Updated on July 17, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
We help hundreds of thousands of individuals every month stay safe, healthy, and happy at home and while traveling!
Our writing, research, TV and radio interviews have been featured all over the Internet and all over the world including on: The Guardian, CNN, New York Post, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, The Times UK, USA Today, Forbes, Fox News, Daily Mail, National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, Business Insider, Lonely Planet, AFAR, CBC Canada, The Independent, Psychology Today, CTV News at Six, ABC Australia, The Daily Telegraph, Global News Canada, Stern Germany, RTS Switzerland, InfoMoney Brazil and Observer to name a few.
Please note: If you would like to be the first to know when we publish new in-depth research studies, subscribe HERE ➜
Below is a sample TV interview (which has over 1 million views) on the popular CBC consumer affairs show called, Marketplace. Asher was brought onto the show as one of the travel experts to talk about his Airbnb research study.
And here is a sample radio interview.
About our family
Hi! We are a nomadic family of four, moving around the globe – working, studying and immersing ourselves in different cultures.
Asher is from Sydney, Australia but moved to the USA in 2004 for university. He graduated valedictorian with a Master’s in Business Administration degree. He spends a lot of time doing research studies and regularly works with universities and other researchers in the US and abroad. He loves statistics and is definitely a data geek.
Lyric is from Los Angeles, USA. She attended NYU film school but after 9/11 decided to transfer to a smaller midwestern school where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in Vedic Science.
We originally met in 2005. Although we instantly became friends, we didn’t date for several years. We actually both lived as yogi-monks meditating for long periods of the day for several years.
Asher then traveled globally, living in Europe and India; and Lyric completed her first solo album, “Lyric’s Love Light Revolution” and lived in many different parts of the US.
We reconnected in 2013, fell in love, got married and now have two beautiful children. Our son, Kingsley, is three and a half, and our daughter, Aurora, is two.
How this website started
He was extremely sick with Delhi Belly, spent almost 2 weeks in bed, and got scammed numerous times as he was simply unaware of the extensive differences between Western and Indian cultures.
He has subsequently traveled to India almost every year since and has now lived there for a total of 1.5 years over the course 8 trips.
When he got back home after his 4th India trip he realized how important it is for my fellow travelers to be well-educated to avoid getting sick or falling for the countless scams in India.
And so, this blog was born! My site has now had over 8 million unique visitors since its launch in 2009.
As Asher and Lyric traveled together more, they realized that unique tips and packing lists could be useful for people traveling to every destination around the world. We already have hundreds of these packing lists on the website covering practically every trip you would ever want to do.
Enter our kiddos!
Kingsley and Aurora were born in the midwestern US, at our then home — in a very giant blow up tub!
We have since traveled, kiddos in tow, to France, Italy, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, South America, five Caribbean Islands, countless US cities, Disney World & on a road trip to the Grand Canyon.
We feel we are kind of traveling with baby ninjas — but even with our tips and tricks we found that having two littles was slowing our adventures down a bit.
In 2019, after spending time in Santa Barbara, we moved the family temporarily to Santa Fe, NM and began enjoying a more settled family life.
Our change in lifestyle shifted our focus to what toddler activities are the most helpful for working parents and kiddos alike.
As a stay at home mama who doesn’t really utilize screen time, I am knee deep in how to keep these little ones engaged and learning on an everyday basis. It’s a joy, and super challenging, simultaneously.
The littles and I spend several hours a day in nature, but as parents working from home there are times when the kids have to be somewhat self-directed.
This spurred us to create the below toddler activity pages for every single month of your kiddos life up until age two; and then yearly until age four. We hope these tips and activities help your family stay happy – and sane!
3-months-olds | 4-months-olds | 5-months-olds | 6-months-olds | 7-months-olds | 8-months-olds | 9-months-olds | 10-months-olds | 11-months-olds | 1-year-olds | 13-months-olds | 14-months-olds | 15-months-olds | 16-months-olds | 17-months-olds | 18-months-olds | 19-months-olds | 20-months-olds | 21-months-olds | 22-months-olds | 23-months-olds | 2-years-olds | 3-years-olds | 4-years-olds | Outdoor | Summer | Fall | Cognitive | Garden | Shape |
Understanding the best toddler gear
Oftentimes we would find ourselves on Amazon and be dumbfounded by the number of toys that looked exactly the same. The reviews were often unreliable or unhelpful and I would end up buying something like a toddler trampoline that I would quickly return because it was super unstable and actually tipped over while my daughter was jumping on it.
This prompted us to begin reviewing toddler items in hopes to save you money and the headache of a quick return. We often give options that range in price but always maintain a high standard of quality.
Our research studies
As mentioned above, our writing, research, TV and radio interviews have been featured all over the Internet and all over the world including on: The Guardian, CNN, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, The Times UK, USA Today, Forbes, Daily Mail, National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, Business Insider, Lonely Planet, AFAR, CBC Canada, The Independent, Psychology Today, CTV News at Six, ABC Australia, The Daily Telegraph, Global News Canada, Stern Germany, RTS Switzerland, InfoMoney Brazil and Observer to name a few.
These studies are a real passion project for us and we often spend hundreds of hours on each study we do. We do our best to research topics that help travelers and families better understand our changing world and how to stay safe at home and while abroad.
Our LGBTQ Danger Index has helped inform thousands of community members on the best and worst countries to travel.
The most recent Raising a Family Index was extremely eye-opening for us. After the data showed the US as the second worst OECD country to raise a family we’re planning to Europe next year.
More about Asher and Lyric
Through our travels we realized that there is a real need to help people travel smarter, safer, and more informed about what to bring and what NOT to bring – not just to India, but to various destinations all over the world.
We decided to update the blog to include all 7 continents with the goal of bringing you tips on how to pack and how to stay safe.
We love using the blog as a forum to share the best restaurants we visit, delicious vegetarian and paleo recipes, and general health and lifestyle tips. Lyric also likes to share tips about being a mom and recently wrote a great article about the best baby travel gear.
Eight Interesting Facts About Asher:
1) He has lived in all of these different places (in this order)!
- Mosman, Sydney, Australia (birthplace)
- Manly, Sydney, Australia
- Collaroy, Sydney, Australia
- Fairfield, IA, USA (met Lyric)
- Vlodrop, Holland
- Fairfield, IA, USA
- London, UK
- Fairfield, IA, USA (got engaged)
- Ojai, CA, USA (got married)
- Maui, HI, USA
- Fairfield, IA, USA (had our kids here)
- Santa Barbara, California, USA
- Santa Fe, NM, USA
- And here are some other places he’s visited for shorter trips and vacations: Italy, France, Ireland, Greece, Switzerland, Scotland, Austria, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Canada.
2) He has been surfing since age 7, loves riding 20ft waves on Maui, and his favorite beach is called “golf course”.
3) He spent three years on “Purusha” as a yogi-monk meditating 6 – 8 hours per day.
4) He loves camping in the outdoors. In 1999 he crossed the Simpson Desert (1,000 sand dunes in the Australian Outback) with his family on a month-long 4WD camping adventure.
5) He has been a lifelong vegetarian, but he is very supportive of his “paleo” wife. 😉
6) He was the valedictorian of both his high school and university graduating classes.
7) He can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 3 minutes and loves numbers and graphs (nerd alert!).
8) He has 3 brothers: one in London, UK, one in Whistler, Canada and one in Sydney, Australia. He’s only seen them a handful of times since leaving Australia in 2004.
Eight Interesting Facts About Lyric:
1) She has lived more than a year in all these places (in this order)!
- Tarzana, CA (birthplace)
- Columbia, SC
- Park City, UT
- Burbank, CA
- New York City, NY
- Toluca Lake, CA
- Boone, NC
- Fairfield, IA (met Asher)
- Santa Monica, CA
- Malibu, CA
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Cape Cod, MA
- Pacific Palisades, CA
- Santa Fe, NM
- Fairfield, IA (got engaged)
- Ojai, CA (got married)
- Maui, Hawaii
- Fairfield, IA, USA (had our kids here)
- Santa Barbara, CA, USA
- Santa Fe, NM, USA
- And here are some other places she’s visited for shorter trips and vacations: Tibet, Nepal, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Oxford and London in the UK, Switzerland, Mexico, Italy, France, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Belize, Honduras and China.
2) She gave birth to her son Kingsley (2016) and daughter Aurora (2018), medication-free at home in the bedroom, in a giant tub, both under 3 hours.
3) Her baby picture was shown on David Letterman when she was 11months old! (Her parents are actor/director Robby Benson and singer Karla DeVito)
4) She spent 8 years as a celibate yogi-monk meditating 8 – 10 hours a day. Yes, she meditates more than Asher does.
5) She has circumambulated Mt. Kailash in Tibet.
6) She is extremely allergic to grains and has been on a “high prana paleo” since she was 26.
7) Oh yeah, she loves any TV shows with dragons & swords. E.g GoT or Vikings.
8) She is also a screenwriter with several amazing scripts in the works.