The official start of spring is less than a month away, which means we are giving you full permission to break out your spring decor! Swap those cozy textures and dark winter hues for bright, vibrant pieces that will make your space pop! You want the interior of your home to mimic the changing of the seasons outside…bring in light colors, breezy fabrics, and bold patterns. Target has everything you need to prep your home for spring at really affordable prices! See Target spring decor inspiration below.

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

These earthy tones bring the outdoors inside. Muted green tones paired with bright whites and shining brass accents will give your space a “one with nature” vibe while still feeling quaint and coordinated.

Shop Spring Decor

Mug Tree
Candle
Planter
Picture
Plant
Pillow
Lamp
Blanket
Mug Tree
Candle
Planter
Picture
Plant
Pillow
Lamp
Blanket

Nothing says “spring” quite like pale pink! This pretty shade, mixed with mauves and beiges, brings the bloom of a fresh spring flower to your interior. These soft hues feel feminine and delicate, yet also practical and versatile.

Shop Spring Decor

Bowl
Lamp
Candle
Planter
Flower
Square Pillow
Round Pillow
Blanket
Bowl
Lamp
Candle
Planter
Flower
Square Pillow
Round Pillow
Blanket

Go for a bold look with blues and blacks sprinkled with a bit of gray and pops of pastel. This vibe is contemporary and cool, and will bring a bit of edge to any room!

Shop Spring Decor

Candle
Planter
Lamp
Candle Holder
Mirror
Vase
Pillow
Blanket
Candle
Planter
Lamp
Candle Holder
Mirror
Vase
Pillow
Blanket

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:

Online shopping is so easy. You see an item, you read the reviews, you click “add to cart,” and boom done. QVC is one of the original online shopping retailers, and it’s still going strong, now with even more products offered and more convenient ways to shop! QVC has great deals on high-quality home essentials, beauty products, and more – this is a great place to get some gift shopping done, too! Right now, new shoppers can get $15 off purchases $35+ with code HOLIDAY. See some of Kristy’s favorite QVC purchases below.

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

A new luggage set is perfect for your holiday travel or a winter vacation (one can dream, right?!)! This hardside carry-on suitcase comes with a beauty case and three packing cubes! I’m obsessed, and the beauty case is one the cutest things I’ve ever seen – it is so spacious and can definitely hold all of my items. I was half tempted to use it as my purse! The lock option on the carry-on is so nice too – it just adds a little extra security. Right now, QVC has an awesome savings on it AND it’s available in 7 different colors but be quick…they’re going fast!

Why is getting old tough?? As I entered my 30’s, I made it a goal to take care of my skin. I used to be an avid sleep-in-my-makeup kind of girl, but as I’m getting older, I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can for my skin! My nuFACE Trinity+ is known as the 5-minute facial lift and it’s been one of the best gifts given to me yet! It gently stimulates your face and neck with microcurrents to help tone, smooth, and firm the skin while also improving facial contour. You can also choose the intensity Boost function for an extra level of microcurrent energy. This kit includes the dual-wand Effective Lip & Eye (ELE) attachment to target hard-to-reach areas. It even has an app to help keep reminders and schedules, celebrate your achievements, and access tutorials that are tailored to YOU! If you really want to spoil someone this holiday season, this is the time!

We are big fans of the tarte brand here at F&T, and this tarte smolderEYES Silk Stick eyeliner set is no exception! I absolutely love these colors for the cooler months and fun holiday festivities, and the way they glide right on is so easy! The high pigmentation makes the color pop and it’s great for long-lasting wear, too.

Santa came early for me this year!! This Ninja 7-in-1 woodfire electric outdoor grill smoker/air fryer is going to make such a great addition to my deck! I’m going to smoke everything I possibly can this winter, and I can’t wait to use it during the warmer months for BBQs too! I have had my eye on this for a while now, and I’m so happy I finally own one!

If you know me, you know I love my Ninja products! And this Ninja Combi multicooker, over, and air fryer is a no-brainer. It has 14 different functions, and making dinner for the whole family is a breeze with this bad boy. I can air fry, bake, sear, slow cook, and so many other things…the options are endless. The result is perfectly cooked meals every time, and for a busy mom on-the-go, that is a huge blessing!

Andddd another Ninja product…are you surprised?! This Ninja CREAMi frozen treat maker has certainly been a treat in my home! Dessert is a must in my family and this 7-in-1 machine makes ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, and more in just minutes! It’s easy to use and it’s fun for the kids to get involved with too. If you’re lost on where to start, the nifty recipe book is full of ideas for cool creations!

person shopping online

Online shopping is so easy. You see an item, you read the reviews, you click “add to cart,” and boom done. QVC is one of the original online shopping retailers, and it’s still going strong, now with even more products offered and more convenient ways to shop! QVC has great deals on high-quality home essentials, beauty products, and more – this is a great place to get some gift shopping done, too! Right now, new shoppers can get $15 off purchases $35+ with code HOLIDAY. See some of Kristy’s favorite QVC purchases below.

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

A new luggage set is perfect for your holiday travel or a winter vacation (one can dream, right?!)! This hardside carry-on suitcase comes with a beauty case and three packing cubes! I’m obsessed, and the beauty case is one the cutest things I’ve ever seen – it is so spacious and can definitely hold all of my items. I was half tempted to use it as my purse! The lock option on the carry-on is so nice too – it just adds a little extra security. Right now, QVC has an awesome savings on it AND it’s available in 7 different colors but be quick…they’re going fast!

Why is getting old tough?? As I entered my 30’s, I made it a goal to take care of my skin. I used to be an avid sleep-in-my-makeup kind of girl, but as I’m getting older, I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can for my skin! My nuFACE Trinity+ is known as the 5-minute facial lift and it’s been one of the best gifts given to me yet! It gently stimulates your face and neck with microcurrents to help tone, smooth, and firm the skin while also improving facial contour. You can also choose the intensity Boost function for an extra level of microcurrent energy. This kit includes the dual-wand Effective Lip & Eye (ELE) attachment to target hard-to-reach areas. It even has an app to help keep reminders and schedules, celebrate your achievements, and access tutorials that are tailored to YOU! If you really want to spoil someone this holiday season, this is the time!

We are big fans of the tarte brand here at F&T, and this tarte smolderEYES Silk Stick eyeliner set is no exception! I absolutely love these colors for the cooler months and fun holiday festivities, and the way they glide right on is so easy! The high pigmentation makes the color pop and it’s great for long-lasting wear, too.

Santa came early for me this year!! This Ninja 7-in-1 woodfire electric outdoor grill smoker/air fryer is going to make such a great addition to my deck! I’m going to smoke everything I possibly can this winter, and I can’t wait to use it during the warmer months for BBQs too! I have had my eye on this for a while now, and I’m so happy I finally own one!

If you know me, you know I love my Ninja products! And this Ninja Combi multicooker, over, and air fryer is a no-brainer. It has 14 different functions, and making dinner for the whole family is a breeze with this bad boy. I can air fry, bake, sear, slow cook, and so many other things…the options are endless. The result is perfectly cooked meals every time, and for a busy mom on-the-go, that is a huge blessing!

Andddd another Ninja product…are you surprised?! This Ninja CREAMi frozen treat maker has certainly been a treat in my home! Dessert is a must in my family and this 7-in-1 machine makes ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, and more in just minutes! It’s easy to use and it’s fun for the kids to get involved with too. If you’re lost on where to start, the nifty recipe book is full of ideas for cool creations!

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!

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!

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.

Everyone deserves a little rest and relaxation now and again, especially during the holiday season when things can be so chaotic and stressful. A quick weekend away does the body and mind wonders, and some quality time in a peaceful place with your loved ones is definitely worth the investment. The Frugal and Thriving team took a girls’ getaway to the Woodloch Resort in the Poconos and we had the most restful, restorative weekend. See our trip details below.

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

A birthday is as good a reason as any to take a trip, right? As most of you may know, our leading lady Kristy recently turned 36, and we decided a girls’ weekend was the best way to celebrate her and this new year to come! We booked a Girls’ Getaway package at Woodloch Resort, which included a two-night stay in beautiful accommodations, four meals at the resort’s clubhouse (two breakfasts and two dinners), a spa credit, and an extensive list of recreational activities and entertainment. We planned to have a good balance of fun and relaxation during our two days at the resort.

We arrived late Friday afternoon, checked in, and headed straight to the luxury spa for our treatments. This spa was GOR-GEOUS….a secluded sanctuary nestled away in the middle of the woods. Complete with waterfall jacuzzies, a swimming pool, men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms, fireplace lounges, an outdoor horizon-edge whirlpool, and SO MUCH MORE, we felt like we were walking into heaven. The facilities were quiet, pristine, and slightly magical with the surrounding views of the woodlands. Fun fact: Woodloch’s spa at The Lodge was voted as a Top Destination Spa in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Reader’s Choice Awards (among a ton of other awards and accolades). But – the world!! One visit to this place and you’ll easily see why. The best part? The Lodge even has accommodations so you can stay right here. That’s on our list for the next girls’ trip.

Our package included two dinners and two breakfasts. We expected to have to grab a light lunch at one of the many restaurants on the sprawling property – we were wrong. The breakfast (pictured above) was served family-style and holyyyyy food. This was for only three people! Fluffy eggs, crispy bacon and sausage, fresh fruit, deliciously seasoned potatoes, and sweet scones and pastries were all included in this indulgent spread. Needless to say, we stuffed our faces and didn’t even think about lunch come afternoon. Dinners were served a la carte from a specially curated menu of seasonal dishes and those were equally delectable. The salmon dish with spinach and kale, raisins, and olives was a favorite entrée, while the grilled Mediterranean salad was the perfect option for a lighter dinner. And everyone knows dessert is the most important part of a meal…the homemade ice cream was melt-in-your-mouth ahhhhh-mazing. We definitely regretted not bringing home gallons of that…at least now we know for next time.

Saturday was our one and only full day at the resort and we wanted to take complete advantage of it! After our hearty breakfast, we spent some time exploring the vast acreage and finding hidden little gems around the property for lots of fun (and silly) photo shoots. The scenery was stunning with the expansive, glistening lake outlined by endless trees…we were lucky enough to get some end-of-season leaf peeping in and the vibrant colors of the changing foliage were simply majestic. After a few hours of exploration, we grabbed our “Weekend Vibes” tote, posted up on one of the many outdoor decks overlooking the water, and set up a picnic around this adorable firepit. We were fortunate enough to have this scenic area all to ourselves, although with all the snacks we brought, some company to share with would have been very welcomed!!

Rosemary crackers, pita bread, baklava, olives, fruit spreads, caramel-filled chocolates, pretzels, and more cheeses than we even knew what to do with were packed in our basket. We grabbed the Picnic Gift Basket from Harry & David to bring along as well, and the chocolates were courtesy of Kristy’s mother-in-law who knew we would need a little something sweet after all of that savory! The fire kept us warm, the food kept us full, and the picturesque surroundings kept us in awe.

Speaking of being in awe, about half an hour into our quaint al fresco afternoon, while completely absorbed in spending time catching up, laughing, and counting our blessings, Kristy looked up to find this breathtaking double upside down rainbow. This was the most unique rainbow any of us had ever seen! It continued to get brighter and bigger for about 10 minutes and then slowly dissipated into the sunny blue sky. It was fleeting and ephemeral, yet left a lasting impression of good fortune and fate aligning all around us. We may have been feeling just a tad emotional, but the experience was really something special to be shared in that moment.

After our picnic we decided to try out an escape room. None of us had ever done one before, and we were both curious as to how it worked and excited to give it a go! We chose the Wizard of Oz-themed escape room because it was slightly less difficult than the Clue-themed one. We figured it was better to give ourselves a fighting chance of making it out…you get 60 minutes to solve all the clues and unlock the room. The best time to beat was 25 minutes. I voiced that I thought we could do it in 12 (I’ve always been a little ambitious and just a bit competitive). Not really knowing what to expect, we walked in, got locked in, and the timer began. No more than three minutes into our escape and we were ready to use our first of only two hints. It was a lot more challenging than we anticipated! Thankfully our escape room attendant was on our side, and gently guided us in the right direction when we got a little stuck so we didn’t have to use our clues right away. With a little teamwork, a handful of help, and a lottttt of laughs, we made it out with 10 minutes to spare – so much for finishing in 12 minutes!! This was by far one of our favorite parts of the trip, and now we’re ready to do even better next time around.

Sunday morning came way too soon, and we were having a hard time getting ready to say goodbye. Our two bedroom, two bathroom condo was already feeling like home and none of us were eager to leave our newfound haven. Kristy and I had some work to catch up on after pretty much an entire day off (we’re always thinking about you guys!!), but it was a much-needed reset. Even after a forgotten suitcase, a long drive, and a weirdly ominous polaroid found in our living room that was giving total “Blair Witch Project” vibes, this trip was one of the best weekends we had in a long time, and we’ve decided to make girls’ weekend an annual event. Getting to spend some time away with the people closest to you is a huge blessing, which we certainly don’t take for granted, and making it a priority is something we’re now conscious of. We got to celebrate a birthday, friendship, and the start of many wonderful things to come. We couldn’t ask for anything better.

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

Everyone deserves a little rest and relaxation now and again, especially during the holiday season when things can be so chaotic and stressful. A quick weekend away does the body and mind wonders, and some quality time in a peaceful place with your loved ones is definitely worth the investment. The Frugal and Thriving team took a girls’ getaway to the Woodloch Resort in the Poconos and we had the most restful, restorative weekend. See our trip details below.

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

A birthday is as good a reason as any to take a trip, right? As most of you may know, our leading lady Kristy recently turned 36, and we decided a girls’ weekend was the best way to celebrate her and this new year to come! We booked a Girls’ Getaway package at Woodloch Resort, which included a two-night stay in beautiful accommodations, four meals at the resort’s clubhouse (two breakfasts and two dinners), a spa credit, and an extensive list of recreational activities and entertainment. We planned to have a good balance of fun and relaxation during our two days at the resort.

We arrived late Friday afternoon, checked in, and headed straight to the luxury spa for our treatments. This spa was GOR-GEOUS….a secluded sanctuary nestled away in the middle of the woods. Complete with waterfall jacuzzies, a swimming pool, men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms, fireplace lounges, an outdoor horizon-edge whirlpool, and SO MUCH MORE, we felt like we were walking into heaven. The facilities were quiet, pristine, and slightly magical with the surrounding views of the woodlands. Fun fact: Woodloch’s spa at The Lodge was voted as a Top Destination Spa in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Reader’s Choice Awards (among a ton of other awards and accolades). But – the world!! One visit to this place and you’ll easily see why. The best part? The Lodge even has accommodations so you can stay right here. That’s on our list for the next girls’ trip.

Our package included two dinners and two breakfasts. We expected to have to grab a light lunch at one of the many restaurants on the sprawling property – we were wrong. The breakfast (pictured above) was served family-style and holyyyyy food. This was for only three people! Fluffy eggs, crispy bacon and sausage, fresh fruit, deliciously seasoned potatoes, and sweet scones and pastries were all included in this indulgent spread. Needless to say, we stuffed our faces and didn’t even think about lunch come afternoon. Dinners were served a la carte from a specially curated menu of seasonal dishes and those were equally delectable. The salmon dish with spinach and kale, raisins, and olives was a favorite entrée, while the grilled Mediterranean salad was the perfect option for a lighter dinner. And everyone knows dessert is the most important part of a meal…the homemade ice cream was melt-in-your-mouth ahhhhh-mazing. We definitely regretted not bringing home gallons of that…at least now we know for next time.

Saturday was our one and only full day at the resort and we wanted to take complete advantage of it! After our hearty breakfast, we spent some time exploring the vast acreage and finding hidden little gems around the property for lots of fun (and silly) photo shoots. The scenery was stunning with the expansive, glistening lake outlined by endless trees…we were lucky enough to get some end-of-season leaf peeping in and the vibrant colors of the changing foliage were simply majestic. After a few hours of exploration, we grabbed our “Weekend Vibes” tote, posted up on one of the many outdoor decks overlooking the water, and set up a picnic around this adorable firepit. We were fortunate enough to have this scenic area all to ourselves, although with all the snacks we brought, some company to share with would have been very welcomed!!

Rosemary crackers, pita bread, baklava, olives, fruit spreads, caramel-filled chocolates, pretzels, and more cheeses than we even knew what to do with were packed in our basket. We grabbed the Picnic Gift Basket from Harry & David to bring along as well, and the chocolates were courtesy of Kristy’s mother-in-law who knew we would need a little something sweet after all of that savory! The fire kept us warm, the food kept us full, and the picturesque surroundings kept us in awe.

Speaking of being in awe, about half an hour into our quaint al fresco afternoon, while completely absorbed in spending time catching up, laughing, and counting our blessings, Kristy looked up to find this breathtaking double upside down rainbow. This was the most unique rainbow any of us had ever seen! It continued to get brighter and bigger for about 10 minutes and then slowly dissipated into the sunny blue sky. It was fleeting and ephemeral, yet left a lasting impression of good fortune and fate aligning all around us. We may have been feeling just a tad emotional, but the experience was really something special to be shared in that moment.

After our picnic we decided to try out an escape room. None of us had ever done one before, and we were both curious as to how it worked and excited to give it a go! We chose the Wizard of Oz-themed escape room because it was slightly less difficult than the Clue-themed one. We figured it was better to give ourselves a fighting chance of making it out…you get 60 minutes to solve all the clues and unlock the room. The best time to beat was 25 minutes. I voiced that I thought we could do it in 12 (I’ve always been a little ambitious and just a bit competitive). Not really knowing what to expect, we walked in, got locked in, and the timer began. No more than three minutes into our escape and we were ready to use our first of only two hints. It was a lot more challenging than we anticipated! Thankfully our escape room attendant was on our side, and gently guided us in the right direction when we got a little stuck so we didn’t have to use our clues right away. With a little teamwork, a handful of help, and a lottttt of laughs, we made it out with 10 minutes to spare – so much for finishing in 12 minutes!! This was by far one of our favorite parts of the trip, and now we’re ready to do even better next time around.

Sunday morning came way too soon, and we were having a hard time getting ready to say goodbye. Our two bedroom, two bathroom condo was already feeling like home and none of us were eager to leave our newfound haven. Kristy and I had some work to catch up on after pretty much an entire day off (we’re always thinking about you guys!!), but it was a much-needed reset. Even after a forgotten suitcase, a long drive, and a weirdly ominous polaroid found in our living room that was giving total “Blair Witch Project” vibes, this trip was one of the best weekends we had in a long time, and we’ve decided to make girls’ weekend an annual event. Getting to spend some time away with the people closest to you is a huge blessing, which we certainly don’t take for granted, and making it a priority is something we’re now conscious of. We got to celebrate a birthday, friendship, and the start of many wonderful things to come. We couldn’t ask for anything better.

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

The past year has certainly been lacking in trips and family vacations for most of us. As we begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, we at Frugal and Thriving are certainly looking forward to booking that first weekend (or week) away! While some of us may still be in the “dreaming of paradise” stage, we want to make sure you’re prepared with all the travel essentials when you finally do reach the planning phase. So if you’re traveling solo, with the family, or for work, we’ve put together a list of items that will make your trip enjoyable from beginning to end.

Traveling Essentials
Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post.

This hardside, lightweight suitcase from Kenneth Cole is stylish and dependable with tons of functional features that will allow you to travel with ease.

These durable luggage cubes are great for keeping all of your clothes and shoes separated and organized.

This toiletry bag lets your sort all of your cosmetics and toiletries into different pouches, and comes with a built-in hook so you can hang your bag with convenience, saving space.

These perfume atomizers let you take your favorite fragrances on the go. The high quality aluminum shell is resistant to damage and the sleek look is ideal for keeping in your handbag.

This handheld portable steamer will help your clothes stay fresh and keep you looking sharp by removing wrinkles from any type of fabric quickly and delicately.

These foldable hangers are versatile and slip-proof, allowing you to hang your clothes wherever you go.

This waterproof and shockproof laptop carrier is light and easy to carry. The high quality canvas comes in unique, fashionable patterns so you can match your bag to your personal style.

This portable charger is compatible with multiple devices and delivers a powerful charge with a compact design.

This bi-fold travel wallet is RFID blocking and has plenty of slots to hold all of your different cards. Made from genuine leather with a buckle snap, this wallet is perfect for travel and for everyday use.

This silk sleep mask is made of hypoallergenic and breathable material that is great for sensitive skin, and you can rest assured that this mask will completely block bright light, helping you catch some zzz’s wherever you may be.

Traveling with Kids

These cute kids luggage pieces will have your young traveler ready to pack and hit the road! These are water-resistant, durable, sturdy and long-lasting, so you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.

Function meets fashion with this multipurpose diaper bag. The large capacity backpack comes equipped with a portable changing pad, stroller straps, a pacifier case, a zipper wipe pocket, a key loop, and 5 insulated pockets, making it easy to quickly grab what you need when you’re on the go!

This Mickey Mouse diaper bag hook is just darling for a family Disney trip! Hook it on your stroller and easily hang all of your bags in one place.

These reusable snack bags help to reduce waste by eliminating the use of single-use plastic bags. Pack all your snacks for your kiddos (and you!) in these adorable washable zipper bags and never worry about running out of plastic bags again.

These triple insulated stainless steel water bottles will retain the temperature of your beverage so your cold drinks stay cold and your hot drinks stay hot. They are lightweight and shatterproof, making them great to bring along on any kind of trip.

These Sippin’ Spouts allow you to turn any bottle into a sipper for your little one. The small size make these convenient to carry in your bag at all times.

This diaper bag dispenser can be hooked onto a purse handle, backpack strap, or belt loop for quick access to diaper disposal bags. Use them for dirty diapers, doggy doodoo, or even trash.

This baby wipe dispenser is refillable and the zip-locking pouch keeps wipes from drying out.

This travel first aid kit is great to have handy because as we all know, accidents happen! Be prepared for any bumps and bruises with this compact kit that can fit in your purse or diaper bag.

This neck pillow is cute and comfortable for kids. The ergonomically designed pillow offers neck and head support for those long plane or car rides…and doubles as a toy!

These kids headphones are compatible with almost all electronics and come in a variety of colors. The soft padded cushions and adjustable head strap make these super comfortable and they fold up for compact storage. A group favorite!!

Vintage Suitcases

The past year has certainly been lacking in trips and family vacations for most of us. As we begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, we at Frugal and Thriving are certainly looking forward to booking that first weekend (or week) away! While some of us may still be in the “dreaming of paradise” stage, we want to make sure you’re prepared with all the travel essentials when you finally do reach the planning phase. So if you’re traveling solo, with the family, or for work, we’ve put together a list of items that will make your trip enjoyable from beginning to end.

Traveling Essentials
Frugal and Thriving may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post.

This hardside, lightweight suitcase from Kenneth Cole is stylish and dependable with tons of functional features that will allow you to travel with ease.

These durable luggage cubes are great for keeping all of your clothes and shoes separated and organized.

This toiletry bag lets your sort all of your cosmetics and toiletries into different pouches, and comes with a built-in hook so you can hang your bag with convenience, saving space.

These perfume atomizers let you take your favorite fragrances on the go. The high quality aluminum shell is resistant to damage and the sleek look is ideal for keeping in your handbag.

This handheld portable steamer will help your clothes stay fresh and keep you looking sharp by removing wrinkles from any type of fabric quickly and delicately.

These foldable hangers are versatile and slip-proof, allowing you to hang your clothes wherever you go.

This waterproof and shockproof laptop carrier is light and easy to carry. The high quality canvas comes in unique, fashionable patterns so you can match your bag to your personal style.

This portable charger is compatible with multiple devices and delivers a powerful charge with a compact design.

This bi-fold travel wallet is RFID blocking and has plenty of slots to hold all of your different cards. Made from genuine leather with a buckle snap, this wallet is perfect for travel and for everyday use.

This silk sleep mask is made of hypoallergenic and breathable material that is great for sensitive skin, and you can rest assured that this mask will completely block bright light, helping you catch some zzz’s wherever you may be.

Traveling with Kids

These cute kids luggage pieces will have your young traveler ready to pack and hit the road! These are water-resistant, durable, sturdy and long-lasting, so you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.

Function meets fashion with this multipurpose diaper bag. The large capacity backpack comes equipped with a portable changing pad, stroller straps, a pacifier case, a zipper wipe pocket, a key loop, and 5 insulated pockets, making it easy to quickly grab what you need when you’re on the go!

This Mickey Mouse diaper bag hook is just darling for a family Disney trip! Hook it on your stroller and easily hang all of your bags in one place.

These reusable snack bags help to reduce waste by eliminating the use of single-use plastic bags. Pack all your snacks for your kiddos (and you!) in these adorable washable zipper bags and never worry about running out of plastic bags again.

These triple insulated stainless steel water bottles will retain the temperature of your beverage so your cold drinks stay cold and your hot drinks stay hot. They are lightweight and shatterproof, making them great to bring along on any kind of trip.

These Sippin’ Spouts allow you to turn any bottle into a sipper for your little one. The small size make these convenient to carry in your bag at all times.

This diaper bag dispenser can be hooked onto a purse handle, backpack strap, or belt loop for quick access to diaper disposal bags. Use them for dirty diapers, doggy doodoo, or even trash.

This baby wipe dispenser is refillable and the zip-locking pouch keeps wipes from drying out.

This travel first aid kit is great to have handy because as we all know, accidents happen! Be prepared for any bumps and bruises with this compact kit that can fit in your purse or diaper bag.

This neck pillow is cute and comfortable for kids. The ergonomically designed pillow offers neck and head support for those long plane or car rides…and doubles as a toy!

These kids headphones are compatible with almost all electronics and come in a variety of colors. The soft padded cushions and adjustable head strap make these super comfortable and they fold up for compact storage. A group favorite!!