bring their favorite snacks, coloring materials , their favorite DVDs  and books. Also, don’t forget to bring their medicines in case they catch something (like a cough, cold, or fever ) but I never used  any of these to knock them out- hahaha!

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How To Survive 9 Hours in Ocean Park with 2 Kids

Yes, it is inevitable. When traveling, be prepared to spend the whole day out to get the most out of your trip. Last Saturday, we spent a total of 9 hours at the revamped Ocean Park, Hong Kong. Now at 91 heactares with over 80 attractions, we were in for a family marathon! Yes, this is real exercise while having fun with your kids.

Here are tips on how we survived that day with an 8 year old and an infant in tow!

1. Use a baby carrier: As a nursing mother, this comes real handy because I can breastfeed while touring the grounds. I also have my hands free to take photos or hold my other child when needed. I personally bring 2 carriers when I travel, a Next9 sling for walking outdoors and a Saya carrier for air-conditioned places. Both carriers can be bought from INDIGObaby.

2. Invest in a stroller: Despite the fact that I am an attachment parenting advocate, my 1 year old daughter can get very heavy especially after a few hours. Be kind to your spine and consider investing in a lightweight umbrella type stroller for traveling purposes. It is so convenient because it’s light enough to be hand carried and folds up in seconds! The stroller is so worth it even for just when you’re baby is asleep or use when you are absolutely exhausted. I reckon my baby is able to sleep longer lying in the stroller while we push her on cobbled streets like in Old Hong Kong. This red stroller is from Happy Dino which we got from Landmark. It is also available in Lazada and Babyland. I chose the color red so that it is easy to spot among the crowds for my husband to find us incase we separate for toilet breaks. Red is also my favorite color at the moment 🙂

3. Bring your husband! LOL It is no joke. I don’t know how I would’ve survived the trip without him. I am used to traveling with my infant alone during FLOW retreats but to have to care for both kids – I definitely need assistance! If you’re husband isn’t available, make sure to bring a relative, friend or if you have the luxury, bring a trusted nanny when traveling with more than one child.

4. Take mini breaks. We used our mealtimes as opportunities to eat, sit and rest. It helps that Ocean Park has very good restaurants to keep the little tots entertained. You sit with amazing views of the grand aquarium or the penguins! Santi was very interested in how they made pizza from scratch at the Tuxedo Restaurant. Here he is watching the chefs in action.

5. Strategize Your Itinerary: We had a very good plan. Our itinerary consisted of many different kinds of attractions ranging from watching shows, taking rides and actually doing activities. The smart thing to do is mix it up so that you don’t over exert yourself. After walking for what seemed like forever, it was good to take the cable car to get a few minutes of rest.

Maybe instead of being out under the heat of the sun at noon, go watch a movie indoors.

6. Supplement with superfoods Aside from keeping hydrated and having proper nutritious meals, I use superfoods to keep my immunity up. This is something people take for granted when traveling – your health! It’s easy to pack supplements in your bag. I usually have a few when I go on trips. What I brought with me this time were packets of Fern-C and Moringana. I take a few capsules all throughout the day and it has proven to keep me energized.

7. Come prepared – Fully charge your phone and camera so you don’t miss out on anything important. Admittedly, my phone’s memory seems to be full all the time so I have to constantly delete old photos while we are out which can be such a hassle. Do this before your trip to save you precious time. Also, bring a change of clothing for when you or your kids sweat or get rained on – which is precisely what happened to us! The rains poured heavily on us leaving my footwear drenched. This is a reminder to wear rubber shoes next time!

And when the day’s over…

8. Treat yourself to a massage! While we were not able to get massages during this trip in Hong Kong, I would recommend that you get an authentic foot massage in Gao’s Foot Massage in Lan Kwai Fong.

Do you have similar experiences in theme parks with children? Please do share your tips! I would love to hear from you!

Healing Aids For Travel

I must have been a naturopath or a homeopathic doctor in one of my past lives because I ALWAYS bring an arsenal of potions and balms whenever me and my little tots go on trips.  While I totally believe in the body’s ability to heal on it’s own, I certainly think we can help aid our healing capacities when using all natural and organic plant or mineral based products. Here are some of the ones I have just packed for a short trip.

Products clockwise

1. Arnica Salve by MJ’s Herbals -I truly believe in the power of herbs. Arnica is the most remarkable and universally acceptable herb for bruises, overworked sore muscles, tendon injuries & sprains. Arnica quickly brings relief, promotes circulation & hastens the disappearance of discoloration from bruising. This product also contains clove oil which helps relieve pain. My son had a minor accident last week and this helped heal his bruises tremendously! You can get your tub from Amazon.

2. Hemp Cut & Scrape by Merry Hempsters -Oh you know, having a 1 year old learning how to walk needs this super handy balm just in case she falls and scraper her knee or hands. The official Merry Hempsters website states it’s benefits:

  • Speedier healing of minor open wounds, cuts, scrapes, and insect bites
  • Prevention of secondary infections in cases of puncture or open wounds
  • Soothing of pain associated with scrapes, abrasions, and insect bites
  • Deep penetrating ingredients help to replenish the skin nutrients in affected areas

I love that it is certified organic and vegan. Made from hemp and pure essential oils. Available at cutieverse.

3. Ferrum Phosphoricum – According to Elixirs.com, this is the number 1 remedy for inflammations, paleness, and weakness. Fevers, gradual onset of illness. Ferrum Phos is homeopathic iron. In homeopathic form, this mineral goes right into the cells to help with oxygenation. Therefore, this Cell Salt is considered an appropriate addition to any homeopathic treatment concerning infection, inflammation, fatigue, lack of stamina, chronic conditions..  This is available at Dr. Cricket Palanca-Chen’s clinic at St. Luke’s Global City. Call her secretary Ayi for an appointment (0927) 987 7079.

4. Echinacea – This tincture I am mighty proud to say I made at home! I bought a DIY kit from the Learning Herbs online and just followed instructions. Echinacea is a super immunity booster. We all know that travel pulls you out of your normal routine and circadian rhythm that can lower your immune system. Here are the primary uses of Echinacea

  • Colds, cough and flu and other upper respiratory conditions
  • Enlarged lymph glands and sore throat
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Minor infections
  • May help combat herpes and candida
  • Wounds, skin regeneration and infections (external use)
  • Psoriasis, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions (external use)

Now isn’t that like a wonder weed? Everyone must have this at home and when they travel! You can source this from Healthy Options or from homeopath Denise Celdran (0917) 847 4831

5. Inner Sense Anti-Fungal Colloidal Silver with Citric Acid and Vit C – Now this acts like a natural antibiotics. Read up more on this here. I got this in a health food store in Bali. I remember Nigel Chen (Dr. Cricket’s husband) explaining to me the benefits of Silver to the body. You may contact Ayi if you want to purchase Silver in Manila.

6. Chamomila –  A lifesaver! I have been using this secret weapon since my 8 year old was a colicky infant. Chamomila helps calm an overly sensitive child (or adult!). My kids get easily stimulated especially when I cannot control outside stimuli (when traveling!). I remember giving my son a dose or two when I was in labor so he was sleeping soundly in the couch when I birthed his sister on the pool next to him! So if you have difficulty sleeping in the plane on long-haul flights, maybe get a dose for yourself, too!  Chamomila, just like in tea, is also a tummy tamer. Works really well for adults, too! I had a friend buy these pills from an Apothecary in London but you can also get the liquid form from Dr. Crickette or Denise Celdran. What natural remedies are in your travel kits? Please share ❤️