California Budget Travel Tips

Heading to California soon? We’ve got 10 tips to help you with budget travel for this fun state! This state has a plethora of options for whatever kind of destination travel you want!

#1 Save Money With Your Airlines Honestly, you CAN fly there cheaper than you can drive unless you are going for the road trip experience. If you are able to book tickets three to six months in advance you should be able to get fantastic deals. Sign up for deal alerts through your favorite airlines and wait for your city destination to go on sale!

#2 Find the best budget hotels that offer suites or condos. By doing this, you can save money by bringing your own snacks and breakfasts to eat in your room. Alternatively, you may also want to find a hotel that offers continental breakfast to save on one meal a day!

#3 When we landed in San Diego with our kids, we hit up the local supermarket to buy snacks and drinks. That way, while we were out doing all the tourist things, we had snacks to give them rather than buying. Buying snacks at tourist spots are definitely a budget killer!

#4 Before you head out on your vacation, contact the local chamber of commerce and ask for a vacation pack. They will often send coupons and resources for FREE family fun!

#5 Ask the locals! One of the easiest tricks to saving money is asking locals what they recommend for budget restaurants, things to do, etc. There are often free museums, free parks and free entry days that they will know about!

#6 If you are renting a car, you may want to call ahead to get price comparisons. Also, find out if they offer deals for family rentals. Many times they will offer car seats for free! Sometimes, you can lock in your car rental with your airline flights. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

#7 Definitely travel off season! Rates will be cheaper across the board and you won’t have to deal with insane crowds. Personally, I like early spring, but late fall wasn’t too bad.

#8 If you’ve got kids, chances are they will want to buy a souvenir. Start a coin savings jar for your family. Right before the trip, cash in the coins and distribute the money. The money they get is their allowance for the trip!

#9 Ask around to learn when the traffic gets heavy. Plan your outings around peak times so you aren’t stuck in traffic jams and wasting gas.

#10 Bring your own travel items: sun block, towels, floaties, etc. These items are hot ticket items and are marked up. Bring your own to save money!

Best of Ireland Travel Tips

Heading to Ireland? Get ready for jaw dropping beauty! We’ve got great travel tips for Ireland to share on the most iconic and gorgeous areas of Ireland and Nothern Ireland.

Ireland is one of the most gorgeous countries. Green as far as the eye can see with a rugged beauty all her own. Whether you are visiting the countryside, villages or the city of Dublin-there is incredible beauty in abundance!

St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Known for it’s incredible architecture it is also surrounded with beautiful flower gardens. Just down the road is a beautiful city park with flowers, nature, and a waterscape.

Cliffs of Moher: One of the most iconic areas of Ireland is well worth the car drive and treck up the cliffs. Get your cameras ready for spell bounding beauty and an infinite view of the ocean. You’ll also want to take a stop at the O’Brian Tower nearby!

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge: This swinging rope bridge connect the mainline to a tiny island. While the bridge was cool, the best part was the hike there. The sweeping views feel almost other worldly.

Giant’s Causeway: This massive area is truly unique and such a wonderful photo opportunity. It’s also a great place just to get away and soak up nature’s beauty. The cafe nearby has fantastic food and coffee!

Dunluce Castle: Now ruins, it’s still a beauty to behold! Not to mention, it was rumored to be a place of inspiration for C.S. Lewis. Instagram worthy spot!

While each of these areas are incredible in their own right, my best Ireland travel tip would be to get off the beaten path. Visit with locals, dine at the village cafes, shop the lesser known streets of Dublin. Going where the locals go will give you an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime.

5 Tips For Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids

Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be hard! Read on to learn five tips that will make your upcoming travel a breeze!

Create A Checklist When Traveling With Kids

This would be my number one tip for anyone! Whether you are a pen and paper or a printed list kind of person, make sure you create a traveling checklist for what to pack weeks before your departure.

A few things that should be on your list: clothing, medication, shoes, outerwear, snacks, personal care items, resort items (think swimsuits, floaties, etc.). Another area to think about regarding your kids are items that they use on a daily basis that bring them comfort. Think blankets, stuffed animals or even their special night time book. Creating a sense of home for your kids while you travel is crucial to making the trip successful.

Double Check on Traveling Documents

If you will be traveling out of the country, make sure your paperwork is in order months ahead of time. Do you all have updated passports? Is your driver license up to date? It’s also important to make copies of important documents in the event of an emergency. You can lock them in hotel safes or keep them on your person. Whichever option you feel the most comfortable with. If you are working with a Traveling Agent, you may also want to save their number to your phone and have it written down on a piece of paper. Always be prepared for worse case scenarios! That way you won’t be stressing if you need to touch base or make adjustments to your trip. It saves you time and hassle.

Prepare Your Kids For the Trip

Another simple, yet effective way to help your kids travel with ease is to prepare them for the trip ahead of time. Let them know what will be expected of them, how long it will take, and how much fun you will be having as a family. When kids are well versed and prepared for large outings, it will help them to work through any anxiety they may feel.

Pack A Special Bag

This is truly what saved our sanity during a recent family vacation. We packed special bags for each of our kids. We told them about the bags the night before, so they were eager for the long travels! Each bag contained snacks, new coloring and activity books, crayons, notebooks, games, and small toys.

Try to download shows and music for times when they are getting tired or antsy. I suggest to give them bags once you arrive at the airport. Alternatively, you could give it to your children once you start your road trip. Another tip is to bring a jacket or blanket for them to cuddle with if you will be flying or traveling by train. It can get cold inside airline cabins!

Final Thoughts On Traveling With Kids

Seriously, with all the work that goes into traveling with kids, don’t forget to have fun! If something doesn’t go according to your plan, roll with the punches. Don’t let the kids see you stressed! Take pictures, make memories, and remember they will be grown before you know it. So, soak up these precious times. They will be some of your best memories down the road!

Let your travel time be one of fun and relaxation! It will be worth it! Also, don’t miss our post on Spring Bucket List Ideas for families!

Traveling With Kids

7 Iconic Things You Must See in New York City

New York City: The most diverse and incredible city in the United States! Of course, that’s only my opinion. I think it’s one of the most amazing cities to visit. Today, I’m sharing 7 Iconic things that you must see if you should ever visit this magical travel destination!

Top of The Rock: This was one of my favorite moments while visiting the city that never sleeps. The million dollar views will leave you breathless and pining away at its vastness. It is definitely the spot for Instagram pictures!

New York City Public Library: This one blew me away. I was amazed at how gorgeous this place was! The only way to describe it is that the New York City Public Library looked like it fell out of a Harry Potter movie. Stunning!

Statue of Liberty: I realize this one goes without saying, but I have to admit when we headed out for the tour, I was afraid I would be underwhelmed. On the contrary! It was a gorgeous day when we visited, the boat ride was relaxing, the historical aspect left me in awe…and it is truly an astounding site to behold!

Central Park: The park itself was stunning during the spring time when the trees were blooming. There are spots that are fun to see that were made infamous thanks to many rom coms. My favorite way to take in everything that Central Park has to off is through a carriage tour! They offer both horse and electric carriages.

Fifth Avenue: This street is a beast all it’s own! I mean it is a travel destination! How many books and movies have been made about it? Just think about that for a second. Seriously, it’s worth a quick jaunt via Taxi or take on Fifth Avenue via walking….just don’t forget to wear your walking shoes!

Serendipity: Any fans out there of the movie? This quirky cafe has the best frozen hot chocolate. And it’s a simple nod to one of the sweetest rom coms! Definitely a place to hit up if you enjoy nostalgia like I do.

Empire State Building: The tour is fantastic, not too long and not too short. They have some great views, and you definitely get the Sleepless in Seattle vibe while visiting! P.S. Double check the weather to make sure there isn’t any heavy fog to distort views. This happens a LOT so you can plan your trip accordingly while visiting New York City.

So, tell me, is New York City on your travel map? If you are headed to NYC with kids, check out our tips for traveling with kids!

Paris Travel Tips

Tied only to New York, Paris is one of my favorite cities. This travel destination is such a gorgeous place filled to the brim with beauty and inspiration! Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite highlights that should be on everyone’s bucket list when they visit!

Take A Train Ride: If you enjoy getting different perspectives whenever you travel, I would highly recommend taking a train ride from Paris to the countryside. It’s such a fun way to take in new sights and experiences all the while getting to mingle with tourists and locals alike!

Hire a Tour Guide: One of the absolute highlights of our trip was hiring a private tour guide. The tour started in Paris and landed on the coast near Gold Beach. We had hours of conversation with the guide that gave us insight and historical information that I would have never dreamed to ask in the first place!

Street Food: I know…it’s Paris, there’s French restaurants galore where they offer incredible cheese, bread and savory dishes. But nothing, and I mean nothing, compared to the street stands. My personal favorite was ordering the Nutella & Banana Crepes. They were out of this world amazing and nothing has come closes to it state side.

Dine at the Top: Take in sweeping views at the top of the Eiffel Tower over dinner! It was worth it and still one of my favorite memories.

Best Things to Do in Memphis

Memphis is such a fun city for all ages! Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite things from our recent road trips. While most people wouldn’t consider Memphis a travel destination, I would challenge them on it. It is such a gorgeous city with something for everyone to enjoy!

Central Barbecue: If you roll into town with an appetite, might I suggest diving right into local flavor at Central Barbecue. They have a great menu selection, fun atmosphere, and it is very kid friendly. The BBQ was delicious and I also loved their pork rinds!

Memphis Botanic Garden: If you happen to be there in spring or early summer, a highlight for us has been the local Botanic Gardens. Not only do they feature a plethora of flowers, tree, but also art, architecture, and amazing play spaces for kids! Definitely a photo worthy spot!

Crosstown Concourse: If you are looking for an urban shopping experience, I highly recommend the Crosstown Concourse. It’s a bustling atmosphere featuring multiple food outlets, shopping, and events. We had life changing popcorn at Pop-a-roos located at the Concourse. Seriously, its bucket list worthy.

Caffeine Fix: Before you travel back home, you may want to load up on caffeine. Get your fix at the Ugly Mug coffee shop. I loved the funky vibes and wide variety of drinks to choose from.

Have you been to Memphis recently? Would love to hear your own take-aways!