I have a passion for travel. You could say it even runs in the family! My sister worked in the travel industry and loved it and I enjoyed many of her great perks, traveling to popular vacation destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. So many people started asking me for travel advice that I started my own travel agency and never looked back. I'm so passionate about sharing my adventures and tips with my clients that I figured I should start a blog to share my favorite tips, pictures and more with even more people.
So fall really snuck up on me quick. Yes, I was ready for my kids to go back to school, but I wasn’t quite ready for the cold temperatures that accompanied their return. I also procrastinated and found myself paying more for school supplies than most of my friends. UGH.. I really need to find more hours in a day and plan a little better to save some money!
So, since my friend Farmer Mike and the Farmer’s Almanac have both predicted “Another Nasty Winter“, I figured I better start planning ahead and find some things to get ahead of the stir craziness that’s bound to happen. Here is a list of activities to do indoors with kids on the first snow day. I’m sure there are many others you would add to this list (and let’s be honest – we’re not past letting the TV babysit for a little bit, are we?).
Here’s another idea… screw winter (or at least for a few days) and head to the beach! After shoveling what felt like 100 times and having my kids’ school canceled for what felt like weeks, we finally planned a last-minute trip to Puerto Vallarta thanks to the help of some of my travel friends. You can bet this year a winter vacation (perhaps one with kids and one without kids) has already crossed my mind multiple times and this year I won’t wait to pull the trigger.
And speaking of pulling the trigger, there are lots of advantages to booking your winter vacation early. For one, many of the popular times to travel (Christmas, Spring Break and long holiday weekends) are already starting to sell out. And if you’re like most of my clients and hoping the prices will come down a bit and keep holding out, you may find yourself stuck in Wisconsin going stir crazy again.
If that’s not incentive enough, Funjet Vacations is now offering up to 60% off when you book by September 25. Plus, they’ve introduced a best price guarantee where just $10 more per person will guarantee you the lowest price on your vacation. They also offer some pretty rockin’ travel protection that allows you to cancel for any reason and get your money back – and by money, I mean money – not travel credits!
Best part of all, with nothing more than a simple phone call I can do all of the work for you (so you can turn your attention to remaining sane the other 358 days a year).
Life is short. Pack your suitcase! Chris
I’m a bit of contradiction when I travel. I like luxurious, all-inclusive resorts where I can be pampered (think massages every day and lounging on the beach while people bring me cocktails), but I also love to leave the resort and find authentic places to eat and visit within the area (think dive bars and flee markets).
My husband and I were in New Orleans with friends last summer (that place has the energy of Las Vegas x 20) and stayed at a nice hotel on Bourbon Street. We left our hotel and just kept walking one day. We met some great people and saw some interesting things. We could have eaten at Pacal Manale’s (which is apparently awesome) but instead asked every local we could find where they eat. The favorite restaurant of locals in New Orleans is Coop’s, so off we went. Best Jambalaya I ever had! I love meeting local people and eating local food.
Last week we packed up the kids for a family vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Thank you to the Riu Vallarta and the Marival Residence for hosting us. We really enjoyed both places for different reasons (and of course I got my pampering in).
Before we went, I did some research and found out about a fishing village only accessible by boat. Electricity has only been in this village for the past 10yrs. That was something I wanted to explore. We took a day trip from Puerto Vallarta and landed on the shores of Yelapa, a small village of about 1500 people. We sat on the beach and talked with the locals. My kids were amazed! There are a lot of lessons to be learned in a place like this. My 13yr old son watched other boys his age helping their fathers unload their goods from boats. My sons has chores around the house but never has he had to contribute to the level of helping so we had food on the table. This made him pause. My daughter was sad that people seemed so poor and were begging for money. This gave me the opportunity to share with them how fortunate they are. This is real! This is Mexico!
In my searches I came across the Yelapa pie lady, a woman who walks the beach with a Tupperware container selling pie. I bought some that she told me was banana. It had ham in it! So, my kids and I ate a banana and ham pie that came out of a green Tupperware container that reminded me of something my grandmother used to have. We bought trinkets from the vendors that walk the beach. We listened to stories about how it rains for 4 months out of the year so the entire town shuts down. No one can get in or out. I enjoyed the day in that village and wonder what it is like to live there so simply but with struggles we don’t understand.
So the next time you are somewhere, keep walking. Go as far off the beaten path as you can and are comfortable with. You will meet some amazing people and come away with some wonderful experiences.
Life is short. Pack your suitcase. And don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path!
This has a been a very long winter in Wisconsin. Even though the first day of spring came and went, the temperatures have yet to cooperate. Not helping the winter blues in the Terry household is that due to unforeseen circumstances this was the first winter of many that we didn’t head to a warm weather destination (sigh). Cabin fever finally got the best of me, so I packed up our suitcase and made the most of a couple staycations.
Over St. Patrick’s Day, we set off on an Irish journey… to Green Bay, Wisconsin. OK, we didn’t head to the Emerald Isle, but we did end up at St. Brennan’s Inn in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin – a quaint little Inn with a pub that served up great brew and traditional Irish fare. Just one week later, we packed our suitcase and headed off for a fun-filled family staycation in Madison, Wisconsin. Our first stop was Cheeseburger in Paradise (maybe a margarita and some Jimmy Buffet tunes were just what I needed), a new family favorite. We then spent the afternoon at Cave of the Mounds in Southwestern Wisconsin, the premier cave of the Midwest. Pretty cool, though the kids favorite part of the trip was probably the nice pool area at the Holiday Inn West.
As a travel agent, I always encourage people to get out and travel. As a mom, I can see how that is not always a possibility (or at least not the beautiful beaches, ocean breezes and margaritas). Whether a tropical vacation or staycation, I encourage you to find a way to get out and explore a new destination… make new memories. And of course, find time for a margarita somewhere along the way!