Tag Archives: Vacation

Taking Children Out of School- Pro’s and Con’s

By Mona Ismaeil

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Winter (Christmas Break) comes at such a great time for Airlines but such an inopportune time for the average traveler. While children are conveniently out of school and most companies are giving time off, hotels as well as airlines and any travel related company are making you pay for those conveniences! Many families try to take their winter vacations a little earlier or a bit later to outsmart those corporate savages! Before, you get too excited thinking you’ve pulled a fast one, think about how this will affect the education of your children.

Pros: 

  • EXPERIENCES EXPERIENCES EXPERIENCES: Not to say laying poolside drinking as many virgin margaritas as you can isn’t a fantastic way to spend your vacation; it is; but opting for a trip with some sites, history, and culture is a better choice. Children can learn a great deal by travelling. We open their eyes to a world that most text books can’t do justice.
  • Family Time: This is very important. Time well spent as a family is vital for the emotional and psychological development of children. Our lives are chaotic and often the only time we get with our children after school, work and extracurricular activities is just a meal here and there. Getting downtime to laugh, tell stories and make memories is priceless!
  • Seeing the World Through New Eyes: Children experience the world very differently than we do. Travelling together can teach both parents and children a whole lot.

 Cons:

  • Missed Important Exams: Timing is important. Leaving school close to the end of semesters or report card terms can being detrimental to your child’s education.
  • Falling Behind on Curriculum: With lots to learn and just barely enough time, every moment in the classroom is vital. Depending on the length of time of your trip, students can miss a great deal of instruction as well as the activities and projects that go along with it.
  • Change of Routine: When in school, students get into a good routine. A steady routine that includes school, studying and extra-curricular activities. While on vacation those routines change and for some students it takes some time to get back on track once the vacation is over.
  • Extra Pressure Afterwards: With any time missed, assignments, projects and assessments will pile up. Students will still be expected to complete those assessments and learn the material. This can put more pressure on them as well as you and the teacher.

 Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Timing: Choose your travel time carefully. Like mentioned before, it is important to plan your trips around significant assessments, report cards, parent-teacher interviews, etc. It is ideal of course to plan trips to coincide with given holidays or long weekends.
  • Length of time: There is a big difference between being gone for a week and being gone for a month.
  • Age/Grade: Younger students will generally be affected less than older students.
  • Ability: This is probably the most important thing to consider. You need to be honest with the fact that some students should not be missing in class instruction. As much as we may want to take that trip if our children are unable to handle the pressure of being out of school, then we need to put their best interest first.
  • Teacher’s Input: Ask your child’s teacher their opinion about your travel plans. They know best when it comes to what your children need from an academic perspective.

Wherever you go, enjoy every moment with your family. Travelling with children can be tough but incredibly rewarding! It’s about that moment when they say: “Mama, remember when we went_________ and saw________?” That is just priceless!  Safe travels!

What are your thoughts about taking children out of school? What are your experiences?

 

About the Author:

Mona Ismaeil is  the Associate Editor Muslimmoms.ca. She is also an elementary  teacher turned blogger and writer. Mona is the proud owner of Modern Hejab and stay-at-home mom to a sweet little girl. She loves to travel and see all the world has to offer with her family.

 

 

 

 

Vacationing in the Caribbean- the Halal Way

By Anisa Tayab

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I always wanted to go away somewhere down south, sit on a warm beach and enjoy a mocktail!  I was always afraid to take a trip because I didn’t know what to expect and if it would be appropriate for my kids to be around people drinking and in swim wear all day.  I just didn’t know how my kids would react to so many “new” experiences around them.

When my boys were 5 and 3, we decided to take the plunge and took a trip to Mexico.  After weeks and weeks of researching we chose a resort that we thought would accommodate our needs the best.  We wanted to have a relaxing time while not comprising our beliefs or having to explain the actions of others to our kids.

Location, Location, Location

Cancun is known to be a party city in Mexico.  The hotel zone is full of hotels, clubs and lots of party goers.  It is a popular destination for spring breakers.  We knew we wanted to stay far away from that environment.  We chose a five star resort in hopes the other guests at the resort would be mature guests and not the party crowd.  This made a huge difference in my opinion.  Once we got there, most of the other guests were mature adults, young families or extended families vacationing together.  We also chose a resort that was away from the hotel zone.  We were not able to walk to another resort on the beach so it was completely private.

Dining

I have yet to find a resort that offers Halal options (wouldn’t that be great?!) but most resorts do have a variety of seafood and vegetarian options.  If you mention your dietary concern to your wait staff immediately they may even be able to “cook” something special just for you.  Mention your dietary concerns at check in so there is a note on your file in case you order room service.  From my experiences I found that most staff is more than willing to help you out to make sure your stay is enjoyable.

Since most resorts are all inclusive, you’ll find a lot of people drinking around you.  Your kids will see multi-coloured drinks and want to order them.  Keep in mind, almost everything you see can be made “virgin” which means non-alcoholic.  Some of our favorites are Mud Slides (Banana and Chocolate Milk), Virgin Pina Colada (pineapple and coconut) and Miami Vice (strawberry and pina colada).  Keep in mind the juices are fresh so we would order pineapple juice and mango juice all day.

To avoid any confusion with our order, we always take our own tumblers with us.  Tervis and Contigo make great ones.  The staff will rinse it out between drinks and they will learn that your cup means no alcohol!

Staying Cool

Can’t wear a bathing suit? No problem?  We all know about the burkini but you don’t have to invest in one.  I always wear a bathing Anisa iPhone-04262013 1046suit and cover it up with a rash guard on top and active wear (tights or lounge pants) on the bottom.  This gives me the chance to change my outfit every day.  There are so many rash guards to choose from and they protect you from the UV rays.

I also found by lounging around the kid’s pool you see more modest swim wear since it is all families.  Most moms have the same concerns as each other.  What surprised me was that my kids didn’t even mention anything about the exposure around them because they were too busy playing and having fun.  I think adults tend to pay more attention to those around us than kids do.

The sun in the Caribbean is very hot! I didn’t think I would burn (I’ve never burnt in my life) but not only did I burn but my entire family did.  It’s so important to wear a strong sunscreen and keep re-applying.  There is nothing worse than burning on vacation. Always wear sunscreen and a hat!

Nightly Entertainment

Most resorts offer entertainment at night.  We asked for the show schedule at check in so we could pre-plan our nights.  Most resorts have family friendly shows: Michael Jackson, Circus themed and Fire Acrobats are some of our favorites.

Relax and Enjoy

An upcoming vacation is a great time to teach your kids about different countries, the currency used there and the culture of the country.  We always try to learn the native tongue of the country we are visiting together as a family before our trip.

Don’t forget why you wanted to take a vacation.  Sometimes it’s hard to just relax but it’s important to take a break from our daily routines and enjoy our families and make memories.

 About the Author:

Anisa Tayab is a working mom to 2 boys.  She enjoys taking trips to expose her sons to various cultures and sites.

 

Easy Workouts to do on Vacation

By Paige Aziz

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Working out on vacation doesn’t need to be hard, and can actually help make your vacation even better! Getting activity when you get to your destination is a great way to beat jet-lag and to increase your energy so you can thoroughly enjoy your vacation. In addition, it will help you feel good when you come back to know you kept up with your fitness rather than feeling like you “fell off the wagon.” Check out these tips to feel fit and fabulous.

Do your homework

 research where you are going. Some hotels have gyms or even offer fitness classes or walking groups. Find out what parks or trails are available, if there are local gyms that offer day passes, or other local active attractions.

Be creative

 There are ways to be active and get exercise without confining yourself to a gym. Check out hiking, kayaking or rock climbing. Run along the beach in the sand – it is harder than it sounds and provides a great cardiovascular and muscular workout. You can also rent a bike to do your site-seeing while staying active and make some incredible memories.

Pack it up

 Before you seal your suitcase throw in some resistance bands or TRX straps. These are lightweight, easy to travel with exercise equipment to help you get your workout in where ever you, in hotel room.

Plan Ahead

 The best way to ensure you keep up with your workouts while on vacations is to plan what you are going to do and times when you can do it. Have a realistic expectation, you may not be able to do 100% of what you can when home, but some is better than none. Before you head out, decide what equipment you have (or don’t have, you don’t always need equipment to work out), how much time you have, and what you plan to do. Need some ideas? Check out some of the mini-workouts below!

 

1. AMRAP Circuits 

AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible. Select 4-5 exercises, a rep scheme, and a time limit. Your goal is to complete as many rounds as you can in the specific timeframe while taking rest as needed (but the timer keeps ticking, so when you feel ready start again) This type of workout works great when you only have bodyweight to work with.

BODYWEIGHT AMRAP:

10 Bodyweight Squats
10 Pushups
10 single leg hip thrusters per leg
10 mountain climbers
10 V-sits
*Repeat for 10 minutes, resting as necessary

2. Tabata Rounds

Select an exercise, preferably a bodyweight one, and perform 20 seconds all out activity for as many repetitions as you can safely accomplish. Rest for ten seconds and then repeat for 8 total rounds (4 minutes of total time). This works great for full body activities such as burpees, planks, and kettlebell swings.

3. Hotel Room Workout

Even in a tiny hotel room you can use it to your advantage. You can use the edge of the bed as a bench for performing tricep dips or a chair for your feet while doing decline pushups to help you take it to the next level. To be efficient in your time, perform supersets (2 exercises back to back) or giant sets (3 exercises back to back). If you bring a TRX you can hook it up over your hotel door without causing damage to your room, or bring resistance bands.

HOTEL ROOM RESISTACE WORKOUT

Perform 8-15 reps of A1 then 8-15 reps of A2, rest if needed and repeat 2-3 more times. Then move on to B1 and B2 etc.  If the band feels too easy you can make it harder by wrapping it around your hands or stretching it out a little more.

A1) Chest Press
A2) Seated Row

B1) Band Squat and pull
B2) Band Lunge with press

C1) Bicep curl
C2) Tricep dips or band extensions

D1) Band woodchoppers Right
D2) Band woodchooper Left

Too many people take holidays knowing fearing will get fat, become overweight, and lose a level of their fitness. By being prepared you can combat this feeling and actually feel fit and fabulous during your next holiday. Just remember to have fun with it! Whether you have a gym or not, there is always something you can do to stay active.

About the Author: 

Paige Aziz has been in the fitness industry for a decade, specializing in helping women achieve their health and fitness goals. She offers 1-on-1 training in her private studio, small group boot camps, and online training and nutrition coaching. Her Lifestyle Studio is in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. You can also reach her on her Facebook page here.

Safe Travels!

Safe Travels

Here we are ladies, can you believe it is May already? The sun is shining, kids are almost done with the school year and families are planning for their summer vacations.

The world is full of incredible and exciting places. Everyone has at least a few places on their bucket list they want to visit. Where do you want to go? Do you want to visit the glorious Taj Mahal in India? Perhaps you want to explore the Great Pyramids of Giza. How about enjoying the company of rare turtles and exotic fish? Whatever it is you dream of doing, nothing is more amazing than having your family with you for the ride.

The Muslimmom.ca team have a wonderful collection of travel articles for you this month. We share with you the good, the bad and the very ugly of travelling with children.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning your vacation is the most important part and who better to help you then moms? We share tips for what to pack for your trip and what types of medication you should always have on hand while travelling. It’s better to be prepared all the time!

Where to go? Our sisters have some great reviews of different destinations. If they had a great time, so will you!

Worried about your layovers? Have no fear, we have tips for how to keep your children occupied during those long waits between flights with our Children’s Airport Guide.

Take the Trip

Do you envy people who are casually pulling a single handbag behind them while you and your family juggle three carts of luggage? Plan and pack right and you can be one of those enviable folks as well.

Nothing is harder than keeping up with your healthy eating and fitness routines. Luckily for us, our resident fitness expert has an easy to follow plan so you can still eat well and keep up with your work-out routines while on vacation

Travelling with kids is never an easy task but our team of moms have ‘been there, done that’ and share their tried and tested tips to survive any trip. If you are hesitant to travel with your baby, read on and learn how to make it an easy journey!

Making Memories

Any trip will either go one of two ways; it can be a trip of a lifetime, or a total disaster. Whatever the case, you’ll be making memories to look back on one day and laugh.  We know this because our team shares some of their memorable travel tales ranging from missing baggage to illegal aliens.  They weren’t funny then but they’ll be sure to make you laugh now!

Whether you head out of town for a day trip, have a cruise on your agenda or plan a stay-cation with the family, we hope that you will have the time of your life. Traveling with your family will be filled with so many moments of joy, laughter and wonder. We hope that our tips and trick will help make your travels that much easier!

Bon voyage and safe travels!

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