Guest Post – 6 Second Honeymoon Destinations

 

travel, caribbean destinations, honeymoon

 

Just the mention of the word ‘Honeymoon’ and one thinks of romance, excitement and fun! A honeymoon is such a beautiful experience, why have it just one!  Don’t stop at your first honeymoon, take a second, third or fourth.  Every couple deserves a honeymoon and one that doesn’t break the bank. Furthermore, it’s nice to get away from the normal routine of every day life and spend some time alone with your partner. Many couples struggle to find alone time, especially as kids come into your life and responsibilities multiply. Because alone time strengthens and cements the relationship, it should be important to every couple.  

Taking a second honeymoon can be accomplished economically. The trick is to plan in advance and choose a destination that offers the excitement you are looking for within your set budget. Here’s our pick of Top 6 Honeymoon Destinations That Are Exotic Yet Inexpensive:

SIKKIM

Sikkim, is a popular honeymoon destination in India. It is a place that offers a plethora of rich and beautiful experiences for its travelers. The rich culture and natural beauty adds a magical and an exotic experience to the trip. Enjoy the peace and serenity awhile you delve into the history and mouth watering local cuisine. You can spend days just soaking up the multiple facets of Sikkim.

 THAILAND

Thailand is a beautiful beach honeymoon destination that thrives on tourism. It should come as no surprise that it’s always buzzing with activity. Thailand has it all. If your idea of the perfect holiday is lying on the beach, a sports adventure, shopping or just plain relaxing, you can find in Thailand. It’s budget friendly, and offers a multiple choice of accommodations and entertainment. 

Did you know that Thailand offers destinations with pristine waters and exotic natural beauty? You can choose between being secluded from the world by surrounding yourself with water or stay in the middle of the city. These pros make it an amazing holiday and honeymoon destination. You can try your hand at its many water sports and adventures and/or gorge on delectable seafood and local cuisine.

 KERALA

Kerala in India is well known for its backwater and massage experience. Combine the two and you have the perfect honeymoon destination! Furthermore, imagine soaking up the sun while nestled in a houseboat or sipping on sweet and pure coconut water. A professional masseuse will help you unwind by soothing stressed joints and limbs.  Isn’t the thought is divine!  While you’re there, indulge in some guilty food pleasures and also marvel at the natural beauty.  If you’re feeling adventurous, visit some of the beautiful temples.

 BUDAPEST

A European delight! Budapest is small, but oh-so-beautiful! The chain bridge across the river, the ruins, the castle and the multiple shops are filled with life and energy. Together they offer an experience that will leave you asking for more! The thermal spas are a popular getaway for the locals and a must for every traveler in Budapest. You can choose from a variety of hotels, B&B’s, and motels. It’s a beautiful mix of peace and energy!

 PORTO

If you are looking for a Europe holiday, Porto city in Portugal is the perfect place to be! It’s full of culture and a marvelous experience for  travelers. The rich history, warm people, great food and serene natural beauty add to the holiday experience. Flourishing vineyards and exotic wine flavors may be just the thing that you and your partner may revel in! Expect to be floored by the richness of culture and activity; yet spend time relaxing and just be lazy!

Now you have our picks for the 6 Second Honeymoon Destinations. Start planning an adventure full of love, romance and rejuvenation with your better half now!

 

About the Author: Tejaswi Bhagavatula

An avid biker, published author and a regular blogger who has written for sites like Huffington Post, Life Hack, Better India, Times Network and more.

 

Bearoy Back Seat Organizer Review

 

car organizer

 

car organizer, backseat organizers

How many times have you taken a road trip and you’ve ended up struggling to reach an item or you have a screaming child in the backseat who wants something. I travel frequently. Sometimes I drive and other times I fly. Either way, I’m on the road to my destination or the airport. If I’m traveling with my grandchildren, one or the other ends up wanting a snack, drink, electronic device or some other object that I can’t reach from the front seat if I’m driving or can barely reach if I’m a passenger.

When I was contacted to review the Bearoy Organizer I jumped at the chance. I had actually been shopping for an organizer and tray, so the timing was perfect.  This is a picture of the organizer hanging in the backseat of my car. I love that the 8 year can easily access the organizer and retrieve items for both him and his sister when needed.

 

Image-Car-Organizer

 

This is an up close of the organizer in the back of my car. As you can see, the organizer is a nice size and holds lots of items.  I grabbed the items that I normally take to keep the children occupied when I’m driving.  There’s a drink for the 8 year old, the 4 year old has a cup holder on her car seat, but there is room for both of their cups.  I love the pockets, they’re insulated so drinks will stay cold. or baby’s bottle warm. 

I have the Kindle in the picture, but it’s large enough for the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy too. We normally carry 2 Kindles and either the Samsung tablet or iPad. The pocket has an opening on both sides to plug in headphones or a charger. I love that feature. The kids run down every electronic device that they can get their hands on. We always have a device on a charger. I have a charging station in the console of the car and truck, so the side openings are perfect. I also love that I can keep the tablets in a central location, and not wonder where they are later. 

Lets not forget snacks.  Lemon Heads and peanut butter crackers are a must. Books will easily fit into the bottom pocket.  I pack coloring and reading books as well as crayons for the little one. There’s also 3 pencil holders for pencils, pens and markers for the 8 year old, he loves word search puzzles. 

If your wondering about the fit, don’t. The organizer fits over the headrest and adjust easily. I highly recommend the Bearoy Luxury Backseat Organizer. 

Note: I received the Bearoy Organizer in return for this review; however, all opinions are my own.

 

18 Places To Travel Off Season

vacation destination tips


I love to find travel bargains.  Off season travel gets you the most bang for your travel buck.  So, I start planning my summer vacation off season.  Planning is essential. Deciding where I want to go, and then coming up with a ball park figure on how much it’s going to cost are essential in my planning.  As a result, I look for places that have great deals off season.  Enduring crowds is bearable, but my preference is for the crowds to be small and the prices reasonable when I travel.

So, I put together a list of 18 Places To Travel Off Season and when the best deals are offered:

New York in January – It’s the city that never sleeps. You can find great shopping, Broadway shows, sight-seeing, and dining in so many places.  For example, Harlem, Manhattan, China Town, Soho and the list goes on.

Montreal in February – Brush up on your French.  Because Montreal is considered to be cosmopolitan and is the second largest French speaking city in the world.  Also, it is second only to Paris.  Montreal is known for its museums, shopping and great food.

Italy in March – Rome, Sicily, Naples, Venice, and Milan are places that I wish to see.  Milan is famous for it’s designer shops and Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper.  Also, there’s the canals in Venice.  Italians are known for great pizza and pasta too. 

Rio de Janeiro in March –  Rio is known for it’s world famous Carnival, beautiful beaches, and the infamous Sugar Loaf Mountain. 

Rocky Mountains in April –  You can enjoy the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.  This includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico in the U.S.  The mountains are approximately 3,00o miles from Canada to the U.S. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are popular in April. 

Australia in May – If you like wildlife, Kangaroo Island is the place to go.  Additionally, you can meet sea lions on the beach, kangaroos, koalas, penguins and more on the beach.  Furthermore, you can also snorkel, dive or swim on one of the beaches. While you’re there, head to the Australian Alps and spend your time hiking.

Lake Tahoe in May –  Either North or South Lake Tahoe will suffice.  The choice is yours. Lake Tahoe borders the Sierra Nevada, state borders of California and Nevada. Tahoe South is great for skiing, boating, bike trails, and bar hopping.  Tahoe North is great for biking, hiking and golf.  Either way you will enjoy this freshwater lake surrounded by beautiful mountains and alpine trees.  Lake Tahoe is the 6th largest lake in the United Sates.  Great family vacation spot.
 
Dallas in June – If you’re a Cowboys fan, this is a perfect city to visit.  And there’s plenty of beef and history in Dallas too.  To name a few, Sixth Floor Museum and Southfork Ranch, which is about 25 miles north of Dallas. 

Thailand in June Thailand is located in Southeast Asia’s Indochina peninsula. Known for its tropical beaches, royal palaces, ancient ruins and displays of Buddha.  Add Asia to your vacation list.

Palm Beach in July – Great beaches, shopping on Worth Avenue and a tour of celebrity homes.  Howard Stern, Tiger Woods, Serena & Venus Williams, and Rush Limbaugh are a few celebrities living in the Palm Beach area.

Caribbean in July – Choose from the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas or Aruba to name a few. Turquoise water, white sandy beaches snorkeling, diving and great food for reason enough to vacation in the Caribbean.  

Las Vegas in August –  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  There’s plenty to do in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. Gambling on the Las Vegas strip, catch one of your favorite celebrity’s show, visit Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon or the Colorado River.

New Orleans in August –  Looking for a diverse city with plenty of French, African, and American cultures?  Head to New Orleans.  It is located on  the Mississippi River and near the Gulf of Mexico.  It provides plenty of action around the clock.  Likewise, if you like it hot, there’s plenty of spicy food to be found there as well.

Martha’s Vineyard in September Martha’s Vineyard is only accessible by boat or air. Namely, vacationers head to Martha’s Vineyard for its beaches, lighthouses,  farmland, and celebrity sightings.

Vancouver in October Known for whale watching, Grouse Mountain, ziplines, Capilano Canyon  and horse dawn carriages.

Riveria Maya in November – Riviera Maya extends along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from Puerto Morelos to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.  Notably, its beautiful white beaches and the bluest water that you can imagine is a major attraction too.

Napa Valley in December –  San Francisco has hundreds of vineyards.  Take a ride on the infamous Napa Valley Wine Train.  In fact, it’s actually a restaurant in vintage Pullman railcars with views of the vineyards.

Finally, select your dream destination and start planning your next vacation today.  Most importantly, you can save hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars traveling off season.  Pack light and enjoy your time relaxing and enjoying the sights.  What’s your dream vacation destinations?   

 

 

Amish Country: Quilts, Transportation & Great Food

The Amish

 

This is Part II of my posts on the Lancaster, PA, The Amish community.  Today I’ll be focusing on art, great food and unique transportation used by the Amish. Lets start with the quilts. I consider them a work of art. Finding beautiful quilts in Lancaster is not difficult. You can find them in shops or hanging on clothesline in the backyard.

First, Sylvia’s Quilts, in Bird In Hand.  It is one of my favorite places to visit.  I’m always in awe of what awaits me on her front porch and clothesline. Her quilts are handmade and flawless.  Furthermore, they start around $500 and up.  This type of artwork doesn’t come cheap.  Amish women invest hundreds of hours making quilts.  So, it is not uncommon for a mother and daughter to work on a quit together during the winter.  Also, it’s a great way for widows to occupy themselves during winter months.  Once you have admired the artistry outside, head inside her shop.  You will find hundred of quilts in every size as well as wall hangings, fabric and more.

 

Amish, Amish quilts, Amish handmade quilts, Dahlia quilt, Lancaster PA quilts

Dahlia

 

amish quilts, Lancaster Pa quilts, spinning star quilt, Sylvia's Quilts

Spinning Star

 

Additionally, murals can be found on the side of various buildings in Lancaster. This particular mural was on the side of a business in the Kitchen Kettle Village.  Quite frankly, I think it sums up Lancaster nicely:  yesteryear, rolling hills, and the warmth of beautiful art.

 


 

 

 

 
Most importantly, the main mode of transportation for the Amish is the horse and buggy.  Additionally, they use scooters and do plenty of walking.  Just like an automobile, their horses are groomed and brushed to perfection. You will spot several types of Amish buggies and wagons.  As a result, they have buggies for every day transportation.  They have buggies for church or wagons that are used to pickup supplies and the harvest.

Most of the buggies are black; however, the Lancaster Amish drive gray buggies as well.  You will find brown buggies in New Wilmington, PA. and yellow buggies in Mifflin County, PA.  However, the Nebraska Amish drive white buggies. In addition to horse and buggies, scooters that are used by youth and adults can be purchased for a starting price of $200.00.  Although they are not allowed to own motor vehicles, they are allowed to ride in cars, buses and trains.  No airplane rides are allowed.
 

 

Amish, Amish Shetland Ponies, sheltland ponies


And you can also find the unexpected in Lancaster.  What’s the chances of finding mules in that order or a young Amish boy riding a miniature pony up and down the road.   There’s definitely photo opps in Lancaster.     

Now if you’re hungry and you’re near the Kitchen Kettle Village, check out the Kling House Restaurant.  It’s located in Intercourse, PA. It’s a great place to eat lunch.  Somehow, I’ve never managed to get there in time for breakfast.  But the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch.  Depending on what you’re craving, their sandwiches are great.  And they have a nice selection of salads.  You should know, the restaurant was actually a farm house.  And the surrounding area acreage. The front porch, living room, dining room and office remain a part of the restaurant. Service is great and so is the ambiance. I was lucky enough to get a seat by the window.  Saturday’s are great days to watch the action.

In addition, across the street from Kitchen Kettle Village are a few vendors that sell pizza, wings, Whoopie pies etc. The wings alone are worth the trip.

Furthermore, the smorgasbords in Lancaster are worth a trip.  If you have a hardy appetite, check out Bird In Hand, Millers and Shady Maple buffets to name a few.  They serve everything from Prime Rib to homemade apple pies. Oh, the apple pie alone is worth the trip.

 


Not far from the Kling House Restaurant in Kitchen Kettle Village is Lapp Valley Farm. Their specialties are homemade ice cream and kettle cooked potato chips!  Because I have a weakness for kettle cooked potato chips, I always buy a bag to munch on later.  In Lancaster, Whoopie pies are big among the Amish. Unfortunately, they are little too sweet for my taste.  So, I leave them for others to enjoy.

Finally, I hope that you have been inspired by The Amish series.  In the future, I will be posting on fall foliage, places to stay & more in future posts.  Until then, you may also like Why You Should Visit Amish Country.









Why You Should Visit Amish Country – The Home and Farm

 

I spent the week-end in Lancaster, PA recharging my battery and admiring the Amish.  Regardless of the time span between my visits, I always find it to be peaceful. First, who can’t use a little peace in their life, right. We may recharge our batteries and seek peace in different ways, but we all need to stop and take action at some point.
Next, watching the Amish and their way of life causes me to pause. The fields of corn, horse and buggies, roadside produce stands, handmade quilts and the slow pace take me to a peaceful and simple way of living. They are gentle people with a deep belief in God and family above all else. Furthermore, they have a deep sense of community and helping their neighbor without the distraction of modern technology. Most importantly, they are self-sufficient, independent, and they take care of each other. They pay taxes, but no welfare or social security benefits for their community. They have no desire to integrate into our society, their lifestyle is a choice.  Plain and simple is their motto and they live it.
During my visits, I’ve taken tons of pictures and I thought I would share some of them with you in a two part post on the Amish and their lifestyle. This is Part I  – The Amish Home and Farm.  Before the Amish Home and Farm became a tourist attraction, Amish and Mennonites families lived in this house for many years.

 

 
Because most Amish families are large, most have 7 or more children, Amish homes are usually quite large.  When parents get older they remain at the home.  They usually stay in another home on the property called a Dawdi Haus.   The second home can also be used as a guest house.  The Amish take care of each other life.  Rarely is an Amish person put into a nursing home or sent elsewhere to live.
Furthermore, the Amish are a deeply religious community.  However, they don’t attend churches as we know it. For example, families take turns hosting church service at their homes. The picture above shows an Amish living room that has the furniture removed.  The host family removes the furniture and replaces it with benches.  Or, benches are set-up barn or buggy house on the property.
Benches are placed on both sides of the room. Women sit on one side and men on the other.  So, benches are placed on both sides of the room.  German is the official language of the service.  After the service, lunch is served.   Everyone socializes while the children play.  Sunday is the day of worship, so only the basic chores are done at home.  Therefore, businesses are closed. Visiting neighbors is high on the list for the Amish on Sundays.
 
There is no divorce in the Amish community.   The women take care of the home, husband, children and kitchen gardens.  The men bring home the money, work the fields and take care of the farm animals.  There are some Amish men and women who work outside the home or farm.  They own businesses such as making furniture, storage sheds and yard furniture.  Additionally, they also work as waitresses, in factories or other jobs with the English, non-Amish. I own 2 storage sheds built by the Amish.  Their work is superior.
Those who work on the farm are ready to go at sun up and stop working at sun down.  As a result, they eat a hearty breakfast before heading out to the fields.  Normally, they return around noon for lunch and again for dinner. They usually start their day at 5:30 am and are in bed by 8:00 or 9:00 pm.
The above picture is a typical Amish kitchen. Appliances are powered by propane gas.  Lights, faucets, sewing and washing machines, as well as blenders and mixers are powered by compressed air. As in most homes, the man sits at the head of the table and his wife to the right of him. The oldest child sits on the opposite end of the father. There are no pictures of family or children hanging on the walls, Amish do not take pictures. They do hang quilted wall hangings, a framed list of their children and their birthdays, framed puzzles etc.
 
Amish serve hearty meals.  They typically preserve hundreds of jars of vegetables, fruits and meat during the canning season to feed a family of 9 or more during the winter months. They are masters at baking bread, pies, and cakes.  Fortunately, they are able to grow their own fruit for jams, jellies, pies and cobblers as well as vegetables in their kitchen gardens. Their gardens and flower beds are meticulous. You won’t find a weed in them. The children start in the morning pulling weeds to ensure that nothing distracts from mom’s garden.  They butcher or use Amish butchering shops for their meat. Self-sufficiency and being experts at it is the name of the game.  And the Amish know how to play. They are astute at making things happen.
Amish women are experts at sewing and quilting.  They do the sewing for the entire family.  Furthermore, they make their own dresses and aprons, pants and shirts for their husbands and all of the children’s clothing.  Additionally, they also make quilts, diapers for infants and a host of other items. Most prefer the old Singer treadle sewing machines shown above.
They do shop at local stores such as Wal-mart for plates, glasses, and other home goods as well as undergarments, socks, hosiery, Birdseye diapers/pampers etc. Most stores provide hitching posts for their horse and buggies while they shop.
 
 
This is the typical wardrobe for Amish girls.  Dresses are muted colors and calf length.  Muted colors include: pink, green, purple, blue, brown and black.  However, no prints are allowed.  Prayer coverings are black or white. And are pinned onto the solid colored dresses.  Hook and eye closures can be used, but no buttons.  Prayer caps are white and heart shaped. Shoes are black.  I have seen the Lancaster Amish wear sandals, Crocs, sneakers or go barefoot.
 
Girls wear a white prayer cap around age 9.  A black bonnet can be worn over the prayer cap.  In the winter, a black cloak is worn.  The black bonnets may be worn without the cloak, but the black cloak can’t be worn without the black bonnet.  Also, Amish women do not cut their hair.  Amish women are not allowed to wear prints or jewelry, not even a wedding band.
 



This is a picture of a nursery or small child’s bedroom in the Amish home.  They have the usual furniture that you would find in a nursery: a crib, rocker, changing table and dresser.  What I didn’t see was a bottle warmers, mobile or  baby monitors.

 

I bet this changing table is worth a mint.  It was heavy and study.  The hardwood floors are the wide planks and absolutely beautiful.  Amish women take their ability to keep house seriously.  As a result, their homes are spotless.

 

This is the typical Amish boy’s room. The boys wear black pants that hit about the ankle.  Their shirts are muted colors with snaps and hook and eyes.  The pants are worn with suspenders, but they have no zipper.  Instead, hook and eyes are used.  On Sundays, the boys and men wear black pants, white shirts, black vests or jackets.  Married men grow beards without a mustache.

 

This is the typical dress of a married Amish woman.  Her aprons are black instead of white.  Her husband’s clothing, is the same as the boys.
Another fact is, Amish women usually give birth at home and are assisted by a mid-wife.  However, they can use a birthing center or hospital if they desire.  

 

 

It looks like an older son is replacing posts on the farm.  Also, he has several of his younger siblings on the wagon.  He made sure everything was in place after making each turn.  Amish boys work the fields with their fathers at an early age.  Women and girls also help if needed.  Usually, Belgian horses or mules pull the equipment.

 

Corn fields are abundant in Lancaster.  It is harvested in stored in the farm silo to feed the farm animals.  This young man above is handling a team of 6 horses.  The Amish are masters of their domain.   The women are subordinate, but equal partners in their marriage.  Women are involved in the daily operation of making the farm efficient and productive.  Many can be seen hand picking various vegetables or helping with the harvest.
Amazingly, the Amish still use wringer washers to do laundry.  Hanging clothes outside on a clothesline is still a part of their chores.  Once dry, they iron the clothes.
Most of all, Lancaster is a combination of things. For example, traffic, shopping malls, horse and buggies and endless rows of corn and other vegetables.  It’s a place where you can lose yourself in the simplicity of a culture.  The beauty of the farm houses and acres of rolling land capture your deepest senses.  Furthermore, it draws you into a life that can only be admired by those who are willing to put down their smart phones and laptops.  I admire their ability to persevere in the mist of modern technology.  Also, their calming affect takes me back to the days of running through the cool grass bare foot.  Eating homemade ice cream or drinking ice cold water from the hand pump down the lane when I visited my grandparents.  Oh, how I yearn for those days now.
Last, if you have an Amish community nearby and you haven’t visited, you should.  We can all learn from the Amish, and it’s a great family activity.  Additionally, you may also like:  Quilts, Transportation and Great Food.  
 
 

6 Tips To Save On Travel Food Budgets

When I’m traveling with my family, I have travel food budgets and it’s imperative that I stay within them. I look for ways to save on meals, but also ensure we have a great time. My grandchildren like snacks and sandwiches, but I’m also feeding adults who need meals that will fill them up and stick. Eating 3 meals out for 7 days can be expensive for a family.  I have a grocery store budget and an eat out budget. Here’s a few ways that I ensure we stay within the set budgets:  

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Kid’s Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printable – Part 2

 

Our road trip series continues.  We have 2 additional printables that we have added to our Scavenger Hunt. It’s as bright and colorful as the first scavenger hunt printable too. Children like to choose just like adults. If you have more than one child they may not be interested in searching for the same items. Who wants to hear over and over, I don’t want that one or I’m not going to be able to find those things before the hunt begins. Keeping children occupied during a road trip can be challenging. If you’re like me, you don’t want electronic devices to be the solution to everything.  Especially, when there’s so much more that we can be enjoying.

What’s the goal of the trip? Isn’t it to arrive at your destination safely, create great memories along the way and enjoy your time when you arrive. Why get into a struggle and ruin the memory while you’re trying to get there. Pouting, crying and unhappy kids can make the trip seem much longer than is really is.   Give each of them their choice of scavenger hunt printables, a snack, drink, and let the trip begin.

Searching for different items and trying to finish first makes the hunt exciting and challenging. Take their mind off of how long it’s taking to arrive at your destination by getting them focused on their surroundings. One of your greatest memories will be the kids searching for the items, the conversations you will engage in while hunting for them and the peace you will find by having happy children. Now that is priceless.

Print the game on stock game if it’s available.  Stock paper is heavier than regular copy paper, and won’t tear as easily.  Purchasing clip boards is a great idea too.

You may also like this game: Road Trip Print:  Scavenger Hunt Game – Part 1

Kid’s Road Trip Games: Scavenger Hunt

Place an X on each item that you find.  Good Luck!  

road trip games for kids

road trip games for kids

 

Family road trips can be exciting, but they can also lead to a barrage of are we there yet if you’re traveling with children. Kids will be kids, but it’s enough to drive you crazy at times. I don’t know about your children, but anything over an hour seems to be more than my grandchildren can bear.  That is probably typical of most children to be honest. To make things interesting, I created a series of kid’s road trip games.  In particular, Travel Scavenger Hunts and word search puzzles.

Kid’s road trips games are perfect.  Playing them allows us time to unplug and enjoy the beauty surrounding us.  Additionally, road trips are a great way for children to observe the country side and what’s happenings on the interstate and highway.   Observations can lead to questions and interesting conversations with children.  Road trips can be a great way to bond.  Most importantly, you can make the trip educational and also memorable for everyone.

For this particular road trip game, children will love looking out the window in search of items on the paper. We come across most of them during our trips, and we have so much fun trying to find the items. If we find all of them all before we reach our destination we have other games to play. My grandson does word search puzzles, hidden objects or we do another Scavenger Hunt in the series.  I don’t know who has the most fun me or the kids.

Purchase a few clip boards and pencil or pens before you hit the road.  Be sure to print out several copies of the games.  I like to print the games on stock card.  It’s heavier than regular copy paper and that makes it easier to use without tearing.  You can also have the games laminated for a few dollars.  If you like our Scavenger Hunts please share and feel free to print for your use. Stay tuned for other printables in my Road Trip series.  You can download the kid’s road trip games here

You may also like:  Kid’s Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Part II

These Dinosaurs Are Larger Than Life

dinosaurs, T-Rex, prehistoric dinosaurs

                                                                          Dinosaur Land

Looking for inexpensive places to visit before the kids return to school? If you’re planning a trip to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia take time to check out Dinosaur Land. It’s an inexpensive roadside attraction that has been around since 1962, and is a great place for photo ops with the little dinosaur lover. 

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9 Budget Activities In Virginia Beach

beach activities, Virginia Beach, vacation ideas

As a single mother budgeting has become second nature to me. This year I will be spending a few days in Virginia Beach with my grandchildren instead of taking them to Myrtle Beach as we normally do. Before I leave for vacation, I search for things to do to ensure we don’t get bored and find activities within my budget.  Many families think they can’t afford a vacation because they have to fund every activity for the entire week. Not true! 

There’s more to Virginia Beach than the Atlantic Ocean and miles of sand.  The key is to research free and budget friendly things for the family to do before you leave for vacation or your get away. Make a list of the activities and discuss them with your family. If it’s something they aren’t interested in, you still have time to do additional research before you arrive.  I searched the Hampton Roads area, which  includes Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Williamsburg and Hampton. There’s something for everybody.  Here’s my  9 budget activities in Virginia Beach: 


1. Naval Station Norfolk – See the world’s largest naval base. The base houses 75 ships and 134 aircraft  carriers, cruisers, destroyers, large amphibious ships, submarines, supply ships, airplanes and helicopters. In addition, the tour includes historic homes in the Jamestown, VA area. 



2.  Beach Street USA Entertainment – You can find laser and light shows to interactive adventures based on a theme or popular movies. You could be required to unravel a murder mystery, play other games or compete in contests. They also have nights where you dress up as characters from movies or watch a movie on the beach. Check out the site for activities of for day. 



                                                       photo from Virginia Legends 

3.  Virginia Beach Legend Walk – Free tour of Virginians who have made significant contributions to the country and/or world. Some of the inductee are Arthur Ashe, Patsy Cline, Katie Couric, Ella Fitzgerald, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson to name a few.  Great way to get a family conversation going on the inductees. 








4.  Virginia Beach Amusement Park – The Hurricane, Skycraper, Music Express and Comic Storm are a few rides that you will discover on the boardwalk. Great entertainment for the entire family. Park offers all day wrist bands too. 



                                                                                                                 photo from Mt. Trashmore

5.  Mt. Trashmore Park – A 165 acre park that has 11 picnic shelters of various sizes, 2 volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, a skate park, restrooms, outdoor fitness stations, concessions and fishing. If you have a driver’s license or other photo ID you can check out badminton equipment, football, Frisbee, horseshoes, volleyball and net, wheelchairs and more.  Great way to spend the day away from the beach and enjoy free activities along with a picnic. 


                                                                      photo from Jungle Golf 


6.  Jungle Golf  – 18 hole course with an air conditioned snack bar. 

                                                                                                              Photo from Ocean Breeze Water Park


7.   Ocean Breeze Water Park  – The park has over 30 rides, slides, and attractions and is located approximately 10 minutes from the Virginia Beach ocean front. Parking, sunscreen and inner tubes are free. Trams are also available to help you breeze your way into the park.

 

fireworks, 4th of july


8.  Firework Display – Ocean Front. Be sure to check the schedule for dates and times. 




9.  Hunt Club Farm – Check out the Petting Zoo and Pony Rides at Hunt Club Farm. They have chickens that are friendly enough to pickup, llamas, goats, peacocks, turkeys and many other animals. They also offer pony rides, a playground area and shaded picnic tables to enjoy a snack or picnic. The farm also sells homemade jams, jellies, soaps, candles and more.  

The fireworks displays are truly spectacular over the ocean.  My grandchildren love the petting zoo and pony rides at Hunt Club Farm. The boys love the Ocean Breeze Water Park too. Adults and kids can enjoy Beach Street USA entertainment. You can find something for everyone on this list without breaking the bank.