Dad Travel 101

Costa Mesa: Full of Dining, Fun and Close to Everything!

Located within a stone’s throw of Anaheim to the north and Newport Beach to the west, the city of Costa Mesa is in the heart of Orange County, California. In a special visit recently, our family was able to take in many sights and experiences that make Costa Mesa an ideal family vacation spot. Costa Mesa is an upscale destination within a few minutes drive of the beach, Disneyland and home to amazing restaurants and Orange County’s only working farm, among many other fun attractions. Easy access to Disneyland If you’ve ever been to Anaheim and Disneyland Resort, you’ve...

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Long Beach offers views, chilled vibes and amazing experiences

When it comes to Southern California beach destinations, most folks might think of San Diego or Santa Monica. But what if we told you there was a suburban locale within 20 minutes of LAX that offered exciting beachfront adventures, fine food and an amazing family getaway? That’s what Long Beach, California is all about. The beachfront urban oasis of Long Beach is located just south of LA and north of Anaheim. Downtown Long Beach is clean, bike friendly and feels like an escape from the crowded, traffic-infested gnarl associated with the LA area. The perfect Long Beach family hotel: Courtyard by Marriott For our trip, our home base was The Courtyard by Marriott is right in the heart of downtown and features a welcoming lobby with hues of green and blue that reflect the ocean and create relaxation at the same time. We had two rooms, one with a king bed and the other with two queens. The rooms were clean, large and homey. The king room had a stand-up shower while the queen bedroom had a bath – so if you’re particular about having a bath, you’ll want to reserve the room that’s right for you. A catered gondola evening escape via Getaway Gondolas During our first evening in Long Beach, we were able to experience Getaway Gondolas on the water, just west of downtown. Thanks to catering...

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Amazing Activities for Tweens on Disney Cruise Lines

While often viewed as the premiere ships for parents of young children, Disney Cruise Lines also caters to the desires of older kids. Tweens, in particular, benefit from the diverse array of areas and activities on the ship designed just for them. Being a transitional age group (10-12), the Disney ships offer the security of supervised areas alongside adult-free zones where kids can test their budding social skills. As my daughter enters the tween years, her recent experience on the Disney Dream was exciting and let her choose which activities had appeal.   A Note on Tweens and Social...

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When’s the best time to fly for kids under five?

Before I became a traveling dad, I was willing to take all sorts of flights to get to my destination. Redeyes, multiple destinations, overnights, you name it. But everything changed when I had my daughter, and even more changed after I had my son. After 36 flights for my almost 4 year old daughter and 13 for my toddler son, I’ve come up with my favorite times to fly for young children. When traveling with babies and toddlers, I’ve found it really important to choose the right flights and fly at the right time of the day for my...

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What Is the Golden Spike National Historic Site, and So What?

Just another lawn-mowing day in the life of a Northern Utah teenager. One hot summer afternoon as a kid, I was mowing the front yard when a car pulled over in front of my house.  The passenger rolled his window down and motioned me over.  I stopped the mower and went to the car, which contained two elderly couples. The man driving the car said “hello” and I could tell from his accent he wasn’t a Utah native. In my teenage “you’re interrupting my lawn mowing but how can I help you” voice, I said “hi” back. He asked,...

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HOW TO AVOID SPRING BREAK INTESTINAL DISTRESS

Spring Break is supposed to be about having fun in the sun. Unfortunately, numerous vacations are ruined when an upset stomach or intestinal distress caused by a foodborne illness leads to most of the trip being spent sick in the bathroom or stuck in a hospital bed instead of having fun on a beach or cruise deck. The United States’ Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illness causes by bacteria, viruses and parasites each year. While no time is ever ideal to get sick, I think we can all...

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When’s the best time to leave for a roadtrip with kids?

Kids say the darndest things. You’d think after bringing my kids to Disney World without mom, they’d say it’s their favorite vacation. You, like me, would be wrong when it comes to my kids. My daughter says, and I quote, “My favorite vacation is at grandma’s house.” So we decided last minute to take a long weekend drive from Boston to New Jersey, which led me to wonder: when’s the best time to leave for a roadtrip with kids? Like my past post about the best time to schedule a flight with kids, I don’t think there’s a hard...

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STEP BACK IN HISTORY USING AUGMENTED REALITY

Remember the Alamo! Texas militia yelled out this famous battle cry as they battled Mexico’s army for the territory’s independence in honor of a fallen garrison of their comrades who were wiped out on March 6, 1836 trying to defend a fortified former Catholic mission. Roughly 200 men led by James Bowie, Davy Crockett and William Travis stood up against a Mexican force of 5,000 soldiers for 13-days at the Alamo Mission in a defeat that ultimately rallied support for a Texas revolutionary victory. The Alamo has since become one of the world’s most famous battlefields and hosts more...

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Change Your Routine and Plan a Local Vacation

While hopping on a jet to some far off tourist destination is always on our minds, but what happens when you just don’t have the extra time or money for a week long retreat? An alternative many overlook is planning a local vacation. Set aside a few days and stick close to home. You’ll be surprised at how many activities and unique experiences are available within a short drive. I’m not fond of the term ‘staycation.’ It takes the wind out of the sails and all too often articles I see about staycations involve nothing more than doing the...

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WINTER TRAVEL DESTINATIONS WITH OLYMPIC SPIRIT

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games are taking place in 2018 from February 9 through the 25th at Pyeonghang, South Korea.  Wouldn’t going in person to see some of the world’s best athletes compete in bobsleighing, figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping and a number of other winter sports during the Olympic Games be an amazing experience?!  Attending the Olympics someday is definitely on my bucket list! Unfortunately, a trip to Asia for the Pyeonghang Olympic Games is impractical for most of us; but there are a number of great destinations within the United States and Canada that provide a...

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