Ricky Shetty is the owner and operator of Daddy Blogger, where he writes about parenting from a father’s perspective with a big emphasis on family travel with young kids. The purpose of Daddy Blogger is to change the world - one daddy at a time!
What You Should Expect When Taking Your First Family Road Trip According to Travel Agent Central, 66 percent of Americans plan to travel over the summer months, and of those parents who will be traveling with children, 57 percent feel stressed about the prospect of a family road trip. One of the specific issues parents worry about is finding travel centers, rest areas, gas stations, restaurants, etc. which have fresh food options. More Millennial parents worry about this issue (65 percent) than Gen X parents (51 percent) or Baby Boomer parents (42 percent). Clean restrooms are also an issue for parents who are planning a road trip, as is whether the hotels and restaurants along the way are family-friendly. If you plan ahead and know what to expect on your first family road trip, it is almost a sure bet that your trip will go much more smoothly. Some tips for your upcoming family road trip include: Make Sure Your Car is in Tip-Top Condition—Before you hit the highways, take your car in for a checkup to ensure your brakes, air conditioner, tire pressure, oil and windshield wipers are all in good condition. Just in case, make sure you have emergency items, such as jumper cables, a flashlight, flares, water and snacks, tire repair, a first aid kit, a small air compressor and other necessary tools. Ensure Your Child’s Car Seat is Properly Installed—It is very important that you know your car seat prior to strapping your child in and heading out for a road trip. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children should travel in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible—ideally until they are two years old. Transitioning a child to a forward-facing car seat too soon is a common mistake made by parents as well as having the straps on the car seat harness much too loose (there should be no slack in a car seat harness). Keep the children in the vehicle’s rear seat as long as possible—The American Academy of Pediatrics also found that children under the age of 3 have a 43 percent lower risk of injury when restrained in the center of the rear seat. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions to the letter and if you are still having problems, visit www.safekids.org to locate an inspection station close by. Have Plenty of Background Knowledge About Where You Are Going Aside from […]
BEST PLACES TO SEE IN MALTA FOR FAMILIES Traveling with family is so much better than doing it solo. I mean, who wouldn’t want to share those memorable and fun experiences with the most special people in your lives? Not only will it bring the family closer together, but it will also give you the simple pleasures of relaxation. If you’re planning your next family getaway, you might want to consider booking a flight to Malta. This charming tropical destination offers tons of amazing sights and activities perfect for all ages. From beautiful beaches and historical sites to friendly English-speaking locals, this small country is a sure hit for a family holiday. FAMILY-FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS IN MALTA For those of you who want to enjoy a true Maltese experience with the whole family, there are many local destinations out there that are sure to give you that unforgettable vacation. Check out some of our top choices that will sure to bring out the best in your next family trip. • ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF NATURE IN LOWER BARRAKKA GARDENS If you want to bring your family closer to the environment, why not consider visiting the Lower Barrakka Gardens? Located in Valletta, Malta, this world-famous garden offers stunning views of nature and other prominent icons of the country, such as the Grand Harbour and the old city. Visitors are sure to enjoy the garden’s relaxing ambiance, especially with its gorgeous shade trees, Roman-style fountains, and impressive monuments. It is also connected to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which can be accessed after a short walk down the hill. • EXPLORE THE HISTORIC FORT RINELLA Want to teach your family about Malta’s rich history? Try visiting the historic Fort Rinella. Also known as Rinella Battery, this fort was built by the British in 1878 for the purpose of protecting shipping lanes to India through the Mediterranean. Upon visiting this place, you will get to see firsthand one of the two surviving Armstrong 100-ton guns. To give you a better picture of its history, volunteers re-enact some essential highlights, such soldiers’ uniforms, fighting style, warfare tactics, and firing of a cannon – an enjoyable and educational experience, especially for the kids. • BASK IN THE BEAUTY OF COMINO’S BLUE LAGOON Your Malta travel experience will never be complete without visiting one of its renowned paradise, the Blue Lagoon. Located in Comino, this […]
What to ask kids in 2018 to make them forget about smartphones We can’t help but notice how fast the modern world is changing. The generation gap seems to become wider and wider, with social changes, new technology, and developments made every single day. How does this affect families? With the values shifting, the number of children born decreases. Also, there are more and more fatherless children. The new generation of kids are different too – they have values and ideas different not only from those of their parents and grandparents, but also from young people only 5 or 10 years older. New kids spend a lot more time online. As a consequence, live interaction with peers and parents has drastically altered too. As a result, they have only about 30 minutes of personal conversations taking place in a week, have about 3 family dinners with their smartphones in their hands, but spend approximately 45 hours gaming with a 60 hours total spent online. One thing is clear – the children’s brains are totally rewired. Despite – or because – of this, parents now have to learn how to understand their children and effectively communicate with them. Old methods they’ve learned from their families don’t really apply anymore, and parents can’t agree to being just cash machines and landlords for their kids. These days, everybody advises how parents should spend more personal time with their children and talk to them eye to eye. This is especially, for fathers and their sons. This is indeed a great piece of advice. But imagine, you finally found time for a heart-to-heart conversation with your youngest, but you as a parent aren’t at all prepared. The moment you’ve been anticipating has finally come, but you just feel out of practice, and your head is flooded with loud thoughts, noises, and topped with panic. “So, son, what should we talk about?” Before we go over the topics of this eminent conversation, let’s answer the question of how do you as a parent should conduct the conversation. The most common mistakes are: Conversations not in private. Other people may distract you and your child, and prevent either of you from talking honestly about private topics. Looking at your phone. Set a good example for your child – if you don’t want him or her to look at the phone all the time, don’t do it yourself. […]
A dream come true!! This Father’s Day is the launch of my brand new Kid’s Book about Family Travel to South America. Last year, our family visited all 12 countries in South America (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Suriname, Guyana, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay). I wanted to create a memory for our 3 young kids since they are only 6, 4, 2. Now that we have a book, they can look back and remember all the amazing memories we created together. Plus, I wanted to inspire other families to travel to South America too. Finally, it’s my gift to the hospitable, kind, and generous people of South America whom we love so much and the people are the reason we fell so much in love with Latin culture! My book is called EXPLORING THE CONTINENTS: A Family’s Journey to Visit Every Country in the World. Volume 1: South America. This is a 7 part Kids Book Series focused on the 7 Continents (the next books will feature North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Antartica). The book is focused on inspiring kids to travel from a young age and teach them about history, geography, food, culture, and language. It’s meant to be read aloud by parents to their children (the perfect Bedtime Reading Activity)! Some reflections on the Book Writing Process: 1) SET A DEADLINE – I came up with my book idea when we were in Central America almost finished visiting every country in Latin America (both South America – all 12 countries and Central America – all 8 countries). I set a non-negotiable deadline to release my book on Father’s Day no matter what – I had no other choice. The deadline was set in stone: publish the book on Sunday, June 17, 2018 (Father’s Day). 2) MAKE YOUR GOAL PUBLIC – Once I made the internal decision to write the book, I immediately made it public as it forces me to be accountable and reach my goal. Imagine if I told everyone I was releasing my book on Father’s Day and then I didn’t. It would have been super embarrassing. I wanted to maintain my integrity and complete what I said I would do. Making your goal public will force you to act! 3) CREATE A BOOK LAUNCH TEAM – The best thing I did before publishing my book was create a Book Launch Team of close […]
What Needs to Be Done Before Any and Every Vacation Before you jet off to your next family fun-time destination, make sure you’ve checked off these important tasks from the pre-vacation to-do list. Vacation preparation isn’t just packing and planning an itinerary! This is what needs to be done before any and every vacation: Update travel documents and insurance Make sure all your travel documents, such as identification papers and itinerary are up to date, and event reservations and lodging accommodations are in order. Furthermore, if you wanted to add an extra layer of protection to your assets, buy traveler’s insurance. Traveler’s insurance is especially beneficial for families since it can reimburse you for unexpected circumstances such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost luggage, and cancellations made by airlines. Visit the doctor Have a doctor perform a physical check-up for everyone in the family. You want to ensure that every person is in tip-top shape to go on vacation! This is especially important for kids since they have a weaker immune system than adults. Your doctor can recommend specific medications to bring during the trip to help them combat a potential sickness. Also, if you are traveling outside the country, don’t forget to receive vaccinations and immunity shots. Pay off any outstanding bills Late fees happen all the time when people take a vacation. Therefore, it’s best to set up automatic payments during one. You never want to leave behind any outstanding balances or miss a minimum payment due date. Moreover, if necessary, inform your card companies that you may be paying off balances later than expected or change a payment date all-together. Figure out your mail situation This applies to both your physical mail and email! First, you don’t want your mailbox to be filled to the brim with mail. To the outside world, this tips off the fact that you won’t be home for a while, which may welcome suspicious activity. You can put your mail on hold at the post office or ask a neighbor to keep it safe for you. In regards to email, set up an automatic response so colleagues, friends and family can expect a delay in response time from you. Inform the bank of your future trip Notify your bank that they can expect to see multiple purchases made with your card, and if applicable, international charges. You never want to be in a […]
I had a plan. Get through school, find a girl, get married, buy a house, then have a couple kids. It was a good plan, ingrained in my very being from an early age. This is the plan for so many young men. It’s funny how plans tend to change so suddenly. I was almost there, my last year of university when I met (my now wife) Ayla and her daughter. Ugh, I said it, words that shake me to my core, ‘her’ daughter. Ayla’s daughter was 11 months old at the time and had been a single mother since before H was born. That’s when my whole plan got shelved. The instant I met little H (I refer to her as Chocolate on my blog). I knew my purpose. If I’m going to be in this relationship, this is going to be MY kid. Blood doesn’t and shouldn’t matter when it comes to raising kids! No matter what happened, I would treat her exactly how I treat any and all future children (we have three). When I introduce her to people, she is my daughter. When people tell me we look alike, H and I laugh to ourselves and explain that everyone says that. Because oddly enough, we really do! Treating her any differently would cause discontent. Treating her differently in my wife’s eyes would be hurtful. Treating her differently in my eyes would be wrong. H would always feel as though she didn’t belong when she was home and that wasn’t right. There are two things that are extremely difficult to deal with as the ‘stepdad’: Bio-Dad boundaries and dealing with correcting my own extended family. H’s dad and his wife are regularly involved with her and we all have a very civil relationship. Things could have been a lot worse. So even though I consider her my own flesh and blood, I still have to respect that she has two fathers. I dread the day where she proudly rages “you’re not my real dad”! My parents have always been on board, the moment I brought H home to meet them, they accepted her as their own grandchild. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t slip ups! When we announced our second child to family and friends, a common response was “so excited for your first child!”… “No! Second child… I already have one.” “I mean your first biological.” […]
One of the things we love during our travels is do Land Border Crossings! I’ve personally done dozens of Border Crossings in Europe and Asia before I got married. So, now, I get the pleasure of doing new Border Crossings in South and Central America….this time, with my wife and kids! Instead of flying crossing by land gives you a whole different perspective into the country. Here’s all the Land Borders we have crossed together as a family: 1) BRAZIL – ARGENTINA We crossed from Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side into Argentina so we could see the Falls from both sides! 2) BRAZIL – PARAGUAY We did a day trip into Paraguay and visited the 3 Frontiers (the place where you can see Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay from one place). 3) FRENCH GUIANA – SURINAME This was a River Crossing – it cost us 5 Euros to get a private boat to cross from French Guiana into Suriname. 4) SURINAME – GUYANA The boat from Suriname to Guyana was much bigger than the small canoe we took when we entered Suriname. 5) COLOMBIA – VENEZUELA We crossed over from Colombia into Venezuela spending one night in San Cristobal before taking a Shared Taxi back to the Colombian border! 6) COLOMBIA – ECUADOR After a nice sleep at the Border Town and a visit to the famous Cathedral, we took the bus from the border to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. 7) ECUADOR – PERU From the border, we crossed to Chiclayo and slept there for one night before taking another bus to Lima. 8) PERU – BOLIVIA We traveled with Peru Hop from Peru to Bolivia visiting Lake Titicaca on both sides. 9) BOLIVIA – CHILE After visiting the Salt Flats, we asked to be dropped at San Pedro de Atacama (the famous desert in Northern Chile). 10) CHILE – ARGENTINA We did this crossing in the middle of the night (bad idea!). Our bus was from Valparaiso, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina. 11) ARGENTINA – URUGUAY We did a fun Boat Crossing from Tigre, Argentina to Camelo, Uruguay. 12) MEXICO – BELIZE We took a bus from Tulum, Mexico into Belize City, Belize. Make sure you have enough USD or Mexican Pesos to pay the Exit Fees. 13) BELIZE – GUATEMALA From Belize City, we took the local bus to Flores, Guatemala which took about 5 hours including about […]
After staying in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua for over 1 month, we had the chance to try out most of the popular restaurants in the small yet touristy fishing town! We had the chance to review several accommodations including Casa Oro, Nomad Life, and Spanish Corner School and of course, review several of the local restaurants and cafes. All of these places are family-friendly and kid-welcoming!! Here’s our top 20 favourite restaurants in San Juan Del Sur. I have grouped them based on broader categories (e.g. Best Beach Restaurants, Best Fusion, Best Asian, Best Pizza Places, Best Street Food, etc). I’m open to suggestions so please comment below on any places that I missed! WARNING: These Food Pictures will make you HUNGRY! Make sure you read on a full stomach or get ready to salivate! Drum Roll, Please….The Top 20: A) BEST BEACH RESTAURANTS: 1) EL TIMON 2) THE BEACH HOUSE B) BEST FUSION RESTAURANTS: 3) CERVECERIA 4) SIMON SAYS 5) DALE PUES 6) PARLOUR 7) JICARO GARDEN 8) THE LOOSE MOOSE 9) BIG WAVE DAVE’S C) BEST ASIAN RESTAURANTS: 10) SUSHI LA BARRA 11) NICA THAI 12) SABORES CHINOS 13) THE SURFING BUDDHA CAFE 14) KING CURRY 15) CASA ORO D) BEST NICARAGUAN FOOD: 16) EL POLLITO PESCADOR 17) LA LANCHA E) BEST PIZZA PLACES: 18) CONO PIZZA 19) DON MONCHIS F) BEST FISH & CHIPS RESTAURANT: 20) SIMPLETON’S FISH AND CHIPS G) BEST DESSERT PLACES 1) KISS ME 2) SUPER FRUTTO GELATARIA 3) DIA DE LOS DONUTS Dia De Los Donuts H) BEST SMOOTHIES: 1) SMOOTHIE STAND 2) SMOOTHIE TIME 3) BOLINGO GOURMET ICE CREAM I) HONORARY MENTIONS: 1) Best Tacos: Taco Stop & The Taco Street Style 2) Best Salad Bar: Salud Kitchen 3) Best Art Cafe: The Art Warehouse 4) Best Place for Chocolate Lovers: The Chocolate Museum 5) Best Street Food: Quesadilla Stands along the beach (near Delfin Hotel) 6) Best Grocery Store: Super Xpress (with AC, ATMs, and Free Washrooms!) 7) Best Home-Cooked Meals: Homestay at Spanish Corner School (Homestay Mom’s Cooking)!! COMMENT BELOW: Do you agree or disagree with my picks? What have I missed?
Here is the list of the 20+ Podcast Interviews we have done on 3 major topics: 1) FATHERHOOD & PARENTING (Daddy Blogger) 2) INTERNET MARKETING (Blogging & Social Media) 3) FAMILY TRAVEL (Digital Nomadism) Here are all the interviews in chronological order: 1) ENTREPRENEUR ON FIRE (John Lee Dumas) https://www.eofire.com/podcast/rickyshetty/ 2) AS TOLD BY NOMADS (Tayo Rockson) http://tayorockson.com/podcast/ 3) CHATTING WITH CHAMPIONS (Tyler Basu) http://chattingwithchampions.com/ricky-shetty-traveling-blogging-connecting-your-community/ 4) INFINITE UPGRADE (Cole Geier) http://www.infiniteupgrade.com/036-ricky-shetty-growing-your-community/ 5) FUEL RADIO (Rod Janz) https://fuelradio.com/make-living-make-difference-make-life-blogging-expert-ricky-shetty/ 6) EXTA PAYCHECK PODCAST (Alex Sol) https://blog.extra-paycheck.com/extra-paycheck-podcast41/ 7) THE LEADERSMITH (Faisal Khattak) http://theleadersmith.com/episode-5-featuring-ricky-shetty/ 8) HOME OFFICE DAD (Shawn Stratton) https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/home-office-dad/e/1-ricky-shetty-from-daddybloggercom-on-being-a-productive-nomebased-35893791 9) FATHERHOOD IS LEADERSHIP (Devon Bandison) http://www.devonbandison.com/fil-podcast/ 10) LIFE OF DAD (Tommy Riles) https://www.lifeofdad.com/30-dads-30-days-ricky-shetty/ 11) BACON PODCAST (Brian Basilico) https://baconpodcast.com/episode-127-monetizing-your-content-creation-with-ricky-shetty/ 12) HALFTIME MIKE PODCAST (Mike Gingerich) https://www.mikegingerich.com/blog/tag/ricky-shetty/ 13) PARENTOUS (Gunjan Parentous) https://www.parentous.com/ricky-shetty-interview-daddy-blogger/ 14) AN EPIC EDUCATION (Jason Jenkins) https://www.anepiceducation.com/eer107-world-travel-with-babies/ 15) NOMAD TOGETHER (Paul Kortman) https://nomadtogether.com/nomadtogether-podcast/ 16) BREAK INTO TRAVEL WRITING (Alexa Williams Meisler) https://breakintotravelwriting.com/bitw-123-how-to-make-multiple-streams-of-online-income-as-a-digital-nomad-with-ricky-shetty/ 17) THE AWESOME BIZ DADS PODCAST (Tuan Nguyen) http://dudebuddha.com/abd7-learn-the-four-steps-to-travelling-the-world-with-your-family-with-travelling-buddha-ricky-shetty/ 18) ENTREPRENEUR HOT SEAT (Andy Storch) http://www.andystorch.com/podcast/ 19) THE RV FAMILY SUMMIT (Michelle Abraham) http://fulltimetravelnetwork.com/ 20) AMATEUR TRAVELER (Chris Christensen) http://southamerica.amateurtraveler.com/the-best-of-brazil-a-one-week-itinerary-podcast/ 21) AFFILIATE BUZZ (James Martell) http://jamesmartell.com/affiliate-buzz/ricky-shetty-secrets-to-receiving-free-products-and-services/ http://jamesmartell.com/affiliate-buzz/how-to-create-a-life-travelling-the-world/ 22) PODCASTING MASTERY (James Martell) http://podcastingmastery.com/author/james-martell/ 23) EXTRA PACK OF PEANUTS (Travis Sherry) http://extrapackofpeanuts.com/traveling-family-5-ricky-shetty/ 24) PROJECT IGNITE (Derek Gehl) https://projectignite.com/the-digital-nomad-lifestyle-7-income-streams-for-travelling-the-world-as-a-digital-marketing-nomad-with-ricky-shetty/ 25) STAND UP BE YOU (Tequila Dodard) http://tequiladodard.com/work-while-traveling/ 26) THE CANADIAN WANDERER (Charmaine Yip) https://www.thecanadianwanderer.com/jobs-on-the-road-blogging-coach/ 27) FATHERHOOD FOR THE REST OF US (Brandon Handley) http://www.fatherhoodfortherestofus.com 28) VANCOUVER REAL PODCAST (Andy and Mike Zaremba) 29) VANCOUVER ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST (Robert Szmigiel) 30) SOCIAL MEDIA CAMP PODCAST (Paul Holmes) 31) NOMAD ME (Beck Power) 32) THE WRITING GYM PODCAST (Annalisa Parent) 33) THE UNBRANDED LIFESTYLE PODCAST (Danielle Mah) 34) THE LIFESTYLE AND MARKETING PODCAST (Colin Campbell)
During our Daddy Blogger World Tour, we have stayed in resorts, hotels, hostels, Airbnbs, and even some home stays! In fact, I have a YouTube Playlist of every single accommodation we have ever stayed in as a family (it’s well over 250 different locations and venues). This will be a great memory trigger for our kids to look back at when they get older and of course a great resource for other traveling and nomadic families. However, until this week, we have yet to stay in a Digital Nomad House…actually, I did not even know that Digital Nomad Houses existed until one of my Podcast Guests told me about NomadLife, an amazing Community House in the heart of San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. It’s quite fitting that we stay here since I have an entire business focused on helping people become Digital Nomads called Digital Nomad Mastery. Here’s 10 Reasons why we LOVED NomadLife so much: 1) THE INCREDIBLE VIEW When I first walked up the stairs and my eyes met the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, my jaws dropped and I could not believe the amazing view! They have a very unique open-space configuration with 10 rooms, a dining room, and a gazebo all facing the ocean. I almost did not want to ever leave the house as I wanted to savour every second of the view! 2) THE SPECTACULAR SUNSETS Every evening at around 6 pm, the sky changed into a masterpiece of various colours – it was almost like God was painting a tapestry just for us to enjoy! One of the reasons why people love San Juan Del Sur so much is that every single evening, you get a spectacular sunset! It’s why so many expats have now chosen to call this small town “Home!” 3) THE KIDS’ INFINITY POOL (WITH FLOATIES)! We have had the pleasure of staying in a few places with Infinity Pools but there was never a dedicated Infinity Kids Pool that was safe for the kids to jump, splash, and swim in. I think the previous owner of the house must have kids as it seemed this Mini Pool was built just for Rianne and Ryan!! They also have 7-8 big floaties to relax and unwind in! 4) THE SUPER FAST WIFI One of the major issues I have had while traveling through South and Central America is unstable, unreliable, and […]