Tips To Help Ensure A Successful Transition From College To The Work World

Contributed By Justin Lavelle, Chief Communications Officer of the BeenVerified.com

Graduating from college this year? This can definitely be a daunting time for many, but there are so many ways to prepare for success in the industry you’ve worked so hard to be a part of. From building your personal brand (which is essential in the work world) to knowing how to effectively network, below are must-know tips to help you succeed once you get your diploma and enter the “real world”.

Build Your Personal Brand

We all have a personal brand whether we are aware of it or not. Your personal brand is how the world views you, so it’s important that your personal brand be a strong, capable one that best reflects your true self—especially when it comes to the business world. It is important for you to establish your own brand and cultivate it rather than let it be defined on your behalf. Your personal brand is made up of your beliefs and your strengths. Think of it as your personal core values.

If you do a good job of branding and marketing yourself, people will begin to identify you with a certain area of expertise, subject matter, and the general qualities you want linked to your name. Once you determine the way in which you want your brand to be received, you can start to be more strategic about your personal brand.

Here are some of the areas that are important in building a personal brand and a few tips to help you build yours:

Be true to yourself and your word. Your brand should reflect who you really are—your authentic self. Skip the falsehoods or who you want people to think you are, especially in the digital age. You don’t want there to be a big discrepancy between who you are online and who you are in real life. Today, people want to connect and they want to connect with other genuine people. And remember that actions speak louder than words to the people in your circle of influence, so keep your word and follow through with promises you make.

Know how to introduce yourself. Prepare a 30-second speech to introduce yourself to others. Think through the key things you want people to know about you and practice it so it comes easily. When networking, hit the high points of your story with a concise presentation. You want their take away to be the most important highlights about you and how you want them to remember you.

Have an online presence. Set up a personal website that you can direct people to, it doesn’t have to be elaborate, it can be a simple site with your resume, links to your social platforms, a bio with photo, and some of your college achievements. Having your own site gives you a platform to build your brand from. It will also help rank your name on the search engines. You can always expand the information on the website with time.

Google yourself and setup alerts for your name on a regular basis. Know what is being said about you online. It’s not a bad idea to run a background check on yourself too to make sure your record is exactly what you think it is. Be purposeful and thoughtful on anything you share with others.

Use social media as your platform. Social media is ideal for giving people a platform to share their personal brand, as long as it’s done consciously and consistently. Always reread and proof before you post, use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling, and use discretion when sharing photos. It’s best to steer clear of controversy or emotional topics in general and certainly if it could discredit you personally. This includes reacting to other people’s posts as well as the ones you share. Have your brand identity statement in front of you when posting and ask yourself if the post you are about to publish contributes to that identity. If handled well, social media is a great way to sell yourself!

Once you’ve established your own personal brand, it’s time to share it with the world. Let the world know who you are, what your talents and core values are, and what you have to offer. The road to unfulfilled career dreams and disappointment is littered with lists, dreams, and goals never shared with anyone. So it’s time to get your personal brand out there.

Start Networking & Connecting With Professionals In Your Field Early

It is never too early to start networking and connecting with people who may be able to help or influence your career. So set up professional profiles such as LinkedIn and any other site that is geared toward work and business. Reach out to professionals you know or want to. Also, remember that other sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and the like will be viewable by potential employers so keep that in mind with everything you post. What might be funny or appropriate for college you may regret once you move on. It is never too early to be thinking about your career.

Practice Makes Perfect—Find Opportunities to Refine Your Communicative Skills 

College is the perfect place to hone skills and work on things that scare you. Maybe your public speaking skills are shaky. Maybe you don’t know how to put together a presentation. Heck, maybe you have never been on an interview. College is a great place to learn these things. Join a public speaking group and utilize the services of your career services office. Reach out to your community for services and clubs that can help train you. Trust this–it is much easier to acquire and perfect these skills while in the relative comfort of college than to be under the gun in a real work environment.

Look for seminars and career development lectures. Take all of them because most of them will allow students to attend for free or for a reduced fee. These are great opportunities because they not only teach something but they give valuable opportunities to network with people that are in the work world and contacts are very important indeed.

Learn how to small talk and work a room. Chances are that you will need to attend many lunch and evening functions for companies that you wish to work for or for available internships. The more comfortable you are talking to people and introducing yourself the more success you may have with landing the job of your dreams. If you are a shy person, this can be a particularly daunting task but it will serve you well if you pick up a few tips from books or particularly social friends.

Seek Out & Apply for Internships and Jobs Early

Don’t delay. Things move quickly and there are always people that seem to be ahead of the game. These people are your competition, so don’t wait. Find out about internships early. Apply when the job or internship opens. Make sure that you have all of your documents ready and polished so you can send them when needed and if something just pops up. The documents you should have ready at a minimum are a resume, cover letter, transcripts, and references. You may need a writing sample or other more specific document but at a minimum have these four polished, up to date, and ready to go.

Justin Lavelle
Justin Lavelle is Chief Communications Officer at BeenVerified (the leading source of online background checks and contact information), where he often writes about topics like credit card use and scams, financial fraud, and other personal finance advice. BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses, property records and criminal records in a way that’s fast, easy and affordable. https://www.beenverified.com/.

Ponle Sabor a Tus Fiestas de Verano

Pueda que el calor te tenga buscando maneras para refrescarte, pero eso no significa que no puedas agregarle sabor a tus fiestas familiares. Ya sea una parrillada o una fiesta casual en la piscina, siempre hay una mezcla de sabor para casi todo tipo de ocasiones.

Es hora de encender el asador cuando brilla el sol, así que ponte creativo y demuestra tus talentos para cocinar. Ponle un toque especial a tu comida – Dale Sabor A Tu Mundo – con un ingrediente versátil como la Salsa Tabasco, que ha ayudado a personalizar los sabores de la comida alrededor del mundo por casi 150 años. Ya sea que la uses como ingrediente o como condimento, la salsa puede darle sabor a básicamente todo tipo de cocina, incluyendo a platillos mexicanos favoritos como esta Parrillada Mixta con Marinadas de Ajo y Chipotle Dulce.

Pon a asar carne, camarón y pollo, y combínalos con marinadas dulce y picantes para crear una variada parrillada irresistible. Eleva el sabor y sirve con limón fresco, cebollas asadas, guacamole cremoso, pico de gallo y tortillas de maíz para un platillo bien servido. Es una manera sabrosa de ponerle un toque de sabor adicional a tus fiestas de verano.

Encuentra más recetas y maneras de darle sabor a tu mundo en Tabasco.com.

Parrillada Mixta con Marinadas de Ajo y Chipotle Dulce

Rinde: de 6-8 porciones

Marinada de Ajo y Chipotle:

  • 14        dientes de ajo, pelados
  • 1          cebolla blanca mediana, en cuartos
  • 1 1/2    taza de cerveza mexicana ligera
  • 3/4       taza de aceite de oliva
  • 1          cucharada de pimienta gruesa
  • 4          cucharadas de Salsa Tabasco Chipotle Pepper
  • 1          cucharadita de sal
  • 2          bistecs de carne arrechera (1 libra cada uno)

Marinada Dulce Chipotle:

  • 8          dientes de ajo, pelados
  • 1          pimiento morrón rojo, desvenado y sin semillas
  • 1          cebolla blanca pequeña
  • 1          cucharadita de canela molida
  • 1          cucharadita de páprika ahumada
  • 8          cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • 8          cucharadas de jarabe de agave
  • 4          cucharadas de jugo fresco de limón
  • 1 1/4    tazas de jugo de naranja
  • 1 1/4    tazas de agua fría
  • 4          cucharadas de Salsa Tabasco Chipotle Pepper
  • 2          libras de camarón extragrande, pelados, desvenados y sin las colas
  • 4-6       pechugas de pollo sin piel deshuesadas
  • Sal, al gusto
  1. Para preparar la marinada de chipotle y ajo: En una licuadora, mezcla el ajo, la cebolla, la cerveza, el aceite de oliva y el pimiento morrón y hazlos puré. Vierte el puré en un plato hondo para mezclar; agrega la salsa de chipotle y sal.
  2. Coloca los bistecs en bolsas de plástico para sellar y vierte la marinada.

Nota: El tiempo para marinar depende del corte de res seleccionado. Para fajitas y carne arrechera, marina durante por lo menos 6 horas.

  1. Para preparar la marinada de chipotle dulce: En una licuadora, mezcla el ajo, el pimiento morrón, la cebolla, la canela, la paprika, el aceite de oliva, el agave, el jugo de limón, el jugo de naranja, el agua y la salsa de chipotle y hazlos puré.
  2. En bolsas de plástico para sellar separadas, divide la marinada sobre pollo y camarón. Permite que el camarón se marine durante 8 horas y el pollo durante 24 horas.
  3. Para preparar la carne: Retira la carne, el camarón y el pollo de la marinada y aparta. Calienta el asador sobre fuego medio-alto. Retira la marinada en exceso y asa el pollo primero, hasta obtener el termino deseado, después la carne y el camarón.

Nota: El tiempo para cocinar pueden variar dependiendo de los cortes de carne y termino deseado. Para mejores resultados, utiliza un termómetro para carnes.

Sugerencias para servir: Coloca la carne, el camarón y el pollo en un platón grande y sirve con guacamole fresco, pico de gallo, cebollas asadas, limones frescos y tortillas de maíz. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Tabasco

How to Inspire Summer Reading

While summer is the perfect time for kids to take advantage of days spent away from the classroom, remember not to put valuable skills, like reading, on the backburner. In fact, research estimates that 1-2 months of learning loss can occur during the summer months.

To help your child maintain his or her reading level and avoid the “summer slide” – which can be counteracted in part by reading 20 minutes a day over the summer – Kate DiCamillo, a two-time Newbery Medal-winning author and the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program literary partner, recommends finding ways to make reading a fun, interactive experience that incorporates children’s interests.

“Reading together is one of the best ways I know to foster a love of reading,” DiCamillo said. “You can read to your child. Your child can read to you. You can listen to an audiobook together. You can both read the same book at the same time and discuss it when you are done. Reading is a way to connect to each other and the world.”

Help your student maintain his or her skills and develop a love of reading this summer with these tips.

Love the Library

To help ensure learning doesn’t stop once school lets out for summer, making periodic trips to the library part of your routine can be a good step. For many children, browsing the shelves on their own and discovering new books in a library can help them get excited about reading. Most libraries offer something for every reader, regardless of age or skill level, including a structured environment that can help make reading a priority.

Incorporate Interests

During the school year, many of the books your student is reading are probably assigned, but summer offers the opportunity for him or her to choose what to read and tailor selections toward specific hobbies or interests, which can increase enjoyment. Start by creating a list of books and activities that align with those interests, and take advantage of pre-built lists at libraries or online resources like those at bookitprogram.com/summer, which offers a variety of book suggestions and activities to help increase reading during the summer months.

Program Participation

Many schools, bookstores and libraries offer summer reading programs for students. Joining a program can provide a way to track your child’s progress, and there are typically rewards involved for meeting certain criteria, which can provide a level of motivation that may otherwise be difficult to replicate.

Make Materials Matter

In addition to traditional books, summer reading can include materials of all lengths, from chapter books to short stories and even magazines or comic books. Even if you’re committed to limiting screen time during the summer, consider a compromise that allows for the use of devices to read e-books or listen to an audiobook.

Read on the Road

One of the best ways to ensure your kids are reading is to make reading materials available to them, even when you’re on the go during the busy summer months. Whether it’s a long road trip or just a trip to the store, taking books – or playing audiobooks – in the car is a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some reading time.

Fostering the habit during the summer can help ensure your child is prepared when school – and the annual BOOK IT! Program – starts again. The program, available to kindergarten through sixth-grade students, helps motivate students to read by rewarding them with recognition and pizza. Learn more about the program and find more summer reading tips and activities at bookitprogram.com/summer. (Family Features)

SOURCE:

Pizza Hut

7 Steps You Can Take To Keep Your Healthcare Payment Data Safe

Your medical records and personal payment data are worth a lot of money on the “dark web.”

In fact, medical information sold on the anonymous regions of the internet is four times more valuable than a Social Security number.

When criminals get their hands on your medical records or billing information, they have everything – your address, your birthdate, your home phone number and probably your Social Security number, too.  That’s why crooks put a higher value on medical records than simple financial records.

They can use that information for more than stealing your identity.  They can create fake identities that could allow them to buy and resell medical equipment or drugs.  They can also combine a patient number with a false provider number and file fake claims with insurers.  They can even use them to file fake tax returns.

But there are steps patients can take to protect their medical records and billing information, says April Wilson, Vice President of Marketing and Analytics for RevSpring (www.revspringinc.com), a company that provides patient engagement and billing solutions for healthcare providers.

 In one recent study, 89 percent of healthcare providers surveyed admitted at least one data security breach in the previous 24 months.

Wilson provides a few tips on what patients can do to guard their healthcare information.

Only give out data that is absolutely necessary.  When asked on an application to provide a Social Security number, ask why. It may not really be needed. It’s always safest not to store financial account information online for bill paying. But if you do, credit cards offer better protections than most debit cards or bank account numbers if compromised.

Watch for suspicious mail.  If the hacked company has your address, expect bogus pitches to arrive in your mailbox from people who want to “solve” your identity theft problem for you.  Be suspicious of notification emails, especially those containing links or attachments (they may contain computer-infecting malware).

Use fraud alert.  If your Social Security number was taken in a breach, the risk of ID theft is five times greater than for the average consumer. Place a fraud alert or security freeze on the credit report at the three big credit-reporting bureaus.

Say yes to added securityIf the breached organization offers free monitoring service, take advantage of this extra layer of security. Only 20 percent of breach victims do.

Monitor your accounts.  This includes Social Security earnings records. Ask bank or credit card issuers to set up free email alerts for notification about activity on accounts, especially including change-of-address requests.

Change your passwords frequently.  Also order, for free, a credit report once every four months — once a year from each agency — at annualcreditreport.com.

Choose the most secure payment optionAsk if your provider has a secure, online payment option rather than handing your credit card over to the billing department. Many health systems use big data screening and analytics to flag possible security breaches before data is stolen.

Healthcare providers are struggling to keep up with these increasing security attacks and need to partner with healthcare payment vendors who prioritize security and data safety at every transaction,” Wilson says. “Patients need to be as vigilant as possible.” 

About RevSpring

RevSpring (www.revspringinc.com) is a leading provider of consumer communications and billing solutions for healthcare providers. Since 1981, RevSpring has built the industry’s most comprehensive suite of consumer engagement, communications, and payment pathways that is backed by consumer behavior analysis, propensity-to-pay scoring, intelligent design, and user experience best practices.

Gift Ideas for Moms Who Love to Entertain

 

Diamonds Are Forever: Give mom her diamonds that really shine with the Chef’sChoice® 315XV Knife Sharpener that has 1.9 carats of diamond abrasives for applying optimal cutting edgesIdeal for sharpening both straight and serrated blades, this 2-stage electric sharpener quickly and easily applies a durable, super sharp 15° edge for safe and easy food prepping. This a tool she won’t want to live without. The 315 XV is available for $99.99 at chefschoice.com.

V1010_Red_Aerator_A

Wine not?: Give her the gift she really wants anytime!  The Vinturi® Red Wine Aerator is perfect for aerating an entire bottle or just one glass in seconds. Made from specially formulated acrylic with an easy-grip silicone body, it comes with a no-drip stand for properly displaying and keeping wine off surfaces when not in use. A filter screen protects the wine from bits of cork and sediment. The Vinturi Red Wine Aerator (V1010) is available for $29.99 at vinturi.com.


Mom’s Always Got the Scoop:  Zeroll’s classic ice cream scoop is the scoop of choice for American ice cream parlors and ice cream lovers since 1935. The liquid-filled, heat conductive handle responds to the natural warmth of the hand so ice cream is easily scooped—creating perfectly round and plump ice cream balls. It features a one piece design, no springs to replace. Engineered for smooth scooping and easy release of ice cream. The Zeroll® 1520 Scoop is available for $19.99 at chefschoice.com.



XOXO: Ideal for leveling ice cream tubs, hand-packing and hand mixing, mom will love being able to create her own ice cream parlor worthy treats at home with the Zeroll® Tubmate Spade available for $20.50 at zeroll.com.


Mom’s is Poppin’:  WestBend’s 4 Qt. Theater Popcorn Machine will make movie nights at mom’s super fun! Whether mom likes popcorn with extra butter or drizzled with caramel and chocolate, popcorn pops in just 3 minutes using only hot air—and it sure beats that concession stand line. The WestBend® 4 Qt. Theater Popcorn Machine (82515) is available for $79.99 at westbend.com.

When Mom Needs a Snack: The Air Crazy Mini Hot Air Popper by WestBend is the perfect snacking companion when mom needs a pick-me-up. No oil required for this hot air popper – it can pop up to 8 cups (2 quarts) of healthy, delicious popcorn in under 3 minutes! The WestBend® Air Crazy Mini Hot Air Popper (82421) is available for $16.99 at westbend.com.


ice tea 012

Thirsty Thursday—Mom Style: With summer fast approaching, mom can brew both sweetened and unsweetened iced tea without breaking a sweat. Using bagged or loose tea, the WestBend® Iced Tea Maker is uniquely designed with variable tea brew strength. Just cut up some lemons and it’s good to go! The WestBend Iced Tea Maker (IT400) is available for $59.99 at westbend.com.

Being a Good Father: When You Didn’t Have One

It’s hard enough to deal with the absence of a parent when you’re a little kid but the impact doesn’t stop as time goes on. The role of a father-figure is very important to children’s formative years, both in their emotional and social development. Beyond that, as you grow older and start your own family, you still may feel that lack of a father figure in your life and for men that could affect how you handle fatherhood.

Touré

Touré Roberts

Touré discusses how to understand pain and recognize brokenness in his recently launched book, Wholeness Winning in Life From the Inside Out. Additionally, he offers advice on the importance of building a happy home… physically and emotionally.  A few points he’s expanded on are: 

How can you be a good father? Is there a definition to a good father?

  •              Fathering first of all has to do with covering. It’s to provide an environment that affirms, nourishes, and provides space for his children to grow and evolve to their potential.

What is the importance of having a strong father figure in your life?

•             Generally speaking, the role of each parent differs, however, the father provides encouragement, confidence, and a sense of safety and affirmation to the child. He gives the child the confidence to spread out their wings and soar.

Where does pain come from?

  •  Pain can come from a variety of places but one general place that most people experience pain is from the hurt of rejection. This is why one of the fathers primary roles is to exude acceptance, affirmation, and a sense of value in the presence of his children.

At what point do you acknowledge that you are broken from your childhood? How Can you move on from the past?

  •  The sooner you acknowledge your brokenness the better. Unacknowledged brokenness only perpetuates itself. You can move on from the brokenness by taking steps to reprocess the events that led to the pain. Through this reprocessing you can discover a healthier narrative concerning what happened and this is the beginning of healing.
Touré Roberts and wife Sarah.

Touré Roberts and wife Sarah.

Touré Roberts is founder of The Potter’s House at One LA, one of the fastest growing churches in Los Angeles, and the lead pastor of The Potter’s House of Denver. He is the author of Purpose Awakening and is a sought-after international speaker for his revelatory messages on purpose, identity, spiritual growth and relationships. He has been a featured guest on numerous local and national television programs and has more than 15 million views online. Roberts has several hundred thousand followers on social media who subscribe to his weekly inspirational and transformative messages. Roberts is the son-in-law of megachurch pastor and author T. D. Jakes. He and his wife, Sarah, live in both LA and Denver with their family.

Gifts for Every Mom

From every skinned-up knee when you were small to nearly every celebration throughout life, she is always there. Mothers are consistently there cheering you on and supporting you. Mothers are strong, fearless and kind, and Mother’s Day is your day to give back to them for all they’ve done and show them how much those moments mean to you.

This year, make her day special by choosing a gift that is not only functional but also charming. Use this gift guide to help find a Mother’s Day gift she can love and cherish for years to come.

Find more gift ideas perfect for any type of mom at eLivingToday.com.

For Her Thrilling Side

Celebrate Mother’s Day with the No. 1 New York Times’ best-seller, “The Woman In The Window” by A.J. Finn, hailed as the next “The Girl on the Train.” With more than 1 million copies sold worldwide, readers can enjoy this twisty, powerful novel of psychological suspense that is soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000. Anna Fox is a recluse, unable to venture outside her New York City home. She spends her days drinking wine, watching old movies and spying on her neighbors. When she sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and she finds out that things are never really what they seem. Learn more at harpercollins.com.

Something Soft for Her

Give mom a warm and snuggly gift she can use all day, every day. No matter if she is watching her favorite shows or tucked in for a nice weekend nap, a soft and luscious blanket is the perfect companion. With various styles and sizes available, there’s almost certain to be an option perfect to fit your mom’s lifestyle.

Add to Her Style

Nearly every woman needs a good, solid purse to hold all her belongings and show off her personality, too. From makeup to money, the kids’ snacks and her keys, a stylish purse can hold it all while also allowing her to express herself. For Mother’s Day, give her something that not only helps her day after day but gives her the satisfaction of style.

For Her Inner Chef

For every mom that loves to cook, and every mom who doesn’t, a pressure cooker can be the perfect gift. Throw your favorite ingredients, like spicy chicken or savory pork, into the pressure cooker and let it work its magic. Set the timer to the correct time, give it a few stirs throughout and you’re done. She can get creative with what to make and have dinner on the table quickly with minimal prep time.

For Her to Relax

Almost nothing beats the few minutes moms get to relax during the day. This Mother’s Day, give your mom something that can help her find her inner-Zen like a diffuser, which can help her escape to her own oasis. With quiet, portable options that feature adjustable lighting, this gift can leave a fresh garden mist in any room.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Mom and daughter, Blankets, Purse, Pressure cooker, Air diffuser)

SOURCE:
Harper Collins

5 Ways to Step Up Date Night Without Breaking the Bank

Most relationship experts agree that making time for date night is important, whether it’s the early days of a blossoming romance or decades into a comfortable marriage. Spending that valuable time together doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you take the time to make it special.

Plan your next date with these ideas for low-cost experiences with the one you love:

Share time outdoors. Except in the most extreme conditions, there’s always something to do outside and most of those activities are either free or relatively inexpensive. Whether it’s taking a stroll hand-in-hand or planning a picnic at a scenic location, the exercise and fresh air can be good for your body and mind, for both you and your beloved.

Dine on a dime. Although the days of a nickel burger are long gone, there are ways to curb your spending when you eat out. For example, many restaurants offer menus with smaller portions as well as promotional nights with discounts geared toward certain audiences. Some restaurants even offer daily discounts, as high as 10 percent off your total bill for AARP members. If you are not a member, it’s simple to sign up online. Membership is just $16 a year, so it can practically pay for itself with the use of just one of the dining offers.

Simply stay in. When you’re conflicted between going out on a date or settling for a night on the couch, it’s possible to have both. Order takeout from a favorite spot and bring it to the comfort of your home for the best of both worlds. It allows you to avoid kitchen cleanup and simply commit to enjoying one another’s company without interruption.

Master the movie schedule. Prime time at the theater can be pricey, but if your calendar is flexible, you can catch a show earlier in the day for a steep discount. Some theaters also offer special discounts for ordering tickets online. An added bonus: taking in an early movie with a snack may help save money on dinner later.

Enjoy special engagements. Whether it’s a local sporting event or a musical performance by a group visiting your town, sharing a pastime that you’re passionate about is a good way to share a piece of your life and interests to help establish a deeper connection with a loved one. Conversely, if it’s a new experience for you both, it may establish a newfound bond that you can explore together over time. Don’t let ticket prices dissuade you. Take advantage of offers that may be available to you, special showings or even a ticket discount with your AARP membership.

Explore more tips and ideas to make the most of your relationships and everyday life, too, at AARPAdvantages.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
AARP

Empowering Kids to Help Kids

Some of the challenges of the 21st century demand solutions from a new generation of problem-solvers. Children can join forces to bring tangible change to the world around them, including helping to solve worldwide ailments like malnourishment.

In celebration of Kid Power Month in May, UNICEF USA is encouraging children and families around the country to get active and save lives by empowering kids from coast to coast to provide change in their communities.

With the UNICEF Kid Power program, children and their families around the United States can help end global malnutrition. In support of lifesaving nutrition work across the globe, the program gives kids the power to save lives by connecting their physical activity to social impact.

By using the UNICEF Kid Power Band or downloading the app, kids can use their near-boundless energy and inner power to run, jump and dance their way to unlocking funding from partners that UNICEF uses to deliver lifesaving nutrition to severely malnourished children. The more kids move, the more lives they can save. With this lifesaving impact, kids can become more aware of the world around them and become empowered to solve the challenges they face in their own communities.

With more than 10 million lifesaving Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food packets unlocked to-date and over 70,000 lives saved since 2014, UNICEF Kid Power is empowering the next generation of global citizens. This May, you can become a global citizen, learn more about the program and help bring Kid Power’s curriculum and local-global impact to even more students by visiting unicefkidpower.org. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
UNICEF

Summer Travel Advice For Families From BubbleBum

Summer is almost here and with that comes the family travel season. As fun and memorable as they can be, they also can be chaotic and require a lot of planning. Grainne Kelly, founder of the award-winning inflatable car booster seat BubbleBum, is here with some advice for planning your family vacation to be the best it can be for everyone and without the chaos.

Are we there yet?

The best solution to this travel obstacle happens when no one asks the question. It may sound too good to be true, but it is possible to enjoy getting from place to place. First, know your kids and your personal limits. If they are good sleepers and the travel hours long, try leaving late at night. Have the designated driver rest well before the trip. Everyone else has a normal day, ending with calming baths and comfy jammies. Wake up your driver, load up the car and hit the open road. Passengers get a chance to sleep, the driver gets a peaceful drive hopefully less traffic. Be sure to an easy arrival day. The driver will need a chance to rest, so hopping out of the car and into an amusement park could cause some drama. Plan for day one to be spent exploring your accommodations, checking out the pool and playground and giving the tired driver some rest. Airline travel can be accomplished much the same way. Be sure to pack a small activity bag with snacks for each traveler just in case the excitement changes sleeping expectations.

If you chose to travel by daylight or are a family of travels too excited to rest, the trick to avoiding ‘are we there yet’ is found in how you pack the travel bags. Keeping the peace starts with everyone getting their own special bag of tricks. Magnetic puzzles, personal electronics, travel friendly art supplies and snacks are just a few of the ways to keep your travelers happily busy. Play a game together. The license plate game is a classic, but you can always include I Spy or a travel scavenger hunt. Choose known landmarks along your travel route and have a goal list. You can challenge the family to find them all or challenge each other by seeing who finds them all first.

Stop for Breaks:

Excitement and anticipation makes heroes of us all sometimes. Acknowledge it, and plan for it. There is nothing worse than arriving at your dream vacation exhausted and grumpy. Include breaks in your plan and arrive ready to enjoy the trip you’ve worked hard for. Rest stops are a good option for a picnic break. Pack a frisbee or ball for the family to work off any potential wiggles. Major airports sometimes include play areas for little ones. Check airport maps for options during layovers. If a designated play area is not available, take a walk around your terminal and stretch.

Be Prepared:

Regardless of how you travel: plane, train, boat, or car, be sure you have a minimum of a change of clothes and a few days of any required medicines for each member of your family. Copies of important documents and contact information should be included. You may choose one ready bag for everyone or incorporate these items in each individual’s travel bag, but don’t skip the step. If you make it through your travels without needing it, great! But on the occasion that you do need it, you’ll be grateful.

Travel Safely:

Research travel safety requirements across states and countries you travel through. Be sure the car seats and boosters you have will meet standards in each area you travel. Car seat bags for air travel keep your seat clean, protected, and are a great way to pack extra diapers, toys and blankets while saving room in your luggage. For older children, booster seats are key safety and comfort increasing measure. A great solution to booster seat travel is BubbleBum. The cost-effective, portable, lightweight, brightly colored, inflatable car booster seat for children aged between 4-11 easily deflates and folds flat so that kids or moms can carry it in a rucksack or handbag, making it perfect for vacation, rental cars, taxis, coach journeys, field trips or carpooling. BubbleBum is an innovative, portable, inflatable booster seat designed to ensure safe seat belt positioning and cure the dreaded ‘dead leg’ feeling your kids complain about when they spend longer jaunts in the booster seat. Happy, comfortable kids, make happy travelers. And the reduction in the amount of bulky items to haul when traveling makes dad and mom happy.

Planning with Flexibility:

Your idea of vacation doesn’t include spreadsheets and timed reservations? Have no fear and plan anyway. A plan is just a framework of information that makes rolling with the options your travels present that much easier. At a minimum, jot down your travel dates, any potential stops and places to stay. Research the areas you intend to visit and be aware of potential delays you might incur like festivals, parades, or holiday closures. Most popular destinations have planned maintenance and down time. You don’t want to roll into your favorite vacation place to find the main attraction or pool closed for refurbishment. Imagine the groans and potential drama. So even for the planning averse, spending a few minutes gathering information and building a basic vacation plan will make your travels a success.

 

Grainne Kelly

Grainne Kelly

About Grainne Kelly:

Grainne Kelly is a former travel agent and certified child passenger safety technician who revolutionized the child travel industry by inventing BubbleBum: the world’s FIRST inflatable booster seat that travels anywhere, fits three across, weighs less than one pound and can deflate in seconds, making it simple to throw in a backpack or purse. She regularly offers insight on child travel safety as well as planning/organizing for family trips. https://www.bubblebum.co/us/.

BubbleBum is sold online at BubbleBum.co/us and in Target stores nationwide. You can also connect with them on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.