Put On Your Camping Vacation Pants

“How do you take your family camping?”

It’s a question that I’ve heard in my adult life far more than I ever thought I would.  The second word gets out that we’re going camping, I am almost always asked this question.  It usually comes from one of three types of people:

  • Someone who’s never been camping before
  • Someone who grew up camping, but doesn’t really know how to do it on their own as an adult
  • Someone who used to enjoy camping, but doesn’t know how to go about it now that they have kids.

It’s shocking to me, because camping has always been a part of my life, and sharing it with my kids is a huge joy. Read on to find out how easy it is to take your family camping.

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Put on Your Year-in-Review Vacation Pants

Welcome to 2018!!! When reflecting on the past year I always like to think about the highlights of the year.  Our little family really had some amazing adventures this year.  I would love to share with you some things you must try.  I interviewed my family members this year (my husband Phil, my daughter Audrey (age 9), and Luke, my son (age 7).  I will of course give you my input as well.  Also, happy 2 year anniversary to the blog!!! We really enjoy sharing with you our expertise and hearing about your travel adventures as well. Here we go!

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Put On Your Room Escape Vacation Pants – Southern Cali Edition

If you know me or follow me on social media, you know about my most recent obsession…room escapes!!!  For those of you who don’t know, room escapes are entertainment venues that offer to lock you in a room (not literally, fire code is pretty important to follow) and you have a certain amount of time to escape the room by solving a series of connected puzzles and mysteries.  It is fantastic amounts of fun.  In this post, I will take you through a bunch of room escapes I have tried in Southern California (spoiler free, of course!) in hopes that you will jump on the bandwagon and try some of these out.  Here is my current So Cal directory of room escapes the I have tried.  As I try more, I will add to the list. Continue reading

Put on your Louisiana Road Trip Vacation Pants

From a recent road trip around the Sabine Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana – 2016

In honor of my little sister moving to Louisiana, I am writing this post about taking an amazing Louisiana road trip for, as always, DIRT CHEAP.  We found some unbelievably reasonable airfare from California on Google Flights, and just had to plan a little road trip loop around mostly Louisiana and Mississippi.  We went in March, but we came back in August and checked out Northern Louisiana as well.   Get ready for some amazing Louisiana (with some Mississippi on the side) style adventures.  Here we go.

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Put on Your Year in Review Vacation Pants

Showing off my Redwood Tree Vacation Pants in the lovely Humboldt Redwood Forest in Northern California.

Well, it’s been a whole year since I started the ole travel blog and I decided to reflect on the last year of travel.  I am going to talk about the best place(s) we ate (sometimes it is too hard to choose one), the best place(s) we visited, the best place(s) we hoteled, and the best thing(s) we did.  Of course, I will give you an overall snapshot of our travels at the end of the post, so you can get some travel inspiration.  Sit back, relax, and make 2017 the year you get out there and travel in those vacation pants!!!  Hope you start planning that next vacay, stat!  Continue reading

Put on your Discount Airline Vacation Pants

Airplane Life. Taking Jet Blue to somewhere fabulous. -2014

I know it can be scary to go for that cheap deal and take a discount airline instead of a name you know and love.  The price often seems to good to be true.  Many times, if you don’t know what to pay for, and what not to pay for, the prices are too good to be true.  As someone who has taken my fair share of discount airlines over the years, I will share with you my tips and tricks if you decide to go on one of these airlines.  I also rank them in order of preference, so you know if it is worth the discount.

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Put on Your Hot Springs, Arkansas Vacation Pants


At the official Hot Springs National Park entrance in Hot Springs, Arkansas. August -2016

In August we flew to Northern Texas because my baby brother got married.  My husband reminded me that I had never been to Arkansas, so we had to plan a little road trip out of Texas while we were out there.  We wound up in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a four night trip, and let’s just say, this place was made to be blogged about.  Hot Springs, Arkansas is the home of Hot Springs National Park and it is exactly what it sounds like.  People at the turn of the century flocked to Hot Springs to take advantage of all the bath houses that sprouted up in the town due to the natural hot springs in the area.  Well, eight of the original buildings remain standing today, and two of them are still working bath houses.  Read on to find out how you can plan an amazing adventure to this fantastic place.
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Put on your Tripadvisor Vacation Pants


I remember when I discovered tripadvisor.com.  It was early 2011 and I was planning a trip down route 66.  I was visiting family in Colorado and after that we decided to drive out to Chicago, Illinois, the place where the famous route 66 begins.  I was so excited to plan our hotel stays along the way and I came across this fantastic travel website.  I looked up all the cities we were planning on staying in along the route.  The site gave me the top hotels, restaurants, and things to do in every place.  I was so excited that most of the # 1 rated hotels were dirt cheap compared to California hotels, and we got to stay in highly rated hotels along our entire trip.  Tripadvisor did not disappoint.  This post will give you some tips on using this amazing website and app.  You won’t want to plan another trip without consulting Tripadvisor first.  Then, after your trip, you’ll want to come back and do some reviews of your own, so you can advise future travelers.

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Put on your Walt Disney World Vacation Pants, part 6 of 6

Off Season at Typhoon Lagoon means NO LINES!
Part 6 is here!!!  I will discuss one of the water parks at Disney World called Typhoon Lagoon and I will also talk about Disney Springs.  Both places add a little extra pizzazz to an already amazing trip.  Read on to find out how you can have an amazing trip to these places as well.  
This particular trip to Disney World we did some things differently.  First of all, this is by the far the longest trip we have ever taken to the park, and we loved it.  We stayed for 8 nights, and played for 9 days, so we really got to experience many things we have never experienced before.  One of which was a water park at the resort called Typhoon Lagoon.  We also went to a restaurant at Disney Springs called T-Rex.  Although we had been to Disney Springs before, this was a new restaurant, and it was not something we usually have time to do, but with such an extended trip, we really got to see and do everything.  Read on to find out how you can make the most of your trips to both these areas.   Again, I would only do these things if you have a truly extended trip.  These places will really add to the experience.  
Typhoon Lagoon    

As I mentioned in a previous post, we bought our tickets through a university to attend a graduation at the resort.  We were given a special link to order the tickets.  One of the perks was a pretty nice discount on park tickets AND it included an extra ticket to one of the Disney water parks.  We were spending 9 days at the resort, so we took a day off from the big parks and spent an awesome day at Typhoon Lagoon.  They do have a waterpark option when you buy the tickets.  If you do plan on doing the water park, make sure you add it in when you purchase the tickets to the park, because you get a discount as opposed to paying full price at the gate.  

Tips and Tricks
  • Bring your own towel and sunscreen – You can rent towels for a small fee at the park or just bring your own.  Sunscreen is pretty expensive at the resort, so make sure you buy and bring before you have to pay the upcharge.                                                                      
  • Underwater Camera – We brought a disposable underwater camera to get some pics of the park.  We now have a fancy one, but the disposable worked great too.  You can see the quality of the disposable camera pics for yourself throughout this post.  Make sure you also buy the disposable waterproof camera before you come to the park as well.  They sell them for a reasonable price at your local pharmacy.                                      


  • Money – Attach a credit card to your Magic Band and you will not have to bring money to the park with you, which means you won’t have to buy a locker, which means you will save money.  The Magic Bands work as your park ticket, room key, and payment, and best of all, they are waterproof, so all you really need is a towel, sunscreen, waterproof camera, and your Magic Band.                                                                                                       
  • Life Jackets – You don’t need to bring your own life jackets for your children, in fact, floaties, pool toys, and personal life jackets are not allowed in the park, so make sure you don’t bring that stuff.  They have several locations around the park that have big stands of life jackets with various sizes, you don’t even have to check them out, just grab and go.                                    

                                                                        Lazy River fun!

  • Park Opening/Closing – When we went the park was only open from 10:00 – 5:00, so we pretty much went when the park opened and left after it closed.  It worked great.  In the morning there was no one there, some larger school groups came midday, and left before the park closed.  We did have to wait awhile for a shuttle to take us back to the hotel at the end of the day, but it wasn’t too bad.  
MVP (My Vacation Pants) Tip:  The water parks are open year round and it is always pretty warmish in Florida.  Escape the crowds by going to the water parks in the winter months.  They tend to be very busy in the Spring and Summer, so even if it seems weird to visit a water park in January you may want to hit it up anyway.

  • Educational Guide – I know it may be weird to think that there are educational things at water parks, but nevertheless, we found some amazing things to show our kids at the parks.  First off, they have a snorkel lagoon filled with sharks, fish, and other amazing sea life.  Take the time to show your children and talk to the cast members about what you’re seeing.  My kids didn’t go in the lagoon, but they watched from the viewing tanks.  Now they love snorkeling.  It is a great way to get your kids started on this fantastic activity.       
  • Vintage Cool Attractions – The theme of the whole park is that you are castaways on a deserted island.  Everything is vintage themed.  You feel like you are entering a real life Swiss Family Robinson movie.                                                                                                                                        

                                    The premise:  We are stranded on a tropical island paradise.  

  • Pacing – Remember they have shorter hours, so make sure you plan to stay the length of the day from opening to closing if you want to experience everything.  We barely stood in any lines at all in early February and we got to see everything.  I can imagine on a crowded day you might want to stick to my recommendations below. 
  • My Vacation Pants Recommendations:  The wave pool is a pretty epic one.  You can stay in calmer sections for the littles as well.  Over to the side of the lagoon they have kid water slides that my kiddos went on about 50 times, so that’s a great way to enjoy the wave pool and the kiddie section.  Our other favorite attraction was the family inner tube ride.  We really enjoyed piling in the tube together and riding down the slide.  It’s a good workout bringing that inner tube up the hill too.  


Disney Springs
Disney Springs is basically an outdoor marketplace with restaurants and shops.  They have everything you ever wanted to buy Disney.  You can’t help but get caught up in the cuteness.  On this trip, we got done with Typhoon Lagoon at 5:00 and had definitely worked up an appetite playing in the sun and water all day.  We took the shuttle from the hotel to Disney Springs for dinner.  I believe they have put in a parking structure since we have been.  Parking is complimentary.  

Tips and Tricks

  • It is busy in the evening.  They have a movie theater, popular restaurants, shopping, and shows, so get there early if you need to make a reservation or show.  The website recommends getting there at least 60 minutes before your reservation.  It’s a very huge place, so you may park and get dropped off far from where you need to be, so plan ahead.
  • Make reservations for dining well ahead of time.  You can make your dining reservations the same way you make reservations for the parks.  Make them online through the Walt Disney World website.
  • We did not go to the Cirque Su Soleil La Nouba Show on this last visit, but we have gone before and it is quite an amazing show.  I highly recommend going if you have not seen it before.  Make sure you make reservations ahead of time though. My friend booked his tickets last minute and got a great deal, but we sat in three different seats around the theater, but it didn’t matter.  It’s not like you are talking during the show anyway. 
  • My Vacation Pants Recommendations – 
    • Rain Forest Cafe – So they have two locations at Disney World, but I had to give you this little tip.  Go to the Rain Forest at Disney Springs instead of the one at Animal Kingdom.  They are both cool.  They have animantronics, waterfalls, and aquariums, but the one at Disney Springs is inside of a volcano that fake erupts every once in awhile.  I think the architecture is so cool there.  Make sure you make your reservations for at least one of these, especially if you have never been to a Rain Forest Cafe.  
    • T-Rex Restaurant – So this place was really fun.  We highly enjoyed being whisked back to the prehistoric times and eating in an ice cave.  This place is owned and operated by the same place that owns Rain Forest Cafe, so it is a similar experience, but I really liked the experience, and so did my kiddos.  

    • Our Favorite Stores:  Check out Goofy’s Candy Company.  You will indulge in some yummy Disney themed desserts.  Also, it will be hard to miss the Lego Imagination Center.  They have huge Lego displays outside the store, in the fountains and lakes, and inside the store as well.  It is quite amazing.  World of Disney is spectacular.  If you can’t find a souvenir to commemorate your Disney World trip in this place, you ain’t finding it anywhere else.  The Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Soda Fountain is amazing as well.  The My Vacation Pants Family likes Vanilla Malts with extra malt.  Yum, yum!

I know you’ll have enough to do on this fantastic trip, but if you have time, these two stops will pizazz up your visit even more during your stay.  I have truly enjoyed taking you on this wild Walt Disney World journey.  Hope you found these posts helpful in planning your future trips.  Please use the links below to let me know how your trip was.  Would love to hear from some vacation pantsers!!!  Have a great trip and Walt Disney World on. 
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Trip Links
Walt Disney World Webpage – https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
Theme Park Tourist – http://www.themeparktourist.com/
Part 1 of this Post – http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-disney-world-vacation-pants.html
Part 2 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-walt-disney-world-vacation.html
Part 3 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-you-walt-disney-world-vacation.html
Part 4 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-walt-disney-world-vacation_26.html
Part 5 of this Post – http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/05/put-on-your-walt-disney-world-vacation.html
Also click on headings in the post above.  I linked the important information you need. 


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