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!

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!

One Day at Disneyland With Toddlers

If you only have one day at Disneyland and you’ve got toddlers to boot, here’s a list to help you knockout bucket list items and make your visit a breeze! Honestly, Disney thinks of everything!

My first tip, would be to pack a backpack with items that you may need with toddlers: hand sanitizer, baby wipes, first aid kit, sunblock, water bottles, snacks, toys to hold their attention (think busy toys that they can hold in their hand!). I also highly recommend bringing your own stroller as renting one cost quite a bit of dough!

Packing our own snacks came in handy when we stood in line for rides or when we were taking a break. Little bags of chews are nice because they don’t make a mess! I also took juice boxes to help save a little money during our lunch break. Also, if your kiddo gets a boo boo during your time there and you forgot a first aid kit, just ask a Disney employee for help.

When you first arrive to the park, take a minute to have your picture taken by Disney staff. This is seriously the best tip because you start the day off with a cute family picture and you don’t have to worry about capturing it later on (especially when you get hot and sweaty! Ha!). They will take a professional picture that is downloaded to a card that you can later upload and pick out which one you like. They will also take pictures for you with your own phone (read: save money! They do a great job with iphone pics).

Once your picture has been taken, and you walk through the entrance tunnel, there are generally characters ready for meet and greet. Goofy was on duty the morning we visited and it was fun to see a character right away!

If you are hungry, can I recommend the hot dogs at Refreshment Corner? It’s an adorable eccentric soda fountain complete with rag time music. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. The hot dog was smothered with cheese…and wow, I’m hungry just typing that. Also, you can’t miss the cafe across the street to get that once in a lifetime Disney Starbucks cup! The lines can get long, but it moves quickly! There is also an outside seating area for the kiddos if you need to take five to recoup or rest!

Another perfect memory making opportunity for the kids is to head to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle first thing in the morning. The Disneyland Band has a fantastic performance and parade. Your kids will get to see tons of characters in one fell swoop and the music is so fun! Plus, I mean, you get THE CASTLE as a backdrop! You can check the schedule to see what times the performances will take place.

For attractions that youngsters will enjoy: The Carousel, Dumbo, and Walk Through of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle were total winners for my little ones. Best part is they are all located in the same area, so it’s easy to knock these out right away. And don’t miss the Christmas ornament shop located across from the carousel!

At this point, your kids may need a rest. You can head to the Tikki Torch Hut for Dole Whips and a place to sit down and rest. Or you can head back to Main Street U.S.A. to visit the theater. Inside the little theater is a place to sit and watch old Mickey Mouse Cartoons! The kids can also get up and stretch to get a few wiggles out!

Onward to meet Mickey Mouse! This was the only thing that my girls requested to do. They could not wait to meet Micky Mouse! His house is located in Toon Town. The line to meet Mickey actually wraps throughout his house, so there is a lot to see and do while you wait. They also have cartoons playing at the very end of the line before you get to see him. Be sure to have your phone ready for pictures as once you go through the doors for a meet and greet, it goes fast!

Another fun thing to do that I felt was highly underrated was riding the Disneyland Railroad train! It’s such a fun way to see more of Disneyland and yet you get to sit down and rest! You can hop on and off at any time. We actually road it all the way around before getting off just to see more of the park and the kids were thrilled….because, train.

We also took time to visit Star Wars land….just walking through it was magical. There is so much to see and do!

As you head out of the park, you should stop at Jolly Holiday Bakery that offers Mickey Mouse Cookies for the kids and fun desserts for parents….all with a fun Mary Poppins Theme. It’s the perfect exit as you make your way back to your car.

Don’t forget to stop off and pick out a souvenir too, and keep your eye on the exit for more characters for photo ops!