Top 5 ways to save BIG at Disney!

5 ways to save at Disney

Who doesnt want to take a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth? Ill wait, haha. Although everyone dreams of going to Disney, it can get quite expensive, fast. Looking back, I think of all the ways I couldve savedBig time!

Use a Travel Agent

I always suggest that people use a travel agent that specializes in Disney as their 1st tip for saving money. A travel agent that specializes in Disney makes it their priority for you to have the perfect fast passes, dining reservations and more on the day your booking window opens. To say they plan your trip while youre sleeping is an understatement. The best part? Travel agents are FREE! Let me plan your trip, just fill out my form here.

Plan Early!

Although Disney does run promos, they get booked fast! Even if youre unsure of your travel dates, still make a deposit, your agent can change your itinerary at any time. Did you know you can make payments on a Disney vacation? You can pay any amount youd like at any time until your trip needs to be paid in full, which is 45 days before your arrival date.

Dining on a Dime

Im not saying to skip Disney dining completely, there are a few restaurants you dont want to pass up! One way my family saves on food is packing snacks. Yes, you can bring your own food and water into all four parks! We usually buy bulk packs of chips, cookies, granola bars and more for a quick bite. Eat a small breakfast, bring a Banana for the monorail ride! Believe it or not most meals at Disney are shareable, And if you have a small appetite for kids meals will be your go to, and a drink comes with it! Also, all dining locations will give you unlimited free cups of water, I suggest to bring your own reusable water bottle to get more bang for your buck.

take you own pictures

Be Your Own Photographer

Dont worry, youll still get everyone in the picture! Disneys Photo package (Memory Maker) purchased in advance cost $150 or $199 in the parks. Without Memory Maker, the professional photographers will still take your camera/phone and take your families iconic picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle! You do still have the option to purchase unforgettable ride photos at the end of your trip for a much lower cost.

Top 5 Ways to save BIG at Disney

Choose The Right Resort

Staying on Disney property has SO many perks. It gives you free transfers to and from all parks and Disney springs with buses arriving every 20 minutes. Staying on site also gives you extra hours in the parks and early access to booking things like fast passes and dining reservations. However staying off-site can be more cost-effective for some families, with all of the options your travel agent can help you with your concerns like budget, safety, cleanliness, directions, and transportation.

These are a few of my top tips for doing Disney, Id love to share more with you. For a free quote and to see how a travel agent can save you time and money, Im your girl. Simply complete this quick form and Ill get back to you faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

College Football Hall of Fame Tour #CFBHALL

College Hall of Fame
Photo Credit: College Football Hall of Fame

With three boys and a husband in the house, football isn’t just a sport, it is a way of life! The games, the plays, the snacks and the history-making moments make it easy to understand what my guys love about America’s pastime!

Hall of Fame
My boys were incredibly lucky to get a chance to visit the College Football Hall of Fame in Georgia, and this is a one of a kind experience for fans of all ages! This three-story building is packed full of College Football history, interactive displays and more. It is centered in downtown Atlanta near the Centennial Olympic Park World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, and CNN Center. If you are looking for a great way to relive some of the greatest moments in college football and take in the best moments of the game with your family this is the place to visit.
The College Football Hall of Fame is so much more than just a museum, it has tons of college trophies, artifacts, interactive displays, event space and an indoor field. It is a place you can visit time and time again with your family for history, for celebrations and a chance to play! Recommended visit time is 2-3 hours, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Quad with Helmets
On the day of your visit, you are able to activate your game day pass or all-access pass at the registration desk to cater to your favorite college football team. Your teams’ helmet that is displayed on the Quad wall with over 750 helmets lights up giving you a one of a kind interactive experience while visiting the museum.
College Football Hall of Fame Open Field
The College Football Hall of Fame has a 47-yard line indoor football field that my boys went wild for. They had so much fun playing on this! This part of the museum is every college football lovers dream. Here you are able to put your skills to test, have a chance to kick a field goal, throw a football over the uprights, catch a few passes, and work on throwing the ball through the targeted nets. The boys really enjoyed this! The kids are able to do it as many times as they want, which made their experience greater. There are always activities, games, or events going on daily here. My husbands favorite feature besides the football field where he also tested his skills, was the quad, we found all of those helmets to be quite impressive and all the interactive displays.

With over 50 interactive displays the overall experience is one of a kind. You have to be there to be in it. Get up close and personal with the 52-foot, touch screen wall that features photos and clips of players, cheerleaders, and mascots. Next, you’ll definitely want to check out the Game Day Theater. This 10-minute film is designed to have you on the edge of your seat the moment “The Game of Your Life” comes on the screen. There are coaches, players and game-day footage from all the different teams, that makes you wish College Football was 365 days a year. It does get pretty loud while watching the film but it makes you feel the rush of those players and coaches getting ready to take the field on Game Day.
Hall of Fame Football Hall of Fame
The next attraction you’ll see if the Coca-Cola Fans’ Game Day. You’re able to experience the cheers, chants, see first hand the dedication these fans have. As you walk through you’ll see storied traditions, tailgating, mascots, cheerleaders, the rivalries that have been going on for generations. Be ready to sing karaoke to your favorite teams’ fight song, show off your team colors with digital face painting, and take a seat beside Desmond Howard and Rece Davis as you read a televised script at the ESPN College GameDay desk. We each sat down and read the script and watched the playback of how we would look and sound on tv. These recordings are downloaded to your game day profile and available for viewing and downloading later.
gamedaydesk
Walking on through the museum you get to see, listen and read about how it all began. You are able to read the history of different teams, about the coaches, players, their college life, the uniforms from when football first started to today’s uniforms. It’s a really neat experience. Visiting the third floor is an honor to see all those inductees in the Hall of Fame. Read the history of their accomplishments.
Raising boys who love football it makes you think that this could be your son one day playing for a team or coaching on the sidelines. What would their life be like in college playing football? It is an amazing experience for anyone, any age,  no matter your experience or knowledge of the game. By the time you leave, you will know a lot and see a lot that makes you ready for your team to step back on the field.

Year round, there is always a good time to visit the College Football Hall of Fame. They offer game day parties, family-friendly celebrations and seasonal events in addition to all of the great history and fanfare that awaits you inside the College Football Hall of Fame.
Admission is affordable for families with adult tickets retailing for under $22, kids under 3 are free. They offer a discount for kids, students and free admission for the military!
College Football
This was an impressive trip for my family. We had a great time and want to especially thank Sharode for giving us a tour. We had a chance to see a lot of cool memorabilia and learned so much about the history of the game. We would recommend this to other football-loving families that are in the area or come to the area! Stop by the Chick-fil-A window and pick up some lunch while you visit the museum.
College Football Hall of Fame
Connect with College Football Hall of Fame on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram 
Be sure to check out all the Upcoming Events page.
Disclosure: Southern Carolina Family received complimentary all-access passes to the College Football Hall of Fame. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

5 Family Summer Vacation Must Haves

family at beach on vacation

Packing the entire family for a trip, no matter how short, is no small feat. It takes days of planning, strategic suitcase space coordination, and triple-checking that nothing is forgotten. Add to that any special needs like inhalers, medication, favorite toys and swimsuits, food for the picky eaters and any other necessities, and you have a lot of work ahead of you. But before you start to put it all together, first place these five things in the suitcase, because they are your ultimate summer holiday must-haves.

beach photo with pineapple and sandals

Sunscreen

Summer means high temperatures, a lot of time outside and, of course, scorching sun. And while the kids (and yourself) might enjoy the endless hours spent outside in the sun, without proper protection, it’s going to be a long night of applying aloe vera and yogurt on the burns. A few tubes of sunscreen is all you need to protect yourself from this. Get something with a high SPF and long-lasting effect, and even if it says it lasts for several hours, reapply it approximately every two hours. If you will be spending time at the beach or a river bank, make sure the sunscreen is water-proof. Apply it in your room before you go to the beach so that you can go right in the water, without waiting for it to first sink into the skin.

Good footwear

There is nothing that can ruin a vacation faster than uncomfortable shoes that will give you blisters. And, especially if you are going to a beach, you don’t want your kids running around barefoot, because there can often be sharp rocks, junk and even broken bottles in the sand that they can cut themselves on. Check out some Birkenstock footwear to find comfortable sandals for the whole family, and wear them around the house for a few days before the vacation to make sure they are comfortable and fit properly. If you are going on a camping trip or into unpredictable terrain, then a pair of closed shoes or good sneakers is a good idea as well.

Swimsuits

As in, plural. We all like spending time on the beach in a swimsuit, but when you and the kids get out of the water, you want to take them off as soon as you can and put on something dry. Ideally – another swimsuit. Make sure everyone in the family has at least two so that they can have one on while the other is drying off. You can bring even more, but if you wash them before going to bed, they should be dry to take with you the next morning, so two is perfectly plenty.

first aid kit

First aid kit

There’s no need for too much explanation. Besides the kids’ basic medication which we mentioned earlier, you should also be ready for any potential injuries during the trip. Your first aid kit should have sanitizer, bandages as well as ointments for burns and irritation. Make it small enough so it can fit in your purse and go wherever you go because kids tend to get hurt at the most unexpected times.

Food containers

Unless you’re going to a very remote place or driving for a long time, you probably won’t be taking food for your entire vacation. But eating out all the time is expensive and not the best option either. Your best bet is to go to a grocery store and then prepare food for the day in your hotel room. And to avoid using too much plastic, bring your own reusable food containers, so that each person has their own box and organization goes a lot smoother.

A fun family vacation should be enjoyable for all parties involved. The kids should be able to have plenty of time to have fun, and you should have time to relax. Check that the place you are traveling to is a kid-friendly vacation spot and that there will be things to keep them entertained. Make sure you make the vacation a mix of fun, relaxing and learning, so that it is both fun and educational, especially if you are traveling to a new place with interesting culture and history. Now make sure all of the passports are packed and set an alarm pretty early because the last thing you need to make sure you packed: all of the family members in the car.

 

About Guest Author:

Peter is a parenting and lifestyle writer for Voice Boks and Joyful Source magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

 

 

Traveling With Kids Must Have Essentials #StreamTeam

Traveling with Kids

It’s those four dreaded words we hear constantly while traveling with kids that annoy the crap out of parents, “Are We There Yet?”. I am sure most of us would be rich if we got a dollar for every time we heard those words. This year I want to be prepared while traveling for the holidays with the kids in tow. I am making sure to pack some very entertaining, keep quiet while traveling must-haves. Check out my list below to see if some of the things I pack are on your list too.

  1. Tablet or Device to stream Netflix and games.

  2. Snacks and Drinks that are mess free. (Juice Boxes, Chips, Cookies, Gold Fish, Candy, Sandwiches)

  3. Fidget Spinners to keep even the adults satisfied.

  4. Headphones

  5. Reading and coloring books

  6. Travel size pillow and blanket

No matter if it’s for your littlest one, pre-teen or anyone in between, there are Netflix shows for everyone in the family to pack in their carry-on. And it’s not just Netflix originals, check out the ‘Available for Download’ menu on the Netflix app on your mobile or tablet device and browse all of the titles available to take with you whenever and wherever you want.

For Little Ones:

For Big Kids:

For Pre-Teens:

For Parents:

Sound familiar? The official Netflix Family downloads jingle is taking a page from the infamous melody of the Orange is the New Black theme song. While vacationing may be easy, getting there is hard, and being trapped in the car on a family road trip can feel like being in Litchfield. This cute and relatable parody will have you humming along for the whole ride.

23% of parents in the US say one of their main concerns when traveling is keeping their kids entertained. With the holidays just around the corner, parents can look to offline viewing on Netflix to keep everything, and everyone, under control while on the go. From the tried-and-true shows you can rely on like Beat Bugs and Luna Petunia to calm any meltdown, to discovering new show obsessions like PJ Masks, Netflix downloads are a must-have travel essential for parents and their kids.

So when it’s time to go on a trip together, one thing is for sure: when Netflix at home becomes Netflix on the go, everyone stays content, engaged and, most importantly, NOT bored. How does Netflix keep your family sane and entertained while on the go?

 

*Disclosure: I was provided with a product and yearly subscription to Netflix. Come back every month to enjoy more family, kid-friendly movie listings and ideas on how you can enjoy too.*

Connect with Netflix to stay up to date on the latest movies and tv shows plus other goodies available on Facebook | Twitter

5 Tips for Eating Healthy and Staying Active While Traveling

Whether it’s your favorite road trip or jet setting for business or pleasure, it can be challenging to eat healthily and stay active while commuting. Transfers, jet lag, different time zones or adapting to new cultures can all affect our routine. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when planning your next trip.

The best diet plan for traveling.

It may be overwhelming to stick to your eating plan especially when you are eager to experience a new culture when traveling. Your best bet is to keep it simple.

A good plan should include fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of water and healthy snacks will keep you feeling light and less bloated/sluggish when abroad.

Let’s explore 5 ways you can accomplish this:

1. Plan Ahead

While it may be convenient to buy handy foods and drink during airport layovers, it would be better to prepare your own snacks, etc., to tide you over without compromising your eating plan. Choices can be trail mixes (dried fruits, nuts, seeds), pre-cooked organic cereal packs, tea bags, raw vegetable sticks, sandwiches and bottled water.

It may also be useful to do a little research on your destination and the choices in accommodation. For Example:

• What are the popular types of food of that particular destination, and how are they prepared/served?

• Choose accommodation that includes facilities for food preparation

• Check for healthy food markets and restaurants closest to your intended accommodation

2. Stick to the basics

Yes, you may be excited to explore different foods and cultures while traveling, but bear in mind that uncontrolled eating just because you are abroad can compromise your healthy routine.

• Aim to keep it simple. If you are not sure of the contents of meals on offer look for simpler options. Whole foods such as baked potatoes, instead of French fries, fresh salads, and cooked vegetables may be healthier than foods loaded with cheese, sauces, etc. Fresh fruits and a handful of nuts can round off a meal perfectly.

3. Remember your water

One of the dangers of traveling is adapting to changes in temperature, especially in tropical climates. Staying hydrated at all times is a must! Water will help keep your skin hydrated and regulate your body fluids. Adequate supplies of bottled water will help reduce any bloating/ swelling/water retention that can occur on long trips. Eating fruits that have a high water content can also help keep you hydrated; watermelons and cantaloupes and a good drink of fresh coconut water if available will certainly keep you cool!

4. Get Adequate Rest

When abroad, you may also be tempted to skimp on sleep by staying out late or watching television far into the night. This may work for a while if you are on a pleasure trip, but for business travel where you may be attending seminars during the day, or making presentations, maintaining your regular sleep patterns (ideally 8 hours) will ensure that you stay focused and energized on your trip.

5. Keep it Moving

Staying in shape is another challenge while traveling. It may be easy to adapt the mindset that you are on holiday and there’s no need to rush, hence the tendency to lounge around and take it “easy”. But staying active will help maintain your fitness levels, and avoid a possible slump when you return home.

A few practical ways to keep fit on your trip:

• Walk, walk, walk. This is a good way to explore your new surroundings and keep fit at the same time without even thinking about it!

• Stretch! A few stretches when you wake up will minimize stiffness and minimize your arthritis joint pain, especially after a long trip.

• Take advantage of the gym or pool at your hotel if available. A short workout or a dip in the pool will help keep you relaxed and rearing to go!

• Explore! – Hiking, cycling, beach ball, etc. are other great activities to keep you fit.

Conclusion

Maintaining your healthy eating and keep a fit routine while traveling does not have to be complicated. Planning ahead, making wise eating choices and finding simple, yet unique ways to stay active will certainly keep you calm and enhance your travel experience.

References:

http://www.cancer.org/latest-news/eat-right-and-stay-active-while-traveling.html

Author Bio:

Kathy Mitchell is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of Beauty, nutrition, and general wellness. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal. She is regular Contributor at Consumer Health Digest. To Know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tips for Calming Your Child’s Worries About an Upcoming Trip

Tips for Calming Your Child's worries about an upcoming trip

For busy parents who never seem to get a chance to sit back and just take a moment to breathe, booking a vacation can act as that much-needed break from reality. While you as the parent may be counting down the days until you leave with sheer excitement, kids can feel a little different about the situation.

For many kids, the idea of traveling, especially if it includes flying, can be the cause of worry and anxious feelings. As a parent, it will be your job to identify that they are feeling a bit worried, and then use different techniques to help calm them down. To help you with the process, here are some simple tips you can use.

Discuss the Trip During the Planning Stages

While some kids may be perfectly fine with a surprise last-minute trip, others need time to let it sink in. For those kids, it’s a good idea to include them in the planning stages and talk openly about the travel plans from the start.

Tips for Calming Your Child's Worries About an Upcoming Trip

When discussing the plans, the focus should be on all the activities and fun that the destination offers. For example, maybe you are planning an adventure-themed holiday in Whistler, BC and plan to stay at the Blackcomb Lodge. While discussing the plans, it’s a good idea to point out all the positives about the destination. It will give them something fun to focus on, rather than worries.

You can discuss the skiing and snowboarding opportunities, the indoor pool at the property that the kids can enjoy even if the weather is lousy; all the cool shopping and restaurants just outside the hotel’s doors, and the Family Adventure Zone filled with activities and more. You are trying to replace their negative thoughts with positive ones instead. This technique is called “re-directing”, and it can be used any time they start to worry or stress out.

Think About Their Comfort While Traveling

Another tip is to put yourself in their shoes and think about what would help them feel comfortable while traveling. Maybe that would include bringing a couple of their favorite books, a tablet with their favorite movies pre-loaded on it, a travel board game, etc.

Lead by Example

Your kids look to you as an example of how to act and feel, so if they see you acting stressed out and frazzled, then they will feel they should be too. If you are the perfect picture of calm and stress-free, then they will figure there is nothing to get upset about.

Pack Medication Just in Case

While one can hope that all these techniques will be sufficient, the fact is that they may not work for every child. This is why it’s a good idea to pack travel medication just in case. Look for something that targets nausea and motion sickness which is meant for kids, such as Kids Gravol. These types of medication can often leave a child feeling a bit drowsy too, which can help them get through traveling.

Don’t Let Worries Hold You Back

Just because your child gets worried and anxious about traveling doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead with your plans. Instead, make use of these techniques and create a worry-free situation for all.

Disclosure: This blog received a form of compensation for this publication. All opinions are my own.

 

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