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Lovely Weekend Getaway at

The Hotel Chicoutimi

Saguenay, Quebec, Canada

Located right in the heart of downtown Saguenay,
the Hotel Chicoutimi offers its guests the best views in town.

You may visit Saguenay for one of its major cultural events,
or maybe it is for its unique history,
but either way, you’ll want to stay at the Hotel Chicoutimi.

If I were going to be 100% honest with you,
our stay at the Hotel Chicoutimi was 100% perfect.

We decided to go on a romantic weekend getaway
because we were actually exhausted.
We just wanted to get away from it all.
So we traveled to Saguenay, and it was the worst weather we could get in April.
It was horrible! It was so cold and rainy all weekend.
But it was actually perfect because all we wanted to do is
to stay in our spacious and oh-my-god so comfortable
hotel room all weekend long.

So this four-star boutique hotel was our cute love nest,
for 3 relaxing nights.
It really was an unforgettable experience.

Yes, the Hotel Chicoutimi has exceeded our expectations.

Since it is located right on the main street, the Racine Street,
anytime we wanted to take a romantic walk,
discover the little shops and cafes,
everything was so close, we could walk everywhere.

Here’s how our routine went:
sleep late, brunch at the hotel, a little bit of Netflix,
a nap, getting ready for dinner, walk to a great and nearby restaurant,
come back fast to enjoy our complimentary bottle of wine,
more TV, some time of I-won’t-tell-you-more-cause-it’s-none-of-your-business lol,
then having the best night of our lives.

So if you choose to stay at the Hotel Chicoutimi,
plan time to just enjoy relaxing in your cozy and modern room,
otherwise you’ll regret it

Rooms & Suites

The Hotel Chicoutimi has 86 renovated rooms,
divided into 5 categories.
They are all super comfortable rooms and suites,
with each their own unique style.

Of course, the sweet treat you get when you enter your room after check-in
will make your traveling time totally worth it.

And because of its amazing location, you can enjoy breathtaking views on either the river,
where I hope you’ll get a chance to see a gorgeous sunset like we did,
or on the Chicoutimi cathedral.

Of course, the bed was the highlight of our stay at the Hotel Chicoutimi:
perfect and super comfortable for reading, watching TV, relaxing,
eating breakfast, and so much more!

The Restaurants

You have four great options at the Hotel Chicoutimi
for your meals.

The restaurant La Galerie is where you’ll enjoy your delicious breakfasts.
We had the breakfast poutine (finger-licking) and the healthy poke-bowl
made with Greek yogurt, honey, granola, almonds, and fresh fruits.
Yummy!

You’ll choose l’Inter Restaurant for its fresh pasta, fine charcuterie, and fresh salads.
They also have an impressive selection of privately-imported wines and beers.

Le Rouge Burger Bar will be your #1 choice if you want to watch an NHL game,
or any other famous sports event.

Finally, at La Fabricca Gelato you will find great coffee from the micro-roaster, Barista,
as well as gelato and sorbets made with local milk and fresh fruit.
If we would have been there with Emma-Kate, this would have been our favorite place for the whole weekend!

We definitely recommend you to stay at the Hotel Chicoutimi if you ever choose to either
visit Saguenay, or get away from it all and relax to an extent you didn’t even think you could.

Cozy     ℘     Lovely     ℘     Relax

We Want To Thank the Hotel Chicoutimi For Hosting Us During Our Romantic getaway in Saguenay.
They Didn’t Ask Me To Write A Positive Review. All Opinions Are Truly My Own.

The post Lovely Weekend Getaway at the Hotel Chicoutimi appeared first on Easy Planet Travel.

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Ultimate Family Resort in Riviera Maya

The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya, Mexico

I am a fan of gorgeous white sand beaches,
luxurious rooms and amazing decors,
finger-licking meals and
Rock ‘n Roll!

There is nothing as fun as enjoying the luxurious 5-Star amenities
at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya,
located at one of the most stunning coasts on Earth,
Mexico‘s famous Riviera Maya,
while we can sing our favorite tunes all day long
(without looking weird or crazy).

Another one of my favorite things about the
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya,
is the two separate sections of the resort.
As a parent, you may sometimes feel (in my case, always)
like your family is too loud, that we bother people around us
because we splash water, spill drinks, drop food, scream every 5 minutes “be careful“…
But here at the Hacienda section of the resort, the family section,
no worries to bother anyone: we are all on the same boat!
And that made my vacation a lot more relaxing and easy going.

And the best part is: all adults have access to the Heaven section of the resort, the adults only section,
so we can also get a break from all the noise and splashing.
Of course, we enjoy our vacation with our little one, so we didn’t spend that much time in the Heaven section,
but I was surprised to hear my 5-year old daughter asking me to leave her at the kids’ club
because she was having too much fun!

The grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya are breathtaking.
There are intimate coves, secluded nooks, pristine beaches along turquoise clear water bays…
everything you need for ravishing Instagram worthy photos.

The shallow and calm water is perfect for all-day family fun,
and even the most fitness-enthusiast (like my husband) will have a blast with the
scenic running track all around the vast resort, with speakers everywhere playing your favorite bands,
the rock climbing wall and the extensive gym.

Rooms & Suites

The rooms and suites at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
are simply perfect:
from the luxurious bedding and super comfortable mattresses
to the hydro spa tub, the flat-screen satellite TV and free WiFi throughout the entire resort,
your room will be your haven from the too-much fun action packed activities of the day.

Honestly, the hammock on our private balcony, with a spectacular view of the Caribbean Ocean,
was my favorite place to spend quiet time before getting all dressed up beautifully for dinner
at one of the delightful restaurants.
(Important note: all people suffering from food allergies and intolerances, you are safe at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya,
because they always check up with all guests about their special condition.)

Waiting for us when we arrived: a bottle of champagne and chocolate truffles…
what more would we desire?
We were overjoyed.

The Family Activities

The fun family activities are what makes the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
stand out from the other fancy and luxurious resorts.
The Hard Rock brand truly knows what makes a vacation fun for parents AND for kids.

From the boot camp parkour in the jungle
to the rock climbing wall, the many different pools and beaches,
the water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving,
zip lining, water slides, regular kids slides,
the best (and very safe) kids’ club,
and on top of it all: the best water park for all-day family fun!

No wonder why our 5-year old daughter didn’t want to leave at the end of our vacation
at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.

Fun     ℘     Luxury     ℘     Relax

Pin it to discover later

We Want To Thank the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya For Hosting Us During Our Family adventure in Mexico.
They Didn’t Ask Me To Write A Positive Review. All Opinions Are Truly My Own.

The post Ultimate Family Resort in Riviera Maya: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino appeared first on Easy Planet Travel.

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The European Tour is something that Chevy Chase has propelled into our psyches and is something that most American families have on their “things to do” list. But while London, Paris and Rome are all amazing cities that are well worth your time, you cannot help but feel you are going through the motions and treading in the footsteps of a thousand others. 

Europe is full of hidden gems that are just as worthy of your time. The interconnectedness of Europe means it is easy to get covered with Schengen Visa Travel Insurance from a site like UHCSafetrip, allowing you the flexibility to roam across 26 countries. Here are five cities you should seriously consider adding to your schedule. 

Gdansk, Poland

This pretty riverside city recently welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (that’s William and Kate to the rest of us) on a visit, where they sampled the local food and drink. Recommendations do not come much better than that. This is a place teeming with history, and the medieval market square is as spectacular as anything you might see in a more famous city. Fabulous architecture, fascinating museums, delicious seafood and low prices – what’s not to love?

Treviso, Italy

The main thing most travelers know about Treviso is that it is where their flight lands when they are going to Venice. However, there are some good reasons to pause for a day before heading for that particular tourist trap. This tiny walled city stands on a network of canals and narrow, cobbled streets. There is a sense of tranquility here that is sadly lacking in its more illustrious brother, just a 40 minute drive down the road, and it is a perfect place to experience the real Italy. 

Tavira, Portugal

There are two sides to Portugal: One is the teeming and hectic city of Lisbon, the other the wealthy opulence of the Algarve. Tavira, however, gives you the opportunity to see what the Algarve was really like before the expat millionaires moved in with their yachts, golf clubs and sprawling villas. Here, the hotels are small and family-run, the churches are numerous and the pace of life provides an opportunity to sit back, make new friends over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and really drink in the culture.

Lubeck, Germany

Visit Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart and you could be forgiven for thinking that when you’ve seen one German city, you’ve seen them all. Prepare to be astonished by Lubeck. This medieval city is located entirely on an island and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is a network of narrow streets, historic squares and towering churches, and is a wonderful place to stroll aimlessly and explore for an afternoon.

Aarhus, Denmark

Mention Denmark and people automatically think of Copenhagen. That’s a little unfair on its second largest city, Aarhus. From the history of the medieval quarter to the drama of the super-modern Art Museum and its Skywalk, you should prepare to be amazed. There’s also an amazing choice of shops and cafes, plus no fewer than three Michelin-starred restaurants.

Have you been to one of these lesser-known European cities to tour? Which one is your favorite, and why? 

The post Five lesser known European cities to tour appeared first on Easy Planet Travel.

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.

Airfare often makes up the most expensive part of any trip. Indeed, the costs of flying can stack up quickly, especially for those traveling with kids in tow. Some large families might dismiss flying completely, believing it’s just not financially possible.

Airlines have gotten shockingly good at charging high rates for the bare minimum of services, leading many consumers to look for other travel options. However, some trips require flying. Paying for a flight might have benefits over enduring an extended family road trip, for example.

Luckily, families can enjoy trips together without going broke over plane tickets. Here are five ways you can save money on your family’s next flight.

1. Buy Tickets in Advance

Ticket prices vary depending on season and flight dates. In order to get the best deal possible, people should book tickets early. Prices for flights in the continental United States usually reach their lowest around 70 days in advance, though prime booking time may come earlier or later depending on the season and the holidays around that time.

In addition to buying tickets in advance, families might consider flying on days that have the cheapest ticket prices. Flights in the middle of the week usually cost less than ones on busy travel days like Friday and Sunday.

To take advantage of early booking, start keeping an eye on potential flights as soon as you know your approximate travel plans. Sign up for price drop alerts and check options from a variety of carriers and websites. If you receive a notification about a great sale, you can jump on the opportunity and adjust plans accordingly.

2. Choose a Connecting Flight

Though no-stop flights can tempt families with kids, the work of navigating an extra airport could pay off. In fact, choosing a connecting flight could help families save as much as 50 percent on airfare.

To find the best deals, travelers should seek connecting flights when heading to or from their destinations. You can catch your connecting flight more easily by leaving an hour or more between flights and studying a map of the airport ahead of time. Remember to bring snacks with you to avoid paying for expensive meals at the airport.

3. Compare Prices Carefully

Comparing the prices of different flight options can be confusing and unproductive because airlines may not communicate fees and exclusions transparently. Even the language they use to describe seating choices — think basic economy, standard economy and enhanced economy, which are all different, by the way — make choosing a ticket with the best value challenging.

When choosing tickets, consumers need to make sure they know what they are and aren’t getting for their money. For example, while basic economy seats might cost less, they might not allow seat selection at booking, which could create problems for parents who want to sit next to their children.

Many airlines provide services like early boarding or checked bags only for a fee. When you compare ticket prices, make sure you’re comparing the full costs of flying, fees included, and not just the basic fares.

4. Pack Light When Possible

Though some airlines do offer complimentary checked luggage, many charges a fee for every bag checked. For families with kids, a checked bag for every person could add up to hundreds of dollars depending on the flight.

The Department of Transportation requires airlines to display information about their baggage fees on their websites or through links alongside specific quotes. Make sure you understand the fees for checked and carry-on bags before you buy.

If you do need to pay for checked bags, limit fees by taking as few as possible. Parents can have kids share a suitcase and consolidate their own belongings into a shared bag, for instance. As long as bags come in under the weight limit, this strategy can help families save decent money on luggage fees.

5. Ask for Child Discounts on International Flights

On domestic U.S. flights, parents generally won’t find discounts for children over age 2. However, discounts for kids are much more common on international flights.

Foreign carriers usually offer discounted fares for kids under 12. In order to compete, some U.S. carriers now offer child discounts on international flights as well. Savings on kids’ tickets could be 25 percent or more, which could equal significant savings for larger families flying internationally.

Airlines may not advertise children’s fares to the public even if they have them. To get the best price for all family members, ask about discounted rates for children before buying tickets.

Save Money on Flights for Your Family

Though flights can be expensive, you can find good deals by understanding how airlines charge travelers and using creative workarounds. When you save money on airfare, you and your family can enjoy the trip and still have money to spare once you reach your destination.

The post 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Family’s Next Flight appeared first on Easy Planet Travel.

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The only thing we can bring back from an amazing trip with our kids is precious memories… and photos of them.

Don’t you think our kids grow way too fast? Isn’t great to go back to a time and place where your family had the best vacation by looking at photos?

And with the growing popularity of Instagram and photo books, we can set up and get printed by ourselves, taking breathtaking photos of our family has become a must when we travel. When you’ll feel your smartphone isn’t doing a good job anymore at taking the best photos of your travel adventures, you’ll without a doubt buy a mirrorless camera.

The Fujifilm X-A5 is a cool camera for Insta worthy family travel photos, and here are 6 reasons why.

My favorite features of the new cool Fujifilm X-A5 mirrorless camera 1.  Mirrorless means small, compact and lightweight

Long gone are the days when you needed a bulky and heavy DSLR camera to take clear and high-quality Insta worthy photos of your kids on the beach. Mirrorless cameras are the new DSLR! The Fujifilm X-A5 mirrorless camera is small, so it is easy to carry in a purse or backpack (depending on the lens you are using of course!). Even though it is small, it is compact enough to offer you all the cool features a DSLR has. It is also lightweight: it weighs approximately 361g / 12.7 oz. (including battery and memory card), so it is light enough to be easy to carry around all day.

2.  The look!

The Fujifilm X-A5 has a very cool retro design! You can get it in Pink, Brown or Silver (I got the brown one, and I love the vintage look!). Taking a photo with this good-looking camera turn heads! If we are trying hard to make our outfits match and look lovely when traveling, why not choose a cute camera too?

3.  The 180° tilting LCD and portrait enhancer for selfies

This feature is my #1 favorite: you can now get a high-quality selfie with the help of the 180° tilting LCD and portrait enhancer: perfect for Insta worthy photos. No smartphone can give you a 24M selfie! By the way, it makes recording videos of yourself easy too, since you can take a shot and record a video in selfie mode!

The tilting screen makes it also so easy to take low shots, for example, holding the camera at your waist, and still perfectly capturing the moment.

4.  Wireless communication

The wireless communication is great for 2 reasons.

First, it makes sharing high-quality photos taken with your terrific Fujifilm X-A5 mirrorless camera so easy! You only have to download and install on your smartphone the app “Fujifilm Camera Remote”, and then you can pick and choose the photos from your camera, download them on your phone via Bluetooth and share on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media.

Second, you can take photos with your Fujifilm X-A5 remotely from your phone. This makes it so easy to set up your camera for example on a lounge chair, on the beach, and then take the time to get all your family looking good in the turquoise clear water, selecting exactly where you want the camera to focus from your phone, and then easily and seamlessly taking the photo. Easy, breezy… Fujifilm!

5.  The touchscreen

How cool is that: you can select where you want the focus to be and take the photo only by touching the LCD screen. You can also know with only a quick look at what ISO is selected, battery level, exposure compensation, and flipping through your recorded photos too.

6.  So many other cool features

You finally have access to hundreds of cool features: different scenes to choose from (night, flower, snow, beach, party, sunset, portrait, etc.) for when it’s your spouse who know nothing about photography that is taking the shot, advanced filter (fog remove, HDR, cross screen, etc.), film simulation, 4k movies and burst shots, macro photography, and many more.

7. One last thing…

As a blogger, I take it very seriously to tell you all the facts, the good, the bad and the ugly about the products that I test and try. The Fujifilm X-A5 is indeed a very good camera. It is written in the specification that it works best between 0 to 40°C, and they are right. My camera bugged a little bit when it was colder and hotter than that (when we were in Iceland and in the Dominican Republic). The extreme temperatures made my lens unable to focus, and I couldn’t turn off my camera. These bugs only happened in extreme temperatures, so don’t worry because in every other situation: your camera will work wonderfully.

Yes, technology has its limits, but the Fujifilm customer care service doesn’t. When I needed help with something, they quickly and happily answered me. So you can feel safe with a Fujifilm camera: you are in good human hands!

Are you ready to finally post high-quality photos on your family’s Instagram account, effortlessly? You should definitely try the Fujifilm X-A5, at only $499!

(By the way, this link is an affiliate link: it means you are paying exactly the same price as everyone else, but instead of giving all the profits to Amazon and Fujifilm, I get a very small revenue that can help me keep writing articles and blogging! Thanks for encouraging me!)

What is your favorite feature on a camera?

The post The Best Camera for Insta Worthy Family Travel Photos appeared first on Easy Planet Travel.

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