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Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts

Jan 30, 2017

Family Road Trip Getaway To Snowy Hudson Valley


Family Getaway To Snowy Hudson Valley

My wife's birthday was earlier this week. For birthdays we do not give things, but instead, we have decided awhile ago to give each other experiences. Tangible gifts are for other times of the year. For this celebration, and since we have not taken a long vacation in awhile, we took off three days during the week to go up North to the Hudson Valley, specifically New Paltz and the grandiose resort Mohonk Mountain House. Below is our experience and travel and gadgets tips.


Getting There

Dec 13, 2016

Holiday Family Road Trip in Northeast


Holiday Family Road Trip in Northeast

This weekend we took a road trip to Northern New Jersey. Ultimate goal of the trip was to get our holiday tree from in-laws house. The trip had multiple stops each with holiday filled activities.

Our first stop was in Chester, NJ. We first went to the Festival of Trees that was held in a barn as a fundraiser for the local community. There were more than 60 holiday trees decorated in various themes, including international travel:



Oct 3, 2016

Halloween Travel Plus Tips & Tricks


Halloween Travel Plus Tips & Tricks

Are there reasons to travel on Halloween? Yes, and a lot of them. There are many towns that boast some amazing Halloween festivities, including pub crawls, pumpkin beer on tap, costume parades and late-night shows.

Jet.com has a sweet deal on all your Halloween Treats + FREE shipping on all orders $35+

Sep 12, 2016

How We Survived (Enjoyed) A Family Trip To Mexico

How We Survived (Enjoyed) A Family Trip To Mexico

Zika Virus
Mexico Travel Warning
Weather.com prediction of thunderstorms every day of the week

None of these things stopped us from going and enjoying our trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico

Jul 18, 2016

Travel Gadget Review - Large Beach Umbrella

Travel Gadget Review - Large Beach Umbrella

sports beach umbrella

This is not a little sun umbrella that you can stroll around with. It is the kind you can set up and sit under in a chair.

However, it is not as heavy or bulky as you would think. It weighs 9 pounds and folds up into a slick, long, line that is easy to swing on the shoulder with built-in strap on the case.


We have been considering getting an umbrella awhile ago and have been doing research. And in researching beach umbrellas, we can across a beach tent for kids. So instead of an umbrella, we purchased the tent for our kiddo. It has been a hit and life and skin saver for the family. Read here how we have used it on trips to Aruba and Dominican Republic as well as on the local beach.
However, the tent is only for the little one, adults got left out in the scorching sun. Hence for our local trips to the beach, we needed a shade of our own.

Related:
Family Trip to DR - What To Pack
What To Pack For Vacation With An Infant

Why good to have on a trip:
- Easy to transport
- Unfolds easily just like a regular umbrella
- Comes with all the accessories and gadgets to keep down in the sand and with wind blowing
- Roomy for a family
- Has ventilation windows
- Can be used as a tent or
- Free standing, mushroom type
- Easy to collapse

Con: It does weight 9 pounds, so while it is the same operation as regular umbrella, you have to make sure to support it and works best with 2 people

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

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May 31, 2016

How To Travel Light With Your Family To the Beach


Summer Beach Packing Guide

It's Summer Time which means lugging a million things to the beach or pool, right? WRONG.

Here's my quick guide on how to travel (relatively) light with your infant or toddler to the beach this summer!

(Links below are affiliate links, meaning that TTG receives a commission on sale of products sold as a result of clicking on the link. We strive to provide honest opinion and links to products that believe to be of quality and useful to us as travelers and others. By clicking on this link for your Amazon purchases, you're helping us out but not paying anything additional for your purchases)

Gear:

Schylling Infant UV Playshade – it’s a must – under 2 lb and becomes huge. Like a little playhouse that’s protected from harmful rays, harsh sun and has ventilation: http://amzn.to/248q6lpb An adult or two children can fit in there comfortably. A perfect place to discreetly breastfeed too or put a baby down for a nap. Or just fill it with sand and toys and your little one has a little play area sheltered from the sun. You can even get a little pool (like this) and fill with water. Instant fun!

Swimways Baby Spring Float (Pool only): http://amzn.to/1rr0Rfj
We used this only in the pool. The waves at the beach made me skeptical. It protects the baby from the sun and allows them to safely float and move their legs and arms. Folds flat.

Apparel:

Imse Vimse Water Shoes (Infant): http://amzn.to/1VH5RJf
Super cute and perfect for tiny feet. Keeps early walkers safe in the sand and the shoes float!

Swim shoes (toddler): http://amzn.to/1Tm7x8j - little feet are very sensitive and even the softest sand may have a sharp sea shell, we don’t take chances. Get those with a strap, the pull ones are too hard to put on

iPlay Hat with TIES: http://amzn.to/1TfRvcl If it is windy, you will certainly want to make sure the hat doesn't fly or float away. We've lost more than 1 hat before.

Rashguards: http://amzn.to/1Tm73iB - cute and comfy – guarantee the baby won’t burn the shoulders and back which are most sensitive to exposed sun – we didn’t bring any traditional swimsuits – they either do not cover or are impossible to take off if your little one is not potty trained.

Sunglasses: http://amzn.to/217auwc In the water, on the way to lunch, she always wore shades. Go for something lightweight and comfortable

Swim vest: http://amzn.to/1Tm7jxO Yes, floaties are cute, but this keeps the child above the water at all times and gives them mobility in the arms – she wore it every day to the ocean

Toys:

Toys, toys and more toys! http://amzn.to/1Qk1oEdand http://amzn.to/1PDeS0L aka FREE BABYSITTER - bring tons of shapes, shovels, and buckets – guaranteed 30 min of peace ;)

TIP: when getting sand toys, get a mesh bag so that even if wet or sandy, it will all shake out before you get home. Also, try to get buckets that stack into each other to maximize space

Care items: diapers, sunscreen and other musts:

Swim diapers: http://amzn.to/1Tm7b1y Save on space and get swim diapers instead of disposable. Not recommended if your child tends to go #2 in diapers

Swim diapers (disposable): We've tried them all, Pampers has great disposable ones. They are softer than Huggies and more durable. I recommend a fresh change after every hour in the water. Bring about 10 for 3 hrs of beach time. Put them in a quart Ziploc and squeeze air out.

Baby Powder: http://amzn.to/1OeHAkz You will thank me later! It takes off all the wet sand so you can reapply sunscreen without issue!

Noodle & Boo Sunscreen we love it: http://amzn.to/2174QKk

LureLux Natural Bug Repellent: http://amzn.to/1SIEwAt

Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray Original Scent: http://amzn.to/1TFZ2UU

Thermos Sippy Cup: http://amzn.to/1SGjVjN
Love this! We have it and the thermos straw bottle. It’s perfect in hot and cold weather, especially at the beach when sippy cups warm up extremely quickly

Hooded towel: http://amzn.to/1sRSytW Adorable and so functional. After the beach or pool, I quickly put this on my little one and they are dry and warm. Its very light and folds thin so there's no bulk of the beach towels

Snack holder: http://amzn.to/1Z3Bw5X I was THAT mom with flimsy Ziploc bags that quickly turned into a mess in the sand. These prevent snacks of coming out of the container and has easy access for little hands.

For the mom and dad:

Beach umbrella: http://amzn.to/1TLQxJx It weights around 9 lb but is super sleek and can be carried on a shoulder with built-in strap. Expands really big. Great shade

Sand Repellent Blanket: http://amzn.to/1WXp6PL I hate pesky sand that gets on the blanket or towels. This blanket is really cool and dries quickly and sand doesn't stick to it.

Best on the go beach bag/diaper bag: http://amzn.to/24ugvVo
This bag has a separate compartment for a cooler which has helped us organize and ensure everything is temperature regulated (formula, milk, snacks, even meds).

Cooler tote: http://amzn.to/1Z3BzyE Light and padded - keeps everything cold without the bulk of a traditional cooler - freeze water bottles before heading out and there's no need for ice or bulky ice packs

Towel holders: http://amzn.to/1Qk1Imv We discovered this on the windy beaches of Aruba and have been using them ever since


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May 12, 2016

What To Pack For Vacation With An Infant


What To Pack For Vacation For a Child Under 1

In the past two years, our daughter has traveled 4 states and 2 countries. We love traveling and within reason, we bring our kiddo along.

A lot of parents have recently inquired about what to bring for a child under 1 years of age. Some of the items, I still bring with me for my 2 year old but most of the below items were extremely useful when she was an infant/toddler.
...
Read more at KidsTravelGadgets.com/what-to-pack-for-vacation-with-infant.html





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Feb 25, 2016

Family Trip To DR With A Toddler - A Week Without A Screen!

Family Trip To DR With A Toddler - A Week Without A Screen!


Resort
Earlier in the month we traveled to Dominican Republic and one of its all-inclusive resorts. We like these as you get there put your bags down and you are good for the rest of the trip. You know 99% of the cost of the vacation already. Most of the activities and outings are pre-planned. Just need to carry your key card around and nothing else. Drinks, food, beach towels and chairs, all are included.

We have been to this resort before. And that was a major consideration when we were planning our second vacation with a toddler. Knowing the layout of the resort, where the food is and what kind of restaurants and meals offered, made the week a lot easier. And since we did not have to run around to find places, we got the vacation started earlier.
This is quite different from one of the cruises we were on. We were on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Usually it takes me about a day to orient myself and be able to navigate without a map. On this ship, it took me 3 days to figure out where the restaurants, entertainment and the pools were. And even then, we ended up going the wrong way a couple of times. While the trip was nice overall, the layout made it a bit more stressful than needed to be.

The resort has changed a bit since last we were there. Less structurally, though there were some small rearrangements, but more in terms of clientele. The vacationers were mostly families with kids and seniors. There were plenty of those before, though this time these two groups made up around 98% of the population.


Traveling with toddler, even in all-inclusive, adds on a few things to consider and to plan out. After two days, we figured out the schedule and balance between food, swimming, napping, more swimming, entertainment and sleep. The first days were test and trial, but once kiddo got comfortable and we stuck to the schedule, it was smooth sailing.

We lucked out with the week we were vacationing at the resort. On our last supper there, it was a crazy time. New arrivals came to the buffet like vultures. They were lining up for food 10 or more deep, grabbing everything and then some and also grumbling. We were actually glad we had only breakfast the next day and then we are off.


Departure
At the resort, they charged extra for weighing your bags before departure. We were very glad that we brought our own digital luggage scale to save money at the airport and also ended up saving it at the hotel also.

No Worries, It's All Inclusive Here
traveltechgadgets.blogspot.com/2013/04/no-worries-its-all-inclusive-here.html

Aruba - First Family Trip South - Summer Continued
traveltechgadgets.blogspot.com/2015/10/aruba-first-family-trip-south-summer.html

***********************
Travel Gadgets & Travel Hacks

Razor Travel Hack
On this trip I tried out a shaving razor hack (see pic below). I have a travel case for it but it is bulky and plastic, making it hard to pack and takes up too much space. Instead you put a clip on top of the razor to cover up the blade so it does not catch on anything, and then you can stick it anywhere. I placed it within my grooming pack with all other stuff for easy and convenient storage.
Travel hack = works!



DryPack
Right before the trip we bought the DRY PAK Waterproof Wallet. The previous one I was using fell apart and we needed a waterproof container to hold our room card. It had decent reviews on Amazon. However, was not great in execution. The card was not dry after just first use. The inside was damp and visibly wet. The pocket was sealed as supposed to with the latches fully engaged. While it was better then using a zip lock bag or just having the card in the swimsuit pocket, it didn't work as described. I filled it with water to rinse after first use and found out why it didn't work - there was a whole in the pocket.
After the trip I contacted Amazon and seller describing what happened with the product. Without hesitation, they sent out a new pocket within a day. That was a superb experience and look forward to trying it out again.

Selfie Stick
The selfie sticks were more prominent during this trip then any other one we have taken. They were on the beach and all over the resort. People were taking their sticks and phones right into the ocean. I really hoped that they had some kind of waterproof protection on their phones or phones that are at the least water resistant




What would want, like to have, on next trip:
Gotenna, or similar communication device

*******************************************

Sound-off: What would you want to take on your next trip, you have not yet? Let us know below

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Feb 22, 2016

Family Trip to DR - What To Pack

Family Trip to DR - What To Pack
A post contributed by my wife who does all of the packing for our trips ;)

We recently came back from our 2nd international beach trip with our toddler. A friend is now going with her 2 year old and as I started putting the list together for her of things to take along, I thought I’d share it with other parents who are probably scratching their heads at the multitude of options available and which ones to really splurge on. So, here goes. I’ve only included items we TRULY used on the trip.

(Links below are affiliate links, meaning that TTG, receives a commission on sale of products sold as a result of clicking on the link. We strive to provide honest opinion and links to products that believe to be of quality and useful to us as travelers and others. By clicking on this link for your Amazon purchases, you're helping us out but not paying anything additional for your purchases)

For the plane:
with toddler on airplane

TIP: Some folks say to wrap little gifts. Keeping in mind all security regulations, we decided to put all her travel gear, in her own little tiny backpack!

Backpack: http://amzn.to/2179PuL
Can’t say enough about it, it works as a little leash and as a backpack. We fit so much in it, I was amazed it didn’t pop!
Melissa and Doug on the Go Magicolor - http://amzn.to/2173aAz
These markers are awesome because they only draw on paper, unlike crayons that were ALL over us :)
Vinyl Light Up Spike Balls - http://amzn.to/1QjWU0p
They have spikes and don’t roll too far but are perfect for wearing her out before the flight
Lets go Play Set – Phone and Car Keys http://amzn.to/2173tvj
Kept her occupied for hours – beware the car keys are LOUD, don’t bring it on the plane
Disney Sofia Play Camera http://amzn.to/248m5NN
There are little photos that pop up and a flash goes off – worked well to distract her during the decent
KidsGear Wired Headphones http://amzn.to/248mOhY
These are great when they have their cartoons dosage (aka when nothing else is distracting them)
Mophie Pack http://amzn.to/1Qk1dcc
Can’t forget this in case the phone dies!
Dum Dums Lolipops http://amzn.to/1Tm3IQq
If your kiddo doesn’t want to drink water, have these handy for take off and landing – safe for kids, lots of flavors – we tried a bunch and landed on…POPCORN of all things – the one she loved best
Earplanes http://amzn.to/1Tm3Xef
Also good to have on hand in case of ear issues like swimmers ear
Fisher Price Doodle Pro Trip http://amzn.to/1QjXBXN
Great for the artist and NO mess – HINT, if you take magnets, it will stick and make designs on the board

At The Beach:

Kid’s Sunscreen
we love: http://amzn.to/2174QKk
Sunshade – it’s a must – under 2lb and becomes huge. Like a little playhouse that’s protected from harmful rays, harsh sun and has ventilation: http://amzn.to/248q6lpb
Rashguards: http://amzn.to/1Tm73iB - cute and comfy – guarantee the baby won’t burn the shoulders and back which are most sensitive to exposed sun – we didn’t bring any traditional swimsuits – they either do not cover or are impossible to take off if your little one is not potty trained
Swim diapers: http://amzn.to/1Tm7b1y Save on space and get swim diapers instead of disposable. Not recommended if your child tends to go #2 in diapers
Swim hat with TIES: http://amzn.to/1QjZ7Jr - after our trip to Aruba, we learned that cute frilly hats with no ties, tend to fly away quite quickly. From now on, only these and only with ties. Max sun protection on the ears, nose and neck and still look cute
Swim vest: http://amzn.to/1Tm7jxO Yes, floaties are cute, but this keeps the child above the water at all times and gives them mobility in the arms – she wore it every day to the ocean
Swim shoes: http://amzn.to/1Tm7x8j - little feet are very sensitive and even the softest sand may have a sharp sea shell, we don’t take chances. Get those with a strap, the pull ones are too hard to put on
Baby Powder: http://amzn.to/1OeHAkz You will thank me later! It takes off all the wet sand so you can reapply sunscreen without issue!
Toys, toys and more toys! http://amzn.to/1Qk1oEd and http://amzn.to/1PDeS0L aka FREE BABYSITTER - bring tons of shapes, shovels, and buckets – guaranteed 30 min of peace ;)
Towel holders: http://amzn.to/1Qk1Imv We discovered this on the windy beaches of Aruba and have been using them ever since
Sunglasses: http://amzn.to/217auwc In the water, on the way to lunch, she always wore shades. Go for something lightweight and comfortable

On the go:

Thermos
: http://amzn.to/1OeGepH - this one is a good size, has a handle and keeps her water cold. There are also not too many pieces to clean and I haven’t seen it mold, even after 4 months of use
Stroller: http://amzn.to/248xopg - before purchasing this travel stroller, I compared models of Mclaren and Uppababy. Construction wise, sunshade and reclining features were all the same. Price difference was HUGE. This one is only $79!
5 Reasons to Love Travel with a Stroller
TIP: Use a large garbage bag and top it off with a bright laundry bag to pack it up at gate check! Works like a charm ;)
Stroller Sun Shade: http://amzn.to/1TmdS3I - universal and provides a lot more shade. There are also two pockets, maximizing space for everything you need
Space Bags: http://amzn.to/217bsIE People always ask me how I can pack so much in so little space. I use the vacuum bags, for EVERYTHING! I don’t like rolling clothes, I fold everything and then place them in space bags of different sizes, then work my way through the bag like a jigsaw puzzle
Best on the go beach bag/diaper bag: http://amzn.to/24ugvVo
This bag has a separate compartment for a cooler which has helped us organize and ensure everything is temperature regulated (formula, milk, snacks, even meds). It also comes in handy when TSA looks through it. The top part has a mesh lining so you can see everything. Beach towels, blankets, toys have all resided there within easy reach. No need to rummage through the whole bag. There are two exterior pockets which I've used for sanitizer, tissues, and pacifiers.
I LOVE this bag. It is the only diaper bag we used.

For the mom and dad:

My husband and I have been traveling for 12 years together and I have travelled all of Europe before that. We’ve picked up a few items that we never leave home without. We’ve added to our arsenal over the years, below are the top 5 that are musts:
Scarf with Pocket: http://amzn.to/248zoxV - its really great especially if you don’t have pockets! Held my phone, lollipops, gum, even passports! Love it
Travel Pillow Hoodie: http://amzn.to/217ckNy - my husband loves his pillow and he hates touching the headrests. This is the perfect solution for him
Belt with hidden pocket: http://amzn.to/1TmgY7I - this is perfect for some emergency cash and it’s a nice looking belt as well
Socks with hidden pockets: http://amzn.to/248zRA9 – I have been traveling with socks like these since my college days. They are so comfy and have pockets.
TIP: Plan how much money you will be taking and then divide amongst different places. Never put all of your money into one place (like a wallet)

Tech Glimpse:

Camera Bag: http://amzn.to/1TmhySO - I absolutely LOVE this bag. We have a ton of travel gadgets that we take with us, this bag can fit everything and then expand to take on even more.
Water Camera: http://amzn.to/1Tmhh2v Great investment, piece of mind. We’ve used it in hot tubs in freezing temps, scorching hot beaches and even in the tub to take videos of our kiddo splashing around
GoPro: http://amzn.to/1Ko4OK8 Our newer addition (post baby) and it is amazing. The quality is great and it is very easy to use
Jobie: http://amzn.to/1TmfI4u - It’s better than a selfie stick, its sturdy, can stand on many surfaces and wrap around poles and rails
Belkin Surge Protectorhttp://amzn.to/1XxKqbs - we were able to charge multiple gadgets via one and only easily accessible outlet in the room
Kindlehttp://amzn.to/1XxObO2 - we both had our Kindles with us and we actually were able to read them at the beach while the kiddo played in the sand

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Jan 18, 2016

Mardi Gras 2016 Travel & Gadgets

Mardi Gras 2016 is on Tuesday, February 9


Mardi Gras Weather
The weather during Mardi Gras can vary from very cold to very warm, almost hot. Sometimes it will change from one extreme to the other during the same day. It’s a good idea to layer your clothes since a chilly morning may turn into a warm afternoon. Since you will be spending long days outside, pack comfortable shoes and clothes that can get somewhat dirty. The streets tend to get dirty with stuff thrown around, spilled, and tossed. Don’t forget to check the forecast for rain. If storms are predicted, then you’ll definitely want to bring a rain jacket and/or umbrella.

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Cameras
With all things going on and colorful floats and costumes, you will need a camera to grab all the moments. Take a lot of shots to keep the memories of the events. Bring along a good fast digital camera to capture it all. And don't forget an extra media card to store the pictures and videos.
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Smartphone
It is a good idea to get a map of the city and study the areas you'll be visiting. New Orleans is a "checkerboard city" - safe neighborhoods can be within blocks of unsafe areas. Your hotel concierge or front desk can help you with route times, traffic and parking. A smartphone also can come very handy to find recommendation for better areas, view maps (How To: Use Google Maps Offline When Traveling), and find the reviews for local restaurants and other activities.

Watch
Since the events during the Mardi Gras celebration are planned out and per schedule, to see them you would need to get there on time. And it is highly recommended to get there early. That is the only way to get the best viewing spots. 2016 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
Watches on Amazon.com

Parade routes can look empty, but the crowd can fill in fast within an hour or two of the parade. For the biggest parades rolling in the evenings on the weekend before Mardi Gras, plan to get there about four hours ahead of time to get yourself a great spot.

You Never Know What They’ll Throw.
The screaming crowds line the street waiting for throws from the floats. Some of these can include monogrammed toilet paper, sunglasses shaped like toilets, Spam and hot dogs. Anyone can come home with beads. Though the most sought after souvenirs are the unique throws that are sometimes tossed from the floats with interesting themes. Throws often include toys, stuffed animals, beads and more that would be fun for the kids.
Bring big bags to hold all of the stuff that you will catch. Collapsible bags that are light and compact but open up to large size would be great to pack for this purpose.
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Accessories and Necessities
I would advise clothing with close-able inside pockets and/or a hidden money belt. Crowds, crowds, and more crowds. Float parades draw a lot of attention. But they also draw your attention away from your belongings. Making them a prime areas for pickpockets and such.

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Toilet Paper 
A port-o-potty in the area is very likely not to have any or if there is it will be wet. Hotels will NOT let you in to use the bathroom, same goes for restaurants. Take note.

Hand Sanitizer
For bathroom breaks and many many other uses during the trip

A Small Flashlight
Port-o-potties don’t have lights either. And it can come in handy in hotel room or on the road

Small bottle of water
Important to stay hydrated, especially if consuming alcohol

Extra batteries/chargers for cell phone, camera, and all other accessories that light up

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Sunglasses


Did You Know?:
Why does Mardi Gras fall on different dates each year?
The date of Mardi Gras changes every year because it's connected to Easter, which can fall on any Sunday between March 23 and April 25. Mardi Gras is always scheduled to take place 47 days before Easter.

Do I need to buy Mardi Gras beads and merchandise before my visit?
Not unless you are going to be a rider on a float. If you plan to watch the parades during Mardi Gras, you'll catch so much you won't be able to carry it all!

Related posts:
Keep Your Gadgets Safe While Traveling
How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling
Cruise Travel: Gadgets and Accessories on our South America Trip

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