While we’re waiting for those consistently warmer days ahead, the weather loves to play fickle! One day it’s sunny and 60 degrees, the next day we’re shoveling snow. The unpredictability of the weather can make it difficult to switch your seasonal wardrobe, so we’ve come up with some outfit ideas that can take you from winter to spring with ease. See our winter to spring style inspiration below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

This ice blue shade is all the rage this season, so wear it from winter to spring and get the most out of this trendy piece. In winter, style it with faux leather pants, ankle boots, and a faux fur vest. In spring, pair it with jeans, white sneakers, and a pretty pearl headband.

Headband
Sneakers
Jeans
Faux Fur Vests
Ankle Boots
Faux Leather Pants
Sweater
Headband
Sneakers
Jeans
Faux Fur Vests
Ankle Boots
Faux Leather Pants
Sweater

This feminine floral skirt is a great piece no matter what the weather is. When it’s cold, wear it with a cozy sweater, warm socks, and knee-high boots. When the weather gets nicer, style it with a button down, lacy bralette, and sweet sweater-style mules.

Flats
Bralette
Button Down
Socks
Boots
Sweater
Floral Skirt
Flats
Bralette
Button Down
Socks
Boots
Sweater
Floral Skirt

Take your LBD (long black dress) through all the seasons! In winter, pair it with a velvet blazer, velvet mules with jewel accents, and a jeweled belt. In spring, have fun with florals by adding these girly sneakers, a pink jean jacket, and a silky headscarf.

Belt
Mules
Blazer
Headscarf
Sneakers
Jean Jacket
Dress
Belt
Mules
Blazer
Headscarf
Sneakers
Jean Jacket
Dress

Tweed is super chic right now, and this style is perfect for transitioning from bleak chilly days to breezy mild ones. Wear it with a turtleneck bodysuit, bootcut jeans, and tweed slingback pumps in winter; and with a satin cami, midi slip skirt, and nude slingback pumps in spring.

Pumps
Slip Skirt
Silk Cami
Tweed Pumps
Jeans
Bodysuit
Tweed Jacket
Pumps
Slip Skirt
Silk Cami
Tweed Pumps
Jeans
Bodysuit
Tweed Jacket
closeup photography of white magnolia flowers

If you live your life on the go, it’s important to be prepared with some essentials that will ensure you never get caught in a bind! Keeping your car packed with travel necessities will help you be prepared in any emergency (big or small) that you might encounter. From hand sanitizer and toilet seat covers to first aid kids and tire inflators, these on-the-go essentials have got you covered! See our roundup below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Organizing all of your on-the-go essentials will be a huge space and time saver. You’ll know where everything is and keeping it all tucked away neatly will make sure you have ample room for other things like groceries, suitcases and weekender bags (and these handy packing cubes) when you travel, and storage boxes for equipment for sporting games or beach trips (or snacks)! Use this convenient trunk organizer (here is a similar style) for all of your little necessities.

First aid is a must!! In a travel bag, keep this mini first aid kit that comes with all the basics like bandages, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, gauze tape, and more! You can also keep any extras in here like portable phone chargers, rechargeable handwarmers, or this personal safety duo!

Fill another travel case with your sanitation essentials! We’re talking hand sanitizer, flushable wipes and toilet seat covers, and port-a-potty cleaning chemicals.

Someone is always in need of a tissue, whether it’s a runny nose, teary eyes, or a small booboo, tissues make the world go ’round. This stylish tissue box not only brings a little flair, it also fits in your cupholder for added convenience! Don’t have enough cup holders? Use these gap fillers that give you a couple extra cupholders and some more storage space, too.

And for bigger messes or spills, these microfiber cleaning cloths are a lifesaver! They are washable and reusable, and creating less waste (and saving money) is always a win!

Instead of throwing all your little trash (used tissues or wipes, gum wrappers, food wrappers) on the floor or at the bottom of your bag, grab this mini trash can and keep the messiness to a minimum!

And a very smart tool to keep in any car is this Halo Bolt which is an air compressor, jump starter, and battery charger all in one, plus it has LED lights!!

Some other handy essentials you can keep in your car include:

If you live your life on the go, it’s important to be prepared with some essentials that will ensure you never get caught in a bind! Keeping your car packed with travel necessities will help you be prepared in any emergency (big or small) that you might encounter. From hand sanitizer and toilet seat covers to first aid kids and tire inflators, these on-the-go essentials have got you covered! See our roundup below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Organizing all of your on-the-go essentials will be a huge space and time saver. You’ll know where everything is and keeping it all tucked away neatly will make sure you have ample room for other things like groceries, suitcases and weekender bags (and these handy packing cubes) when you travel, and storage boxes for equipment for sporting games or beach trips (or snacks)! Use this convenient trunk organizer (here is a similar style) for all of your little necessities.

First aid is a must!! In a travel bag, keep this mini first aid kit that comes with all the basics like bandages, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, gauze tape, and more! You can also keep any extras in here like portable phone chargers, rechargeable handwarmers, or this personal safety duo!

Fill another travel case with your sanitation essentials! We’re talking hand sanitizer, flushable wipes and toilet seat covers, and port-a-potty cleaning chemicals.

Someone is always in need of a tissue, whether it’s a runny nose, teary eyes, or a small booboo, tissues make the world go ’round. This stylish tissue box not only brings a little flair, it also fits in your cupholder for added convenience! Don’t have enough cup holders? Use these gap fillers that give you a couple extra cupholders and some more storage space, too.

And for bigger messes or spills, these microfiber cleaning cloths are a lifesaver! They are washable and reusable, and creating less waste (and saving money) is always a win!

Instead of throwing all your little trash (used tissues or wipes, gum wrappers, food wrappers) on the floor or at the bottom of your bag, grab this mini trash can and keep the messiness to a minimum!

And a very smart tool to keep in any car is this Halo Bolt which is an air compressor, jump starter, and battery charger all in one, plus it has LED lights!!

Some other handy essentials you can keep in your car include:

If you live your life on the go, it’s important to be prepared with some essentials that will ensure you never get caught in a bind! Keeping your car packed with travel necessities will help you be prepared in any emergency (big or small) that you might encounter. From hand sanitizer and toilet seat covers to first aid kids and tire inflators, these on-the-go essentials have got you covered! See our roundup below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Organizing all of your on-the-go essentials will be a huge space and time saver. You’ll know where everything is and keeping it all tucked away neatly will make sure you have ample room for other things like groceries, suitcases and weekender bags (and these handy packing cubes) when you travel, and storage boxes for equipment for sporting games or beach trips (or snacks)! Use this convenient trunk organizer (here is a similar style) for all of your little necessities.

First aid is a must!! In a travel bag, keep this mini first aid kit that comes with all the basics like bandages, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, gauze tape, and more! You can also keep any extras in here like portable phone chargers, rechargeable handwarmers, or this personal safety duo!

Fill another travel case with your sanitation essentials! We’re talking hand sanitizer, flushable wipes and toilet seat covers, and port-a-potty cleaning chemicals.

Someone is always in need of a tissue, whether it’s a runny nose, teary eyes, or a small booboo, tissues make the world go ’round. This stylish tissue box not only brings a little flair, it also fits in your cupholder for added convenience! Don’t have enough cup holders? Use these gap fillers that give you a couple extra cupholders and some more storage space, too.

And for bigger messes or spills, these microfiber cleaning cloths are a lifesaver! They are washable and reusable, and creating less waste (and saving money) is always a win!

Instead of throwing all your little trash (used tissues or wipes, gum wrappers, food wrappers) on the floor or at the bottom of your bag, grab this mini trash can and keep the messiness to a minimum!

And a very smart tool to keep in any car is this Halo Bolt which is an air compressor, jump starter, and battery charger all in one, plus it has LED lights!!

Some other handy essentials you can keep in your car include:

Traveling is one of those priceless life experiences. Getting to see and explore a brand-new place and create unforgettable memories is something you just can’t put a price tag on! While there are ways to be budget-friendly while traveling and make the most of your time on your adventure, taking a trip is always a yes in our book! Krista recently jetted off to spend time in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado. See her trip recap below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Seeing a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater has been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve debated over the past few years whether I just wanted to plan a trip and see whoever is performing when I go, but I decided that if I was going to travel all the way to Colorado for a concert, I was going to make it worth it! When my sister and I found out that one of our favorite bands, Hozier, was going on tour and that one of his stops was the Red Rocks, I knew this was my time to finally cross this item off my bucket list, and the planning begun!

We purchased tickets for his October 18th concert date and flew on an early morning flight from Philadelphia the day before! It was an easy direct flight with Frontier Airlines, and we arrived in Colorado on Tuesday morning around 8:30. We picked up our rental car and were ready to go!

We soon realized we were both starving! We knew we wanted to explore some of Denver, so we decided to try out The Lobby for brunch and this was an AMAZING decision. My goodness was this meal delicious – maybe we were just super hungry but between the drinks, apps and meals, it was the BEST meal we had (and we had some good ones on this trip). We both started with the Dirty Hippie, made with a vanilla chai-infused vodka, milk, and chai. It was perfection. For our starter, we ordered the Fried Green Goodness. It was made with fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese, pico de gallo, and a balsamic reduction. *Chef’s kiss* For our meals we shared Back in BLAT, a sandwich with thick cut bacon, avocado slices, roma tomato, artisanal lettuce, and aioli on sourdough; and Bubba’s Benedict, made with poached eggs, spiral cut ham, pimento cheese, English mun, hollandaise, fried onion strings, and breakfast tots. As you can see above, I obviously loved my drink and we were clearly starving…we ate everything! This was quite possibly the best brunch I’ve ever had, and my sister agreed!

We stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriot about 25 minutes outside of Denver in Parker, CO. It was clean, our room had two comfortable queen beds, and the town was very nice – plus free breakfast every day! Once we arrived, we checked out a bar across the street from our hotel and then decided to head back and just relax. This was the only downfall to an early morning flight – the early afternoon sleepiness.

We woke up the next day feeling so refreshed, and good thing because it was concert day!! We wanted to do some things around the concert venue, so we headed off to Dinosaur Ridge! It was an easy drive from our hotel and it was so cool! It is a paved pathway through a mountain where you can see real dinosaur footprints. There are choices for tours, or you can ride your bike or walk. We decided on doing the free one and walk our way through. I learned from my Vermont trip I took earlier in the month (read about it here) that sneakers are better to wear than boots, so this time I was sure to be in my sneakers! The main trail is a little less than a mile to the end, but you do have to walk back and you are walking up a steep mountain with no shade…luckily we had a beautiful day. The views from walking were amazing, and you could even see the tops of the Red Rocks Amphitheater! Throughout the main trail were smaller rocky terrain paths that you could take, but we decided to stay on the pathed roads. There were plenty of signs explaining what you were looking at and it was actually really cool!

After getting just a bit sweaty, we decided to check out the town that the Red Rocks Amphitheater is located in – Morrison, CO! It was the cutest town set in-between some beautiful mountains! We started off checking out all the adorable boutiques along the main road, which actually reminded me of all the little shops in New Orleans. They had tons of cute trinkets, souvenirs, and beautiful jewelry.

With all the walking we did, we decided it was time for another drink, and we found the perfect spot – The Red Rocks Beer Garden. It’s set in a little cottage with the cutest outside section, and they serve only Colorado beers, seltzers, liquors and food. (They have a small kitchen so the food was limited). We ended up trying their pumpkin beer, raspberry wheat, and a blood orange wheat, and they were so good! The best part – they offered $2 off your first drink with a concert ticket! At this point we were getting pretty hungry and wanted a solid meal before the concert. We asked the bartender where to go but he was torn between two places – we went with the casual one, The Cow, where we were seated by the friendliest host and had the best bison burger ever.

Bodysuit | Jeans | Jacket | Shoes

Then it was finally the time we had been patiently waiting for – concert time! It was about a 5-minute drive to the Red Rocks Amphitheater from town and easy to follow to parking lots! My sister and I got ourselves comfy, freshened ourselves up, and did some tailgating! We had so much fun just hanging out, people watching, and talking to everyone around us. We did notice a lot of the people were lining up versus tailgating…we just figured tailgating might just be Jersey thing, but we soon realized why!

Once it started to get dark, we decided it was time to head up (and literally up – it’s like walking up a mountain) and we realized people were lining up early for two reasons: 1) the lines get so long waiting for security (fyi their bag policy is very strict – I used the Lululemon belt bag but I did get my gum taken away…no gum allowed) 2) general admission is first come first serve and the more people that come in, the higher you have to climb. Fortunately since it was just two of us, we were lucky enough to snag two empty seats on the end of the second row of the GA section. We could see the stage and had prime access to the steps. I soon learned why so many people were bringing in blankets, too – you are sitting on cold rock benches! Luckily it wasn’t too bad of a night and I didn’t get too cold. Once Hozier graced the stage, I was in my glory. The theater itself is beautiful, the stars were popping out behind the stage, and it was just an overall amazing concert. He sang all my favorites and I loved hearing a full crowd of all ages singing his songs. Between his voice and the acoustics, it was just breathtaking. It certainly made my top three concerts of all time. I also want to add that the drive home was so easy and they do great with their concert traffic – we stayed the whole concert and had no problem getting out to the highway after!

Thursday morning we woke up still smiling and decided to get ready for our next adventure – Iron Mountain Springs in Glenwood Springs, CO. This was something we both knew we wanted to do so we bought our tickets in advance and decided on the all-day pass so we weren’t on a strict time schedule, especially since it was a three-hour drive from our hotel! When I saw how long the drive was, I almost said oh forget it, but I am sooo glad I didn’t. Once we got about thirty minutes into the drive we had the most breathtaking, beautiful views. The amount of gasps and murmurs of appreciation that came out of my mouth was no joke. You would think that after 2.5 hours you would get tired of the drive, but from all the views, it went by so fast and it was the most beautiful drive I have ever experienced.

Bathing Suit

I’m honestly not even sure what to consider this besides an experience. There are hot springs pools ranging from 90-109 degrees along the Colorado River, which serves as a gorgeous backdrop. You can purchase food and drinks, and there is a 21+ area that has hot springs pools based on hot springs from around the world, each with its own healing properties. They believe soaking in the minerals from the hot springs can heal ailments from GI problems, anxiety, skin irritations, and aging to a number of others. You can choose a timed pass or an all-day pass (like we did) that allows access to both sides and unlimited towels plus unlimited time within. We started out soaking in one of the pools in the CO side and it was just amazing. After a while we got our bearings and we decided to grab ourselves a drink and some snacks and head over to the 21+ side. I ordered the most delicious spiked warm apple cider and a charcuterie board pack and got myself comfy in the Dead Sea-inspired hot springs. After we finished our snacks and chatting with others in the pool, I decided to try the cold plunge pool and man, was it hard! I could barely breath in there, but once I got out and hopped on over to the France-inspired hot springs, I felt way better! We decided we were going to take our time and experience each pool in the world springs section. I want to add that while walking around outside sounds cold, they offer nice, warm towels and all the sidewalks are heated so it’s comfortable! After several hours of relaxing in the hot springs and lounge chairs along the Colorado River, the sun was starting to set and we decided it was time to start our long trek back. Again, the ride didn’t feel as long as it was, but driving along the mountain roads in the dark with no lights on the roads was a bit nerve-wracking. Thankfully we made it back with no problems and my sister and I both agreed that Iron Mountain is 100% worth the visit and worth that drive!

On our last day, we decided to explore the town we were staying in – Parker, CO. We decided since we were in Colorado we were going to experience their dispensaries. We found a highly rated one about 20 minutes from our hotel called The Green Solution. They had everything from your normal marijuana selections and gummies to rice crispy treat and cookies, plus ointment for your muscles and even cereal! I settled on trying some elderberry gummies that help you stay asleep! Hey – when in Colorado, you gotta try it! Next we decided to head over to West Main Taproom and Grill for lunch and we were not disappointed! We started out with some Hot Toddys with honey and ordered the green chili cheese fries. These sounded weird but my sister convinced me, and wow was I impressed. They were so good! I ordered a Buffalo chicken salad, and it sounds boring, but it was anything but! It had homemade ranch and buffalo sauce, the chicken was cooked perfectly, and all the veggies shredded up made it perfect! If you’re ever in Parker, I definitely suggest checking them out!

After lunch, we decided to try this winery that was only three minutes away – Purgatory Cellars winery. They are a family-owned business and they make their wine the oldest wine-making way there is…in clay pots! This husband-and-wife team from Croatia brought over their Croatian wine recipes and have won many prestigious awards! The wife, Ivanka, was so friendly and such a lovely woman to speak with! She let us try many of the different wines and even brought out Colorado grapes! Did you know that Colorado has amazing grapes due to the elevation? I didn’t! A lot of the grapes for wine making are from CO, and when she brought out the grapes for us to try…WOW they were so so good. By far the best grapes I ever had! They had a ton of wines to try from dry red to sweet white and even the best rosé I have ever tasted! I enjoyed it so much I even took the chance and brought a bottle home. Just to show how much of a chance – the Frontier Airlines checked bag limit is 40 pounds. On the way out there, my suitcase was at 38.7lbs, and I had already bought myself a sweatshirt, so adding the wine to my suitcase was certainly a gamble!

After our wine tasting and full bellies, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel and pack up our suitcases for our early flight home on Saturday morning. Overall, this trip was worth every penny! If you ever come across the chance to visit Colorado, go! See the concert, visit the hot springs, experience the gorgeous views! The entire time I said to myself “why didn’t I come here sooner?!” Colorado, I will be back – but I have a few more travel bucket items left on my list I plan to cross off!

My tips:

  1. Early morning flights are rough, but they give you almost a whole extra day.
  2. Search for your flights. If you’re like me (an over-packer), Frontier can be stressful with their 40-pound bag limit
  3. Sneakers are all you need – I brought cute boots and didn’t wear them once (and I’m not a sneaker wearer)
  4. Keep an eye on the weather – everyone told us how lucky we were with the weather we had. September and October can be hard months to go (it can even snow), but we were lucky with 70 degrees during the day and 45’s at night!
  5. Denver was not my cup of tea, and I can love city life, but I would try it again!
  6. Everyone is so friendly! Don’t be afraid to ask questions or chat with strangers – I’ve never met friendlier people!
  7. Take the trips – life is too short not to travel!

Traveling is one of those priceless life experiences. Getting to see and explore a brand-new place and create unforgettable memories is something you just can’t put a price tag on! While there are ways to be budget-friendly while traveling and make the most of your time on your adventure, taking a trip is always a yes in our book! Krista recently jetted off to spend time in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado. See her trip recap below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Seeing a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater has been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve debated over the past few years whether I just wanted to plan a trip and see whoever is performing when I go, but I decided that if I was going to travel all the way to Colorado for a concert, I was going to make it worth it! When my sister and I found out that one of our favorite bands, Hozier, was going on tour and that one of his stops was the Red Rocks, I knew this was my time to finally cross this item off my bucket list, and the planning begun!

We purchased tickets for his October 18th concert date and flew on an early morning flight from Philadelphia the day before! It was an easy direct flight with Frontier Airlines, and we arrived in Colorado on Tuesday morning around 8:30. We picked up our rental car and were ready to go!

We soon realized we were both starving! We knew we wanted to explore some of Denver, so we decided to try out The Lobby for brunch and this was an AMAZING decision. My goodness was this meal delicious – maybe we were just super hungry but between the drinks, apps and meals, it was the BEST meal we had (and we had some good ones on this trip). We both started with the Dirty Hippie, made with a vanilla chai-infused vodka, milk, and chai. It was perfection. For our starter, we ordered the Fried Green Goodness. It was made with fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese, pico de gallo, and a balsamic reduction. *Chef’s kiss* For our meals we shared Back in BLAT, a sandwich with thick cut bacon, avocado slices, roma tomato, artisanal lettuce, and aioli on sourdough; and Bubba’s Benedict, made with poached eggs, spiral cut ham, pimento cheese, English mun, hollandaise, fried onion strings, and breakfast tots. As you can see above, I obviously loved my drink and we were clearly starving…we ate everything! This was quite possibly the best brunch I’ve ever had, and my sister agreed!

We stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriot about 25 minutes outside of Denver in Parker, CO. It was clean, our room had two comfortable queen beds, and the town was very nice – plus free breakfast every day! Once we arrived, we checked out a bar across the street from our hotel and then decided to head back and just relax. This was the only downfall to an early morning flight – the early afternoon sleepiness.

We woke up the next day feeling so refreshed, and good thing because it was concert day!! We wanted to do some things around the concert venue, so we headed off to Dinosaur Ridge! It was an easy drive from our hotel and it was so cool! It is a paved pathway through a mountain where you can see real dinosaur footprints. There are choices for tours, or you can ride your bike or walk. We decided on doing the free one and walk our way through. I learned from my Vermont trip I took earlier in the month (read about it here) that sneakers are better to wear than boots, so this time I was sure to be in my sneakers! The main trail is a little less than a mile to the end, but you do have to walk back and you are walking up a steep mountain with no shade…luckily we had a beautiful day. The views from walking were amazing, and you could even see the tops of the Red Rocks Amphitheater! Throughout the main trail were smaller rocky terrain paths that you could take, but we decided to stay on the pathed roads. There were plenty of signs explaining what you were looking at and it was actually really cool!

After getting just a bit sweaty, we decided to check out the town that the Red Rocks Amphitheater is located in – Morrison, CO! It was the cutest town set in-between some beautiful mountains! We started off checking out all the adorable boutiques along the main road, which actually reminded me of all the little shops in New Orleans. They had tons of cute trinkets, souvenirs, and beautiful jewelry.

With all the walking we did, we decided it was time for another drink, and we found the perfect spot – The Red Rocks Beer Garden. It’s set in a little cottage with the cutest outside section, and they serve only Colorado beers, seltzers, liquors and food. (They have a small kitchen so the food was limited). We ended up trying their pumpkin beer, raspberry wheat, and a blood orange wheat, and they were so good! The best part – they offered $2 off your first drink with a concert ticket! At this point we were getting pretty hungry and wanted a solid meal before the concert. We asked the bartender where to go but he was torn between two places – we went with the casual one, The Cow, where we were seated by the friendliest host and had the best bison burger ever.

Bodysuit | Jeans | Jacket | Shoes

Then it was finally the time we had been patiently waiting for – concert time! It was about a 5-minute drive to the Red Rocks Amphitheater from town and easy to follow to parking lots! My sister and I got ourselves comfy, freshened ourselves up, and did some tailgating! We had so much fun just hanging out, people watching, and talking to everyone around us. We did notice a lot of the people were lining up versus tailgating…we just figured tailgating might just be Jersey thing, but we soon realized why!

Once it started to get dark, we decided it was time to head up (and literally up – it’s like walking up a mountain) and we realized people were lining up early for two reasons: 1) the lines get so long waiting for security (fyi their bag policy is very strict – I used the Lululemon belt bag but I did get my gum taken away…no gum allowed) 2) general admission is first come first serve and the more people that come in, the higher you have to climb. Fortunately since it was just two of us, we were lucky enough to snag two empty seats on the end of the second row of the GA section. We could see the stage and had prime access to the steps. I soon learned why so many people were bringing in blankets, too – you are sitting on cold rock benches! Luckily it wasn’t too bad of a night and I didn’t get too cold. Once Hozier graced the stage, I was in my glory. The theater itself is beautiful, the stars were popping out behind the stage, and it was just an overall amazing concert. He sang all my favorites and I loved hearing a full crowd of all ages singing his songs. Between his voice and the acoustics, it was just breathtaking. It certainly made my top three concerts of all time. I also want to add that the drive home was so easy and they do great with their concert traffic – we stayed the whole concert and had no problem getting out to the highway after!

Thursday morning we woke up still smiling and decided to get ready for our next adventure – Iron Mountain Springs in Glenwood Springs, CO. This was something we both knew we wanted to do so we bought our tickets in advance and decided on the all-day pass so we weren’t on a strict time schedule, especially since it was a three-hour drive from our hotel! When I saw how long the drive was, I almost said oh forget it, but I am sooo glad I didn’t. Once we got about thirty minutes into the drive we had the most breathtaking, beautiful views. The amount of gasps and murmurs of appreciation that came out of my mouth was no joke. You would think that after 2.5 hours you would get tired of the drive, but from all the views, it went by so fast and it was the most beautiful drive I have ever experienced.

Bathing Suit

I’m honestly not even sure what to consider this besides an experience. There are hot springs pools ranging from 90-109 degrees along the Colorado River, which serves as a gorgeous backdrop. You can purchase food and drinks, and there is a 21+ area that has hot springs pools based on hot springs from around the world, each with its own healing properties. They believe soaking in the minerals from the hot springs can heal ailments from GI problems, anxiety, skin irritations, and aging to a number of others. You can choose a timed pass or an all-day pass (like we did) that allows access to both sides and unlimited towels plus unlimited time within. We started out soaking in one of the pools in the CO side and it was just amazing. After a while we got our bearings and we decided to grab ourselves a drink and some snacks and head over to the 21+ side. I ordered the most delicious spiked warm apple cider and a charcuterie board pack and got myself comfy in the Dead Sea-inspired hot springs. After we finished our snacks and chatting with others in the pool, I decided to try the cold plunge pool and man, was it hard! I could barely breath in there, but once I got out and hopped on over to the France-inspired hot springs, I felt way better! We decided we were going to take our time and experience each pool in the world springs section. I want to add that while walking around outside sounds cold, they offer nice, warm towels and all the sidewalks are heated so it’s comfortable! After several hours of relaxing in the hot springs and lounge chairs along the Colorado River, the sun was starting to set and we decided it was time to start our long trek back. Again, the ride didn’t feel as long as it was, but driving along the mountain roads in the dark with no lights on the roads was a bit nerve-wracking. Thankfully we made it back with no problems and my sister and I both agreed that Iron Mountain is 100% worth the visit and worth that drive!

On our last day, we decided to explore the town we were staying in – Parker, CO. We decided since we were in Colorado we were going to experience their dispensaries. We found a highly rated one about 20 minutes from our hotel called The Green Solution. They had everything from your normal marijuana selections and gummies to rice crispy treat and cookies, plus ointment for your muscles and even cereal! I settled on trying some elderberry gummies that help you stay asleep! Hey – when in Colorado, you gotta try it! Next we decided to head over to West Main Taproom and Grill for lunch and we were not disappointed! We started out with some Hot Toddys with honey and ordered the green chili cheese fries. These sounded weird but my sister convinced me, and wow was I impressed. They were so good! I ordered a Buffalo chicken salad, and it sounds boring, but it was anything but! It had homemade ranch and buffalo sauce, the chicken was cooked perfectly, and all the veggies shredded up made it perfect! If you’re ever in Parker, I definitely suggest checking them out!

After lunch, we decided to try this winery that was only three minutes away – Purgatory Cellars winery. They are a family-owned business and they make their wine the oldest wine-making way there is…in clay pots! This husband-and-wife team from Croatia brought over their Croatian wine recipes and have won many prestigious awards! The wife, Ivanka, was so friendly and such a lovely woman to speak with! She let us try many of the different wines and even brought out Colorado grapes! Did you know that Colorado has amazing grapes due to the elevation? I didn’t! A lot of the grapes for wine making are from CO, and when she brought out the grapes for us to try…WOW they were so so good. By far the best grapes I ever had! They had a ton of wines to try from dry red to sweet white and even the best rosé I have ever tasted! I enjoyed it so much I even took the chance and brought a bottle home. Just to show how much of a chance – the Frontier Airlines checked bag limit is 40 pounds. On the way out there, my suitcase was at 38.7lbs, and I had already bought myself a sweatshirt, so adding the wine to my suitcase was certainly a gamble!

After our wine tasting and full bellies, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel and pack up our suitcases for our early flight home on Saturday morning. Overall, this trip was worth every penny! If you ever come across the chance to visit Colorado, go! See the concert, visit the hot springs, experience the gorgeous views! The entire time I said to myself “why didn’t I come here sooner?!” Colorado, I will be back – but I have a few more travel bucket items left on my list I plan to cross off!

My tips:

  1. Early morning flights are rough, but they give you almost a whole extra day.
  2. Search for your flights. If you’re like me (an over-packer), Frontier can be stressful with their 40-pound bag limit
  3. Sneakers are all you need – I brought cute boots and didn’t wear them once (and I’m not a sneaker wearer)
  4. Keep an eye on the weather – everyone told us how lucky we were with the weather we had. September and October can be hard months to go (it can even snow), but we were lucky with 70 degrees during the day and 45’s at night!
  5. Denver was not my cup of tea, and I can love city life, but I would try it again!
  6. Everyone is so friendly! Don’t be afraid to ask questions or chat with strangers – I’ve never met friendlier people!
  7. Take the trips – life is too short not to travel!

A weekend away, especially during the fall in the northeast, is a great opportunity to explore a new area, get in touch with nature, and enjoy quality time with friends and family! Krista had a family wedding to attend in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (which is on the northeastern side of the state about an hour and a half from Burlington Airport and about a 7ish hour drive from where she’s located in NJ) last weekend, and it just happened to also fall on the week of her 9th wedding anniversary, so she and her husband RSVP’d yes and made a nice little trip out of it! They left on Thursday and came back home Monday, so that gave them three solid days in VT. See her recap of the fun-filled weekend below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Since it was my husband’s cousin’s wedding, the whole family was also going (siblings, spouses, and in-laws), and we decided to get a house and stay together. We found the most perfect house in Lyndonville, VT, about a 15-minute drive from where the wedding was held, and honestly, I would recommend this house to anyone with a larger group. It comfortably held 8 adults and it was only a 5-minute ride to a gas station and grocery store…and it sat on 70 acres of beautiful Vermont land. This is the listing of the house we stayed in. The views were just breathtaking!  

As we all arrived on Thursday evening, we got settled in and went to sleep. We woke to a beautiful fall day on Friday morning, and we wanted to cross some Vermont bucket list items off our list since it was supposed to rain for the next two days. 

Our first stop was apple picking – we found this pick-your-own apple orchard on the way to our next planned spot and decided to try it out. On the way, we got to see some more amazing views…we even pulled over to snag some pics because we just couldn’t get over how pretty everything was! We also soon learned that a lot of roads are actually dirt roads and not paved – this helps cars get better traction when it snows. Needless to say, our car desperately needs a car wash!

After our quick photo session, we arrived at Burtt’s Apple Farm! It had rows and rows of apples and pumpkins to pick, plus a small farm stand to grab their fresh homemade apple cider donuts (one of the best I ever had!), and the absolute best fresh apple cider! They sold it as a slushie or warmed up! We got one of each and when I tell you I could drink it day, I really could! After our snacks, we got to picking out our apples. Between the 8 of us, we picked enough apples to serve a small army – but they had so many kinds and they all looked so good!

Next on our bucket list was the Alchemist Brewery in Stowe, Vermont! We drove through the town of Stowe and it was the cutest town! Between the cute shops and some more stunning views, I wish we had more time to explore the town. But we wanted to get in our planned places before the impending weather, so on to the brewery we went! My husband has been obsessed with this beer “Heady Topper” from this brewery and it’s really hard to get here in NJ – and if you do find it, it is so overpriced! Once we arrived, I saw the draw of the place! It had such a cool look, delicious beer, plus a great sandwich food truck right on their property! Between my husband, myself, and our family, we got to try a good amount and I see why he’s been talking about this place since we decided to go to Vermont! I really enjoyed the “Light Pilsner” and the “Sterk Wit” beers, and I very much enjoyed my brisket sandwich from their sandwich cart!

After my husband loaded up on his beer, we set off for our next stop – the Cabot Creamery store in Waterbury Center! It was a cheese lover’s dream! All the samples you want plus all the cheese and jams your heart wants to purchase!

After we filled up on all the samples and bought more cheese and jams than we could carry, we set out for our next adventure – the original Ben and Jerry’s factory and shop! I was so excited for this and apparently everyone else was too! Throughout the day, we couldn’t believe the lack of cars on the roads ’til we started our route to Ben and Jerry’s, because apparently everyone who was visiting VT was also visiting the factory this day – the traffic to just turn into the grounds was absurd! I even debated skipping it because of how impatient we were all getting, but decided the ice cream was worth it…that is until I saw the line! But we figured since we sat in the traffic and walked all the way from the farthest parking lot, we might as well wait out the line for our ice cream. They do offer a factory tour and we would have been interested in taking it if we had more time or were staying closer. After the long wait, we finally got our ice cream, and I’m not sure if it was the traffic, the long wait, or just the long day altogether, but I expected a little more out of our Ben and Jerry’s visit – and in the end it was just a lot for ice cream and a cool looking building. After this we had to head back to the house – since we were about an hour and a half away – and get ready for the meet and greet of the wedding!

Saturday morning rolled around, and the skies stayed overcast but clear of rain unlike we had originally thought, so we decided to hop in the car and take a drive to Dog Chapel, a place that was on my mother-in-law’s bucket list. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised! It was built in 2000 as a place for peace, love, and remembrance. It is filled to the ceiling with notes to and pictures of peoples’ beloved pets who have passed. It is now a living piece of art, ever-changing as more and more people pin their pets to these beautiful chapel walls. After parking and taking in the breathtaking views, you walk up the hill to the chapel and are immediately surrounded by happy pets and their owners running around soaking up the mountain air. Once you walk into this beautiful chapel, you are almost overwhelmed by the amount of notes and pictures of these passed-on furry family members. It actually brought tears to my eyes seeing all these beautiful animals and made me really miss mine! Once you’ve taken your walk around the chapel, you can start on the many trails that lead all around and are shared with all of just the happiest of dogs. Once we walked around and got in some of the trails, we had to sadly leave all the pups and head back to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding was at the Alerin Barn which was just beautiful! Once you parked, they had a tractor hayride bring you up the hill to the reception where my husband’s cousin and her fiancé exchanged their beautifully written vows, and the reception was to follow in a gorgeous barn! Unfortunately, the owner of the venue recently sold the property, so after this wedding it will be turned into a horse farm. But I am glad I got to see this place because it was by far one of the best wedding venues I’ve been to! I wore a magenta one-shoulder dress with western-style booties which were both perfect for the weather and the outdoorsy wedding.

Sunday morning, we awoke once again to cloudy weather, but the rain was not in sight, so we decided to venture out in the Vermont wilderness and explore the woods of Lyndonville! After our hike through the woods and collecting all the leaves, and even soaking our feet in a brook, we decided to go have the perfect indoor fall day. With all the apples we picked, we decided to try this recipe for apple pie.

While it was baking, we decided to play some family card games and then it was Sunday football time. We also found these soup seasoned packets when we were at Cabot and decided to make that for dinner – and wow was it good soup! We all cozied up by the fire and watched the games while we munched on our cheese from Cabot, drank our cider from Burtt’s, ate our soup, sipped our beer from the Alchemist, and enjoyed our pie! The best part was once it got dark out, the clouds had cleared and the stars were shining, and to our luck, we caught a meteor shower! I saw about 6 shooting stars – it was really the perfect ending to our trip! 

Some tips I would use on my next Vermont trip:

  • There is a lot of dirt and a lot of hills and rocks – don’t be me and choose cute shoes – wear the sneakers.
  • There are also a lot of dirt roads, with no lights, so drive carefully and be prepared – your car will end up getting dirty.
  • The fall foliage is beautiful, but don’t expect to see all those bright colors on Instagram – they are filtered, but it’s still totally worth the drive to see in reality!
  • Visit Stowe if you’re in Vermont. I wish we had more time there.
  • It’s very country, so pay attention to your gas because they aren’t gas stations everywhere!
  • GO, go to Vermont! It’s one of the most beautiful states, the people were all so nice, and it’s just so chill!

A weekend away, especially during the fall in the northeast, is a great opportunity to explore a new area, get in touch with nature, and enjoy quality time with friends and family! Krista had a family wedding to attend in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (which is on the northeastern side of the state about an hour and a half from Burlington Airport and about a 7ish hour drive from where she’s located in NJ) last weekend, and it just happened to also fall on the week of her 9th wedding anniversary, so she and her husband RSVP’d yes and made a nice little trip out of it! They left on Thursday and came back home Monday, so that gave them three solid days in VT. See her recap of the fun-filled weekend below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Since it was my husband’s cousin’s wedding, the whole family was also going (siblings, spouses, and in-laws), and we decided to get a house and stay together. We found the most perfect house in Lyndonville, VT, about a 15-minute drive from where the wedding was held, and honestly, I would recommend this house to anyone with a larger group. It comfortably held 8 adults and it was only a 5-minute ride to a gas station and grocery store…and it sat on 70 acres of beautiful Vermont land. This is the listing of the house we stayed in. The views were just breathtaking!  

As we all arrived on Thursday evening, we got settled in and went to sleep. We woke to a beautiful fall day on Friday morning, and we wanted to cross some Vermont bucket list items off our list since it was supposed to rain for the next two days. 

Our first stop was apple picking – we found this pick-your-own apple orchard on the way to our next planned spot and decided to try it out. On the way, we got to see some more amazing views…we even pulled over to snag some pics because we just couldn’t get over how pretty everything was! We also soon learned that a lot of roads are actually dirt roads and not paved – this helps cars get better traction when it snows. Needless to say, our car desperately needs a car wash!

After our quick photo session, we arrived at Burtt’s Apple Farm! It had rows and rows of apples and pumpkins to pick, plus a small farm stand to grab their fresh homemade apple cider donuts (one of the best I ever had!), and the absolute best fresh apple cider! They sold it as a slushie or warmed up! We got one of each and when I tell you I could drink it day, I really could! After our snacks, we got to picking out our apples. Between the 8 of us, we picked enough apples to serve a small army – but they had so many kinds and they all looked so good!

Next on our bucket list was the Alchemist Brewery in Stowe, Vermont! We drove through the town of Stowe and it was the cutest town! Between the cute shops and some more stunning views, I wish we had more time to explore the town. But we wanted to get in our planned places before the impending weather, so on to the brewery we went! My husband has been obsessed with this beer “Heady Topper” from this brewery and it’s really hard to get here in NJ – and if you do find it, it is so overpriced! Once we arrived, I saw the draw of the place! It had such a cool look, delicious beer, plus a great sandwich food truck right on their property! Between my husband, myself, and our family, we got to try a good amount and I see why he’s been talking about this place since we decided to go to Vermont! I really enjoyed the “Light Pilsner” and the “Sterk Wit” beers, and I very much enjoyed my brisket sandwich from their sandwich cart!

After my husband loaded up on his beer, we set off for our next stop – the Cabot Creamery store in Waterbury Center! It was a cheese lover’s dream! All the samples you want plus all the cheese and jams your heart wants to purchase!

After we filled up on all the samples and bought more cheese and jams than we could carry, we set out for our next adventure – the original Ben and Jerry’s factory and shop! I was so excited for this and apparently everyone else was too! Throughout the day, we couldn’t believe the lack of cars on the roads ’til we started our route to Ben and Jerry’s, because apparently everyone who was visiting VT was also visiting the factory this day – the traffic to just turn into the grounds was absurd! I even debated skipping it because of how impatient we were all getting, but decided the ice cream was worth it…that is until I saw the line! But we figured since we sat in the traffic and walked all the way from the farthest parking lot, we might as well wait out the line for our ice cream. They do offer a factory tour and we would have been interested in taking it if we had more time or were staying closer. After the long wait, we finally got our ice cream, and I’m not sure if it was the traffic, the long wait, or just the long day altogether, but I expected a little more out of our Ben and Jerry’s visit – and in the end it was just a lot for ice cream and a cool looking building. After this we had to head back to the house – since we were about an hour and a half away – and get ready for the meet and greet of the wedding!

Saturday morning rolled around, and the skies stayed overcast but clear of rain unlike we had originally thought, so we decided to hop in the car and take a drive to Dog Chapel, a place that was on my mother-in-law’s bucket list. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised! It was built in 2000 as a place for peace, love, and remembrance. It is filled to the ceiling with notes to and pictures of peoples’ beloved pets who have passed. It is now a living piece of art, ever-changing as more and more people pin their pets to these beautiful chapel walls. After parking and taking in the breathtaking views, you walk up the hill to the chapel and are immediately surrounded by happy pets and their owners running around soaking up the mountain air. Once you walk into this beautiful chapel, you are almost overwhelmed by the amount of notes and pictures of these passed-on furry family members. It actually brought tears to my eyes seeing all these beautiful animals and made me really miss mine! Once you’ve taken your walk around the chapel, you can start on the many trails that lead all around and are shared with all of just the happiest of dogs. Once we walked around and got in some of the trails, we had to sadly leave all the pups and head back to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding was at the Alerin Barn which was just beautiful! Once you parked, they had a tractor hayride bring you up the hill to the reception where my husband’s cousin and her fiancé exchanged their beautifully written vows, and the reception was to follow in a gorgeous barn! Unfortunately, the owner of the venue recently sold the property, so after this wedding it will be turned into a horse farm. But I am glad I got to see this place because it was by far one of the best wedding venues I’ve been to! I wore a magenta one-shoulder dress with western-style booties which were both perfect for the weather and the outdoorsy wedding.

Sunday morning, we awoke once again to cloudy weather, but the rain was not in sight, so we decided to venture out in the Vermont wilderness and explore the woods of Lyndonville! After our hike through the woods and collecting all the leaves, and even soaking our feet in a brook, we decided to go have the perfect indoor fall day. With all the apples we picked, we decided to try this recipe for apple pie.

While it was baking, we decided to play some family card games and then it was Sunday football time. We also found these soup seasoned packets when we were at Cabot and decided to make that for dinner – and wow was it good soup! We all cozied up by the fire and watched the games while we munched on our cheese from Cabot, drank our cider from Burtt’s, ate our soup, sipped our beer from the Alchemist, and enjoyed our pie! The best part was once it got dark out, the clouds had cleared and the stars were shining, and to our luck, we caught a meteor shower! I saw about 6 shooting stars – it was really the perfect ending to our trip! 

Some tips I would use on my next Vermont trip:

  • There is a lot of dirt and a lot of hills and rocks – don’t be me and choose cute shoes – wear the sneakers.
  • There are also a lot of dirt roads, with no lights, so drive carefully and be prepared – your car will end up getting dirty.
  • The fall foliage is beautiful, but don’t expect to see all those bright colors on Instagram – they are filtered, but it’s still totally worth the drive to see in reality!
  • Visit Stowe if you’re in Vermont. I wish we had more time there.
  • It’s very country, so pay attention to your gas because they aren’t gas stations everywhere!
  • GO, go to Vermont! It’s one of the most beautiful states, the people were all so nice, and it’s just so chill!

If you’re looking for a fun-filled, jam-packed weekend away with your family, look no further than Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos! Kristy was heading to PA for her nephew’s birthday, and when she realized she would only be ten minutes from Great Wolf Lodge, she thought she’d grab the kids and pack the bags and head up a day earlier than originally planned. She doesn’t get to sneak away often with the fam, but when she does, she tries to make the most of her trip – so she thought “let’s make this a weekend to remember!” and booked the room. See her recap of her weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with her family below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

It was about a 3.5-hour trip from where we live, so we stopped for lunch at Barley Creek Brewing Company prior to checking into the hotel. Let me tell you, we were so satisfied – get the fried pickle appetizer, it was so good! Everything really was delicious…we had nachos, the B.L.T., wings (my husband especially loved that they were dry rubbed – he said they were super tasty) and two kid’s meals. No dessert for us – that stuffedddd me beyond my waistband. They make their own beer and spirits and have a great variety of drinks options, too! 

Upon arriving at Great Wolf Lodge, we noticed lots of construction happening, and naturally we became nervous about how it would interfere with our stay. Parking was a bit confusing, and we weren’t sure if we were going to find a spot or not. I later found out that the weekend we chose happened to be a Pocono race and people were just checking in to attend it (even if they didn’t have kids). This really is a hotel that is geared towards families, so that was a bummer, but we didn’t let that stop us from making the best of it.

When it came to booking our room, I wanted to make sure it was going to be spacious for the 4 of us. The wolf den option was AMAZING! My daughter would not stop talking about having her own TV in her room. We even had a pullout sofa that helped with my littlest one when my kids didn’t want to sleep on the top bunk! They also have a wolf den that sleeps 3.

I was able to get an all-in-one package with my room which, hands down, is so worth it! I added the Pup Pass onto my package because it included a little more with my stay! The all-in-one package with the Pup Pass included: a souvenir cup that was refillable with soft drinks for our entire stay for FREE, a build-a-bear stuffed animal that your little one can make and stuff with a heart they make a wish on, 15% off an outfit for their plush toy, a candy cup that they can fill with candy, 25% off bubble wands (the wolf snow wand is awesome!), unlimited water park, mini golf, bowling, coal maze, discount on the gem rocks, a breakfast voucher, $100 dinner voucher, magi quest wands with light, a $20 arcade card, and the kids even got free wolf ears at the front desk to get them in the wolf mood…am I forgetting something?! We didn’t know where to start…my kids knew though – onto the Magi Quest!!

This was so neat! Throughout the hotel, there were “stations” that the kids could wave their wands over to collect coins and gems and complete different tasks! We were running from one end of the hotel to the next, but it was so fun. My kids were so excited to see what our next task was going to be…if you tried to jump ahead it would quickly remind you that you’re not there yet and tell you to come back later, so it kept you on the right track! Even after the quest was finished, my kids wanted to bring their wands every time we left our room so they could interact with everything all over again! The bottoms of the wand were the ones that came with my package, but they have more options you can upgrade to! My kids picked the two LED lights, and they had many more to pick from! (That also came included in my package).

Each hallway of the hotel had a different theme and a different item to unlock with your wand. I loved the blue light effect. 

After our quest, the kids wanted to make build-a-bear plushes that they could cuddle with in bed. They had a couple that came included in our package and more you could upgrade to. My kids went with Violet and Oliver (both came included), and I grabbed 15% off each outfit my kids chose for them! 

Before we knew it was time for dinner! From what I heard, this Fireside restaurant was a new addition they added to replace a buffet that was there prior. This American restaurant was great – we had dinner vouchers and breakfast vouchers that applied to Fireside (you do need to sit down and eat in order for it to be applied). What didn’t we order?? The crispy Brussel sprouts appetizer was so good we ordered it twice! My son loved the kids’ chicken fingers, and my daughter ordered the cheeseburger and devoured it. My husband ordered the strip and we shared the pretzel bread crumb mac and cheese. I had the BBQ chicken salad, and it was huge but so good with lots of flavor! Lastly, they had a mushroom flatbread special that I could not pass up! It was also super tasty. Highly recommend. When dinner was done – off to get our free scoop of ice cream from their woodland creamery (yup, that was included too)! We went with scoops of cotton candy and mint chocolate chip! 

After ice cream, we all wanted to play some games!! I swear I get more excited over arcade games than my children do…brings back childhood memories, and those claw machines don’t stand a chance with me! (My kids walked out with 11 stuffed animals).

Even though checkout was 11am, we still had the option to use the amenities, and we took advantage of mini golf, bowling and – my daughter’s favorite – the interactive coal mine maze followed by a gem search! (Gems/stones were extra but I also got the discount with my package). We didn’t even get the chance to do the waterpark, but they are expanding their outdoor area by 40,000 square feet with seven new slides! We will be back for sure and if you have little ones, I highly recommend taking a trip to the Poconos and checking them out! Our next stop – Kalahari in November…hopefully!

Groupon currently is running special rates for Great Wolf Lodge, and if you’re looking for some Halloween fun for the family, check out the Howl-O-Ween Events that the lodge is holding from September 28 – October 31!! Events vary by location, but include things like a Monster Bash Dance Party, a Trick-or-Treat Trail, Howl-O-Ween Crafts, Howl-O-Ween Trivia and Boo Bingo, a costume contest, and more!!

If you’re looking for a fun-filled, jam-packed weekend away with your family, look no further than Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos! Kristy was heading to PA for her nephew’s birthday, and when she realized she would only be ten minutes from Great Wolf Lodge, she thought she’d grab the kids and pack the bags and head up a day earlier than originally planned. She doesn’t get to sneak away often with the fam, but when she does, she tries to make the most of her trip – so she thought “let’s make this a weekend to remember!” and booked the room. See her recap of her weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with her family below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

It was about a 3.5-hour trip from where we live, so we stopped for lunch at Barley Creek Brewing Company prior to checking into the hotel. Let me tell you, we were so satisfied – get the fried pickle appetizer, it was so good! Everything really was delicious…we had nachos, the B.L.T., wings (my husband especially loved that they were dry rubbed – he said they were super tasty) and two kid’s meals. No dessert for us – that stuffedddd me beyond my waistband. They make their own beer and spirits and have a great variety of drinks options, too! 

Upon arriving at Great Wolf Lodge, we noticed lots of construction happening, and naturally we became nervous about how it would interfere with our stay. Parking was a bit confusing, and we weren’t sure if we were going to find a spot or not. I later found out that the weekend we chose happened to be a Pocono race and people were just checking in to attend it (even if they didn’t have kids). This really is a hotel that is geared towards families, so that was a bummer, but we didn’t let that stop us from making the best of it.

When it came to booking our room, I wanted to make sure it was going to be spacious for the 4 of us. The wolf den option was AMAZING! My daughter would not stop talking about having her own TV in her room. We even had a pullout sofa that helped with my littlest one when my kids didn’t want to sleep on the top bunk! They also have a wolf den that sleeps 3.

I was able to get an all-in-one package with my room which, hands down, is so worth it! I added the Pup Pass onto my package because it included a little more with my stay! The all-in-one package with the Pup Pass included: a souvenir cup that was refillable with soft drinks for our entire stay for FREE, a build-a-bear stuffed animal that your little one can make and stuff with a heart they make a wish on, 15% off an outfit for their plush toy, a candy cup that they can fill with candy, 25% off bubble wands (the wolf snow wand is awesome!), unlimited water park, mini golf, bowling, coal maze, discount on the gem rocks, a breakfast voucher, $100 dinner voucher, magi quest wands with light, a $20 arcade card, and the kids even got free wolf ears at the front desk to get them in the wolf mood…am I forgetting something?! We didn’t know where to start…my kids knew though – onto the Magi Quest!!

This was so neat! Throughout the hotel, there were “stations” that the kids could wave their wands over to collect coins and gems and complete different tasks! We were running from one end of the hotel to the next, but it was so fun. My kids were so excited to see what our next task was going to be…if you tried to jump ahead it would quickly remind you that you’re not there yet and tell you to come back later, so it kept you on the right track! Even after the quest was finished, my kids wanted to bring their wands every time we left our room so they could interact with everything all over again! The bottoms of the wand were the ones that came with my package, but they have more options you can upgrade to! My kids picked the two LED lights, and they had many more to pick from! (That also came included in my package).

Each hallway of the hotel had a different theme and a different item to unlock with your wand. I loved the blue light effect. 

After our quest, the kids wanted to make build-a-bear plushes that they could cuddle with in bed. They had a couple that came included in our package and more you could upgrade to. My kids went with Violet and Oliver (both came included), and I grabbed 15% off each outfit my kids chose for them! 

Before we knew it was time for dinner! From what I heard, this Fireside restaurant was a new addition they added to replace a buffet that was there prior. This American restaurant was great – we had dinner vouchers and breakfast vouchers that applied to Fireside (you do need to sit down and eat in order for it to be applied). What didn’t we order?? The crispy Brussel sprouts appetizer was so good we ordered it twice! My son loved the kids’ chicken fingers, and my daughter ordered the cheeseburger and devoured it. My husband ordered the strip and we shared the pretzel bread crumb mac and cheese. I had the BBQ chicken salad, and it was huge but so good with lots of flavor! Lastly, they had a mushroom flatbread special that I could not pass up! It was also super tasty. Highly recommend. When dinner was done – off to get our free scoop of ice cream from their woodland creamery (yup, that was included too)! We went with scoops of cotton candy and mint chocolate chip! 

After ice cream, we all wanted to play some games!! I swear I get more excited over arcade games than my children do…brings back childhood memories, and those claw machines don’t stand a chance with me! (My kids walked out with 11 stuffed animals).

Even though checkout was 11am, we still had the option to use the amenities, and we took advantage of mini golf, bowling and – my daughter’s favorite – the interactive coal mine maze followed by a gem search! (Gems/stones were extra but I also got the discount with my package). We didn’t even get the chance to do the waterpark, but they are expanding their outdoor area by 40,000 square feet with seven new slides! We will be back for sure and if you have little ones, I highly recommend taking a trip to the Poconos and checking them out! Our next stop – Kalahari in November…hopefully!

Groupon currently is running special rates for Great Wolf Lodge, and if you’re looking for some Halloween fun for the family, check out the Howl-O-Ween Events that the lodge is holding from September 28 – October 31!! Events vary by location, but include things like a Monster Bash Dance Party, a Trick-or-Treat Trail, Howl-O-Ween Crafts, Howl-O-Ween Trivia and Boo Bingo, a costume contest, and more!!

I recently made a road trip from New Jersey to South Carolina, with 4 kids in tow…solo! We had a great time and it was a lot of fun for everyone! I wanted to share our experience and what I consider must-see’s and -do’s if you’re in the area!

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

The best rest stop, the largest convenience store I’ve ever seen, and trust me it’s a must-see, is Buc-ee’s! We were advised to stop there just because “it’s a whole vibe”! We ended up stopping there for our last pit stop (aka potty break) and to grab something for dinner! We somehow ended up spending around 45 minutes at a rest stop haha! We made sure to stop again on our way home too! Make sure if you stop you snap a selfie with the beaver out front!

We visited the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden located in Columbia…it was less than 20 miles away from where we were staying with my best friend. I enjoy our local Cape May and Philadelphia Zoo’s, but this zoo blew me away in more ways than one! Where do I even start?! I don’t want to give everything away, but I’ll touch on our favorite attractions we experienced!

The kids and I fed the giraffes for the first time – well 3/4 kids did! This was so cool to experience with them…the tongue of a giraffe is something else! Two of my daughters also fed the coconut lorikeets, and that might have been cooler than the giraffes! You get a small cup of nectar and once you get a quick briefing, you go into the habitat and the lorikeets come directly to you. Most of the time more than one will land on you and drink the nectar!

The zoo was huge! You can easily spend the whole day there and still possibly not see/do everything there is to do and see there! We took a tram car up to the botanical gardens and splash pad area called Waterfall Junction! The kids loved this – there was a dinosaur dig area, a tree house, tiny houses, lawn games and more! We ended up spending a good chunk of time there. I would 10/10 recommend checking out this zoo if you’re in the area!

The weather was less than ideal during one of our days there, but I came across a children’s museum called EdVenture, also located in Columbia, and it turns out that Blippi did an episode there! I purchased tickets which were very reasonable at $13 each, and ages 2 & under are FREE! School was already out in SC, add that with a super rainy day, and that leads to an extra-packed kids’ museum! It was crazy busy but we still enjoyed seeing all that it had to offer, all interactive learning fun!

On Memorial Day, we traveled to the Summerton area and reserved a camp site at Palmetto Shores RV Resort. It is located on Lake Marion, which is the largest man-made lake in SC and the 15th largest lake in the US. Fun Fact: part of a town was purposely flooded, and boats have to be careful not to strike the structure that you can still visibly see at times. We took a pontoon out on beautiful Lake Marion and looked for alligators, but we didn’t see any! Palmetto Shores was impressive with their cabins, RV spaces and campsites. It is really kid-friendly with activities like a lazy river, splash pad area, kiddie pools, private beach area, and arcade! I was told that the Lake House restaurant there is amazing, but they were closed for the holiday while we were there! I would 10/10 recommend this resort for your RV/camping/cabin destinations!

old building with national turkey flag under cloudy sky

I recently made a road trip from New Jersey to South Carolina, with 4 kids in tow…solo! We had a great time and it was a lot of fun for everyone! I wanted to share our experience and what I consider must-see’s and -do’s if you’re in the area!

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

The best rest stop, the largest convenience store I’ve ever seen, and trust me it’s a must-see, is Buc-ee’s! We were advised to stop there just because “it’s a whole vibe”! We ended up stopping there for our last pit stop (aka potty break) and to grab something for dinner! We somehow ended up spending around 45 minutes at a rest stop haha! We made sure to stop again on our way home too! Make sure if you stop you snap a selfie with the beaver out front!

We visited the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden located in Columbia…it was less than 20 miles away from where we were staying with my best friend. I enjoy our local Cape May and Philadelphia Zoo’s, but this zoo blew me away in more ways than one! Where do I even start?! I don’t want to give everything away, but I’ll touch on our favorite attractions we experienced!

The kids and I fed the giraffes for the first time – well 3/4 kids did! This was so cool to experience with them…the tongue of a giraffe is something else! Two of my daughters also fed the coconut lorikeets, and that might have been cooler than the giraffes! You get a small cup of nectar and once you get a quick briefing, you go into the habitat and the lorikeets come directly to you. Most of the time more than one will land on you and drink the nectar!

The zoo was huge! You can easily spend the whole day there and still possibly not see/do everything there is to do and see there! We took a tram car up to the botanical gardens and splash pad area called Waterfall Junction! The kids loved this – there was a dinosaur dig area, a tree house, tiny houses, lawn games and more! We ended up spending a good chunk of time there. I would 10/10 recommend checking out this zoo if you’re in the area!

The weather was less than ideal during one of our days there, but I came across a children’s museum called EdVenture, also located in Columbia, and it turns out that Blippi did an episode there! I purchased tickets which were very reasonable at $13 each, and ages 2 & under are FREE! School was already out in SC, add that with a super rainy day, and that leads to an extra-packed kids’ museum! It was crazy busy but we still enjoyed seeing all that it had to offer, all interactive learning fun!

On Memorial Day, we traveled to the Summerton area and reserved a camp site at Palmetto Shores RV Resort. It is located on Lake Marion, which is the largest man-made lake in SC and the 15th largest lake in the US. Fun Fact: part of a town was purposely flooded, and boats have to be careful not to strike the structure that you can still visibly see at times. We took a pontoon out on beautiful Lake Marion and looked for alligators, but we didn’t see any! Palmetto Shores was impressive with their cabins, RV spaces and campsites. It is really kid-friendly with activities like a lazy river, splash pad area, kiddie pools, private beach area, and arcade! I was told that the Lake House restaurant there is amazing, but they were closed for the holiday while we were there! I would 10/10 recommend this resort for your RV/camping/cabin destinations!

Ever wonder what all the hype is about when it comes to the Bogg Bag? I don’t own one…yet…but the word is that the Bogg Bag is durable, leak-proof, it doesn’t tip over, and probably the best-selling point is that it’s washable! The original Bogg Bag averages around $90.00, which for me isn’t a price point that I would initially feel comfortable spending, but it does come with a set of two clear insert bags to hold items like a phone, keys, some snacks, etc. Both of the insert bags actually connect to the Bogg Bag holes which is a neat factor. Kristy does own one and she’s got the 4-1-1 on the bag and her favorite accessories!

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

A Bogg bag can be intimidating with the amount of space it has (especially the extra large ones) and if you’re like Kristy, you’re famous for throwing everything in there and then losing half of it. She’s found accessories to make the most out of your bag! I mean trays?! That’s a no brainer! She loves being able to put her drink, phone or lunch down without including the sand.  The dividers also allow for keeping items organized – her obsession. 

Now this slim drink holder is a MUST-have if you have a family with you! It can hold 10 cans or 6 bottles and the slim ice pack helps keeps it all cold for you!! It also doesn’t take up a lot of space in your bag – it’s small and light enough to carry alongside your bag!

Kristy loves that she can also hide all of her belongings under the tray! Add the wallet organizer (great for your money or Wet Wipes like Kristy has below), a key holder (which can also be used for necessities like lip balm and hair ties), and a sunglasses holder!

Check out this BOGG Bag carabiner clip which is great for holding keys or your waterproof mini Bluetooth speaker. These tassel hangers also work well if you have lots of things to hang!

These clear bags keep her organized for the beach and are perfect for storing snacks, sunscreens, and accessories like sunglasses or hair clips! The see-through material makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, so no more digging around in the dark! They even come with fun, sparkly labels (snacks, sun, and stuff) so it really takes the guesswork out of it!

The Bogg Bag is the perfect bag for basically all things outdoors and makes a great gift especially for end of year teachers’ gifts! {Peep those cute tags she’s attaching – and stay tuned for our post on EOY gifts for teachers!}

The Bogg Bag is the bag to have and is well worth the price point with all of the features, accessories and versatility. A bag of all bags that is perfect for the single lady or the busy on-the-go mama!

Ever wonder what all the hype is about when it comes to the Bogg Bag? I don’t own one…yet…but the word is that the Bogg Bag is durable, leak-proof, it doesn’t tip over, and probably the best-selling point is that it’s washable! The original Bogg Bag averages around $90.00, which for me isn’t a price point that I would initially feel comfortable spending, but it does come with a set of two clear insert bags to hold items like a phone, keys, some snacks, etc. Both of the insert bags actually connect to the Bogg Bag holes which is a neat factor. Kristy does own one and she’s got the 4-1-1 on the bag and her favorite accessories!

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

A Bogg bag can be intimidating with the amount of space it has (especially the extra large ones) and if you’re like Kristy, you’re famous for throwing everything in there and then losing half of it. She’s found accessories to make the most out of your bag! I mean trays?! That’s a no brainer! She loves being able to put her drink, phone or lunch down without including the sand.  The dividers also allow for keeping items organized – her obsession. 

Now this slim drink holder is a MUST-have if you have a family with you! It can hold 10 cans or 6 bottles and the slim ice pack helps keeps it all cold for you!! It also doesn’t take up a lot of space in your bag – it’s small and light enough to carry alongside your bag!

Kristy loves that she can also hide all of her belongings under the tray! Add the wallet organizer (great for your money or Wet Wipes like Kristy has below), a key holder (which can also be used for necessities like lip balm and hair ties), and a sunglasses holder!

Check out this BOGG Bag carabiner clip which is great for holding keys or your waterproof mini Bluetooth speaker. These tassel hangers also work well if you have lots of things to hang!

These clear bags keep her organized for the beach and are perfect for storing snacks, sunscreens, and accessories like sunglasses or hair clips! The see-through material makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, so no more digging around in the dark! They even come with fun, sparkly labels (snacks, sun, and stuff) so it really takes the guesswork out of it!

The Bogg Bag is the perfect bag for basically all things outdoors and makes a great gift especially for end of year teachers’ gifts! {Peep those cute tags she’s attaching – and stay tuned for our post on EOY gifts for teachers!}

The Bogg Bag is the bag to have and is well worth the price point with all of the features, accessories and versatility. A bag of all bags that is perfect for the single lady or the busy on-the-go mama!

Potty breaks, food/fuel stops, and keeping them entertained…the mere thought of hitting the road with kids (and in my case, 4 of them) may seem like such a daunting task, but I am here to assure you that it is possible and with some tips and tricks, road trips could actually be, dare I say it…enjoyable! We’re traveling from New Jersey to South Carolina for some Memorial Weekend fun so here’s my go-to road trip essentials and tips!

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

I have younger kids (ages 2-6.5) so the potty breaks can be frequent, and as you may know, they can’t always wait until the next exit or rest stop, so we have this portable travel potty that has been a life saver – we also take it to the beach and other places where a bathroom is scarce or when I try to avoid the port-a-potty. I highly recommend this because of its space saving capabilities as it folds up, so I can keep it under a seat or in a seat pocket and I can also put it in my backpack or stroller. It’s easy to both set up and fold back down. It comes with a pee-blocker so it’s good for both my daughters and my son to use. You can use almost any disposable liner bags as most are universal!

Travel Tip – The last time we made this trip, we left at night around the time the kids would be heading to bed essentially so they would just end up sleeping for the majority of the 12-hour trek. My husband and I also split the trip so each of us could get in some shut eye, too. This time we will leave in the morning after breakfast, and I’ll also be refreshed to take on the entire drive since I’ll be riding solo! Wish me luck!

Our family has a little bit of built-in entertainment as we have a Chrysler Pacifica which has the two built-in screens so they can play games and watch movies, which very much comes in handy. When the kids are over watching the movies, we have a fun road trip game that keeps them busy for a while, or until the cards run out! Of course, we cannot forget about the all-time kid fav indoor entertainment – the tablet! My kids don’t normally get a ton of tablet time, but I can always count on having less arguing and “I’m bored” or “are we there yet” convos. I love pairing their tablets with these headphones so that I can get some quiet time and a personal jam sesh or podcast in myself! For non-tablet users or just an alternative form of entertainment, LCD writing tablets are a no-brainer! My kids love them and I love them because it invokes their creativity, there is no mess, and they can erase and start over as many times as they want with the push of one button!

Snacks and drinks are key to any successful road trip, decreasing the amount of unnecessary stops being made and keeping you on track for a timely arrival to your destination. Bento boxes are great for this! Having a variety of snacks in their own container, being able to personalize to their taste buds, and them having the ability graze on their own time instead of having to pull over and distribute among the entire vehicle is a win-win scenario. As for drinks, I am a big fan of the insulted (to keep their water cold) and ever-so-important spill-proof tumblers for especially for my son who is heavily into the throwing stage of toddler life. I like to keep a small cooler for additional snacks/drinks for myself or to replenish the kiddos when we do stop to fuel or stretch our legs.

Travel Tip – I get the ick when it comes to public bathrooms and especially port-a-potties, but I came across these toilet seat covers and I keep them in our family vehicle and my backpack when we’re out and about and it makes me feel a lot better.

So if you have a road trip planned, I hope this helps! And if you have been thinking about whether or not to attempt one, I hope that this encourages you to move forward. I wouldn’t hesitate as it’s not as bad as you might think, and there will be plenty of memories made…adventure awaits!

car riding on highway through autumn forest

Potty breaks, food/fuel stops, and keeping them entertained…the mere thought of hitting the road with kids (and in my case, 4 of them) may seem like such a daunting task, but I am here to assure you that it is possible and with some tips and tricks, road trips could actually be, dare I say it…enjoyable! We’re traveling from New Jersey to South Carolina for some Memorial Weekend fun so here’s my go-to road trip essentials and tips!

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

I have younger kids (ages 2-6.5) so the potty breaks can be frequent, and as you may know, they can’t always wait until the next exit or rest stop, so we have this portable travel potty that has been a life saver – we also take it to the beach and other places where a bathroom is scarce or when I try to avoid the port-a-potty. I highly recommend this because of its space saving capabilities as it folds up, so I can keep it under a seat or in a seat pocket and I can also put it in my backpack or stroller. It’s easy to both set up and fold back down. It comes with a pee-blocker so it’s good for both my daughters and my son to use. You can use almost any disposable liner bags as most are universal!

Travel Tip – The last time we made this trip, we left at night around the time the kids would be heading to bed essentially so they would just end up sleeping for the majority of the 12-hour trek. My husband and I also split the trip so each of us could get in some shut eye, too. This time we will leave in the morning after breakfast, and I’ll also be refreshed to take on the entire drive since I’ll be riding solo! Wish me luck!

Our family has a little bit of built-in entertainment as we have a Chrysler Pacifica which has the two built-in screens so they can play games and watch movies, which very much comes in handy. When the kids are over watching the movies, we have a fun road trip game that keeps them busy for a while, or until the cards run out! Of course, we cannot forget about the all-time kid fav indoor entertainment – the tablet! My kids don’t normally get a ton of tablet time, but I can always count on having less arguing and “I’m bored” or “are we there yet” convos. I love pairing their tablets with these headphones so that I can get some quiet time and a personal jam sesh or podcast in myself! For non-tablet users or just an alternative form of entertainment, LCD writing tablets are a no-brainer! My kids love them and I love them because it invokes their creativity, there is no mess, and they can erase and start over as many times as they want with the push of one button!

Snacks and drinks are key to any successful road trip, decreasing the amount of unnecessary stops being made and keeping you on track for a timely arrival to your destination. Bento boxes are great for this! Having a variety of snacks in their own container, being able to personalize to their taste buds, and them having the ability graze on their own time instead of having to pull over and distribute among the entire vehicle is a win-win scenario. As for drinks, I am a big fan of the insulted (to keep their water cold) and ever-so-important spill-proof tumblers for especially for my son who is heavily into the throwing stage of toddler life. I like to keep a small cooler for additional snacks/drinks for myself or to replenish the kiddos when we do stop to fuel or stretch our legs.

Travel Tip – I get the ick when it comes to public bathrooms and especially port-a-potties, but I came across these toilet seat covers and I keep them in our family vehicle and my backpack when we’re out and about and it makes me feel a lot better.

So if you have a road trip planned, I hope this helps! And if you have been thinking about whether or not to attempt one, I hope that this encourages you to move forward. I wouldn’t hesitate as it’s not as bad as you might think, and there will be plenty of memories made…adventure awaits!

There’s nothing quite like the gentle touch of an ocean breeze, the tangy smell of salt in the air, and the warm kiss of sunshine on your face to help you feel well-rested and rejuvenated. And when you get to experience these things with the people you love, that makes it even more special. The Frugal & Thriving team took a quick weekend trip to Ocean City, Maryland for some good fun, great memories, and much-needed relaxation. See the highlights from our seaside getaway below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Does anyone else feel like the most exciting part of a trip is deciding where to go?! We knew we needed a girls’ getaway, but we wanted to go somewhere close enough to drive and also somewhere we had never been. The fact that it’s summer and our shared love for the beach made Ocean City, Maryland an easy choice for us! We booked our stay at the Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites and started the countdown!!

We arrived at the hotel for our two-night stay on Thursday morning. When we walked into the lobby, the view took our breath away. It was absolutely stunning and we couldn’t believe how close we were to the beach!! When we checked in at the front desk, we got to spin this Whirl of Fun wheel for a little prize…and we won 1000 points towards Hilton Rewards! We grabbed our bags and headed up to our room to unpack and get settled. Stepping into our room was like opening the gates of heaven. This room was unreal! Complete with a sitting area, kitchen, walk-in shower with three (yes, three!!) showerheads, a jacuzzi tub, and two queen beds, plus an amazing view of the ocean, we were tempted to spend the entire trip in our room!

Once we had gotten settled and unpacked, we were ready to grab some lunch. We headed to Liquid Assets, an adorable bistro with the most delicious charcuterie boards and espresso martinis! We snacked on truffle cheese, prosciutto, fruit, and homemade marmalade and sipped on our frothy caffeine-filled cocktails. If this lunch was any indication of how the rest of the trip was going to go, we knew we were in for an awesome time. Once our bellies (and hearts) were full, we traipsed over to the boardwalk for a little afternoon exercise and, of course, shopping. Candy Kitchen and Sunsations were two must-see shops for grabbing souvenirs for the kiddos…we’re always thinking of the family, even when we’re away!

We worked up an appetite from all of our exploring and money-spending, and we decided to check out The Hobbit for dinner. This place did not disappoint!! With unrivaled views of the coast through giant glass windows, this was the perfect place to enjoy a mouthwatering meal and catch a picturesque sunset. We ordered calamari, beef carpaccio, cheddar pierogies, and the stuffed filet. We definitely had the *treat yourself* mentality and it was so worth it…the evening felt like magic. Huge bonus: the service was impeccable – all of the staff was friendly and knowledgeable and really helped make the experience even more enjoyable.

Beach days are the best days!! After a day of traveling and exploring, we woke up on Friday ready for some sun, sand, and surf. We packed our beach bag with all of the essentials (like a cute beach towel and these stylish sunglasses) and scoped out the perfect place to post up for the day. The beach was pristine and the water was so enticing…it was great for dipping our toes in to cool off! This was the epitome of bliss – the sun shining down, listening to families laugh and play, sipping a chilled beverage, and taking in the gorgeous views.

The day flew by and before we knew it, it was time to start thinking about dinner! The hotel’s restaurant, 32 Palm, serves up the highest quality local ingredients and fresh seafood in an inviting, warm atmosphere, and that sounded like exactly what we needed to finish off our Friday. We indulged in the ceviche appetizer and shared the lobster tail with a crab cake for dinner. And of course, you can’t forget about dessert. We ended with the DELICIOUS lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream- we would definitely recommend this to pretty much anyone we know. It was the sweetest finishing touch. 

32 Palm also serves breakfast, which we enjoyed from the comfort of our balcony!! The açaí bowl, bacon egg and cheese on a bagel, and avocado toast were a great way to start the morning and give us the boost of energy we would need for the day ahead!

We got back to our room after dinner to witness the most mystical scene – this full moon over the ocean! It felt like Ocean City was showing us just how special this place was, and we felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be there together, experiencing this moment. This was the second time on a girls’ weekend we encountered a perfectly aligned moment of awe – there’s really nothing quite like that feeling. We woke up on Saturday sad to go but ready to get back to reality. From start to finish, the trip was a resounding success and we left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and most definitely blessed.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed our getaway recap…what were your favorite parts? Where are you planning your next getaway and who are you bringing? Let us know! xoxo

There’s nothing quite like the gentle touch of an ocean breeze, the tangy smell of salt in the air, and the warm kiss of sunshine on your face to help you feel well-rested and rejuvenated. And when you get to experience these things with the people you love, that makes it even more special. The Frugal & Thriving team took a quick weekend trip to Ocean City, Maryland for some good fun, great memories, and much-needed relaxation. See the highlights from our seaside getaway below.

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Does anyone else feel like the most exciting part of a trip is deciding where to go?! We knew we needed a girls’ getaway, but we wanted to go somewhere close enough to drive and also somewhere we had never been. The fact that it’s summer and our shared love for the beach made Ocean City, Maryland an easy choice for us! We booked our stay at the Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites and started the countdown!!

We arrived at the hotel for our two-night stay on Thursday morning. When we walked into the lobby, the view took our breath away. It was absolutely stunning and we couldn’t believe how close we were to the beach!! When we checked in at the front desk, we got to spin this Whirl of Fun wheel for a little prize…and we won 1000 points towards Hilton Rewards! We grabbed our bags and headed up to our room to unpack and get settled. Stepping into our room was like opening the gates of heaven. This room was unreal! Complete with a sitting area, kitchen, walk-in shower with three (yes, three!!) showerheads, a jacuzzi tub, and two queen beds, plus an amazing view of the ocean, we were tempted to spend the entire trip in our room!

Once we had gotten settled and unpacked, we were ready to grab some lunch. We headed to Liquid Assets, an adorable bistro with the most delicious charcuterie boards and espresso martinis! We snacked on truffle cheese, prosciutto, fruit, and homemade marmalade and sipped on our frothy caffeine-filled cocktails. If this lunch was any indication of how the rest of the trip was going to go, we knew we were in for an awesome time. Once our bellies (and hearts) were full, we traipsed over to the boardwalk for a little afternoon exercise and, of course, shopping. Candy Kitchen and Sunsations were two must-see shops for grabbing souvenirs for the kiddos…we’re always thinking of the family, even when we’re away!

We worked up an appetite from all of our exploring and money-spending, and we decided to check out The Hobbit for dinner. This place did not disappoint!! With unrivaled views of the coast through giant glass windows, this was the perfect place to enjoy a mouthwatering meal and catch a picturesque sunset. We ordered calamari, beef carpaccio, cheddar pierogies, and the stuffed filet. We definitely had the *treat yourself* mentality and it was so worth it…the evening felt like magic. Huge bonus: the service was impeccable – all of the staff was friendly and knowledgeable and really helped make the experience even more enjoyable.

Beach days are the best days!! After a day of traveling and exploring, we woke up on Friday ready for some sun, sand, and surf. We packed our beach bag with all of the essentials (like a cute beach towel and these stylish sunglasses) and scoped out the perfect place to post up for the day. The beach was pristine and the water was so enticing…it was great for dipping our toes in to cool off! This was the epitome of bliss – the sun shining down, listening to families laugh and play, sipping a chilled beverage, and taking in the gorgeous views.

The day flew by and before we knew it, it was time to start thinking about dinner! The hotel’s restaurant, 32 Palm, serves up the highest quality local ingredients and fresh seafood in an inviting, warm atmosphere, and that sounded like exactly what we needed to finish off our Friday. We indulged in the ceviche appetizer and shared the lobster tail with a crab cake for dinner. And of course, you can’t forget about dessert. We ended with the DELICIOUS lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream- we would definitely recommend this to pretty much anyone we know. It was the sweetest finishing touch. 

32 Palm also serves breakfast, which we enjoyed from the comfort of our balcony!! The açaí bowl, bacon egg and cheese on a bagel, and avocado toast were a great way to start the morning and give us the boost of energy we would need for the day ahead!

We got back to our room after dinner to witness the most mystical scene – this full moon over the ocean! It felt like Ocean City was showing us just how special this place was, and we felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be there together, experiencing this moment. This was the second time on a girls’ weekend we encountered a perfectly aligned moment of awe – there’s really nothing quite like that feeling. We woke up on Saturday sad to go but ready to get back to reality. From start to finish, the trip was a resounding success and we left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and most definitely blessed.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed our getaway recap…what were your favorite parts? Where are you planning your next getaway and who are you bringing? Let us know! xoxo

Traveling the world and getting to see new places and experience new things is always a lot of fun, but prepping and packing can be stressful! Having a good idea of what you’ll need while you’re away will make your travels way more enjoyable and prevent last-minute scrambling. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a girls’ getaway, a business trip, or a romantic weekend for two, you’ll want these travel essentials on hand. See our roundup below.

Travel Essentials

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

1. Organize your rings, earrings, bracelets, and earrings in this travel jewelry case.

2. Take your favorite shampoos and conditioners, body washes, lotions, and more to-go with these 4-in-1 travel dispensers!

3. Store all of your charging cables and portable chargers in one place with this compact and shockproof carrying case.

4. Make packing a breeze with this 8-piece packing cube set…it includes packing cubes, a toiletry case, a sock pouch, and a shoe bag!

5. Keep all your cash, cards, and important documents in this RFID-blocking tri-fold passport wallet.

6. Stylish luggage makes travel more enjoyable and packing way more fun! This rose gold luggage set comes with a carry-on suitcase and cosmetic case.

7. This hanging toiletry bag with tons of pockets and compartments is ideal for any getaway! Bonus: it comes in a variety of pretty patterns.

8. Forgetting toiletries is a thing of the past with this 21-piece toiletry kit! Including hair care, skin care, feminine hygiene products and so much more, grab this bag and be ready for all of your beauty needs.

9. Juggling your coffee cup, cell phone, passport, boarding pass, and wallet at the airport just got way easier with this luggage drink caddy.

Shop Travel Essentials

Luggage Drink Caddy
Luggage Drink Caddy
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Bag
Toiletry Bag
Luggage Set
Luggage Set
Passport Wallet
Passport Wallet
Packing Cube Set
Packing Cube Set
Charging Cable Carrying Case
Charging Cable Carrying Case
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
Travel Jewelry Case
Travel Jewelry Case
Luggage Drink Caddy
Luggage Drink Caddy
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Bag
Toiletry Bag
Luggage Set
Luggage Set
Passport Wallet
Passport Wallet
Packing Cube Set
Packing Cube Set
Charging Cable Carrying Case
Charging Cable Carrying Case
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
Travel Jewelry Case
Travel Jewelry Case

Traveling with Kids

Traveling with young kids can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’ve got a few helpful tips and tricks to make your life (and travels) a little easier!

1. Grab a portable white noise machine to drown out loud noises and help your little ones sleep on a plane or in a noisy hotel.

2. A search and find game will keep your kids occupied on long journeys, whether by car, train, or plane!

3. These fidget-poppers with suction cups can be popped onto a plane window, hotel mirror, or bathtub and the bright colors and cute characters will give your youngsters endless entertainment.

4. Bring an iPad holder for car seats, plane seats, and tables or desks in a hotel room. It folds up nice and small making it great for travel.

5. These mess-free activity books are perfect for taking on the go. Your kids can draw and color anywhere!

6. This blow-up footrest lets your little ones lay flat (if they’re small enough) in an airplane seat or put their feet up to get cozy. It also helps to keep toys from falling to the floor since it takes up almost all of the space in front of the seat.

7. Play-Doh is a toy that will never go out of style…get a pack of minis and take one, two, or the whole set and your little artist can create to their heart’s desire!

8. Coloring is a great way to pass the time. Grab these triangular crayons to keep them from rolling around everywhere.

More tips & tricks:

  • Try to stay on your regular schedule/routine! Stick to normal meal and nap/bedtimes when possible.
  • Always have snacks…it’s a great way to keep kids happy and occupied and can be used for bribery!
  • For flights, pre-order any in-flight snacks ahead of time. Most airlines will let you do this within two weeks of your flight, allowing you to prepay for meals or snacks so that you’re guaranteed your food of choice! 
  • On a plane, sit up front if you’re worried about motion sickness and the back if you’re potty training.
  • Use a pillowcase to bring your kids blankets and stuffed animals on board a plane…most airlines won’t let you bring two carry-on bags—but pillows don’t count!
  • If you can bring your car seat, definitely bring it. It will helps kids sleep better and provide some comfort.

Shop Traveling with Kids

Triangular Crayons
Triangular Crayons
Blow-Up Footrest
Blow-Up Footrest
iPad Holder
iPad Holder
Fidget Poppers
Fidget Poppers
Play-Doh
Play-Doh
Activity Books
Activity Books
Search & Find Game
Search & Find Game
White Noise Machine
White Noise Machine
Triangular Crayons
Triangular Crayons
Blow-Up Footrest
Blow-Up Footrest
iPad Holder
iPad Holder
Fidget Poppers
Fidget Poppers
Play-Doh
Play-Doh
Activity Books
Activity Books
Search & Find Game
Search & Find Game
White Noise Machine
White Noise Machine
white airliner wing on top of sea clouds

Traveling the world and getting to see new places and experience new things is always a lot of fun, but prepping and packing can be stressful! Having a good idea of what you’ll need while you’re away will make your travels way more enjoyable and prevent last-minute scrambling. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a girls’ getaway, a business trip, or a romantic weekend for two, you’ll want these travel essentials on hand. See our roundup below.

Travel Essentials

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

1. Organize your rings, earrings, bracelets, and earrings in this travel jewelry case.

2. Take your favorite shampoos and conditioners, body washes, lotions, and more to-go with these 4-in-1 travel dispensers!

3. Store all of your charging cables and portable chargers in one place with this compact and shockproof carrying case.

4. Make packing a breeze with this 8-piece packing cube set…it includes packing cubes, a toiletry case, a sock pouch, and a shoe bag!

5. Keep all your cash, cards, and important documents in this RFID-blocking tri-fold passport wallet.

6. Stylish luggage makes travel more enjoyable and packing way more fun! This rose gold luggage set comes with a carry-on suitcase and cosmetic case.

7. This hanging toiletry bag with tons of pockets and compartments is ideal for any getaway! Bonus: it comes in a variety of pretty patterns.

8. Forgetting toiletries is a thing of the past with this 21-piece toiletry kit! Including hair care, skin care, feminine hygiene products and so much more, grab this bag and be ready for all of your beauty needs.

9. Juggling your coffee cup, cell phone, passport, boarding pass, and wallet at the airport just got way easier with this luggage drink caddy.

Shop Travel Essentials

Luggage Drink Caddy
Luggage Drink Caddy
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Bag
Toiletry Bag
Luggage Set
Luggage Set
Passport Wallet
Passport Wallet
Packing Cube Set
Packing Cube Set
Charging Cable Carrying Case
Charging Cable Carrying Case
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
Travel Jewelry Case
Travel Jewelry Case
Luggage Drink Caddy
Luggage Drink Caddy
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Kit
Toiletry Bag
Toiletry Bag
Luggage Set
Luggage Set
Passport Wallet
Passport Wallet
Packing Cube Set
Packing Cube Set
Charging Cable Carrying Case
Charging Cable Carrying Case
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
4-in-1 Travel Dispensers
Travel Jewelry Case
Travel Jewelry Case

Traveling with Kids

Traveling with young kids can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’ve got a few helpful tips and tricks to make your life (and travels) a little easier!

1. Grab a portable white noise machine to drown out loud noises and help your little ones sleep on a plane or in a noisy hotel.

2. A search and find game will keep your kids occupied on long journeys, whether by car, train, or plane!

3. These fidget-poppers with suction cups can be popped onto a plane window, hotel mirror, or bathtub and the bright colors and cute characters will give your youngsters endless entertainment.

4. Bring an iPad holder for car seats, plane seats, and tables or desks in a hotel room. It folds up nice and small making it great for travel.

5. These mess-free activity books are perfect for taking on the go. Your kids can draw and color anywhere!

6. This blow-up footrest lets your little ones lay flat (if they’re small enough) in an airplane seat or put their feet up to get cozy. It also helps to keep toys from falling to the floor since it takes up almost all of the space in front of the seat.

7. Play-Doh is a toy that will never go out of style…get a pack of minis and take one, two, or the whole set and your little artist can create to their heart’s desire!

8. Coloring is a great way to pass the time. Grab these triangular crayons to keep them from rolling around everywhere.

More tips & tricks:

  • Try to stay on your regular schedule/routine! Stick to normal meal and nap/bedtimes when possible.
  • Always have snacks…it’s a great way to keep kids happy and occupied and can be used for bribery!
  • For flights, pre-order any in-flight snacks ahead of time. Most airlines will let you do this within two weeks of your flight, allowing you to prepay for meals or snacks so that you’re guaranteed your food of choice! 
  • On a plane, sit up front if you’re worried about motion sickness and the back if you’re potty training.
  • Use a pillowcase to bring your kids blankets and stuffed animals on board a plane…most airlines won’t let you bring two carry-on bags—but pillows don’t count!
  • If you can bring your car seat, definitely bring it. It will helps kids sleep better and provide some comfort.

Shop Traveling with Kids

Triangular Crayons
Triangular Crayons
Blow-Up Footrest
Blow-Up Footrest
iPad Holder
iPad Holder
Fidget Poppers
Fidget Poppers
Play-Doh
Play-Doh
Activity Books
Activity Books
Search & Find Game
Search & Find Game
White Noise Machine
White Noise Machine
Triangular Crayons
Triangular Crayons
Blow-Up Footrest
Blow-Up Footrest
iPad Holder
iPad Holder
Fidget Poppers
Fidget Poppers
Play-Doh
Play-Doh
Activity Books
Activity Books
Search & Find Game
Search & Find Game
White Noise Machine
White Noise Machine

If you’re planning a trip to the most magical place on Earth, having some inside information is definitely helpful! A Disney trip with family and friends should be enjoyable and memorable, and taking the time to plan ahead is essential. We’re sharing some tips and tricks to help make your Disney vacation as stress-free as possible…see our recommendations below!

How to Plan

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Planning your trip a year in advance is NOT as crazy as it may sound! The more time you can give yourself to get everything in order, the easier it will be. Plus, this will help you get the reservations at hotels and restaurants that you’re really looking forward to! Reservation availability definitely depends on the time of year you’re going and your group size, but booking further in advance is highly recommended.

Book your hotel rooms first! There are plenty of hotel options, but if you have a particular spot in mind, get those rooms reserved ASAP. Once your hotel is booked, start researching park tickets – if you book your hotel and park tickets together, you get a discount! When Kristy went with her family, she found the biggest discount through a travel agent (she went with Dana from Infinity & Beyond Travel Co. – if you use this agency, say Kristy Leo referred you!!). After you’ve got your park tickets all set, plan your itinerary!

Now that you’ve decided which day you’re going to which park, start thinking about dining options. You can book your dining reservations 60 days in advance of your arrival…time slots fill up quickly so we recommend doing this right away. Be ready to get up at 6am and get on the phone for those reservations. The early wake up call will be worth it though when you get prime dining with Mickey and friends!!

Once you’ve got your hotel rooms, park tickets, and dining reservations situated, order your Disney MagicBands. These bands easily connect you to everything like your park passes, hotel room keys, payment options, and PhotoPass info! You can order them through the Disney website after you book your hotel reservations. We also recommend investing in Genie+, which will help cut down on wait times for rides…this is especially useful if you’re traveling with very young kids!

After you’ve got the big items out of the way, it’s time to make a packing list.

What to Pack

Make your packing list and check it twice (or three or four times)! While you can buy almost anything you need at the parks or a store nearby, planning properly will save you time and money. So what should you plan to bring? Aside from whatever clothes and toiletries you’ll need for your trip, we have a few favorites that we found super helpful.

This stroller fan is perfect for keeping the kids cool while waiting in line or watching a show or parade! And if you’re stroller-free, this neck fan or this hand-held fan are also great options. These cooling towels also provide some relief from the heat and help absorb moisture!

This hanging toiletry bag is ideal for packing all of your beauty essentials. It keeps them organized and off of the tables and countertops in your hotel room! Some not-so-typical toiletries you may want to bring are a shower cap, anti-chafe balm, and Band-Aids for those blisters you may get from all of the walking

This adorable Mickey Mouse head carabiner clip will help keep your hands free while walking through the parks! Clip your shopping bags and cooler bags right on your stroller and you’ll have one less thing to worry about carrying.

Speaking of hands-free, this sling bag will be a life saver!! With plenty of pockets everywhere, including a secret compartment in the back for your money and cards or keys, and a clip at the top for hand sanitizer or whatever else you want on-hand and easily accessible, this bag will make life a walk in the park (get it?!). Here’s another option from the Vera Bradley Disney Collection.

And if a sling bag isn’t really your style, a cute fanny pack is also a great option to keep all of your essentials safe and nearby!

If you’re planning on rocking Mickey Ears during your trip, we recommend grabbing them ahead of time to save some money…they can be really expensive if you buy them at the parks.

And these princess-inspired dresses will make your little one feel like royalty and let her match her favorite characters. The soft cotton material makes them comfortable and great to wear in the heat, too!

For the ladies, these GapFit exercise dresses with built-in bike shorts are a must-have for those long, hot days. Look cute and feel comfy…it’s a win-win.

Some other items we recommend bringing are metal straws (they only have paper at the parks), collapsible water bottles, sippy-cup caps, bottle top spouts, and ponchos (in case of rain or for water rides).

Amazon Orders

Where would we be and what would we do without Amazon…like, seriously?! Ordering big items (like sunscreen, diapers and wipes, and snacks) through Amazon and having them sent to your hotel will be a game-changer. Just make sure you check the delivery dates of your items to ensure they’ll be delivered in time! When you arrive at check-in, let the front desk know you’re expecting an Amazon package and they can retrieve it for you. You can avoid extra baggage fees this way and give yourself more room while packing…and more room to bring back souvenirs!

What we order from Amazon:

Ordering Groceries

Perishable foods like produce; bulk beverages like milk, water bottles, and even beer for the grownups; and paper products like paper towels can be ordered through Garden Grocer and also delivered to your hotel! Order in advance and set your delivery time for when you anticipate arriving at the hotel…pickup is usually in the bell hop area.

Once You’re There

Your reservations are made, your bags are packed, and your groceries are ordered. Now all you have to do is show up and get ready for the magic to unfold!

A cute idea for your character autographs is signed instant photos! Grab this camera and film kit and have your favorite characters sign your photos with them! Then add your photos to this autograph book and preserve your memories forever.

If you’ve got little ones, then you know that even in the happiest place on Earth, with an endless amount of things to see and do, the kids will still need extra entertainment. This will help while waiting in line for rides, at restaurants, and even winding down at the hotel in the evenings. Here are some entertainment items we highly recommend:

When your trip has come to close, everyone will be sad to leave but full of happy memories and stories to share with friends and family. If you’re flying home, we recommend booking a transit service from your hotel to the airport (as far as we know, the complimentary shuttle service is no longer available, so this could be super helpful). The last thing you want to worry about after your vacation is catching a last-minute Uber to the airport!

The shuttle usually picks people up almost 3 hours before your flight departure – we like Happy Limo (check out rates here). You can ask for car seats for an additional fee if you need them too! Once you’re in your spacious, comfy shuttle and on your way to the airport, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you are now officially an expert at conquering Disney.

low angle shot of cinderella castle in disney world

If you’re planning a trip to the most magical place on Earth, having some inside information is definitely helpful! A Disney trip with family and friends should be enjoyable and memorable, and taking the time to plan ahead is essential. We’re sharing some tips and tricks to help make your Disney vacation as stress-free as possible…see our recommendations below!

How to Plan

Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. See full disclosure here.

Planning your trip a year in advance is NOT as crazy as it may sound! The more time you can give yourself to get everything in order, the easier it will be. Plus, this will help you get the reservations at hotels and restaurants that you’re really looking forward to! Reservation availability definitely depends on the time of year you’re going and your group size, but booking further in advance is highly recommended.

Book your hotel rooms first! There are plenty of hotel options, but if you have a particular spot in mind, get those rooms reserved ASAP. Once your hotel is booked, start researching park tickets – if you book your hotel and park tickets together, you get a discount! When Kristy went with her family, she found the biggest discount through a travel agent (she went with Dana from Infinity & Beyond Travel Co. – if you use this agency, say Kristy Leo referred you!!). After you’ve got your park tickets all set, plan your itinerary!

Now that you’ve decided which day you’re going to which park, start thinking about dining options. You can book your dining reservations 60 days in advance of your arrival…time slots fill up quickly so we recommend doing this right away. Be ready to get up at 6am and get on the phone for those reservations. The early wake up call will be worth it though when you get prime dining with Mickey and friends!!

Once you’ve got your hotel rooms, park tickets, and dining reservations situated, order your Disney MagicBands. These bands easily connect you to everything like your park passes, hotel room keys, payment options, and PhotoPass info! You can order them through the Disney website after you book your hotel reservations. We also recommend investing in Genie+, which will help cut down on wait times for rides…this is especially useful if you’re traveling with very young kids!

After you’ve got the big items out of the way, it’s time to make a packing list.

What to Pack

Make your packing list and check it twice (or three or four times)! While you can buy almost anything you need at the parks or a store nearby, planning properly will save you time and money. So what should you plan to bring? Aside from whatever clothes and toiletries you’ll need for your trip, we have a few favorites that we found super helpful.

This stroller fan is perfect for keeping the kids cool while waiting in line or watching a show or parade! And if you’re stroller-free, this neck fan or this hand-held fan are also great options. These cooling towels also provide some relief from the heat and help absorb moisture!

This hanging toiletry bag is ideal for packing all of your beauty essentials. It keeps them organized and off of the tables and countertops in your hotel room! Some not-so-typical toiletries you may want to bring are a shower cap, anti-chafe balm, and Band-Aids for those blisters you may get from all of the walking

This adorable Mickey Mouse head carabiner clip will help keep your hands free while walking through the parks! Clip your shopping bags and cooler bags right on your stroller and you’ll have one less thing to worry about carrying.

Speaking of hands-free, this sling bag will be a life saver!! With plenty of pockets everywhere, including a secret compartment in the back for your money and cards or keys, and a clip at the top for hand sanitizer or whatever else you want on-hand and easily accessible, this bag will make life a walk in the park (get it?!). Here’s another option from the Vera Bradley Disney Collection.

And if a sling bag isn’t really your style, a cute fanny pack is also a great option to keep all of your essentials safe and nearby!

If you’re planning on rocking Mickey Ears during your trip, we recommend grabbing them ahead of time to save some money…they can be really expensive if you buy them at the parks.

And these princess-inspired dresses will make your little one feel like royalty and let her match her favorite characters. The soft cotton material makes them comfortable and great to wear in the heat, too!

For the ladies, these GapFit exercise dresses with built-in bike shorts are a must-have for those long, hot days. Look cute and feel comfy…it’s a win-win.

Some other items we recommend bringing are metal straws (they only have paper at the parks), collapsible water bottles, sippy-cup caps, bottle top spouts, and ponchos (in case of rain or for water rides).

Amazon Orders

Where would we be and what would we do without Amazon…like, seriously?! Ordering big items (like sunscreen, diapers and wipes, and snacks) through Amazon and having them sent to your hotel will be a game-changer. Just make sure you check the delivery dates of your items to ensure they’ll be delivered in time! When you arrive at check-in, let the front desk know you’re expecting an Amazon package and they can retrieve it for you. You can avoid extra baggage fees this way and give yourself more room while packing…and more room to bring back souvenirs!

What we order from Amazon:

Ordering Groceries

Perishable foods like produce; bulk beverages like milk, water bottles, and even beer for the grownups; and paper products like paper towels can be ordered through Garden Grocer and also delivered to your hotel! Order in advance and set your delivery time for when you anticipate arriving at the hotel…pickup is usually in the bell hop area.

Once You’re There

Your reservations are made, your bags are packed, and your groceries are ordered. Now all you have to do is show up and get ready for the magic to unfold!

A cute idea for your character autographs is signed instant photos! Grab this camera and film kit and have your favorite characters sign your photos with them! Then add your photos to this autograph book and preserve your memories forever.

If you’ve got little ones, then you know that even in the happiest place on Earth, with an endless amount of things to see and do, the kids will still need extra entertainment. This will help while waiting in line for rides, at restaurants, and even winding down at the hotel in the evenings. Here are some entertainment items we highly recommend:

When your trip has come to close, everyone will be sad to leave but full of happy memories and stories to share with friends and family. If you’re flying home, we recommend booking a transit service from your hotel to the airport (as far as we know, the complimentary shuttle service is no longer available, so this could be super helpful). The last thing you want to worry about after your vacation is catching a last-minute Uber to the airport!

The shuttle usually picks people up almost 3 hours before your flight departure – we like Happy Limo (check out rates here). You can ask for car seats for an additional fee if you need them too! Once you’re in your spacious, comfy shuttle and on your way to the airport, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you are now officially an expert at conquering Disney.