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Archive for the ‘vacation’ tag

August 15th, 2014 at 11:25 am

Planning A Staycation


A great way to save on vacations all year long is going on a “staycation.” A staycation is when you stay in your own town or somewhere closeby to have your family vacation. This cuts costs by eliminating the need for expensive airline tickets and hotel stays. Plus, you get to sleep in your own, comfortable bed! Staycations can also be quick overnights that don’t require extensive stays at a hotel or resort.

Visit local museums

Try Geocaching

Go to the movies or a play

Visit a nearby zoo, aquarium, or amusement park

Rent a boat or other water sports items

Take a hike or bike ride

Go fishing

Go to a sporting event

Go camping

Go mini golfing, go karting or other fun things you would do on vacation

Eat out and try some new places

The most important part is to RELAX just like you are on vacation. Let chores go for the week, put away the computer, and put down the phone! Take time to reconnect with your kids and spouse so you can laugh and talk and create memories! Be sure to get the camera out and document all the fun you have!

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July 1st, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Book Not-To-Miss Vacation Excursions on Peek

peek icon

Getting ready for a vacation? There are lots of easy ways to book flights, hotels and rental cars online, but what about booking the things that make the trip truly memorable? What are the best things to do and how do you get them arranged ahead of time? Try

Peek is a new site that makes it easy for you to see what great fun activities and excursions are popular at your destination and lets you reserve your tickets before you leave home.

Walking tours, water sports, museums and sporting activities are just some of the options you can explore and decide on while planning your trip. There are also testimonials from well known folks and Peek community members on how they love to spend their time at places like Washington DC, Cape Cod, New York, Cancun and Orlando.

Tired of the beach, the pool or the theme park? Perhaps there’s something you’ve never done before that would be a thrill to try. Ziplining? Kayaking? Ghost tours? Activities like these could make it your best vacation ever. I recently spent a day off in Austin and I can testify that my Bridge Bat kayaking tour was the absolute coolest thing I did. Who knew?

Peek is fairly new so the content isn’t as comprehensive as it will be over time, but if your destination is there, it’s an excellent way to get the inside scoop on the best things to do so you can come back refreshed and rejuvenated. And hopefully with some really good stories to tell.

Download the IOS app here. Can’t wait for the Android app.

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January 27th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Packing for Children

imagePacking for children isn’t that hard if you are organized. You simply need to face the fact that kids need a lot of stuff and will require your extremely efficient packing skills.

First, you need to go to this site and check out these incredible packing lists. There are lists for packing with children and adults in different circumstances. This is a great way to start before you have even packed an item.

I also wanted to share some of my thoughts on what to bring or not bring and things to think about.

Bathing Suits - If you are going someone where a bathing suit is involved , you truly need more than one per person. Hanging them on the shower curtain rod overnight just doesn’t dry them fast enough. With boys, you can always use trunks as a pair of shorts if needed too!

Washer & Dryer - Lots of people stay in condos that have washer and dryers available. If you will have access to these, take this into account when packing. No one wants to do laundry while on vacation, but it saves a lot of packing room if you do a quick load part way through your trip!

Toys - think about what toys give you the most bang. What will keep the kids attention the longest. My boys have always adored our tablets and phones. These can be a life saver in a airplane ride. Purchase some new games and that will be even more exciting for them! If you are going to visit the beach and want beach toys, visit the local dollar store once you get there to buy some. Leave them with another family on the beach on your last day!

Baby items - leave the jumper, high chair and more at home. A trip may mean more mommy holding time for the baby, but saves you from the gazillion things that you use on a daily basis.

What are your packing tips for traveling with children?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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July 5th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Unplugged (except for the sky apps)

I was fortunate to spend the past week on Cape Cod with my family, both immediate and extended. We had fabulous weather and some spectacular beach days. It was so great to get in that vacation mode and unplug.

Getting out from behind the laptop and phone is very liberating. It does take a couple of days to get used to leaving the phone behind and stop checking email. But doing that and instead spending time with loved ones is a great way to get back in touch with the offline world. Goodbye technology, hello sand, surf and sun. It was nice.

One of the greatest things about the Cape is the night sky. With no city lights the sheer number of visible stars is awe inspiring. Problem is, beyond the dippers and Orion’s belt, I can’t identify much of what I see. Horses? Hercules? Fish? Not seeing it. So I did turn to technology to assist me here. There’s a couple of different apps I tried out to help me decipher the constellations.

First I tried a free app for my Android called Google Sky Map. Holding the phone up to the sky, my son and I were able to match the patterns on the screen with what we were seeing above. It was great. At last, I could make out Hercules from a seemingly random grouping of stars.

Then I tried another app, this time on my ipad. It’s called Star Walk ($4.99 for ipad, 2.99 for iphone). It has great graphics and is really nice with the bigger screen. Whichever you choose though, it’s an excellent way to really appreciate the heavens. And it’s a lot of fun. I recommend laying down if you can. Your neck gets a little tired from looking up.

What was most fun though, was being on the beach and having time to just be. Gazing out at the ocean, catching sight of a whale, flying a kite, watching horseshoe crabs scurry about in the lagoon (made me wonder if the inventors of the Roomba got their inspiration from watching them), and just being with my family was such a welcome respite.

And as I stood at the edge of the ocean and my feet sank into the sand with every incoming wave, I couldn’t help but think that there’s no app for this. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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