The Top Five Fitness Vacations

Who says vacations are for relaxing?

For most of us, vacations are about relaxing, lounging around on the beach, soaking up sun and sucking down cocktails. There are some folks however, who find the very idea of sitting still boring. You're probably familiar with these people. They have memberships at rock-climbing gyms instead of going to Planet Fitness like the rest of us. They talk about their sweet mountain biking trek or their marathon training, getting looks of contempt and begrudging admiration from around the office. If there's a company field day, these are the people winning all the games. If you find yourself disgusted by the premise of going on a run or competing in team sports while on vacation, this article is not for you. Conversely, if you're ultra-fit and exercise-obsessed, I have some great news.

Fitness vacations, the newest craze for people who can't relax, are popping up all over the place. Whether you want to rock-climb, ski, or perform difficult crossfit WODs, there's a vacation out there for you. Don't worry though, you don't have to scour the Internet to find the best ones, we've created a list of our top five just below.

Body Holiday

Get up bright and early for some fitness classes on the beach!

Located in St. Lucia, Body Holiday is an all-inclusive resort that includes Zumba courses, yoga, spin classes, and tons of beach volleyball. On top of this, Body Holiday has different packages depending on your fitness goals. If you're a newbie, or trying to shed some extra pounds, they have a weight-loss package. If you're trying to detox and eat clean for awhile, all while enjoying the resort's fantastic fitness amenities, they have a package for that as well. Body Holiday is all about sending you home refreshed and recharged, and they know that lying around doing nothing won't really get you there.

Intrepid Travel’s Cycling Programs

See the world from your bike seat

If you're a fan of cycling, and want to see the world, look no further than Intrepid Travel. With cycling trips available on five continents in numerous countries, Intrepid has everything that a cyclist could want. Whether you want to bike around the entirety of Iran or you simply want to hit the French Alps, there's definitely a program out there for you. On top of this, the cycling tours aren't super competitive and are more about sightseeing than racing, so the barrier to entry here is pretty low.

Phantom Ranch

Beautiful and secluded, Phantom Ranch is the most exclusive lodge near the Grand Canyon.

If you're already in pretty great shape, and want to attempt something a bit more daring, why not hike down the South Kaibab Trail of the Grand Canyon? This 7.3-mile traverse is perfect for intermediate hikers looking to see the canyon's natural beauty and wildlife. Phantom Ranch, a cozy cabin near the start of the trail, is a perfect place to rest and relax before and after your hike.

Biking the Great Ocean Road

This one's not for the faint of heart!

The Great Ocean Road in Australia is one of the most beautiful bike paths in the world, but at 172 miles long, it's not for the faint of heart. Unlike Intrepid's bike tours, this ride will test your endurance, both mentally and physically. There are a slew of bed and breakfasts all along the coast, and the best way to prepare for this trip is to book a bunch of one night stays. The beginning of the journey is in Geelong, near Melbourne, and ends in Warrnambool. Don't be afraid to stray from the path a bit though, there are tons of wineries and great coastal restaurants to explore.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Thomson Safaris

After you finish you can brag to your friends that you climbed a mountain

I know, climbing a mountain seems less like a vacation, than a major achievement, but Mt. Kilimanjaro is actually a pretty straightforward ascent. It's more like a very long hike than anything. Nowadays, you can actually do the hike in extreme comfort. Thomson Safaris offers a great climbing program, in which delicious meals are shared in luxurious tents, and a real sense of community is built around the climb. With 30 years of experience, these experts are sure to get you to the summit safely, and boast a 98% success rate. Still, it'd benefit you to get in shape for this hike. The path up is close to 70km!

Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found in Inked Magazine, Pop Dust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. -- Find Matt at his website and on Twitter: @mattclibanoff

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As we prepare for Thanksgiving in what many people are calling the "worst year ever," it's important to remember this holiday is all about appreciating the blessings in your life. As we gather together with friends and family to celebrate—however small the gathering may be—it's important to remember to keep things in moderation to avoid spending too much. Here are four tips for preparing Thanksgiving dinner on a budget.

Factor for Guests

For any gathering, it's important to know how many guests you'll be inviting and who they are. More guests may seem like a higher cost for food, but hosting a potluck-style dinner can work in your financial favor by splitting the cost among all the diners. If you would prefer to cook the entire meal by yourself, try to prepare only enough food for what your guests will eat to avoid wasting food.

Prioritize Food

Consider the foods your guests are likely to eat instead of what a traditional dinner may consist of. Consider dietary restrictions and religious observations when compiling your menu. Once you have an idea of the meal you'll be serving, go through your pantry to see what you already have in stock. Remember to include the cost of beverages, especially alcohol, if you plan on including that in your celebration.

Beat the Rush

The best way to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients to prepare your feast is to get your shopping done as early as possible. Buying food early will ensure you can complete your menu without running into issues with grocery store inventory. This is especially important when you're purchasing the turkey. Spreading out your purchases over time can also mitigate the financial effects of hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

Comparison Shop

The fourth of our tips for preparing Thanksgiving dinner on a budget is to do some comparison shopping. Putting in the time to get the best prices will allow you to save money. Keep in mind the grocery store might not always be the best option for purchasing ingredients. Local markets will often have better prices than national chain stores for many vegetables traditionally served at Thanksgiving. If you put in the time to find the right local butcher, you might even be able to get your turkey for a discounted rate.

There are many food products you likely love to buy but end up frustrated with when you don't use them quickly enough. Many products start to spoil in just a couple of weeks. The good news is that there are also many foods that never spoil. Consumers often don't realize that many of these products have no expiration dates. For some of the top food product that surprisingly never expire, read below.

Non-Iodized Salt

One of the first major food products that never goes bad is non-iodized salt. Natural salt is commonly used as a preservative, so the fact that it doesn't spoil makes sense. Salt doesn't contain any water, and it also won't ever lose its flavor because it isn't plant based.

The key is to store it in the correct environment so that the flavor is unaffected. If you live in a humid environment, storing your salt in an airtight container to prevent the absorption of moisture is best. Salt with additives such as iodine and other anti-cracking agents is the kind you'll see with a sell-by date on the shelf.

salt

Honey

Honey is another significant product that doesn't expire. After 20, 50, or even 100 years, honey will still taste the same. Raw honey doesn't go bad for several reasons. Honey has little water in it, which most microbials need to grow. It also has a low pH level.

The natural sugars in the honey also give it preserving properties. These elements make it virtually impossible for bacteria to grow in honey. Honey also naturally contains antibacterial ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide. Even crystallized honey is still safe to eat.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee isn't always the most ideal option for coffee-lovers, but many people do enjoy using it for its practicality, especially if they're on the go. People often use instant coffee while they're camping, backpacking, or traveling. However, very few people understand it stays fresh for good. This is because instant coffee is a dried-out, concentrated form of the coffee we normally brew. The process it goes through eliminates any water, which prevents it from spoiling.

Instant coffee


Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the food products that surprisingly never expires, so if you're looking for a cooking oil you can hang onto for some time, it's perfect for you. Unrefined coconut oil is what you want.

When coconut oil is refined, it goes through a process that weakens the saturated fat's ability to stop oxidation, which makes the oil become rancid. All the saturated fats in unrefined coconut oil are untouched, preventing rapid oxidation.

Winter is coming and, oh boy, it's gonna be a cold one. While we often stress about the frigid temperature, there are tons of great qualities about winter. The holidays, hot cocoa, a winter wonderland, it's honestly one of the most magical times of the year. But one of the best parts about winter is easily the adorable children's shoes.

Shopping for winter shoes for your little one is no easy task. It's easy to nail down the obvious, like snow boots, but what about regular-day-to-day wear? Between playdates and the classroom, those heavy-duty boots aren't exactly versatile.

If you're looking for stylish yet affordable kicks to keep your child warm and fashionable during the colder months, look no further than FabKids. FabKids is a membership that gives you access to new limited-edition collections each month. But that also doesn't mean you have to shop each month. When you're signed up as a VIP member, it costs $39.95 a month if you don't shop or skip the month by the 5th. That amount gets put into your account as a member credit to spend at any time, and the member credits never expire.

You can skip any month you want and won't get billed (just let them know by the 5th of each month). It's fast, convenient, and the most affordable way to secure trendy kicks for your little one.

Here are 5 of our favorite shoes to transition your child from fall to winter.

Sherpa Lined Lace Up Boot

Everyone needs a comfy pair of boots built for outdoor play. These sherpa lined boots are about as stylish as you're gonna get. Plus they're super easy to style and dress! They are perfect for a playdate, school, or even a special occasion. We love the 3D deer design and the ankle height makes it perfect for all weather conditions. There's even a hidden side zipper for easy on-and-off.

Sherpa Lined Lace Up Boot

Rainbow Lace Up Boot

A whimsical take on the classic duck boot. This must-have winter essential is the perfect all-weather boot. Through rain, snow, and sleet, these boots are designed to withstand all conditions while making your child look fabulous in the process. These boots feature a cozy sherpa lining and a rainbow glitter color scheme. Easy to pull-on loops in the back make slipping these on as simple as 1, 2, 3!

Rainbow Lace Up Boot

Dino Rainboot

Your little guy is gonna love this one. With these puddle-proof stompers, he'll look forward to rainy days! The dino rain boot features easy to pull-on handles and a cool, yet darling camo-dino design. If your little one is even the slightest fan of dinosaurs, we know he'll love this.

dino rainboot

Rainbow Unicorn Fuzzy

If the dino is quintessential "boy," then we all know that your little girl will absolutely fall in love with these rainbow-colored unicorn boots. The super-soft lining is guaranteed to keep your child's feet toasty and no-shed glitter means no mess! They're never going to want to take them off thanks to the detailed 3-D unicorn design, vibrant color scheme, and cotton candy-colored sole.

Rainbow Unicorn Fuzzy

Tulip Hem Fuzzy Boot

We love this boot for its versatility and next-level comfort. Kid-test and approved for all-day play, these boots feature a super-soft faux fur lining and trim. As one of the more chic entries on this list, this boot is the perfect way to stay cozy and stylish throughout the winter. No need to sacrifice style for utility!

Tulip Hem Fuzzy Boot

Start prepping for winter now to get your child's footwear rotation in tip-top shape.

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