Planning a Disney Vacation ~ Tips to Consider

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and head on down to Disney World with your family, huh? Well boy aren’t you in for a treat.

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All-Star Vacation Homes review

To be honest, this has got to be THE most exciting review I’ve ever written!

As you probably saw over the last few weeks on my social media pages, I was discussing our upcoming family vacation to Florida. Well, last Sunday we made our way down there for a fun-filled 5 day stay in Kissimmee — but this trip was unlike any other we’ve ever experienced… all thanks to All Star Vacation Homes!

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WAYS TO SAVE ON FAMILY TRAVEL

Rising fuel prices sure makes traveling by car and plane tough. I mean planning a family vacation seems almost impossible due to the expenses involved.

The “staycation” allows families to enjoy time spent together but it’s really getting old. You know what I mean? We spend SO much time in our homes already and doing the stay-at-home vacation just doesn’t feel real. I want to get out and get pampered. You know? hehee.

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PREPARING FOR SUMMER VACATION? TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Like many American families, you may be one that’s hopping in a car or jumping on a plane for a summer vacation.

Summer vacations are a great time to relax, spend time with your family and explore new places.

To help you and your family be well prepared, I’ve put together these helpful summer vacation tips…

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EMBASSY SUITES HOTELS ~ I WANNA GO BACK ALREADY!

There are hotels and then there are great hotels!

We took a mini vacation (in celebration of the 4th of July) to Columbus to be closer to the huge fireworks celebration downtown — Red, White & BOOM. During our two day trip we stayed at the Embassy Suites Columbus – Airport hotel… one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing.

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GET MORE OUT OF VACATIONS WITH EMBASSY SUITES HOTELS

When I was growing up my family and I didn’t go on any “real” vacations (extended stays away from home). My parents just couldn’t afford it for a family of 6.

For us, a vacation was more like a visit to an amusement park, the state fair, the zoo or other trip that only lasted a day or two. Sure it wasn’t out of state or anything like that but it was still fun because we did it as a family and enjoyed the time we shared together.

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DON’T GET TAKEN FOR A RIDE ~ RENTAL CAR TIPS

If you’ve ever had a need for a rental car, whether it’s for a vacation or due to a recent auto accident or something else, you’re already aware of the numerous fees that appear on your bill.

Where do the rental car companies come up with some of those crazy fees? Really.

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SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUR CHILD

Families everywhere are taking advantage of these remaining summer days. Late summer and early fall promises some of the best times of year to get outdoors with your kids. And, while you’re outdoors, chances are you’ll bring your camera with you.

Have you already taken enough pool or beach pictures of the kids? Why not trying handing the camera over to the kids. Sure, this can be risky, especially if they’re younger. But here are 5 good reasons to get your child pointing and shooting – with careful supervision, of course.

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5 SAVVY WAYS TO ENTERTAIN CHILDREN ON A ROAD TRIP

Hitting the road is not the carefree affair it once was — before children anyway. No longer can you decide to travel on a whim, basing your itinerary on cheap airfare and your latest flash of travel inspiration… or can you?

Traveling with children can be daunting for even the most adventurous spirits, and, like anything else, it takes is practice to get good at it.

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GET IN YOUR CAR & RIDE!

Aw, sorry to break the news to you kids, but summer is just about over. Or at least your summer break is and then it’s back to school. Have any of you done anything exciting this summer? Went on vacation? Visited any amusement parks? Did you just say you didn’t have the money?

Well I know we haven’t had the money to pack up and go anywhere exciting this summer, unfortunately. It’s pretty much been that way the last few years and so, we came up with a solution to that — to beating the summertime blues. Yea, why should anyone have the blues during summer? It’s nice and warm, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, so why so glum? Money of course. If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.

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MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN NEW YORK

Going around the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building to Times Square, New York features a plethora of iconic landmarks, enchanting tourist spots and some historic sites.

Anyone visiting New York would obviously want to see them all. But the question is “how many of them can you truly see within in a short period of time?”

Here are some memorable places you MUST see:

Empire State Building Tour: New York’s tallest building — an Art Deco masterpiece that was opened in 1931. Tourists can ride the elevator up to the 86th-floor observatory deck and have a commanding view of the streets of Manhattan.

New York Sky-ride - Located on the second floor of the world-famous Empire State Building, the New York Sky-ride is an exciting, fun-filled, family-friendly virtual tour simulator – the only such tour simulator in NYC. During this 30-minute tour, you will soar high above the streets of New York, viewing many NYC landmarks such as Times Square, Yankee Stadium, and the Statue of Liberty.

United Nations Building: Provides visitors the rare opportunity to see the world (where the leaders of the world) meet to discuss all crucial international issues.

South Street Seaport: One of the most alluring areas in New York. Have a great shopping experience here and dine at any of the top New York restaurants and partake in the most exciting NYC nightlife

Museum of Modern Art: Arguably the most prestigious NYC museum and art gallery. The museum features some of the most famous paintings of all time.

Central Park: One of the most salubrious parks in New York City. Spread over 843 acres, the park offers tons of things to do in NYC. Participate in the famous Central Park Carousel and the Wollman Ice Skating Rink.

Brooklyn Bridge: One of the oldest and longest suspension bridges in the United States. This iconic bridge, a National Historic Landmark since 1964, spans the East River and connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Grand Central Station: With 44 platforms and 67 tracks along them, Grand Central Terminal, also known as Grand Central Station, is the longest train station in the world and one of the most unforgettable sights in New York City.

Madame Tussaud Museum: In Times Square — houses some of the life-like celebrity wax figures. Watch all your favorite celebs, historical personalities, and sportsperson.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not: – One of the more recent additions to Times Square, ‘Ripleys Believe It or Not’ showcases the strange and celebrates the weird from around the world.

Purchase the New York Explorer Pass to avoid paying high entrance fees. With so many pass options, you will be able to view all of the sights and many landmark sites at discounted rates.

The New York Pass provides free entry to more than 50 NYC attractions and discounts on sightseeing tours, stores, theaters, restaurants and more. The sights include the Empire State Building Observatory, Statue of Liberty tour, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and American Museum of Natural History, Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, NBC Studio Tour, Central Park Zoo, and many more!

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ROME, ITALY ~ MY DREAM VACATION

One of the world’s most historic and enthralling cities, Rome is famous for its rich heritage and important buildings. Numerous expressions have been used to describe the unique city of Rome and capital of Italy. Many wonderful monuments and truly ancient ruins reside in Rome, together with numerous vivacious shopping areas, restaurants and sightseeing opportunities. The city has much to offer tourists and also offers a selection of nearby beaches.

Rome has long been a major tourist destination and its historical attractions and important ruins are known throughout the world. However, the city is also an exciting and vibrant place to visit, with many impressive shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and seasonal festivals.

When To Visit ~

Rome is an interesting place to visit any time because most attractions are open all year round. The best times are in the spring and autumn months of April & May, mid-September, October and mid-November, when the temperatures are more favourable, even though there is more rain in October.

Rome Tourism and Attractions ~

Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and artistic treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent “villas” (parks). It’s a major archaeological hub, and one of the world’s main centres of archaeological research.

What To See ~

Pantheon: Built more than 1800 years ago, the magnificent Pantheon building still stands as a reminder of the great Roman empire. Originally a temple for all pagan gods, the temple was converted into a church in 609. The Pantheon now contains the tombs of the famous artist Raphael and of several Italian Kings.

Colosseum: The Colosseum is probably the most impressive building of the Roman empire. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it was the largest building of the era. The monumental structure has fallen into ruins, but even today it is an imposing and beautiful sight. The elliptical building is immense, measuring 188m by 156m and reaching a height of more than 48 meter (159 ft). The Colosseum could accommodate some 55,000 spectators who could enter the building through no less than 80 entrances.

Roman Forum: The Roman Forum is located in a valley that is between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill and is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The Forum was the marketplace of Rome and also the business district and civic center. It was expanded to include temples, a senate house and law courts.

St. Peter’s Basilica: The striking square and its imposing colonnade lead to the greatest basilica of the Christian world: St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica San Pietro). The building itself is truly impressive. The largest church in the world, it has a 218 meter long nave. The basilica’s dome is the world’s largest measuring 42m in diameter and reaching 138 meter high (more than 450ft). The interior, which includes 45 altars, is decorated by many famous artists.

Circus Maximus: The Circus Maximus was the largest stadium in ancient Rome. At one point the Circus could seat 250.000 people, one quarter of Rome’s population. The last race at the Circus Maximus was held in AD 549, almost a millennium after the first races were held at this location. Today only the layout of the original circus can be seen in what is now a large grassland. Most of the original structure has been used as building material for medieval and Renaissance constructions.

Apart from these places, there are numerous other interesting sites to visit in Rome which is why, at some point in my life, I plan to visit Italy. I guess you could say it’s on my bucket list. hehee!

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