Flashpacking and Travel

It’s the latest in backpacker trends. But what is flashpacking, and how do you flashpack successfully? Flashpackers have been defined as those in their mid 20s to early 30s who still follow the backpacker route and travel like a backpacker. Where they differ from the traditional budget globetrotter, however, is in their budget and their desire for comfort and amenities while they are travelling. Flashpackers expect better accommodation and have more money to spend on food and other comforts while they move around the world.Flashpackers are still loyal to the basic backpacker philosophy, such as no fixed itineraries, experiencing the culture of a place and taking advantage of cheap flights and hostel accommodation, but there are a few things that set them apart from the conventional backpacker.What makes a flashpacker?- Extra money. Rather than saving the bare minimum to get by while travelling, flashpackers embark on their journeys with more money so that they can afford to splurge on drinks, meals out, partying and tours. Flashpackers on Bali holidays, for example, might stay in hostels but will spend their cash on nights out, nice meals and picking up souvenirs.- Technology. What really sets a flashpacker apart from a backpacker is the electronic goods with which they travel. According to a Hostelworld study in 2006, 21 percent of people travel with a laptop, 54 percent with an MP3 player, 83 percent with a mobile phone and 86 percent travel with a digital camera. These ‘flash’ items make it easier for travellers to stay connected with home, be comfortable, capture their memories and be entertained.Many hostels now cater to the growing flashpacker market, who are willing to pay for slightly improved hostel facilities, such as private rooms and bathrooms. Student travel will always be about affordability, but this new wave of backpackers is changing the scene slightly and adding a bit of glamour and comfort to the conventional budget lifestyle and threadbare living of the traditional backpacker.

6 Ways to Motivate Your Child Toward a Life Time of Health and Fitness

I can remember my mom saying she just wanted to live long enough to see all of her three children reach adulthood. But while I was in college something came along to change that game plan. It was Seth, the first of her twelve grandchildren. She did live to see all of these children born. A favorite photo I have of her is her racing my youngest son, Kian. with his three year old arms flung in the air in victory.As parents and potential grandparents, we have an investment in guarding our own health and fitness. We don’t just want to watch from the sidelines but we want to be able to go and do with the younger people in our lives. We have an even stronger urge to protect their health and fitness.Here are six important facts to help you stay motivated to be physically active:1. No matter what one’s weight or gender the biggest predictor of current exercise participation is past participation. Children who learn to enjoy physical activity or sports while they are young are much more likely to continue to do so as adults. Children will become intrinsically motivated to exercise when they are older if they experience it as being rewarding, fun, and relaxing when they are young. We continue doing what leads to happiness, freedom, and admiration and respect. We stop doing what we feel reveals our weaknesses or incompetencies. These early experiences with health and fitness need to be very positive and enjoyable.2. Character counts. People with the character traits of being reliable, self-motivating, and disciplined are most likely continue with an exercise program. These traits are also best installed at a young age and parents are the most influential model and teacher of these traits. If you want your child to be dependable then you must be dependable, too.3. Locus of control will influence if someone will participate in health and fitness programs. A person must believe that what they do matters when it comes to their health. Having access to and being taught the latest information on health and fitness related matters will increase a person’s active participation. If they are unaware of how much control over their own health and fitness they actually have via diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices they will be less likely to do the things that are proven to enhance their health and fitness.4. Perceived barriers such as a lack of time will discourage participation. Most health gains can be achieved in as little as 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week with additional muscle strengthening activities that are moderate or vigorous in intensity and involve all major muscle groups two or more times a week.5. Perceived barriers such as a lack of exercise facilities will also discourage participation. As it turns out, there is no place like home. Body weight and exercises with simple, inexpensive home equipment can get the job done at home when people are given a well-designed, intelligent program to follow.6. Social support from family and friends is an important predictor of whether someone will maintain an exercise program once they get started. Having someone to count on and someone counting on you to keep an exercise appointment can make all the difference. Iron sharpens iron and we can be key to each other’s success.Begin today to implement each of these six motivational tools. Exercising with your children in a playful way now will cause them to associate fitness and happiness. This is the key to their participation in healthy activities throughout their lives.