Showing posts with label One Tank Trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label One Tank Trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label One Tank Trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label One Tank Trips. Show all posts

What Should You do Before Taking a Cruise?

5 Things You Should Know Before Your Next Cruise



Have some friends and family members who rave about going on cruises? You may wonder if voyaging on the open seas is your type of vacation. But maybe, after seeing photos of your friends' latest cruise ship travels, you're going to consider giving it a try to see what all the fuss is about. If so, here are 5 things you should do before taking a cruise. As always, the most important travel tip is to be 

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Travel Tips: What Should You do Before Taking a Cruise?


Travel Tips and Tricks to make the most of your cruise experience:


1. Pre-Book What You Can


Reservations for most cruise's most popular attractions book up quickly. With this in mind, make it a point to pre-book on ship reservations for specialty restaurants, theater performances, childcare (if required) and excursions as far in advance as possible. If you're unable to book these extras before boarding the ship, be sure to make all reservations as soon as you board on embarkation day. 

2. Avoid Over Packing


Before taking your first cruise, you should keep in mind that cruise ship cabins aren't as roomy as most hotel rooms. Cabins on cruise ships are painstakingly designed to maximize the use of the tiny space and provide creative storage solutions. With this in mind, aim to pack minimally with only one carry-on bag per person.

Not only will this help cut down on the clutter in your room, but it can also make air travel to the port easier. You might also want to look into using packing cubes to keep your things further organized. These small zippered pouches make packing and unpacking easier, allowing you to stow suitcases away from areas where you plan to relax.

3. Consider Your Charging Needs

Compact cruise cabins mean having fewer power outlets. While this may not be an issue for some, if you travel with tech gadgets like laptops, iPads, smartphones, headphones, and smartwatches, you will likely find that your family will be fighting over outlet usage. Skip the battle and bring along your own reinforcements. 

One option is an outlet adapter. By bringing this accessory, you can convert a basic dual outlet into a quadruple outlet with additional charging capabilities for two USB cords. Another option is a charging station, which provides for an easy way to keep devices neat and organized while they power up. Be sure to invest in a few extra-long USB cords, so you have more range while charging devices that are in use. 

Alternatively, avoid bringing a power strip. These can easily overload the power source and could present a fire hazard. Some cruise ships ban power strips altogether, so whatever you decide to bring, make sure it complies with the cruise ship's safety regulations. If you aren't sure, call ahead or ask your travel agent.

4. Disconnect and Relax

Taking a cruise means that you'll have limited WiFi options. Take advantage of this time to relax and recharge by enjoying the opportunity to unplug and spend quality time with your family, without the distractions of email, phone calls and social media. While on-board, internet connectivity is available for a fee, so resist the urge to stay connected 24/7. If you must remain reachable for work or family reasons, buy an internet package while on board. These are often more cost-effective than à la carte WIFI usage.

5. Plan Your Next Trip

If this is your first cruise, don't be surprised if you're ready to book your next cruise vacation by the end of your trip. Cruises have a way of making you feel spoiled, and for many it can be difficult to enjoy a standard vacation that requires a ton of planning, research and work when everything is all-inclusive on a cruise. Take advantage of deals by booking far in advance. For instance, you can save on the best Alaska cruises by booking as soon as next year's booking window opens.

Have a Wonderful Time

By showing up early on your cruise embarkation day, with minimal luggage, some extra outlet adapters, and an open mind, you'll set yourself up for a wonderful first cruise. And, don't be surprised if you return to port with your next dream cruise already booked. Have you taken a cruise for vacation?

Do yo have any additional tips that we should know before taking a cruise? In the comments below, let us know what else you think is important to know before taking your first cruise.

For more travel tips follow us on Pinterest, Family Travel Vacation Ideas.

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Travel Tips: What Should You do Before Taking a Cruise?






Family Road Trip Tips

Top Tips to Prepare for a Family Road Trip


Ready for a mini-vacation? There's no better and more flexible way to see the wonders cross country than by taking a good old-fashioned road trip. Of course long car journeys with kids can be challenging,but they don’t need to be!Here are the top ways to beat backseat boredom and prepare yourself and your children for a stress-free family road trip.

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Family Road Trip Tips


Make Plans in Advance
Start your family road trip preparation off right by making your vacation plans well in advance. This includes things like planning your route, downloading maps for the area you’re visiting, and booking your accommodations. This will help to make your trip as organized and as hassle-free as possible. If you need to rent a car for your road trip, be sure to look around for the best deal and book well in advance to get the best rates. Click here to find some great deals on car rentals.

Ensure Safety and Comfort
No one wants to have an uncomfortable, cranky kid on a long car ride. When kids sit in a car for hours, it’s important that they are comfortable, safe, and also have good head support. Make sure that kids are safely buckled in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt for the duration of the trip. To make the journey more comfortable for your kids, bring along a neck pillow and their favorite blanket or stuffed toy.

Plan Lots of Stops
Before hitting the road, be sure to map out your journey. Plug your destination into your smartphone’s map or a mapping website to get a realistic idea of how long your road trip will take. This will also allow you to plan some fun stops along the way. Make sure that you schedule a stop every few hours so the kids can get some fresh air and you can stretch your legs. Bring along a Frisbee or ball, in case you can’t find a playground or other entertainment, at least, you'll be able to toss them around in a parking lot.

Bring Plenty of Snacks
Keep your kids happy when traveling by providing lots of snacks. Things like whole grain crackers, sliced fruit, individually wrapped cheeses, and cereal bars all make excellent road trip snacks. Pack these in separate containers and give them out throughout the trip to keep the kids busy. Packing some snacks for the trip will also save you money as you won’t be at the mercy of whatever roadside food stops have available.

Arrange In-Car Entertainment
Make sure you arrange some entertainment to keep kids occupied on long trips. You can download audio-books and films to watch on an iPad, pack chalkboards and activity books, or plan road trip games to keep kids entertained on the journey. According to Tripsavvy, there are several mobile games and apps that provide hours of entertainment on the road. Check out Road Trip Travel Games on the Google Play store for plenty of classic road trip family activities.

Family road trips don’t have to be stressful. In fact, with a little preparation and planning, your next journey could even end up being the best part of your vacation! Follow these tips to have a fun and stress-free family road trip. Do you have family road trip tips? In the comments,tell us what has worked for you.

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Tips for Travel on a Budget

5 Tips For Traveling On A Budget


Sometimes your travel plans and your budget just won’t work together to give you exactly what you want when it comes to a great vacation, but don’t let that stop you from traveling altogether. With a little forward planning and some compromises along the way, you can ensure you don’t miss out and don’t overspend, giving you the chance to enjoy a spectacular vacation whatever your budget and wherever you choose to go. Here are 5 tips for traveling on a budget.

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Tips for Travel on a Budget




Travel Tips


Plan Ahead
It’s fun to be spontaneous, and sometimes it is even necessary, but it is also a potential problem when it comes to your traveling budget. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead at least part of your vacation. Work out, for example, where you're going to sleep each night if you're traveling from place to place, or how much money you intend to spend on day trips and food if you’re in a hotel. Having this information to hand, to begin with, means that you'll know how much money you'll need, and you’ll be able to ensure that you have it when you get on your vacation.

Have a contingency fund as well. This could be for emergencies, or perhaps for those spontaneous moments that we mentioned earlier. You might spot a day trip that you can’t resist, and if you have ‘spare’ money put aside for just such an occasion, you know you can book a vacation and enjoy it without worrying about the cost.

Save Up
Another way to ensure you stick to your budget is to save as much money to spend as possible. Spend the weeks and months leading up to your vacation saving as much money as you can. A simple monthly budget template is a great help in figuring out where your money goes each month. You might need to sacrifice buying take outs or reduce the amount you go out, for example, but if it means more money for your vacation, then it’s a good thing in the end. You could also look at taking out a loan so that you know you have enough money to spend. 

Of course, you should still save because you'll want to pay the loan off sooner rather than later. This can be difficult for those with poor credit, but credit repair companies such as those found at Crediful.com may be able to help you, so check to see if that is the case.

Only Buy Essentials
When you book your vacation, you'll, like most people, probably make a list of all the things you need to buy to take with you. This is even more relevant to those who are traveling from place to place, but it also happens with those who have chosen to base their vacation in just one place.

The money that you spend on these items could be spent instead on your vacation itself, treating yourself to a good meal out, or taking an extra trip. Remember that you might think you need something because you have heard that it is useful or seen a good advertisement for it, but that doesn’t mean that you really do need it. Take the time to think about what is essential and what you might easily be able to do without.

Therefore, make a list and cross off anything that isn’t completely essential. Or, rather than buying everything brand new, look around for used items instead. This will save you a lot of money and still give you what you need.

Eat Local Food
It’s amazing just how different the prices can be between local food and food from other countries. It will always be far cheaper to buy and eat the food produced locally. Not only will this save you money, but you'll also get a much better feel for what the country is really like, and will give you new experiences.

It’s always good to try new things, and when you’re trying to stick to a budget when on vacation or traveling, saving money can help. Trying new things and eating locally can be a real money saver in the long run.

Look For Bargains
From before you even book your traveling experience you should be on the lookout for bargains. If you're flying, search around for the best deal. It might be that you have to fly at an early hour, or late at night, but that can save you a lot of money, for example. Search around for good deals on hotels as well. Although you might like the look of the one that is right by the beach, these are often more expensive. There might be a better alternative further from the beach that will save you money, and if you check there could be extra options such as a free shuttle to the beach each day which will save you money all around.


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Rhythm Center Indianapolis: Things to do in Indiana

Field Trip Idea Downtown Indianapolis: Rhythm Discovery Center


The Rhythm Discovery Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana is an awesome thing to do with family or for a school field trip. If you are visiting Indiana on vacation or for the Indianapolis 500 Race, don't miss this gem. The rhythm museum is across from Circle Center Mall and next to Weber Grill. Relax and spend a few hours here.


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Rhythm Center Indianapolis: Things to do in Indiana
Rhythm Center Indianapolis Drum Circle: Things to do in Indiana.


We are members, so we've visited several times. You can practice your drum skills without buying drums! It's a great place to take out of town guests. Membership options include a plus two. This is a hands on museum! You can touch it! Above, is the drum circle, don't be shy, sit down and try your hand at tom toms or bongos. If you see others sitting there, it's okay- you're encouraged to join the circle.


Rhythm Music Quote



Be as loud as you want! They offer free earplugs at the ticket desk. There aren't usually tour guides. As you walk through the Rhythm Discovery Center, you'll see the history of drums and rhythm instruments. Be sure to play the gongs in the front entry, the electric drum synthesizers throughout the main space, and don't miss the sound proof drum rooms where you can play the snares and cymbals.



Field Trip Ideas Indianapolis: Rhythm Discovery Center



Rhythm Discovery Center Hours and Admission: The center is opened most days from 10-5, Sundays 12-5, and closed on Tuesdays. Check the website for special events and closings.


Tip:  Buy a membership. If you have a big family, it's cheaper than the individual ticket rate.


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Rhythm Center Indianapolis: Things to do in Indiana






Visit Telescope Indiana: IU Link Observatory

Homeschool Science Field Trip: Visit the Link Telescope


If you are looking for something different to do in Indiana, visit the IU Link Observatory Telescope between Mooresville and Martinsville, Indiana. It's a one tank trip from most places in Indiana, and it makes a great homeschool science field trip. Psst... It's not just for homeschoolers and science junkies. Architects, historians, and gardeners will love it too! Keep reading to find out why.





The Link Observatory is a magnificent piece of architecture in a beautiful setting. It sits atop a hill adjacent to a Daffodil garden. Completed in 1939, for Dr. Goethe Link, the domed structure is made of local wood from the property. The dome swivels for a panoramic view of the night sky. Until the 1980's the observatory was used for astronomical research. However, as the the city lights of Indianapolis grew, it made star viewing increasingly difficult.





The adjacent Daffodil garden is the perfect setting for a family picnic, to catch up on reading, to walk your dog, or to paint the gorgeous landscape. The day we visited, an artist was painting a lovely watercolor painting of the dome.







And this happened in 2018, Indiana native, David Wolf, electrical engineer, medical doctor, and astronaut, joined the Link Observatory Space Science Institute staff as Chief Science Officer. Dr. Wolf works with the Institute on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational programming, public engagement, and fundraising.






Link live events take place at area libraries. You can also invite them to do a program at your school, camp, or other event. Check the Link Telescope Event Calendar for activities at the observatory and within the surrounding communities. The Link Observatory is free to the public on the 1st Saturday of each month for night sky viewing and the 2nd Thursday of each month from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm for daytime tours of the telescope and facility.


















We visited on a free Thursday. The docent was full of fun facts, science humor, and shared the interesting history of the observatory. It seems Mrs. Goethe planted and cultivated the Daffodils. There are several different species, still blooming after all of these years. 


Tips for your Visit:

Don't expect anyone to greet you at the door. Just walk in and head up the steps to see the telescope.

If you visit during the day, pack a picnic lunch. You can tour the facility in under 20 minutes, but be sure to let the guide share the telescope's history with you. We even got a demonstration of the dome pivoting around its track.

When you're done, head over to Martinsville to visit the Martinsville Candy Kitchen or the Martinsville Farmer's Market.



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For more one tank trips and family friendly vacation ideas follow us on Instagram or check out our  Things to Do on Vacation page.

Click here to find some cool kids telescopes.



Cincinnati Vacation Ideas: Family Fun

Visit Cincinnati with Kids

Planning a day trip to Cincinnati with kids? There's lots to do. You'll probably want to stay a few days to enjoy everything the Cincinnati area has to offer families while on vacation. We lived in Cincinnati for a few years and still live close enough to take a regular one tank trip. These Cincinnati vacation ideas are sure to please. Enjoy!



Cincinnati Vacation Ideas: Family Fun



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Homeschool History Lesson: Levi Coffin House and the Underground Railroad Indiana

Take a Field Trip: Tour the History of the Underground Railroad and Levi Coffin in Richmond, Indiana

Our latest history homeschool adventure included a field trip to the historic, Levi Coffin House near Richmond, Indiana. It is said to be part of the Underground Railroad.

An eight-room, Federal-style, brick home near Richmond in Newport (Fountain City), Indiana became a safe haven to thousands of escaped slaves on their journey to Canada. The home of Levi and Catharine Coffin, North Carolina Quakers who opposed slavery quickly became the most well-known stop on the Underground Railroad.  During the 20 years they lived in Newport, the Coffins helped more than 2,000 slaves reach safety. Read More About it: Levi Coffin House





Levi Coffin House Historic Site and Underground Railroad History Lesson





Take a Field Trip: Tour the History of the Underground Railroad and Levi Coffin in Richmond, Indiana
Learn about the Underground Railroad with a trip to Levi Coffin's Indiana home.

Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous story, Uncle Tom's Cabin is based on, "Eliza" one of the many slaves who hid in the Coffin home. Scholastic offers a great companion piece for an Underground Railroad Lesson. Myths of the Underground Railroad. A good story for younger children is Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky.



A story of the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman.
A story of the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman.


Nineteenth century wooden rocker cradle in the Levi Coffin house.
Nineteenth century wooden rocker cradle in the Levi Coffin house.
The tour guides at this historic site are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Prepare to spend at least an hour learning the Coffin family history. On our visit, we were not prepared expecting only a quick walk through the house. Our little one (pictured above) was not up to the challenge. However, rather than becoming irritated at her outbursts the tour guide began speaking directly to her and encouraging participation by pointing out kid friendly historic facts and interesting artifacts like the horse hair poking out of the wall which was used to reinforce and bind the plaster.


Levi Coffin.
Levi Coffin.


Two handled "shovel" for scooping grain.  A chore for children.
Two handled "shovel" for scooping grain.  A chore for children.
Sewing bird to help hold fabric.
Sewing bird to help hold fabric.
Rocking bench with baby guard.
Rocking bench with baby guard.

Iron handcuffs.
Iron handcuffs.


Stairs to the attic.
Stairs to the attic.
Stairs to the attic.
Catharine Coffin's Wardrobe.

Room where runaways (often children) spent the night.
Room where runaways (often children) spent the night.


Underground Railroad = Secret attic access slide bed over to hide the door.
Underground Railroad = Secret attic access slide bed over to hide the door.

Field Trip Ideas for the Underground Railroad

For older students, I encourage you to visit Conner Prairie's immersion history program, Follow the North Star in Indianapolis, Indiana. As an interpreter at Conner Prairie, I participated on both sides portraying a woman who helped runaways find their way to a nearby Quaker family and as a tour guide/runaway experiencing the journey first hand leading a group of runaways thru the prairie at night. Nothing will help your student understand the importance of this historical event like Follow the North Star.

Another great place to visit is The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.



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A Day In Kokomo at the Glass Factory

Things to do In Indiana: Kokomo,  A One Tank Trip


We visited the Indiana Glass Factory in Kokomo, Indiana. If you're looking for things to do in Indiana, this is a great idea for a field trip or a one tank trip in Indiana. Homeschoolers will enjoy learning a new skill for a possible future trade or art project.

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Field Trip Idea: Things to do In Indiana: Kokomo, A One Tank Trip



A Day In Kokomo at the Glass Factory
Glass Factory.


Kokomo Opalescent Glass Main Office.

Things to do In Indiana: Kokomo,  A One Tank Trip
Beehive where they melt the glass.
Table where they roll glass to make panes.


Area where they roll and blow glass.
Sample of their panes of glass.

We got a guided tour of the glass factory. The kids saw it featured on a local news channel over Christmas break and really wanted to go. We all learned many things and we were all surprised to find out where the glass has been placed. One place is the Cinderella Castle at Disney. Apparently, the Kokomo Glass Factory produced all of the glass in the castle



Stained Glass at Cinderella's Castle in Disney World.


Stained Glass at Cinderella's Castle in Disney World.
Stained Glass at Cinderella's Castle in Disney World. 


The Kokomo Glass Factory has a beautiful shop where you can purchase hand blown hand blown glass items. Visit KOG.COM to see the shop (they ship) and if you live in the Indiana area, stop by and take  the tour. The Indiana Glass Factory makes a great family outing or field trip idea

Currently it runs Tues-Fri at 10 am and lasts about an hour. They even offer a class to make glass beads and accents. They also sell glass panes of different sizes and thicknesses if you need some for your home or craft projects.

This is truly a hidden jewel in Indiana.  We never knew about the glass factory until we saw it on the news. The kids loved the tour (which was a surprise) and apparently it was the highlight of everything we had planned over break. 


~ Angie


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