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Category : Travel

Planning a family vacation with little kids can be tough. The idea of a vacation sounds great, but organizing a trip that suits everyone’s needs is a challenge! With my mom celebrating a milestone birthday this year, she wanted to go away as a family. She wanted to be relaxed while spending time with her family. We spent a lot of time thinking about where we should go where we would be able to do just that and we decided on Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Tips for Taking Kids to Atlantis Bahamas

A trip for everyone in the family

Rewind to six years ago when I went to Atlantis for the first time. I was newly married and my husband and I went for a few days on our honeymoon. We stayed at The Cove and there was not a child in sight — perfect for newlyweds. This time around, we stayed at The Royal Tower and our experience was completely different, as you can imagine!

Activities for Kids at Atlantis Bahamas

When we arrived, it didn’t take long to see that it was the perfect place for everyone, including my parents, my 21-year-old brother, and my kids, who are 2-years-old and 4-years-old. As you stand in the lobby, you can see the floor to ceiling aquarium a floor below.

Keeping cool and having fun

Atlantis Bahamas has so much to offer kids of all ages, but my kids couldn’t get enough of Splashers. We spent most of our days doing just that, splashing in the water, which is three feet deep. Jonah went up and down the numerous slides more times than I can count, while Addison went down the little slide and played in the water fountain.

Atlantis Splashers

Bathing suit available at Target.

Children who want to go on the water slide need to get a bracelet from any of the towel desks by the pool before sliding.

When we weren’t submerged in the water at Splashers, we were relaxing on the tubes on the Rapids River. The Rapids River is not the same as the Lazy River, but we are a family of daredevils, especially Addison, so we strapped life jackets on the kids and went for a ride! The resort offers free one day use life jackets in all sizes that are available throughout the property.

The Best of Atlantis Bahamas for Families

Don’t worry, there are water slides for you, too, Mom! We had a little too much fun racing down the slides (oh, I won every time)! With eight fun-filled water slides to choose from, you will have the time of your life! Get close to the sharks without worrying about getting a bite — take the Leap of Faith or the Serpent slide throughout the shark tank and enjoy the view.

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The Atlantis has so much to offer for families with kids and family members of all ages — it’s truly the best multi-age destination. Go rock climbing, swim with the dolphins, interact with the sea lions, or go snorkeling. Whatever you do, enjoy every minute. The Atlantis is worth savoring!

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5 Tips for Visiting Italy with Kids

The beautiful UNESCO coast of Southern Italy, Costiera Amalfitana —known to you as the Amalfi Coast — has always had a reputation for honeymooners and couples. With the romantic setting and picturesque cliffs, I can see why.

However, this wondrous location is also a perfect setting for families of all ages.

For the past eight years, my favorite part of exploring the region has been seeing the children playing soccer in the hidden piazzas, discovering the off-the-beaten path playful beaches, and joining my vendors and their families during a typical lunch near the sea with some of the freshest food you could imagine.

5 Tips for Visiting Italy with Kids

5 Tips for taking kids to the Amalfi Coast of Italy

With so many wonderful excursions available and small towns to explore, I wanted to share some tips on the best way to make the most out of your family fun escape to the Campania region of Italy!

1. Finding the best place to stay

Each area of the coast has its own unique feature. Keeping in consideration budget, how many times you have visited Italy, and the ages of the children, this can make all the difference.

Here is a quick breakdown of the areas and my thoughts:

Sorrento: Although, not technically on the Amalfi Coast, it is still just a 30-minute ride away and the most convenient, practical, and safest place for families to explore. You can easily get on just about any boat to reach the islands of Capri, Amalfi, or Positano. Plus, it’s a bit closer to trains, buses, and the airport.

The town of Amalfi: The town itself is a bit crowded. However, I do still think this is a good location for families who want to make the most out of their trip. It is a much smaller version of Sorrento, but works well if you really want to say on the actual Amalfi Coast. There are restaurants, gelaterie, and it has several boats going out from the port and even a bus that goes up to Ravello!

Positano: This town may be one of my favorite locations in all of the world so I would, of course, recommend staying here… but only if you have an active family. There are about 1,100 steps from the very top of the town to the main beach and you will most likely need to take some steps to get up or into your accommodation (it is located on a cliff). However, if all the family can take the walk, I say it is sure is worth the experience. There are wonderful hikes, great beaches, and some great pastry shops in town to enjoy!

Quick Tip: For ages 14 and under, consider Sorrento. For ages 14+, Consider Amalfi and Positano.

5 Tips for Visiting Italy with Kids

2. Relax at the best beaches in town

The Amalfi Coast is known for its seaside, of course. The beaches are set up with chairs with umbrellas, there are restaurants nearby, paddle boards and kayaks to rent, and local shops to explore. There is really all you need to keep everyone happy!

I recommend heading before 10 a.m. for the best experience. You also will have more sun time! Remember, the Amalfi coast is on a cliff, so you only will have the sun for the early part of the day on most of the beaches.

Quick Tip: Consider visiting Tiberio Beach if heading to the island of Capri for the day to join other local Italian families.

3. Explore the ruins of the region

When visiting a beach-side town, do you want to explore the archaeological sites? Yes!

Pompeii is one of the most incredible places in the world! What an experience for a family to see this site and learn together!

If you book a tour guide, you can experience the best parts of the site in just two hours. Plus, I always find children are amazed with the view of Mt. Vesuvius in the background and the fresh granita (lemon ice drink) available outside the site. My advice… don’t skip the ‘Scavi di Pompeii.”

Quick Tips: Explore Pompeii after 3 p.m. for the best experience and least crowds. Also, consider a private driver to take you there. The trains may be cheaper, but I always feel it is safer and a time saver to just invest in the driver.

5 Tips for Visiting Italy with Kids

4. Try these great activities during vacation

Whether you are in a local restaurant or private home, a great way for families to bond is through a cooking class. What I also love the most is choosing a group class so you is meet other families from around the world during the experience. Bonus: Rain or shine, this activity works!

With some many wonderful locations from Sorrento to Positano, you are sure to find something wonderful to explore when hiking. These trails can lead you to breathtaking views, hidden beaches, and even small towns where they make their own mozzarella!

If a private boat is not in your budget, don’t forget to utilize the local ferries from for a way to experience the coast by sea.

Quick Tip: Take the last ferry back for a sunset view. You can even buy soft drinks and snacks on board for an impromptu picnic!

5. Don’t shy away from visiting during the summer months

As a travel consultant, I hear often that my clients would like to avoid the busy months for travel. However, the summer is the only time this region is fully open and it’s the longest vacation time for the kids, so go ahead and enjoy it!

If you are worried about hitting the crowds, simply contact a travel expert like myself or book at least seven months in advance and you will be sure to still have an authentic and enjoyable experience even with the crowds.

As someone who lives half the year in Italy, I can say that even after 100+ times of visiting the Amalfi Coast, it gets better and better. The warmth of the people, the perfect temperature, the fresh food — all I can say is that your family will be forever grateful.

Take a chance and introduce your loved ones to a region that is the heart of the Italian summer. Let’s start to make the spread the world: Amalfi Coast is open to all ages and family travel too!

Cassandra Santoro is the CEO and Founder of Travel Italian Style. As a personal trip planner and luxury small group tour operator, Cassandra is an expert in slow-travel and authentic experiences throughout Italy. Learn more about her at travelitalianstyle.com.

 

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This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by PADI to review this product.

Discover Scuba Diving for PADI Women's Dive Day #padiwomen #padiwomensdiveday #sponsored

Discover (or rediscover!) scuba diving for 2016 PADI Women’s Dive Day

Scuba Diving is an incredible adventure! The 2016 PADI Women’s Dive Day is coming up and it is a day you won’t want to miss — it truly is a day like no other, a day to share a life-experience with current and new friends. If scuba diving in on your list of things to do, whether it be for the first time or the hundredth, Women’s Dive Day is the perfect day for you.

July 16, 2016 marks the second annual PADI Women’s Dive Day. It’s an annual celebration of women in scuba diving and provides special opportunities for more women to enter the sport of scuba diving.

Join 2016 PADI Women's Dive Day #padiwomen #padiwomensdiveday #sponsored

During PADI Women’s Dive Day, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, dive clubs, and other organizations around the world will offer female-friendly dives and events, ranging from first-dives to shark dives, beach clean-ups to special speaker engagements, and much more. Some PADI Dive Shops will also offer the opportunity to try scuba diving, for the first time, through the PADI Discover Scuba® Diving program. Others will focus on PADI ReActivate™, which gives lapsed divers the opportunity to refresh their scuba skills, rediscover the sport they love and reactivate their dive certifications!

Have you tried scuba diving?

The inaugural 2015 PADI Women’s Dive Day event was an historic day for diving. More than 6,000 divers from 65 countries participated in 335 special events on all seven continents. The PADI photo album on Facebook shows how women — some with their families — from all over the world enjoyed the 2015 event.

How to Participate

If you would like to participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day, you can find an event near you or get more information on the PADI website.

If you’re not yet a PADI-certified diver, you can contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to get started or you can explore options in the PADI course catalog.

If you are already a PADI-certified diver who is interested in participating in a the 2016 PADI Women’s Dive Day event, please contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to see if they’re hosting an event – and encourage them to get involved, if they’re not already.

You can also visit the PADI blog to read all of the details about Women’s Dive Day.

Get under water and have the time of your life! Tag us using #savvysassymoms to share your experience with us!

 

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10 Summer Travel Must-Haves for Toddlers

With summer right around the corner, many of us are thinking about family vacations. Traveling with young kiddos — especially active toddlers — can be daunting, to say the least, but the time together and the memories made on the other end usually make it all worth it. When traveling with toddlers, you have to go into it with a good attitude, lots of snacks, and fully equipped with the right gear. Here are some of our favorites to travel with:

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Trunki
Must-Haves for Summer Travel with Toddlers- Versitile Diaper Bag
Baby Jogger City Mini
Toddler Travel Must-Haves- Beco Toddler Carrier
Toddler Travel Must-Haves- lil gadgets Headphones
Must-Haves for Summer Travel with Toddlers- Portable Toddler Bed
Must-Haves for Summer Travel with Toddlers- Mess-Free Activities
Must-Haves for Summer Travel with Toddlers- Hand Sanitizers That Smell Amazing
Must-Haves for Summer Travel with Toddlers- Wheels for the Airport
Must-Haves for Summer Travel with Toddlers- Yummy Face Wipes
1. Trunki

I think I’m late to the party, but we just discovered Trunki and my boys love them. They have lots of fun packing them for a trip, they feel independent pulling them through the airport, and have a blast going for a ride during a layover.  (Trunki, $50)

2. Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. Bag

When traveling with young kiddos, a versatile bag that can be worn as a backpack is a necessity. While this is technically a diaper bag, I consider it an everything bag, with a perfect design and easy to wipe fabric for traveling. (Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F., $180)

3. Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller and Glider Board

There are a number of great travel strollers out there, but my go-to still remains the Baby Jogger City Mini. With a truly simple one-hand fold, a lightweight design, and its ability to accommodate any of my kiddos, it has been on many trips with our family. With multiple kiddos in town, especially non-stroller riders, attaching the Baby Jogger Glider Board is a lifesaver. (Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller, $250 & Glider Board, $85)

4. Beco Baby Toddler Carrier

I never leave home without a carrier — I find babywearing both convenient and calming for my little ones, especially when we’re traveling. For toddlers, Beco makes a great carrier that’s comfortable, well designed, supportive, easy to adjust between parents, and available in some great patterns. (Beco Baby Toddler Carrier, $180)

5.  lil gadgets Connect+ Kid’s Headphones

I’m not going to lie, technology can be a lifesaver during traveling situations with my little guys. I’ve learned the hard way that headphones are a must for plugging into our own devices or to TVs on the plane. These headphones from lil gadgets are great — they’re sized for little ears, volume limiting, come in cute colors, and use Shareport, which allows you to connect multiple pairs to one device without a splitter. (lil gadgets Connect+, $20)

6. Shrunks Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed

I love this bed and it has been on countless trips with our family. It’s perfect for kiddos who are out of a crib, but do too much rolling or wiggling for a hotel bed. It’s surprisingly lightweight and easy to tuck in a suitcase. (Shrunks Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed, $79)

7. Melissa and Doug Water Wow

I always stock up on fun new activities for our trips, hiding them until the day we leave to keep their novelty alive! I love Water Wow pads because they allow the kids to color and feel creative without the mess of markers or the hassle of loose crayons.  (Melissa and Doug Water Wow, $5)

8. The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray

Germs are pretty much unavoidable when traveling. I try not to stress out about it, but I do keep hand sanitizer handy and distribute it liberally. The Honest Company spray is my go-to for keeping germ-free when we travel. It isn’t filled with harsh chemicals and I love the scents.  (The Honest Co. Hand Sanitizer Spray 2-pack, $6)

9. Go-Go Babyz Travelmate

With a young toddler, I find bringing a car seat onto the plane the easiest and safest way to ride out the flight, and a travel cart is definitely the easiest way to get schlep the seat around airport.  (Go-Go Babyz Travelmate, $90)

10. Neat Cheeks

Messy faces are inevitable when you’re eating out and in the car during your trip! These wipes are beyond handy, as well as being a natural and easy was to keep your favorite little faces and fingers clean.  (Neat Cheeks Peach Wipes, $5)

What are your must haves when traveling with your little ones?

 

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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New Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California

Already planning your summer travels? Or just looking for a fun family getaway this spring? Then pack a swimsuit and prepare to earn some major parenting points with a stay at the new Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California!

In February, Great Wolf Lodge resort opened their 13th location in Garden Grove, the brand’s first in California. Here are three reasons you’ll want to check it out with your family.Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California

Reason No. 1: The water slides

Let’s start with the obvious — there are water slides in the hotel! Exclusive for resort guests, the indoor water park boasts 105,000-square feet of watery fun. There are five pools, 12 different water slides, a lazy river, a kiddie play area, a wave pool, an obstacle course, basketball hoops, a watery jungle gym, and a surf-able continuous wave. My kids were fans of the Mountain Edge Raceway where four people can race head-to-head on the water track for victory, and River Canyon Run, a nearly 500-foot long family raft ride.

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The Wolf Rider Wipeout was also a hit! You can boogie board, knee board or even attempt to surf the continuous wave.

Whether you want to get doused by hundreds of gallons of water by the Fort Mackenzie bucket, conquer your fears on the 360° Wolf Tail (complete with a vertical plunge through a trapdoor!), or relax in a tube on the Crooked Creek lazy river, there is something for everyone to enjoy. wolf-den-suite-1-img7935-1200x500

 Reason No. 2: The rooms

As a family of five, one of the things I appreciate most about the Great Wolf Lodge is the number of sleeping arrangements they have for large families or groups. While the Queen and King Suites only sleep up to four, all the other rooms sleep six or more people, with some rooms sleeping up to eight! You can also get adjoining suites to sleep more than that. Whether you’re bringing all the cousins, your brother’s family with you, or you’ve splurged on an overnight birthday party for your tween, the Great Wolf Lodge has rooms that can accommodate you.

Which Room Should You Choose at Great Wolf Lodge?

We stayed in one of the themed KidCabin Suites that has a queen bed, a sofa sleeper and a special nook with a bunk bed and a twin bed for my little cubs to hibernate for the night. The themed suites offer fun, kid-friendly decor featuring the GWL Animal Friends and interactive elements that can be activated with a MagiQuest wand or Clubhouse Crew Animal (more on those below!).Bear

Reason No. 3: MagiQuest and Clubhouse Crew

One of the other fun features of the Great Wolf Lodge are two interactive scavenger hunt games. MagiQuest is designed for older kids who can read (or who can get help from a parent) while the Clubhouse Crew is perfect for younger kids. To play, you’ll need to buy either a wand or a Clubhouse Crew friend. You register the wand or plush animal with your name and then you’re off! Throughout the resort, you’ll be on the hunt for these stations to interact with.

MagiQuest

For MagiQuest, there are three different challenges you can choose from, each with their own missions. Depending on which one you choose, the game can take from 30 minutes up to 3 hours , making it a great option if you are staying for multiple days. Parents be warned: The wands activate things everywhere throughout the resort — in the lobby, in the halls, in the Loose Moose restaurant — there are kids everywhere waving their wands and making things talk, jingle, chime, and move. In other words, this is not the place to go if you want a quiet getaway.

Creation Station

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For the Clubhouse Crew, you start by building your own animal friend (think Build-A-Bear). You can choose from a handful of different forest creatures and an outfit of your choice. One your plush animal is stuffed, dressed, and activated, you’re off to follow the clues to solve your mystery. The kids really do get involved with the scavenger hunt activity and get to take home their wand or animal. Plus, both will remember what you’ve already accomplished so the next time you return to the GWL, you can pick up where you left off.

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There are also tons of non-water related activities at Great Wolf Lodge from bowling and mini golf, to an arcade and a mini spa — so many more reasons to love the Great Wolf Lodge… you’ll just have to visit and explore on your own!

Visit the Great Wolf Lodge website to book your stay at the new California location or any of their other locations around the U.S.

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Sanibel Island Sundial Beach Resort and Spa Beach
A few months ago, I was able to spend a weekend on Sanibel Island, Florida. I had never been to Sanibel Island or in this particular part of Florida. We’ve pent time in Orlando and Miami and we’ve been to Tampa a few time because my mother-in-law lives there, but unfortunately we never went to much further down the Gulf Coast. I really didn’t know too much about Sanibel Island or what it had to offer before I arrived, but a quick Google search told me that Sanibel Island
was named the the No.1 family-friendly vacation spot in the country on NBC’s Today Show, in May 2015. You can imagine how excited I was to check it out after reading that.

So, what makes Sanibel Island so special?

Sanibel Island Shelling on the Beach

Sanibel Island No. 1 Shelling Beach

Sanibel Island is the No. 1 beach in North America for shelling and with 15 miles of beach and over 250 different types of shells, they take their shelling very seriously here. I have never seen so many shells on the beach in my life! To see them is one thing, but to walk barefoot and feel them is another. A storm was definitely a brewing during our visit in late fall, but that didn’t keep us — and many other people — off the beach to walk among the millions of shells beautifully scattered everywhere. My kids were not with me on this, trip but I could definitely see them collecting buckets of shells that would require an extra suitcase to take home!

My weekend in Sanibel was during the off-season, so it did rain quite a bit while I was there. But, rain aside, feeling the warm tropical breeze and listening to the waves crash made it special anyways.
Sundial Beach Resort Pool Sanibel Island Pool

Sundial Resort Living Room Sanibel Island
Sundial Resort & Spa

I was invited to get a little taste of Sanibel Island by the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, a condominium style resort that caters to families looking for that laid back beach family vacation. As we drove down the long coastal stretch of road to the Sundial Beach Resort, you could feel the simplicity and relaxed beach vibe instantly. One thing you’ll notice while in Sanibel is that there are no gigantic high-rise hotels or buildings obstructing your view or closing in on you. There are very strict building codes to preserve the island’s natural habitat and keep it from looking like a concrete jungle.

Our two-bedroom suite was just what you would hope to find in a fully-furnished condo for a family vacation at the beach. This is always a great option for families — plenty of room for everyone to have their own space, a large kitchen for making small meals, and a comfortable family room area for relaxing after a long day exploring the beach. Our condo faced the ocean and had a large screened in patio, which was perfect for watching the sunset, or the sun rise!

Sundial Beach Resort and Spa Sea School at Sanibel Island

Sanibel Sea School

The Sundial Beach Resort and Spa has many kid-friendly amenities including the Sanibel Sea School campus, which offers more than 30 half- and full-day educational classes, helping kids become ocean stewards. This was one of the most impressive features of the Sundial Resort. When my family travels we want our kids to be engaged with their surroundings and maybe even learn a thing or two. I’m not a fan of kid’s clubs that only offer television and video games as activities… they can watch TV at home! The Sanibel Sea School is a hands-on learning experience that is both fun and educational.

Sundial Beach Resort Kay Casperson Spa

Kay Casperson Spa

During every family vacation, there needs to be a little “mom-time” on the itinerary. The Sundial Beach Resort and Spa is home to the Kay Casperson Spa where you can spend an afternoon pampering yourself while the kids are at Sea School. The spa pedicure chairs face the ocean and the service was great!

Keylime Bistro Captiva Island Sanibel Island Florida
Captiva Island

Sanibel’s sister island is Captiva Island, a small charming town just a short and very scenic drive from Sanibel. Everyone told us to go and I could certainly see why! Captiva has many unique restaurants and shopping, so it’s perfect for spending the day just wondering around. We literally got caught in the rain, but it gave us the chance to stop for lunch at the famous Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill and then hit up the Key Lime Bistro for some of their award winning key lime pie. I have to say, it was the best key lime pie I’ve ever had!

Visiting Sanibel Island in Florida

 

The sea, once it casts its spell, holda one in its net of wonder forever.

My time on Sanibel Island was short and sweet but it definitely made quite an impression! It’s the quintessential spot for a family vacation that is less about the hustle and more about spending quality time as a family. This is a perfect spot for multi-generational family vacations and I can see why it has been awarded the No. 1 family-friendly destination in the country. So now, I am making plans to return to Sanibel Island… with the kids and both the grandmas, too!

Have you been to Sanibel Island?
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Holiday Gifts for Travelers Savvy Sassy Moms

10 Travel gifts for her

The girl who seems to have her next adventure planned before the wheels even touch down on her previous trip can be hard to shop for — she isn’t typically held down by stuff and everything must be ready-to-go at any moment… just in case the travel bug hits! These travel gifts for her will be a huge hit for the women with wanderlust in your life, whether she’s traveling with kids or without!

1. Bose Quiet Comfort Headset, $299
2. Stephanie Johnson ML Traveler Cosmetic Case, $88 & Susan Jewelry Roll, $60
3. MAC Essential Brush Set, $53
4. Luggage Scale, $20
5. Tieks Ballet Flats, $265
6. Axel + Ash Bucket List Journal, $40
7. Wanderlust Bangle, $45
8. TWELVElittle 3-in-1 Fold Over Bag, $205
9. S’well Blanc Crocodile Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $25
10. Kate Spade Everpurse iPhone Charging Clutch, $198

What’s on your travel wish list?
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SKI GUIDE.001
Hey, ski and snowboard mamas! It’s that time of year… the slopes are calling! Have you brought out all the ski gear to take inventory yet? Do those snow pants still fit the kids and did you ever find that missing glove? Have you planned this winter’s epic family ski vacation? I know, there is so much to do in the holiday season, and teaching your children to ski or snowboard or planning that dream winter getaway can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help!

Together with our friends at Momtrends and Luxury Travel Mom, we’ve compiled everything you need for a successful year on the slopes! The 2015/2016 Family Ski and Snowboard Guide is packed full of ski resort listings and expert tips from family travel blogger, as well as ski interviews from Sarah Schlepper, Jonny Mosley and Krista Parry. We also have all the hot new ski gear you need for both on and off the slopes, including how to keep your kids feet warm and a handy printable packing list!

 

Family Ski & Snowboard Guide

Throughout the winter, we’ll be hosting fun and informative #SKiMoms Twitter Chats. Stay tuned for details and joins us to chat! Make sure you’re following our ski and snowboarding adventures over on Instagram, too… I’m hitting the slopes of Whistler with my own family in just a couple of weeks!

What Kind of Skier are You

Andrea Fellman Family Ski Guide with KidsSavvy Sassy Moms on Instagram

 

 

 

NIcole Ski Headshot Photo

Momtrends on Instagram

 

 

 

Kim-MarieHelmetLuxury Travel Mom on Instagram

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I love cold weather favorites like scarves, fires and hot apple cider as much as the next person. But you know what else I love? A winter getaway to somewhere warm! Recently, I had the chance to escape for a mom’s weekend away in Palm Springs with one of my besties to the Two Bunch Palms Resort. Here’s why you should plan a mini warm-weather getaway with someone special, too.

How to Plan a Winter Palm Springs Getaway

Two Bunch Palms Resort is located in Desert Hot Springs, just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. The resort is the perfect place to plan a couples trip or BFF getaway. I grabbed my bestie from high school who lives 8 hours away from me and who I don’t get to spend nearly enough face-to-face time with. With five boys between us, we were due for some girl time!

The 270-acre property at Two Bunch Palms is perfect for a relaxing getaway. It’s hidden away on a hill in Desert Hot Springs (you have to watch carefully so you don’t miss the driveway!) and is very quiet and secluded. In fact, the entire time I was there, not a single person asked me for a glass of milk or to tie their shoe! Here are my four must-haves for any good mom getaway:

Two Palms Resort in Californai

The perfect place to soak

Two Bunch Palms Resort’s Grotto is one of the highlights of the resort and one of the places where you’ll undoubtedly spend a great deal of time. Not surprisingly, it was just voted “America’s Best Hot Springs” at the 2015 Wellness Travel Awards, hosted by SpaFinder 365! With two adjoining hot springs to choose from (a 99°F one that is perfect for lounging in and a hot 104°F one for truly relaxing those tight mama muscles), the mineral hot springs have been flowing at this location for over 600 years!

Besides the water itself, the ambiance of the Grotto is sublime. There is a waterfall and whisper-only policy to help you zen out, built-in seats and floaties to help you bliss out in the water, and lots of nooks and crannies in and around the Grotto to find your own personal space to finally take a deeeeeep exhale.

Planning the Perfect Girlfriend Spa Weekend

Get your spa on

Any good mom getaway has to include a spa treatment. Two Bunch Palms has a number of traditional treatments to choose from like massages, facials and scrubs. But, they also have a number of unique treatments to their resort like their Watsu — a pool-based treatment where your body is gently guided through warm water to encourage flexibility, relaxation and balance — or their 7 Centers Chakra experience (I tried this one!), which blends a massage-like experience with aromatherapy oils designed to correlate to each of your seven chakras. I had no idea what my chakras were, but I do know that I left my treatment relaxed, renewed and smelling divine!

Getaways With Food Options That are Healthy

Meals matter

I love healthy food that fuels your body with goodness. I also love wine. And chocolate. And chips and salsa. All things in moderation, right? So on our girl getaway, we tried to balance the healthy and the indulgent. We started off each day on a good foot with a healthy breakfast at Essence, the farm-to-table, on-property restaurant. Fresh-pressed juice blends, homemade home fries, and an omelet with seasonal veggies was the perfect start to the day. Be sure to save time for a espresso from your in-room coffee machine and some morning reading on your private patio.

Dining Options at Two Bunch Palms Resort

While Essence is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we opted to explore off the property for our other meals. For lunch, we ventured out Appetito, a Cal-Italian deli in Palm Springs. With a variety of snacks, small plates, pasta, salads, pizzas and more, you’re sure to find the perfect nibble to satisfy your appetite. Appetito has a great patio for outdoor seating if it’s nice, and cute, modern booths inside if you want more privacy.

Where to Eat in Palm Springs

For dinner, we decided to venture into downtown Palm Springs for a few more, um, indulgent meals. Chips, salsa, fresh-made guac and margaritas are a must at Las Casuelas. With an extensive menu of Mexican favorites, you can’t go wrong here. Sit outside along the street for great people watching, inside for more privacy or in the outdoor bar for great live music and dancing. Also, I can tell you from experience that the Mexican Chocolate Kahlua Fudge Brownie with ice cream is an excellent way to end your meal.

Where to Get Cocktails in Palm Springs

We only had drinks at the Workshop Kitchen + Bar, but will definitely be back for more. The modern ambiance inside this place and inventive menu is worth a longer visit. Our waiter recommended an off-menu cocktail called the Army Navy which I highly recommend. Next time, drinks and dinner.

Restaurants for a Girls Palm Springs Weekend

Finally, we tried out Eight4Nine, a new restaurant in downtown Palm Springs set in an old design store of the same name. With tall white walls, black-and-white photography and accent pops of pink, the interior feels very chic and very Palm Springs. Try their signature Eight4Nine cocktail or their exclusive LVPolitan. The eclectic menu offers everything from fried chicken and ahi tuna poke bowls, to lobster pot pie to chile relleno. Either way, be sure to start with the Mushroom & Brussels Sprout Toast appetizer — you’re welcome. Best of all, there are a lots of different rooms at Eight4Nine so whether you are hosting a lively party of 12 or a private dinner for two, they’ll have the perfect table for you.

Feeding Your Soul with Yoga in Palm Springs

Feeding your soul

Sure you’ve booked a gorgeous room and a relaxing spa treatment, but Two Bunch goes a step beyond when it comes to creating the perfect kid-free getaway by including a number of daily wellness activities to round out your relaxation. Depending on the day, you can choose from a Tai Chi, yoga, juicing class, wine tasting or a guided mediation, among others.

Morning Yoga at Two Bunch Palms ResortSome of my favorites were the morning yoga in the Yoga Dome, a gorgeous, calming room and the perfect way to set the tone for the day. The afternoon Vino and Van Gogh class was also a must. The teacher is a lovely soul and no, there’s no artistic ability needed — the wine helps with that, too.

Vino and Van Gogh Paining Classes

So, are YOU ready to get away? Visit TwoBunchPalms.com for more information on the resort and to plan your own getaway. See their current specials here!

SSM was not paid for this post. We were provided travel accommodations.

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Savvy Travel Items: Savvy Sassy Moms

Travel savvy must haves

As a woman who travels frequently, there are certain things I have to bring along to help me stay completely mobile and organized. When packing up my carry on or large tote — whether I’m traveling solo for work or on a trip with the family — these are some of the things that help keep me sane on the go: Laptop, iPad mini, headset, snacks, lotion, lip gloss, facial wipes, external batteries for my phone, tech bag for chargers and cords, business cards, sunscreen stick, notebook, Sharpies, screen wipes and my new wanderlust journal. I also always have a sweater or scarf tucked in my bag and my travel socks handy, just in case I am wearing sandals, because my feet get so cold on the plane.


Jackery External Battery Chargers: Savvy Sassy MomsJACKERY

Every savvy traveler travels with at least one external battery charger and, depending on if you are traveling with family or solo, you may need more than one for all those devices! There are a variety of Jackery chargers available, both in size and charging capabilities.

Jackery Mini is the size of a lipstick and a great option that will literally fit in your pocket or a clutch for an evening out. This is really for a one-time charge on-the-go — it’s a great back-up emergency charger or perfect for your kids phones. The Jackery Bar is a little bit bigger and will charge your phone twice before needing to be plugged in. I like having these in my carry on because they are small in size and will not weigh you down. You can always pack a larger one in your main luggage.


Savvy Travel Petunia Pickle BottomPetunia Picklebottom Case Jackery Savvy Sassy Travel

PETUNIA PICKLE BOTTOM

Packing up the electronics means lots of messy cords and chargers. I like to put all my cords and chargers in a designated tech case and I’ve found that a cosmetic bag is the perfect fit — not only doe sit get the job done, but gets it done in style! The Petunia Pickle Bottom Cosmetic Pouch is perfect for keeping all your cords, plugs and charges all together in one pretty place.

Savvy Travelers Screen Wipes and Teeth Wipes Savvy Sassy Moms
SAVVY TRAVELERS

One of my favorite new discoveries for savvy traveling is the products from Savvy Travelers. These small, disposable pouches of travel must-haves are so easy to travel with. They’re individually packaged and super lightweight, so you can throw them in your bag without worrying about it. Savvy Travelers IN THE KLEAR are lens and screen luxe sheets for cleaning all your devices and glasses — there’s nothing worse than a smudged up screen! While the SPEAK EAZY luxe wipes are the perfect alternative to packing your toothbrush and toothpaste on the plane — give your teeth a wipe and you’re fresh and ready for meeting friends or family at baggage claim!

One Truffle Travel Accessories Savvy Sassy Moms

ONE TRUFFLE

I’ve been a fan of these clear pouches for years now. One Truffle makes clear bags that keep things organized and protected from any spills. The large One Truffle Pouches are great for protecting electronics, cords and chargers or they can be used for cosmetics or jewelry. When you have all the important items in one nice bag you can easily transfer it to different handbags in a second. The larger pouch is perfect for my notebook, iPad mini, Sharpies and my business cards!

Wanderlust Bucket List Axel and Ash Savvy Sassy Moms Travel

AXEL & ASH

The latest add to my carry on is the wanderlust journal from Axel and Ash. This book is great for documenting where you are going, what your travel expectations are and for journaling about what you see and do. I realize that many of us take notes and document things by photographs and thorugh social media, but there is something wonderful about physically writing with pen and paper what you are experiencing. These books also prompt you with questions, so you might even discover more about a place then you originally intended.

Other travel style savvy must-haves

Hand cream: Kiehl’s First Class Hand Purifying Treatment  / Facial wipes:  Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes / Sunscreen stick: Sun Bum Face Stick

Travel safe & stylish!
Savvy Travel packing your carry on Savvy Sassy Moms

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