Hello, I’m Angelica Kajiwara

Welcome to our corner of the internet where we travel to strengthen family bonds, have fun and make core memories together. We learn together as we go. We love Jesus.

  • 5 Reasons to Skip the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge

    No, I’m not a nature hater. My whole family loves hiking and enjoying the outdoors. So, when I heard about the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge, I jumped in headfirst. I downloaded the tracking app and added a minimum of 3 hours of outside time to our daily plans. Soon, I learned that this challenge didn’t inspire us to be outside more. Keep reading to discover why we opted out of the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. 

    The Weather

    After reading There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather, I felt convicted to keep my kids outside in the rain, sleet, sun and snow, no matter what. Here’s the thing, my kids don’t like being outdoors in all sorts of weather. Sometimes, they do, and sometimes they don’t, but I started removing that choice in favor of hitting our 1000 hours outside goal. It turned into whining, complaining and zero fun for any of us. Since we stopped tracking our time outside, my kids go out in all sorts of weather when they want to go, but I don’t force it.  

    Nature vs. Screens

    If you’ve researched the movement, you know many children spend way more time looking at screens than outside. We don’t. In our house, we like TV sometimes; otherwise, we’re always doing something other than screen time. So, we’re meeting that goal in different ways. And screens aren’t the enemy. But, screen addiction is the enemy. Also, I don’t want my kids thinking they have to go outside. I want them to love going outside.  

    The Stress

    As a working homeschool mom of three, I’m all full up when it comes to stress and expectations. Are they learning what they need to know? Do they get enough time with friends? Are they active enough? Great! Let’s add, do they spend 1000 hours outside every year? No thanks. I don’t need another box to check or an app notification to check. Thankfully, I’ve been able to let outside time happen organically, and we’re all a little calmer for it. 

    The Love

    I love being outside. I grew up camping and hiking and swimming in lakes. My heart needs the sun, sand, dirt and breeze. That’s what I want for my kids. I don’t want them to think about being outside as another goal to meet. I want them to fall in love with family time by a fire and tiny ants scurrying across the patio. I hope the outdoors fills them with joy. 

    The Trend

    Last but not least, I’m over the trends. There’s always something shiny and new to chase. Is that really how we want our kids to grow up? If they’re always going after something trendy, they’ll miss out on the tried-and-true gifts we’ve all been enjoying for thousands of years. Nature isn’t new, and it isn’t trendy. It’s God’s gift for all of us to steward and enjoy. We don’t need a timer to enjoy it. 

    Give yourself permission to skip the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. Instead, just enjoy your time together in nature. You might end up outside more than you ever imagined when you all crave it naturally. 

  • ,

    Find the Best Homeschool Discounts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    Homeschool families love to vacation during the off-season. This year, we took our fall trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We planned to hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but we got rained out all week long. So I had to think fast to make sure all of us enjoyed our week away. To my surprise, Pigeon Forge is a super homeschool-friendly town. Almost everywhere we went offered a homeschool discount, and we learned so much together while we had a ton of fun.

    Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

    Of course, we wanted to visit this award-winning aquarium from the start. The aquarium offers many educational opportunities for homeschool families. Your crew can explore the different exhibits throughout the facility, participate in daily lab activities or attend monthly educational programs. Thankfully, Ripley’s franchise offers discounts at all the local attractions, not just the aquarium.

    Homeschool Rates:

    • Aquarium
      • Student & immediate minor siblings living in the household $10.99+tax per person
      • Teaching Parents $19.99+tax per person
      • Children 2-5 $6.00+tax per child
    • Believe It or Not!: $15.00+tax
    • Mirror Maze: $6.00+tax
    • Haunted Adventure: $9.00+tax
    • Super Fun Zone Laser Tag: $9.00+tax
    • Super Fun Zone Indoor Mini-Golf: $7.00+tax
    • Davy Crockett mini golf: $9.00+tax
    • Old MacDonald mini golf: $9.00+tax
    • Moving Theater: $9.00+tax

    Don’t forget to bring one of the following: a Letter of Intent, Attendance Report, School ID.

    Pro tip: I print our school IDs through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.


    On day two, we decided to check out WonderWorks for one of their homeschool days offered from September through November. This family-friendly museum has 100+ hands-on exhibits everyone will love. My kids had so much fun, but they were bummed they didn’t meet the height requirements for most of the more physical exhibits. 

    • Homeschool Rate – $12.00+tax per person

    We happened to visit on Teacher Appreciation Day. On those days, a teacher and guest get in for free, and everyone else in the group gets in for $10.00+tax. It was packed, though! I wouldn’t recommend visiting on these days unless you’re good with crowds and long lines. Either way, everyone will love this fantastic museum.

    Parrot Mountain

    My oldest daughter loves birds. She told me she wants to be a “bird doctor” when she grows up. So, of course, we had to visit Parrot Mountain during our stay. My kiddos enjoyed the cages filled with gorgeous birds, but the bird feeding areas and the baby bird nursery won her heart in every way. If I’m honest, I’m not a huge bird person, but watching my little ones’ faces light up made my day. Of course, Parrot Mountain doesn’t offer a big discount, but every little bit helps, right?

    • Homeschool Rate: Call for the current rate

    This place is the ultimate rainy day spot for your kids to burn off some serious energy after a morning full of worksheets. They have big and little kid ninja warrior courses, trampolines, dodgeball courts, and so much more. There is a concession stand on-site, but you can bring in outside food.

    • Homeschool Rate: $10.00+tax for one hour

    OK, I’m throwing this one in here without a discount offer, but bear with me. You don’t want to miss this stop with your family. It is a blast! Pigeon Forge Snow is the only indoor snow tubing facility of its kind in the United States. I was worried it was too fast for my little kids, but they loved every minute of it. My husband and I went down at least ten times too.

    We couldn’t see it all in a week, so I’ll include a list of the other places we missed that offer a homeschool discount.


    Special Rates are available to homeschool students & families during Homeschool Days at Dollywood from August through September.

    Reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance by calling 888-428-6789. Payment in full must be made at the time of reservation. Homeschool tickets are not available for purchase at the front gate.

    • Homeschool Rate:
      • Child’s ticket: $37.00+tax
      • Adult tickets are $47.00+tax
      •  Splash Country: child and adult tickets: $37.00+tax
      • Dreammore Resort: $120.00+tax per night

    Alcatraz East

    Homeschoolers and parents can explore the history of American Crime, Law Enforcement & Forensic Science at a discounted rate!

    • Homeschool Rate: $12.00+tax


    • The rate is available only on weekdays when school is in session.
    • These special promotional rates cannot be combined with other discounts or offers and are not valid holidays.

    Titanic Museum

    History, science, geography, language and social studies are fun to learn when boys and girls participate in the “teacher-approved” Titanic Scavenger Hunt at the World’s Largest Titanic Museum Attraction.

    • Homeschool Rate: $13.00+tax

    Comment below and let me know if you found additional homeschool discounts in the area. I’d love to add them to this list!

  • Hidden Rock Scrambling Hikes the Whole Family Will Love

    Hikes that scramble over rocks, around giant boulders and through crevices can be some of the most adventurous and fun for kids. Little ones are often natural climbers, and nature’s playgrounds are fun for the whole family. Grab your sturdy hiking shoes and keep scrolling for our favorite scrambles in the DC area.

    Sunrise Trail, Sugarloaf Mountain, Dickerson, Maryland

    A one-mile hike up and back to an epic view makes this scramble worth every rock. My little ones are 4, 4 and 3 years old, and they made up this path on their own, but not without a few skinned knees. The hike is shady all the way to the top, and the overlook is nothing short of breath-taking. Stop at the family-friendly winery at the bottom of the mountain when you’re finished. 

    Devil’s Den, National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Trust me; this one is worth the drive. Yes, you can hike around the military park and take a self-guided tour for tons of civil war history, but we spent our entire afternoon scrambling around Devil’s Den. The central rock outcropping is full of climbing spots and dark crevices to explore, but there are lots of other little places to hop around too. The area is in full sun so keep that in mind when you plan your visit. 

    Burnt Mills Park East, Silver Spring, Maryland   

    The hike is fantastic if your crew is up for it. We didn’t make it very far because my kids wanted to climb the huge rocks and splash around in the water. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous waterfall. We enjoyed our picnic on the rocks too. Save this hike for fall because the leaf-peeping is incredible. Park West is just across the street, and there is a picturesque dam to see there too.   

    Cunningham Falls State Park, Cliffs Trail, Thurmont, Maryland

    We chose the upper falls trail at 1.4 miles to take in all the rocks. There aren’t many rocks to climb up and over, but the trail itself is a moderate scramble to the falls. I’ve heard there are quite a few scramble hikes in the area. We’ll have to go back to find some more. 

    Weverton Cliffs, Knoxville, Maryland

    Again, this isn’t a climbing trail as much as a moderate hike full of rocks to scramble over. The views are worth the effort, and there is plenty of shade to keep you cool on your way to the top. My little ones didn’t make it all the way up on a hot summer day, so we’re planning to try again on a chilly fall morning.  

    Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park, Leesburg, Virginia

    I would save this hike for warm weather because you’ll miss some great scrambling if you can’t get through the water. Don’t be turned off by the walk through the golf course; the area is beautiful down by the river, and the hike is very little kid-friendly. Pack a change of clothes just in case splashing turns to sitting in the water. 

    Worth the Drive: White Rocks Trail, Boiling Springs, PA

    About 1 mile in, you’ll come to a pretty big scramble, and I highly recommend you get everybody to the top. The view is absolutely amazing. I knew we wouldn’t do this entire 2.9-mile out and back trail, but I’m so glad we made it to this overlook spot. We even ate our picnic at the top so we could keep on enjoying the view together.

    We still have a list of places we want to visit. I’ll update the list as we get to each one.

    • Bear’s Den
    • Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls
    • C&O Lock 10
    • Carderock Recreation Area

  • Go Glamping in Mill Creek, Pennsylvania

    Vacation plans have gone from plan A to plan B (or even C) in a hurry, but what is plan B? Hotels are iffy at best with all the safety concerns, and rentals pose the same problem. How about a fresh air option with all the comforts of home? Airydale Retreat is the answer for your next family vacation.

    Glamping is the perfect introduction to camping because they take care of the hard part – setting up camp. We stayed at the Cardinal Glampsite. It is a family-sized tent with a slide attached. How cool is that?

    Our family of five had plenty of room. The queen-sized bed was super comfy and all of the linens were waiting for us (queen sheets, quilt, pillows, washcloths and towels). The twins slept on the bunk bed cots, and we brought a twin-sized air mattress for our youngest. We packed linens and pillows for those beds. Even in the dead of summer, with 90-degree days, it was pretty chilly at night. We ended up at a local store buying extra blankets.

    The owner of Airydale Retreat thought of everything. We had pots and pans, non-stick cooking spray, dishwashing tubs and drying racks, dish soap, dish towels, fresh water, a single extension cord, cooking and eating utensils, mugs, Coleman stove, firewood, kindling, picnic table, matches, coffee, percolator, cooler, lanterns, hotdog and marshmallow roasting sticks, basic first aid kit, a bar of eco-friendly soap, children’s books and two anti-gravity chairs on the deck. We also had bins for trash, recycling and compost.

    We packed clothes, food, toiletries and ice. That’s it!

    Our View

    Just steps away from the glampsite, there is a huge outdoor shower with hot water and a well-maintained porta-potty. I was able to take all three kids into the shower to wash them off. It was fast and easy.

    The area around the retreat is beautiful and very rural. We found a grocery store, ice cream stand, convenience store (be sure to visit Ye Olde Cheese Shoppe – they have ice too) and a farm that sells raw milk. Other than that, you’ll have to drive at least 30 minutes for much else.

    Most importantly, we spent three wonderful unplugged days together. The kids dug for bugs and got super dirty. We chatted over firepit coffee and s’mores. We made amazing memories together, and we’re already planning to go back.

    Trough Creek State Park – Copperas Rock

    If you are looking for fun places to hike and explore, both Greenwood Furnace and Trough Creek State Parks are great options.

  • ,

    3 Reasons to Book a Farm Stay Now

    While farmers markets bring fresh food to you, farm stays invite guests to the farm to experience the lifestyle – for a night, for a weekend, or more. But why vacation on a farm? Here are our top 3 reasons to pack up the family and head out to the country.

    Connect with nature

    Where else can you snuggle a baby chick, hand feed a goat, practice your best turkey call and eat under a gorgeous shade tree? Your family can do all of that and more when you vacation on a farm.

    PandA Homestead in Capron, Virginia

    Our family has enjoyed quite a few farm stay vacations, and I’ve never felt more relaxed and more connected to nature. There is nothing like the up-close experience of taking care of the animals, learning about where your food comes from and spending truly intentional family time together.

    Pine Ridge Dude Ranch in Kerhonkson, New York

    Connect with the animals

    This isn’t a typical day at the zoo. Your kiddos will get to care for, ride on and play with their new furry and feathered friends. We’ve watched our children grow in confidence and learn so much from our farm stay adventures. They respect and love the animals they’ve met. They also know exactly where their food comes from.

    Connect with each other

    Family time is precious. Family time away from grind is priceless. A farm stay allows your family to spend time together learning, playing and connecting like never before.

    Blue Hill Farm in Boyce, Virginia

    Some of our favorite travel memories were created during our farm stays together. We do our best to unplug and take full advantage of the beauty around us. It is so fun to watch as our kids explore, get dirty and grow together. Also, our little ones aren’t into R-n-R like we are and it is so nice to have lots to do right outside our front door.

    PandA Homestead in Capron, Virginia

    Next time you sit down to plan your family vacation, visit Farm Stay USA and check out the family farms near you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

  • My Girl’s Weekend in Richmond, Virginia at The Jefferson Hotel

    Last weekend, we set off on a much-needed girl’s weekend – kid free.  I know I know, you’ll miss those adorable faces, I sure did, but the gorgeous hotel will make up for it, promise. We hope you enjoy this review of The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia!


    Our home away from home for the two nights we were in town was in the downtown Richmond area. The hotel itself is absolutely gorgeous. Visiting the hotel felt like stepping into a luxury time machine that transported me back to the early 1800s.  The opulent statue of Thomas Jefferson greeted me upon arrival as well as the kind and attentive staff.


    We stayed in a Grand Premier Guest Room with two queen beds, sitting area, dressing area, and a to-die-for bathroom with dual sinks and an in-mirror TV.


    Seriously, I need that bathroom in my life.


    The room was spacious, comfortable and well-appointed with everything we could have ever needed.  I mean, a mama needs her Nespresso machine, right?


    Another bonus was the location. It is in the heart of downtown Richmond, and the complimentary shuttle can take you just about anywhere in the downtown area. The area is packed full with perfect little restaurants and cafes to start your girl’s weekend off right.


    No girl’s weekend is complete without a little room service and breakfast in bed.  We decided that vacation calories don’t count and went for all the breakfast goodness.  Top that off with one of the fluffy robes, and I think I found heaven on earth.


    I had no trouble enjoying my toddler-free morning in bed, but Susannah decided to take advantage of the fitness center and indoor pool.  To each her own, I guess.  Just kidding!


    We decided we eventually had to leave the hotel, so we drove over to Agecroft Hall.  It is a Tudor mansion right in the middle of Richmond.  It is kind of crazy, but T.C. Williams purchased the mansion in the UK, and after a long political debate, disassembled it, and sailed it back to Virginia.


    The home and gardens are stunning, and the history is super cool.  I highly recommend adding it to your “kid-free” list of things to do in the area.


    We ended up checking out the New York Deli for lunch and found ourselves in the midst of another amazing history lesson. Opening in 1929, and in its present location since 1934, the New York Deli is Richmond’s oldest (any maybe yummiest) restaurant.


    Be sure to bring a few dollar bills for the 50-year-old, black and white photobooth.  It is a great souvenir.


    We all had such a great time at The Jefferson Hotel. It is pure luxury and relaxation.

    You can learn more about this hotel in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and book a room or two here.

    The Jefferson Hotel hosted our stay in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

  • Top 8 Things to Know About Visiting Jurassic Quest with a Toddler

    If your little ones are anything like mine, they love dinosaurs.  Not like normal love, we’re talking complete obsession, total devotion, and unfailing dedication.  This love means we must visit every single dinosaur attraction that comes within 500 miles of our home.  Of course, we had to visit Jurassic Quest, and I am so glad we did.  It was toddler heaven and the stuff dreams are made of.


    Thank you, Jurassic Quest for hosting our family.  We had such a wonderful family day out with the dinosaurs.


    Here are the top 8 things to know about taking your toddler to Jurassic Quest.

    1. It is awesome – I’ve never seen a dinosaur exhibit like this one. There are over 80 true-to-life size dinosaurs.  You can ride on a huge T-rex, pet a baby Brachiosaurus, or marvel and a roaring Velociraptor.  Obviously, my kids went completely nuts.  But the adults were in awe too.  It is epic
    2. Dinosaur rides for all – I love that Jurassic Quest is for all ages. There are big dinosaur rides for kids over 3 feet tall and little dinosaur rides for tiny dinosaur lovers.  My oldest loved the T-Rex ride, and my youngest got to ride on a Lambeosaurus.  My oldest daughter wasn’t interested in waiting, so she decided to dig for fossils instead.
    3. Don’t forget to bring snacks and drinks – The exhibit graciously allows outside food, and we would have had “hangry” fits without it. They have onsite food options, but I was happy we had our own water bottles, pouches, and finger foods.  Goldfish Crackers were an excellent distraction while we waited in line.
    4. Pack the stroller – all of the Jurassic Quest venues are handicap and stroller accessible. We took our Zoe Triple Stroller, and we didn’t have any issues navigating the exhibit.  My Littlest is almost two, and she preferred the stroller over walking since it was pretty crowded.  It also helped me keep track of everyone.
    5. Bring socks – there are lots of bounce houses on the other side of the main dinosaur hall, and you will need socks for your little ones to hop in.
    6. Yes, there’s a gift shop – each Jurassic Quest event is at a different venue so they may not be exactly the same. In Chantilly, Virginia, there was a decent sized toy shop with tons of dinosaur toys to take home.  My kids loved the “pet” dinosaur ($15).  It is a balloon that hovers just above the ground and has a leash for your child to pull.  It is really cool.
    7. Lots of crowds and lines – Jurassic Quest is an extremely popular exhibit, and it often sells out. Just another example of how amazing it is.  With that comes a ton of people, lines and crazy excited little ones desperate to ride a dinosaur.  We arrived about 15 minutes before it opened and there was already a line to get in.  However, we didn’t wait more than 5 minutes to get in the exhibit, no more than 10 minutes for a dinosaur ride, and we walked right up to most of the little kid fun.  Jurassic Quest recommends arriving after 4 PM to miss some of the crowds.  Side note: I highly recommend heading over to the shows very early.  They were lined up 10 people deep, and it is difficult to see if you aren’t near the front.
    8. You can see it all before naptime – We arrived just before 9 AM, and we were all sitting at lunch by noon. I have no doubt you could spend a lot more time there, but we always try to sneak in a nap if we can.  My kids actually spent the most time digging for fossils (basically a huge sandbox).

    I highly recommend checking out Jurassic Quest with your family.  Be sure to buy tickets in advance, and stop at all of the amazing photo ops throughout the exhibit.  You’ll have some pretty awesome memories!



    Thank you, Deana Moreno Photography for these amazing family memories.  We’ll cherish them always.

    Thank you, Jurassic Quest for hosting our family.  We had a great day!

    Check out our daily fun on Instagram

  • Get a College Education in a Full-Time Family RV

    Is it even possible to work on a college degree while traveling full-time in an RV?  Yes!  In this golden age of internet connectivity, almost any kind of work or education is available remotely, especially college courses.  More and more, students are taking classes online, so why not from a campground with an awesome view?

    a man using a laptop

    College classes are a gateway to better jobs and a broader mind.  If the last time you went to college, you had to lug heavy books into huge, crowded lecture halls, times have changed.  Most of what goes into a college class, including the reading material and office hours, are offered online these days.  Courses set up specifically for online learning offer the chance to continue your education anywhere and everywhere you can take your computer.  Here’s what you need to consider about taking classes while on the road.

    Why Do It

    Living on the road is a pretty amazing way to cut back on expenses, if you are careful.  That being said, it’s not free.  Many people who plan to live full-time in an RV run out of money because they underestimate the costs of life on the go. 

    Unless you have a truly huge amount of savings, chances are you will need a way to make money at some point.  Make sure you position yourself to be able to find remote work when the time comes.  Online classes like ProPrep’s Physics 1A03 are a great resume and experience builder that demonstrate not only your commitment to learning, but also your discipline and comfort with online work.

    If you are doing the full-time camper thing, especially with other people, you will quickly find that you need breaks and variety.  Taking the time to do something good for your brain can be the mental break and stretch you need to feel refreshed.  Plus, carving out time that is just for your own education helps you build a break from the 24/7 togetherness of traveling with family.  That’s a good thing for everyone!

    How To Do It

    If you are going to invest your time and money in online courses, take it seriously to get the most bang for your buck.  Set up the right equipment, the right space, and the right parameters.  

    Wedging your old desktop computer into the corner of an already packed RV is going to be a misery.  Invest in a decent, lightweight laptop you can stash away easily.  While you are at it, set aside one cubby or bin that’s just for your school supplies.  It will help your transition from student time to family time be easier and neater. 

    Give yourself a realistic work space.  Be honest with yourself about where you will perform best: inside, outside, sitting, reclining, behind a door, or with headphones on. If you know laying in bed will likely lead to you napping through class, find a place to sit up, even if it’s in your tow vehicle. 

    Set up clear signals to the others in your RV so they know when you are working.  You might ask your kids to help you set up for school, so they are fully aware you are transitioning to student mode.  You might get your kids to design a Do Not Disturb sign you can hang up while working, so they can feel some ownership in your quiet time.  No matter how you arrange it, work with your family so they understand and support your time for school work.

    When To Do It

    Figuring out when to take classes and do homework is really going to be based on your own RV lifestyle.  Here are some tips for setting aside school time for the most common travel styles.

    If you tend to stay in one location for a while, try to do your big driving on non-school days.  If you move around a lot, you are also spending a lot of your time setting up and breaking camp, which will leave less time for classes.  Consider doing work while your partner drives. 

    Once you are set up in your spot for a while, choose one activity to swap out for school.  For example, commit to giving up one campfire per week or one afternoon swim for classroom time.  Whichever way you work it in, you won’t regret investing in yourself.

  • The Best Ways to Protect and Heal Your Skin When You Head Outdoors

    Getting outdoors has many benefits. Whether you are gardening, farming, taking a hike, or you work in an industry that requires you to be outside most of the day, you are most likely familiar with what you need to use to keep yourself safe outdoors. You might have ear muffs to protect you from the sound or cold. You might have heavy-duty gloves to protect your hands. But did you stop to think about what you can do regularly to protect and heal your skin from all that sun exposure? There are plenty of things you can do, here are the best ones.

    shallow focus on blond haired woman in white long sleeve shirt carrying a baby on her back
    Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

    Reapply Sunscreen with SPF 15 or More

    One of the problems with working outdoors or being outside for long hours is that it can be easy to forget to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. One of the best things you can do when you are outside is to reapply sunscreen frequently. As far as frequency is concerned, you should add new sunscreen once every couple of hours. You’ll want to apply more often if you are sweating profusely or have fair skin. You need an SPF of 15 or more to get the best protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

    Use a Quality Moisturizer or Night Serum

    After you’ve been in the sun all day, you need something to help your skin recover at night. Try a stem cell serum or other night cream or moisturizer. The stem cells used in making the serum could be just what you need to keep your youthful glow even though you spend a lot of time working outside. High-quality products have ingredients that nourish, heal, and repair damaged cells and leave your skin feeling its best.

    Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat

    It’s normal for people in other countries to wear wide-brimmed hats when they work outdoors. In America, it’s like a fashion faux pas, however. Shun fashion trends for this one and do what you need to do to protect your face, neck, and ears from getting too much sun. Putting on a baseball cap still exposes your face, ears, and neck to more sun than you need. By wearing a wider hat, you cover up more of these areas and can use sunscreen as secondary protection instead of it being the only option.

    Wear Loose Fitting Long Sleeves

    Being outdoors in the hot sun can lead to sun exhaustion. You could be tempted to wear tank tops because of this. If you’re trying to reduce your sun exposure and minimize damage, you’ll want to wear breathable fabrics that are as loose-fitting as possible. This can help keep larger areas of your body covered and protect you from sun damage when you work outside.

    Add Aloe Vera to Your Routine

    Aloe Vera plants have hard, pokey leaves that contain powerful antioxidants and other skin healing compounds. Snip a leaf off your plant, cut it open, and scrape the natural gel that is inside. You can rub this on burns, redness, scrapes, and even your wrinkles to help promote skin healing. Aloe has a soothing and cooling effect that makes your skin feel great.

    Eat Healthy Foods

    Eating foods rich in antioxidants can help your skin heal quickly. By consuming foods like oranges, strawberries, and even dark leafy greens, you give your body what it needs to overcome sunburns, sun exposure, and sun damage. Lean protein and collagen protein can also help your skin recover. When you’re spending time outdoors regularly, you are more likely to experience deep wrinkles and other signs of aging. Proteins help to repair this damage keeping you from looking older than you are.

    Hydrate Yourself

    Good hydration is great for your skin. While it won’t prevent sunburn, it can keep you from getting sick from dehydration, reduce the risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, and can help you recover from sunburns more quickly. When you go hiking or you work outside, especially on hot days, you’ll need more than just water. You’ll also want to replenish your electrolytes. Find drinks that don’t have too much sugar or additives. You can even make your own rehydration drink for cheap at home. 

  • Pooch On Board: Tips for RVing With Your Dog

    man carrying dog on red backpack

    There are many benefits to taking long-distance road trips, but many pet parents enjoy the freedom to take their dogs along for the ride. Something about having your fur baby with you makes the experience much more exciting. Your heart smiles as you watch their heads hang out the window taking in the fresh air, or you see them running about in nature playing with the kids. 

    an elderly man hiking in the forest with his grandson and pet dog
    Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

    Of course, Rving with your dog does require extra preparation to ensure everyone has a good time. If you’re thinking of taking your dog on an RV trip this year, these tips are sure to come in handy. 

    Plan A Few Trial Runs

    Being on the road for weeks at a time presents challenges for everyone – including your dog. Before committing to a long-term RV trip with your pup, it’s best to take a few trial runs first. Plan a day or weekend trip to see how your fur baby likes the idea. Allow them to get familiar with being away from the house as they travel to different environments. Pay attention to their demeanor and needs, so you know what to do (and not to do) when you’re ready for the long haul. 

    Visit The Vet

    Is your dog physically and emotionally fit to travel for long distances? Before you travel, a trip to the vet can give you a clear answer. The vet can evaluate your dog’s health to ensure they don’t have any existing medical conditions that could make traveling more challenging. They can prescribe medications to soothe everything from anxiety to arthritis. You should also ask the vet about the best flea and tick protection to keep your dog safe while they explore the great outdoors. 

    Dog Training

    If your fur baby tends to be a bit hard-headed, it may be a good idea to enroll them in training classes before your RV trip. When you’re away from home, you have less control over your dog. The new environments, people, animals, and sounds could cause them to act out more than usual. No matter where you are, you want to be able to command your dog to behave appropriately. Teaching them basic instructions like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” can save you a lot of trouble on the open road. 

    Doggy Seatbelts

    While you might have seen dogs hanging out the driver or passenger windows in RVs, it’s not a safe practice. Much like your kids, your pooch can cause a disturbance that puts you all in danger on the road. That’s why it’s essential to ensure you purchase a doggy seatbelt before your road trip. You can also consider options like a crate or dog carrier. Just ensure that the crate is secure, so your dog isn’t slipping and sliding as you drive. 

    Pack A Doggy Bag (Or Two)

    Although there’s a lot of packing involved in a long-distance RV trip, you don’t want to leave home without essential items for your dog. Create a checklist of things to bring along with you. While every dog has different needs, some standard essentials might include dog food, water, bowls, a bed, blankets, toys, a harness, and a leash. You’ll also want to remember their prescription meds, basic grooming supplies, a pet first aid kit, and other wellness products like pet CBD

    Choose Pet-Friendly Sites

    When selecting places to stop for a few days, try to stick to pet-friendly locations. Some campsites and state parks don’t permit pets or require you to keep them on a leash the entire time. It’s more practical to go places where pets are welcomed, and other pet lovers are in the area. That way, they can have more freedom to explore and meet companions. 

    RVs are large enough that you can take the entire family on the road with you – including your dog. You’ll find that traveling with your pet is unlike any other experience. Be that as it may, pet parents are encouraged to make plans before taking their pooches on the road. The above tips will ensure that you, your family, and your dog have a safe, comfortable, yet fun experience in the great outdoors. 

  • The RV Lifestyle And Common Healthcare Obstacles

    The freedom and liberation that comes with RV and van lifestyles have encouraged many people to pack their things and hit the road. There’s no more struggling to afford housing, no more obligations to stick to one location, and no need for the run-of-the-mill 9 to 5 jobs that are often unfulfilling. All that matters is you, your family, your mobile home, and the millions of acres of land to explore along the way. Be that as it may, RV life isn’t without obstacles. 

    family sitting on blue and white camping chairs
    Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

    Healthcare, for instance, can be a burden. When you’re constantly moving from state to state, acquiring adequate insurance, finding reputable service providers, and even covering the cost of prescription medications gets challenging. While this shouldn’t discourage you from giving RV living a try, proper preparation is required to ensure healthcare doesn’t become a problem. Below are some practical solutions. 

    Shop Around For Insurance

    Unfortunately, most insurance companies don’t follow patients from one state to another. Instead, they cover individuals and families for medical services in their hometown. Therefore, you will need to shop around to try and find coverage that will provide coverage if you move around a lot. 

    Schedule Appointments Strategically

    If you can’t find out-of-state insurance, your next option is to schedule regular appointments in the state your coverage applies. Then, ensure that your travel plans include heading back to your home state in time for your medical visits. If you and your family are relatively healthy, that means coming home at least once a year for annual physicals, screenings, dental cleanings, vision tests, and other preventative care. 

    Opt For National or Multi-State Healthcare Facilities

    When deciding on a primary care physician or other healthcare providers, try to stick to organizations that offer services nationwide or in multiple states. That way, if you need to visit a doctor or hospital while you’re out of town, your records can be electronically accessed from the database. This approach eliminates the need to wait for a doctor or hospital in another state to release your records. 

    Fill Prescriptions At National Pharmacies

    Having immediate access to prescriptions is essential and difficult for full-time RVers, particularly those who use a local pharmacy. The most practical solution would be to switch your medications to a national pharmacy like CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, or Walmart. That way, your information is in their electronic database, and you can get prescriptions filled faster. Also, most national pharmacies accept a discount card for prescriptions so you can save money.

    90-Day Prescriptions

    Another way to ensure access to the medicines you need is to request 90-day prescriptions from your primary care physician. Ultimately, you’ll get 90 days’ worth of medication, so you don’t have to visit the pharmacy as frequently. 


    Thanks to modern technology, visiting the doctor and other healthcare professionals is easier. Many healthcare facilities offer telemedicine options to their patients. You can book appointments and visit the doctor through video conferencing software. Since the appointment is with a doctor in your hometown, the visit is covered by your insurance. The doctor can review your files, send correspondence, perform visual tests, and fill prescriptions virtually, so you don’t have to travel for miles to get what you need. 

    Healthy Lifestyles

    Last but not least, full-time RVers and their families are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles while on the road. Ensure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress by doing things that make you happy. If you have existing medical conditions, take your medicine as prescribed, keep up with your doctor’s appointments, and follow your health plan efficiently to ensure things don’t take a turn for the worst. 

    RV living has many advantages, which is why many people are interested in giving it a try. Be that as it may, it’s not a lifestyle you should consider on impulse. It requires a lot of planning and preparation to ensure that your experience is stress-free, safe, healthy, and fun. If you have concerns about healthcare as a full-time RVer, use the advice above to ensure that you and your travel companions have everything you need. 

  • Which Plants Are Best for Your RV

    Low light conditions can be challenging for anyone who loves to have plants indoors. Even plants that typically do well when they’re in the shade outdoors tend to need a bit more light when you bring them inside, and it can be difficult to provide the auxiliary light it needs. However, some plants thrive in low light conditions – these are the ones you want for your camper or RVs.

    parked gray trailer
    Photo by Linnea Hansen on Pexels.com

    Pro Tip: Indoor low light plants tend to do fine in rooms that face east or west and have a window – but in an RV you never know which direction you’ll be parking in. That said, it can be difficult for even those shade-hardy plants in areas that don’t have any windows or where the windows face north. You can get your plants to thrive in situations such as this by putting them under artificial light for a few hours daily.

    Here’s a quick look at a few plants that will do great in your camper or RV.

    Lucky Bamboo

    If you’re trying to redecorate your RV, you might be looking for plants to make it feel cozier and to improve the air quality. Lucky bamboo can be grown in either soil or water and doesn’t need too much light. These plants are a critical element of the practice of feng shui and are said to bring fortune and good luck – especially when received as gifts. They’re also known for being extremely resilient. They prefer a bit of light but will also thrive in areas that are nearly all shade. Just ensure they’re not put in drafty areas and keep them away from pets. They need moderate to excessive moisture.

    Spider Plants

    This houseplant is one of the easiest to grow and most adaptable. It’s called a spider plant because of its spider-like offshoots. They’re called spiderettes and tend to hang down from the parent plant, sort of akin to spiders on their web. You can put these in hanging baskets or pots. They’ll live for quite a long time in conditions where they get less than ideal lighting and even in artificial light. Just be sure you water them on a regular basis to keep the soil from getting dried out.

    Golden Pothos

    This plant thrives in conditions that are unsuitable for most other plants. These include a nearly completely dry environment and extremely low light. Pothos are quite a popular houseplant because they’re durable, attractive, and easy to grow vines with smooth, heart-shaped, and leathery leaves. Some of the varieties feature leaves that have a distinctive marbling and stems that are long and akin to ropes. If you choose to have this plant in your RV, be sure you loosen and dust their vines every once in a while to keep them from turning into a tangled mess. These plants need moderate water.

    Most campers and RVs don’t offer a lot of space for houseplants. However, when you want to feel at home while you’re on the road, nothing helps more than a plant or two. Since campers and RVs can also be a little stuffy, plants can help by cleaning and improving the quality of the air. 

    Plants like Golden Pothos, Spider plants, and lucky bamboo are all good choices for RVs and campers because they are easy to care for and don’t need to have an extreme amount of light. Brighten up your RV or trailer with one of these today, and you won’t regret it.

About Me

Angelica Kajiwara, her husband, mom and three kids are always up for an adventure. She shares day trips, weekend getaways and family road and field trips within driving distance of Atlanta. This travel-loving mom focuses on destinations and attractions where you can strengthen your family bond and make core memories. When she’s home in Georgia, her life revolves around homeschooling her three kids, loving her Brazillian husband and hanging out with her mom, who lives with them on Lookout Mountain.

Follow Me On

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Subscribe for new travel stories and exclusive content.