#KIDSNTRIPS Twitter Party (and Giveaway!) MARCH 16 —History is Fun!

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There’s an amazing side bonus to any type of family travel — the opportunity to connect your children with the stories and history of a place. No matter where you vacation, there is a back story, roots, and a culture that dates back decades if not hundreds or even thousands of years. When children are learning about the world in school, their hearts and minds are already soaking up information and interesting lessons, why not connect what they are learning in school with an experience from the destination that they are learning about? Adding fun experiences, adventure, and spending time with family while kids are learning about a place can leave a lasting impression. Making family memories together while learning is an incredible win win approach to travel.  We will be talking about this at our next #KidsNTrips Twitter Party this Thursday, March 16, 2017, with our sponsor the Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum.

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Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Our sponsor, Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum, is having its Grand Opening Celebration of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown March 23-April 4 culminating the museum’s 10-
year transformation from the Yorktown Victory Center.

The celebration will include daily highlights of one of America’s 13 original states in the order that they ratified the Constitution, with a dedication ceremony on April 1. Patriotic festivities include gallery tours, living-history programs, artillery firings, flag-raising ceremonies, military musical performances, military re-enactments, lectures and children’s activities.

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Visiting the two museums is an incredible opportunity to learn more about the people who lived in America during colonial times, why the American colonies went to war with Britain, what happened during the American Revolution and how the United States grew into a new nation after the war.

Whether you can visit this year, or if you want to bookmark the museums for a future trip, there is a lot of historical information and classroom learning center tools to explore on the museum’s website.

#KIDSNTRIPS History is Fun Twitter Party

Join us Thursday, March 16, 2017 to share tips about including history in family travel There is no need to RSVP, just follow the #KidsNTrips hashtag and join the conversation.

Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time, 12:30 p.m. Eastern

Hashtags: #KidsNTrips #historyisfun

Theme: History is Fun!

Hosts: Be sure to follow @TravelMamas@JenLeo@LaJollaMom, and @historyisfunorg

Sponsor: Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

Special Guests: @motherofalltrip @wanderingeds

Giveaway Prizes:  One of two $100 Visa gift cards, four tickets to the museum, and 5 logo items from the gift shop.

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prizes will be awarded to eight lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participants.  The winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party.

#KIDSNTRIPS Twitter Party (And Giveaway!) JAN 24 —Winter Driving Tips

Driving during winter weather can be daunting. I know because we recently canceled a weekend ski trip to Tahoe during California’s “Storm of the Century.” I wasn’t proud of canceling. We really wanted to go, but the truth was that I was intimidated by the thought of putting chains on the tires. So, we wimped out and didn’t go. In hindsight, there were alternative solutions we could’ve turned to. Join us on Tuesday, January 24 for our #KidsnTrips Twitter Party with Chip Wade and Liberty Mutual as we give you the lowdown on winter driving tips.  After all, your kids delighting in the snow will make every effort worth it.

Winter Driving Tips

Some of the tips we will cover at the #KidsNTrips Winter Driving Twitter party:

 

  • What to pack to stay safe in case of an emergency
  • What car issues mechanics should check before a winter road trip
  • How to deal with unexpected situations during a road trip
  • How to prep your home for being gone for extended periods of time

 

 

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#KIDSNTRIPS Winter Driving Twitter Party

Join us Tuesday, January 24 to learn about winter driving tips. There is no need to RSVP, just follow the #KidsNTrips hashtag and join the conversation.

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2016

Time: (CORRECTION) 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time, 12:30 p.m. Eastern

Hashtags: #KidsNTrips #FewerWorries

Theme: Winter Driving

Hosts: Be sure to follow @TravelMamas@JenLeo@LaJollaMom, and @LibertyMutual

Celebrity Guest: @ChipWade of HGTV fame

Sponsor: Liberty Mutual

Special Guests: @AnneJParris from Not A Supermom and @pitstopsforkids from Pit Stops for Kids

Giveaway Prizes:  One of two $100 Visa gift cards or the grand prize $200 Visa gift card! 

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prizes will be awarded to four lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participants.  The winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party.

#KIDSNTRIPS Twitter Party (And Giveaway!) OCT 18 —Safe Teen Driving

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Liberty Mutual is fighting the good fight to keep teen drivers safe on the road. They are sponsoring another KidsNTrips Twitter party this coming Tuesday (October 18, 2016). It takes me back to when I was a teen. I wasn’t driving, but my friends were. And I can guarantee you that my dad might not have asked my friends (or their parents) about any safety specifics before I jumped in the car. Back then you just wanted your kid to wear a seatbelt, and trusted that air bags would help too if there was an accident. With the addition of smartphones, apps, GPS navigation, let alone WiFi — driving in a car today is a much different experience. Please join #KidsNTrips on Tuesday to learn about safe teen driving tips (and win one of four $100 Visa gift cards).

Safety Tips for Parents & Teen Drivers That Have Me Thinking Ahead

  • Make safe teen driving a priority for the whole family. Sing a teen driving contract: http://bit.ly/1Xxq4Cs
  • It’s not all about driving under the influence, teach teens not to drive while drowsy or upset.
  • The car is not a party mobile – drive with three or less teenage passengers in the car.
  • Kids learn safe driving from watching their parents – don’t text in the car. Practice safe driving while your kids are younger, too.
  • Parents, don’t text your teen if you know they’re driving.
  • Consider what environments are stressful for your new teen driver. (Eg. Avoid driving during rush hour)
  • “Tired Teen Driving” is real. Talk to your teens about safe alternatives.

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#KIDSNTRIPS Teen Driving Twitter Party

Join us Wednesday, June 22 to talk about keeping teens safe on the road. There is no need to RSVP, just follow the #KidsNTrips hashtag and join the conversation.

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Time: 11 a.m. Pacific Time (12 p.m. Mountain Time; 1 p.m. Central Time; 2 p.m. Eastern Time)

Hashtags: #KidsNTrips #TalkTeenDriving

Theme: Teen Driving

Hosts: Be sure to follow  @JenLeo@TravelMamas@LaJollaMom, and @LibertyMutual

Sponsor: Liberty Mutual

SpecialGuests: @karasw from TheVacationGals.com,

Giveaway Prizes: Four $100 Visa gift cards awarded to four winners

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prizes will be awarded to four lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participants.  The winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party.

#KIDSNTRIPS Twitter Party (And Giveaway!) June 22 —Teen Driving Tips!

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Thank goodness Cora is nowhere near learning how to drive. Although she is no stranger to the role of a backseat driver. That said, we have plenty of friends who have teen drivers. And with road trip season upon us, it’s important to get them as ready and prepped for safety as possible. On June 22, KidsNTrips will be hosting a Twitter Party sponsored by Liberty Mutual. We will have tons of teen driving tips for you, as well as four $100 Visa gift cards to give away to four lucky participants. Please join us and share your teen driving experiences, tips, and photos.

Teen Driving Twitter Party

Join us Wednesday, June 22 to talk about keeping teens safe on the road. There is no need to RSVP, just follow the #KidsNTrips hashtag and join the conversation.

Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Time: 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time (10:30 a.m. Mountain Time; 11:30a.m. Central Time; 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

Hashtags: #KidsNTrips #TalkTeenDriving

Theme: Teen Driving

Hosts: Be sure to follow  @JenLeo@TravelMamas@LaJollaMom, and @LibertyMutual

Sponsor: Liberty Mutual

Special Guests: @JenniferMiner from TheVacationGals.com@StacieinAtlanta from DivineLifestyle.com and @travelermom from TheTravelingPraters.com

Giveaway Prize: Four $100 Visa gift cards awarded to four winners

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prize will be awarded to one lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participant. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party. Read additional prize terms and conditions.

Learn more: Not sure what a Twitter party is or why to participate? Learn about #KidsNTrips family travel Twitter parties now!

Will you join the Teen Driving Twitter Party? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from Jen Leo: I will receive compensation related to this post and the upcoming #KidsNTrips Twitter Party from Liberty Mutual. All opinions are mine.

#KIDSNTRIPS Twitter Party (And Giveaway!) June 9 — California Road Trips!

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Cora’s first travel experience was a road trip to San Francisco when she was barely a month old. We cruised up Interstate 5 from San Diego to the Bay Area to visit with friends I’d made when I lived there several years prior. And we’ve been making that trip a few times a year ever since. But as good as it feels to be able to get to San Francisco by dinner time, there’s a lot more to see in California than I-5. California is a magical blend of iconic destinations, jaw dropping Instagram photo opportunities, endless sunshine, best in class theme parks, best in class cities, and natural wonders that will change your thinking about the world and yourself.

Visit California has teamed up with KidsNTrips to talk about California Summer Road Trips. We hope that you will join us, not only to take your shot at winning the hotel stay in San Francisco and four San Francisco CityPasses, but to learn about this great state of ours and share some of the hard-won family road trip tips and pics you’ve garnered while traversing California.

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California for Adventurous Families

When we leave California to travel, I’m always hunting for activities fit for a 7-year old adventuress. But what about right here in the this Golden State that I was born in? There are so many opportunities that you could create a bucket list without leaving our borders. We’ve been horseback riding in Lake Tahoe, skiing in Mammoth, took a pool break or two in Palm Springs, and went whale watching in Dana Point. This is barely a knick on the tip of the ice berg of what California has to offer. The options are near endless. If you have some extra time this summer, plan a California family road trip. Here are a few ideas to get your itinerary started:

  • Camping under the redwoods at Redwood National and State Parks
  • Ride horses along a windswept beach in Mendocino County
  • Train to be a volcanologist at Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Rafting the American River in Gold Country
  • Spelunking, climbing and zip-lining at Vallecito
  • Rock climbing, Joshua Tree
  • Fly-fishing, Lake Tahoe
  • Skateboarding, Orange County

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Hollywood celebrities aren’t the only stars in California. Here’s a view of the stars at Shasta.

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Mammoth Lakes is just as beautiful when there’s no snow on the ground.

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Adventure awaits in California’s mountains, deserts, urban jungles, and the beaches that exist as the ultimate backyard retreat. Everything is close by, but getting there can give you a feeling of elation like you’ve reached the ends of the earth. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some cost-cutting tips:

Kids Free San Diego

12 Great Beaches for Kids

 

2014-11-26 Cora in San Francisco Marin Headlands from Jen Leo on Vimeo.

California Summer Road Trips Twitter Party

Take a virtual road trip across this beautiful and varied sunny state with us during a Twitter Party with Visit California this Thursday. There is no need to RSVP, just follow the #KidsNTrips hashtag and join the conversation!

Date: Thursday, June 9, 2016

Time: 9:30 am Pacific Time (10:30 am Mountain Time; 11:30 am Central Time; 12:30 pm Eastern Time)

Hashtag: #KidsNTrips

Theme: Summer Road Trips with Kids

Hosts: Be sure to follow @TravelMamas@JenLeo@LaJollaMom, and @VisitCA

Sponsor: Visit California

Special Guests: @travelbabbo@honeyandlimeco, and @tripswithtykes

Giveaway Prize: A $300 Visa gift card to use on a hotel stay in San Francisco + 4 San Francisco CityPasses

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prize will be awarded to one lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participant. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party. Read additional prize terms and conditions.

Learn more: Not sure what a Twitter party is or why to participate? Learn more about #KidsNTrips family travel Twitter parties now!

A Note from Jen Leo: I will receive compensation related to this post and the upcoming #KidsNTrips Twitter Party from Visit California. All opinions are mine.

#KidsNTrips Twitter Party (and Giveaway!) Jan. 21—Spring Skiing in Park City, Utah

Cora at Deer Valley Ski Resort, Park City, Utah

Cora at Deer Valley Ski Resort, Park City, Utah

When you’re raising a kid in Southern California, one of two things can happen—they can either love the snow— or hate the cold. I’ve always wanted our daughter to get exposure to skiing, but once we started going, I realized that I just wanted her to enjoy being in the mountains during winter. Since I had spent time in Lake Tahoe during early adulthood, that had been our default winter skiing mountain. This year we tried a long weekend in Park City, Utah, as a family and had our worlds open up to just how easy (and FUN!) grabbing a slice of winter in the Utah mountains can be. This Thursday (Jan. 21, 2015),  you can get your chance. We will be giving away a ski vacation package for a family of four! Just join our #KidsNTrips Twitter party to enter.

Park City at night.

Park City at night.

7 Reasons why we loved Park City!

1. It was so dang easy to get to. Who knew?! The flight from San Diego to Salt Lake City was less than two hours and then it was only a 35 minute drive to get to Park City’s Main Street from the SLC airport. My friends drive 5 hours to get to Mammoth Mountain and I’ve taken longer flights to Reno plus a longer drive to get into Tahoe. So, it was a pleasant surprise that Utah was two states away but seemed easier to get to than skiing in our own state.

2. Park City Main Street was charming and fun! Great food, loads of boutiques, enticing art galleries, chocolate stores and bookshops, two places to check out Banksy street art, and chair lifts that go straight into Park City Ski Resort.

Cora and John on the Alpine Mountain Coaster at Park City

Cora and John on the Alpine Mountain Coaster at Park City

3. My husband (the non-skier) loved it. Lets face it, my husband doesn’t like the cold, let alone snow. He doesn’t ski or board and if forced to head into the mountains for winter you can find him on his laptop in a lodge. Not in Park City. He was the the first one to hit Main Street and looked for every opportunity to do non-skiing outdoor activities with Cora like the Alpine Coaster and Park City Zip Line at Park City Mountain Resort. But that’s not all they have for non-skiers. There is also a Viking Yurt Sleigh Ride, Snowshoe and Yoga, Snow tubing at Gorgoza Park, and more.

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Cora snowboards for the first time at Park City

4. Beginners are welcome here. I’ve never felt so welcome in a skiing environment. Sometimes, as a beginner, I’ve been practically knocked over walking through a ski resort village. And on the mountain it can be worse. Not here. We skied at Deer Valley and it was the friendliest, roomiest, skiing experience I’ve ever had. The fresh powder didn’t hurt, but then I found out that Deer Valley is known for it’s great customer service and groomed runs. An even better surprise was that I could ski green runs all over the mountain.

5. The food was terrific. If you are a foodie, then Handle should be your first stop. Get ready for locally sourced ingredients—to the max. I ordered a simple charcuterie board and lost count at how many of the sausages, mustards, honey and more were made right there in their own kitchen. The Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge is also not to be missed. Enjoy fireside dining room by room including warm Swiss raclette cheese, cured meats, salads, delicious stews, potato rosti,fire-roasted leg of lamb, fresh baked breads and dessert fondues.On our next trip we’ll be trying the private gourmet food tours with Park City Food Tours.

Washington School House Park City

Washington School House Hotel Living Room

6. Unpretentious pampering. Yes, it’s possible to get completely spoiled by locals that treat you like their neighbor. Go figure. Rush right over to Washington School House Hotel to see what it feels like. This luxe boutique hotel with only 12 rooms/suites couldn’t have made us feel more special. From getting to know our names, age-appropriate welcome gifts for our daughter, and greeting us in their living room with après ski appetizers, glasses of wine and hot chocolate. Would you rather sit in your room than by the living room fireplace? No problem. The outdoor jacuzzi in a winter setting might’ve been my daughter’s favorite, but I couldn’t bear to step away from the living room. Park City has a number of luxe accommodations but it’s the attitude by locals throughout the town that make you feel pampered. Another way to get this attention is to use the Ski Butlers for ski rental delivery and fittings wherever you are staying.

Caldwells having fun in Park City

Caldwells having fun in Park City

7. Fun for the whole family. There were so many fun-filled family activities, we couldn’t even make a dent in the list. Our main goal was to get Cora on the mountain. She tried both skiing (Deer Valley)  and boarding (Park City). It pained us to give her a nap instead of tubing, but some of the moments she enjoyed most didn’t come with a price tag. On our first day in town the sidewalks were dry. We walked into Robert Redford’s Zoom restaurant for dinner and walked out a couple hours later to a blanket of snow over the streets, cars and sidewalks. Cora delighted in throwing snowballs at us. It might’ve been the highlight of the trip. That and seeing an icicle for the first time as it dangled from the tree by the side of the road. It’s easy to book up your days and nights with as much as humanly possible, but sometimes all you need is a snowball to make a child happy.

 Planning your Park City Spring Break Ski Trip

Now, I know you’re looking for a deal. First, try to win our ski trip giveaway for a family of four by tweeting with the hashtag #KidsNTrips in our Spring Ski Twitter party on Thursday. If you miss that, but still want to make it out to Park City with your family for Spring Break—check out these accommodations that are on sale for up to 30% off. You will also find 4th and 5th night free deals, too. The Specials and Promotions page in the Lodging & Travel section of Visit Park City has a long list of deals. Play with your dates. You might have some dates in mind but find that the rates change the week after. If you’re flexible, you can definitely save some money. I also found a Late Season Family Value Package at Deer Valley where kids ski FREE, plus 20% off accommodations, lift tickets and kids’ ski rental with the three day minimum. Room rates started at $270.

KIDS N TRIPS Twitter Party Details —  Spring Ski Trip Twitter Party

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016

Time: 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time (10:30 a.m. Mountain Time; 11:30 a.m. Central Time; 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

Hashtag: #KidsNTrips

Theme: Spring skiing and beyond in Park City, Utah

Hosts: Be sure to follow @JenLeo@LaJollaMom@TravelMamas, @visitparkcity @pcski @Deer_Valley

Special guests: @pitstopsforkids, @karasw

Giveaway Prize: Ski vacation package that includes three nights accommodations, four 1-day lift tickets to both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, and dinner for four. The winner will be announced via Twitter following the party. Transportation, additional meals and activities are not included.

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prize will be awarded to one lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participants. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party. Booking dates are based on availability. Blackout dates apply, including Christmas through New Year’s Eve 2016, President’s Week 2017 or during Sundance Festival 2017. Read additional prize terms and conditions.

Learn more: Not sure what a Twitter party is or why to participate? Learn more about#KidsNTrips family travel Twitter parties now!

#KidsNTrips Twitter Party Nov. 10—Support Passports with Purpose 2015

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KIDS N TRIPS is proud to support the 8th annual Passports with Purpose fundraiser by hosting a #KidsNTrips Twitter party Tuesday, November 10, 2015. We will be giving away one $100 American Express gift card and one $50 American Express gift card.

If you have participated in any of the Passports with Purpose fundraisers you know that they harness the giving spirit of travel bloggers and travel enthusiasts from around the world to raise money for a worthy global cause.

This year, Passports with Purpose is raising money to help Worldreader bring 50 Kindle e-readers to five libraries in Kenya. This will provide an estimated 6,250 children, teachers and parents with access to more than 50,000 books.

It’s more than just giving money….you could also win a travel prize!

Travel bloggers procure travel-related prizes and for every $10 that you donate, you get one bid on the prize of your choice.

This year the 2015 Prize Catalog includes 40 prizes. Here are a few that particularly caught my eye:

  • a four-day stay in Yucatán, Mexico with a tour of the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza
  • a weekend for two at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills
  • Flytographer photo shoot
  • two-night stay at Great Wolf Lodge
  • two-night Okemo ski and stay package
  • a pick pocket proof wardrobe
  • a GoPro HERO4 Black

You can bid on prizes until Wednesday, November 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Prize winners will be announced and notified on November 22, 2015 via email. See the Passports with Purpose Rules.

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#KidsNTrips Special Twitter Party for Passports with Purpose

No RSVP Necessary – just tweet with the hashtag #KidsNTrips

Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Time: 9:30 am Pacific Time (10:30 am Mountain Time; 11:30 am Central Time; 12:30 pm Eastern Time)

Hashtags: #KidsNTrips #PwP

Theme: Passports with Purpose and Worldreader

Hosts: Be sure to follow @JenLeo@LaJollaMom@TravelMamas@PassportPurpose and@worldreaders

Giveaway Prizes: One $100 American Express gift card and one $50 American Express gift card, donated by KIDS N TRIPS

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prizes will be awarded to three lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participants. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party. Read additional prize terms and conditions.

Learn more: Not sure what a Twitter party is or why to participate? Learn more about #KidsNTrips family travel Twitter parties now!

#KidsNTrips Twitter Party Oct. 15 – Fall Travel Deals with Hilton HHonors!

A Colorful View from South Bubble_AcadiaNationalPark_LeeCoursey

A Colorful View from South Bubble
Taken in Acadia National Park by Lee Coursey

Having grown up in and still living in Southern California, Fall isn’t that much different than summer. The weather is usually  sunny and just a few days ago we had temperatures in the 90s. However, having friends that hail from Maine, and family that lives in New York and Boston, I’m indeed envious of fall foliage and a crispness to the air. Discover New England has a one-week self-drive fall foliage tour. Travel + Leisure also has a post about America’s Best Fall Foliage Drives. Meanwhile, I’ll sit at my desk day dreaming about Maine. So, how can I help you save money and make your travel dreams happen?

This week, KidsNTrips is hosting a Twitter Party about “Maximizing Fall Spending for Travel,” sponsored by The Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express. We are giving away one $200 American Express gift card and two $100 American Express gift cards to participants as well as sharing great travel tips. Including, what kind of travel opportunities you can have when you sign up for the The Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express.

Until then, I found some great deals if you’re a part of the Hilton HHonors program…

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Sign up and stay at any hotel in the Hilton Portfolio September 1st - December 31st, 2015 to earn Double Points on Monday through Thursday nights and Triple Points on Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights.

When you sign up for the Hilton HHonors card now, you’ll get 40,000 points after you spend $750 on the card in the first three months of membership. Then, if you  start racking up the points, consider a trip to Maine next Fall like I am. Here is how many points you’ll need for a one-night stay at the various Hilton branded hotels in Maine. Hampton Inn Agusta and Hampton Inn Bangor only are at the 20,000 points per night level. And you don’t have to be staying at a hotel to rack up the points (although that’s helpful too!). You can earn 5X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations. Earn 7X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Boom!

Now, who wants to go to Maine with me next Fall?!

Share your fall travel tips and tricks with us Thursday. Details below…

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KIDS N TRIPS Twitter Party Details — Maximizing Fall Spending for Travel 

Date: This Thursday, October 15, 2015

Time: 9:30 am Pacific Time (12:30 pm Eastern Time)

Hashtag: #KidsNTrips

Theme: Maximizing Fall Spending for Travel

Hosts: Be sure to follow @JenLeo @LaJollaMom @TravelMamas @AmericanExpress @HiltonHhonors

Special guests: @ruralmoms (from RuralMom.com), @cb_gilbert (from Almost Fearless)

Giveaway prizes: One $200 American Express gift card and two $100 American Express gift cards

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Prizes will be awarded to three lucky #KidsNTrips Twitter Party participants. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via Twitter shortly after the party. Read additional prize terms and conditions.

Learn more: Not sure what a Twitter party is or why to participate? Learn more about#KidsNTrips family travel Twitter parties now!

A Note from JenLeoDeals: The #KidsNTrips Summer Family Vacation Planning Twitter Party is sponsored by American Express. Prizes provided by sponsor. JenLeoDeals, KIDS N TRIPS, and American Express cannot be held liable for the giveaway or comments made during the Twitter party.

FAMILY FOOD DEAL: Farm Fresh To You Saves Time & Money

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One night while we were having dinner we heard a knock at the door. In our neighborhood solicitations usually have to do with home improvements so I was ready to get rid of him and get back to our dinner. To my surprise, the young man was offering a deal on Farm Fresh To You, an organic produce home delivery service. That’s exactly the same brand of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that my neighbor, who cooks for a family of four, has for her family.  I wanted to listen.

As a busy mom who is usually shuttling her daughter between play dates, softball practices and games, school, Boys & Girls Club, and much more— my visits to the farmers markets had been dwindling and how much I was spending at the grocery store on organic fruits and vegetables only seemed to increase. I could save both time and money with the right delivery service for my organic produce.  He didn’t have to say much to get me to sign up for Farm Fresh To You. A $10 coupon and the chance to support local farms and get quality food that I was already spending the same or more on at the grocery store was all I needed.

FAMILY FOOD DEAL:

PROMO CODE: JENN8319

Use my promo code to Get $10 off your first box for new subscribers (or those who have not received a box in three months). I’ll get $25 credited to my farm fresh account for the referral.

 

Farm Fresh To You from Jen Leo on Vimeo.

TASTED & TESTED:

In this week’s order we got a “Mixed Fruit And Veggie Regular” box. Inside the box was:

  • 2 Bartlett pears
  • 2 Gala apples
  • 1 pound of green grapes
  • half a pound of gypsy peppers
  • 1 package of mission figs
  • 1 package of mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 slicing cucumber
  • 1 pound of white avalanche potatoes
  • 2 yellow nectarines

FarmFresh_OrganicTomatoes

Farm fresh to you has been farming organically since 1976. 

They grow more than 60 types of produce over 130 varieties at their Capay organic farms in northern and southern California.

The Farm Fresh To You website has a resource section that allows you to look up different recipes that you can use with the fruit and veggie boxes. This is super helpful for trying new types of food, but for our family, we like to use the boxes to keep healthy snacks on hand. It’s great for us because we have lots of kids in the neighborhood who are in and out of the house and having extra fruits around to snack on is really important for our family.

 

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TIPS:

You can customize your box on every order. Make sure you do, or it’ll default to the box that they make for you. If you like to be surprised and get what they pick out for you, there is an exclusion list you can check off so fruits, veggies and herbs that you’d never use don’t show up in your box. I just figured that out last week. Also – no problem if you’re going out of town for a week, they have a vacation hold feature, too!

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Let me know on Twitter @jenleo what your favorite fruits and veggies or recipes have been from Farm Fresh To You.

*I had signed up for Farm Fresh To You before I was offered the opportunity to review their product. We will continue to use their service. 

 

CANCUN: Kid-friendly beachfront escape at CasaMagna Marriott Resort

Jen Leo Cora Cancun Weekend

 

The stretch between spring break and summer vacation can seem to drag on when your kids first start school, especially if you’re used to being able to travel with the family whenever you want. When Cora made the jump from preschool to kindergarten, I was already feeling restless.  In May, I took her out of school for a couple of days to do a long mommy-daughter weekend in Cancun at the CasaMagna Marriott. Now that school is starting again, the calendar looks equally long between now and Thanksgiving. As luck would have it, The CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort is offering a value-studded family travel package called “Family Fun with Kids Club” that you don’t want to miss.

DEAL: BOGO room deal! Plus there’s a bunch of kid-friendly amenities to make sure mom, dad and the little ones have a blast in Cancun! Make sure you use the Promo Code: MAJ

  • Buy one room and get the 2nd (connecting room) free per stay
  • 100 USD in resort credit daily
  • Kids Club access (for up to two children aged 12 and under)
  • Free breakfast for 2 children under 12 from kids menu when dining with adults
  • Daily internet access (two devices for one room)

DATES: Valid through Dec. 3, 2015 – see rate details for rules.

TESTED: The deal page says that rates vary between $249-$619/night; however, I used the flexible date link for a three-night stay in a resort view room for a family of three and found all of the rates to be $987, plus tax, for a total of $1,174.53. I found that to be the rate both during mid-week and on the weekends. If you bumped up to four nights, the total came to $1,566.00. Ocean view rooms were only $20 more per night and definitely worth it.

 

CasaMagnaMarriott Cancun Bed Jump from Jen Leo on Vimeo. Our room had two pillow top queen beds with a balcony and view of the pool and beach. There was air condition, strong Wi-Fi, and Cora delighted in the towels that were always folded into cute animals and left waiting for her. But we barely spent any time in them.

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A resort that has a Kids Club is great for both parents and kids!

There is no doubt that moms and dads (and especially the kids!) will appreciate having their own room with this special family travel deal. It might be the best part of the whole package! However, the fun doesn’t stop in the room nor does it end at the beach. Here is a closer look at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort Kids Club.

CasaMagnaMarriott KidsClub

Cora really had fun there and loved the chance to play with other kids. It’s a cozy club that is half indoors for arts and crafts and half outdoors that includes a play structure and a bouncy. She really enjoyed making the paper mâché globe and painting but the programs vary daily. The staff was fantastic! You can tell that they really care about the kids and are as patient as they are fun. After I left they did even more crafts and got to enjoy some freshly baked cookies.

Did someone say resort credit?

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This deal offers you $100 resort credit PER DAY. One of the amenities that we enjoyed was the spa and beauty salon. It is actually in the JW Marriott right next door, but the two properties are connected and it was a short walk worth taking. Here are some photos of Cora and I getting princessified before we went out to dinner at their super fun on property teppanyaki restaurant—Mikado Japanese Teppan Yaki. Eating there was really fun as a group, as was the steak house, La Capilla Argentina Steakhouse. But when we return, we’ll be spending our first night in the room ordering their thin crust gourmet pizza via room service! It was soooo good!

 

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Of course, you don’t have to spend money to have a great  vacation in Cancun The beautiful beaches are right there waiting for you. Some people find steeper deals at hotels across the road from the beachfront hotels. For me, having your room right above the sand is worth it when you are traveling with kids. Especially little ones. It can be the difference between a going back to the room for a nap and a public meltdown while you’re crossing the street.

CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort: Cora at the beach

Besides, what kid doesn’t want to spend every last minute combing the beach for treasure? It’s no surprise the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort gets a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor and is one of the top 20  of 178 hotels in Cancun.

CasaMagnaCancunCorafriends The thing we will remember most about our time at CasaMagna Marriott was the opportunity to make new friends. Kids love playing with kids wherever they go, and when you go to a family-friendly resort like this one, your chances improve. But it felt different this time. Playing with London and Sofia and their parents made us feel like we wanted to continue the friendship, if not travel together again and again. Being in Cancun brought out the best in all of us and that was as magical as how far away from school, work, and household duties we felt.

Our hotel stay at CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort and some of our meals and entertainment were provided free of charge for purposes of this review. As always, all options are my own.

Don’t forget to tell us if you are able to take advantage of this deal and have fun in Cancun with the kids!