Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Family Travel Deals – I’ve been to The Cayman Islands on a romantic cruise, but after perusing the destination’s latest travel promotion, I now want to bring my kids. Families with kids ages 11 and under can stay free, eat free, and get free admission at participating properties that are part of the Cayman Summer Splash with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Full details and lists of deal are waiting for adventurous families wanting to explore The Cayman Islands. Check out Cayman Summer Splash for all the family travel deals.

    Travel Blog  – WhyGo Family aka FamilyTravelLogue.com is part of the BootsnAll Network and is written by a fab family travel maven Sheila Scarborough. She’s been covering a different state each Tuesday, highlighting travel suggestions from the social media realm. Check it out for great family travel ideas.

    Travel Shows to Watch – Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations takes place in Provence, France where there’s loads of wonderful cuisine and fabulous wine. I’ve been to the south of France and let me tell you, this area is fantastic and a place everyone should have on their list of places to visit. Tune into The Travel Channel tonight and explore the region with Tony Bourdain. Here’s a clip from the show to whet your appetite:

    Travel Contest – GeckoGo is holding a travel contest where a lucky entrant can win a $12,000 trip for two to the Galapagos Islands. Prize is open to US residents (some states excluded) and full details can be found on the Official GeckoGo Contest page.

    Want to get travel news and deals before everyone else? Sign up for the TravelingMamas.com Newsletter and get exclusive previews just for subscribers. Plus, on April 15, one lucky subscriber will win a Community Coffee On the Go Travel Bag of coffee and goodies.

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  • Nothing helps get me going for an early morning flight more than a great cup of coffee from Community Coffee, a privately owned, family run Louisiana company that’s been around for more than 90 years.

    I make sure that I have a pot of coffee brewing when getting dressed for my early morning travel departures. I prepare my Community Coffee dark roast in my travel tumbler and head out to the airport. By the time I check in and get ready to go through security, my tumbler is usually ready for a refill. Fortunately, my favorite coffee is a staple at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, making life so much easier.

    Yes, I love to travel, but I also like a great travel deal. The TravelingMamas.com Newsletter is a great way for me to share some of the new stories on the site, exclusive travel deals, and trip giveaways that are available on other sites. Subscribers get some of the more exciting travel news before it goes live on the site, giving loyal readers an edge on booking some of those limited supply deals that can be found around the web.

    Because I love Community Coffee and I want to share it with TravelingMamas.com readers, I was able to talk Community Coffee into providing a travel related gift to one lucky subscriber. All subscribers are eligible to win, no matter where you live, but you have to be 18 years of age or older. I’ll randomly pick a winner on April 15 and will announce who it is in a newsletter after that date. Winner will have to contact me by email to claim their prize.

    Community Coffee on the Go Travel BagWhat’s the prize? A Coffee on the Go Travel Bag which includes four private reserve coffees (each one brews eight 60z cups), a premium travel tumbler and a coffee scoop all in a reusable burlap branded bag. Be sure to fan Community Coffee on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, because they offer specials for their fans and followers.

    How to enter? Just sign up for the TravelingMamas.com Newsletter here: TravelingMamas.com Newsletter Signup Form.

    We respect your privacy and will not share your information with any third party, nor will we use your email address for anything but sending you great travel information.

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  • I can’t travel every day of the year (gasp). I’m a Traveling Mama and that job comes with a big responsibility – being a mama first and foremost. When I can’t travel, I’m dreaming of travel by planning my next trip or taking a mental journey through travel blogs and a good travel book.

    Reading Every Day in TuscanyYes, I do hold a full time job, in addition to travel writing. So what do I do during my breaks at work? Read travel books! The latest tome that I’ve devoured is Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life by author and traveler extraordinaire Frances Mayes. I’ve had a crush on Frances ever since I got my hands on Under the Tuscan Sun. She’s such an adventuress!

    Italy is a destination that’s still on my list (I don’t tell too many people, but I’m 1/4 Italian). You know you have your own list too. Well, I’ve always wanted to enjoy a good meal with a bottle of vino followed by a sip of lemoncello, all while enjoying an afternoon overlooking a vineyard (or someplace similar). Frances Mayes brought me into moments just like this in Every Day in Tuscany.

    Every Day in Tuscany coverFrances’ latest book not only illustrates snippets of life in her Tuscan town, but she provides recipes of her more memorable meals shared in the stories. She also ventures outside of her town and introduces readers to experiences in Umbria, trips to the sea and even a story of a Vespa and grenade left on her doorstep!

    I could go on and on about this latest title by Frances Mayes, but I’ve become intrigued and want to replicate some of the dishes mentioned. The sun is shining in my backyard and I’m thinking of making one of those antipasto platters she described. I’m going to sit on my back patio with a glass of wine and will start at the beginning of the Bramasole story by reading Under the Tuscan Sun once again, followed by Bella Tuscany and then finish my mental journey with Every Day in Tuscany.

    Would you like to escape to Tuscany with Frances Mayes? Every Day in Tuscany was just released in bookstores and is also available online at Amazon (Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
    affiliate link)
    . Readers of TravelingMamas.com can enter a random drawing to win a copy of this title. Just leave a comment stating your favorite moment in Italy (if you’ve been) or where you’d go in Italy if given the chance. Be sure to check out FrancesMayesBooks.com for more information on Frances and her Tuscan life.

    Contest open to North American residents ages 18 and older. Ends Monday, March 15 at 11:59 pm CST. One entry per email address. Bonus entry for tweeting contest and leaving separate comment. Review and giveaway copies provided by publisher.

    Winner Update: Congrats to Anne D!

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  • horizon vespa flickr image by sicoactiva

    Hi Traveling Mamas,
    I am taking a trip to Europe, mostly Italy, for a month. I had planned on buying a rail pass and take the bus, but (if I can do this?!) I would rather buy a scooter as soon as I get there and sell it when I leave. How plausible do you think this is?
    Thanks,

    J

    Hi J,

    I’m not sure exactly where you’ll be and for how long, but if the bulk of your visit will be in Italy, have you looked into a scooter rental? Scooters and mopeds are available in all major cities and some rural areas. A motorino (scooter) rental may be a cost effective way for you to travel around Italy and access sites that are harder to get to by other means of transportation.

    There are a number of motorino rentals facilities that will negotiate rates on extended rental periods. If the rates seem a bit too steep for your budget and you really want to purchase a moped, then go for it. Search classified ads online for the city you plan to make your transportation purchase, but before you seal the deal, check local laws on foreign ownership.

    Here are some of my favorite European planning resources to assist you in taking that next step in travel:

    WhyGo Italy – Jessica of WhyGo Italy is not only one cool chic, but she knows all about travel in Italy. Read through many of the informative articles available on her site to help plan your route. Once you decide your route then you can figure out logistics and transportation.

    Have you visted Europe a la Carte? Author Karen Bryan is in the UK and has tons of articles regarding transportation and information for your Europe holiday.

    Another planning resource that I’ve heard good things about is Europe for Visitors. Durant Imboden has been compiling information regarding European travel  for decades and started publishing his site in 2001.

    I hope this helps point you in the right direction and that your visit to Europe is safe and full of wonderful travel memories. We’ll ask our readers to chip in with comments and tips to help you decide if you should purchase that scooter.

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  • The beginning of every family holiday starts with questions such as, where to go, what to do and how much will this cost. Cost is one of the most important factors that will help decide answers to the other two questions. Hopefully, this information will assist you in choosing which type of lodging will suit your family.

    Cheesy Family Travel PhotoWhen a family starts to plan a vacation, they should enlist the aid of all members. That’s what we do. Decide on a budget and then let the kids discuss places they would like to visit. You can make suggestions based on specials that are available, the mode of transportation you can afford, and how long you plan to be away.

    Let the children suggest places they would like to visit. Even though your plans may not include travel to Walt Disney World, your children will still feel as if they have made a contribution. They can go over the choices put on the table, and then make a decision. This is also their vacation after all, not just a getaway for the adults.

    Here’s a list of different types of lodging options you may come across in your family travel planning so that you know just what you’re getting into. Have some tips or suggestions? Leave them in comments.

    • All-Inclusive Resorts: All-inclusive resorts are a growing trend in the travel industry. They can be found all over the Caribbean and Mexico and are now making their way into the US. These resorts typically include meals, non-motorized activities, kid clubs, and domestic adult beverages. Some plans resorts use is the American Plan (AP) which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or European Plan (EP) which does not include meals.
    • Bed & Breakfasts and Small Inns: The terms Bed and Breakfast or Inn evokes a sense of romance or intimacy. For some of this lodging choice, it’s typically true, but there are many Bed and Breakfasts that were once the home of historical figures and there are also examples of architecture and art. Some B&Bs can be child friendly. However, most of these establishments are furnished with antiques and irreplaceable items. You are the best judge of your child’s character, and only you can make the correct decision on lodging choices for your family. Be sure to verify with the innkeepers that children are allowed.
    • Villas/Homes: Villas or home rentals can be a great choice for longer stays. They offer all the comforts of home, including separate bedrooms, a full kitchen, and sometimes a private pool.
    • Hotels/Motels: These establishments can range in price, depending upon the amenities provided. Some have on-site restaurants, which can be convenient but costly. A hotel is where all the rooms are accessed from inside a hallway. A motel is where the rooms are accessed from outdoors.
    • Hostels: Hostels were established as an inexpensive way for students to travel throughout Europe. Today, hostels can be found all over the world, including the US. They offer dormitory style inexpensive accommodations. They do not offer the amenities of a hotel, but the experience of meeting foreign visitors and the socializing opportunities help children gain a greater understanding of the world and its people.
    • Campgrounds: Campgrounds can offer your child an opportunity to get closer to nature and the outdoors. Some campgrounds offer cabins while most offer RV and/or tent sites (primitive camping).

    Whichever type of lodging you decide for your family vacation or holiday, be sure to research and have a wonderful trip. Family travel is an adventure, no matter what the destination.

    Family Vacation on raveable

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