Category Archives: Travel and Vacationing

Incredible Sights In California That The Whole Family Will Love

Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

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If you want a state that has it all, look no further than California. It has wide, open desert, snow capped mountains, fir forests, and green pastures. There are huge sprawling urban centers where dreams are made of, beautiful wine regions, and, of course, Disneyland. If you’re looking for an area to road trip around, it might as well be California, because it has literally everything a holiday could ever need, for parents and kids alike. If you want a family friendly holiday, look no further than California .

The Golden Gate Bridge

A true marvel of engineering, and an iconic structure of our nation, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-visit for any American. San Francisco itself is basically the perfect city break destination, with beautiful streets, a harbor full of sea lions that the kids will go mad for, and plenty of amazing independent cafes, bars, and boutiques. A visit to the island of Alcatraz is a must too. Situated in the bay of San Francisco, the ex federal prison can now be reached by ferry, and tours of the prison are seriously interesting for parents and children.

Yosemite National Park

A national wonder, Yosemite National Park spans a large area of northern California, and offers some of the most stunning views of the United States. Stunning granite cliffs, giant sequoia groves, glaciers, and waterfalls leading to crystal clear streams make the Yosemite Valley look more like an oil painting than a real place. Kids love the diverse wildlife of the area – keep an eye out for a moose, or even a bear and its cubs! It’s just awe-inspiring, and has to be seen to be believed.

Desert

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Death Valley

Outside of Africa and the Middle East, Death Valley in eastern California is the hottest place on the entire planet and the lowest point below sea level in the whole United States. In fact, the highest air temperature ever recorded was in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, and hit a whopping 134 degrees. While you can’t spend too long down there, the scenery is utterly breathtaking, and it’s really educational too.

Los Angeles

The City of Angels is a city like no other. Full of famous stars and people full of dreams, it’s a city that’s grown up around Hollywood. With shopping, food, beaches, and beautiful hikes, it’s got everything you need for a great city break, and plenty of fun for the kids too. Be sure to take a Los Angeles taxi from your hotel to Beverly Hills for some star gazing, take a walk down the Walk of Fame, and shop til you drop on Melrose Avenue.

Garden

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Napa Valley

This is one maybe more for the parents than the kids. If you like wine, you’re going to want to visit the Napa Valley. Rich vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, and produce some of the best wine in the world. The scenery is utterly idyllic, and the sun beats down on scorched earth while you relax with amazing wine, great food, surrounded by really friendly local people. The children will love being outdoors, spending their days horse riding, boating on the lake, or lounging around the pool. You could close your eyes and almost pretend you were in Spain – it’s true bliss.

California is one of those states that you could spend years traveling around, and still not visit everything you’d like to see. With such a range of terrains, stunning cities, and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder it’s one of the world’s favorite vacation states.

So You’ve Moved Into A New Area! What Happens Next?

Moving house is one of the most stressful experiences that you can go through. But what a lot of people forget is that the stress isn’t always over when you’re safely in your new place. Here are some top tips on what to do when you’re safely in your new house and trying to make a new life…

Pretty House

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Start Renovating Your Home

Very few people are lucky enough to move into a new house that’s absolutely perfect for them and that requires no changes at all. Make sure that you keep an open mind about what you’re going to do in your house – unpack and give it a few weeks so that you can figure out what exactly you need to prioritise in terms of changing it. For instance, if you’d ideally like a new kitchen as your one is small and dark, but your bathroom is in need of repair because the shower doesn’t work right, then obviously you need to focus on the bathroom first. Make sure that you budget carefully for the changes you want to make.

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Check Out Local Services

You should already have checked out the important things like your kids’ new schools, so now it’s time to find out what else is in your new area. Try out the different grocery stores in your vicinity and find out which is best for your needs, and look at recreational activities that your kids might enjoy. Talk to people to find a local plumber who’s reliable and good, in case of any emergency plumbing needs. You could also start researching daycare for any younger kids you might have, along with churches if you’re religious and any gyms or fitness classes for yourself.

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Make New Friends

It’s important that you reach out socially so you don’t end up feeling isolated. Introduce yourself to your new neighbours – you could even have a small housewarming party so you get to know them even better. Get friendly with your colleagues and start going to a class like yoga or Zumba so you have more of a chance to get to know new people.

New friends

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Stay In Touch With Family

If you’re in a whole new area and you’ve moved away from your friends and family, it’s a good idea to try to stay in touch with them even in those first hectic weeks. It’s especially easy to lose contact with friends and if you don’t get in touch them as much as usual they may assume that you want to move on and leave your old life behind. Keep them up to date on what you’re doing, and make sure you call them for a catch up every now and then – you could even arrange a date for them to visit you. As for your family, chances are they’ll be missing you a lot. Send them update and recent pictures of your kids so they stay involved in your life. You may drift from some people – remember that’s okay. Not all friendships are for life, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable.

Not Home for the Holidays: Preparing Your House

Winter House
JamesDeMers

The holidays often mean leaving your house for a few days, or perhaps even longer. Many people spend Thanksgiving or Christmas elsewhere. If you’re going to visit your parents or the in-laws, you might be worried about leaving your house. There are several things to be concerned about, including the cold weather and the possibility of break-ins. You don’t want anyone to notice that you’re away and take the opportunity to steal from you. Before you go away, you can take some steps to prepare for your absence. Don’t forget to do these things so you’ll be able to have peace of mind while you’re away.

Prepare for the Weather

One of your biggest concerns while you’re away for the holidays may be the weather. As it starts to get colder, you need to think about snow and ice, as well as winds. These things can impact your home, especially if you aren’t there to watch it. For example, you might need to worry about snow building up on your roof. If you want to get ready for the cold weather, you should take steps that will help you every year. If you use permanent solutions like using heat tape on your pipes, you won’t have to worry about it each year.

Install a Security System

The security of your home can also be an issue during the winter. You might worry that the darker nights make break-ins more likely. And leaving your home empty could make it more vulnerable to criminals. However, you can take steps to protect your home. One thing you might want to do is install a security system. Even better, you can consider one that connects to your smartphone. You can have cameras hooked up to an app so that if there is any movement or the alarm goes, you can see what’s going on. You could ask a neighbor to listen out for the alarm too.

Snow House

JamesDeMers

Arrange Pet Care

If your pets are staying at home for the holidays, you need someone to look after them. You’re most likely to do this with cats, fish, or small mammals. You can easily have someone to come in a couple of times a day to feed your pets and take care of their other needs. You might get a neighbor to do it or perhaps hire a professional. Many pet sitters can also do things like turning lights on and off and opening and closing curtains. This gives the appearance that you’re still at home.

Consider a House Sitter

If you’re unsure about leaving your home empty, you could consider a house sitter. There are professionals or perhaps someone you know who would be happy to look after the house. You can make sure you have someone to take care of everything, from clearing snow to feeding the pets. Of course, you need to find someone you trust. Plus, if you a hire a professional, it will cost you money.

Don’t let leaving your home stress you out too much. Make the necessary preparations and enjoy your holiday.

Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review

“I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.”

Disney on Ice has skated into Orlando and they are bringing new thrills and experiences just for you and your family. I went out to check out the new show last night and I was amazed at what they have done with it. If you have a Princess or Prince who loves all things Disney, you will not want to miss the show this year. I am going to share a Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart review so you know what to expect before going to the show.

Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review

Be our Guest! 

Disney On Ice Follow Your Heart Review

 

Be prepared for a visit from some of your favorites such as Lumiere and Cogsworth. Not only will you enjoy an abbreviated version of many of your favorite stories, you will also get see a strong cast perform a beautiful show that is sure to bring a smile to any child’s face.

 

Be Aware
Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review
If you have a child who is sensitive to strobe lights, sudden loud noises, or some of the villains from Disney you may want to plan accordingly as these elements are part of the show. There are occasional pyrotechnics integrated into the show. It may be good to prepare your child for these. You will also see a few of the villains in this show. If you child is afraid of them, make sure to prepare them for these characters.

Be emotional
Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review
This year Riley and all of her emotions join us. Riley has a big game and the emotions are here to help her out. The emotions fit the show so well and had all the kids around me laughing. I love the new show setup where they integrate the different story elements into a bigger story using the emotions. I won’t tell you if the emotions hit the ice, you will have to see the show.

Be ready to Fly!

Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review

This year Disney on Ice is stepping it up a notch and adding an aerial component to the show. I loved this adventure above the ice. Not only will Rapunzel spend some time in the air, one other amazing character does a beautiful job of taking to the air. Want to find out who it is? Make sure to get your tickets before they are gone.

Be ready to Remember 

Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review

Join the adventure with young Dory as we learn that not only does she have parents, but we need to find them! This part of the show does an incredible job of using multiple view points and characters to tell a beautiful story. I may have shed a single tear as Dory asked her parents what would happen if she ever forgot them. This is a beautifully done portion of the show and I definitely enjoyed every minute of it including the knowledge of where the “Just keep swimming” song started.

Be Ready to Shiver

Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart Review

What would Disney on Ice be without our favorite princesses? Join Olaf as he hears the story of how he and Anna became friends. Be ready for some amazing effects as they bring the winter to life and bring you into the magic. It can get a bit chilly but don’t worry, Olaf is there to bring a bit of Summer to the show. Everyone in the arena was singing along to every song. You could tell they were having a blast.

Be Surprised!
There are tons of things included in the show that I have not shared in this review. There are surprises that will leave your child amazed. There are even a few that will make them laugh. Make sure to get your tickets today for Disney on Ice Follow Your Heart.

Get your Tickets 

Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is bringing this live production produced by Feld Entertainment. The ice skating extravaganza featuring Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, Disney’s Frozen, and other beloved Disney stories visits Orlando from September 2-4, 2016 for six performances at Amway Center. Show Times:  Saturday, September 3, 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 4, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!

Tickets are available at www.DisneyOnIce.com  or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

Have MORE fun with your kids using Groupon Coupons!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  I received monetary payment for this post, but all opinions are my own. 

Groupon coupon
As a single mom, money is always tight and when I have a little extra, I want to have the most fun possible with my kids.  If we plan a trip to do anything at all, I am looking for coupons to use so I can save money on that activity.  (More money saved = More fun we can have!)

When we start planning something to do, the very first place I start is Groupon Coupons.  If I know what I want to do, or a round about location we will be visiting I search their site and see what deals and coupons they are offering.  Usually, I can save at least 50% on our outing if I can find a Groupon.

For me, having the Groupon either means one of two things.  Either I am able to spend the extra money on something additional for the kids, like a souvenir or extra snack or a meal out.  OR the activity is now affordable and we can go vs I may not have had the extra money to go without using Groupon to find extra savings.

We have used Groupon for a variety of activities, but now they have additional coupons like through Hotels . com.  Well if you shop through Groupon Coupons you can get an additional 50% coupon for Hotels.com, so in addition to the great deal you would be getting on a hotel, you are also going to get an additional discount too!

If you love to travel, here is a list of what you can save even more on using Groupon:
Hertz
Hotels . com
Hotwire
Travelocity

Also, don’t forget to check your zip code and travel destination for LOCAL Groupons!   Not only to save money, but also for ideas of things to do!  I have found many cool things to do both in my area and on vacation through Groupon.com!

colton at Indians Game

4 Surefire Ways to Keep Your Kiddo Happy on an Airplane

After months of saving and planning, you finally made your airline reservations to go see your parents who live several states away. Although you cannot wait to see your family, you are understandably nervous about the upcoming 3-hour plane ride with your young child.

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Fortunately, with some pre-planning, it is more than possible to keep your kiddo happy and occupied on an airplane. Check out the following suggestions:

Stock up on New Goodies

Before your trip, head to the dollar store and stock up on $5 – $10 worth of small toys. If you have time, wrap each one in colorful paper or the Sunday funnies. Present your kiddo with a new goody every 45 minutes or so on the plane. He or she will love unwrapping it and playing with the new toy. If you spend $10, you should have enough for both airplane trips.

Buy Gel Window Clings

There is something about those colorful gel window clings that make them irresistible to most kids. You can probably find them during your dollar store run, but most party supply stores have them, too. Check out the adorable tropical fish gel cling decals that you can pick up at Party City for $1.49.

When you are making your reservations, be sure you book a window seat for your child and let him or her decorate the window all he or she wants. You can also do some experiments and see if the clings will adhere to the tray table or seat belt. Once you land, don’t forget to take a minute to peel off the clings.

Use a Smartphone for Entertainment

Even if you normally don’t want your child to get a lot of screen time, a long plane ride is a good time to be lenient with this rule. Your smartphone will provide your kiddo with hours of things to do. Before you leave, download some kid-friendly apps on your smartphone. You can also download some of your child’s favorite shows and buy her a new pair of comfy headphones to wear on the plane.

To prevent your child from leaving the app or movie and start accessing things on your phone that she shouldn’t, adjust the settings to put the smartphone into a kid-safe mode. If you have an iPhone 6s, follow the instructions on OSX Daily to put it in Guided Access mode, which will lock the iOS device into a particular app. Basically, open “Settings,” tap on “General” and go to “Accessibility.” Under the Learning section, tap on “Guided Access.” Flip the switch to “On” and tap “Set Passcode” to choose a password to get out of the mode. Practice doing this a few times from home so you can easily set it up while you are on the plane.

Pack Favorite Snacks

To keep your child happily occupied on the plane, provide snacks that are not only yummy, but also take awhile to eat. Small boxes of raisins and string cheese are kid-friendly goodies perfect for the plane because they take longer than the average cracker to consume.

Depending on how your kiddo does with sugary snacks, you might want to keep those to a minimum. Instead of candy and cookies that might rev up your sweetie, stick with Goldfish crackers, pretzels and pouches of applesauce.

Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart coming to Amway Arena

“I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.”

Disney On Ice Logo

It’s that time of year again! Disney On Ice is coming back to Orlando! I have visited Disney On Ice in the past and I am so excited to see the new show.

Disney on Ice - Dory

Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family.

Cheer with the Emotions from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust – as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up.

Venture to the wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all.

Rapunzel and Flynn

See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness, and perserverance.

Woody Buzz and Jessie

 

Celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie, and all your Disney friends when Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into your hometown!

Do you want to go?
Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is bringing this live production produced by Feld Entertainment. The ice skating extravaganza featuring Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, Disney’s Frozen, and other beloved Disney stories visits Orlando from September 2-4, 2016 for six performances at Amway Center. Show Times:  Friday, September 2, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 3, 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 4, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!
You can Save!
Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats. Code expires September 1, 2016.

Tickets are available at www.DisneyOnIce.com  or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

Do you want to win tickets?
 I am giving away 4 tickets to Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart in Orlando to ONE lucky Mommy Has A Life winner.

Giveaway Ends August 20th, 2016 at 11:59 PM
To Enter (One Comment per Entry):
(One Entry) Tell me why you want to go to the show.
(One Entry) VisitMommy Has A Life on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Instagram.
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Twitter

(One Entry) VisitDisney on Ice on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow @DisneyonIce on Twitter
(
One Entry) Visit More Than a Homeschool Mom on Facebook

 

 

 

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Stuff Most People Don’t Know About Vegas and Why You Need This Information!

Vegas Sign

Vegas is a well-known travel destination for stag and hen parties from all over the world. But surprising, it is actually a great place to take a family vacation too. There is a lot of stuff that people don’t know about Vegas. But it’s important they get up to speed with this information before they take their families to visit. This will allow them to stay safe and have the best time.

Good for the kids

The first big surprise is that there is actually lots of entertainment to do in Vegas if you have children. I think some people would think twice about taking their little ones to ‘Sin City.’ But they don’t realize that the strip and the old town have been cleaned up. The sidewalks are wide, clean and lined with plants. You won’t see much graffiti on the strip nowadays either. In fact, it’s likely that Vegas keeps graffiti and spray paint removal services in business, as it’s never anything but pristine.

Traveling to Vegas out of season is a excellent idea when you have kids. This means that the temperatures are cooler, so your little ones will be much more comfortable.

It also means that the spring break and party going crowd have yet to descend on the place. That makes it a lot more pleasant for young families.

Another bonus is that the attractions like roller coasters, zoo, and sealife centers have a smaller wait to get into. The only issue that you may experience if you go to Vegas off a season with your family is that most if the pool does not open until March. While there is still plenty to do, it is kind of a shame to miss the fake beach at Mandalay Bay.

Eat well at the buffets

The next thing that most people are unaware of is that you can feed you family well with the buffet meals that are on offer in the Vegas Casino hotels. This is vital because it allows you to save money. Eating at one ‘all you can eat buffet’ can set you up for the entire day. Then you can just grab a snack or a Wendy’s in one of the malls later if you get hungry.

Watch out for special offers and try to get your buffets included in the price of your room, as this work out the best for saving some dollars.

Drink for free

Another thing that many people don’t know before they get to Vegas is that if you are playing the machines, you can drink for free in the Casinos. While this isn’t appropriate for the kids, it is certainly worth knowing if you decide to have a grownups night out. Make sure you tip your waitress to guarantee that they come back for your next order.

Safety

Lastly, while Vegas has cleaned up its act recently is still pays to be safety conscious if you are traveling with the family. There is now a high police presence on the strip boardwalks and the buses that run up and down the main road. But be aware that there is some pretty run down neighborhoods minutes from the strip, where drug use and homelessness is still a problem. The best advice is to keep to the well-populated areas and avoid the suburbs.

Going To London? Take Time Out To See These Spots

When you’re visiting the UK, it makes sense to have a central base. London is the perfect place to focus that. Situated in the south-east of England, not only is it a destination in itself, but it’s also a hub for further travel.

While it’s unlikely that one holiday would give you the chance to see everything that London has got to offer, you might want to take a break from the city. Get out into the famous English countryside amidst the rolling green hills. England is a country with a long, storied history and there are plenty of exciting sites to visit within a day of London. They can make a fantastic break from the hustle and bustle of the city, and offer their unique charms at the same time.

Hever Castle, Kent

Hever Castle was the childhood home of one of Henry VIII’s most famous Queens, Anne Boleyn. It houses two famous portraits of the doomed Anne, as well as stunning Tudor architecture. If you enjoy gardens, the offerings at Hever will not disappoint. It is an easy day’s travel from central London, situated in the beautiful Kent countryside.

Stonehenge

Stone Hedge
Image Source: Pixabay

Stonehenge was already ancient when the Romans invaded Britain 2,000 years ago. It remains one of the most enduring mysteries, with theories but no conclusions as to the reasons for its construction. Situated on Salisbury Plain, you can wander close to the stones and ponder for yourself the reasonings for its existence. While a little further out than Hever, you can compare london to stonehenge tours to make sure you take in the sights you want to see.

Dover Castle

England is full of old castles, and the magnificent cliff top stronghold of Dover Castle is one of the most beautiful. It sits atop the famous White Cliffs and dates back to the Norman Conquest, offering over a thousand years of history. It is also one of the few castles never to have been taken by force; when you see it, you’ll understand why. It’s a good few hours drive from central London, but perfect for any amateur history buff.

Blenheim Palace

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Image Source: Wikipedia

If you prefer your history a little more modern, the Regency splendour of Blenheim is hard to beat. It has been enjoyed by aristocracy throughout the centuries as a home and is now on show to the public. Blenheim was also the birthplace of one of the most famous Brits of all – former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Like Hever, it has magnificent gardens and tea rooms to be enjoyed at your leisure.

The Cotswolds

If you would rather wander through stunning scenery and appreciate nature at its finest, then the Cotswolds are ideal. A designated Area of Natural Beauty, you can travel from village to village or go hill-walking to enjoy the surrounding hills. It will be a long day out so make sure you make allowances for that, but you can be back in London by evening.

This is just the beginning of the list, depending on how long a day you wish to spend out of the capital. Whatever your preference, England will not disappoint.

The Most Important Thing Vacationing Moms Need to Consider

When you travel as a mom, you need to consider the differences that traveling with kids brings. It’s important to think ahead and make sure you plan ahead for vacations with children. You have to make sure you consider important things that will make your travel experience much better. Take a look at the ideas and suggestions below, and try to action these things as soon as you can. It’s vital to provide the best vacation experience for the children, and these will help you to achieve that.

Mother and child on beach

Pixabay

Money

Let’s be honest, vacations are not cheap, and when you’re going with the kids, you need to think about money. You’re going to need to pay for the trip, but you will also need spending money when you get there. It might be an idea to give the children holiday money so they can learn money lessons. This is often a good way of helping them to pick up skills and enjoy the vacation experience that bit more.

In-Date Passports

The worst thing you can do is book a trip away without checking your passports first. You don’t want to get to the day and discover that they are out of date! This will leave you unable to travel and will really put a dampener on your vacation plans. So, before you book anything you need to check everyone’s passport and make sure they are in date. If they aren’t, then you’ve got to apply for a renewal and get this sorted before you can even think about booking a trip.

Suitcare

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Where to Stay

It’s vital that you consider your accommodation when traveling with children. See, space and safety become much more important. You may not want to stay in a cramped hotel room with your kids. You want somewhere that is in a nice area and where you and the children can stay together at all times. That’s why lodging in Park City Utah is often preferable to getting a hotel in Santa Monica. These apartments and condos provide you with much more space as well as additional security features.

Safety

Going on vacation by yourself is very different to going with your children. And because of this, you need to think about the safety aspect much more. You’ve got to keep your kids as safe as you can. And this means making sure you are with them at all times. You need to try to ensure that the area you are visiting is safe and secure. And it might be worth sorting out extensive travel insurance before you go as well.

family

Image By Pixabay.com

As a mom, when you go on vacation you need to be careful and diligent. You have to take care of you and your child as much as possible. So there are more things you’ll need to think about when you try to travel with your kids. It’s important that you are organized and that you choose the right place to stay when you go abroad. You also need to pay close attention to your safety in all aspects of vacationing.