FAMILY TIME IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Family adventures are a great way to grow closer and develop meaningful connections. But with lodging prices rising and the logistical nightmare that traveling with the entire family can be, many Americans are looking at a new option: ditching the beaches and resorts and heading to the great outdoors. Actually, we know this option isn’t new at all. Spending time outdoors with family may very well be one of the most time-honored traditions ever. Camping Lodgings and flights are expensive, so going on a family vacation can cost thousands of dollars — and that’s just for the basics! But camping only requires a tent, a fire, picnic food, and water. Rather than scarfing down fast food between flights and dealing with airport security, departure delays, and long flights, take a deep breath and roast marshmallows over the fire with the people you love. Hiking A hike with family is an easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. All a hike requires is a trail and a sense of adventure. The best part of
hiking is that you can tailor the distance to fit your family’s needs. If you have children or grandkids who aren’t up for the challenge of an arduous daylong trek, there’s sure to be a shorter scenic trail. If nothing else, you can always turn around and backtrack the way you came. Fishing Fishing is a great way to get out and do something relaxing yet challenging. It doesn’t require a lot of skill or investment. All it takes is the willingness to learn and the desire to connect with nature. This is why fishing is the perfect activity for youngsters of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rod and reel and head to the nearest lake or river. While these are all great stand-alone options, together they form an amazing three-headed monster for your next family outing. By combining camping with a hike to a river or lake where you can go fishing, you are sure to create lasting memories with your family that will draw you closer together. Ditch the lines at the airport and the stress of travel. Unleash the possibilities of adventure in the great outdoors.
THE BEST TRACKING APPS FOR HEALTH, FINANCES, AND READING
As mentioned in the cover article this month, tracking your progress with an app can help you stay on top of your goals. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it old school and using a notebook to record your spending or caloric intake. But if you prefer a more high-tech approach, you’ll find that your phone has a number of excellent tools you can access for free. Here are a few of our favorites. FOR HEALTH: MYFITNESSPAL Keeping track of your calories requires knowing how many you’re consuming through food and how many you’re losing through exercise. Unless you’re a nutritionist or personal trainer, that requires a fair bit of guesswork. MyFitnessPal makes this process a whole lot easier. With a database of hundreds of foods and exercises, the app can give you a much clearer picture of your calorie and nutrient balance. It also uses your height, weight, and sex to make sure the projections are as accurate as possible. FOR FINANCES: MINT When all of your spending information is located across a million different platforms, it becomes a hassle just figuring out the state of your finances. Mint
allows all of that data to live in one convenient location. You can connect all of your credit cards, bank accounts, and even your bills to Mint. You’ll receive alerts when bills arrive and payment reminders before you incur a late fee. It also offers personalized budgeting advice based on your spending habits. If you suspect that you’re spending way too much on coffee, Mint will give you the evidence to back up that claim. FOR BOOKS: GOODREADS We could all stand to read more, and Goodreads turns a solitary joy into a communal experience. You can create lists of books you have read and those you want to read. Goodreads makes personalized recommendations based on your list and groups you with like-minded readers. If you’re dying to talk to somebody about what you’re reading, you can find them on the social portion of the app. Biblionasium offers similar services for children’s books. If you’re trying to improve any one of these aspects of your life, give these apps a shot. They’ll provide you with the information, feedback, and motivation to keep at it.
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