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Experts Suggest Four Essential Questions to Plan a Memorable Family Getaway without Incurring Excessive Costs

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Trips and vacations are becoming an essential way to help family members remain close and maintain interaction with each other.

Between our professional lives and commitments, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important in life. Children get older and build their own lives. Other family members may move away or have different priorities. And before we know it, we’ve lost touch with each other and sometimes with ourselves.

That’s why we’re seeing an increasing amount of families actively choose to organize vacations with the specific purpose of reconnecting. The multigenerational travel trend won’t likely end soon as it makes for ideal opportunities.

Think of the experiences you’ve had while visiting your favorite destinations. Now you can imagine how enhanced those adventures will be when your family is with you. It’s where all of you will visit new places, introduce yourselves to new environments and surroundings, and rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit. You’ll be reconnected through conversations, and your relationships will grow and strengthen.

You also have abundant destination choices of where to take your family, like on a Bakersfield road trip. Choosing from exotic locations to backpacking in Europe to camping in your favorite national park will require coordinating everyone’s schedule, and possibly budgets. However, in doing so, you’ll ensure a destination that will closely match everyone’s needs and desires.

To help navigate making such an essential decision, here are four questions according to the experts, which you should answer to help you and your family have a carefree, relaxing, and enjoyable getaway while avoiding excessive expenses.

What is Your Destination & What Activities Are Available?

Depending on the ages and personal tastes of everyone involved, it will be mandatory for you to make appropriate plans according to those factors. The more people coming along, the more likely you will have differing choices, which is where you may have to compromise or find common ground. It may be possible to narrow down your choices by taking into account everyone’s opinions.

It may be easier as well as cost-effective for you to choose an all-inclusive resort or cruise.

These vacation options allow for an abundance of activities for all ages at a fixed cost or affordable group rate. They can also make it possible to have access to childcare for those nights when you want to reserve time alone with your partner or spouse.

If that option seems too structured, consider talking to friends and colleagues for ideas. A travel agent can also be helpful in choosing destinations and often provides discounted rates.

How Can You Keep Costs to a Minimum?

Depending on the getaway options being considered, you will likely have some idea of the costs involved. For instance, a family vacation in Hawaii would be considerably more expensive than camping in a national park. The length of the getaway will have a significant impact on expenses, in addition to the experience desired. If you arrive as the average traveler, costs can be kept low. However, if you expect first-class or VIP treatment, expenses could rise exponentially.

When setting a budget for your trip, try to keep extras to a minimum, suggests Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch. He also adds “Your priority is to determine what activities are most vital and secondly, to try and minimize amenities that are less important. If you’re not looking to include unnecessary extras, a cruise is often the easiest way to accommodate a large group.  Cruises tend to please a wide variety of people given the choices of activities available all in one place.”

Instead of going the traditional route of a hotel or resort, consider renting a home, or multiple homes to accommodate everyone. If your group plans on traveling to several locations, alternatives to hotels can make managing the cost of lodging simple and stress-free.

How Will Expenses be Handled?

A crucial question that should be asked prior to making plans is determining who is paying for various aspects of the trip. Will it be broken up by the individual families? You’ll need to take into account airfare, gas, rental cars, hotels, and admittance to events or parks.

By not taking the time to assess how costs will be covered, you could be creating a recipe for disaster. Money can come between the best of relationships. The last thing you want is for your family getaway to be derailed by a trivial argument about who is paying for meals. Have the conversation about covering costs as early in the planning stages as possible, so the purpose for taking the vacation stays relevant.

Will My Family Get Along?

No family is perfect, and we’ve all experienced times when our family had a disagreement or worse. If some ill feelings are still lingering, they won’t be solved any easier if you’re away from your daily lives.

It may be best to lay down some basic rules before departing. Or, if you feel there will be too much tension, ensure that those parties have separate living quarters and have minimal interaction with each other.

You may also want to have designated days or times where individual families have their own activities to minimize any potential issues or conflicts.

Overall, to help guarantee your family getaway’s success, the focus should be on each other and not where you are or what you’ll be doing. Our time with family and loved ones is our most scarcest commodity as once time is gone, no matter how much we plan or invest, we can’t get it back. Planning more family vacations can help you recognize the importance of spending time together and should be geared towards doing it on a more frequent basis.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Lifestyle

The Role of Medicine in Achieving and Sustaining a Healthy Body Mass

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The CDC’s latest numbers classify approximately 42 percent of Americans as obese, and over two-thirds of American adults qualify as either obese or overweight. Living with excess weight heightens people’s risk for debilitating and chronic but otherwise preventable conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

With new weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy on the rise, many are wondering if these medications live up to their hype and can even help end the obesity epidemic. Sergio Padron, founder and CEO of online healthcare and weight-loss support company MD Exam, believes they can — up to a point.

“It’s important to approach these medications with a thorough understanding of what they can and can’t do,” Padron says. “Magic pills for weight loss don’t exist.”

The importance of achieving a healthy body mass

According to Padron, achieving and sustaining a healthy body mass is key to good health. To obtain your body mass index (BMI), online calculators like this one from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ask for your height and weight, run them through the standard formula, and generate your score. The last step is to find this number in the standardized ranges considered underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

“Many healthcare professionals use the body mass index (BMI) for a quick approximation of most people’s health,” he explains. “All you need is the patient’s weight and height, and you can calculate this number.”

There are exceptions, however. “In particular, bodybuilders and other athletes can generate results that make it seem like they aren’t healthy, when in fact they’re in excellent condition,” Padron explains. “That’s because BMI doesn’t consider muscle mass, and muscle is more dense than fat. In addition, BMI doesn’t account for visceral fat being more dangerous than fat deposits elsewhere in the body.”

That’s why Padron cautions people not to make snap judgments based on BMI alone and to seek a more comprehensive view from healthcare professionals. “Factors like body composition, blood markers, and lifestyle need to be considered,” he explains, “which is one of the many reasons why we only offer individualized care at MD Exam.”

If your BMI falls in the overweight or obese categories, then it’s time to make a change. “Unfortunately, excess body weight means you could be developing major health problems that you otherwise wouldn’t,” Padron says. “Being overweight has also been associated with depression. In my experience, it can have a negative impact on self-esteem and even lead to the development of eating disorders.”

Luckily, groundbreaking new drugs have become available to help people recover their quality of life.

How Ozempic and Wegovy can help

According to Padron, pharmaceutical solutions like Ozempic and Wegovy can help most people achieve and sustain a healthy body mass. These medications reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness, thereby enabling people to regulate their consumption better.

“One of the most important things our patients report is that they’re no longer tormented by cravings,” Padron says. “They find it easier to avoid overeating in the first place.”

In addition, Ozempic and Wegovy have been shown to decrease visceral fat — the dangerous kind of fat deposits. “The idea is to optimize health and well-being, not just lose weight,” Padron says. “We want to make sure you lose the right pounds. When you lose visceral fat and keep muscle, you are heading in the right direction and your body composition improves.”

In some rare cases, however, Ozempic and Wegovy aren’t effective. “Luckily, other interventions can be effective in those cases, such as Tirzepatide or classic weight-loss drugs,” Padron says.

Yet Padron emphasizes that weight-loss drugs alone are insufficient to achieve and sustain a healthy body mass.

Personalized, comprehensive support

“Just taking a pill won’t make pounds disappear,” Padron says. “To lose weight, it’s necessary to get real about your lifestyle and actually change your habits. If you haven’t been exercising, for instance, then it’s time to start getting up a little earlier and going for a morning walk. If you haven’t been eating well, then it’s time to stop buying soda and junk food.”

Easier said than done? “We know it’s hard,” Padron says. “That’s why our program takes support seriously. Our medical staff works with patients one-on-one to develop treatment plans that will work for them. We also provide coaching and connect patients to each other for mutual support and accountability. MD Exam is a community. People make friends for life on our platform.”

Lose weight, feel great

Obtaining a healthy body mass often leads to increased energy levels, improved mobility, and reduced joint pain. It can also help control chronic conditions like high blood pressure and sleep apnea, as well as forestall the development of preventable diseases. If that isn’t already enough, it can also boost patients’ self-confidence and mental health.

“Our patients experience an incredible feeling of accomplishment and empowerment,” Padron says. “Losing weight can be truly transformative. I can’t tell you how many people have told me their whole outlook on life has become more positive.”

For Padron, helping people lose weight is its own reward. “I love watching people shed their depression and come back to life,” he says. “This is the most rewarding work I can imagine.”

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