Archive for the ‘ Travel ’ Category

American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach in Clearwater Beach, FL

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the seventh in a weekly series of special travel deals. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.

THE DESTINATIONHyatt Regency Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Beach, Florida

Between the Intercoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico, this pink-hued resort with spa, rooftop pool, and three restaurants stands tall on a spacious beach — an idyllic locale for spectacular sunsets. Looking for a fun day trip? St. Pete’s Beach is a little over 30 minutes south and features a sweet zoo where you can feed rhinos and giraffes. Plus the entire area is famous for fresh seafood, cool museums and miles of sandy shoreline.

BOOK IT! From $259; you can check your travel dates online at ClearwaterBeach.Hyatt.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! With the BABY14 package, enjoy a welcome amenity of sparkling cider and chocolates; full daily breakfast for two; guaranteed late checkout at 1 p.m.; and valet parking (resort fee included). Other restrictions, as well as specific book-by-and-stay-by dates, may apply; call 800-233-1234 for full details.

Before you leave, check out these tips on traveling while preggers!

Traveling Pregnant
Traveling Pregnant
Traveling Pregnant

 

Add a Comment

American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the sixth in a weekly series of travel deals we’re offering our Parents.com fans. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.

THE DESTINATION: Congress Hall, Cape May, New Jersey

This grand landmark hotel, open since 1816, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in a town famous for its stunning Victorian homes.

BOOK IT! From $158; you can check your travel dates online at CapeResorts.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! Book the Over the Moon, Baby! package (use Babymoon2014 as the code) by May 21 for a stay before June 30, from $255 a night on weekdays to $350 a night on weekends. You’ll get a 50-minute prenatal massage, a T-shirt for you and a bodysuit for Baby-to-be, an in-room movie, extra pillows, stash of gossip magazines, mocktails for two, free valet parking, plus a $25 “craving credit” (about a $500 value). Other restrictions may apply; call 888-944-1816 for full details. Pay special attention to these blackout dates you can’t book: April 18, 19, 25, 26 as well as May 23, 24, and 25. Have fun!

And once he’s born, use these tips to give Baby his own special massage!

How to Massage Your Baby
How to Massage Your Baby
How to Massage Your Baby

 

Add a Comment

American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Bacara Resort & Spa

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the fifth in a weekly series of travel deals we’re offering our Parents.com fans. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.

THE DESTINATION: Bacara Resort & Spa, Santa Barbara, California

With Pacific Ocean surf swooshing on its sandy shore and the Santa Ynez Mountains as backdrop, this swanky hideaway showcases four restaurants, two pools, plus gardens for strolling.

BOOK IT! From $350; you can check your travel dates online at BacaraResort.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! Our PKGBBY special (make sure you mention the code) includes a 50-minute prenatal massage at the spa at Bacara, a private pool cabana, breakfast for two, and valet parking, all of this for $684 midweek (normally a $811 per night value) and $784 on weekends (plus a $25 daily service fee, which covers WiFi). Other restrictions may apply. Call 877-624-6033 for full details.

Before your trip, center yourself with some prenatal yoga! Learn the basics.

Prenatal Yoga: An Introduction
Prenatal Yoga: An Introduction
Prenatal Yoga: An Introduction

Add a Comment

Top 5 Things To Do With Preschoolers at Disney World

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

“Would you like me to sign your book?” my 4-year-old says, speaking for the Cinderella figurine in her hand. “Oh, yes, please, this page right here,” I say, handing her a block, which represents my autograph book, and a teeny Lego, which is “my pen.” Phoebe and I are playing “meet the characters,” a new game she created, because, as you might guess, our family just returned from Disney World. I love how she brought the magic home with us.

This was my third trip as a parent to Mickey’s world, but Phoebe’s first. Each of my older two daughters, Lucy, 8, and Eleanor, 6, also first visited Disney World as preschoolers, so I can say from experience, it’s a perfect time to go. This time, Disney invited us down to experience what’s new for its youngest park-goers. Here’s what not to miss:

Character Dining! Your little guy loves Jake and Doc McStuffins? He can meet them both (and get his autograph booked signed!) at breakfast or lunch at Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine inside Hollywood Studios. Princess Sofia and Handy Manny are there too, and the food is scrumptious (divine French toast). My advice: Book early for 8 a.m., so that you can then hit up the awesome rides for preschoolers in the morning before the park fills up.  Extra character dining advice: Kick off trip with a character meal on the day you land. This is a great way to get into the vacation spirit, and it’s easy to pop into another resort after you check-in, no ticket to the parks required. During our first visit, we loved  Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at the Grand Floridian Hotel. My daughter got to hug Cinderella within hours of our arrival in Orlando! After that: Go to bed early! You want to be at the park before it opens the next day!

Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland! As soon as the park opens, stroll directly to Fantasyland, located right behind Cinderella’s Castle. It’s preschooler heaven and you want your preschooler to experience these attractions when her energy is high and crowds are low. Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea—Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Princess Fairytale Hall are the three we did first with our princess-crazy girls. However, we also adored Goofy’s Barnstormer Rollercoaster and the famous Dumbo—the Flying Elephant, both of which are in the new Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland. The old-fashioned carnival atmosphere is a blast. Insider secret: If your little one is feeling overwhelmed, take advantage of the Baby Care Center, located by The Crystal Palace. They welcome more than infants! Cool off and recharge with the helpful staff.

Magic Kingdom’s Parades! My fave two: The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is brand new for 2014 and happens each afternoon. Frozen’s Elsa and Anna lead the way! Hello, Frozen mania! Plus, you’ll see Maleficint’s fire-eating dragon and Mickey and Minnie in a hot-air balloon. The evening event is the Main Street Electrical Parade, which showcases lights on every float, costume, and character. Of course, the only way your preschooler is going to enjoy this nighttime spectacular is to carve out downtime in the afternoon. Plan to see this attraction on a day when you do a morning at the park, the afternoon by your pool (or napping in your room!) and then return after dinner.

Any ride on a boat! It’s old-fashioned magic. You sit down in a boat, which is floating (in water, inside!) and you’re moving through a river into a completely different world. These attractions are transporting for preschoolers, and if you’re a grown-up, you also know that they’re high-load rides, which is code for “the lines move fast.” Boats can hold lots of people, while other rides have cars that hold up to three passengers. Top boat picks: “It’s a Small World” at Magic Kingdom and at Epcot: Grand Fiesta Boat Tour, Maelstrom and Living With The Land.

Hollywood Studios! The park may be famous for the Tower of Terror ride for big kids, but Hollywood Studios definitely knows how to enchant smaller ones. Besides the Play ‘n Dine character meal we attended, we went to Disney Junior Live on Stage. This 25-minute show (check your day’s schedule for times) features all the big players from Mickey Mouse’s Club House, Jake, Doc, and Sofia. Next, go see Voyage of The Little Mermaid and ride Toy Story Midway Mania! The Toy Story attraction ride is super popular, so you may want to do that when the park opens or use a FastPass+. Finally, don’t miss the amazing Beauty and The Beast—Live on Stage. It’s like going to a Broadway show that’s 25 minutes long, the perfect length for a preschooler (and perhaps for you!). You get all the dazzle of costumes, song and story without an intermission.

My husband and I loved watching our girls get their autograph books by their favorite characters, but make sure you also savor downtime—like finding all the hidden Mickeys in your hotel, swimming in your resort pool (the Art of Animation pools rock!) or just chilling in your hotel room with your new Frozen toys. We bonded as a family, and I’m so glad we didn’t overschedule our days. We’ll definitely go back, and in the meantime, we’ll keep playing “meet the characters” at home.

PS Magic Kingdom won our 2014 FamilyFun Travel Awards!

And print out our packing checklist for little kids for your next vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment

Tags: | Categories: GoodyBlog, Travel

American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Omni Mount Washington Resort

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the fourth in a weekly series of travel deals we’re offering our Parents.com fans. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.

THE DESTINATION: Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Since 1902, this gracious New England property has been a beloved getaway for presidents and celebrities who want to be pampered.

BOOK IT! From $299 (plus $25 resort fee) including breakfast; you can check your travel dates online at OmniMountWashington.com.

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! Book our AMBABY package and also receive dinner for two, a private carriage or sleigh ride, fresh flowers and a container of both Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter & Lucky Legs Cooling Serum for $459 plus $25 resort fee. Other restrictions may apply. Call 603-278-1000 for full details.

Stressed about stretch marks? Watch this video for tips on preventing and treating them now.

Pregnancy Skin Problems: Stretch Marks
Pregnancy Skin Problems: Stretch Marks
Pregnancy Skin Problems: Stretch Marks

Add a Comment

American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the third in a weekly series of travel deals we’re offering our Parents.com fans. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them. 

THE DESTINATIONDolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Pismo Beach, California

On the rugged coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this all-suite property offers full kitchens in every room and a pool that overlooks the Pacific and its heavenly sunsets. Take a day trip to sightsee in Big Sur or take a tour of the famous Hearst Castle from your homebase at Dolphin Bay.

BOOK IT! Daily rates start at about $395; you can check your travel dates online at TheDolphinBay.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! The resort created a Babymoon Special for us that includes a one-bedroom oceanfront suite, a 75-minute prenatal massage, and $100 restaurant credit at Lido at Dolphin Bay.  The package price is $600 a night or $1,000 for two nights. This offer is good through December 2014, excluding holiday periods and weekends in June, July and August. Other restrictions may apply. Call 800-516-0112 for full detail or go here to book this deal

Keep fit and have fun all 40 weeks of your pregnancy; watch this video for a bit of motivation!

Pregnancy Workouts: How to Stay Motivated
Pregnancy Workouts: How to Stay Motivated
Pregnancy Workouts: How to Stay Motivated

Add a Comment

My Family’s MSC Cruise Adventure

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Having a one-year-old, the last year has been an unforgettable string of “firsts” for my family. From Joey’s first smiles to first steps, we’ve celebrated all his big moments, and several special family milestones, too. The most recent came this winter when we flew to Miami and set sail on a seven-night Caribbean cruise. This was uncharted territory for us and I had my doubts we were ready to travel with the baby, but the invitation from MSC Cruises to check out their new ship, Divina, was too good to pass up—so we packed up and hoped for smooth sailing.

We were at sea the first two days of our voyage, which gave us plenty of time to explore the massive vessel with four pools, 18 decks, and 1,751 staterooms. Divina offers all the glitz and glam you’d expect from a ship inspired by Sophia Loren. Picture Swarovski crystal staircases, mirrors and marble surfaces galore, and rich velvet furnishings. Though Divina is flashy and formal in appearance, MSC Cruises is family-friendly (children sail free) and focused on giving even the smallest sailors the star treatment: A crew member dressed as Superman greeted Joey when we embarked, and attentive waiters at mealtime provided the much-appreciated distraction of cloth napkins expertly folded into adorable birds. In addition, Divina offers complimentary programming for little ones three and up and a cool teen space complete with a disco and waterslide. But for us, Baby Time—when we could let Joey loose in the Smurf-themed “Mini Club” as we supervised—was a highlight. His greatest thrill? The mushroom playhouse (just like Papa Smurf’s!) and slide.

My husband had a favorite spot too, the sports bar and bowling alley, where he could order a burger and catch a game. And my top pick, Aurea Spa, was—sigh—heavenly. The Balinese massage and facial was just the pampering this tired mama needed! Most of our time was spent together, though, lounging by the pool, enjoying a meal (we still talk about our steak dinner at Eataly and the pizza served up at La Cantina di Bacco is the real deal), or walking the outdoor track as Joey napped in his stroller and we sipped pina coladas, drinking in the view of endless sea and sky.

Divina made three stops along the way. At the first, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, we stayed close to port and explored alone, marveling at the crystal-clear aquamarine water. The next day in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we hopped on a bus tour, which was the perfect mix of sightseeing and leisure. We loved Old San Juan’s Spanish architecture and darling cobblestone streets, and the panoramic views from the historic San Cristobal Fortress. Our final stop, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, was a slice of paradise. We spent the day alternating between the shade of our clamshell and the water’s edge, where Joey had a blast splashing in the surf. This was our last day and it was the icing on the cake.

Our MSC cruise was the perfect rookie trip for my family. It was a fun, relaxing escape—another sweet “first” we will remember fondly, just like those smiles and steps.

Add a Comment

American Baby’s Babymoon Special: The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the second in a weekly series of travel deals we’re offering our Parents.com fans. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them. 

THE DESTINATIONThe Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island, South Carolina (just south of Charleston)

The Sanctuary Hotel occupies miles of wide, pristine beach lined with Carolina dunes. The resort, designed to look like a big Southern mansion, houses four restaurants, offers an Olympic-size pool, and boasts a famous golf course, plus plenty of trails for long, peaceful walks. This is a splurge destination for a couple ready to take a babymoon to remember.

BOOK IT: Rates are generally about $495 a night; check your dates online or call 800-576-1570.

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! They offer a two-night BLISS BEFORE THE BABY PACKAGE babymoon special; it includes a gardenview room; daily breakfast for two; one 60-minute prenatal massage for mom; one 60-minute classic massage for dad; one dinner for two at the Jasmine Porch restaurant; and a rose-petal turndown one night. The total cost of the package for a couple comes to $1,808 for the two nights, available April to August. Restrictions apply. Call 800-576-1570 for full details. Have fun! 

P.S. The second trimester is the best time to take a babymoon. Anyone who tries to tell you that you shouldn’t travel during pregnancy is spreading yet another pregnancy myth! Watch our video for more myths…and a crazy fact!

Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?

Add a Comment