Category Archives: Travel and Vacationing

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):
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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.

Three Amazing Family Friendly Vacations

Proper planning and keeping the kids entertained is the key to a successful family vacation. Choose one of the options below for a fun packed holiday that is sure to be a hit with the kids.

Disney

Of course, number one on the list has got to be Disney. Meet your favorite characters, see the parade and ride the roller coasters. Disney is set up for children of all ages.

Disney Parks

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Disney is a great US based holiday, and you can either stay in one of the park hotels or get a villa near to the park. If you go for a villa, make sure to rent one with a pool so you can cool off in the hot weather. If you decide to go for one of the fabulous themed Disney hotels, take a peek at the free dining packages as they can save you a packet.

If you are looking for a more international adventure, try the Paris or Shanghai locations. If you choose the Paris park, rent a car and make sure you take in the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the love. Kids will get a kick out of seeing the mummies in the Egypt exhibit.

If you go for the Shanghai location, make time to absorb some Chinese culture. Popular activities include a Huangpu-river-cruise at night, a food led city tour or check out an acrobatic show.

Brilliant for kids and adults alike, there are now Disney themed cruised available.  The grown-ups can relax while the little ones are entertained by their favorite Disney characters.  So it’s definitely a win-win situation.

RV Trip

A good old American road trip is something the kids can get into. Get them involved with planning the journey and picking out the locations that they would like to visit. Take the well-traveled Route 66 or go for a more usual option like a tour of America’s weirdest museums.

If you are consider buying your own RV for the trip, there are plenty of local dealerships with  a wide range of motorhomes for sale. Remember to pick one that has enough space for the whole family as you will spend the majority of the day in there together. Motor homes make an especially good option for families with food allergies or special diets. You can use the kitchens to cook your own food and ensure exactly what goes into it.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

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The 277 mile long and 4000ft deep Grand Canyon, is a brilliant location for a family friendly vacation. Its spectacular beauty is great inspiration for artists, so why not get the kids sketching or taking photos for their journal?  A helicopter ride, down into the canyon will up the excitement level,  and if you want to go all out, why not horseback ride through the canyon itself? Of course, you don’t want to miss the sky walk either! As the Grand Canyon is set in its own national park, there are plenty of other activities to do. Think river rafting and trekking. The kids can even become a junior ranger!

Planning Your Family Vacation To Winnipeg

Ferris Wheel[Image: AJ Batac Via Flickr]

Winnipeg is a diverse and eclectic city. It has Aboriginal, French and European roots and is the largest French-speaking population in the West. There is lots to do in this vibrant city, whether you’re visiting with friends or family. Kids love it for the wide range of activities it offers. It is also the hometown of Winnie the Pooh!

Winnipeg Lake

When you’re planning a vacation with the kids, organization is your friend. Pack for a city break, with a little adventure thrown in. Winnipeg is named after the nearby Lake Winnipeg, and there is lots to do here. If you visit the lake, there are lots of excursions and activities to choose from. Book an airboat or pontoon boat tour and experience everything the lake has to offer. Don’t forget your camera as this is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum is a non-profit charity. It provides a range of interactive activities for kids that fire the imagination and encourage creativity. Originally built in 1889, the museum boasts 21 permanent galleries.

The museum is all about interaction. For example, you can explore the Engine House and its gears, levers, and pulleys. Or take a look at the mighty Junction 9161. Check in advance for opening times and closure dates.

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Pixabay]

The Forks

A trip to Winnipeg wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Forks. This is a beautiful public space. It is situated downtown at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red rivers. Early Aboriginal peoples traded here and it has been a meeting place for over six thousand years. Today it is one of Winnipeg’s top tourist destinations and receives more than four million visitors each year.

The Forks combines a market, river, restaurants, music, and trails. Hire a family bike to take you around the attractions.

Kid City

Kid City is Winnipeg’s ultimate indoor play center. It is a fun day out for the whole family. Different ages are catered for, and it has a separate toddler area. Activities include the laser maze, air hockey, foosball tables, and mini cars.

Wippipeg Beach
[Image:
Pixabay]

Winnipeg Beach

No family vacation is complete without a trip to the beach, and Winnipeg offers this too. You can relax on the sandy beach. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, take part in one of the many activities. For example, fishing, cycling, water skiing, and boating.

Eating

Winnipeg offers a rich dining experience. It has everything from pop-up restaurants and cafes to food trucks. Try pickerel which is one of the local fish dishes. As you might expect from a cosmopolitan city, the cuisine is diverse. Influences include French, Spanish, Caribbean, etc. There are lots of kid-friendly eateries. Do a little research and ask around.

Staying

When it comes to accommodation, you will be spoilt for choice. Do a little digging and compare reviews and feedback. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture, consider renting someone’s home for the duration. Houses and apartments tend to be in residential areas, rather than in the main tourist areas. This will provide you with a more authentic experience.

Winnipeg has so much to offer; there’s not enough space here to do it justice. Visit this beautiful and diverse city, and find your own favourite haunts and diversions.

Next Holiday, Take Your Kids On An Adventure

When you think about going on holiday with your children, your mind probably heads in the direction of the classic options. The word, Disney may pop into your head or perhaps, beach holiday? But why not try something different next vacation and take your family on a real adventure into the outdoors. By doing this you’ll find experiences completely unique to your family. I’m sure you’ll have a whole heap of fun together and if you’re not sure how to get started, I’ve got some tips. Kids Playing OutsideURL

Choose A Few Different Destinations

The brilliance of an adventure holiday is that you don’t have to spend two weeks in one place. After a week in the same place, your holiday does start to get boring. You begin to think about life back home and all the things that are waiting for you. You might even start to consider jotting down some notes for work and you don’t want that. Instead, you want to spend your entire vacation having fun with your family. If you choose a few different locations, you’ll be able to create a packed schedule that will keep you active and engaged.

Pick Some Fun Activities

The activities you pick for your family holiday depend on the locations you have chosen. But one example could be a day hiking. You will need to make sure children are old enough for this type of trekking. I wouldn’t recommend taking your children hiking unless they aren’t at least ten years old. An alternate possibility could be a fishing trip. Kids don’t need to be older to enjoy a fishing trip but it does require quite a lot of patience. You may not want to choose this activity if your children are easily bored.

Instead, you could take a more adventurous option like quad biking. Your kids are sure to love tearing it up on rough terrain as they race around an offroad track. But make sure you’ve got a change of clothes for this activity because you will get muddy.

Travelling In Style

I’m not the best camper in the world. That’s why, if I was taking my kid on an adventure holiday I probably wouldn’t do it with a tent. Instead I’d rent or buy an RV trailer. These trailers are perfect because they provide the home comforts people who don’t like roughing it, need. But they also give you the freedom you need to craft your own fun family vacation. Doing this you’ll definitely have a good time and it won’t cost you a fortune. These trailers are surprisingly budget friendly.

Get The Kids Involved

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Image Source

Finally, when planning your vacation it’s a good idea to get the kids involved. Ask them what they’d like to do on this holiday and you might be surprised by their intelligent ideas. If you take the time to ask I guarantee your kids will have a whole list of fun things to do. Granted they won’t all be winners but you can pick the ones that are most suitable.

I hope you find these tips useful and have a wonderful adventure vacation with your family.

Planning Ahead for Vacations with Children 

Going on a vacation can be a relaxing and fulfilling experience if everything is properly planned and accounted for. Adversely, without the right preparation and resources, you could find yourself having a lot less fun than you might have expected. This is especially true when you’re bringing along the little ones. As we all know, children can be unpredictable at times (more often than not in fact), so planning ahead is the best way to get the most out of your trip without getting lost between tantrums and “I want this and that” urges. With that said, here are three tips you can use to plan a family vacation in advance:

1. Packing the Necessities

If you’re bringing the kids along, whether it be on a hike or a trip to the amusement park, it’s always best to have certain packing list necessities at hand, such as a first aid kit, handy snacks, a few changes of clothes, and accessories like hair brushes, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to give each of your kids a cell phone with geo-location features enabled, so you can easily communicate with and locate them in any setting; this is especially helpful for older kids who like to see some of the sights on their own.

2. Scheduling the Fun and Following Through

Most vacations only last between a few days to a month at the most, so you really should be scheduling the sightseeing in advance if you plan to get the most of your time. Children make it hard to stick to any kind of schedule, especially in new and exciting places, so make sure you educate the kids about the thing they’ll be doing for fun when they arrive at the destination. For example, you could hype up the greatness of the local water park you’re going to see. Adhering to a simple schedule and giving the kids events to look forward to will ensure that you don’t have as many unnecessary distractions.

3. Finding a Church in the Area

If you expect your trip to last longer than a few days, or if you’ll be on vacation on days when church is normally observed in your family, don’t be afraid to check out some of the local churches in the town you’re visiting. Staying true to your family values and religious traditions and connecting with local churchgoers while on vacation is a good way to strengthen the family bond and increase the memorability and meaningfulness of the trip overall. Some people shy away from visiting cathedrals and similar orthodox structures due to the negative misconceptions about Catholicism, but in turn they’re losing the opportunity to discover an interesting piece of the place’s cultural history.

One of the best ways to keep children engaged and also help them become more cultured young adults is to emphasize the importance of learning throughout the vacation. There has to be a balance between having carefree fun and actually gaining some insight from the visit.

A Mom’s Guide To Making Vacation Packing Easier

It might be winter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan a vacation. Whether you are toying with the idea of jetting off for some winter sun or hitting the ski slopes, one thing might be putting you off, and that’s packing. Packing for yourself is stressful enough, let alone when you have little ones to pack for as well.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love traveling with my family, but when it comes to packing, I often struggle. It’s not a case of just popping a few bits and bobs in a suitcase, oh no, when you have kids there is so much more to it than that. Luckily, while packing for family trips can be stressful, you can make the process easier for yourself.

trunkiImage source

Start by writing a list

For each family member who you are packing for, start off by writing a list of all the items that you need to pack. This should include everything from underwear and shoes to hair brushes and toiletries. Take your time making the list to ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Once you’ve got a list for each child, you can then use it to locate every item that you need to pack. Don’t leave it until a couple of days before the trip to start your packing because the chances are that you’ll have some washing to do.

Focus on clothing first

Once you have the list of items that need packing, the first step is focusing on the clothing side of things. Get all the items together so that you can check what needs washing, and get organized. Aim to get all clothes washed, dry, and packed, at least five days before you are due to travel, to prevent anything from being forgotten.

While most items you can clean yourself, you may have some bits and bobs that require hand or dry cleaning. To make getting these garments cleaned a little easier, hire a dry cleaning pickup and delivery service. By hiring a company to deal with your dry cleaning needs for you, you won’t have to stress about it. You simply have to be in for collection and drop off, and that’s it.

Lay out everything that needs to be packed

Once all clothing is clean and dry, the next step is to lay out everything that needs to be packed. By laying everything out, you can see exactly, what needs to go in each suitcase, and can work out a way to make it all fit.

For many of us, the number one worry when traveling via plane is that our cases will be over the weight limit. To reduce your stress, weigh each case before you go, to ensure that none of them are over the limit. (You’ll feel much less stressed out if you know that your cases won’t incur you extra charges.)

Packing for a family trip may be stressful, but don’t let it stop you from being excited. Follow the tips above to make packing easier, and you can ensure that your packing, as well as your trip, goes to plan.