How to protect your kids from EMF radiation on an airplane

Wednesday, July 3

When I was pregnant with my first child 8 years ago, a good friend shared some research with me about EMF radiation (which stands for electromagnetic fields). I started doing my own deep dive on EMF's, and couldn't believe what I read. EMF radiation is a serious thing, and since all the technologies we use emit EMF's, I knew I needed a gameplan.

In case you're is some helpful information on why EMF's are especially dangerous for kids..."Kids have watery, more conductive tissues, which allow EMF radiation to travel more easily throughout their bodies.

Early exposure to EMF radiation can affect developing organs & body systems more, since EMF-injured cells are duplicating and multiplying as the child grows.

Smaller, lighter bodies are more affected by EMF sources, since the radiation emissions travel farther into the body than within a larger adult body." (Taken from the Defender Shield Website) 

THE REAL KICKER came when my doctor casually mentioned that an airplane flight gave off more radiation than an x-ray. When I went home that day I looked it up to confirm, and sure enough, a transatlantic flight gives off 5x the radiation of a chest x-ray! 

According to Nuffield Health, "Airplanes create enormous and dangerous electromagnetic radiation. These harmful fields can layer, one upon the other, creating a toxic soup of radiation."

This was problematic for me because we fly SO often, and I truly wanted to protect my children. are some resources we've found to help limit EMF exposure when flying:

1) EMF bracelets for each child. (You can buy them here). Each of my kids has a bracelet. They wear them the entire flight, and when we arrive they hand them all to me to store until our departure date. Use Code KATIECOOK to get 15% off your order! 

2) Belly Band (You can buy it here) When I was pregnant, and knew I had multiple long distance flights coming up, I invested in this belly band. This band will protect you and your unborn baby from up to 99% of wireless Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation

3) Anti-Radiation Blanket (You can purchase it here) I wrap each of my babies and toddlers in this blanket when they fall asleep on the airplane. Ames slept with this draped over him in the airplane bassinet. In the winter months, I'll lay this blanket over my legs while I'm working on my computer. 

4) EMF Radiation Protection Beanie Cap (You can purchase it here) I put these beanies on my kids on the airplane to protect their brains from radiation! 

While there are a lot more products I want to invest in, this is what we have used for airplane protection. 

However, the 3 items we use the most on a daily basis to protect ourselves from EMF's are...

EMF Protection + Radiation Block Phone Case (You can purchase here) I started my journey with buying this case, and it's been a game changer. I can feel the difference when I use it verses when I don't. I'm definitely more sensitive to EMF's than most people, but I LOVE this case and never go anywhere without it. 

The Defender Pad you put under your laptop to protect your body from EMF's (You can purchase here)

EMF Harmonzier+ for Cell Phones...Simply stick one of these stickers on the back of your cell phone and it will help protect and neutralize the EMF's  (You can purchase here). You code KATIECOOK to get 15% off your order! 

If you'd like to win one of these products..I'm actually giving away a newborn EMF Protection Beanie Cap today over on IG! Entering is easy! 

Hope this was helpful! Don't be overwhelmed that you need to buy everything at once. Start with baby steps. I've bought these items in slow increments over the last 6 years. I'd recommend getting the cell phone case and cell phone sticker first (because our phones emit EMF's daily), and then if you plan to fly, DEFINITLY getting the EMF blocking bracelets and belly band (if you're pregnant!), etc. 

Good Luck!! And let me know if you have any questions! 

How to Plan a Trip

Monday, July 1

 One of the overwhelming questions I receive on a weekly basis is, "how do you plan your trips?" It's a great question! Before I race off towards the finish line on this one, I want to say this... There is no one "right" way to plan the trip of a lifetime…you have to do what works best for YOU! Today, you'll get to see a bit of an inside peek to how Kev and I plan our trips...(I wrote this a few years ago when Kev and I were planning our trip to Turkey and Greece, but I've updated it and all the info is still relevant!)

First of all, you are in luck, because we are actually planning our trip to Turkey right now, so all this information is fresh on our minds! Kevin and I get so excited to plan trips {it literally gets my adrenaline running!} that we always make a date about it. We'll pick a fun coffee shop or restaurant, bring all of our travel books and computers, and make a day of it. To plan our trip to Turkey, Kev and I drove down to Crystal Cove by Newport Coast, went on a hike over the beach, then came back and started planning at the Starbucks across the street!

Here's a bit of a step by step planning guide we use:

1) Figure out where you want to go: This in and of itself can be HARD, as our globe has no shortage of breathtaking places to explore! However, most of you probably have a bucket lists of a few countries you've always wanted to visit. Narrow it down to a few, and then start researching what might be the most economical option for you. This coming summer, Kevin and I knew we either wanted to go to Turkey or to Eastern Europe. We started doing our homework, and realized that the flights {with our credit card miles} were WAY cheaper to fly into Istanbul, Turkey than they were to Prague, Czech Republic {in fact the flight to Prague was twice as expensive as to Istanbul}. This made our initial decision a no-brainer!

Other issues you may want to take into consideration include:
- weather {the weather in Turkey will be warmer this May than in Eastern Europe, so the sunshine weighed in our decision)
- cost of living {by and large, our US dollar will stretch a bit further in Turkey than in Eastern Europe…it's still Europe after all!}

2) Country Overview: Once you've picked the lucky country {insert conffetti and happy dancing!}it's time to get an initial feel for the country at hand! The details for the trip can wait, because right now it's time to figure out generally what cities and areas you want to visit in the country. The best way to do this in my opinion is to consult travel books, get your google search on, and interrogate your friends!

Travel Books: You may think spending $30 on a travel book is overrated, but it's not my friend, it will actually give you magic powers {and not all books are created equal…Rick Steve's is my favorite, then Lonely Planet is usually a solid choice). Good travel books usually give suggestions of where to go if you are in country for "one week" "two weeks" or even sometimes "three weeks". Kevin and I are going to be in Turkey for 2 weeks exactly, so we consulted our Lonely Planet Turkey Guidebook, and checked out what they recommended for a 2 week trip. This was the first time we started hearing about the towns of interest that we needed to keep on our radar, like Ephesus or Cappadocia. This will really help you narrow down the important places you will want to go.

Google: You can also consult Dr. Google himself. Type in something like "two week itinerary in ____". I typed "two week itinerary in Turkey" or even "best places to see in Turkey", and again, it helped give me an overview of some of the best places to see.

Friends:  The best advice often comes from people have already "been there, done that!". We just had friends that went to Turkey last year, and so we made a point to get together with them. Over lunch at their house {of Turkish food nonetheless!} we asked them tons of questions on where to go, what to see, and what their favorite activity was! The information they gave was invaluable! We are even staying at some of the hotels they mentioned as being memorable:)

3) Map your Route: Once we figured out the best places to travel to, we stated to map out our route in the calendar. We knew we would start in Istanbul, so we blocked out 3 days on our google calendar in Istanbul. Then we put 2 days in Cappadocia, 1 in Pamukkale, 2 in Ephesus, and 4 on the beach. Even though at this point we didn't have any details, getting it mapped out by the days helped us to visualize where we were going and the nature of our 12 days in the country.

4) Details Details Details! Once we had our route mapped out in our calendar, we started diving deeper into the planning process. We divided and conquered. I was nominated to look for lodging in each city, and Kevin  was nominated to figure out our transportation from city to city. Here is how we worked on our respective jobs:

- Lodging: 2 things are key when it comes to booking lodging…1) Know where in the city you want to stay {so you don't end up in the boondocks or a seedy part of town} and 2) get an idea for the average price of lodging in that specific area, so that you don't get ripped off. To figure out what part of the city to stay in, google it! I figured out very quickly the good neighborhoods in Istanbul to stay in. To get a good feel for pricing in the city, I started on (We also love  In my case, hotels in Istanbul are CRAZY expensive {even though everything else in the country isn't costly}. So, I decided that I would check out AirBnB as an alternative. What I found was awesome! There were great rooms for rent in stunning parts of town that saved us a lot of money! In the end, we rented a room from AirBnB that only cost us $33 a night {as opposed to $75 in a janky hotel!} I used to book the rest of our accommodations in the other cities we are staying in! The great thing about Booking and Agoda is that you can accrue points the more you purchase through them, and very soon we will have a free night of lodging somewhere!! {for more tips on booking lodging, click here}

- Transportation: Kevin was a boss at booking transportation in country. He googled everything {including reviews for each company we ended up purchasing tickets with, to make sure it was credible!}. He first googled "domestic airline flights from Istanbul to Cappadocia". This took us to Turkish Airlines, and we purchased flights very easily! {do your research on what airports are best to fly out of, etc.}. He then googled "buses from Cappadocia to Pammukale" and boom, it took us to a website of a bus company and we were able to snag tickets. Google makes things so accessible…use it…love it…become friends with it! :) {For more tips on booking transportation, click here.}

- Activities: I must say, Trip Advisor is bar none in this area. We LOVE Trip Advisor for figuring out all the local treasures and activities that are worth doing. For instance, in Dublin two years ago, Trip Advisor told us to book a dinner called "Food, Folklore, and Fairies" at an old pub, and it ended up being my favorite thing in Dublin! For our Turkey trip, we are using Trip Advisor to figure out what tours we should take, if the hot air balloon ride is really worth it, and what we should do along the coast! Your guide book can also help you with this!! And remember when I said the guide books are magic? One of their greatest strengths (in my humble opinion) is that most guidebooks have walking tours in them. This gives you the opportunity to give yourself a tour that is free and at your own pace, and is still jammed packed full with wonderful information!

Here are a few more tips on making your trip as smooth as possible: 

1) Calendar your trip: On our computers, we calendar our trip onto google calendars. We put our flight information, bus information, pick up times, etc. into the days where we are utilizing transportation. We put all our hotel confirmation numbers and addresses into the calendar as well. Having ALL the information in one place is super helpful in case you need to pull it up at a moments notice!

2) Manilla Folder the Important Information: To make our trip as smooth as possible, Kevin and I utilize what we fondly refer to as the "manilla folder". We put any important documents into this manilla folder, and carry it with us in our backpack or suitcase. In this folder we usually put:
- Copies of Passports and drivers licenses {just in case}
- A print out of ALL our hotel confirmation and plane/bus/rental car tickets and info
- Driving directions from google maps if we are renting a car and need to get from here to there
- Contact List of phone numbers and addresses of friends we may be visiting in the country

3) Pack for the weather: I'll be sharing more on packing soon, but make sure you do some research on what the weather will be like when you are there.

4) Read up: This should go without saying, but the more homework you do before you leave, the better you'll understand the country! Sometimes I'll read books {both fiction and non fiction} or watch movies to learn more about the country. Kevin and I are total travel nerds and will often watch "Rick Steves" videos on the destination we are going {you can find them on youtube}. The more you know about a place, the more you will appreciate the people, the architecture, and it's unique place in history.

I hope this was somewhat helpful for you guys! If you have any specific questions, don't hesitate to ask!! And if you think of something I missed, I would LOVE to hear it. How do YOU plan your trips?

Have a sweet day friends:)
love Katie