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  • traveling toolkit – The blanket Scarf

    If you are looking for a great gift, look no further than the blanket scarf. I’ve had mine for several years and it has come in handy and gotten questions from fellow travelers again and again. I think they are especially handy when traveling between hot and cold climates.

     

    Okay, so this kid is about 5’2″…

     

    At first glance, it looks like a

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    Travel with a smile

    I’ve always been told to travel with a smile. You’ll catch more bees with honey, right? We all smile a little more when seeing amazing things on vacation. Even if it’s just the elusive smile of a teenager. But last week at home, a trip to the grocery store made me think about smiling even more.

     

    Smile!

     

    My story starts with spin class.

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    Top 5 tips for Business travel with your spouse

    Business travel with your spouse can mean several different things. For some, your spouse might travel to some amazing city and you decide to take advantage of the company paid hotel room and tag along. But you don’t have to go to make any appearances and your time is your own. Other times it’s a business conference complete with several receptions and dinners that spouses were expected to attend. Either

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    How do you keep up with all those travel deals??

    There is nothing I like more than sharing my love of travel with my friends and family. With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, I hear parents asking one another, “Where are you headed for vacation?” My ears always perk up when I hear of a unique destination or somewhere I’ve been thinking about traveling to. I often get asked how I come up with the destinations and activities

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    Traveling Traditions

    Our family has developed a few traveling traditions over the years. Earlier this week, Hubby and I visited Chicago with Junior. We left his brothers at home with family and friends. He finished 8th grade and is headed to high school next year. So we let him pick anywhere in the US to visit with just us for a long weekend.  We throw out some destinations and their highlights and

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    Disney World planning…oh how times have changed!

    Our family is headed to Disney World later this summer. In the old days, we’d book flights, hotel and theme park tickets and be ready to rock. Our tickets would be waiting at our hotel when we arrived and we’d hit the parks with military like precision. The old fast pass kiosk system meant that mom and dad kept all the tickets and zig zagged the park to obtain fast

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    Living in Tornado Alley

    Long time readers of this blog may know that I like to refer to where I live as the heartland. We’ve been getting more attention lately being known as tornado alley. Although tornado alley is primarily a media driven term, it encompasses the peak in tornado activity in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think?

     

    Use your indoor voice

    This traveling toolkit tip was inspired by a recent layover at the Houston Hobby airport.

    As you probably know, there are some larger club type chairs in some gate waiting areas. They are great because of the small table that connects them, as well as plugs to charge your electronics. I found a middle club chair at my gate and sat down quietly to read. The aisle club chair next to

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    Thailand Trinkets

    I have to say I’m not usually into travel souvenirs. Most trinkets are made in China anyway, right? However, in the early years of our marriage, Hubby and I would collect Christmas Ornaments from places we visited. They were small, easy to bring home, and are packed away neatly most of the year. It made decorating the tree each year like a walk down our traveling memory lane. But on

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    Airport Lounges

    I’ll admit that I am not a big customer of the airport lounge. I try to get from point A to point B in the least amount of time, so big layovers are not common. Flying Southwest a lot means that I am often in the smaller or alternate airports with fewer fancy amenities anyway. I typically only fly business or first class on international flights I have secured using

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    Enjoy the Ride

    This year I got a Christmas card with a tag line that I just love.

     

    Enjoy the ride.

     

    It got me thinking about how many different types of “rides” there are when we’re traveling. So I grabbed some pics from the last few years that I thought were fun. If you like these pics, be sure to follow me on instagram @trvlinginspird. You can also follow me on twitter @trvlinginspird. I post

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    Tips for helping your spouse while you’re traveling

    Sometimes the idea of traveling and leaving your spouse at home with the kids can seem like a scary thought. And it’s not because they can’t do it on their own. No matter which spouse travels, it’s usually easier to share the workload when it comes to household chores and kids. I’ll just send a shout out to single parents everywhere, I am truly amazed and respect what you do

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    Immunizations for travel…

    I have to admit that it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about immunizations for travel. Getting a flu shot would pretty much be the only thing I usually did each year. It doesn’t help that I’m a complete needle weenie when it comes to shots. No amount of deep breathing, looking the other way, or mental preparedness would be enough to make me ever get a tattoo. When

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    Travel planning and goals for 2015

    Writing about travel planning and goals for 2015 during the first week of the year is inevitable for travelholic bloggers like me.

    Truthfully by the time the new year rolls around, I’ve made most of our major travel plans for the year. It may sound boring to pre-plan travel almost a year ahead. But as parents, we are subjected to our boys’ school and sports schedules. Therefore, we are traveling

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    Traveling between Denver and ski resorts

    Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of traveling between Denver and the ski resorts along I-70. Since I am a big Southwest Airlines traveler, Denver is the closest I can get to the ski resorts. American and United actually fly into Eagle, CO and Montrose, CO and can get you a little closer. But those flights are a little too rich for my blood, so Denver it is.

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    Gifts for travelers

    You realize that Christmas is only 5 days away, right?

    You still have time to buy something for that special someone, especially if they are a traveler. No need to fight the crowds at the mall. With two day shipping it’s still possible to get the gift here or there on time. Although I’m much more into experiences that material things, I came up with some of my favorites for this

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    Traveling Traditions

    I’m always fascinated when people let me in on their traveling traditions. You probably wouldn’t be surprised that people come up with great traditions when it comes to traveling.

    Holiday traditions abound, like always spending Christmas in your hometown at Grandma’s. A lot of people aim to hit the slopes skiing at least once a year. Others make sure a beach vacation is taken once a year. Whatever your tradition

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    Be a great houseguest

    With Thanksgiving upon us, I thought I’d write about what I think a person can do to be a great houseguest. Whether you’re staying with family or friends, these thoughtful things can make a big difference.

    1) Bring everything you will need with you: Don’t assume your hosts will have extra shampoo or another hairdryer you can use. There is nothing worse for a host, than to be asked to

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    Is an award booking service worth it?

    I’ve always wondered…is an award booking service worth it?

    Before I went to the Chicago Seminars, I sort of new they existed, but I didn’t really think I would ever use one.

    Domestically, my family has used Southwest Airlines for years. Hubby does a lot of business travel on Southwest. We’ve had the companion pass for a long time, we know how to

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    Keeping track of rewards and loyalty programs

    Keeping track of rewards and loyalty programs can be a constant battle for the traveling inspired.

    Let’s face it, just about every hotel, airline, credit card, rental car company, grocery store, drug store and clothing store has some kind of reward program. It’s great that companies want to reward you for your loyalty. Or keep track of all of your purchases for you. But if one more store gives me another

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    The Tripit App – traveling toolkit

    As a travelholic, I always have several trips in the works.

    Sometimes I feel like a circus performer trying to keep all of those plates spinning on the end of sticks. Running from plate to plate just to keep them spinning. They spin with airline tickets, hotel reservations, tours, activities, restaurants, etc. And I can’t reduce the number of plates that are spinning until that trip is taken.

    I used to

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    Getting from Midway to O’hare in Chicago

    Until recently, I have never needed to get from the Midway Airport to the O’hare Airport in Chicago.

    I arrived for the Frequent Travelers University in Chicago via Southwest Airlines which operates out of the Midway Airport. I used points to book my travel this time. But the conference was only providing a free shuttle from the O’hare airport because the

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    traveling toolkit – dirty laundry

    Dirty laundry takes over every aspect of a trip.

    You also have to make sure none of the clothes you want to take on your upcoming trip are in the dirty laundry.

    And there is always a ton of dirty laundry to attend to when you get home. Especially when you have 3 boys, not including your husband.

    But dirty laundry needs a place to pile

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    Global Entry for our family of five

    After much debate, we proceeded with the task of getting Global Entry for our family of five.

    If you don’t know, Global Entry gives a person expedited entrance into the United States. So after traveling home from some fabulous place, you don’t have to race to stand in the long line at customs. There is a separate

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    Letting your kid fly on their own

    When I say letting your kid fly on their own, it’s not a metaphor. I’m talking about letting your kid fly on a commercial airline without paying the unaccompanied minor fee, without major assistance from the ticket or gate agent, and letting them fly. My 13 year old did it for the first time this year, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

    Traveling toolkit – Uber


    When you live in the heartland of America, it takes a while for trends, and lots of other things, to get to us. It seems like the newest thing starts on the coasts and takes its time working its way to the middle of the country.

    Uber was

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    Traveling toolkit – reading material

    There are lots of ebooks out there, but the Kindle paperwhite is my favorite one. Here are 6 reasons why I love it.

    1) The screen reads a lot like a paper book – I just can’t see that staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can

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    Luggage 101 for families

    Adults: Depending on the reason for travel, most adults are pretty good at packing their own stuff. Unless you are traveling for a formal event, or a long period of time without washer/dryers, each adult should be able to pack in the typical carry on roller (for a week long trip I definitely use the zipper extender part and check it). My theory when traveling with kids is

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    Too early to consider summer camp?

    It’s never too early to start searching for or enrolling your kids in summer camp. Popular places fill up fast, and there are often discounts for early applications.  

    Let me start by saying that my husband and I both went to sleep away summer camp. Not the same one. When we were old enough we stayed for a month. Yes, Internet, I said that right. A

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    Luggage 101

    I hesitate to offer packing and luggage advice because I think it is a really personal thing.  What works for some, might not work for others.  But I’ve gotten some great ideas from friends over the years, so I’m hoping you find something useful.

     

    Roller Bag or Backpack??

    Adults: Depending on the reason for travel, most adults are pretty good

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    Getting started skiing with kids

    We’ve had so much snow across the country this year, how could you not spend some time on the slopes?

    If you were a decent skiier before the kids came into the picture, you’ll want to get them started early. We waited until our youngest boy was 3 and our oldest was 6. You decide when the time is right. I’d recommend between 4 and 6 based

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    Snow, Snow and more Snow!!

    So, like most of the country, we are covered in snow.  The boys have had two snow days this week, and it looks like there will be a few more next week.  Isn’t it funny that we pay good money to spend all day and ski in this stuff in the mountains, but when it hits at home, we are stuck inside and complaining?

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    Money Saving Tips in the Historic Triangle

    So you’ve booked your hotel and air travel for a trip to the Historic Triangle area in Virginia.  Now, how do you save money on meals and activities once you get there?  Here are some money saving tips:

    Staying at a Williamsburg property – If you get a package with tickets and breakfast included, you are way ahead of the game.  Because breakfast can be expensive and

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