Emily Oster

3 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Books, Podcasts, and Some Marriage-Saving Travel Advice

Tips for your summer vacation

Emily Oster

3 min Read

I have been on a much-needed vacation, so today’s post is short! In case you’re also headed out on vacation, I’ve got a few recommendations for reading and listening, along with a couple of travel tips.


Reading

First of all: over the past few months, the newsletter has featured a number of great books, including Fat Talk, The Black Agenda, and Advanced Parenting. If you haven’t picked those up, I strongly advise you to do so.

Here’s what else I’ve been consuming…

Nora Goes Off Script: This is such perfect, perfect beach reading that I wish I had waited to read it.

Don’t Think, Dear: A memoir of ballet. Penelope liked this one too.

Outlive: I read this in a makeshift book club with my dad and brother. It’s a deep dive into data on what promotes healthy longevity. As with all books like this, it will prompt strong feelings, but as someone who knows something about this space, I thought it was well-researched and interesting. The last chapter is very meaningful.

Listening

There are a few podcasts I subscribe to and listen to religiously. I’m afraid this will mostly resonate if you are a runner. The Drop (for long runs in particular), Citius Mag, and, of course, Ali on the Run (which, I’d argue, almost anyone should like).

But lately I’ve also been sharing podcast listening with my daughter, and she is not a running podcast fan, so I’ve been branching out. This American Life (especially this and this, older episodes but ones I’m still thinking about) and the new season of Slow Burn, about Justice Thomas, are both on the list.

Other travel things

I am a person with a lot of opinions. One of the things I often have to dial down in my writing about parenting is my opinions, because providing data-driven advice for people to make their own choices is not about giving your opinions. However: I am now going to give you some opinions about travel. They are mostly not based on data! They are only based on experience. You’ve been warned.

1. Get packing cubes. I cannot really explain why, but they are game-changing.

2. If you have a baby and need a carrier: Bitybean.

3. Any amount of screen time is fine on a travel day. Seriously. Think about the replacement: what would they be doing instead? Driving you insane? Crying? Your kid isn’t doing math puzzles on the airplane or learning to code, and that’s not fun family time. Give them an iPad and get yourself a nice glass of wine.

4. Melatonin (this is based on data) for jet lag. For the first day or two until people get on the schedule.

Finally, my number-one most important marriage-saving tip: never, ever, ever try to drive a rental car in a walled city in Europe. Maybe this is a little specific to my marriage? Then again, maybe not.

Happy travels!

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