• Source: 50 Smart Travel Tips to Consider This Summer

    Take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip and see . . . No matter the destination, prepping for vacation seems to entail the same things - like getting cash, downloading apps, calling credit card companies to packing carefully to make sure you don't forget anything important. If you plan on jetting the globe this Summer, consider these guides to life on the road.

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  • By Sarah B. Weir(Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)
    More from Green Picks blog

    The first buzz of a mosquito is an unpleasant reminder that summer fun comes with a pesky price. We examined the science behind common mosquito myths and found that while some have a basis in reality, many are plain bunk. Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance -- they carry harmful diseases such as encephalitis and malaria.

    Here's what you need to know about the season's most unwanted guest:


    1. Lemon dish soap and Listerine repel mosquitoes

    Fiction: This myth has been widely circulated around the Internet. According to the Florida Medical Entomology Lab at the University of Florida, these household products do not work to thwart mosquitoes. One of the most effective repellents is DEET. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends repellents with Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

    If you use a product containing DEET, read the label and do not over-apply. DEET is a powerful chemical that can be harmful if used

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  • High in Wyoming, Grand Teton National park give you a view of the outdoors in a new and beautiful light.

    Snake River with the Teton Range
    Wake at sunrise to watch first light transform the majestic view of Teton Range. Then, spend the afternoon floating down Snake River.

    Phelps Lake
    Explore the 1,106-acre Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve (or LSR Preserve) on the shore of Phelps Lake. Opened in 2008, its state-of-the-art visitor center and the park's interpretive facility are among the most environmentally advanced buildings in the entire national park system.
    Grand Teton Activities

    Jackson Hole, Wyoming
    For anyone oriented toward the outdoors, Jackson Hole comes pretty close to perfection. 97 percent of the valley is state and federal land, while the Jackson Hole Land Trust has gained protection for another 15,000 acres of ranchland. This is where you'll find some of the country's best out-your-front-door recreation.
    With the Jackson Hole Community Center for the Arts, the

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  • The heat wave currently baking much of the country is a lot less fun than the one sung about by Martha and the Vandelles. As temperatures climb to historic levels and humidity wilts the most summer-proof among us, staying cool is serious business.

    It means I've got a whole new level of appreciation for my Wednesday night swimming lessons at the local Y. No matter how high the mercury rises, I've got an escape route: at 7:30pm, I'll be hopping into cool water to paddle, float, and feel my fingers shrink back to the normal size. It may not be a pristine Alpine lake, but it works. And the walk home with wet hair, my body tired and cooled off to its very core, is one of the sweetest moments of the week.

    How do you and your family stay cool in this crazy hot weather?


    Read More »from What's your favorite stay-cool spot?
  • How much water do we really need? You may think six to eight glasses per day because you have probably read many articles and had discussions with your doctor to support that. But a Scottish physician has blasted that standard in a British Medical Journal article, stirring the debate about how much water we should drink and how much is too much and bad for our health.

    Dr. Margaret McCartney argues there is no quality scientific evidence to support the recommendation, which she says can lead to over-hydration problems for some people.

    Here's what you need to know to sort hydration hype from good health advice.

    Don't skimp
    The eight-glass formula doesn't fit for everyone. It depends on your gender, size, and level of activity, other studies note. The Institute of Medicine calls for adult men to drink 13 cups of fluid daily (which totals three liters, or a little more than four tall reusable water bottles) and women to have nine cups (2.2 liters, or about the amount found in three

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  • I desperately want to buy a giant chicken for my husband and put it in the driver's seat of his car. I am not sure what he would make of that. In fact, I cannot even picture his reaction. But I would be amused, and the mere thought makes me chuckle. However, I don't know where I would get one of these birds, so for now, it is just a musing.

    What I CAN do is find another prank to play on him and get the kids involved. Well, not so much our newborn son, but our 16 months daughter will get a few giggles. I think it will be a great family project where me and Munchie plot, er, plan, a surprise for Daddy.


    I always read these articles about fun summer activities to keep the kids entertained. I have never seen playing pranks listed as such an activity. Have people lost their sense of humor? Not to mention the bonding parents would get with their kids as they conspire together.


    My daughter absolutely adores kitties. We have four of them, which is probably why she has such an

    Read More »from User Post: Pranks -- A Fun Summer Family Activity
  • Post and photo by Britt Reints.
    I think educational travel gets a bad rap among parents and kids. While touring government buildings and exploring historic sites may not sound like an average child's idea of a good time, it is possible to plan a family vacation that is both educational and fun for kids. In fact, I'd suggest that building a little learning into your travel itinerary may actually make your getaway more enjoyable for everyone. Why bother with learning on vacation?

    The thought of turning family vacation into learning opportunities conjures up images of demanding mothers who never let their children relax; it's certainly not my intention to be like that. However, I have found that my kids actually behave better when their brains are engaged and they're being challenged. A day or two doing nothing but hanging by the pool is great, but too much downtime has my children begging for something to do and picking at each other, neither of which is conducive to a fun family

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  • If you've ever had a run-in with poison ivy (or its brethren, poison oak or sumac), chances are you remember the encounter all too well. The red, itchy blisters of the accompanying rash are unpleasant at best and unbearable at worst. The only good news is that you're not alone in this misery: More than 85 percent of people react to this pesky plant the same way.

    More Natural Cures That Work Like Magic

    What most people don't realize is that a poison ivy outbreak is actually an allergy--contact dermatitis, to be precise. And the trigger is an oil secreted by the plants called urushiol. Some people are more sensitive to urushiol oil than others. And a few lucky people are not sensitive to it at all--they can literally roll in the stuff and not get a reaction. But our experts don't advise it. Sensitivity to urushiol can develop at any time. "We're not exactly sure why some people are sensitive to it and some aren't, but it seems to relate to exposure to certain chemicals," explains

    Read More »from Prevention’s Quick Fix: 8 Ways to relieve poison ivy
  • By KyAnn Lewis, GalTime.com

    Although my husband is ready to start pitching a tent instead of making hotel reservations, I'm not quite there yet. I thought I'd start out smaller and stay closer to home (and the facilities). If you don't have the time ... or experience ... to take the family on a full-fledged camping trip, how about a backyard camp out?

    To find out how to create a fun and memorable backyard camping experience, I consulted with the experts at PlayOutdoors.com who, in addition to selling outdoor gear for kids, have a blog packed with ideas for outdoor fun.

    Related: A Beginner's Guide to Camping With Kids

    GalTime: What are some ways to "camp" in your own backyard?

    Heidi Drake, PlayOutdoors: Ease into it with a little "day camp"-break out the grill and picnic supplies, and if you have a fire pit, practice roasting some hotdogs and marshmallows. Spread a blanket on the ground, and snuggle up in sleeping bags for some stargazing. If everyone seems to be

    Read More »from The Joy of a Family Backyard Camp Out


  • Some games are just perfect for getting a little help from your friends- and siblings. Co-operative video games allow parents and kids, siblings, or best friends to bond over playing a video game. Here are some to try that might help alleviate a battle over the video game controller.


    1. Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey Quintet of princesses lead young girls on safe, fun romp.

    Targeted squarely at your kindergarten-aged girl, the game puts her in the slippers of a lass who is led by a pixie to a dilapidated castle and told that the only way to restore it to its former glory is to help a quintet of princesses-Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Little Mermaid's Ariel, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin's Jasmine, and Cinderella-in their struggle against the an evil witch and her minions, blobby bad guys known as bogs.

    Her journey takes her to famous locations from the princesses' films, including castles, mines, cottages, and forests. She is bestowed a

    Read More »from Stop Fighting! Games That Will Have Your Kids' Playing Together - Quietly.

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