Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ladies Who Link: Travel Tips & Vacation Suggestions

Hello and thanks for stopping by to see what's going on over here at Coast to Coast. Today I'm co-hosting with Allie from A Gal Named AlTrina & Sara from Mom's Coffee Date,  Tara from Mommy In A Nutshell and Holly from Pink Lady who happen to be  some of my favorite blogger buddies for the  Ladies Who Link party. Grab our graphic (or just link to one or all of us) and let's talk about our best travel tips & vacation suggestions. We have this fun little party the 3rd Thursday of every month and we'd love you to join. The more the merrier is what I always say...except when it comes to vacation weight...LOL.

This one turned into not only what I hope will be some helpful info, but a long walk down memory lane in the form of pictures, so grab your coffee and get to scrolling. Mom and Dad, you're going to love this post.❤️


As luck would have it I'm in the process of planning a special celebration trip for Kent and myself this fall. We are planning to go to Hawaii to celebrate our 25th anniversary and a milestone birthday for myself. I won't say the number but I will tell that I will have been married for HALF my life. WOW! Now there's your word problem for the day. PLEASE, if you have a favorite island or resort I should be looking at tell me. As of right now I'm thinking Maui is going to be the winner, but you might change my mind. Who knows?

I'm currently exploring the travel packages that Costco offers. Since I'm a DIY travel agent. I think the last time we used a bonafide travel agent was when Kent booked our honeymoon.  I'm a real DIY'er, even when it comes to travel. If you know the benefits of using a travel agent and have a good one (yes, I know Mix and Match Mama does travel) please leave your thoughts in the comments.

We do a fair amount of traveling these days with our kids both living in Nashville for school and now Benny actually residing there permanently with a real job. #winforhim #winfortheparents

So let's talk about a few of the major aspects of travel first.

Flights
I'm a loyal Southwest traveler. I used to always go on Kayak or one of those type sites to look for airfare when we were traveling, but I've found Southwest is consistently the cheapest and with their 2 bags FREE benefit, well, let's just say for those of us who are members of "overpackers anonymous" that's a major score.

Car Rentals
We also now frequently get rental cars and I would typically go about finding those the same way as flights up until the last couple of years. I stumbled upon CarRentals.com. It's also a comparison site, but I've had great luck with them finding me the best deal.

Hotel
Thankfully most of the places we visit we are blessed to have friends to stay with but when I do need to find a hotel I turn to...you guessed it. A comparison site such as Kayak.  I see what's available through them and then I also go straight to the hotels site and see if they have the same or even occasionally a better deal. I prefer not to book through 3rd parties because sometimes it can make it difficult if you need to cancel.


Okay,  now let's talk about our favorite vacation spots.
For years and years we went to Myrtle Beach, SC for our family vacations and LOVED it! I'd go back in a heartbeat if it wasn't so far away and a little challenging as far as flights go.

It was the first place we took Benny and Katie to the beach.








We continued to go to Myrtle Beach most summers for a long stretch of time.








Living in Virginia for the majority of my life and up until Benny and Katie were 15 and 12, meant we were able to see and do a lot of great things. Richmond is central to tons of great tourist spots and history.

One of our favorite spots was always Williamsburg. We were fortunate to live about an hour away and would frequently go just to hang out for a day. These pictures and a lot of the ones that follow are with our friends who were just here to visit us last week. They are our favorite travel partners and we've taken quite a few trips together.





We lived 2 hours from D.C and it was yet another place we could make an easy day or weekend trip out of.





If you've never been to the Great Smokey Mountains, you're missing out. Think the fun of the beach in a mountain setting. Places to hike, go-carts, miniature golf, Dollywood and lots of fun places to eat.






The Biltmore is quite the sight to see. Sitting in an absolutely gorgeous part of North Carolina, it's just amazing to think people actually lived like this. We saw this way before Downton Abbey came out, but it totally reminds me of it if you are a fan.



Once we moved to Minnesota we were closer (as in still an 8 hour drive) to Chicago and went there for a weekend. So many fun things to see and do and I'd love to go back.







Anyone who knows me also knows my first love involves sun and sand. We expanded our beach trips once our travel had to be done by plane and for a couple of years went to Panama City. If you want a check list, so to speak, check out this post.





Most recently we've come to love Orange Beach. It's right on the Florida/Alabama border. Living on the West Coast now I can promise you that East Coast beaches and beaches on the Gulf of Mexico are far superior to any over here. Sorry to anybody that offends...just telling it like it is.







Laura Horton...does what's on the screen of my computer look familiar to you?😄 I just happened to notice this when proofing. Even on vacation, I'm keeping up with my blogger friends.





I'm looking forward to reading all of your travels tips and seeing your favorite vacation spots. Mark you calendar if you're a blogger for our next link up when we'll be talking about back to school prep. And all the mama's just said, "no...make it stop!"

If you've missed any of the previous Ladies Who Link I've participated in you can check them out here:



Link up below and have a great day! It's almost Friday...again.
Lisa
XOXO
❤️
Also linking up with Penny's Passion  & Home of Malones 




16 comments :

  1. Love Alabama! I have been to many historical towns but have yet to make it to Williamsburg amd can't wait to go in a few years with the kids. Thanks for hosting!

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    1. Oh my goodness, you will love it. Y'all need to spend a week going to Wmsburg, Mt. Vernon, Monticello and the Smithsonian (just to name a few) The highlight of our days in Wmsburg was always the Wythe Candy Store. Make sure you stop in and treat everyone to their favorite candy. I'd suggest non-pareils and bridge mix...my favs.

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  2. Wow! Those first pictures of your babies... so little, and so sweet! And I don't think you can go wrong with Maui. We love it!

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    1. I told Kent last night he'd love the blog today. He just texted me and said "your blog about made me cry". Such sweet memories. We are a blessed family for sure. I already wrote down your Maui recommendations and plan to check them out today. So glad you talked about it in your post!

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  3. Look at those precious kiddos! Loved seeing them growm up through your photos! As for Hawaii!! EEK!! Wayne and I did the Hawaiian cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary two years ago and we absolutely loved it! And, YES! Maui was my favorite island! Do the helicopter ride and the luau! Y'all are going to LOVE it!

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    1. It was fun finding all those pictures. A helicopter ride is a great idea. I was already thinking we'd do the luau, but hadn't thought about that! Thanks friend!

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  4. I have so many comments on this post!! First, I also like being my own travel agent. It's kind of an adventure for me to find deals and places that I think will work well for us. We have been to Maui for our 10th and Kauai for our 15th. Both places we stayed at the Hyatt, and both were wonderful. I liked both, but Kauai was my fave...the Hyatt there was one of my favorite hotels ever. I booked both trips through Costco. I love buying through them because the price is usually the lowest and they throw in an extra like breakfast. I also like to use Costco for booking rental cars. Starting in September, if you are an executive Costco member, you will get 2% back on purchases on Costco travel. I have their credit card, so that will be a total of 5% back. I agree about booking hotels on their own site when possible. But sometimes Expedia has a deal that you just can't beat!

    We have lots of similar favorite vacation spots - I am always happy on the beach, and agree that the Gulf and Atlantic beaches are beautiful. We have a big year ahead, with Michael's milestone birthday this year and mine next. EEK!

    Thanks for a great link up!

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    1. Thanks for all the great info, Tanya! We've got the Costco Ex Mem too and I've been trying to remember to use it for all our travel. Just used it yesterday to book flights to Nashville. I'm going to look at their Hawaii options again and see what I can find. Have a great day and thanks for linking up!!! Here's to big birthdays😉

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  5. Wow Lisa. I feel like I just watched your kids grow up and I feel all kinds of nostalgia! Please share how you have managed to not age ONE BIT from the first photos to the last? Seriously, you have good genes and you are so very photogenic. I am also loving that you have your close friends to vacation with, I think it makes everything just a little bit better when you have close friends like that. We have vacationed with other families in the past and I just love it. We used a local travel agent to plan our cruise and we loved her. My friend uses her all the time for her trips to Europe and Australia. Her name is Jamie Early with the Carlson Early Group for Dream Vacations. Her # is 888-65D-REAM. or 888-653-7326 if you're interested. I think Hawaii sounds like a heavenly place for you and Kent to celebrate your 25th Anniversary and your 30th Birthday! I am thrilled for you sweet friend!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I may hit her up if I don't find what I'm looking for. You are seriously way too sweet to me. Thank you for all the kind words. You are really such a doll! I felt kinda bad posting so many pictures, but I just couldn't help myself. I guess that's the benefit to our blogs...we can do what we want...LOL. Have a great evening. Time to put on all our face creams😉😘

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  6. I love this post since you know I am all about traveling! I would recommend Maui as a great place to visit. A good combination of peace and quiet and things to do. I do know that whatever island you choose, you are going to love it!!

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    1. I think that's probably where we'll end up :) I'm really looking forward to it.

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  7. I absolutely loved how you put these pics in order and we could see your kids growing up. This is a post you should always look back to. I hope that we can also give our kids some of the amazing memories you must have with yours.

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    1. Thanks so much Tara! It was so fun for me to look back at all of these pictures. The time flies so quickly, trust me. Enjoy those two precious little guys of yours. From what I can tell, y'all are making lots of great memories for them. XOXO

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  8. Loved looking through these pictures of your babies growing up! Such wonderful vacation memories. Your daughter looks sooooo much like you!!

    Thanks for linking up with The Blended Blog friend!

    Shelly|The Queen in Between

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    1. Aw, thank you Shelly! I love any excuse to walk down memory lane and look at them growing up. You know, a lot of people say we look alike and we just don't see it. I was told my entire life how much I looked like my mom and never saw that either. LOL Thank you though, we'll take it! Thanks for hosting a fun link up! Happy Tuesday!

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