Posts Tagged ‘ Travel ’

Your Kids’ Summer Essentials

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Summertime is right around the corner! But there’s always so much to pack and buy before the fun can start. Whether you’re prepping your little one for sleepaway camp, the beach, international travel, or just a trip to Grandma’s, we’ve got you covered! (Click on the pictures to shop!).

For the Little Camper 

Accessories: Your nature-lover will enjoy having a place to keep track of fun memories, friends’ contact info, and more in this journal with a woodsy design. (Chronicle Books, $10)

Games: A group activity like Mad Libs will be enjoyable for the whole cabin. (Ebeanstalk, $4) 

Tote: The duffel is a sleepover classic, but it’s also great for longer trips. This orange color makes it easy for your kid to identify his bag. (Paragon Sports, $45)

Don’t Forget: Stamps and stationery so he can send letters to friends and family (hey, snail mail isn’t dead!), fun snacks if he needs a break from camp food (as long as the camp directors say it’s allowed), and a note from mom and dad to dig out if a homesick moment strikes. Worried about kids’ belongings getting mixed up in the cabin? This camp-specific set of labels, on sale until June 30, is weather-resistant and will help him keep track of all of his stuff. (Mabel’s Labels, $40)

For the World Traveler 

Accessories: This notebook is tres chic! Your little travel companion can use it to doodle on the plane or make a list of must-sees. (Chronicle Books, $12)

Games: If you’re worried about overweight luggage, pack a lightweight card game that will keep kids occupied during long plane or train rides. Plus, kids will have a go-to activity if there’s downtime in the hotel room. (Diapers.com, $6) 

Tote: You may be traveling from destination to destination or have a ways to go from the airport to your hotel. A backpack is a practical way for kids to tote their stuff and pull a rolling suitcase at the same time. Make sure zippers stay shut and keep an eye out for strangers’ wandering hands so that nothing goes missing en route! (Amazon, $45)

Don’t Forget: That summer reading book (long plane rides are the perfect time for kids to tackle work), music and DVDs (plus headphones!) for additional entertainment, and chargers (plus country-specific converters) for all electronics. (Headphones: Sears, $25) 

For the Beach-Goer 

Accessories: Help her sun in style with this cheerful chair and umbrella set. (Hayneedle, $33). 

Games: Keep your little one occupied with a variety of toys to use in the sand. The multitude of options makes it easy to share with siblings. (Walmart, $21)

Tote: Kids can stash towels in this mesh bag which can later store wet swimsuits. (Paragon, $14)

Don’t Forget: It may seem like a no-brainer–but sunscreen is absolutely essential. Pack sunglasses to comfort sensitive eyes. This colorful lunchbox is cheerful and also keeps their snacks and drinks cool. (Paper Source, $23)

For a Visit with Relatives 

Accessories: A pillow will help keep little necks comfy in the car or on the plane and can double as a nighttime snuggle buddy if kids are wary about bringing favorite stuffed animals on vacation. Games: Grandma may not have tons of toys on hand, so be sure to pack some travel-friendly favorites! A game like Scrabble is fun for all generations. (Diapers.com, $19)

Tote: If Grandma is only a car ride away, you don’t have to be as concerned about weight limits and hauling hefty luggage. A canvas tote is a road trip must for keeping games, snacks, and books accessible. Plus, kids will love having their own personalized bag. (Grandin Road, $39) 

Don’t Forget: This vacation is all about relaxation and bonding time, so encourage your kid to choose some special activities to do with relatives. Is there a movie your daughter has seen recently that Grandpa would absolutely love? Rent it and bring it along to watch together! Is Grandma great at photography? Encourage your son to bring his camera so he can snap along with her. Is your little one curious about Uncle Jim’s life story? Bring along this ball filled with questions for kids to ask older relatives. (It  may help you learn more about your family, too!). (Walmart, $19) 

Have a wee one on board? Make sure Grandma and Grandpa’s house is babyproofed.

Babyproofing Your Home: Grammy¿s House
Babyproofing Your Home: Grammy¿s House
Babyproofing Your Home: Grammy¿s House

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American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Visit Personality Hotels in San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

This is the eleventh in a weekly series of special travel deals. It’s our last for now focusing specifically on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.

THE DESTINATION: Personality Hotels, San Francisco, California

Looking for an intimate urban getaway? This collection of boutique hotels in the Bay Area offers full-service accommodations, and each location has its own unique vibe, from art-deco inspired to sleek and modern. At any of them you’ll be only minutes away from the city’s best theaters and shops.

BOOK IT! From $179; you can check your travel dates online at PersonalityHotels.com

HERE’S THE SPECIAL! Personality Hotels is offering a super Pregnant & Pampered package at three properties: Hotel Diva, Kensington Park, and Hotel Union Square. For an extra $49, you’ll get sparkling cider on arrival, a cozy body pillow, a soothing massage therapy bar from Lush, a free ice cream sundae, a roll of Tums, a $40 coupon for a prenatal massage or facial, a copy of Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Green Toys’ play keys for Baby, and 20 percent off a future stay at Hotel Union Square’s Kids’ Suite or Hotel Diva’s Little Diva Suite. Other restrictions may apply; call 800-553-1900 for full details.

And in thinking about future outings with your baby, learn everything you need to know about investing in a Travel System. Also, check back next week for the start of our family vacation deals!

Meet the Travel System
Meet the Travel System
Meet the Travel System

 

 

 

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American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Visit the Inn and Spa at Loretto in Santa Fe, NM

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the tenth 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 DESTINATIONInn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This inn and award-winning spa has adobe-style architecture, kiva fireplaces, and Pueblo, Native American, and Spanish artwork throughout.

BOOK IT! From $179; you can check your travel dates online at InnAtLoretto.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! Readers can request the two-night Babymag special featuring the spa’s signature 365 Minutes of Bliss: Native Reflections Ritual (a sage herb blessing with a ritual bath soak, followed by a Sacred Stone Massage), a Zen Flower Organic Facial, a manicure and pedicure, a milk-and-honey wrap, and chakra balancing. You’ll also get a $100 hotel credit, a bottle of custom-blended massage and bath oil, and one robe-and- slippers set, from $1,365 (about a $2,400 value). Other restrictions may apply; call 866-582-1646 for full details.

While you wait for Baby to arrive, catch this mom’s birth story on how to push!

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke..."

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American Baby’s Babymoon Special: visit the La Quinta Inn & Suites Wellness Hotel in Trinidad, CO

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the ninth 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 DESTINATIONLa Quinta Inn & Suites Wellness Hotel, Trinidad, Colorado

Located midway between Denver and Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this pet-friendly hotel makes a perfect home base for picturesque drives, scenic walks, and visits to local museums.

BOOK IT! From $99; you can check your travel dates online at LaQuintaTrinidad.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! Ask for the Yes Baby! package created for AB readers. From $265, it includes a bottle of sparkling cider, a platter of chocolates and fresh fruit, breakfast for two in your two-room suite, an organic facial, and a classic teddy bear basket of newborn goodies for your baby-to-be (about a $400 value). Other restrictions may apply; call 719-845-0102 for full details.

To celebrate your soon-to-be mommy status, have fun making this Mother’s Day bangle bracelet!

Mother's Day Paper Crafts: Bangle Bracelets
Mother's Day Paper Crafts: Bangle Bracelets
Mother's Day Paper Crafts: Bangle Bracelets

 

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Where to Go on Vacation

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Turks and Caicos-Kids-The-Somerset-at-Grace-BayI may be the food editor at Parents, but like other moms and dads I read the magazine for parenting advice and product tips. When I opened the March issue a couple of months ago I devoured every word of Beach Bliss, my colleague Karen Cicero’s story featuring the 10 best Caribbean destinations for families. It was cold—really cold—here in New York, and I was ready to daydream about a warm holiday. But, one thing led to another, and before I knew it my family and I had booked a long Easter weekend at The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, the magazine’s top recommendation.

We’ve been home over a week now and I can confidently say that Karen had it right when she recommended Turks and Caicos. Here’s why:

The Sand and the Water: That sounds obvious, right? The beach should be a highlight of any tropical vacation, but Grace Bay is truly special. The sand is fine, white, and oh-so-soft. The sea was as turquoise as a swimming pool and just as clear. Most days it was also very calm, making it perfect for little ones to splash around in.

Turks & Caicos The SomersetFamily-Friendly Resorts: While numerous accommodations catering to a variety of budgets dot Grace Bay, we loved the beachfront Somerset. The suites were spacious (at least as big as our Brooklyn apartment, which I guess isn’t saying much…), with a well-stocked kitchen and washer and dryer. Water toys were available at the resort’s three pools; snorkels and flippers were free to borrow at the beach. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, and the pool-side pina coladas were pretty spectacular. Bonus: The resort offers a free Kids Club on weekdays.

Kids Can Play With Dogs: If your kids are anything like my kid, a dog is a big draw. About a 15 minute walk from the Somerset is Potcake Place, a charity that rehabs the island’s many stray dogs for eventual adoption. Visitors can play with the dogs and even take them out for walks on the beach. We played a couple of times with Happy, a sweet butterscotch-colored puppy. American families frequently adopt dogs they meet at Potcake Place, and not a day has gone by that my daughter hasn’t lamented the fact we didn’t bring home Happy. (Truth be told, I feel the same way.)

Easy Adventures: For older kids like my eight year-old, a boat tour is an exciting way to experience sun, surf, and sand. Top on our agenda was snorkeling, and we booked a half-day trip with Island Vibes Tours. Since Turks and Caicos is near the world’s third-largest coral reef, we saw tons of colorful fish and even a cool-looking lobster lurking in a small underwater cave. After snorkeling, we sped towards a deserted island nearby where small lemon sharks circled in the surf and endangered rock iguanas posed for pictures.

Turks and Caicos - The Conch Shack

My daughter with the dog we actually bought her.

Fun Food: As you would expect, fresh seafood is everywhere on the island, especially conch. Fried into fritters or chopped into a salad, this mild-tasting shellfish is surprisingly kid-friendly. For a full-on island meal, a staff-member at the Somerset suggested we check out Da Conch Shack, a relaxed restaurant literally on the beach. We sat at picnic tables with sand under our toes watching the sun set and inhaling conch hush puppies, jerk chicken wings, and fried plantains. We bought my daughter a small painted conch shell there, which is now her favorite souvenir from the trip, especially since we didn’t come home with a (real) dog. We’ll save that for our next trip to Turks and Caicos, which I hope will be very soon.

The Somerset is offering Parents readers a 25% discount on lodging and free continental breakfast on stays of three nights or more through August 31. Use the promo code PARENTS.

The 10 Best Beach Towns
The 10 Best Beach Towns
The 10 Best Beach Towns

Images provided by The Somerset on Grace Bay

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American Baby’s Babymoon Special: The Buccaneer in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the eighth 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 DESTINATIONThe Buccaneer, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

This legendary romantic island getaway, featured on ABC’s The Bachelor, is one of the longest-running resorts in the Caribbean. Couples can stroll the grounds set against three beaches or relax at one of the hotel’s two pools. The family-owned resort encourages guests to be active with a golf course, tennis courts, and guided walks.

BOOK IT! From $271; you can check your travel dates online at TheBuccaneer.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! Our new five-night American Baby package includes your deluxe oceanview room, daily breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi, a 55-minute spa service for each of you, a sunset sail, beach picnic basket, romantic dock dinner and more for $2,381 (about a $3,381 value). Other restrictions may apply; call 800-255-3881.

Want to wind down before your trip? Throw a spa-themed baby shower with these tips.

Baby Shower Ideas: Spa-Themed Party for Mom Expecting Baby #2
Baby Shower Ideas: Spa-Themed Party for Mom Expecting Baby #2
Baby Shower Ideas: Spa-Themed Party for Mom Expecting Baby #2

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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.

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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

 

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