Create the Best Day Trips

Create the Best Day Trips

Although I know we miss big vacations, a lot of us are staying close to home this summer. Luckily, it’s fun and easy to play a nearby day trip. If you are looking for day trip tips or how to create the best day trips, I’ve got you covered. You never know what you’ll find on your next day trip! Where to go on your day trip Obviously, if it’s a day trip, it needs to be fairly close to home. The easiest way to do this is to use my Circle Your Hometown solution and see what’s in that radius. For a day trip, I’d limit yourself to a drive that’s no more than two hours away. An hour is ideal as it will give you plenty of time to explore while you are away from home, and it will easily be a one tank trip! If there isn’t a town or area of interest within your circle, how about creating a driving tour and checking out several small towns? This can be a lot of fun too as you never know what you’ll find. One town might have a beautiful courthouse, another a delicious spot for lunch, and if you are lucky you’ll stumble across a local ice cream shop. A multi-town trip like this can be an enjoyable day – especially if the weather is gorgeous. Pop on some great music, grab a drink and see what you can discover. What to do on your day trip Well, what do you like to do? Make a list of all the things you enjoy and do a...
Walking Tours – The Best Way to See a City

Walking Tours – The Best Way to See a City

Are you looking for something fun and different to do? Need an easy to execute everyday adventure? Why not try a walking tour? Walking tours are the best way to enjoy the city. Benefits of a walking tour Unless you sign up for a paid version (which can also be fun), most walking tours are free. A walking tour is a great way to get a good feel for a location. You’ll learn a little history, see some interesting sites AND get exercise. Sounds like a win-win-win to me! When we participate in walking tours I always end up finding something extra that wasn’t a part of the tour too. An interesting shop, a local restaurant, or just a beautiful old house are all things we’ve stumbled upon while out walking. I’ve definitely found that the best way to enjoy a city is on foot. How to find a walking tour Most touristy areas have either maps or guided tours so the easiest way to find those is to simply Google “walking tours” and the city name. For example, when I Googled “walking tours Indianapolis” I came up with over a dozen options – most of them free or less than $10! If you are visiting a smaller town, you might have to get a bit more creative. As I’ve been doing a lot of research lately for my Explore Indiana series, I’ve discovered some really cool walking tours in towns I would never have thought would have them. Some of them are geared towards sculptures or murals, some are historical in nature, but regardless I’ve been able to...
Visit Your State Park

Visit Your State Park

I don’t know about where you live, but Indiana State Parks are crazy busy right now. Last weekend, two of them were at capacity at 11:00 in the morning! I do get it though. We are all tired of being cooped up inside, and a state park is a terrific option. They are inexpensive, fun to explore and it’s fairly easy to keep a safe social distance. But, how do you make the most of your visit to a State Park? Pick the right state park The first step to making the most of your visit to a state park is picking the right park. Most state parks offer hiking trails, but some offer other amenities such as a swimming pool, horseback riding, a nature center, playgrounds, and even Inns. So a simple visit to a state park could easily turn into a weekend adventure! McCormick’s Creek State Park Nature Center Before you decide which park to visit, think about what you want to do. If a little bit of hiking is all you are after, perhaps visiting a less popular park or one with fewer amenities is a better choice. You’ll enjoy your day with fewer crowds. However, if your goal is a full day of activity, pick one with many things to do (although call ahead to make sure the amenities you are interested in are open). Although hiking is typically our main goal when visiting a state park, we’ve learned some pretty cool stuff at the various nature centers too! Figure out food A few of the Indiana state parks have an Inn with a restaurant,...
Is the Disney Dining Plan Right for You?

Is the Disney Dining Plan Right for You?

Dining at Disney can be wonderful, but it can also be very expensive. For some folks, the Disney Dining plan can alleviate some of the stress of paying for all those meals. For others, it will cost more than they would typically spend on food. So, is the Disney Dining plan right for you? Delicious dinner at Saana What is the Disney Dining Plan? The Disney Dining plan is basically a method for pre-paying for your food while you are visiting Walt Disney World. It can help make your vacation feel like an all-inclusive experience. It’s available to any guest who is staying at a Disney property. You can use the Disney Dining Plan at multiple Disney Spring Restaurants as well as Disney restaurants at the Disney resorts and parks. If you decide to purchase a Disney Dining Plan, it must be purchased for every member of your party over 3 for the length of your stay. So, you can’t purchase it for just the adults, or purchase it just for 3 of the 5 days you are staying onsite. There are actually four different Disney Dining plans available. Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan This plan is the least expensive option but doesn’t include credits for any of the table service restaurants (as well as character meals). It includes: 2 Quick-Service Meals Per Night of Stay2 Snacks or Nonalcoholic Beverages Per Night of Stay1 Resort Refillable Mug per person Disney considers a quick-service meal to be one where you order at the counter. Some benefits are that it’s typically quicker, and each quick-service meal includes an entree and a drink...
Saving $ for Vacation

Saving $ for Vacation

Are you ready to save money for your next vacation? Even though you might not have gone on Spring Break (and therefore already saved a bunch of money), with all the drops in the economy, saving money for your next vacation is more important than ever. After all, you probably have plenty of time right now to start planning and saving. So why not take advantage of that time? So, how can you save and/or make money for that next trip? In this post, I’m sharing some ways I fund our frequent travel. And as often as I like to travel, these tips are necessary! After all, the more you save, the more you can do, right? Start a travel fund The very first thing to do is to start a travel fund. This can be as formal or as informal as you’d like. Some people need to create a separate bank account specifically for travel, while others prefer other methods. Ready for a few ideas: Save your change. This is an easy way to save and it adds up surprisingly quickly. I love some of the fun banks pictured below, but you could also just use a Mason Jar. Every night, empty your pockets and slide the change in. At the end of the week even empty out your car and purse and add that change.Automate your savings. As I mentioned above you can open a separate bank account and then automatically have $20 or more transferred to it each week. It would also be a great place to put unexpected money like tax refunds, birthday gifts, etc....
Fun Cocktails for Spring Break

Fun Cocktails for Spring Break

Spring Break is the perfect time to create some fun cocktails! Even if you aren’t actually heading to the beach or somewhere tropical, these are easy and delicious drinks to make at home. Serve them in an interesting glass with a little umbrella and pretend you are on vacation! If the weather is nice and we aren’t on vacation, I like to serve a fun drink before or after dinner on our screened-in porch. Add a little dip in the hot tub and it’s a super relaxing way to enjoy an evening at home. Since all of these drinks are created with travel in mind, they don’t require many ingredients or a lot of hard work. Perfect for those lazy drink makers like me! Tropical Lemonade This drink couldn’t be easier. Start with a glass of ice (crushed is always best), fill the glass 3/4 with sparkling lemonade (we are obsessed with Trader Joe’s Sparkling Pink Lemonade), and then top it off with a shot of Malibu Rum. This is a delicious tropical cocktail with minimal effort. With only two ingredients it’s also perfect to bring along for the next time you are headed on vacation. Not going anywhere? It’s delicious to indulge in a glass while sitting out on the back porch (or if you are lucky in the hot tub!). Insider tip: buy a second bottle of the sparkling lemonade for the kids – they will thank you! Bloody Mary Bar When on vacation (or maybe just a lazy Saturday morning), a bloody mary is the ideal morning drink. If we are on vacation with a group...

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