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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query vacation. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query vacation. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query vacation. Sort by date Show all posts

Maximize Family Time on Holiday

A Guide: Getting More out of Your Family Vacations

Are you tired of going on the same old vacation year in, year out? Sure, the pools, the hotels, and the sun are always nice at the time, but do you ever feel yourself longing for something a bit different? Maybe you just want your kids to experience some different things, rather than just the run-of-the-mill package beach vacation to California or Hawaii? If so, you may want to maximize family time to get more out of your family vacations. How can you make your vacation more of a bonding experience?

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Ways to Maximize Family Vacation Time



Keep scrolling to find ideas on how you can enjoy holiday vacations and make lasting memories with your family.

Buy a Boat


Been there done that. Boy, do we recommend doing it if you can. There truly is nothing quite like being out on the open water, especially when you’re with your partner and your kids. For one, being able to get away from the hustle and bustle of people back on land for a few days is a great way to detach yourself from the stresses back home. It’s also a great way to get your kids to see that there’s more to the world than just buildings and technology. If you’re willing to go all out to better your family vacations, then, you should seriously consider buying a boat.

You can ski behind a boat, pull the kids on a tube or a body board, work on your tan, hunt for turtles, and go fishing. It's a great way to bond with the kids and maximize family together time! Another great way to bond with kids in a boat is to go long beach whale watching or some other marine adventures. We actually took a boat ride across the bay from the Marine Museum to Downtown Clearwater, Florida. The boat ride was the best part of the adventure and we saw a few dolphins along the way.




You should know, however, that this is never going to be a cheap venture to take. Generally, boats tend to cost a lot of money — new pontoon boats, for example, can fetch anything from $18,000 to $60,000. Fear not, though, as there are specific loans that you can take out to cover this kind of expense — there are even lenders that offer bad credit boat loans, meaning you need not worry even if you have a bad credit history. The point is, if you’re serious about buying yourself a boat and vacationing on it for years to come, you need not necessarily let your finances stop you. The bills will always be there, but the family won't. Kids grow up and move away. Boat together while they're still young!

Draw up a Holiday Schedule Before you Leave Home


If you’re really on the ball, you should consider drawing up a holiday schedule before you head out on a family vacation. By doing so, you'll save yourself from wasting precious vacation moments deliberating how you'll be spending your day, as your schedule will already be laid out for you. This means less time deciding and more time getting more out of your family vacation. It also gives everyone something to look forward to. You may want to check out these tips for traveling with kids.

Don’t Get Stuck in One Place


Face it, in the past, you’ve probably been guilty of plonking yourself down in your hotel and barely venturing away from it for the whole two weeks straight. There’s nothing wrong with this! Of course, you deserve a relaxing break. However, if you really want to get more out of your family vacation, you'll have to venture away from the resort. Don’t get stuck in one place, no matter how tempting is - get out there and see more of the destination that you came to see! And when you do, don’t forget to bring your camera along.

You may also want to wear some cool t-shirts to help keep track of everyone while you're out on excursions.




If you want to maximize family time and get more out of your next family vacation, follow our Pinterest board for more family travel tips and check out the links recommended below.


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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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Traveling with Children

Tips for the Perfect Family Vacation


Traveling with children can either be great fun or really hard work, so a bit of advanced planning goes a long way to making sure the trip is stress-free. How do you successfully plan the perfect family vacation? Keep scrolling to see our tips on traveling with kids.
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Tips for the Perfect Family Vacation when Traveling with Children


What Makes a Good Family Holiday
The answer to what makes a good family vacation depends on what kind of family you are as a whole and the ages of your children. If you’re a family that loves being outdoors and at one with nature, then tent camping and mobile home getaways could be perfect for your family. However, if the thought of anything outdoorsy as a family fills you with fear, then something like an all-inclusive family deal in Florida could be ideal.
The age range of the family is also vital when considering where to take your next vacation as two younger children around the same age are going to be easier to entertain on beach vacations. Having older children can  mean activity holidays or trips where they have clubs to entertain the children while you do a bit of sunbathing.
What you don’t want to do is try and mix too many things together on one trip, such as, trying to incorporate a safari trip with a sightseeing outing when the children are very young, as they are going to lose interest and it will make for a highly stressful trip. Believe me, been there done that!

Stress-Free Travel
The options on how to get to your travel destination all need to be carefully considered because, with children, you need to think about whether they are old enough to travel long distance without having to stop every few hours if you drive, or if they can withstand a 24-hour flight.
The benefits of flying are that the journey can be broken up into sections such as a car trip to the airport, hanging around the departures lounge for a while, spending time on the plane, and then renting a car from Advantage Car Rental to finish the journey at your destination.
Taking a boat or a ferry is always great with kids as the excitement of floating across the water keeps them entertained while you get ready for your vacation to start.
A train is also another great option as you can travel at high speeds across country while not having the expense of plane tickets or the worry of bus timetables (if you decide to go down that route.)

Plan the Food
A significant consideration when planning the perfect vacation is what food choices you'll provide for your children. There are a variety of food plans when on vacation, some harder than others. If you are taking a trip where all-inclusive food and drink is on offer, be sure to thoroughly research if the food offered is child-friendly and if they abide by dietary requirements and food intolerance rules. Many theme parks offer these type of meal plans.
Whether you decide to drive your car or choose a car rental, taking all of your own food and snacks is a great and cost-effective option. It means you know exactly what snacks the children will eat and that they will actually eat it, plus you save money as you only buy and take what you need. However, this is only available to you if you have enough car space and if carrying around all those food selections is not too inconvenient.
If you plan to eat out, make sure that you research all of the available restaurants nearby before you book your trip, as there’s nothing worse than getting to your accommodation after a long journey and finding there is nowhere to eat.
Family vacations are where many amazing memories are made, and with a little forward planning, you can design the perfect trip to fit around you and your children's needs. For more fun family vacation ideas follow us on Instagram.


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Best Family Summer Vacation Tips

How to Make This Summer One of the Best for Your Family 



The reality of life is that unless you have access to mass funds, you have to work for a living. This means that when you have a family, you’ve got to become a master at balancing work and life. For several families, this means making the most of summer vacations as this is when the kids get the most time off school. As a parent, you may wonder how you can ensure that your children feel your presence and enjoy being at home full-time during summer vacation. Here, you’ll find some tips on how you can make this summer one of the best yet for your family. 


Best Family Travel Vacation Tips



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Tips to Have the Best Summer Vacation



Be Present 

The first summer vacation tip for making this summer memorable for your family is to be fully present. This is hard to do in a digital age where people are constantly glued to their phones, tablets, and any other device they can find. Parenting meditation, which is when you focus on hearing, seeing, and understanding your kids can help you stay in each moment with your family and drown out the background noise. 

It also helps when you put your gadgets away while spending time with your kids. Remember, it’s all about them for that moment, so if possible, let everything else wait until later. 

Have Allocated Quality Time 

The next vacation tip is to focus on quality over quantity. It has often been said that it’s less about how much time you spend with your kids and more about the quality of the time that you spend. So ensure you allocate time that will be spent with your family and try to stick with it.

To spend more quality time with the kids, make the most of your everyday routine. This means inviting them to cook with you, making cleaning up fun and taking walks instead of the car. Also, making a conscious effort to eat at least one meal a day together could make a world of difference too. 

Go on Vacation 

If you can afford it, why not take your family on vacation this summer? Going on an adventure to a new place is one way to create unforgettable memories. Believe it or not, an affordable destination that everyone in your family may enjoy is Indonesia. It’s home to the famous Bali, and there are more than enough activities for you to do there as a family. They also have family-friendly villas in Seminyak that you should consider when you’re looking for accommodations. 

Plan Activities 

Instead of guessing your way through each day, why not plan your activities instead? Think about one or two fun things you can do with the kids every week so that you all have something to look forward to. It could be as simple as having a small family BBQ or planning a family and friends game’s night. 

This is also your chance to explore your city and go to museums, festivals or anything else you may find interesting. Think about creating something tangible with your kids, whether it’s a family tree, scrapbook, or painting. This will give you  memory to look back and smile about once it’s time to head back to school.



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Five Essential Tips for Taking Your Toddler on Vacation

Vacation with Toddlers




The terrible twos are terrible for a reason. Between learning to talk, starting to walk, to teething, and the “why” phase, you certainly have your work cut out for you. However, just because kids are a challenge at this age, doesn’t mean your life has to stop. On the contrary, they’re finally at an age where you can safely start to travel with them. By following these essential tips for taking your toddler on vacation, you can reduce the stress and improve the vacation travel experience all-round.

When traveling with toddlers, something to consider (no matter where you go,) is that you can use a luggage storage app to help stow your bags. No one wants to drag all that luggage around, especially when you’re traveling with toddlers in tow. For example, when you arrive in a city before your hotel reservation, you can store your bags and then start visiting your favorite attractions without having to wait for an afternoon hotel check-in.


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Tips for Taking Your Toddler on Vacation




Choose a Family-Friendly Destination


As you can expect, traveling with your toddler is difficult. It's all the stress from home combined with the stress of travel – in short, it's a nightmare if you don't prepare beforehand and know what to expect. To help you choose the best destination (and subsequent accommodation,) you'll want to choose a place that:

  • Has Things for Adults and Kids 

Going to Disney World is great fun for kids, but if you're the parent who will absolutely hate the experience, this trip isn't for you! Similarly, if you choose a destination that isn’t kid-friendly, then your toddler will likely have a thing or two to say about it. Expect to be dragging them along by the hand. Instead, find a vacation destination that has something for both of you, and don’t be afraid to bring your kid a museum. Just remember to keep them off the exhibits. No one wants to get kicked out of a venue after throwing down a wallet load of cash.

  • Has all the Needed Amenities

Choosing a vacation home is ideal in this situation, because you can forget about trying to accommodate your toddler's fussy eating habits at a restaurant and instead prepare food right at home just the way they like it. This makes snacks, meals, and even sleep cycles easy to maintain.



Find Out All That There is to Do And See



There are so many helpful guides online for you to pursue at your leisure. Simply find the ones that appertain to your destination and make note of their suggestions. This way, you can cut down on all the options in a big city like San Francisco, and instead narrow down your itinerary to the top 25 places to visit as outlined on VacationRenter.com. Depending on how long you are planning on staying, narrow that list down further to only what truly interests you, and you'll be sure to have a great time -even with toddlers in tow.


Tips on How to Get There



The younger they are, the less fun kids seem to have on a plane. That's why going by train or by car is often the far superior option for families. Not only that, but it's also very cost effective. If you do go by plane, use price comparison apps so that you can at least fly on the cheapest days, but remember to book your seats ahead of time so that you can all sit together. Never leave that to the day of and hope other passengers will switch with you. That's an unnecessary complication you can avoid with proper planning.


It will take time to master the art of travel with a young child, but don’t let that stop you from traveling. Just remember to be firm. Children might not always behave, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set down rules for them. Do this, and you'll all have a much better time on your family vacation, no matter the destination. After all, the real memory maker is the experience.



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French Lick Family Vacation Ideas

Family Vacation Ideas: French Lick, Indiana


Planning a family vacation for the holiday or a quick family field trip? French Lick and West Baden are the perfect destination for families. A French Lick family vacation during the holidays is a magical gift. You'll make long lasting family memories. We recently visited and plan to make it a holiday tradition. From the Polar Express Train to the Springs to the Casino, there's truly something for everyone.

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Polar Express French Lick Railway activities
French Lick Railway train station during the Polar Express.


The famous hotels are historical and just as in years past, the area is filled with vacationers from all over the United States and abroad. The West Baden Springs Hotel is touted as the eighth wonder of the world. Is it upscale? Is it pricey? It can be. We've got some tips on how to enjoy the magic of French Lick on a budget. A French Lick family vacation is within reach when you plan ahead. Keep in mind, that on Thanksgiving weekend, all the prices go up, but everything is extra special.


French Lick Springs Hotel Family Vacation Ideas
French Lick Springs Hotel Family Vacation Ideas.


When you start to plan a French Lick family vacation it may seem overwhelming. The maps online are somewhat confusing, but all of these amenities are less than a 5 minute drive from each other - most are a 5 minute walk! I've rounded up the best things to do in French Lick and listed them here for your convenience.

French Lick Railway - Polar Express or other themed ride depending on the season. These tickets sell out quickly. You'll want to book in advance for the best seats. That means, if you're planning a trip for next Thanksgiving weekend, better get your tickets as soon as possible. Tickets must be paid in advance and are non refundable.

If you wait until the last minute there are a few options. If the website is sold out, the partner hotels may still have tickets. I didn't book train tickets at the same time I made hotel reservations because I was waiting to see how many family members would attend. When I finally got around to it, both hotels where we had reservations were sold out of train tickets for Friday night. I was able to get my train tickets at a nearby Comfort Suites. The hotel was a five minute drive from the French Lick resorts. They held them at the front desk and I picked them up the day of the Polar Express train ride.

We got to ride the train, but we were in the last car. It's a bumpy ride with lots of diesel fumes. On a happier note, when the train heads back to town, it becomes the first car.

There's coach (think of an old school bus), first class (tables and chairs), and dome class (an upper, glass enclosed seating area.) During the ride, the staff tells the story through song and dance. They even serve hot, hot, hot chocolate and cookies! True to the story, you get a visit from Santa who gives every child their first gift of the season.







Check our Instagram for fun French Lick Railway Polar Express vacation videos.

At French Lick Springs Hotel, you'll find a Kids' Activity Area right next to the Casino! This is drop-in child care for hotel guests. The activities are recommended for children 6-12 yrs. old. There's an additional fee for all children's activities. It includes special events like bounce houses.




Old-fashioned trolley rides are free and go back and forth between the French Lick resort and West Baden Springs resort. There's also a trolley on a track that goes around the Casino and back to West Baden making this fun for family field trips!




West Baden Spring Hotel Resort Family Vacation Ideas



At either French Lick Springs or West Baden Springs, the hotel concierge will book Carriage Rides, Horseback Riding, and Golf outings for an additional fee. You can also rent bicycles, surrey carts and other outdoor activities. There's a family golf option called Foot Golf that plays like regular golf but with a soccer ball.







During our stay, over Thanksgiving weekend, the hotels were celebrating 50 Days of Lights with festive decor inside and out. While the hotels have been restored and the common spaces are spectacular, the hotel rooms are nothing special. They are small, the hotel was built in the late 1800's - so think historical. A double queen room includes a wardrobe, a television, and a mirror. There isn't a microwave, refrigerator, or a bathtub. You may want to pay a little extra for a suite.


French Lick Traditional Guest Room.















French Lick Springs Hotel offers a family-friendly area that is open to the general public. So, no matter what hotel you stay in, you can visit the arcade, pizza shop, and bowling alley. Hotel guests have the added benefit of charging the very pricey activities to their rooms. My best tip on this one, it is very small. The bowling alley is 5 lanes cramped together. Be sure to get your name on a waiting list and be prepared for an expensive game. Pluto's Pizza - reviews don't lie. There's not a lot to do in town, so they have somewhat of a monopoly on these type of activities.



This is one quarter of the arcade room. There's a Foosball table in the middle.

The little town village and the hotels offer an array of eating options. From tiny Mom and Pop cafes to the upscale 1875 Steakhouse in the French Lick resort, there's something for all budgets. We dined at the steakhouse when everything else had closed. The staff is reminiscent of the old days when FDR would have dined there. They take care of you, but it'll cost you. If you are a family on a budget, skip this one. If you want an experience to remember and a taste of the Pluto Factory's tomato juice, expect to spend at least $75 per person.


To my surprise, French Lick Springs Hotel does not include breakfast or much of anything else for that matter. Swimming is included, but everything else is an additional fee.

Plus: The rooms are very clean. The shower is nice and big.

You can eat breakfast at the Grand Colonnade Room's Breakfast Buffet, but for what they offer and the fact that they require the tip upfront when you pay a cashier, I'd skip this one. The food isn't any nicer or better quality than anywhere else. You can make lots of trips, but we didn't want to. The wait staff isn't exceptional, the seating is tight... spend your money somewhere else.





You don't need to wait for Thanksgiving, the seasonal activities and themed family weekends are available for fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more. During our stay, both French Lick resort hotels were offering Thanksgiving Buffets. We chose to make our reservation at French Lick Springs because it offered a non-traditional children's buffet with macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders. Here, the Thanksgiving feast is traditional fare. We enjoyed the food. The room was beautiful but a little chilly, be sure to dress warmly. For a family of 4 (3 adults and 1 child, children are 12 and under) we spent $225 including tip. This can be charged to your room or paid after dinner. No need to stay in either hotel to make a dinner reservation for Thanksgiving dinner. They also do Christmas Dinner with carolers throughout the hotels!

Tip: if you want a special Thanksgiving dinner, eat here and stay up the street at the Comfort Suites. You'll get to enjoy all of the splendor of the hotel without the extra cost. A surprising plus, both hotels are pet-friendly.


Big Splash Indoor Waterpark - Tickets and breakfast are included - it's cheaper to stay here than stay somewhere else and just visit the park or just eat in the restaurant. The rooms are much larger than the French Lick resorts, but not as clean. That's to be expected with all of the families in and out. This hotel also offers family suites in various sizes. Our room, 4 waterpark passes, and breakfast was $20 less than just the room at French Lick Springs resort. We were just as comfortable, but there wasn't as much service. If you're used to being pampered, this isn't the hotel for your stay.

Breakfast was surprisingly good. The buffet was small but loaded full of french toast sticks, scrambled eggs, sausage, cereal, ham, and juices. The trade off is the restaurant is crowded and the wait can be long. My family was too lazy and wanted to skip breakfast so I went down by myself. Rather than taking up an entire table, the hostess allowed me to fill up some to go boxes and take them back to my room. Of course, when I brought the food back, everyone was suddenly starved. We all agreed the food was just as good, if not better than the Grand Colonnade room at French Lick Springs.


Big Splash Indoor Water Park French Lick Family Vacation Tips
Big Splash Indoor Water Park French Lick Family Vacation Tips.

My best tip for visiting this or any indoor water park is to heed the warnings. The windows and roof are closed when it is cold, so the gases build up quicker and can cause flu-like symptoms, rashes, or problems with Asthma. Due to our Asthma, my daughter and I both needed a break after an hour. The pool staff recommends taking frequent breaks every 2 hours.

We headed to the park at the best time, there were no lines, so we all got to do everything in an hour. My favorite was lounging in the lazy river, but I did try one of the tubes. That was an experience. Fun and terrifying at the same time! In the main swimming pool, don't miss the the whirl pool. Our passes were good for the day of check-in and the night of check out! Great deal.




Big Splash also offers an outdoor pool.

The decor in the entry of Big Splash is also a game.



The darker tubes are dark inside. Some tubes require an intertube to slide down.

Whether you stroll or drive through town, you'll find some surprising shops. There's a Denny's across the street from French Lick Springs and a Dollar General across the street from West Baden Springs. In front of Big Splash is a mini golf and laser tag facility. If you're on a tight budget, there's also a McDonald's, CVS, and Jay's Grocery in town. If you don't want to pay $4.00 for a pop, walk over to the Huck's Gas Station across the street from the resort areas. Around the corner from the gas station, tucked away off the street, is a small movie theater, Spring's Stadium.

Don't miss a visit to the French Lick West Baden Museum to learn all about local history and be sure to take a guided historical tour of the resort hotels. Don't miss area attractions like a zip line a few miles outside of town, you can bathe elephants and go on other outdoor adventures at Wilstem Ranch.


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French Lick Family Vacation Ideas