The Travel Pledge- Getting Kids in a Travel Mindset

travel trick kids

The Travel Pledge

Let’s face it, kids aren’t always the best travelers. They don’t necessarily have patience for long boring hours (whether it be on a plane, train, or car), the different/weird foods, or the curveballs we often face. BUT, this is also why we love to travel. It provides great life lessons and immediate gratification is not always available. So…one day on the way to the airport (while listening to complaining kids), my husband created the travel pledge! They needed a gentle reminder of just how lucky they are and help getting into a travel mindset. Now, it’s a travel staple, we do it every trip.

Always subject to creative changes, it often goes something like this:

I, (state your name), understand that this day may suck.

I understand that I will likely be bored or hungry or tired.

I understand that all of us will have a moment when we are not having fun….

BUT this trip is going to be worth it and it is going to be full of new and exciting experiences!!

I understand not every day or activity planned on this trip is for ME, but possibly designed to please someone else in our family. Some activities are meant for kids; some are meant for the grown-ups, some for all of us. Deal with it and be grateful!

I agree to have a good attitude and if I don’t like it I will keep my opinions to myself. I will not ruin the experience for everyone else. Having a bad attitude will not make me feel any better but rather make everyone else feel worse. I’m ready to have a positive attitude and a lot of FUN!

Our pledge sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, but, it makes them laugh and think and try. It reminds them to be grateful for the experience and not to dwell on the negative. It attempts to make them think of the other members of our family and not just themselves.

How do you get your kids in a travel mindset? Let me know what y’all think!

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Road trip to Jackson Hole Wyoming & Yellowstone

Road trip Yellowstone

A Road Trip to Jackson Hole, WY & Yellowstone National Park

We were fortunate enough to spend about a month in Utah last summer and during our stay we decided a road trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone was in order. You can fly into Jackson, it’s a teeny tiny airport and was about $200 more per person when I checked. National Parks are full of educational and inspirational opportunities and if you’re close by, then by all means you should take advantage!

road trip yellowstone

Road Trip!

So…we rented a car from Salt Lake City and began our 4.5 hour journey (lord help us)! There really aren’t a lot of great stops along the way, lots of open road. There are two different routes to get to Jackson from Salt Lake City. On the way there, we drove through Park City, Evanston, and Afton and took the other route on our return trip. Evanston is the place to stop and load up on snacks and top off your tank…it’s gonna be awhile!! A fun photo stop with the kids is the State entrance/ exit signs…I mean 3 states in a span of about 30 minutes is pretty cool.

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Visit Columbia SC: What to do & Where to Eat

visit columbia sc

A Day in…Columbia, SC

Planning to visit Columbia SC? We just returned from the home of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks city…and it’s the cutest “little-big” city with lots of good food and fun!

Here are my tips if you plan to visit Columbia SC:

Breakfast: The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli

This place is BUSY!! Plan to wait in line if you go on the weekend or go on a weekday like we did. We went on a Tuesday and although the small deli was quite full, we were able to get right in and out. The most popular breakfast sandwich is The Big Max…which is basically a bacon, egg, and cheese on your choice of toast. BUT the best part? All breakfast sandwiches come with a mini cinnamon roll. Score! We also had (devoured) the very popular bourbon caramel cinnamon roll…which was messy and delicious…and HUGE! The kids and I totally should’ve split one…oh well, now we know!

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The Best Tasting Green Smoothie!

best tasting green smoothie

The Best Tasting Green Smoothie

I have tried A LOT of different smoothie recipes. This is by far, my favorite! It’s so simple and more importantly, it is the Best Tasting Green Smoothie!

This is my GO-TO vacation indulgence recovery breakfast. I often indulge on vacation and this is an awesome way to up my leafy greens intake and get back on track when we get home. It’s safe to say I have a bit of an addiction to sweets and desserts….if it’s bad for you, I generally love it!

For real though, I’m not a health freak and I’m not trying to lose weight…it is more about adding a healthier component in order to find a good balance. It’s about trying to add in enough green vegetables in a quick, easy, and tasty way. I find this to be a very filling breakfast and you get the fantastic health benefits of spinach. I’ve tried other greens like kale, etc. but find spinach to have the best flavor (or lack thereof). The secret ingredient, however, is the pear! The pear makes it juicy and sweet and SO yummy!

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5 Tips for Traveling Internationally with Kids

5 Tips for International Travel With Kids

International Travel with Kids- You Can Do it Too!

We recently took our kids on their BIG first trip out of the country. Some of our friends thought we were straight up crazy. At eight and ten years old, our kids are old enough to really engage and learn from seeing the world. They are also old enough to grin and bear it when things go wrong! We want them to see that there is a lot more to life and the world than the small southern town where we live.

Here are my five tips for international travel with kids:

1.       Prepare them. Let them know a little about where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and what will be really different from home. I want them to know if we’re going to have a really long layover, or it might rain the entire week, or we may have no Wi-Fi (horrors). Let them know what to expect. I like people to be real with me. So I in turn want to give that same honesty to my kids. If you are planning international travel, kids can be part of the planning process. Give them some background and let them choose an activity or destination. It’s educational and makes them feel invested in the trip. Oh, and a safety discussion is always mandatory whether you’re going to Disney or Africa.

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Easy Buttermilk Waffles

Easy Buttermilk Waffles

Easy Hotel Buttermilk Waffles

Are we the only ones who love hotel waffles? I’m not sure why they are so good at hotels, but they always are!

Seriously friends, can you duplicate them? Well, this is my best attempt…and I must say, they’re pretty darn good!!

I am sooooo NOT a morning person. Therefore, I’m not so good at actually cooking breakfast at 7 am before my kids are off to school. We’re more of a here’s a banana or granola bar for breakfast kinda family. However, in my effort to actually make breakfast for my kiddos on a school day, ya know maybe once a week…I decided to make these easy buttermilk waffles. BUT, the fabulous part about this was I  made the batter the night before!! So all I had to do in the morning was give it a stir and pour it in the waffle maker. So easy, anyone can handle this!

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Top 10 Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids!

Alcatraz

San Francisco with Kids!

We absolutely love San Francisco. It is such a fun family friendly city with so much to see and do! But more importantly, it is so totally completely different from our small southern town. It has a wonderful way of opening your eyes to different lifestyles and provides a perfect learning experience for kids! Make sure you check the weather forecast…we went in July and it was chilly (in my opinion).

Here are my top 10 things you must do in San Francisco!

1. Alcatraz– this may seem obvious, but neither my husband nor I are history buffs and I truly didn’t know if the kids were old enough to enjoy it. But at 7 and 9 years old, they loved it. Get the audio tour- it was fantastic. The kids only made it about ¾ the way through the audio tour before moving on, but overall it was definitely worthwhile. Make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time, they sell out months in advance!

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