Going to the Movies in Mexico – How much does it cost?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

going to the movies in mexicoI thought it would be fun to do a quick post about the costs of going to the movies here in Mexico.  This afternoon, our family of 7, plus a friend of the girls, went to see The Croods, or Los Croods since the movie was dubbed in Spanish. Here is the breakdown of the costs:

8 movie tickets @ 40 pesos each, except today, Wednesday, is 2 for 1 = 160 pesos or ~ $12.96 USD

Traveling with Kids: Keeping them Occupied

Friday, March 29th, 2013

airportchild_plane

I don't know about you, but after planning a trip, the most stressful part is making sure everyone is in decent spirits during the travel time.  Little ones especially are not that great at delayed gratification, so being prepared is important. I hope you get a few helpful pointers in this post done in collaboration with Direct Holidays.

While the concept of a summer vacation is an exhilarating one, the actual travel aspect of the trip can be a little arduous at times when traveling with kids. It can create the first stress of the holiday if they start to play up on the plane or in the departure lounge, and nobody wants that as a precursor to their fantastic vacation.

Beach Heaven in Fuerteventura

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

fuerteventura

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my husband has been craving beach time. Growing up only 15 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and now living in a very dry central Mexico, I confess that a little time on the coast with some humidity would be nice.  I hope you like reading and dreaming a bit about the beautiful beaches of Fuerteventura Island in this post done in collaboration with Thomas Cook.

When it comes to finding an ideal location for a beach holiday, with all the sun, sea and sand you could ever wish for, you can't beat Fuerteventura.

Monarch Butterflies Sanctuary in Mexico

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

I think our family's fascination with butterflies began as soon as our oldest could talk.  She has always loved butterflies and even went so far to tell people, in her adorable 3 year old voice, that she wanted to be an entomologist when she grew up.  (That's a scientist who studies insects.  And no, that's not a typo…she could say that when she was about 3 years old!)

Top 5 Family Friendly Activities in Blackpool, England

Thursday, March 14th, 2013



450px-Blackpool_Tower_August_2008

England has been a top bucket list destination for our middle daughter for quite some time, but honestly, I didn't realize there would be so many family friendly activities outside the larger cities.  I hope you enjoy learning a bit about Blackpool and the places your family would enjoy on a visit there in this article done in collaboration with Travelodge UK.

Guadalajara Regional Museum – Museo Regional de Guadalajara

Monday, March 11th, 2013

On a recent trip to Guadalajara, we stumbled upon this neat museum right off the central plaza the Museo Regional de Guadalajara.  We got there fairly late in the day (because we never seem to get anywhere early) and were delightfully surprised.

The museum is in an old colonial mansion, complete with a lovely courtyard in the center.  The entrance fees were cheap.  If I remember correctly, the kids were all free, the Pilot was free with his student ID and I was 45 pesos (less than $4USD) and paid an extra 35 pesos (under $3USD) to be able to take photos…without flash.  And DO make sure you set your camera to the "no flash" setting because there are museum watch dogs all around to make sure you follow the rules. :)

Five Reasons Why Orlando is the Perfect Location for a Family Holiday

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Growing up in Florida, Orlando was one of those places I dreamed of going as a child.  When our family took the 4 hour drive to see Mickey, it was a BIG deal.  Now, decades later, Orlando has really grown into a tourist destination that surpasses pretty much everywhere, so I am excited to share this sponsored post that highlights some of the best reasons why you should consider Orlando for your next family vacation.


Orlando, Florida has it all. The weather is perfect all year round, the locals are friendly, and there are tons of great sights to explore and activities to enjoy. With 52 million tourists heading to the city each year, Orlando has quickly become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the US, a favorite, especially for those with families.

Let's take a look at five reasons why Orlando is the perfect location for a family holiday.

#1 – World Class Theme Parks
 
Cinderella's castle

Orlando is home to some of the greatest theme parks in the world. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Gatorland, and more are proud to call the city their home. 

SeaWorld Orlando also deserves a mention, as it ranks right up there with Orlando's best atracting upwards of 5 million guests each year. Here, visitors can ride roller coasters, explore massive aquariums, and see various shows starring dolphins, killer whales and other sea creatures set in over 200 hectares of sprawling parkgrounds. Aside from being one of Orlando's top theme parks, SeaWorld is also a zoological park, with most of the park's denizens consisting mostly of various species of marine life highlighted in a wide variety of exhibits. 

While all of Orlando's theme parks come highly recommended, Walt Disney World, the largest theme park in Orlando, is arguably the best. No holidays to Orlando would be complete without a trip to Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World itself is separated into four smaller theme parks, each with their own unique theme and set of attractions.

In the ‘Magic Kingdom’, visitors can enter the magical world of Disney and see Disney favourites like Mickey Mouse and Goofy come to life, while the magic of science and technology is on show in Epcot, a theme park dedicated to the celebration of human achievement. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the third of the four theme parks, visitors can explore the best of Disney’s Hollywood franchises, while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a giant animal conservation park spanning more than 500 acres, exotic animals can be seen roaming an Africa-inspired environment.

#2 – Family Friendly Museums

Orlando contains a number of family friendly museums that are quite fun to explore.

‘Ripley’s Orlando’, a museum dedicated to many oddities, gives visitors the chance to experience a sinkhole in person and are currently featuring some famous fertility carvings through Labor Day.  The ‘Orlando Science Center’, a museum dedicated to science, runs a number of entertaining exhibitions that detail recent scientific discoveries. ‘Titanic The Experience’, a museum about the Titanic, also gives visitors the chance to explore a replica of the famous ship complete with actors and actresses dressed up in period clothing.

#3 – Close Proximity to Nearby Beaches

cocoa beach
Orlando’s climate is perfect for spending time at the beach. Temperatures rarely fall below 75 degrees fahrenheit, the sun always shines and it very rarely rains. There are a number of wonderful beaches just a short distance away from Orlando.
 
Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach and Melbourne Beach are amongst the best and can be reached via a short drive by car. All three have long, sandy shores and waves that are perfect for surfing. Family-friendly Daytona Beach, with its hardpacked-sandy beaches, is a particular favorite, especially among visitors and tourists coming from out of town for a quick dip at the beach during the weekends.   

#4 – The Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral claim to fame is that it has been the launch site of every space flight from NASA since 1968. One of the top tourist destinations in central Florida, the Kennedy Space Center can easily be reached by car located just an hour's drive away from Orlando. 

At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor, families can expect see a number of exhibits, interactive displays, artifacts and memorabilia depicting the history of man's journey into space as well as a glimpse into the future of human and robotic spaceflight and learn more about how they actually work. Life size replicas of the International Space Center and the Saturn V rocket can also be explored, with ‘Habitation Modules’ that give an idea of what life is like for astronauts when they’re in space. A nearby Imax theater also gives the chance to relax and enjoy space based documentaries on a huge screen.

#5 – Orlando's Wonderful Water Parks

Water parks offer a more laid back alternative to the organized chaos and revelry of Orlando’s top theme parks. 

Walt Disney World has two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, that are filled with a wide variety of water slides and swimming pools and a slew of other attractions that kids of all ages will certainly love. Both occupy the top two spots, ranking first and second in that order, among the most visited water parks in the world.

Typhoon Lagoon also holds the distinction for having the world's largest outdoor wave pool, with the park drawing over 2 million visitors each year. Blizzard Beach meanwhile, with the iconic Mt. Gushmore and its three differently colored slopes, feature a multitude of rides, water slides and attractions some of which even allow guests to race one another along side-by-side slides before splashing at the finish line. Downhill Double Dipper and Toboggan Racers are two of the most popoular 'race slides' at Blizzard Beach.  

Other aquatic water park highlights in Orlando include Discovery Cove, a small ocean park that offers the chance to swim with dolphins, and Wet ’n Wild, a huge ocean park filled with water slides and other fun rides.

Conclusion

The city of Orlando’s motto is “built for families, made for memories”, and it’s certainly easy enough to see why. The city is full of family-friendly attractions and destinations that are sure to entertain both adults and children alike.

Make sure to consider Orlando when you’re planning your next family holiday. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Long term travel with kids

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

long term travel with kids

Maybe it's just the circles we're in now, but it seems like more and more families are exploring the idea of long term travel with kids.  Sure, everyone knows a young 20-something that's backpacked through Europe or hiked the jungles of the Amazon, but what about families?

Is it possible or even worth it to travel for extended periods of time with your kids?

We think it is!

Long term travel with kids can vary widely depending on what works for your family or your budget.  Here are suggestions of ways you can do it, based on our own personal experiences and the experiences of our friends.

Gift Ideas for Kids

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Warning:  This might sting a little bit.

gift ideas for kids

I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past week or two.  There have been days as we've traveled that we wondered if our children were getting much out of this new life.

I think it's good to take a step back every once in a while and consider how things are going in life and whether you're achieving the goals you have for your family and yourself.  We don't always meet our goals in the time frame we like, but one BIG thing we wanted to change about the way we think has made some progress.  It is something that is hard to notice on the surface, but a simple question has revealed the answer we'd been hoping for.

Keeping up a holiday tradition while traveling

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

One of the most "different" things about traveling long term is how we incorporate holiday traditions into life.  This is our second Christmas outside of the US and we've found ways to keep some traditions alive.

One holiday tradition I miss about our new life of travel is decorating the house and the Christmas tree.  We had tons of ornaments, garlands, ribbons, a manger scene, handmade stockings and even one of those little Christmas villages with an ice skating rink.  I know it is totally impractical to travel with those kinds of things, to only use them once a year, but it was such a treat to enjoy them when we had them.