Tag Archives: Travel

How to Get Adventurous with Your Family

My family and I love planning all of the adventures we can have. However, we are at risk of staying indoors all day long due to the dreary winter and cold spring. But there is always plenty to do in and out of the house throughout the winter and well into the spring. Here are a few of my suggestions for things you can do as a family.

Winter

Ok, so it is a lot harder to get adventurous in the winter months if you hate the wet weather. However, you can still have indoor adventures…

Museums

If you live near a big town or city, you will find at least one museum, if not more. Find out if your local museums are child-friendly and take the whole family out for a day of education. They will be having so much fun, they won’t even notice that they are learning!

Library

So spending your time in the library doesn’t sound like a big adventure, but hear me out. Firstly, it is great way to spend a wet day, if the weather isn’t fantastic. Secondly, it teaches your kids about responsibility – returning books on time takes good planning. And thirdly, many people would argue that reading is an adventure. You can lose yourself in a book and be transported to different worlds. Getting your kids interested in reading at a young age is great for them.

Spring

Spring Family Travel
Image by Pixabay

Hiking

In my mind, the work hiking always conjures up images of scaling a mountain with ropes and pick axes. That doesn’t sound like much fun with a family! However, in reality, hiking is whatever you want it to be as long as you are walking somewhere. If you live in the countryside, you will be lucky enough to probably have some great walking paths around you. If you live in a town however, you may have to look a bit harder, or travel a bit further. Find your hiking spot and made sure that it is appropriate for your children. Kit yourself out with sturdy shoes and lots of water and you will be ready to go. You can make it fun for the kids too by putting them in charge of navigation or spotting wildlife as you walk.

Theme Parks

My family and I love theme park adventures. It is a whole day out filled with fun and excitement. I recommend taking your family to a theme park in the spring. That is the best time for it. It isn’t as busy as the summer when all the kids are on their school holidays. Most theme parks have a good mix of rides for younger and older kids. Therefore, no matter what ages your children are, you should be able to find something everyone will enjoy.  

Get sporty

Signing your kids up to a sports team can be a great way to help them find their competitive side. On top of this, it will also get them fit and active, whilst allowing them to stay social. There are so many sports for children to play, try to find one that suits their personalities. Listen to your child’s suggestions and see what preferences, if any, they have.

I am Going to BloggerBash and another BIG Blogging Conference 2015!

Next week Caleb and I will be heading up to New York for TWO of the biggest blogging conferences,  Blogger Bash and the other BIG women’s blogging conference (sorry, can’t mention the name because they trademarked it and prohibit use of it).  I am super excited and really just can’t wait to get up there and check everything out.  This industry is constantly changing and I feel like there is more and more to learn each year so I can stay on top of my game.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to go up to these conferences and I need to give a huge THANK YOU to two really awesome Brands for helping me get there: Mamalicious and Hanchell Babies.

mamalicious

 

 

hanchell

 

If you see me around at either of these conferences, be sure to stop by and see how cute Caleb is:

Caleb Tie Onsie

I will also have some samples of Wash Cloths and Swaddle Blankets from Hanchell Babies, so if you see me, please stop me to get one and give me your card to pass along to them.  :-)

I will also be hosting THREE giveaways while I am there via Instagram and Twitter so please be sure to check those out as well.

Never Iron on Vacation again Thanks to Downy Wrinkle Release

Nothing is more annoying than packing your suitcase for vacation and arriving only to have to iron all your wrinkled clothes.  Trust me- as someone who travels a lot- I know all about that.  Well thanks to Downy Wrinkle Release you never have to break out that iron again!

Downy Wrinkle Releaser

Just add a travel sized bottle to your suit case- when you get to your destination, spray down all your wrinkled clothes and viola!  Wrinkle Free Clothes, and a hassle free vacation!

Step 1:  Spray your garment

 

Downying Spraying

Step 2:  After 15 minutes, smooth our garment.  And Boom!  Wrinkle Free.Downy ComparisionI love this stuff and I definitely bring it along when I am traveling.  I also use it on my clothes that have a tendency to wrinkle- lets face it, with two kids things don’t make it from the dryer to closet as fast as they used to. :-)

Disclosure:  I received free product to test out for the purpose of writing this post.  

Where To Find Cheap Vacations Close To Home

When you’ve got children, heading off on holiday isn’t nearly as simple as it should be. You’ve got to take the kids into account through every choice you make. Accommodation, travel, packing, activities and food are all big considerations when your little ones are with you. If you have a baby, you need to be sure you can still feed and change him wherever you are. With picky eaters, finding somewhere that will have enough choices of food to keep them going is also a challenge. Then there is the money side of things. The more kids you have, the more expensive your holiday is going to be.

Sometimes you need to accept that big fancy holidays in five-star hotels overseas just can’t happen. They are beyond most of us while the kids are still young. But children don’t need all that luxury and pampering. They need fun and family. In fact, some say that the closer you holiday feels to regular home life, the easier it is for the kids to behave in the same way. While staying at home is no holiday when you really need a break, it is worth keeping things simple.

If you do pick a self-catering vacation, you can control what the kids eat and when they eat it, but it doesn’t provide much of a break for you. Combine a condo, apartment or house rental holiday with a new city, and you can have the best of both worlds. This way, you can enjoy some of the best restaurants you can find as well as making sure the kids are well catered for too. For an extended stay Tucson, AZ and other cities can offer you just the break you need.

childImage source Flickr

If you don’t live in a big city, you can find plenty to do for all the family. There are usually lots of great kids’ activity centers to explore, and museums and theaters to find. Public transport for you all will be easier than driving aimlessly with screaming kids in the back, so look up a couple of routes before you leave. There may even be a children’s center where it is OK to leave the kids for a couple of hours while you check out the malls.

Parks in the city usually have lots to offer children. Not only will there be large play areas there may even be zoos or animal parks to check out. There are far more choices for shopping in the city, so your vacation may be a good opportunity to buy them their new shoes or books for school. You may find some food stores are cheaper than back home too.

If you are coming from a city home, see if the kids can get engaged in a conversation about the differences between home and the vacation city. Get them to notice different buildings and talk about some of the different cultures they see. Find the local museum and see what local history they can learn and if they can find some interesting local facts to make their vacation more interesting.

Travel for the Holidays with a $25 Sunoco Gift Card Giveaway

Are you and your family hitting the road this holiday season?  Traveling to visit family, or maybe take a vacation while the kiddos are out of school?  Well Sunoco wants to help out one lucky Mommy Has A Life reader with a giveaway for a $25 Sunoco Giftcard.

Sunoco Gifts to go

Before you even hit the road, you can check out the Gas Station Locator to find out where all the Sunoco stations are on your way to your destination.  This is especially helpful if you don’t know the area you are driving to and can be a life saver if you ever have to drive the hills of West Virginia LOL.

If the kids are bugging you for new songs, games, or upgrades while you are on the road, no worries there either at Aplus locations you can score 10% off iTunes Gift Cards while you are there.  Mom and Dad save some money AND get some peace and quiet… kids get that upgrade for their game they want…. Win/Win for everyone right?  Or how about that last minute gift you forgot to pick up… no worries, Sunoco has you covered, not only with the iTunes Gift Cards, but also many other gift cards are available at Aplus Sunoco Stations.  :-)

Sunoco 1

And now for the Giveaway.  Fill out the Rafflecoptor form to enter to win a $25 Sunoco Gift Card.  Giveaway end 1/5/15 at 12:00 AM.  Open to US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Disclosure: All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  Giveaway is sponsored by a third party and prize will be fulfilled by this third party.  Mommy Has A Life if not responsible for prize fulfillment.

How To Pack For A Skiing Holiday

Working out what you need to take on your skiing holiday with you is never easy. Particularly when you have a small luggage limit to take into consideration. But, if you think smart and pack carefully, there is no need for any packing stress.

sking(Photo source)

For your ultimate guide to skiing holiday preparation, have a read of our helpful guide below.

Passport and holiday documents
Make sure to pack your passport and other vital holiday papers.

When booking your holiday, make sure to take note of any documentation that you may need to take with you. Such as a booking confirmation email. When booking your holiday online, through companies like www.snowfinders.co.uk, ensure you know what documents your individual company requires. Each company has different requirements, so make sure you have what you need.

Ski equipment
First on the list is of course, all your ski wear. The most important things you will need are thermal layers, breathable ski trousers (must be waterproof) and gloves. As well as skiing goggles, sunglasses, a ski helmet, and skiing boots.

Don’t forget to pack your base layers. Long-sleeved thermals are the most important part of a warm ski outfit. Try to take two pairs of each, so that you can wear one pair and wash the other.

If you have a low luggage limit, you may find it easier to hire your skis, sticks and helmet. If you have your own equipment, make sure to find out beforehand what your holiday company’s policy is for travelling with skis.

Clothes
Remember that most of the time you will be wearing your skiing equipment, so you don’t need to pack as many clothes as normal. A couple of pairs of jeans, one or two jumpers and some t-shirts should do just fine. It’s up to you whether you want to pack some nicer outfits in case you go out, but remember it is a ski resort, and no one expects you to dress up.

Ensure you take extra socks and pants with you. After getting hot and sweaty on the slopes, there’s nothing nicer than a hot shower and a change of underwear.

Make sure to pack a couple of pairs of cosy pajamas, as well as a pair of slippers. Otherwise, you may end up with cold feet.

You might also want to pack a bobble hat and scarf for when you are popping down to a bar or restaurant in the evening.

Sun cream
To avoid high prices, it is best to buy your sun cream before you travel. Ski resorts tend to charge a lot for sun cream, so be prepared and buy what you need before you go.

Unless you want to burn, make sure you apply sun cream each day before hitting the slopes.

Remember that the mountainous atmosphere is thinner than normal, making you more prone to burning, especially when the sun reflects off of the snow.

To keep your lips in good condition use an SPF moisturizing lip balm. The cold weather may cause your lips to dry out, whilst the sun may cause them to burn. Unless you want dry, sore lips throughout your holiday, it is a good idea to apply lip balm before leaving the chalet each morning.

Wash products
Depending on where you are staying, things like shower gel and shampoo may not be provided. If you are unsure, always pack your own.

As well as packing your favorite shampoo and condition, make sure to pack a few medical bits and bobs, like paracetamol and plasters. After all, there’s nothing worse than having a painful blister and no plaster to protect it.

Howl-O-Scream Tickets are now Available for Busch Gardens!

busch Gardens Howl O scream
This fall, for 18 select nights, Howl-O-Scream® 2014 returns to Busch Gardens® Tampa with tormenting surprises and unexpected terrors around every corner. Busch Gardens’ 300 acres will be overgrown with dark, sinister, adult-targeted fun.
 
Hundreds of roaming creatures will swarm the streets, making escape nearly impossible. A chilling live show will get your pulse pounding, and Florida’s top thrill rides in the dark, including North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower Falcon’s Fury™ will keep the screams coming all night long.
 
Freaky Preview is back and will open Howl-O-Scream 2014 on Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27.  The event then runs Thursdaythrough Saturday nights, Oct. 2-Nov. 1. Howl-O-Scream will also be open on Sunday, Oct. 19.  Operating hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. 
 
Get your tickets early and save on a single terrifying night at Howl-O-Scream 2014. For a limited time, any single-day admission toHowl-O-Scream 2014 is $47. There’s safety in numbers, so you and three friends can also save on a pack of four or more tickets toHowl-O-Scream 2014 on Thursdays, starting at $35 per person. Busch Gardens Tampa pass members can take advantage of their limited time exclusive discount on any single-day admission to Howl-O-Scream 2014 for only $42. 
 
Stay tuned to HowlOScream.com for the latest terrifying details. Howl-O-Scream 2014 is a separate ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. For guest information, visit HowlOScream.com or call 1-888-800-5447.
Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This year’s event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood.

#Disney Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Set to Open May 28th

7 dwarfs mine train

It has been YEARS in the making, but we have an official open date for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride… May 28th this new attraction will be open to the public and YES FastPasses are available!  I was able to snag 2 fastpasses for David and I tonight, the My Disney Experience site and App both have been wonky all day due to the huge amount of people attempting to get their fastpasses for opening day.

Disney held their media event for the new attraction over the last few days, so the ride IS FUNCTIONAL and complete!  There may be a few soft opening days and opportunity for cast members to ride coming up, but make sure you mark your calendar for May 28th if you want to be one of the first to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

40 Bloggers + 1 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship = #SeasTheDay

Earlier this month I joined 39 other bloggers and we set sail on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship.  While I really wished my family could have been there, it gave me some much needed (okay not really needed because I have had a lot of it lately) me time and a lot of fun.

What did we do?  I am SURE you are wondering what is it that 40 bloggers would do on a cruise together.  Well we did A LOT!

jamie and i

The first day I got in I met my AWESOME roommate, Jamie, from Toys In the Dryer.  She was pretty much a perfect roomie match for me.  We both like to have fun and stay up late.  We had a complete blast together and I don’t think I could have been paired up with anyone better.  :-)  We met everyone later that evening at a little social where we learned about everything we would be doing on the cruise.  This is a really great group of bloggers- everyone is friendly and everyone will talk to everyone.

The next day we had a complete tour of the ship Liberty Of the Seas.  It is HUGE and there was so much to see.  I will have a complete blog post about the ship, but to highlight a few things: a first class spa, a wellness center with options to take classes so you can keep the pounds off while on the cruise, a kids zone complete with age appropriate rooms and activities, an arcade, mini golf, rock climbing, and a surf simulator.

seas the day 1

There are also MANY shows to see while you are on LIberty of the Seas, we saw the Ice Skating show and Saturday Night Fever as a group.  The Ice Skating show was really awesome, and the night we saw it they also had a hula hoop talent and she was FABULOUS.  They kept us on our toes during the whole show, but my favorite part was the Hula Hoop girl.  The first time I saw Saturday Night Fever was on the ship, it was a good show but I thought it was really sad in the end :-(  Many of the other group members also saw the shows Love and Marriage Game and .

funny faces

I also went rock climbing with a bunch of the other bloggers.  First- it is WAY harder than it looks, second- I am surprised at how well *I* did- especially for how out of shape I am.  It was really fun and something I will definitely try again!

I think one of my favorite things to do was to order room service every morning and eat lunch on our balcony.  I know, I know but it was such a relaxing way to start my morning.  I have stayed in an interior room before and now that I stayed with a balcony, I am not sure I can go back because it was REALLY nice to have that :-).
seas the day breakfast

Oh and Jamie and I also had a great time going to Catabombs and dancing our hearts out with some other bloggers.  The one thing I can say about Royal Caribbean Ships is that they crowd is definitely more mature- no crazies on the dance floor, just a great group of friendly people all having a good time.  They also have a Karaoke night.  If you want to sing on the stage you definitely need to get there early.  When we got there the list was full for the ENTIRE night- so we went to the Karaoke booth and sang instead.

Okay and Now you get to know what I would like to see changed about the Liberty of the Seas, there is always room for improvement, right?
1. SMOKING IN THE CASINO.  This was my HUGE HUGE HUGE Pet peeve about this ship is the cigarette smoking in the casino.  I would have loved to go play a little in the casino but couldn’t stand to walk through it, let alone sit there because of the smoking.  The way the casino was positioned you HAD to walk through it, and it was horrible.  Not only this but if you were in the lounge right outside the casino the cigarette smoke lingered to there and it made enjoying this lounge intolerable as well, even though the piano music was really great.
2. Smoking on the pool decks.  I learned really quickly that one side of the main pool deck was smoking and the other wasn’t.  It was still disgusting- it would be great if the entire ship was non smoking.
3. Drink Packages-  I opted to go without the drink package, and I was really fine without it since I do not drink pop, and only drink water anyway.  But there were a lot and it was very confusing and expensive to get some of the drink packages.  Once I understood each of the drink packages, it was easy to know that I would never actually drink enough to get one.
4. More food options in Windjammer.  I was not a fan of eating in the Windjammer restaurant at all.  Jamie and I ate in the formal dining room almost always but the few times we ate in Windjammer I was definitely less than thrilled.  The food in the formal dining room was delicious though- I am not sure why there was such a difference in food quality- it is probably because Windjammer was a buffet style so it sat out before I ate it.

This trip was definitely a fun one.  The cruise was awesome and the friends I met will last a life time!

group shot

Win a $50 gift card to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores Ends April 5th

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

Spring is here! I’m ready to freshen up my/my family’s wardrobe for seasonal holidays, beach outings and other warmer weather activities. And, I’m always looking for great deals to stretch my budget. That’s why I plan to head to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, where shopping is hassle-free and you can find factory-direct premium quality merchandise at savings up to 75% off (and sometimes more). Plus, there’s easy store front parking.

Join in on the fun at the mall’s upcoming 17th Annual Spring Festival on Saturday, April 12th. It’s a FREE festival for the entire family, including character appearances by Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry, rabbits from Give Kids the World Village; and superheroes from Heroes Alliance. You’ll also enjoy a farmers market, crafts, face painting, balloon sculpting, games and an awesome sidewalk sale.

Mr and Mrs Clayton

Plus, the center is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win more than $6,000 in great prizes including attraction tickets, hotels stays, store gifts and gift cards. One hundred percent of raffle ticket sales benefit Give Kids the World.

Here’s your chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the mall, where you can select merchandise at over 50 spacious outlet shops and get great deals at the area’s only Old Navy outlet store, newcomers U.S. Polo Assn. and Lindt Chocolate, newly renovated Nike, OshKosh B’Gosh and Tommy Hilfiger Stores, plus other well-known outlets including G by GUESS, Justice, Carter’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein, Levi’s®, Aeropostale, Converse, Famous Footwear Outlet, Fossil, Gap, Izod, Rack Room Shoes, and many more.

LBVFS Shoppers

(See entry rules below…)

Even if you don’t win, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s website, then bringing it to Travelpro at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. Many stores offer additional savings from 20-40% off to “Friends & Family.”  Savvy discount shoppers can learn about these discounts, as well as specific stores and their hours by following the center on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visiting www.lbvfs.com. Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores is located just one mile from Walt Disney World at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535), Orlando, FL 32821-6316, and two miles south of I-4, Exit 68. Stores are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, and 10am-7pm on Sunday.

And now for the Giveaway.  One lucky Mommy Has A Life reader will win a $50 Gift Certificate to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores.  Giveaway ends 4/5/14 at 11:59 PM.  Winner can pick up the prize in the mall office with photo ID, sorry we can not mail the prize.

This offer is only valid for one winner, one time, through 2014. No duplicate entries at multiple blogger websites, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway