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Tips for Planning Your Family Vacation

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Vacations are a time for family, friends, and fun. It’s about being together, escaping the mundane day-to-day and enjoying not only the destination but the journey too. But, let’s be honest, for a lot of us, the planning process can be daunting sometimes even disastrous and definitely stress-inducing. However, with a little bit of preparation, you can make the most of your time together and create lasting memories that don’t make anyone want to jump off the boat and drown themselves. Here are ten tips to help you plan your family vacation.

10 Tips for Planning Your Family Vacation

Start Early

The earlier you start planning, the less stressed you’ll be. And, you’ll have more time to find great deals and book flights or train tickets, well in advance which should save you money and make you happier.

Create A Budget

One of the most important aspects of any holiday is creating a budget and sticking to it. I know, easier said than done but do as I say, not as I do, friends. Determine how much you can realistically spend on travel, accommodation, food, and activities. This budget will also help decide on a location.

Consider Your Destination Carefully

Think about what kind of vacation you want to have. Do you want to relax on a beach in an RV, explore a new city or go hiking in the mountains? Once you’ve decided on a general location, you can start looking into specific destinations. Don’t forget to factor in travel time. If you’re traveling with young children, it’s essential to factor in travel time when choosing your destination. A long flight or train journey can be tough on little ones (and their parents!). This year, you can visit Devon for a traditional family holiday in the UK r if you’re in the US visit Walt Disney World ( but remember the sunscreen if traveling this summer).

Research Accommodation Options

There are so many different types of accommodation these days, from camping and glamping to Vrbos and luxury hotels. Do some research to find somewhere that will suit your needs and budget. For example, if you’re traveling with young children, it might be worth paying a bit extra for a hotel with a pool or an apartment with a self-catering kitchen.

Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

Before you start booking anything, make sure that everyone in the family is on board with the plans. For example, planning a beach vacation is no use if your partner hates the sun and your teenage girl only wants to go skiing. Once you’ve got everyone’s input, you can narrow down your options.

Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

This is one of the most important things to remember when planning any trip, especially if you’re traveling with young children. Make sure you’re covered in case of any medical emergencies or cancellations.

Pack Light

Whether you’re traveling by car, train or plane, packing light will make your journey easier. If you’re flying, check the baggage allowance for your airline and try to stick to carry-on luggage if possible. This will save you money (many airlines charge for checked bags), but it will also mean less time waiting at the baggage carousel. And, if you’re traveling with young children, the less luggage you have to) carry, the better.

Don’t Forget the Essentials

When packing for your trip, don’t forget the essential items like passports and travel visas (if required), tickets and boarding passes, medicine and first-aid supplies. It’s also a good idea to make copies of important documents if you lose them while you’re away.

Keep Your Itinerary Flexible

Although it’s essential to plan, it’s also important to be flexible when on vacation. Do not overschedule yourself. It will ruin your vacation. For example, if your child is tired or cranky, don’t force them to sightsee. And if you stumble upon a great restaurant or museum that wasn’t on your list, go for it! The best vacations are often the ones where you go with the flow.

Most Importantly, Have Fun

Above all, remember to have fun! A family vacation is an excellent opportunity to spend time together and create lasting memories. So, relax and enjoy your time away.

Travelling can be one of the best ways to spend time with your family. However, it can also be costly and time-consuming to plan. These ten tips will help you plan your next family vacation on a budget and make the most of your time together.

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5 Things To Remember When Taking A Trip To Madrid

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Traveling to Europe has been on my bucket list for a hot minute now and I’m planning to make it happen next summer to celebrate my birthday and I’ve been heavily researching it. One of the destinations on my list is Spain’s capital city, Madrid. It is a popular tourist destination for a good reason. There is so much to see and do in this vibrant metropolis! However, before you go, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

Here are five things to remember when taking a trip to Madrid to make it a success!

Learn The Local Language.

Learn some basic Spanish before you go. Knowing a few key phrases will help you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable. Spaniards are very proud of their language and culture, so even if your Spanish is not perfect, they will appreciate the effort. I’m actually brushing up on my French, Italian and Spanish for our European trip. Just think about it, many signs and menus in Madrid will be in Spanish, so it will be helpful to be able to read them. Finally, speaking the language will help you bargain for souvenirs and other items.

Dress Appropriately.

Another thing you should remember when taking a trip to Madrid is that Madrid is a fashion-conscious city, so it is important to dress well. However, you don’t need to break the bank on designer clothes. Just make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free, and you will fit in just fine. It is also worth noting that Spaniards tend to dress more formally than Americans, so you may want to pack a few nicer items for going out at night. If you don’t have a wide variety of clothes, don’t worry – you can always do some shopping while you’re in Madrid.

Be Prepared for Crowds.

Madrid is a very popular tourist destination, so expect to see large crowds at the major attractions. However, there are ways to avoid the worst of the crowds. For example, you can visit the Prado Museum, Museo del Prado, on weekdays instead of weekends, or go to the Royal Palace early in the morning. If you do find yourself in a crowded place, try to be patient and go with the flow.

Watch Your Belongings.

As with any major city, there is a risk of pickpocketing in Madrid. To avoid being a victim, keep your valuables close to you at all times and be aware of your surroundings. It is also a good idea to make copies of important documents like your passport if you lose them while on your trip. Another way to ensure that your belongings are kept safe is by using luggage storage facilities whenever possible. By doing this, you will be able to leave your luggage somewhere safe and not have to worry about being pickpocketed.

Sample The Local Cuisine.

One of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods, and Madrid has plenty of delicious dishes to offer. Some Spanish specialties you may want to try include paella, churros, and jamón ibérico. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Let your foodie intuition take your trip to the next level. This is a great way to experience the local culture and open your mind to new flavors.

These are my 5 things to remember when taking a trip to Madrid. It’s an amazing city with a lot to offer tourists. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before your trip. By following these tips, you can be sure that you will have a wonderful time in Madrid.

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Ultimate spring break packing list must haves,, spring break 2022

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Spring break is right around the corner. The weather is already warming up, the sun is shining and everyone I know is planning their escape to anywhere because the pandemic has had us all stuck in our homes for far too long. But honestly, the warmer the better. Thankfully, even the Midwest gets sunshine during springtime and 50-degree weather is fine too because we Midwesterners know how to appreciate anything above 40.

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and gynecological misadventures are all my own.

Warmer weather means more time outside and whether you’re planning to spend your break in the nearest pool or most southern ocean, chasing your little ones around the local park or hiking some majestically breathtakingly, beautiful national park there are a few things you’re going to need, besides just your glee and good attitude. 

Below is what I consider some of my ultimate spring break packing list must-haves

Olita Lip Balms

Show your lips a little TLC too and pack a chapstick with SPF in it! OLITA offers 7 different SPF 15 lip balm. They pride themselves on being EWG-verified, organic, and reef safe. They have received several awards such as EWGs safest sunscreen in 2020 and 2021 and Parent Magazine’s safest sunscreen for kids in 202, just to name a few. Lastly, OLITA, donates 10% of every purchase to Coral Reef Alliance and is a Climate Collaborative Partner.

Aviator Nation Ninja hoodies

Aviator Nation is a 1970’s inspired California lifestyle brand. My Ninja Hoodie by Aviator Nation is by far, the most comfortable hoodie I’ve ever owned. I love it so much; I want it in every color. The single needle stitch work gives each garment a unique, one of a kind effect. All of Aviator Nation’s products go through an intense breaking-down process that gives them a vintage, lived in feel that I love because it’s broken in from day one of wearing it. Believe me, you’re going to want to live in this hoodie.

Ultimate spring break packing list must haves,, spring break 2022, voller

Voller sand shorts and top

Voller is this year’s clothing line of volleyball sports clothes for men and women that you want to know about! Voller was born out of a passion for creating beach volleyball apparel that makes every detail count. Canadian beach volleyball pro Sam Pedlow is a die-hard fan of the brand, even rocking his own Voller sand shorts design! The collection for men and women is all about featuring materials that match the robust demands of the game yet are lightweight and flexible to perform with the athlete. 

Ultimate spring break packing list must haves,, spring break 2022, attitude living sunscreen

Attitude Living Al Natural Sunscreen

Wherever you travel, don’t forget to pack sunscreen! Their mineral and hypoallergenic sunscreen is ECOLOGO™ Certified and uses natural ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide to offer broad-spectrum protection. Hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested and unscented, it is gentle on sensitive skin. Because they love nature and animals, our sunscreen is PETA Certified, vegan and cruelty-free. Tubes are also available without boxes, to avoid over packing.

Dr. Motion Compression Socks

Run outside in style this spring! Don’t sacrifice comfort for style in 2022. With Dr. Motion’s stylish outdoor compression socks, you can confidently trek up a mountain or through the forest, knowing your feet will get you wherever you need to go. Dr. Motion offers both crew and knee-high socks. Their outdoor socks are created with acrylic and TrueDry polyester blend and treated with an Ultrafresh anti-odor to ensure you are not limited in your adventures. As someone who suffers from tendonitis in my feet, these socks are a lifesaver and allow me to work and play like everyone else without worrying about being in pain or uncomfortable.

North Street Bags

North St. Bags produces handmade, stylish, and functional backpacks and bags that are ideal for a variety of uses, from school book bags, bike commuting essentials, or even diaper bags carrying children’s and parents’ needs. They are perfect for spring break, especially if you will be exploring the great outdoors, making memories at Disney World or spending a week playing at the beach. All of North St.’s bags feature EcoPak recycled sailcloth, either as the water-resistant liner or as the piece’s sole fabric. 

Ultimate spring break packing list must haves,, boost

Boost Oxygen

Boost Oxygen is portable 95% pure supplemental oxygen for all-natural respiratory support. No prescription is needed. It is used by athletes for recovery, older adults for an active lifestyle, people at high altitudes for altitude acclimation and those experiencing poor air quality. Did you know the air we breathe contains only 21% oxygen – the majority is useless 78% nitrogen. Boost provides nearly 5x the pure oxygen you breathe normally. Boost Oxygen provides easy and immediate access to supplemental oxygen.

For the athlete doing spring training, Boost Oxygen SPORT – a new innovation specifically created and designed for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and active people of all ages is currently available in Large 10-Liter canisters, which contain approximately 200 one-second inhalations.

 The human body needs oxygen to create energy to power your tissues, organs, cells, and brain, which require even more during sports performance. Without enough oxygen, you can experience shortness of breath, lightheadedness, fatigue, and dizziness – especially during and following periods of strenuous or aerobic activity.

Ultimate spring break packing list must haves, nomatic travel pack


Nomatic Travel bag

Now that we’ve rounded up all our favorite Spring Break essentials, we just need a pack to put it in. The NOMATIC Travel Pack was designed for everyday use and for those shorter 1-3 day trips. It’s made with durable, water-resistant materials and YKK zippers. Starting at 20L and expanding to 30L, this bag is slim but expands when you need to pack more. The full perimeter zipper, magnetic water bottle pockets, RFID safe storage, and hidden pockets are just a few of the 20+ noteworthy features that make the Travel Pack the most functional travel pack ever! On top of being packed with incredible functionality, the NOMATIC Travel Pack has a sleek minimalist design and gives you confidence for your life on the move.

What are your ultimate spring break packing list must-haves? What do you and your family never leave home without on vacation?

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Linville Falls Campground, North Carolina, GoRVing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Last month, the Big Guy, Bella and I headed south for a fresh-air filled, unplugged, be present getaway and we got just that. Gabs didn’t come with on this trip because, well, in honesty, it’s been a long 17 months. The rest of us packed a bag, jumped in the jeep and headed off to picturesque Linville Falls, North Carolina to make some memories.

Disclosure: We were hosted by Marla and Kenny at Linville Falls Campground in partnership with GoRVing but all opinions about our experience are mine.

The Linville Falls Campground is located in Western North Carolina, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, centrally located to some of the best Appalachian hiking and biking trails that you could ever want to try. This privately owned campground has full hook-up sites, water/electric sites and a secluded, primitive tent area. 

It’s about an hours drive from Asheville, NC and about 30 minutes from Boone and Bowling Rock, NC. There are so many options for things to do in the area and all set to the beautiful backdrop of the majestic Smokey Mountains. Located minutes just away from the area’s most spectacular attractions, including Linville Falls & Gorge, Wiseman’s View, Grandfather Mountain, Linville Caverns and Gem Mountain. 

Linville Falls Campground, North Carolina, GoRVing

The campground itself is made up of tent space, RV space and cabin rentals. There is truly something for everything; from beginner to avid camping fan. We were provided a cabin, #11, Black Bear to be exact. It is a cozy little cabin located at the back of the property. It was quaint and provided the perfect opportunity for my very much plugged-in family to unplug and unwind without our phones blowing up with all the obligations we left behind at home.

Linville Falls Campground, North Carolina, GoRVing

There is cell service but, Wi-Fi is scarce and honestly, isn’t that part of the charm of camping? You’re not supposed to be doing work in the wilderness, you’re supposed to unplug, look up, listen to the birds singing, smell the flowers blooming and hear what the people you love have to say. That’s exactly what we did.

Linville Falls Campground, North Carolina, GoRVing

The cabin was a two-room, rustic cabin with a fully furnished kitchen including a full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, a quaint front porch, huge deck with stairs leading down into the woods where a fire pit awaits; perfect for nighttime stargazing and sitting around the fire laughing and making memories. It had one bedroom with a full-sized bed and a pull-out sofa couch with the potential to sleep 4. The cabin was cozy and falling asleep listening to the crickets, cicadas and bullfrogs at night was absolutely magical.

Linville Falls Campground, North Carolina, GoRVing

Cabin 11 can sleep 4 but, personally, I think it is the perfect weekend getaway for couples. It’s just enough space to have all the together time your heart desires with that special someone. In fact, I’d say it is the perfect place for a secluded, serene romance with a side of nature. I joked with the Big Guy that it’s the ideal conditions for expanding a family or just reconnecting on a deeper level, not just couples but families in general.  One of our favorite parts about staying in a cabin is that we get to connect without all the disruptions and distractions of our normal day-to-day and that was absolutely true of our trip to Linville Falls Campground.

Linville Falls Campground, North Carolina, GoRVing

According to Go RVing, Park Model RVs (sometimes referred to as deluxe cabins or cottages) are unique units that provide temporary accommodations for recreation, camping or seasonal use. Park Model RVs are designed to look like a home, but they need to be hooked up to site electricity, sewer and water like an RV. They may have a front porch, a sleeping loft and are a great way to experience the campground lifestyle if you don’t have an RV or all the gear that goes with tent camping.

We spent our days on long hikes with breathtaking views and our nights collapsing from exhaustion and laughter after a day well spent together in nature. No service and no distractions meant 100% quality time and that is more precious to us now than ever with the girls getting older. I say it every time we go camping, and I’m saying it again now because it is so true, take your family camping whether its in a tent, a cabin or an RV, you won’t regret it and it is, by far, the most meaningful family vacation you will ever take and those memories will last a lifetime.

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How To Make Yourself Feel At Home When You Move Abroad

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Have you ever considered moving to another country? I know I have, especially over the past 4 years. Being that my father is from another country and I spent my childhood summer’s in another country, living in another country has always been an exciting and viable option. In fact, I’ve spent my life learning languages and experiencing other cultures with my parents and now, traveling with the Big Guy and our girls, for just such an occasion. But how do you make yourself feel at home when you move abroad?

While the thought of moving to another country is exciting it can also be quite a scary thing to do; leaving behind friends, family and everything you’ve known.  But be brave, it will be worth it. Inevitably, when you first arrive in a new country, you will feel overwhelmed and it’s common for people to feel homesick. Before you start worrying that you’ve made the biggest mistake of your life, you need to give yourself time to adjust. Everyone goes through this. 

To be honest, it takes a couple years to feel completely at home in a new place. Think of it as a new opportunity for adventure. It always takes time to get used to a new place, but it’s especially tough when you are in a new country with a totally different culture. However, there are some simple things you can do to make yourself feel at home. 

How To Make Yourself Feel At Home When You Move Abroad

Get Your Home Sorted

Before you do anything else, you should get your home sorted. If you don’t feel comfortable in your own home, you will struggle to feel at home in a new country. Make an effort to create a cozy, welcoming home for you and your family. You can fill it with some things to remind you of home but you should also buy new things to celebrate the transition. Once you start feeling comfortable in your own home, you then have a safe space to come back to and you can start exploring the new country.  

How To Make Yourself Feel At Home When You Move Abroad

Learn About The Culture

When you first arrive in a new country, you will still feel like a tourist and everything will feel a bit unfamiliar to you. The best way to settle in is to make an effort to learn about the culture. Be open to new things. Seeing a lot of the local tourist attractions and going to museums is a good place to start. You should also be adventurous with the food that you eat, as well. Go out and find lots of local places to eat, and instead of cooking your favorites from home, look up some recipes and start using local ingredients. Try to engage with local holidays as much as possible too. When you start engaging with the culture, you will feel more like a local. You’ll stop feeling like a visitor and start feeling like you’re home.

How To Make Yourself Feel At Home When You Move Abroad

Consider Applying For Citizenship

Even though you are a permanent citizen and you have the right visas in place, it can still feel like you are just a visitor. If you want to put your roots down and you plan to stay for the long haul, you should consider applying for citizenship. If you get in touch with an immigration lawyer, they will be able to advise you about the process. It’s easier to become a citizen in some countries than it is in others, so consider how long the process is before deciding whether it’s right for you. If you do become a citizen, you will feel much more at home. 

How To Make Yourself Feel At Home When You Move Abroad

Host Visitors From Back Home

Having people visit you from back home will really help if you are feeling homesick. It also gives you a good opportunity to show people your new life and the home that you have created for yourself. After these visits, your new lifestyle will feel more permanent and being able to share it with your family puts a more positive spin on things. 

It’s important to give it time when you move to a new country because the transition takes time. If it didn’t, that would just be weird. Don’t let fear of change stop you from trying new things. If you don’t like it, you can always move back home but a life of untaken chances and unrealized dreams will definitely end in regret. Be brave. Follow these simple steps and go for it! You’ll feel like a local in no time. 

What would be your best tip for how to make yourself feel at home when you move abroad?

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How to Plan the Perfect Camping Trip for Your Family, GORVing, Family vacation,Summer travel

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Planning a family vacation is always a little stressful, especially in an ever evolving global pandemic. Aside from just being safe these days, you have to find a way to keep each member of the family entertained – from fussy toddlers to brooding teens, and do so without going broke. Organization and little planning go a long way when planning family trips so there’s no meltdowns during your trip. Have you ever thought about planning a camping or RVing trip for your family? Honestly, we’re considering buying one. Our teen girls are begging us because we’ve had such great times on our past trips. That’s saying something when “roughing it” is our daughters’ dream vacation.

Right now with vaccines in full effect and summer approaching, we’re all struggling to plan our next trip. COVID-19 travel restrictions are constantly changing. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to plan a memorable and exciting family vacation. Just think outside the box and plan an adventurous camping trip. You won’t be disappointed, believe me! Been there, done that, doing it again and again for infinity. 

A camping trip is perfect opportunity to just breathe.

How to Plan the Perfect Camping Trip for Your Family, GORVing, Family vacation,Summer travel

There are a lot of benefits to a family camping or RVing trip. You get to spend some time unplugged from technology and listening to each other instead of stuck behind your phone. No fear of missing out on everything happening right where you are. Yes, I know after 2020 and quarantining, more together time might not be what you had in mind. But choosing to be together is something entirely different from being imprisoned together by a global pandemic. 

Also, you can get up close and personal with nature, which is an adventure within itself. Vacationing in national parks and sharing that quiet time taking in nature with your children is priceless. Everyone can shed the roles of who they are expected to be and just be. If you get up early enough, you can even sneak in some together time with your partner. What relationship can’t benefit from that?

Camping means finding quiet moments to appreciate each other without the noise of the world interrupting.

How to Plan the Perfect Camping Trip for Your Family, GORVing, Family vacation,Summer travel

With that in mind, here are some tips you can use. Here’s how to plan the perfect camping or RVing trip for your family! 

  • Choose your destination for overnight camps carefully. While you may want privacy and relaxation, choose a site that is not too far from civilization. If you’re new to camping, you’ll appreciate access to shops and similar facilities if you need them. With kids, you’ll need them. It’s a good idea to reserve a spot at a camping site or national park far in advance ( like now) mainly due to the rise in popularity of camping trips in 2021. 
  • Plan an itinerary for activities that you can participate in around your chosen destination. For example, while an afternoon hike will always be exciting (and won’t cost you a penny), it becomes distinctly less fun if it’s raining. Instead, you might want to check out a local museum or head to the movie theater. Try to have a plan in place so that each day is varied. Remember that you can always drive to a neighboring town too. 
  • Ensure that you have everything you need for a successful camping trip on hand. For example, you cannot simply purchase a tent and a few sleeping bags and hope for the best. You should also ensure that you have easy access to a first aid kit, flashlights, and similar safety-related products. Also, if you’ll be cooking and preparing your own meals, you’ll need to purchase a tent stove or camping stove. This means that you can save money and make exciting meals from scratch instead of having to stop by restaurants. Make it more exciting and catch what you eat. There are plenty of options to choose from, and you can see the full list here.
  • Take turns choosing which activities you participate in each evening. For example, this could mean that you bring a collection of board games, host an outdoor movie night or my favorite sitting around a campfire talking under the stars. Giving every member of the family a turn to select the activity means that everyone will be happy and enjoy their vacation.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where is your dream destination for a family camping trip?

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Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure, The HULK Coaster

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We just got back from a quick road trip to Orlando. It was a pretty spontaneous decision, think of it as a red wire blue wire sort of situation where we were all about to die from being trapped in the house for a year and we decided to give Universal another try this time, we chose Universal’s Islands of Adventure. It’s home to themed lands like Jurassic Park, Seuss Landing, Marvel Superhero Island and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The first time we went to Universal was way back in 2012. The girls were too little at that time but we didn’t realize that until we were there. So we spent a lot of money to stand in the rain and watch the gang from Victorious sing some songs on stage, rode 1 ride and went home. It was a bust. This time was definitely more fun for our family.

We figured the girls were older this time and definitely would love it. And while what we got to do see, ride and do was good it still wasn’t Disney. The thing is Universal and Disney World are completely different kinds of parks and if you’re used to Disney, you’re going into the whole thing with the wrong mentality.  So here’s a quick rundown of why you should go to Universal Islands of Adventure and why you shouldn’t go to Universal Islands of Adventure.

Why you should visit Universal Islands of Adventure

·  Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies

Universal Islands of Adventure has some thrilling rides. If you like to go fast and hard when you play, Islands of Adventure are for you. The rides will not disappoint but be prepared to be whirled, twirled, fast and furious and to the extreme. Warning: That Dudley Do Right Rip Saw River ride looks harmless but it is, in fact, Splash mountain on steroids and it is raging. It may be the most fun you’ve ever had getting wet but YOU.WILL.BE. DRENCHED. I suggest bringing either a poncho or an extra set of clothes.

·  You love Marvel

Not going to lie, the Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman were two of the best rides I’ve ever been on. Did they both almost make me throw up? Yes. Did I love it? Yes! Did I lose my voice screaming from excitement? YES!! If you have kids over 8, they will probably love it.

·  You love roller coasters

Universal has some pretty awesome coasters that will leave you dizzy and discombobulated but screaming for more. If you love roller coasters, Universal Islands of Adventure is for you. Bonus; VelociCoaster is coming June 10th and we saw it being tested and it looks amazing.

·  Dr. Seuss makes you happy

I’ve spent a big chunk of the last 16 years reading Dr. Seuss whether it was to my girls, to my nieces and nephews or to the sweet preschoolers that I taught but I never found the stories to be as beautiful and endearing as I found Seuss area to be. It is bright, colorful and beautiful filled with whimsy and imagination. However, as I mentioned before, Universal is for thrill-seekers and even the carousel and The Cat in the Hat ride seemed to go very fast. I know the area looks like a kid’s playground but it isn’t as tame as it looks. We loved it but I’m not sure how well a toddler would fare.

·  Harry Potter fans

Hogsmeade is like immersing yourself in a Harry Potter book. It is beautiful and if your family are Harry Potter fans, it really brings the story to life. The butterbeer was amazing (we preferred the frozen) and the Ollivanders wand experience was really cool. However, there are only a couple of rides and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™ is only available by virtual queue and it is virtually impossible to get a spot. We had a time 3 times and the app booted us out and we lost our reservations. It was very frustrating.

Why you shouldn’t visit Universal Islands of Adventure

·      It expensive

There is the initial cost of the tickets (1 day/ family of 4/ $579), then if you don’t want to spend all of your time waiting in lines there is the option to purchase express passes ($69) and unlimited express passes ($89), parking ($26), and lockers ( $2 each time you ride something that requires you to put your bag in a locker). That is not including souvenirs, food and drinks. There are definitely more budget-friendly ways to plan your trip. Don’t wait to the lat minute like we did.

·      Express pass will make or break your trip

Unless you love waiting in lines and only being able to fit 4-6 rides in on your visit, you better buy yourself an express pass. It was our first real trip to Islands of Adventure so we didn’t know how any of this worked but now we know. If you are staying in a Universal hotel, which we were not, you do get express passes included in your hotel stay. But as we were not, we spent all day waiting in lines and didn’t get to experience as much of the park as we had hoped. Very disappointing. However, if you are staying at a Universal Resort express pass is included so I would highly recommend staying on grounds. Resort rooms were very affordable, we just waited too late to book.

·      CoVid rules de jour not de facto

Universal Islands of Adventure does have great guidelines in place for following CoVid safety protocol. However, not everyone was, you still had to scan your finger to enter the park and there wasn’t anyone really enforcing the rules in the lines until you entered a building. Several times, I had to ask people to step back and stay on their 6 ft apart socially distanced marker. That was very frustrating and made me feel anxious because people were invading my personal 6ft apart space.

In the end, there are more reasons why you should visit than why you shouldn’t. We wanted to love it but it wasn’t what we expected. Maybe it was CoVid? Maybe it was being unprepared? Or maybe we are just Disney people? Either way, we’d love to go back and give Universal another try and check out the VelociCoaster. It looks amazing and I’m sure it will be one more thrilling ride that my girls will fall in love with. Have you been to Universal Islands of Adventure? What is your favorite area? Favorite ride?

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DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Aloha Windy City! Cold winter weather got you down? If you’re anywhere that it’s cold, I’m looking at you Chicago, you know we are all in desperate need of some sunshine and warm weather. Well, guess what Chicago??? Disney is bringing just what the doctor ordered, some warmth, ukuleles, palm trees and the sand between your toes right downtown at Union Station. Maybe we can’t all fly off to Hawaii right now, much as we’d love to, so Disney Aulani resort is bringing Hawaii to Chicago!

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creators Day and how to get invited?

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Have you been spending your winter days walking the cold streets of the loop biding your time until summer is back in Chicago? Spending your nights running to and from trains, buses and cars to your home or office trying not to get frostbite? Have you been dreaming of warmer destinations or even Grant park in July? At this point, I’d sacrifice the Sox for some sunshine.  Do you need sunshine with a side of Disney? Because I know I do.

READ ALSO: Best Disney Resorts for Families

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, ChicagoDisney is bringing the Aloha Spirit to Chicago!!

Who: Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii

What: Bringing sun and Disney fun to Chicago for the enjoyment of winter-worn commuters

Where: The Great Hall at Union Station (225 S Canal St. Chicago, IL 60606)

How: Aulani is bringing Rays of Aloha the sun and joy of Disney and Hawaii for a magical, one-day, event at Union Station, providing a warm and happy retreat for the approximately 100000 commuters through a fun (Instagram-worthy) experience.

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Come and enjoy a magical fire put while dipping your toes in the sand, delight in a hula performance and be carried away by the sound of ukuleles floating between the palm trees. There might even be a surprise guest.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, mickey mouse, minnie mouse

I don’t know about you, but for this Disney loving family, this sounds like the perfect mid-week event to get your head in an Aulani state of mind.

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing your Dinsey Trip

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Where: Wednesday, February 19, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

This will just be a taste of all the Aloha spirit that you could experience in the actual Aulani Disney Resort. I’ve stayed at many Disney resorts over the years, and Aulani is on our family bucket list, but from my friends who’ve gone, I hear it is worth the travel and you will make memories with the ones you loved like never before all with a Hawaiian setting. What could be more magical?

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purple wall , #DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, castaway cay, Disney Creators Celebration, What is Disney Creators Celebration, #DisneyCreators

.Looks like Disney’s Social Media Mom Celebration may be gone forever. It’s time to say tootles mouseketeers. Well, not gone (never forgotten) but refreshed. Disney World is not just for moms and neither should it’s creator celebration be limited to just mothers (though I did love the idea since I am a mom). Enter Disney Creators Celebration for all Disney loving content creators and influencers. Hey, what do you know, I still qualify because I am one of the most Disney loving creators there are. But what is Disney Creators Celebration? Here’s all you need to know including how you can get invited yourself.

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Traveling, family travel

You might not always find it easy to spend time with your family in the chaotic modern world. Sometimes you just need a break from everything. You have work, and your kids have school. You also have to “adult” with responsibilities that take up a lot of your time. Forget about “spare time” that doesn’t even exist anymore.  Everybody’s under the same roof, but everyone does things separately more often now because as the kids grow up, they want to be with their friends more.

Maybe your kids binge-watch Netflix shows, play games on their phones or watch YouTube.. You might be doing the exact same downstairs. Wouldn’t it be nice if you all spent some time together? Well, here are some great ideas to help you have fun with your family every weekend. You’ve got to make that time off really count.

Go on a road trip.

If you’ve never been on a family adventure in an RV, then you’re missing out. In fact, it doesn’t have to be an RV. The point is that you should hit the open road with your loved ones and share some experiences. Make a plan regarding the route you’d like to take. Maybe you’d like to stop at a particular beach to admire the views and relax. Maybe your kids would like to stop at an arcade. The point is that a road trip can appeal to every family member. It’s a chance to do something that keeps everyone happy.

Make sure you stock your car well. The journey is part of the experience. You need plenty of snacks to keep everyone well-fed and happy. Bring plenty of water if it’s going to be a long journey, too; you might even want to get some flasks that you could refill whenever you stop anywhere. That’s a smart and sustainable well to make sure you drink enough on trips; you don’t have to buy water bottles. You should also prepare a great playlist for the journey. Obviously, you’ll talk and relax, but music will set the scene for your adventure. And you don’t have to go on a road trip every weekend, but it’s certainly something you should try to do regularly. 

Play some games.

You could always stay at home and play some games if you want a relaxing weekend indoors, of course. You don’t always have to go outside and explore the world in order to have an adventure. You could unearth the dusty old board games that you might have used when you were a child or try some new games. You could even start playing mobile games as a family. 

Have a concert at home. 

Going to a concert may be fun, but when you’re a family with small children it can be difficult. That´s why if you and your family members play any instrument or take any type of music lessons, like guitar, piano or violin, setting up a makeshift stage with curtains and even a stage light can be a fun night to show off whatever they already know or anything new they may have learned. Making this a monthly thing, families can come together and spend some time doing what they all have in common and maybe even learn from each other.

Have a movie night.

You might even want to think about having a movie night if you want to relax with the family at home. There’s nothing more exciting than turning your living room into a mini cinema. You just need some comfortable seats for everyone and a few delicious snacks.  Of course, you could really switch up your weekly movie night by filming your own movies. You don’t have to be the next great Hollywood director. The goal is to simply have fun as a family. Then, you can watch and laugh together later.

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