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Do you ave a travel lover in your life? I’ve put together a list of 16 affordable travel gifts that are perfect for every woman wanderlust you know. From a weekend getaway to their first trip around the world, this list is going to help make her travel easier, lighter and more enjoyable. This easy online gift guide makes buying travel gifts for every woman you know easy! Simply click the image or the title of the gift idea to have the gift mailed straight to your door. No more spending hours walking the aisles of the mall, then leaving empty handed.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Here are 20 Easy Gift Ideas for Women Who Love Travel1) A Scratch off Map!

This is a perfect gift for ANY traveler. Who’s NOT counting their countries visited these days? Let your inner wanderlust free by scratching the map as you go! Help her show her travels for all to see!

2) A Powerful External Battery

Never let your phone die again. This powerful external battery can charge two devices at once. It can also charge an iPhone up to 7 times, charge an Ipad, Ipad Mini, Android or even e-readers. With an 18-month warranty and a built in multiprotect safety system, what’s not to love about Anker?

3) tile

Friends don’t let friends lose their keys or their backpacks or their laptops. Don’t let your travel lover lose their stuff! We learned the hard way that lost keys can be EXPENSIVE to replace. Tile is changing that. With the quick download of an app, your belongings can be GPS located AND they will sound an alarm so you can find them by noise as well. Every travel lover knows that securing your belongings is paramount, so give them some extra protection with Tile.

4) Addalock Portable Door Lock

Whether you’re traveling alone or with company, having the peace of mind that you are secure while you bathe or sleep is paramount. Having used a door security on my travels, it is undisputed that I feel safer, sleep better and have a better trip knowing I am safe in my most vulnerable moments. Considering this door lock takes up virtually no space in luggage, it’s a no brainer for travel!

Click here to save $40 off Your first Airbnb Stay 5) Shampoo Bars

You read that right. The world is changing and so is shampoo! These are shampoo bars! They save travelers space, weight in their bag and money. They are more eco friendly; producing much less plastic waste. They last longer than bottle shampoo too! These little bars use far less (or no) additives and detergent than regular bottled shampoo which means they leave your hair feeling much healthier. Give your travel lover the gift of flawless hair and don’t forget to snag the resuable tin as well!

6) Packing Cubes

Packing cubes will change the way you travel. Don’t let your travel lover travel without them. They not only keep all of your belongings organized, but they also help pack down your clothes. This leaves you with more space in your bag for souvenirs, an extra pair of shoes OR maybe now you can actually fit all your stuff in a carry on! Cha Ching! No more checked bag fees! Stay organized & compact with packing cubes!

7) Passport Wallet

Make everything easier by having all your travel documents in one place. This RFID blocking wallet holds tickets, a passport, credit cards and cash. This wallet is perfect for not only the long travel days, but keeping your identifying documents with you and safe on your day to day travels!

8) Travel Wrap & Blanket

This wrap is absolutely perfect. Not only is it a stylish way to travel, it doubles as a blanket. Get comfy on your next flight, train or roadtrip. When you’re at your destination, wear it as an accessory!

9) An international SIM Card

On of the most important travel items is a SIM card that works where you are traveling. You will spend tons of money on International plans through domestic carriers, but Travel Sim is changing that. You head to the website, pick the plan that works for you, order the card and simply insert the SIM into your phone! Voila! You can track your usage on their website, so you never run out! Don’t be left in the dark. Stay connected with family, friends, and your phone’s GPS!

10) A Compact Rain Jacket

A good rain jacket is imperative for any travel. No more juggling of carrying a bulky umbrella and pulling heavy luggage. This jacket can be stowed easily in a backpack when it isn’t being used. This is a practical gift that can be used day to day around the world!

11) Dreambly Wash/Dry Sheets

With checked baggage becoming so expensive, it only makes sense to travel light with a carry-on only. But lugging heavy detergent from place to place is also annoying. Enter Dreambly wash-dry sheets. These things are game changing. Pop one sheet into the wash to clean your clothes and then move the same sheet to the dryer for the dryer sheet. Genius!! Best part: they are chemical free!

12) Travel Journal

Help your travel lover keep their memories fresh in their minds by writing down their adventures, delicious meals, mishaps, and newly discovered places. Keeping a travel journal is amazing for looking back and reliving experiences. This travel journal has thick, quality paper and pouches to collect ticket stubs or small memories.

13) Dual Voltage Hair Straightener/Curler

Change the way you travel with a dual voltage straightener (or curler). Instead of needing a bulky converter, all you need an adaptor to get the look you’re going for. A perk of this specific straightener is the extra long swivel cord; keeping it from getting tangled or damaged on your travels.

14) An Auduble Subscription

Audible is a monthly subscription to access over 450,000 audiobooks. The first month of the membership is free. Members get one free audiobook a month, 30% off additional audiobooks, plus 2 free Originals a month. For anyone who suffers from motion sickness or wants to road trip, Audible is the perfect gift. Now your favorite traveler can listen to a thriller or romance novel while fulfilling their wanderlust.

15) Travel Mini Hair Dryer (Dual Voltage)

This hairdryer is AHMAZING! Not only is it dual voltage for use anywhere, this hairdryer is TINY. it is absolutely perfect for travel. Don’t judge it’s size, this little dyer packs a punch and does a fantastic job!

16) Life Straw Water Bottle

If you’re traveling internationally, this type of water bottle is a life saver. You can fill it with water from any tap and drink knowing your water is safe for consumption. Save the planet by using less plastic water bottles and save your stomach from a nasty stomach bug due to bad drinking water!

17) Travel Jewelry Organizer

Keep your necklaces tangle free as you travel to your next destination. This little organizer can hold 5 necklaces, 15 pairs of earrings, has a 2 padded ring loops and a pouch to store jewelry accessories such as extra earring backs. It’s compact and easy to travel with!

18) Wine Skin Portable Wine Bags

Find good wine while traveling? Bring it home with you! These bags make traveling with bottles of wine so easy. They protect the bottle from breaking, but in the off chance they break, the bag is sealed to keep the liquid contained within the bag. So, bring home the gift of wine for everyone you know!

19) Mini Clothes Steamer

Never worry about wrinkle clothes while you travel again. This dual voltage steamer may be small, but it packs a punch! Its 1.4 ounce water tank heats up in under 15 seconds making your morning routine short and sweet! So you can now roll your clothes to save space, but not have to worry about a wrinkled blouse at you next business meeting!

20) World Traveler Charm Necklace

Help her celebrate her love for travel with a gorgeous necklace. Who says travel isn’t beautiful?

You’re going to the be the star of gift giving this year. Share the wanderlust with these awesome travel gifts. Which on is your favorite? Do you have any go-to items you want to see on this list? Let me know!

 

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MAY LIKE:

25 Travel Must Haves for Adults What We Spent at Disney World for a Family of 4 6 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe on Vacation

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AMAZON AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:

There are links on this site that can be defined as “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided.

Big  Brave Nomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

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Best Travel Apps for Toddlers & Preschoolers

While screen time with toddlers can be a controversial topic, I allow both of my toddlers access to iPads when we travel.  Whether in the car, plane, or train.  For me, it isn’t about quantity, but quality.  Are they mindlessly watching movie after movie or are they learning the alphabet, counting, shapes or colors?  I recently asked several other mothers in my Moms Love Travel Facebook Group what applications they love for their preschool age kids. I compiled their answers and below you will find the most recommended apps for toddlers.

I absolutely love our iPad Mini., but we also use a Kindle Fire. Both are great for toddlers or preschoolers.

If you’re looking for NON-Tech Entertainment, check out this post on 15 Ways to Entertain a Toddler While Traveling

Safety

First things first, let’s talk safety.  With the recent Momo scare, unexpected pornography, and adults plugging suicide into children’s videos, we cannot be too careful when our children are using technology.  Here are 2 ways to protect your preschooler from accessing inappropriate content.

For more information about travel safety, check out our 6 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe on Vacation.

Guided Access

For us personally, we use the built-in “Guided Access” feature on Apple products.  This feature allows parents to disable different features of the iPad to include: volume control, exiting the current application, screen orientation, an app opening a second web browser, or using the home button to leave an application.  This feature is amazing and has really allowed us to control where our toddlers go inside the iPad.  It has also stopped chubby fingers from exiting the movie 84920485 times.

OurPact

Our friend’s over at Wanderlust Crew told us about this application.  It allows parents to set time limits for use and what applications the child can use.  This may be helpful for a child who wants to move from game to game.  Once the time is up, the technology becomes unusable.  This application also has a GPS feature which allows you to track your child should they wander off with the phone or iPad.  If you have older children, check out this blog about The Best Travel Apps for Kids.

Save Money

Another tip is to not download every app immediately.  In order to save money downloading a variety of apps is to download “Apps Gone Free.” This app shows you which apps have been discounted or are free for a limited time.  If you have patience, you could slowly get all of the Preschool apps this way.

FREE Educational Apps for ToddlersKahn Kids

Kahn Kids is an app for children ages 2-6.  It encourages reading, math, social-emotional development, language, and motor development through a variety of games, books, songs and activities.  Cost: FREE

Bible App for Kids

This interactive application takes your preschooler through the big stories of the Bible.  It’s full of colorful illustrations, engaging content and kid-friendly navigation to bring the Bible to life.  Cost: FREE

Many off these Apps require sound. I highly reccomend these Toddler Safe Headphones. Paid Educational Apps for ToddlersABC Mouse

This app is based off of the award-winning program that covers reading, math, etc for children ages 2-8.  You can download apps individually or as a bundle.  Cost: There are two membership options for ABC Mouse: $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year. 

StarFall

Starfall is a series of applications for preschoolers. From recognizing letters and numbers to connecting them to real world objects.  The applications include Starfall ABCs, Starfall I’m reading, Starfall Numbers, Starfall All About Me, etc.  It was started to help children learn to read and evolved into a community of applications.  Cost: $0 - $4.99 per application

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

This is the #1 rated preschool app in the app store.  This toddler app teaches colors, shapes, matching, letters, counting and sizes.  Preschoolers interact with an animated monkey who helps them along.  Cost: $1.99

Endless Alphabet

Set your preschooler up for reading success with Endless Alphabet.  This app helps teach the ABCs and build their vocabulary.  Each word features puzzles, talking letters, and a short animation to help illustrate the definition.  Cost: $8.99, Save by Bundling All of the Endless Apps for $59.99

Endless Numbers

Your toddler will be ahead of the curve by learning number recognition, numerical patters, simple addition, quantities & sequences.  Each number features a puzzle and animation that provides context and meaning to each number.  Cost: $8.99, Save by bundling ALL of the Endless apps for $59.99

Teach Your Monster to Read

This app will cover the first two years of learning to read.  Starting with matching letters and sounds to enjoying short books.  The app includes all three games: First Steps, Fun with Words, and Champion Reader.  Cost: $4.99

Yum Yum Letters

This app teaches your little one how to write letters using a gentle approach to teaching handwriting.  Kids will learn letters, letter names, sounds and demonstration of letter formation by following a caterpillar, smiling snowflake or a fluffy spider.  Cost: $3.99

Yum Yum Numbers

Much like Yum Yum Letters, this application walks little ones through counting and writing letters 0-99.  Using the same positive reinforcement as Yum Yum letters, parents are able to track their child’s progress within the app.  Cost: $3.99

If you’re looking for NON-Tech Entertainment, check out this post on 15 Ways to Entertain a Toddler While Traveling

Game Apps for PreschoolersSagoMini

Your preschooler will love playing with their new Sago Mini friends!  This app takes your child on and adventure through space, forests, building a robot, driving a firetruck, designing a monster, deep sea diving, and even becoming a superhero.  This app has won awards such as, “Parent’s Choice Gold Award” and “Academics Smart Choice Award.” Cost:  App starts at $3.99 and bundles for $19.99

LEGO DUPLO

This series of apps is based off the physical Lego Duplo toys. Each app is designed to help toddlers and preschoolers develop fine motor skills, understand the world around them, better express themselves and increase vocabulary.  From building houses to designing trains, your little one will love these games.  Cost: FREE

Check out this LEGO DUPLO Airport Set, perfect for Little Travelers!

PBS KIDS

There are two choices with PBS; PBS KIDS Videos or PBS KIDS Games.  Both apps are free.  The games app offers over 100 games that encourage learning math, science, creativity, reading, and more.  The video app allows children to stream their favorite PBS shows right to their device. (In order to stream videos you will need Wi-Fi or 3G)  Cost: FREE

Magic Fingers

Toddlers and preschoolers will love using the over 50 different effects to create their very own artwork!  As a fun way of expanding their fine motor skills and imagination, this app provides 10 finger multi-touch input to create super colorful images.  Cost: FREE

I have found that these apps are best for an older 2-year-old to a school age child.  Younger babies may enjoy applications such as Smart Baby or Baby Bubbles.

What apps do you keep on your device for your toddler?  Share in the comments so we can all try it out.

If you’re looking for NON-Tech Entertainment, check out this post on 15 Ways to Entertain a Toddler While Traveling

If you’re looking for ways to entertain yourself while traveling, I highly recommend Audible. We swear by audio books on long drives and long flights.

 

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MAY LIKE:

9 Ways to Get Your Kid to Sleep on A Plane 25 Travel Must Haves for Babies & Toddlers Make Your Trip Amazing with Airbnb

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AMAZON AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:

There are links on this site that can be defined as “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided.

Big  Brave Nomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

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Every parent wants their young child to sleep on an airplane.  It’s just the truth.  Having a sleeping kid on an airplane makes everyone less stressed.  Whether your flight is 2 hours or 15 hours, it’s a good feeling to get some much needed relaxation while the little one snoozes the miles away.  We have put a baby to sleep on an airplane, put a toddler and a baby to sleep on an airplane and we’ve even gotten two toddlers to sleep on an airplane. We have one good sleeper and one not so good sleeper, so it’s not always easy. In order to help other parents who feel overwhelmed by sleep time on a plane, I put together 6 ways to get your child to sleep on a flight, so let’s get snoozing!

Latham using his DockATot DeluXE here and snoozing away a flight from Amsterdam to Prague.

Here are 9 Ways to help your child to sleep on an airplane:1) Tire them out.

One mistake many parent’s make is not allowing their child to run free inside the airport before a flight.  Instead of trapping them in a stroller or putting them in a carrier, consider letting them be the boss.  Let them run down the hall, climb a few chairs, or challenge them to a game that involves them moving around.  One game idea would be to have them go find as many airplanes as they can out of the windows.  The idea is to burn down the energy BEFORE the flight! Check out Why We Reccomend Airport Lounges for Families.

Charletta running through the pensacol airport

2) Invest in an Inflatable Foot PillowI give this tip a lot because it’s one of the best investments we have made for travel with our toddlers.  For long haul flights, we inflate them for each kid just after the seatbelt sign goes off and don’t deflate them until we have to put our tray tables away.  Our kids have slept through the night because they are able to laydown flat. If you want your young children to sleep on an airplane, inflatable footrests are worth their weight in gold.  Not all airlines allow these, so check before you fly.  Also, they are only allowed in the window seat OR the middle seat, so you cannot inflate one on an aisle seat on any aircraft.

The kids sharing a foot pillow on a long haul from Seattle to Atlanta

3.) Follow your home routine. 

Both Kids went to sleep on this long haul from Atlanta to Amsterdam. C slept 7 hours and L slept 6. Latham is in his dockatot Deluxe (unzipped to make it more malleable for the flight)

Are you flying during naptime or bedtime?  If yes, simply follow the same routine you do at home.  We bring these body wipes to give our kids a “bath”, then we put them into their pajamas, give them yogurt, read a book and lay them down.  We follow the exact same bedtime routine that we have at home.  And it works.  For naps, I general do the same thing.  Getting your kid to sleep on airplane is similar to getting them to sleep at home, so stick to a routine. If you’re changing several time zones, check out our 5 Tips for Overcoming Jetlag.

4.) Bring the car seat. 

If your child sleeps well in the car seat, it may be beneficial to bring your car seat on the plan for them to sleep in.  Neither of my kids do, so we haven’t explored this option, but we are in many family travel communities where avid family travelers use this method successfully. If you’re looking for a lightweight carseat, check out which Travel Carseats we recommend HERE.

5.) Get them full. 

The kids eating snacks on a domestic flight; they are using their oogaa silicone mat to keep the snacks germ free.

Be sure your child is well fed before starting a sleep time routine.  Often a full tummy and the low drum of the airplane are enough to make anyone feel drowsy.  Pack snacks your child will love and that make them full.  We personally love bringing the Yogurt Pouches onto the plane for an easy, filling and nutritious pre-sleep snack. If you’ve got a picky eater, check out our blog on Traveling with Picky Eater.

Get Your own Silicone Placemat Here

6.) Create a dark space. 

Ok, I realize this image is just a dark photo of me holding a sleeping baby on the plane, but still. The plane lights were off, the shades were down and she was out! ….and,clearly, so was i

One way to do this is by asking for or bringing your own extra blanket on to the plane.  You can create a canopy with the blankets by draping them over their seatback and into their respective tray tables.  This creates their own personal tent space and blocks the airplanes lighting from waking a sleeping baby. If you have access to the window shade, be sure to close it.

7.) Babywear

Put your baby or toddler into a baby carrier such as an Ergo Baby or a Toddler Tula and walk the aisles.  We have put our kids to sleep many times on a flights by doing this.  Sometimes stationary seat rocking just isn’t enough, so we walk the aisles until our kids fall asleep.  We then transfer them to the laying position.

While this isn’t me actively lulling a baby to sleep ON a plane, it is me getting 2 kids through the airport by myself. I highly recommend investing in a baby carrier

8.) Choose the appropriate seats. 

Call your airline to secure a bassinet for the baby.

If you’re traveling with an infant in arms, you may want to call the airline to request a bassinet for the baby.  (only available on long haul flights)  These bassinets give the baby their own place to laydown flat and sleep uninterrupted on the plane.  If you’re traveling with older children, try not to pick the bulk head seats.  The arm rests typically do not go up, so you lose the extra space.  With two children, we always try to snag the middle row of 4-seats across so we can have then entire aisle to ourselves. This gives all the extra room to stretch out and relax.  We also try to be near a restroom, but not so close that the traffic in and out is constant. (and loud)  Ideally, I like to be about 5-7 rows away.

9.) Relax. 

Our daughter at 23 months did not want to sleep at all on a long haul from Atlanta to Paris, so we didn’t force the issue. Instead we made her comfortable and let her entertain herself.

Seriously.  Don’t force the sleep issue.  Don’t expect your child to fall asleep before take-off and wake up after landing. (Although, that does seem awesome!)  If you are relaxed, your children will reciprocate.  Be gentle with them, understand it’s not their typically sleep environment, and most of all, try to go with the flow.  Sometimes your child will go to sleep 2 hours after their typical bedtime (or not at all) and sometimes they will take a 3-hour nap when they normally only sleep 1 at home.  With all travel, it’s the journey that makes the trip! If your kid doesn’t want to sleep, check out our guide to Entertaining Your Toddler/Baby While Traveling.

Other Articles You May Like: 15 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler While Flying 25 Travel Must Haves for Baby & Toddlers 5 Ways to Beat Jet Lag with Kids

Whether you are coaxing a baby to sleep on an airplane or prepping your older child to sleep on an overnight flight, these tips can help you make your efforts go further.  Humans typically sleep better in quiet dark spaces while laying down, so creating the most effective sleep space while still maintaining safety is paramount.  Please, always ensure your child is in a seatbelt or restraint of some kind.

What are some tried and true tips you have for getting your baby to sleep on an airplane?  I would love to hear about in the comments!

 

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AMAZON AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:

There are links on this site that can be defined as “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided.

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Valentines Day is right around the corner! Don’t miss out on the chance to give your travel lover exactly what they want; travel gear! I’ve put together a list of 16 easy travel themed gifts you can win your friends, loved ones or partners over with. Have a teenager who loves travel? Have a wife who needs an anniversary trip? Have parents who are celebrating an empty nest with travel? Everyone is covered.

Here are 16 Easy Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Travel Lovers1) A Scratch off Map!

Who’s NOT counting their countries visited these days? Let your inner wanderlust free by scratching the map as you go! This would be PERFECT in a glassless frame where you can show it off proudly. It’s a simple gender neutral gift that will be sure to “scratch” that travel itch!

2) Instax SQUARE SQ6

Your travel lover will thank you big time. These instant cameras are the new “ticket to Bali.” Seriously. Everyone wants one. Why? Well, now you can take your picture AND have it too! This little camera snaps, then prints your photo right there on the spot! No more wasting time sending photos off to print. Snap your favorite travel spot and share the print instantly! This camera does it all from offering a selfie mirror, to filters to even double exposure capability.

3) tile

Friends don’t let friends lose their keys or their backpacks or their laptops. Don’t let your travel lover lose their stuff! We learned the hard way that lost keys can be EXPENSIVE to replace. Tile is changing that. With the quick download of an app, your belongings can be GPS located AND they will sound an alarm so you can find them by sound as well. Every travel lover knows that securing your belongings is paramount, so give them some extra protection with Tile.

4) Airbnb Giftcards

If your searching for the gift that keeps on giving, this is it! Every holiday we ask for Airbnb gift cards because it gives us the choice to stay where we want. Airbnb offers more living space in amazing locations for a fraction of hotel costs. Help your travel lover cover their next trip with an Airbnb giftcard!

5) Shampoo Bars

You read that right. The world is changing and so is shampoo! These are shampoo bars! They save travelers space, weight in their bag and money. They are more eco friendly; producing much less plastic waste. They last longer than bottle shampoo too! These little bars use far less (or no) additives and detergent than regular bottled shampoo which means they leave your hair feeling much healthier. Give your travel lover the gift of flawless hair and don’t forget to snag the resuable tin as well!

6) Packing Cubes

Packing cubes will change the way you travel. Don’t let your travel lover travel without them. They not only keep all of your belongings organized, but they also help pack down your clothes. This leaves you with more space in your bag for souvenirs, an extra pair of shoes OR maybe now you can actually fit all your stuff in a carry on! Cha Ching! No more checked bag fees! Stay organized & compact with packing cubes!

7) VUMOS Travel Umbrella

Getting stuck in the rain when you’re out touring a new city is the pits. Don’t let your travel lover get stuck in the rain! VUMOS covered all the bases when it reinforced its umbrella ribs to protect against breaking in strong winds. This compact travel umbrella comes with a waterproof case AND a lifetime warranty!! That’s right — keep your other stuff dry and your piece of mind intact. You can return this little guy for any reason if you don’t love it….but you will!

8) Electronics & Cord Organizer

How many hours have you spent in your life detangling cords? Your time and you travel lovers time is worth more than detangling cords. Save yourself. Once we started traveling with an electronics organizer, we’ve never gone back. It’s so much easier to find our cords, find our headphones, and get to exactly what we want when we are in tight spaces. (like and airplane or train)

9) Anker External Battery

An external battery is an absolute must have for travel. This lightweight battery can recharge and iPhone 8 up to 5 times. It has the capabaility to charge two phones at once too. Using technology while traveling is becoming the norm; from directions to the Airbnb to finding the best Italian restaurant around, everyone is using their phone. Don’t let your travel lover get caught with zero battery.

10) Personalized or Unique Luggage Tags

Never take the wrong back from luggage claim again. Personalized or unique luggage tags are the perfect gift for anyone who loves travel. Not only do they help you know what bag is yours, but they save you time at the luggage claim. Also, if you somehow lose your bag, these can help you get your stuff identified and returned sooner.

11) Scrubba Portable Clothes Washing Bag

Finding a place to wash your clothe while you travel isn’t always easy. Finding a place to wash your clothes while you’re out hiking and camping is almost impossible. Whether your travel lover is on or off the grid, this lightweight clothes washing bag is specifically made to wash clothes on the go! A bonus: it doubles as a dry bag for when your clothes or belongings get whet on the go! Pack less and wash as you go with a Scrubba! This is the perfect gift for adventure travelers!

12) Travel Journal

Help your travel lover keep their memories fresh in their minds by writing down their adventures, delicious meals, mishaps, and newly discovered places. Keeping a travel journal is amazing for looking back and reliving experiences. This travel journal has thick, quality paper and pouches to collect ticket stubs or small memories.

13) Kindle White

Whether your travel lover is sitting on a sunny beach or riding at 30,000 feet they’ll be able to enjoy their favorite books. With a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. This Kindle can hold more books/magazines and a single charge can last for over a week. Oh and no more worrying about water exposure; this baby is waterproof! The Kindle White is the perfect gift for a book loving traveler.

14) An Auduble Subscription

Audible is a monthly subscription to access over 450,000 audiobooks. The first month of the membership is free. Members get one free audiobook a month, 30% off additional audiobooks, plus 2 free Originals a month. For anyone who suffers from motion sickness or wants to road trip, Audible is the perfect gift. Now your favorite traveler can listen to a thriller or romance novel while fulfilling their wanderlust.

15) A Crumble Map

Give your travel lover a map they can’t destroy! Crumple maps weight less than one ounce, is waterproof and easy to read. The maps have all the major sites highlighted, so you won’t miss anything! Don’t get lost in a big city, just pull your crumple map out of its drawstring bag and go! No more worrying about refolding your map perfectly either; this map is made to be crumpled. When you get home, you can frame your map! It’s the perfect gift and an awesome way to remember your adventure!

16) Foval International Power Converter and Adaptor

This little guy has your travel lover’s back! It will not only adapt, but convert power from 220/240V to 110/120V. It’s powerful too! It can simultaneously charge multiple devices for laptop, Bluetooth speaker, CPAP machine, electric toothbrush, fan, game console, Kindle, TV, DVD players, lights, iPad, and other electronic devices. It comes with a 24 month warranty and a 24/7 service line to help you through any trouble! Every serious traveler needs a good converter & this is it!

Don’t be a bust this Valentines Day! Get your Valentine what they really want; gear for traveling the world! Help your travel lover remember their trip for life, make their trip easier, or stay fresh and clean while they travel!

 

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MAY LIKE:

What We Spent at Disney World for a Family of 4 6 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe on Vacation 25 Travel Must Haves for Toddler and Babies

PIN ME:

AMAZON AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:

There are links on this site that can be defined as “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided.

Big  Brave Nomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

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Washington DC is one of the most family friendly major cities in the United States. Not only can you accomplish a stay in Washington DC for little cost, you can see so many of the nation’s most valuable and important artifacts. We have visited Washington DC several times throughout the years, but there is still so much to see and do. No matter what age your family is, toddlers or teens, there is something for everyone. As you plan your family vacation to Washington DC, use this guide to help you find the perfect stops. I will tell you about every single thing we have visited with our kids in tow. I have highlighted some additional stops at the bottom in case you have more time!

STAY:

This picture does this awesome place no justice. It was so clean, perfectly located and a row house!

We normally don’t need a hotel since we have family that lives all around the city. However, we have stayed in an amazing 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath renovated row house. It was in a perfect location with very easy check in and out. The apartment owner even let us us her street parking pass, so we could park our car near the apartment. The apartment had laundry and a fully kitchen; it was absolutely perfect for us.

See Apartment Click HERE to Save $40 on your first Airbnb Stay EAT:

Founding Farmers is a must not miss in washington dc

Founding Farmers: If you’re ready for some DELICIOUS USA grown food, you have found the right spot. This restaurant is co-owned by 47,000 US Farmers. That’s right. 47,000! The North Dakota Farmer’s Union banded together to bring the U.S. a real farm to table experience. I had the chance to try FF with some other travel blogger friends and I was IMPRESSED. Not only was the food absolutely amazing, the house made sodas were incredible. As if it couldn’t get any better, this restaurant is located only 3 blocks from the White House, so while you’re out experiencing Washington DC, you can easily hop over to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner. We all enjoyed a delicious appetizer with fig and brie cheese, then for my lunch I ordered the Fried Chicken and Donut — DROOL WORTHY. As a desert the table ordered Cappuccinos and macaroons which are made fresh in the on-site bakery. You can’t miss Founding Fathers!

Old Ebbitt Grill: Another Washington D.C. classic is Old Ebbit Grill. When you visit, you are visiting a true piece of American History. OEG was opened in 1856 and was a favorite of many Presidents to included: President Grant, Cleveland, Harding, & Teddy Roosevelt. The restaurant serves upscale American saloon food. From Oysters to decedent pasta to an amazing children’s menu — NOTHING on the menu disappoints. In addition to the extensive food menu, OEG is known for is vast wine selection. I have visited this restaurant many times and I always leave feeling full & happy.

PLAY:

Natural History Museum: I always love a good Natural History Museum and Washington DC has proven to be one of the best. As you walk into the museum you are greeted by a grand rotunda featuring an 11 ton, 13 ft. tall African Elephant named Henry who has graced the hall since 1959. Every room of this museum is as exciting and educating as the last. I felt like we ran from room to room to be sure we saw it all. The museum is host to a plethora of exhibits including: African Voices, Bone Hall, Butterfly Pavilion, Fossils, Hall of Human Origin, Ancient Egypt, Gems, Hall of Mammals, a Narwhal exhibit and several more. Considering this museum is completely free, it’s definitely at the top of our list as a must-visit. Plan to spend several hours here.

How old were cell phones when this photo was taken? AH - and that hair! C & I in Dec 2015 (Pre latham!)

National Building Museum: If you’ve been following us for a while, you know I loved this museum. As you enter the building you walking into an unbelievably beautiful atrium with floor to ceiling columns and sculptures lining the ceiling. The admission desk is located in the center.  When you get your tickets, they will assign you a time for the “Building Zone” which is an interactive play room for kids 2-6.  You get 45 minutes of play included with your admission!  If you’re time is later in the day, head to one of the other incredible exhibits.  We started our trip with the “Work Play Build” room where they have life size foam tinker toys.  Let your imagination go wild as you try to build a house!  From there seek out one of the other exhibits: Houses & Homes, Secret Cities, Evicted, and Flickering Treasures.  The one I want to go back and explore is Secret Cities which is all about the secret cities of the Manhattan project! Getting into the Building Museum’s atrium is completely free, so impress your friends by bringing them to the atrium’s coffee shop or bringing your parent friends to one of the free Story Times or Family Time events offered by the museum! Check their calendar for details and times!

Cost: 2 & Under are FREE, 3-17 are $7, adults are $10

The kids playing in the Building Zone Exhibit

The atrium in the National Building Museum

National Botanical Gardens: My first time visiting the Botanical Gardens was this past December.  Even in the dead of winter, it’s impressive.  We walked the outside garden first, then made our way in through the main entry.  The lobby was FULL of ornate Christmas decorations including the two tallest indoor Christmas trees in DC!  This year the Gardens were home to an amazing plant-made mini train station collection; from Grand Central Station to a Dinosaur station – everyone was represented.  The Botanical Gardens host three plant collections: the conservatory, the National Garden, and Bartholdi Park.  Inside the conservatory you will find tropical, subtropical and arid regions represented with a showcase of orchids, medicinal, economic, endangered and Jurassic plants. Visiting the National Botanical Gardens is completely free.

Clearly latham enjoyed the gardens!

The Botanical Gardens at Chirstmas is unreal

Old Post Office Tower: This was on my list for a long time, so when I had to catch a late afternoon flight from DCA, I took the kids for a trip into the city to see what it’s all about.  While the museum is located inside the newly renovated Trump Hotel, it’s actually separated inside.  This museum is very unique.  It’s very small and a visit only takes about 30 minutes unless you spend a ton of time looking at DC from the top.  Did you know that this is the second tallest building in DC? Second only to the Washington Monument?  (and since the WM is closed indefinitely, this is going to be your best view of the city) Once you enter you will go through a long hall with the history of the building and tower.  You’ll reach an elevator – take that up!  Get off the elevator and take a second one up!  This will put you out at the top of the tower – the views are pretty spectacular.  You will get *almost* 360* views.  Be warned; it’s windy up there!  One of the elevators has a glass back wall too, so as you ride up you will see into the renovated hotel.  Admission to the tower is FREE **bonus, there is a Starbucks right at the entrance, so if mama needs coffee, this could be a good break for the family!

The Views from the top of the old post office tower are unmatched

National Air and Space Museum: There are actually two of these!  One is located near the Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, VA (Steven F. Udvar – Hazy Center) and one is right along the National Mall.  I recommend visiting both if you have the time.  If you’re already on the National Mall, head inside to be blown away by the vast number of airplanes spanning from the begging of flight to today.  In addition to real airplanes hanging over your head, you’ll find an I-MAX museum, a planetarium, the interactive exhibit “How Things Fly”, and room after room of historically significant aircraft to include; the 1903 Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, Bell X-1 and the North American X-15.

A visit to Chantilly will also be FREE to go inside.  The museum also boasts a huge assortment of aircraft to include; a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (the world’s fastest aircraft), a Concorde, the Enola Gay and the Space Shuttle Discovery (my personal fave).  You will also find Airbus IMAX Theater and an air traffic control tower that you can go up into to see how they organize aircraft in flight.  This museum is three levels, so plan to spend ample time walking around soaking it in.

Memorials/Monuments:  Since we have had the opportunity to visit Washington DC several times, we’ve ticked off quite a few of the National Monuments. However, because many of the monuments are along the national mall, you don’t need days and days to see most of them.  In one afternoon (with two toddlers) we were able to see The White House, Constitution Gardens, The Vietnam Memorial, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, The World War 2 Memorial, the National Monument grounds (it was closed).

One memorial that I want to tell you about is the Jefferson Memorial.  It’s not as easily accessed from the National Mall.  You CAN walk to it, but you’ll be walking quite a ways….and if you’re cool with that – DO IT.  If you drive there, drive to this address: 971 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024 – this will bring you to a parking lot that has a walkway over to the Jefferson Memorial.  At this parking lot you can see the Cuban Friendship Urn.  Keep walking along the path and you will pass the George Mason Memorial.  If you keep walking you will find the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  **While you are over there, be sure to make the short walk over to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

***Pro Tip: Bring Your National Park Passport with you!  There are park rangers at every memorial to give you a stamp!  I believe if you go to the NPS HQ they have them all there in one place!

Jimmy & Latham at the World War 2 Memorial

The Kids at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

The Kids and me at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial in 2017

National Mall: I made this its own attraction because, well, it is.  The National Mall is home to so many Smithsonian museums, national memorials, the Capitol Building and you’ll see many of the locals playing sports, riding bikes or lounging in the grass.  It is home to more than 26 miles of walking trails and 8 miles of bike trails.  This area of green space has held a plethora of jobs over the years.  It’s been home to a railroad, a large market, during the American Civil War it hosted buildings, there have even been slaughterhouses directly on the NM.  The National Mall is now home to over 9,000 trees included the many Cherry Blossoms given to the USA by Japan in 1912.  Annually the National Mall gets 10 tons of grass seed and 3,000 yards of sod.  It is a piece of US history just the same as the many many museums and buildings that line it.  As you walk along it, imagine what it looked like 75, 100, 200 years ago!

The kid’s and I on the national mall in may 2018

The White House: I saved this one for last.  While I did once go inside the White House, it was when I was in High School (maybe Middle School) and I don’t remember much.  These days you can’t just jump in line for a tour, it has to be scheduled. It is still free to visit, but you must write a letter your congressman asking for a visit. If you are an international visitor, you must write to your embassy.  All tours are first come, first serve and can be requested up to 3 months in advance, no earlier than 21 days in advance.

You are allowed to see and take photos with the White House from the front and back, outside the building’s secured gates.  We’ve taken our kids several times and this is always what we do. It’s a fun way to expose them since I can never plan that far in advance!  When they are older I will tell them we went inside of course! J

The White House 2017

The White House 2018

Arlington National Cemetery:  I have taken my kids twice to Arlington.  Their great grandfather and a few of my friends from college are buried there.  Before your visit, I suggest you map out where you want to go.  Arlington is HUGE.  They have a nice air conditioned museum right at the entrance.  From there, it’s up to you to walk to whichever grave you want to visit.  I highly recommend watching a Changing of the Guard.  Before you go, read about what it takes to be selected as a sentential for this program.  The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a sight in itself to bear witness to.  Don’t forget to pay your respects to President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie to see their eternal flame. Be sure to download the ANC app on your phone before you visit – you can locate specific graves and find walking directions to it.

The Kids in Arlington National cemetary sept 2017

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New York City at Christmas is magical. As a kid, I had seen so many movies showing impressive window displays, FAO Schwarz, Rockefeller Plaza and, of course, a snow covered Central Park. We visited once back in 2016, but only for a few hours. This year, we went for 3 days, 2 nights. We found the perfect balance of Christmas, New York City staples and toddler friendly activities. The entire weekend felt serendipitous.

Us visiting the Tree at Rockefeller Plaza!

Christmas Tree shipping in SOHO

STAY:

We stayed in a 2-bedroom Brownstone townhouse in Brooklyn. The townhouse has been broken up into 3 apartments. Ours was on the second floor, newly decorated and had free street parking. There is not a better apartment in NYC for the price. We paid $420 total for 2 nights. The weekend we went, the cheapest studio hotel room was over $330 per night. The apartment is a 15-20 min walk from the subway, but it was an easy walk.

PLAY:

Central Park: If you’re in New York City with or without kids, you MUST go to Central Park. It took me 3 visits before I went. Someone could spend days and days meandering this massive park. It is absolutely stunning. Photo spot: head to the 77th St-Central Park West entrance and head toward the rocks at the lake. You can get some photos with the skyline and lake in the background. If you’re super lucky, there will be snow on the ground!

Columbus Circle Christmas Market was SO amazing!!

Columbus Circle Christmas Market: We got off the Subway at the 59th street stop and headed toward Central Park where we stumbled on the Columbus Circle Christmas Market. “Located at the entrance to Central Park, at 59th street and Central Park West, visitors lose themselves in glittering aisles of art, jewelry, home goods and delicious eats from local artisans and designers.”

Times Square: Times Square is a must for anyone visiting New York City. It is an iconic square with so many TV screens you must see it to believe it. While not necessarily in themed with Christmas, there were so many Christmas ads on the screens and it was very fun to see!

Rockafeller Plaza: First off, I love the Today Show. Ever since I became a stay at home mom, I have watched it. I loved seeing the studio, the ice skating rink and most importantly I LOVED seeing the gigantically beautiful Christmas Tree. We visited the weekend after they lit the tree, so it was PACKED with people, but it’s still worth the trek over to see!

Saks Fifth Ave Light Show: We missed the show the first time we visited, but caught it this last time. It runs about every fifteen minutes, so if you miss it just hang around a few minutes and it will start again. The kids were silent in awe during the show.

The Oculus is GORGEOUS around the Holidays

Oculus: “The “Oculus” serves as the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, incorporating 78,000 square feet of multi level state-of-the-art retail and dining. We Visited the Oculus to take in it’s gorgeous Christmas decorations. While we were down by the stores The Original Dicken’s Carolers sang different Christmas songs. The show was completely free and such a wonderful surprise. You can look up show times and events on the Westfield World Trade Center website.

Zuccotti Park: This park is near the WTC site; maybe 2 blocks away. It is absolutely stunning at night. The entire park had giant Christmas tree displays and all of the par’s trees were strung with white lights. It was magical. If you are in lower Manhattan around Christmas, visit this park at night to see it in its glory!

We danced and ran around this park for a long time. The kids loved the Christmas tree displays

Zuccotti Park is absolutely STUNNING all lit up with Christmas Lights

Other Christmas Activities:

We didn’t have time for everything, but these were on our list! (We’ll get to them next time!)

Macy’s Window Shopping: I have heard about the Macy’s window displays my entire life and I must see them for myself. Not to mention the famed 13,000 sq foot indoor Santaland at the Macy’s on Herald Square (151 W 34th St). “You'll encounter everything from a Rainbow Bridge to a giant Lionel train-scape, Santa's bustling workshop to a shiny red sleigh being prepped for the big night. Twinkling lights, snow-topped trees and other fun exhibits lead the way to Santa in this enchanting experience.“ -timeout.com

FAO Schwarz: From window displays to the magic of Christmas, FAO Schwarz is amazing during the Holidays. The store recently re-opened, so be prepared to wait in line or get there right when they open!

Grand Central Station Train Display: The New York Transit Museum put’s on their annual Holiday Train Show inside Grand Central station. The display consists of a two level track that shows trains departing Grand Central Station and heading for the North Pole!

Times Square had some seriously cool Christmas and Holiday advertisements

EAT:

A great start to a long day exploring NYC

Anchor Coffee & Corp: This coffee shop was super close to our Airbnb. We grabbed cappuccinos, coffee cake, muffins and a cheddar biscuit here before heading to the subway. If you find yourself near the Kingston-Thorpe Subway stop in Brooklyn — definitely stop in.

Shake Shack: Just go here. We stopped in for lunch after several hours perusing the American Museum of Natural History. The food is DELISH and the prices are very fair. I had a spicy chicken sandwich with fries while the kids chowed down on a hot dog. This place is very popular, so there was a quite a wait considering it was fast food. (Approx 30 min) We couldn’t snag a table with our large group, so we walked down the street a bit and ate on some park benches.

The baby nomad enjoying some of NY’s finest pizza

Steve’s Pizza: When you are over near the WTC, please add this stop to your itinerary. The food was SO GOOD. The pizza melts in your mouth. This is a stand up only food places, but there is an amazing park directly out front where you can sit on a bench and enjoy the NYC skyline. I personally enjoyed the Buffalo Chicken Pizza while the kids devoured some cheese slices.

Tacuba: (Reservation Recommended: P: 212-245-4500) This was the fanciest place we ate in NYC. We had a larger group of 4 adults, 2 kids so we called ahead for reservations. Tacuba is in Manhattan and about a 15-minute walk from Times Square. The staff was able to store our stroller for us, provide a high chair and even gave us a kid’s quesadilla for only ONE DOLLAR. We were seated in the basement where there are extra tables and some very nice bathrooms. I highly - HIGHLY - recommend ordering the Carne Asada. I am 100% sure everyone had food envy of my plate. The food at this restaurant is hands down the best food I have had in a very very long time.

These Donuts are DROOL WORTHY!

Dough Donuts: We were told Dough was good, so we made the stop on our drive out of the city. We visited the location in Brooklyn at 448 Lafayette Ave. We were surprised there were no tables to sit at and no espresso drinks, but we quickly got over it when we saw these doughnuts. Each donut is gigantic. Easily twice the size of an average donut. They are so delicious I can’t even put it into words. I got the kids each a glazed donut, some donut holes and I enjoyed a Cafe Au Lait donut which took me two rounds to eat just one. The donut is more of a giant pastry — SO. DAMN. GOOD.

TRANSPORTATION:

Subway: For children who need carseats, this is by far the most efficient way to navigate NYC and Brooklyn. We parked our car the entire weekend and never used it. The Subway is free for up to three children under 44 inches when riding with a paying adult. The adult fare is only $2.75 per way, so it’s extremely economical. We found the subways were not stroller friendly, but if you want to read more about navigating NYC’s subways with a stroller, see our post HERE.

Since we didn’t want to lug car seats around the city, we chose to take the Subway!

Uber: Use the app and catch a ride! If you’re kid are old enough to not need carseats, this could be a more time efficient route.

Click HERE to Sign Up for UBER

We absolutely LOVED Christmas time in the City. There is a reason there are songs about it, reasons there are movies about it and reasons you’ve always wanted to see it. I hope everyone gets the chance to experience this magical time in one of the most iconic cities in the world. Don’t forget to bring the kids along to experience the magic through their eyes!

Have you ever visited NYC at Christmas? What was your favorite part? Tell us in the comments!

 

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Welcome to Big Brave Nomad’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday Travel Deal Guide! Below you will find a continually updated list of sales & deals on travel products, flights, travel deals and anything else we think may help you travel more!

All of the links are Affiliate Links unless otherwise noted. I can not tell you how much I appreciate your support when you use our links. We do get a commission when you purchase from our links, but you never pay more. These funds are what help keep our blog going & keep travel info in your inbox!

So, it’s time to complete those Christmas shopping lists and prep for all your upcoming travel!

XOXO,
Tavia

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Our Other blogs with Travel Must Haves: 25 Travel Must Haves for Baby & Toddler 15 Products to Entertain Your Toddler while Traveling Pin Me:
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Magic Kingdom for Halloween!

We recently embarked on the ultimate adventure with toddlers; Walt Disney World. I have been skeptical of Disney since we’ve had kids. I couldn’t imagine the park, the crowds, or the lines with 2 toddlers in tow. However, we decided to take on the challenge for our son’s second birthday! I knew I wanted to try to save money where ever we could without losing anything in the experience. I called around, did some research myself and I decided to stay off property and forgo the meal plan. Overall I would say Disney World was a complete success….except the fact that 3/4 of us got a horrible 24 hour stomach bug.

In order to know exactly how much we spent, I went through all of our receipts and charges. I tallied up what we spent and where we spent it. I also compared my estimate cost if we had stayed on Disney Property with a meal plan.

Below you will find exactly how much a 5 day, 4 night trip to Disney cost my family. At the very end, I also share a few ways we could have saved even more.

How Much Does Disney World Cost for a Family of 4Tickets:

We used the Military 4-Day Park Hopper. We had to buy 3 passes. Latham didn’t need one because he is under 3. For military families, you can head to the nearest base ITT office to get your Military Ticket.

  • Cost per ticket: $222

  • Total Cost: $666

Hotel:

Somehow I didn’t take any photos of the hotel room except this one. what an epic fail. This is the living room area of the hotel — the couch pulls out to a third bed if needed.

We decided to take advantage of a Timeshare Presentation package. This means we had to spend about 3 hours listening to a presentation and saying no a thousand times. If we didn’t’ have kids with us, I would definitely do this again to save a little money.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites - Waterpark. Our room was a 2-bedroom family suite. This means we had a king bed in a room with a door, a second room with a bunk bed. The lower bunk was a full size bed and the top a twin. We had a decent sized bathroom, large living room and a kitchenette with dining table. The resort had a fantastic waterpark, restaurants on property and it did offer a Disney Shuttle.

  • Cost to reserve: $199 (We were given this entire amount back once we finished the presentation)

  • Cost for Taxes: $43.77 (Due on arrival)

  • Cost for upgrade from a regular room: $120.42

  • Cost for extra night added to package: $100

  • Total Cost for 5 days, 4 nights in a Family Suite: $264.19

Gas:

Our drive was 6.5 hours from Pensacola to the hotel.

  • Cost for Gas: $70.01, $27.99, $58.98

  • Total Cost for Gas: $156.98

Groceries:

The kids using their gifts from mickey in Animal Kingdom

We decided to make our own breakfasts, lunches and some of our dinners. This cost includes Latham’s birthday cake & medicine for the kids. We packed a small cooler of snacks, drinks and lunches for the park each day.

  • Cost for Groceries: $58.37, $105.48

  • Total Cost for Groceries: $163.85

Dinners Out:

FREE Birthday Cupcake for latham from Kona Cafe

Our first night we decided to splurge on a Disney Property dinner. We ate a Kona Cafe at the Polynesian resort. We had an appetizer, 1 kid meal, 2 adult dinners and 3 adult beverages. I was excited to learn that the kid’s meal came with ice cream AND the waitress brought Latham this amazing birthday cupcake for free!

Our last night we decided to stop at Chipotle on our way back to the hotel.

  • Cost for dinners: $115.48 Kona, $15.49 Chipotle

  • Total Cost for Dinners: $131.48

Misc Travel Day Expenses:

We stopped for gas, snacks and couple meals along our two drives.

  • Cost for Stops: $20.82 BK, $12.17 misc, $16.18 Wendy’s, $18.26 misc

  • Total Misc Travel Expenses: $67.43

Laundry:

Since both of our kids got a stomach virus on our trip, we had to do a lot of laundry at the hotel. It was an unexpected and expensive cost IMO. We DID, however, get some Delta Miles for this unexpected purchase. If you’re not using a credit card to earn miles or points, you’re doing it wrong! Go HERE to read more about what we use!

  • Cost of Laundry: $10.50, $5.00, $1.50

  • Total Cost: $17.00

Cash Spent:

We brought $100 cash, plus were given the $199 back in cash for sitting through the presentation, plus we had a $150 Visa Gift Card. We were not strict about spending with these and decided to use this money as “fun money” in the parks. We enjoyed tons of food/drinks at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, balloons for the kids, a few random drinks/treats, and even bought tickets to play games at Dino Land in Animal Kingdrom. One huge unexpected cost was $87 for 2 t-shirts and 1 towel to replace/clean up our stuff that got puked on inside the park.

  • Cash Spent: $25/Day Parking ($75 total), $87 for shirts, $30 for birthday cupcakes, $20 for game tickets, $100 on food/drinks at Epcot’s IFAWF, $26 for 2 balloons, $11 for hotdog, $10 for popcorn bucket, $42 on Room Service Pizza on Night 2, $40 on misc cash purchases

  • Total Cash Spent: $449

Misc Park Card Purchases:

For some reason we had 3 random park purchases with a card for drinks and 2 dole whips.

  • Total Misc Park Purchases: $26.02

Gifts from Mickey:

We decided to pre-buy our kid’s some souveniers so we wouldn’t be tempted by the shops inside the parks. We gave them to the kids at night in our hotel room and told them that Mickey droppped them off as presents. It was our son’s second birthday, so these gifts doubled as birthday presents.

  • Night 1: Mickey/Minnie Cups ($5 Each) & Minnie Reusable Lunch Boxes ($8.50 Each)

  • Night 2: Minnie/Mickey Dolls ($5 Each) + Washcloths ($1 Each)

  • Night 3: Minnie Shoes ($11) + Mickey Mouse Blanket ($14)

  • Night 4: Set of 6 Roadster Racer Figurines ($10)

  • Total Cost of Gifts From Mickey: $74

Total Cost for our family to visit Disney world for 5 Days/4 Nights:
  • Tickets: $666

  • Stay: $264.19

  • Gas: $156.98

  • Groceries: $163.85

  • Dinners: $131.48

  • Misc Travel Expenses: $67.43

  • Misc Park Expenses: $26.02

  • Laundry: $17.00

  • Total Cash: $449

  • Gifts From Mickey: $74

  • Buffer: $100

TOTAL COST: $2,115.91

Our bud loves pumpkins & mickey, so he was so excited to see mickey pumpkins

Comparison

Before we decided on where we would stay, we asked for a few quotes for cost for staying on Disney property. The lowest quote we received was for $689 for a studio style hotel room. There are perks to staying on property. Namely the shuttle system. However, we wanted the extra space and the $75 we paid to park was optional as our hotel also provided a shuttle.

My estimated cost if we had stayed on Disney Property at the lowest priced hotel, gotten the dining plan, & spent the way we did anyway in the parks!

Disney Hotel: $689

Standard Disney Dining Package:

  • 2 Adult $75.49/Night/Person = $603.92

  • 1 Child: $103

  • TOTAL: $703.92

ESTIMATED Total Cost for our family to visit Disney world for 5 Days/4 Nights:

  • Tickets: $666

  • Stay: $689

  • Gas: $156.98

  • Groceries: $75

  • Dining Plan: $703.92

  • Misc Travel Expenses: $67.43

  • Laundry: $17.00

  • Total Cash: $250 (sans the $199 from the presentation)

  • Gifts From Mickey: $74

  • Buffer: $100

    TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $2,799.33

Mickey at epcot!

Donald duck in Animal kingdom!

pluto at epcot!

Ways we saved or could have saved a little extra cash:
  • Pack Lunch & Snacks - A single hot dog in the park is $10

  • Bring a Water bottle to refill OR ask Starbucks for an ice water (ITS FREE) - A single water bottle in the park is AT LEAST $4

  • Use the shuttles (we spent $25/day to park)

  • Forgo the extras….but we chose to buy a few extras on Latham’s birthday including 2 balloons ($13 EACH), Lefou’s Brew ($5.79 , but if you get a souvenir cup it will cost $12.99), a hot dog ($10), Dole Whips

  • Not buy souvenirs in the park shops. It was $87 for 2 t-shirts and 1 towel when we had to buy shirts and a towel to clean up throw up. Talk about some sticker shock. We bought all of our actual souvenirs at the Disney Outlet and Wal-Mart before we left for the trip.

Epcot’S Morocco

Epcot’s Japan

Epcot’S Italy

Do you have any money saving tips for Disney World? Put them in the comments!!

 

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Can’t Leave Leavenworth without taking this photo!

Leavenworth is an exceptionally family friendly town. We had no problems keeping our toddlers busy, happy and full. If your family is headed to the PNW or to Washington State, be sure to add a stop in Leavenworth. Whether you bring your baby, toddler, or teenager you will not be disappointed. There are toddler friendly hikes, ample playground space, a pedestrian friendly downtown area, bike rentals and even an indoor Activity Center for kids (in case of snow or rain!).

Washington State has so many hidden gems; from gorgeous alpine lakes to giant mountains to quaint farm side towns. We drove from Idaho to Leavenworth in September 2018. It was a moderate 3.5 hour drive and the changing landscape was incredible. As we entered the town of Leavenworth, I knew I had made the perfect choice for a 2 night stop over. The town itself is based off Bavarian culture. Everything from the welcome sign to the store fronts; the entire town looks and feels like Germany.

Here is all we experienced while visiting this amazing Bavarian town!Day 1: Airbnb Check-in, Downtown Walk, Rhein Haus, Carriage Ride, Riverside Park

We arrived in Leavenworth to some GORGEOUS weather. We easily checked in to our Airbnb, unloaded and headed straight for downtown. We drove and parking is extremely limited downtown, so it took a bit to find a spot. We were starving so we headed straight to Rhein Haus for their famous Giant Pretzel. And it is GIANT. And Delicious. I highly recommend ordering that immediately. We chose to sit outside on their deck. We chose the seats that overlook downtown and the mountains. The wait staff was very attentive; they even brought the kids super cute kid cups with lids. I ordered a Rhein Brat which was so good. The kids shared my fries and helped me eat the brat and pretzel.

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The Views from Rhein Haus is incredible

This pretzel is HUGE — probably why it’s called a giant pretzel

From Rhein Haus we walked down to Front Street where Charletta asked to go on one of the carriage rides. I normally would never agree, but this town is so Bavarian and I got sucked into it all. I asked her to choose between the carriage or ice cream and she chose the carriage. I forked over the $30 and off we went! The ride is only about 10 minutes. It takes you down Front Street, over to Commercial Street then back. Both kids absolutely loved it and I am really happy we did it. If you can get past the price, I would say definitely do it just for the gorgeous photos.

After we left our carriage ride, we walked along all the shops. We went in several before we decided to walk down toward Riverside Park. The park is actually pretty big. There are nicely taken care of trails, lots of people walking them and clean restrooms. Our intention was to walk over to Blackbird Island, but we ended up going down to the Wenatchee Riverfront. This stone covered lake bed is gorgeous. Pristine clear water with mountains in the background. We stayed for at least an hour letting the kids throw rocks in the water.

Once the sun started setting, we strolled back to the car and headed back to the Airbnb!

Throwing rocks along the Wenatchee river in Leavenworth

Day 2: Hike Colchuck Lake, Roodluf’s Pizza Und Brats

Colchuck Lake is absolutely stunning. The hike, however, is HARd.

After about a month of looking at photos of Colchuck Lake, we woke up our second day and decided we were going to put the kids on our backs and hike to the lake. Online it says the hike is around 7.7 miles and about 2K ft elevation change. The trail head starts at about 3K elevation. We started the hike around 10:30 AM. The hike took us about 2.5 hours from trail head to the actual lake and it was HARD. Our GPS said it was actually 4.5 miles from trail head to the lake….meaning the entire hike was AT LEAST 9 miles. This does not include the hiking we had to do around the lake to see it from different sides. The lake itself is absolutely stunning. Clear bright blue water with jagged mountains set behind it. The water was freezing cold and the temperature outside was about 45*F. We met some other hikers, had some lunch, took some photos and rested before starting the trek out. It took us about 1.5 hours to get back to our car. We arrived back at our car around 5:20 PM…just before it started getting dark.

I would like to note that I DO NOT recommend this hike to families with small children. Unless you are extremely accustomed to mountain hikes while carrying a kid, wait until your child can hike up and out by themselves. I would rate it as a moderately difficult hike if you are not carrying a child in an out.

Once we got out we headed straight for pizza. We went to Roodluf’s Pizza und Brats where we ordered a large cheese pizza and a brat. Best meal ever after that hike! The food was delicious and it was ready quickly.

Day 3: Louie’s Cafe, Downtown Walk

We woke up on our last morning in Leavenworth and headed back downtown. We knew we wanted to get some breakfast and explore the shops some more before heading back to Idaho. We found Louie’s Cafe. The food was great, the coffee was great and the atmosphere was great. They are a family friendly establishment with kids cups, a kids menu and were willing to stow our strollers for us. The kids got some breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs. I got the breakfast wrap with fruit. The locals say it’s the best breakfast place in Leavenworth and I don’t think I could disagree! It was a good experience and delicious!

After getting super full, we hit the streets of Downtown Leavenworth. We went into several shops — one that sticks out is Kris Kringl. This store is incredible if you like Christmas Shops. The kids went crazy seeing all the decorations. There are so many different style shops along Front Street I feel like you could spend an entire day exploring them all.

After we finished shopping, we headed to the Wilkommen Leavenworth sign for some obligatory tourist photos. Then we stopped for about 20 minutes to let the kids play around Front Street Park before loading up and heading out.

The Delicious breakfast wrap at Louie’s Cafe

Spending some last minute time BURNING energy in front street park

Notable Mentions:

While we only had a few days in Leavenworth, I could have spent at least a week there. The atmosphere is amazing. Since we ran out of time, I wanted to share some notable mentions we didn’t have time to experience:

Loved this wall art of neuschwanstein castle!

  1. Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum

  2. Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

  3. Hike Penstock Trail (Easy 2 mile Hike)

  4. Leavenworth Fish Hatchery

  5. Enchantment Park

  6. Upper Valley Museum at Leavenworth

  7. Leavenworth Summer Theater

  8. The Gingerbread Factory

  9. Visit during one of the MANY festivals Leavenworth hosts including Kinderfest

  10. Icicle Junction Activity Center at Icicle Village

**If you can visit any time of year, I would go in December when the town is decorated for Christmas. This is what the town is most famous for, so book your accommodations EARLY!

No matter your age or interests, Leavenworth is going to have something for you. From beer brewing to skiing to unique shopping experiences this little Bavarian town has it all. Next time you’re planning a family vacation, consider adding Leavenworth to the list!

Have you ever visited Leavenworth? We would LOVE to hear about in the comments!

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