How to Grab a Summer Travel Deal with Daily Getaways

plan for vacation baby
Are you counting the days until Summer? We are! Even though we live in Southern California where you can have fun outdoors almost all year round, we still can’t wait for school to go on break. There’s something about planning what to do during Summer that adds extra excitement. The local parks have free family movie nights, libraries offer great free programming and activities for kids, even getting a softie from the ice cream truck is more of a treat during the summer months. There’s never a shortage to actually do over Summer, but if you were hoping to take a vacation, or try a theme park you haven’t been to yet, grabbing a deal over the Summer can take a bit of planning.

The U.S. Travel Association puts together a great list of travel deals on the website Daily Getaways. I’ll show you how you can grab some heavily discounted tickets to theme parks and great rates on hotels, too! Even better, if you participate in the April 20, 2017 #KidsNTrips Twitter Party you have the chance to win one of two $100 AMEX gift cards (which can always be used on travel!). Details below…

DailyGetaways Universal Sutdios

Daily Getaways

WHAT: Deeply discounted points and packages from big name travel brands for hotel room nights, car rentals, theme park admission and more. New Daily Getaways deals in 2017 include offers from MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Loews Hotels and many more. Top deals include travel packages such as a such as a three-night stay at The Mirage Las Vegas for $1,750 to 50 percent off deals to save on Alamo car rentals. Other deals include admission to your choice of any three SeaWorld® parks, your choice of Busch Gardens® parks, or tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood(SM) or Universal Orlando Resort™ with savings up to 50 percent.

WHO: U.S and Canadian residents, age 18 or older, are permitted to purchase available offers throughout the promotion period or until the limited inventory is sold out. Quantities are limited and individual offer terms apply.

WHEN: Preview deals on April 3 and begin buying on April 10. Each weekday a new exclusive offer from a prominent travel brand is unveiled on DailyGetaways.com at 1 p.m. EDT, and it becomes available for purchase throughout the promotion period, while supplies last. Daily Getaways concludes Wednesday, May 10. You can view the Daily Getaways calendar here:

WHERE: www.dailygetaways.com
Daily Getaways SeaWorld

What I love about these deals, besides the opportunity to save money, is that they’re not all about hotels. There are plenty of local families in our area of San Diego that can’t afford to travel far away for a Summer holiday, but they could grab a $50 Sea World ticket. That might not be much of a deal if you’re going in the Spring, but if you don’t have the time to go until Summer, then you’re saving $23/ticket and if you’re bringing the whole family that adds up fast!

TIP: Make sure that you are ready to buy that deal at 1 p.m. I already missed the Omni hotel deal because I was an hour late getting to my computer. The U.S. Travel Association promotes their deals on Twitter

DailyGetawaysCaesars
As you can imagine, I jumped when I saw this deal! My husband and I are trying to get back to Vegas for our 10 year anniversary this summer. Caesars is where I first stayed with my grandparents when they took me to Vegas after turning twenty-one. That resort will always have a special place in my heart – even if I can’t always afford to gamble there the way I’d like to!

TIP: If you see a deal that you like, don’t miss the “Alert me” link. Click on that and it will take you to a page where you can give them your email address if you want to know when that particular deal becomes available. Opt in for other deal email notifications, too.

#KIDSNTRIPS Summer Family Travel Twitter Party

No RSVP is necessary and the prize winner will be announced after the party when we’ve confirmed participant eligibility.

Who: @lajollamom, @jenleo, @travelmamas and @dailygetaways

Special Guests: @FindingDebra2 (from FindingDebra.com) and @pointswithacrew (from PointsWithACrew.com)

When: Thursday, April 20 at 9:30am PT/12:30pm ET

Where: On Twitter using the hashtag #KidsNTrips

Prizes: Win 1 of 2 AMEX $100 gift cards

Sponsor: U.S. Travel Association

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents. No purchase necessary to win. Prizes will be awarded to two #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. 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!

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.

TIPS: 

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!

#KidsNTrips Twitter Party March 5 – Atlantis Resort Giveaway!

Atlantis KNT Promo March

It’s time to get excited! Our #KidsNTrips Twitter party has another opportunity to introduce the fantastic Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas to more moms and dads like you. Have you been? I’ve been three times with my family and it continues to be an oasis of fun! What’s my favorite part? The fact that there is a way for kids (and adults) of all ages to have a great time. Join our Twitter party this Thursday as we talk about Spring Travel. Our sponsor, Atlantis Resort, will be giving away a two-night stay. Woohoo! But for the rest of us who are not lucky enough to win (as hosts we’re not allowed to) this is the season for grabbing Atlantis Resort rooms at remarkably low rates. Read on!

Spring Travel Twitter Party, sponsored by Atlantis Resort

Hosts:   @JenLeo  @LaJollaMom @TravelMamas @Atlantisresort 

Special Guests: @almostfearless (from AlmostFearless.com), @mattvillano (from WanderingPod.com) , and @ruralmoms (from RuralMom.com)

Hashtag: #KidsNTrips

Date: Thursday, March 5, 2015

Time: 9:30 – 10:30 am Pacific Time (12:30-1:30 pm Eastern Time)

Topic: Spring Travel

Giveaway Prize: Two-night stay Atlantis Resort vacation for two people in The Bahamas ($1,000 approximate value; includes free access to the amazing 141-acre water park, Aquaventure and the marine habitats at the resort)

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) only. No purchase necessary to win. Blackout dates apply. For use through December 2015. Airfare and any food and beverage excluded. Read additional prize terms and conditions.

Learn more: Not sure what a Twitter party is or why to participate? Read our Twitter party tips now!

TheDig_MarineHabitat

DEALS | Spring and Summer vacations on sale!

  • Spring Sale – Rates from $179 and up to a $200 Resort Credit + $150 in free culinary experiences.
  • Summer Sale – Save up to 50% nightly and up to a $200 Resort Credit + $150 in free culinary experiences.

Rush on over to the Atlantis Specials page and you’ll find sales and additional amenities for travel up to 50% off through Summer.

TESTED | I looked at the Spring Sale. Book travel by March 4 for travel through June 20 with rooms starting at $179/night. This price is for the Beach Towers at 275 sq. ft. per room. I found a package for May 27-31 for a total of $1060.20 including $344 for taxes and fees. For a little bit more you can have the Coral Towers, and for a little more than that you can have the Royal Towers where I was lucky enough to stay on our past trips. What I liked about our stay in the Royal Towers is that it was closest to the Splashers Kids Pool and the Atlantis Kid Adventures club. If you were to book the Royal Towers for the same dates in May, I found Terrace View Rooms starting at $279/night before tax. What makes these packages extra appealing are the special perks. Staying at Atlantis already gives you access to the 141-acre water park, white-sand beaches, 11 pools, world-class casino, over 21 dining options, duty-free shopping & more! With the Spring or Summer sale you also get up to $200 in resort credit, $150 in a free culinary experience, and “Kids eat Breakfast and Dinner free” with the purchase of an adult meal plan.

 

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FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS FOR ATLANTIS RESORT

If you have little kids between the ages of 3-6 sign up for the Sea Squirts program. Cora had a blast learning how to safely walk around baby sting rays and feed them, too. She also got to feed baby sharks (from the side of the water). She made friends at Splashers and had a blast in the Atlantis Kids Adventure club. If you have older children, no sweat. There are so many different pools, waterslides and river rafting opportunities for free all around the Aquaventure Waterpark. They can also a gamer’s area, pottery studio, free movie theatre, teen nightclub, scuba and Snuba excursions and more! Find out what experiences are right for you children with their age appropriate activities.

Moms and Dads, you’ll want to book your reservations early for dinner out. Enjoy Nobu, Mesa Grill, Olives and more celebrity chef restaurants right there at Atlantis. Need some alone time? The Atlantis Kids Adventure club has night time activities, too!

Atlantis Aerial

HEY ADULTS!

If you’re looking for more adult fun, don’t miss Chelsea Handler coming to perform May 23 and a concert with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on June 13! That’s just a few of the special entertainers appearing at Atlantis Resort.

MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN: Kids Ski & Stay Free!

Family skiing at Mammoth | Peter Morning/ MMSA

Family skiing at Mammoth | Peter Morning/ MMSA

It was only two weeks ago someone I had recently met was shocked that I hadn’t been to Mammoth yet. I know. I know. I haven’t. If you enjoy the mountains and love skiing, or even just like being around people that ski (as in my case)—and live in Southern California—it’s pretty much mandatory to have been to Mammoth. My grandfather loved skiing there and even had a picture of the mountain over his desk. My aunts and uncles even skied there, so this is quite embarrassing for me. That said–I think I found the deal that will get me to go. Kids ski free! Skiing is expensive so whatever discounts you can find will help. Especially if you have a family with several children to get up on the hill.

DEAL | Book a stay at any Mammoth Lodging and Collection Property and kids 12 and under stay and ski free.

DATES | Valid February 22 – March 15, 2015

TESTED | I did a bunch of searching around for our family (2 adults, 1 child) and the cheapest I found was for two nights Feb. 23-25 in a Studio Condo for $794. The upside for me was that this would be in the village close to the shops and restaurants. But wait, there’s tax. So the grand total for only two nights was $870.82. Seems like a lot if you haven’t even bought lift tickets yet. So, you know what I did? I went over to Expedia and found a room at The Village Lodge and found a Studio with one Queen bed starting at $239/night for a total of $589 including tax and the resort fee due at the hotel. I could use that $281.82 in savings for ski lessons for my six-year-old. Either way, I’m still at Mammoth Mountain and I’m still in the Village. That said, if you are a Mammoth regular, the deal gives you access to lodging that is slope slide hotels and private cabins. If you want to get up close and personal with Mammoth, try some dates and see if they work for you. Larger parties or combined families can save more than a small family if they’re splitting the bill.

TIP | If you’re more  concerned with saving money on adult lift tickets, note that Mammoth also has a deal worth looking into called $129 Lift and Lodging package. 

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

Black Friday Travel Deals I Want Right Now!

BlackFriday

BOOK TODAY | OK. You just woke up and you’ve got the worst case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) you’ve ever had. It’s Black Friday! Now, while some people swear that retailers jack up their prices before Black Friday only to lower them for all the crazy shoppers today—well, who can argue with them. That’s why I’m just going to give you a couple gems that I want to take myself. No muss, no fuss, just practical deals that are both brag-worthy and great for getting your family out of the house and on vacation. Lets get started!

VIRGIN AMERICA | Virgin America might run regular sales, but Cora’s Nana Susan just nabbed some $49 OW seats from SFO-LAS. That’s right, Vegas in January, Baby! But it’s a site-wide sale so run on over to VirginAmerica.com to grab your $49 Main Cabin or $109 Main Cabin Select seats. Oh, you only fly first class? No problem. They’re offering 3X the points for those fancy pants seats. Go wild. Get your Virgin America Black Friday Deal right now. Book by 5 p.m. today and fly by March  4, 2015,

HOTEL TONIGHT | $7 rooms. Let me say that again—SEVEN DOLLAR ROOMS. Since we’re in the Bay Area this weekend I tried looking for San Francisco. But all I got was an error message that said “Oh No We an’t reach our servers”. Bummer, eh? But, that’s to be expected on a day like today. And it shouldn’t deter you from trying in your area. Note: This was 8:57 a.m. Pacific Time. I’ll be trying all day long, believe you me. Oh, in case you haven’t heard of Hotel Tonight? They are an app. You can find more info and get a download button, here.

MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN | Buy one, get one early season lift tickets. I love this deal. I’ve been dying to try Mammoth Mountain. And it’s closer to Southern California than Tahoe so maybe we have a shot at going this year. So, what’s that catch? You need to buy a ticket for two consecutive days of skiing. But they’ll mark down the second day of skiing so essentially you buy the first day and they give you the second for free. Valid Nov. 30 – Dec. 11. I tested the dates for Dec. 6 and the cost of an adult ticket was marked down from $171 to $86 with the sale. Kids tickets were marked down from $70 to $35. Boom! Find this Mammoth Mountain Black Friday deal, here

ATLANTIS RESORT | I hope my husband is reading this! Atlantis Resort has a Black Friday – Cyber Monday deal with up to 60% off nightly rates + Kids Eat Free for Travel Dec. 1-17. I tested dates Dec. 2-5, 2014 and Beach Tower rooms started at $119/night. When I checked Spring Break Dates in April these rooms were more than $300/night. We’ve previously stayed at the Royal Towers which are close to the kids’ pool and the Atlantis Kids Adventure program and those rooms were going for only $212/night. Come on, let Christmas come early. Atlantis Resort is SO much fun!

PARADISE POINT | Here’s another resort we love. Paradise Point in San Diego. Their Black Friday – Cyber Monday deal has rooms up to 45% off for travel through April 2015. It’s right next door to Sea World, has a wonderful pool for kids, tons of beach activities whether you like Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayaking or Sailing. I thought I’d check the day after Christmas and a room that night was only $117/night with Bayside suites starting at $285/before taxes and fees. You don’t even want to know what these rooms are over the summer. Go enjoy them now.

TANQUE VERDE RANCH | 50% off All Inclusive Rates with rooms starting at $380/night.. Hello! If you book today, you can get 50% off all-inclusive rates at this super fun Arizona ranch for travel Dec. 1 – June 19, 2015. The all-inclusive packages include meals, supervised kids programs (4-11), all horseback and trail riding lessons, breakfast rides and BBQ cookouts, fishing, guided hike and nature programs, and last but not least mountain biking, bingo and other family activities. Don’t you want to go?! I do. But when I went to book, there were several blocks of dates that were not available. I don’t know if that’s because it’s a busy time for them or people already nabbed them before I could. So, you’ll need to be flexible with your dates. Plus, play around online. I found some All Inclusive rates cheaper than the Black Friday deal for travel Jan. 13-15 so there could be some kinks in the system. If there is any doubt – call to make sure you get the deal that you want.

#KidsNTrips Twitter Party Nov. 13 – $250 Wyndham Vacation Prize PLUS 25% Deal

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I like to think of the “Fall back” time change as the call to book a winter vacation. Now that we’re newly tied down to school vacation restrictions booking a winter family vacation is more important than ever. What better way to start that booking process than with a travel deal! Our #KidsNTrips Twitter Party is on this week and we are showering you with wonderful prizes from Wyndham Vacation Rentals AND the scoop on  an irresistible  25% off “Snowed In” deal to take advantage of!

So, dust off those ski boots, find your gloves, and make sure the kids’ ski clothes still fit. The mere mention of making snow angels will have your kids clamoring to know when your winter getaway will get started! 

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I’m sure you’ve seen Wyndham properties in your travels, but did you know that they also have accommodations at private mountain homes, and resort condos? I’ve been drooling over the ski-in/ski-out access, private hot tubs, and scenic views at Sun Valley, Breckenridge & Keystone, Park City, Beaver Creek, Aspen, Vail and other top ski resort towns. Having a home base, that literally is a home, makes such a difference when you’re traveling with your family, or even combining two families together in one house or condo. Having more space than a hotel can provide for all your gear is an obvious benefit, but if you’ve never stayed in a vacation rental—I can assure you that having a kitchen and dining room to cook and eat meals in, plus a laundry room, are the reasons we keep booking vacation rentals. Wyndham is the world’s largest professionally managed vacation rentals company and has more than 100,000 properties in destinations around the world to choose from.

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Wyndham “Snowed In” Travel Deals

DEAL | Get up to 25% off Wyndham vacation rental accommodations in many of our U.S. ski destinations when you use the promo code SNOWEDIN. Minimum reservations

DATES | Book by December 2, 2014 for travel between November 26, 2014 and April 12, 2015.

TESTED | I’ve always wanted to ski at Keystone because I’ve heard they are so family friendly. After looking at a few options in the area, I chose the Lakeside Village #1483 and applied the “SNOWEDIN” promo code to check rates surrounding the Martin Luther King school holiday. For dates January 15-19, the one-bedroom condo that sleeps six people came to $857.71 including taxes and fees. I’m sure there were cheaper options at the multitude of resorts Wyndham offers, but I chose a location I knew would be fun for our family as well as good value.

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#KidsNTrips Winter Family Getaways Twitter Party

DATE |  This Thursday, November 13, 2014

TIME |  9:30 am Pacific Time (10:30 am Central Time; 12:30 pm Eastern Time)

HASHTAG | #KidsNTrips

THEME |  Winter family getaways in the snow and at the beach in the US and Europe

HOSTS |  Be sure to follow  @JenLeo @TravelMamas @LaJollaMom @Wyndham_Rentals

PRIZES | 

1 – $250 Wyndham Vacation Rentals travel voucher grand prize

1- $100 American Express gift card

1- $50 American Express gift card

 All prizes provided by Wyndham Vacation Rentals.

Additional Winter Family Getaways #KidsNTrips Twitter Party Information

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Read additional prize terms and conditions. Neither Wyndham Vacation Rentals nor Jen Leo Deals can be held liable for prizes.

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

Looking forward to chatting with you Thursday on Twitter!

*Special thanks to our sponsor, Wyndham Vacation Rentals. No purchase is necessary to win a prize. 

LAS VEGAS: I’m LOVING SLS Las Vegas for $74/night

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LAS VEGAS | Best hotel under $100? SLS Las Vegas might very well be my new favorite hotel on the Strip. It’s modern, hip, and most of all—FUN! Youthful. Whimsical. Delightful. These words kept popping up in my mind from the videos of birds and abstract art behind the registration desk to the monkey-theme throughout the hotel.  Monkey art is everywhere! In the lobby bar, on the ironing board covers, even  your in-room coasters—they’re a classic mascot.

We booked our room via Priceline just a few days before we arrived and they had deals starting at $74/night. (We took the 2 Double Non Smoking Superior World rooms for $79.51/night). Priceline rates the SLS  a 7.6 out of 10 with 169 guest reviews and the hotel only opened in August. The deal comes with $40 food credit and free Wi-Fi. For those of you that have been coming to Las Vegas for decades, SLS is what the Sahara turned into. Keep your eye on the carpets for great vintage Vegas scenes.

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DEAL | I already thought the Priceline rates were a great deal, but once I became an SLS Las Vegas fan I found a 30% off deal on the SLS Facebook page (Promo code PLC04).  I checked Nov. 30- Dec. 2 rates on this promo were only $62.30/night for a World Superior King. Of course there’s still the $25/night resort fee which is common with Vegas hotels. And of course, don’t forget to check Vegas.com. I found rates as low as $60/night Thanksgiving week.

TESTED | You know you have to take a last-minute Vegas trip in you! I chose to test the Vegas.com rates for three nights Nov. 24-27. Vegas.com had rooms with a king bed starting at $59.63 which came to $275.36 for the whole stay *including* taxes and the resort fee. I call that a deal for such a cool new hotel!

Cora at Griddle Cafe SLS Las Vegas

Cora shocked at how big the pancakes are at The Griddle Cafe, SLS Las Vegas

 

TIPS | If you or your kids love pancakes—don’t miss the GARGANTUAN pancakes at The Griddle Cafe. They’re epic. One order was more than enough to feed our whole family of three with plenty left over. We also had fun taking pics by the giant duck at the pool and having an afternoon gelato at PERQ, the hotel coffee bar.

Jen Leo and Cora at PERQ, SLS Las Vegas

Jen Leo and Cora at PERQ, SLS Las Vegas

Want to get in on ever more deals? Sign up for the SLS loyalty program called The Code. I saw 40% off deals for members (membership is free).

If you make it out to Las Vegas, have a great time at the SLS Las Vegas!

#KidsNTrips Twitter Party July 10 – Dining with Kids, Maui Style!

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The Grennan kids come to Maui every year. Here they are participating in Hyatt Maui’s passport game.

Say it with me, “ALOHA!” We’ve got another amazing #KidsNTrips Twitter party for you this week and it’s jam packed with fun-filled prizes for you and your family including a 2-night stay at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa! All you have to do is join us this Thursday on Twitter as we share tips on how to travel food first with kids in tow. If you haven’t taken part in a #KidsNTrips Twitter party yet—don’t worry—it’s easy. Here are some simple instructions.

#KidsNTrips Dining with Kids Twitter Party

Date: This Thursday, July 10, 2014
Time: 10:30 am Pacific Time (1:30 pm Eastern Time)
Hashtag: #KidsNTrips
Theme: Dining on the go with kids, with Hawaiian flair!
Hosts: Be sure to follow @JenLeo @LaJollaMom @TravelMamas @KaanapaliMaui
Special guest host: Ruth with Viva Veltoro blog@vivaveltoro

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Maui’s only Magical Dinner Theater Experience. Located at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.

 

Prizes 

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The Kaanapali Beach Resort is a three mile stretch of beach with 5 luxury resorts and 6 condo properties.

Top 10 Reasons Kaanapali Beach Resort is Perfect for Families

1. There are 5 Luxury Resorts and 6 Condo and Vacation Club Resorts to choose from. Need a kitchen and laundry facilities or room to spread out? No problem.

2. Award winning kids pools vs. award winning beaches—take your pick!

3. Many of the hotels have keiki (child) programs daily, and some offer evening activities for the little ones so that adults can enjoy a night out!

4. Luau. Enjoy the Aloha spirit with the whole family at a Hawaiian Luau. There is the Maui Nui Luau, Drums of the Pacific, and Royal Lahaina Resort Luau to choose from.

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Fire dancer at the Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock – Sheraton Maui

5. Whalers Village is the gathering place for many teens with live music, open courtyards and a historic whaling museum attracting the bunch while mom tends to the shopping.

6. Skyline’s Kaanapali Maui Zipline Tour

7. A nightly magic show!

8. So many water activities to choose from: Go snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing, parasailing, body boarding and more.

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Cora takes a free hula lesson at Westin Maui

9. Many of the hotels and resorts offer free cultural events for kids to participate in. Just a few examples are ukulele and hula lessons and lei making at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel to Penguin and Koi fish feeding at Hyatt Maui.

10. Close to the Sugar Cane Train.

Have you been to Maui? What are your kids’ favorite —whether hanging out at the pool or taking a day trip to the Maui Ocean Center?

 

 

SAN DIEGO: Legoland California—5 Days for the Price of 1!

Legoland_KeeleCora1BOOK NOW | There couldn’t be a better time to visit Legoland. The weather in Carlsbad is in the low 80s—Summer is buzzing with fun and plenty of reasons to get the kids out of the house. At the top of the list of reasons to visit Legoland is the new Lego Chima Water Park. From Eglor’s Build a Boat and Build a Raft River to Splash Out and the Twin Chasers, you’re surrounded by fun ways to cool off. Travelzoo is offering an irresistible Legoland deal where you can get five days of Legoland for the price of one. It’s perfect for traveling families and locals entertaining out of town guests.

DEAL | ”5 Days for Less Than the Price of 1 Day Resort Hopper” pass is $99 for adults and $89 for children ages 3-12.

DATES | Valid for any regular operating day through October 26.

TESTED | One regular day of Legoland + Sea Life + Water Park ticket costs $76 for adults and $66 for children (ages 3-12) if you buy the tickets online at the Legoland website, (If you buy them at the gate it’s $109 and $99). The Legoland website also offers five days worth of entry for $107 for adults and $97 for kids. So, why should you buy the Travelzoo deal? Because you’re saving even more money than if you go through Legoland.  If you buy the Travelzoo voucher, you get the same  ”5 Days for Less Than the Price of 1 Day Resort Hopper” for $99 for adults and $89 for kids. So, for a family of four (two adults, two kids)—that’s a savings of $32. Better than nothing. NOTE: Don’t forget, it costs to park, too. Cars: $15, Campers and RVs: $20, Motorcycles $5, and Preferred Parking $25.

TIP |  Don’t forget to have your kids bring a minifigure to trade. (or you can buy them at the gift shops). If you see an employee with a minifigure on their Legoland employee badge, just ask them if they’ll trade. See the “Know Before You Go” page.

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