Family, Travel, When in

How to Travel with Pets

With the holidays fast approaching, you may be visiting relatives that live near by. Your getting yourself organized and ready to go….you’ve made a list of road trip essentials (check out our list here) or your preparing to take a short flight. But what about your pets??? Pets need a vacation too and make great companions when your traveling. Whether your traveling by car, train or air, I’ve put together a travel guide to help navigate the “getting there” part of you trip with your pet in tow.

Before You Em-bark!

  1. Fit for Travel: Make sure your pet is fit for travel; your veterinarian can help with this! Talk to them about your destination and how your getting there so they can advise if your pet is ready.
  2. Pet Identification: Make sure your pet has an ID tag for their collar with a phone number where you can reached. Also, microchipping is another great option for identification.
  3. Travel Accessories: A pet crate or carrier is a must when traveling; make sure it is well ventilated and big enough for them to sit, turn around or lie down. Introduce your pet to a new carrier at home before your trip. You don’t want them freaking out when its time to leave.

Travelling By Car

  1. Buckle Up or Carrier: Pets should wear their seat belt – yes, pet seat belts do exist. If your not comfortable with that, put them in their carrier. Also, don’t let pets sit in your lap while driving. Major distraction!
  2. Paws In: Make sure you pet keeps their heads and paws inside a moving vehicle. You can crack a window for them to feel the breeze; just make sure they can’t get their full head out.
  3. Light Meals: Give you pet a light meal at least 4 hours before your trip and don’t feed them in the car. The last thing you want is a motion sick pet…..
  4. Pit Stops: Don’t forget to stop every 2-3 hours for bathroom breaks and exercise (for both you!).

Travelling by Air

  1. In Cabin: Currently not allowed due to COVID-19 but if your pet is an emotional support animal they are allowed. Pets must be small and less than 20 lbs to accompany you in the cabin. NOTE: Check with your airline first!
  2. Arrive Early: Get to the airport early to allow you pet a little exercise before your flight.
  3. Light Meals: Give you pet a light meal at least 4 hours before your trip. Pets can be prone to air sickness so keep things on the light side.
  4. No Sedation: Don’t sedate your pet during air travel because sedation medication can increase heart rate and aggravate respiratory issues. Additionally, sedatives interfere with their balance and equilibrium!

Travelling by Train

  1. Small pets: Amtrak, the nations largest passenger train carrier, allows pets 20 lbs and under to travel by train on trips up to 7 hours. NOTE: Be sure to check their policies before you book your trip.
  2. Carry on Luggage: A pet in their carrier is counted as 1 carry-on luggage so pack wisely.
  3. Food & Drink: Bring collapsible food and drink bowls to feed your pet on the train. Remember, a light meal a couple of hours before your journey.
  4. Utilize Scheduled Stops: Take advantage of scheduled stop(s) by taking a brisk walk on the platform and a quick potty break. Your pet will thank you!

No matter how you travel, your pet can be a welcome companion on your journey. They enjoy getting out as much as you do and probably love all the sights, sounds and smells they encounter. Just be sure you have everything you need to make your trip successful and stress-free.

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Food, Surviving Chaos

Vibibi: Kenyan Coconut Rice Pancakes

Vibibi or little coconut rice pancakes is a delicious dish from Kenya. Hundreds of years ago many different nations arrived to trade in Kenya along its coasts. Many of these countries influenced and blended with African traditions within Kenya. In cities like Mombasa, Arab and Indian influences help form the spice blend we see in Vibibi. In Swahili, Vibibi means little ladies and more than one so this recipes makes about 6 pancakes. But if you only want one, just say “kibibi”.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups (304 ml) rice flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.5 ml) cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

Let’s Make It!

  1. PLAN AHEAD: It takes an hour for the batter to rise for this recipe.
  2. In a small bowl, mix yeast, water, and pinch of sugar. Let stand for about 5 minutes and the mixture will start to foam.
  3. In a big bowl mix sugar, rice, flour and cardamom. Then add coconut milk and yeast mixture. Stir well.
    1. Note: The batter should be pourable like pancake batter. If not, add a little water.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it alone for at least an hour.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Pour roughly 1/4 cup of batter in the pan and spread to form a small pancake.
  6. When bubbles start to form, flip the pancake to cook the other side.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 to cook the rest of the batter. Be sure to heat a little more oil on the pan before pouring.
  8. Serve with fresh fruit and enjoy!

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Family, Travel, When in

Twin Lakes Park, Texas

Twin Lakes Park, Cedar Park, TX

Twin Lakes is a 50-acre tract of land that features hike and bike trails and beautiful native Texas flora and fauna. There is plenty of space to social distancing and the perfect outing for families who love to be out in nature. The park offers plenty of additional amenities such as pavilions, a swimming pool/water playscape, multi-purpose sports fields, an archery range, a beach/swimming area, and so much more! This is another great way to tour your own city; not sure how to do that? Check our my post here for some creative ideas to get you started.

On our trip, our kids loved stopping and reading all the nature facts and plant identification signs throughout the trail. They made sure they didn’t miss any so we ended up being at the park for longer than expected. The best part was seeing the GIANT red headed centipede crossing one of the trails to get to the creek on the other side. And of course my son started with his “Did you know…” facts for the rest of our trip and all the way home.

The Texas landscape was beautiful and you can’t beat that water fall! We saw so many natural creeks within the park and even a moss covered waterfall. Of course our kids said it reminded them of the smurfs…go figure! On our way out, we stopped by the lake and visited the ducks who were very friendly. I’m sure they were looking for food but alas, we didn’t have any. Mental note for next time. Also, don’t forget your camera as there are lots of photo opportunities within the park.

Surviving Chaos

In order to make the most of you time at the park and prevent kid meltdowns, I’ve provided some surviving chaos tips. Have fun exploring at the park!

  • Sunblock: Be sure to put on lots of sunblock to prevent sunburn. This is the first rule of thumb for any outdoor activity.
  • Early Morning: Best time to visit the park is early morning. It’s cooler, less crowded and your kids will have energy to burn. A fun filled morning at the park makes for a well rested and relaxed afternoon (I hope)
  • Backpack: This is the perfect place to keep water, first aid kits, sunblock, snacks, portable potty seat, etc. What ever creature comforts you need. Remember to keep it light weight since you’ll be doing a lot of walking and/or biking.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks! Apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, granola/protein bars, goldfish or whatever your kids like. You don’t want food meltdowns and HAN-gry kids in the middle of your hiking journey

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Family, Food, Surviving Chaos

Äppelpaj: Swedish Apple Pie

Swedish Apple Pie

Äppel means apple and paj means pie and when you put them together you get a scrumptious Swedish dessert. The Skåne region, in the south of Sweden, is famous for growing yummy apples so this recipe is a must! This pie is so good and so simple, you don’t even need to make a crust. It can be eaten warm or cold and don’t forget to top it off with ice cream or whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) cinnamon
  • dash of cardamom (optional)
    • Fun Fact: Cardamom is popular in Sweden where its called kardemumma.
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) butter
  • 1 cup (128 g) flour
  • 1 egg

Let’s Make It!

  1. Preheat the over to 350o (175oC). Put the apple slices in the pie dish.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup (50 g) of the sugar, along with the cinnamon and cardamom (if using), and sprinkle it over the apples.
  3. Gently toss the apples to coat them evenly in sugar and spice.
  4. Put the butter in a medium-sized bowl and have a grownup help melt it in the microwave.
  5. Take the melted butter out of the microwave and add the remaining cup of sugar and the flour. Stir to combine and then mix in the egg.
  6. Pout the mixture into the pie pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture over the apples.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. That’s it….easy as pie!!
The Traveller's Wife Signature

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Family, Surviving Chaos

Halloween Craft-Paper Pumpkins!

If you won’t be trick or treating this year and are looking for something fun to do, why not try paper pumpkins. This fun craft is courtesy of Easy Peasy and Fun blog which has lots of fun crafts for all the seasons. Of course when we did this craft we put our own spin on it…..yes, the top pumpkin is wearing glasses! Ha! Here are the super easy instructions in visual format. There is so much more you can do with these pumpkins, have fun!

Here is what you will need:

  • Orange Paper (regular or construction)
  • Green Paper (regular or construction) to make a leaf (optional)
  • Black Paper (regular or construction) to make the eyes and mouth
  • Glue (glue sticks are easier for little hands)
  • Scissors

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