PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS: Atlantis Resort Deals & Giveaway

Cora Atlantis Squirts Program 2012

It’s no secret I love Atlantis Resort in the BahamasSea Squirts program. I’ve been three times thanks to the fact that my husband had an annual work trip every January. The most memorable feeling I had the first time I went was “This is a resort a kid could grow up at.” After our first trip, I wanted to come back year after year. There is so much fun spread out throughout the resort that there is something fun to do no matter what age you are. In the photo above Cora is feeding baby stingrays in 2012 as part of the Sea Squirts program for kids ages 3-6.

Now, I’m excited to tell you, Atlantis is going to sponsor our next #KidsNTrips Twitter Party and give away a two-night stay in the Royal Towers! That’s exactly where I’ve stayed before and it’s fantastic! But before we get into all that, lets talk about the deals!

DEAL: Book NOW — Don’t wait for the #KidsNTrips Twitter Party! Atlantis is having a BIG Memorial Day Sale right now. There are only 3 days left to get rooms as low as $179/night plus you can get an extra $250 airfare credit if you stay four or more nights. And don’t forget you get free access to the 141-acre waterscape including Aquaventure!

DATES: Sale prices and dates vary.

  • $179 | Sale price for travel in May through June 11, 2014. $250 Airfare credit expires with the Memorial Day Sale. This price is good for the Beach Tower. 
  • $199 | Sale price for travel June 12 – July 23, 2014. $250 Airfare credit expires with the Memorial Day Sale. This price is good for the Beach Tower.
  • $99 | Sale price for travel August 24 – December 17. Blackout dates October 30-November 29, 2014. $250 Airfare credit expires with the Memorial Day Sale. This price is good for the Beach Tower.

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#KidsNTrips Twitter Party May 22 – Kaanapali, Maui with Kids

maui2012_jencora_arriveHyattMauiColleen (@TravelMamas), Katie (@LaJollaMom), and I (@jenleo) were so thrilled with the enthusiasm we received for our first #KidsNTrips Twitter Party – that we’re rolling out more! This Thursday we have Kaanapali Beach Resort in Maui as our host. You’re going to want to roll up your sleeves and start hash-tagging #KidsNTrips because we’ve got heaps of family travel tips and fantastic prizes for all of you travelers that are dreaming about or planning a trip to glorious Maui. 

The photo above shows me delirious with excitement to arrive at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali.


#KidsNTrips Twitter Party Details

When: Thursday May 22, 2014
Time: 7:30 a.m. Hawaii/10:30 a.m. Pacific/11:30 a.m. Mountain /1:30 p.m. East
Duration: 1 hour
*Twitter Handles to follow:  @travelmamas @lajollamom @jenleo @kaanapalimaui
Hashtag: #KidsNTrips

Restrictions: Must be 18+ to win. Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary to win. Read all terms and conditions.



Thursday May 22, 2014 #KidsNTrips Prizes:


1. 2-night Stay in a Ocean Front Room at Kaanapali Beach Hotel

That’s right travelers, you could be #HawaiiBound! Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel has offered to give two nights in an ocean front room to one of the #KidsNTrips participants. KBH has been named to the National Geographic Travelers magazine “Stay List” of the 150 most authentic and sustainable resorts in North America, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. But why has the Kaanapali Beach Hotel been given named Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel? Because they’ve worked hard at it. Hawaiian culture is important here. They have a list of 110 reasons. Here are some of the things that I would love to experience include:

  • Hawaiian songs at our Ohana Welcome Breakfast to greet new guests on their first day, and every Friday in the Lobby
  • 30 fun Hawaiian cultural activities with different options every day. All complimentary
  • The hotel has sponsored and hosted Hula O Na Keiki, a signature youth solo hula competition that hosts halau (hula schools) from all over the world.
  • An opportunity to teach your children the KBH philosophy that sharing and giving is a Hawaiian philosophy of life.



  • 2. Gift certificate for $50 for Hula Grill Kaanapali (family-friendly, oceanfront restaurant at Whalers Village Shopping Center).As with most photos, the picture doesn’t do the Hula Grill justice. Cora and I went to the Hula Grill in Kaanapali in 2012 and it is absolutely one of the most vibrant places in the world to have dinner.  Head straight to the Barefoot Bar for pupus. Grab your cocktails (they even have Keiki cocktails for the kids!) and sink your toes in to the sand. Now, gorge yourself on poke tacos, charred short ribs and Macadamia Nut Crusted fish! Chef Bobby Masters and Peter Merriman use traditional island cooking techniques to cook regional specialties. I’m dying to try the “Localicious Salad” which contributes to the Growing Future Farmers of Maui. 

    3. $255 Gift Card for Drums of the Pacific Lu’au at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
    (Adults: $95; Children (ages 6-12) $65.00; Children 5 and under free)

    Kids love Lu’aus. There’s something about island music, traditional costumes, the rhythm of the drums and fire that enchant children. Ok maybe it’s me who’s constantly enchanted by luaus, and Mai Tais, but I couldn’t take a trip to Maui without a night at the Lu’au. The fact that the Hyatt has Drums of the Pacific on property makes it even easier to experience it with the whole family.



    About Kaanapali, Maui and Kaanapali Beach Resorts

    Kaanapali is a three-mile stretch of award-winning beaches, hotels and condos, golf courses, restaurants and more on the western shores of Maui. Kaanapali Beach took first place in TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice Beach Awards among the Top 10 Beaches in the United States.

    Kannapali Beach Resort has everything you could ever need or want from a Hawaiian vacation. It’s centrally located, only 10 minutes from Lahaina Town and 45 minutes from the Kahului Airport. You’ve got your pick of six hotels (Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Sheraton Maui Resort, Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club and Royal Lahaina Resort) and five condos (Kaanapali Alii, The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach, Outrigger Maui Eldorado, Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas, and The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas).

    Sheraton Maui Snorkeling

    Did someone say sports?

    There are two 18-hole champion golf courses and 35 tennis courts. Shopping, 40 restaurants and beachside cafes, and all the outdoor and cultural activities you could ever dream of. Whether you’re here to relax at a spa, attend a Lu’au, or attempt paddle boarding for the first time—Kaanapali is the perfect amount of Aloha. Sign me up for the snorkeling!

    *Thanks to Kaanapali Beach Resort for sponsoring this Twitter Party. No purchase is necessary to win a prize. See Twitter party prize terms and conditions.
    **Photos provided courtesy of Kaanapali Beach Resort.




NEW! #KidsNTrips Twitter Parties for Family Travel Enthusiasts


Hey everybody! I’m excited to announce a new social media project I’m launching— the #KidsNTrips family-focused Twitter party. I’ve partnered up with prominent family travel writers Colleen Lanin, author of The Travel Mamas Guide and and Katie Dillon, your go-to source for the luxe mom lifestyle at We’ll be tweeting away with the #KidsNTrips hashtag twice a month to bring you useful travel tips and family travel destination inspiration.

The seed got planted in my head when I was at TBEX 2013 in Toronto last year listening to the Twitter Chat presentation by Sheila Scarborough. The stars aligned, as they do, when Colleen and I were seated next to each other on the plane home from TBEX. Next thing you know Colleen, Katie and I were lunching regularly in San Diego with conversations that led to this chat. Woohoo!

First #KidsNTrips Twitter Chat | Thursday, April 17 9:30 a.m.

Please join us for our first chat to glean and share the family travel tips that have helped you most, whether you’re managing the ups and downs of a toddler on a transatlantic flight or planning your family’s annual summer vacation.

Date: Thursday, April 17
Time: 9:30am PST
Topic: Spilling Our Best Family Travel Tips

Giveaways Galore!


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MAUI: 30% Off Luxe Villa or Condo Vacation with Car Rental

DestinationResortsHawaii_poolDestination Resorts Hawaii, one of the largest private home, villa and condo rental companies on Maui is offering a deal that’s sure to get the attention of traveling families. Its “Welcome to Spring” or :“E Komo Mai” deal offers 30% off accommodations and then throws in a compact rental car along with some fun, unexpected extras.

All accommodations are fully-furnished with living and dining areas, well-stocked kitchens, private lanais and en-suite washer and dryers. Floor plans give families room to spread out and enjoy without feeling like they are on top of each other. Extra perks like housekeeping and concierge services give vacations that resort-like feel. An assortment of seven beachfront and golf-front resorts are included in the special.

DEAL: Get 30% off an assortment of seven beachfront and golf-front resorts. Choose between a private home, villa, or condo starting at $159 per night with a free compact rental car when booking a two bedroom home, villa or condo. Self-parking, Wi-Fi and housekeeping is also included.

* Includes a free compact car rental. (Other car types available for a fee)

Grand Champions Villas 1-bdrm garden view was $279 starting at $159
Grand Champions Villas 2-bdrm golf front was $379 starting at $209
Wailea Ekahi Village Studio garden view was $289 starting at $179
Wailea Ekahi Village 1-bdrm ocean view was $409 starting at $259
Wailea Elua Village 1-bdrm ocean view was $529 starting at $339
Wailea Elua Village 2-bdrm ocean view was $749 starting at $489*
Polo Beach Club 2-bdrm oceanfront deluxe was $749 starting at $499*
Makena Surf 2-bdrm prime oceanfront deluxe was $1,199 starting at $719*
Wailea Beach Villas 3-bdrm garden view Villa with private plunge pool was $2429 starting at $1469*

But the perks don’t end there. Upon checking in all guests receive a welcome fruit and goodie basket that includes some nice, practical gifts (shown).

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4 Restaurants Kids Eat Free in Carlsbad, Oceanside & Carmel Valley

TinLeafKidsAdmit it—going out to eat tastes better when you don’t have to pay for the kids’ meals. Don’t be shy, you can say that you’ve driven out of your way, or eaten at a restaurant you would’ve been happy to skip, just to save a few bucks on dinner. Taking advantage of kids-eat-free opportunities makes complete sense when the chances are high that your kids might only eat half of their meal anyway.

North County San Diego has lots of activities for families. Carlsbad has Legoland, Escondido has Safari Park. And there’s the little known indoor playgrounds like Playwerx, Kidsville, and Pariland. So, how’s a family supposed to save money? By eating at restaurants that don’t charge for feeding your kids. It’s almost like going to grandma’s.

Here are some restaurants in Carlsbad, Oceanside and Carmel Valley where we’ve scored free kids meals in the past or at least called them to make sure the offer is good. Note: All of the kids eat free offers mentioned below are available with the purchase of an adult meal.

Tin Leaf Fresh Kitchen | Located in the mall behind the La Costa Cineopolis, this is my favorite lunch spot for grabbing a fantastic salad. They also happen to create  healthy and delicious comfort food including entrees with salmon, tri tip steak, meat loaf and more. Friendly service, outdoor patio seating, benches with pillows and yummy french fries. Yes, they also have a few craft beers, wine and irresistible desserts. Picture above was taken at Tin Leaf. Tip: Kids eat free on Sundays 4pm-close. 1 free little chef’s meal with each adult entree purchase (10 & under). Dine in only.

Luna Grill | Our go-to place when we’re on a diet. Terrific Mediterranean food including kabobs, greek salads, and wraps. They also service beer and wine and cupcakes — even mini cupcakes for the kiddos. We go to the Carlsbad location with friends where you can reserve the big table in the back. Tip: Kids 10 and under eat free in Carlsbad on Sunday 4pm-close and on Tuesdays at Carmel Valley 4pm-close.

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Excited Kids -Courtesy Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Get out your calendar, call some friends and make a play date! February is Museum Month in San Diego. That means there will be 40+ museums offering admission at 50% off the normal ticket prices. Here’s the catch—you need to pick up your Museum Month pass (free) at a Macy’s near you.

I love this time of year because it gives me extra incentive to try museums we’ve never been to. Or even to take my 5-year-old daughter to museums that I haven’t been to since I was a kid! The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is at the top of my to-do list with Carlsbad’s Museum of Making Music and the San Diego Natural History Museum right be hind it.

If you want to get more info on the individual participating museums, head over to You can find details on what the museums have to offer, photos, ticket prices and more. But don’t forget to go to a Macy’s and grab your pass.

Have fun and let us know which San Diego Museum is your favorite!

SAN DIEGO: $129 Parade of Lights Package at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. Photo Courtesy: Dale Frost

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, Photo Courtesy: Dale Frost

BOOK BY DEC. 13, 2013 | The San Diego Bay Marina comes alive with holiday cheer the whole month of December. And the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina offers front row seats to the annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights December 8 and 15. For two weekends in a row you can get  the ‘Parade of Lights Package’ and watch the decorated boats as they parade on the San Diego Bay from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village and Ferry Landing in Coronado.

DEAL:  The Parade of Lights Package includes a Deluxe Bay Room with a Parade of Lights view plus complimentary self-parking. Room rates start at $199 (first weekend) or $129 (second weekend). Package rates vary between the two weekends based on the demand or current available rates.

DATES:  Book by Dec. 13 for travel on Dec. 6-9, 2013 & Dec. 13-16, 2013.

TESTED:  I tested the deal and found that the second weekend had the cheaper rates. I found a Deluxe Bay Tower room on Dec. 15 with either a King Bed or two Double Beds for $129/night or $145.22  including taxes. The package also includes complimentary self parking ($22).  I couldn’t find the package available for Dec. 7-9 on the hotel website or on Expedia.

Have fun watching the parade and let us know if you get a great view from your room.

OAHU: 4th Night Free at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa


BOOK  BY JAN 15, 2014 | I want to go here. I really, really want to go here! The magic of Disney plus the life changing charm of Hawaii? It sounds like family vacation perfection. I found this “4 Nights for the Price of 3 Nights ” Aulani deal on Expedia. The thought of age appropriate sections of the resort sounds fantastic. From marine life care, cultural lessons, water slides, kids club, yoga on the beach, game night, and an outdoor hydrotherapy garden just for starters—how could we not take advantage of this deal?

“Cora, tell Daddy I’m packing!”

DEAL: 4 Nights for the Price of 3 Nights with Two (2) Adult Breakfast per Day promotion for Guests who stay four or more consecutive nights.

DATES: Travel between January 5–April 7, 2014

TESTED: I checked the Aulani website for travel the first five days in February and found room rates at $351.75/night or $1603.45 for the four nights. It wasn’t clear if the free night was included in that price or not. But tax was ($196.44). You could also save a little bit more if you picked a room with a view of the parking lot. When I checked prices on the Expedia sale, the same dates came to $1,473.56.  Tax was considerably less  ($45.14) so I was a little suspicious. I looked at the room type and the lowered Expedia price was the same Standard room that was described as having a parking lot view on the Aulani website. When I chose that room on the Aulani website the price was the same. But as far as I could tell, the free breakfast offer was only good if you booked with Expedia. There in is the extra value.

Have you been to Aulani before? Tell us what you love about it. And if you get to take advantage of this free night deal – HAVE FUN!

LAKE TAHOE: Ritz-Carlton at $299 per night w/ 2 Northstar lift tickets

Ritz_LakeTahoe_00048_920x518BOOK ASAP | I honestly had no idea the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe ran deals. And since I’ve been there twice for my Vail Resorts Epic Moms blogging and social media work, I can honestly tell you this is a deal to get excited about. Luxe for less, Baby! The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a breathtaking resort right at mid-mountain at Northstar California ski resort.

The ski-in-ski-out privileges make your ski day incredibly easy but it’s the ski valet that is truly brag-worthy. If you’re driving in to the Ritz-Carlton just leave your skis and boots in the car and the valet will keep them for you. When you’re ready to ski, they will have them out for you and help you into them. Get ready to be spoiled!

Cora had her first ski experience here and we highly recommend adding the Indoor Campout amenity if you’re bringing kids ages 4-8.

DEAL: “The First Tracks Ski Package” includes either deluxe or mountain view guest room accommodations and two adult or child lift tickets to Northstar California ski resort. Packages start at $299 per night midweek or $399 per night on the weekend.

DATES:  December 1 -12, 2013

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DENVER: A Dinosaur Hotel to Get Excited About


Admit it, you feel like a million bucks when you take your child somewhere and they jump-up-and-down with excitement and squeal with mega-delight. I do. It doesn’t have to be far. It can be to a park they’ve never been to in in your own city or a special day of treats. Whatever makes your son or daughter thank you like you’re Santa himself is enough motivation to brainstorm the next big surprise. So, here’s a quick and easy tip— Best Western Denver Southwest renovated their hotel to be a dinosaur lover’s dream.

The $3 million plus renovation will blow your kids’ minds. Perfect for a dinosaur-themed trip, the hotel is buried in prehistoric goodies to light up explorers of any age. From the Camarasaurus skull, Stegosaurus plate, Acrocanthosaurus arm, and Othnielia foot in the lobby to the year-round pool shaped like the Western Interior Cretaceous Seaway of 85 million years ago—your future Paleontologist will sure to be thrilled.


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