Why you should travel with you children

I have recently learnt that traveling with kids, particularly young kids, is never easy. As parents, we need to re-think how we travel, and a lot of it is letting go of our own expectations of ‘the perfect trip.’ Instead of expecting perfection, we should just be as well prepared as possible and know that any hiccups will only add to the stories you will remember at the end of a trip.

So how does travel help our children?

Travel breaks down barriers and enhances connection. Travel also shows your children that though we all look different, we are the same. It is a great opportunity to teach our children about diversity in the world and interact and even make friends with children that come from different cultures, places and experiences. Travel is also an opportunity to leave behind the technology that feeds out childrens’ hands nowadays and reconnect with life, family and the world. If you keep technology and the news of the day to a minimum and enjoy each other’s company and conversation, you can teach your kids that the best things in life are free.

Travel broadens our perspective and enhances developmental milestones. Whether you travel to the next town or around the world, moving out of a comfort zone or everyday routine will enhance your family’s understanding of our world and the lives of our fellow citizens. Travel helps children experience a wide repertoire of sights, smells, sounds, colors, faces and languages from an early age. Travel opens up endless possibilities in their tiny minds and they become open and used to trying new things.

Travel builds character and helps kids become more adaptable and flexible kids. Traveling with young children exposes them to a new ‘normal.’ It allows them to be more adaptable to changing situations and be more flexible in their habits. They are used to sleeping in their beds, sleeping in prams, sleeping on an airplane seat, sleeping in a crowded shopping mall or outside, under a blanket. It also provides an opportunity to model what matters most – delayed flights, weather changes, poor service or a rocky road help all of us learn to live in the moment, share resources, manage unexpected consequences and see the bright side of the occasional travel mishap.

Travel is inspiring and educational. Travel with young kids means exposing them and making them interested in geography, world maps and airplanes early on. They start to form a better understanding of their environment and the knowledge that it’s a big world out there. They are interested in learning capitals of the different countries they visit, and being able to look for it on a map.

Travel helps ignite children’s imagination. Travel encourages children to engage in creative play – skills that they develop during childhood. Feed your children’s natural curiosity through travel. Do they yearn to learn more about art, history or science? Whether you opt for magnificent museums, nature’s classroom or immersive experiences, expand their knowledge (and your own) by exploring new ideas and destinations together.

Where to cool off this summer!

No doubt that summer heat has sunk in… and for those of us living in spots around the country with hot hot temps (like NYC) so where can we go to cool off this summer both near and far?

NYC
Central Park, N.Y – Who says you can’t keep cool in the city? Park yourself alongside the Bethesda Fountain in Central park or take to the Lake in a rented rowboat from Loeb’s boathouse.
Rockaway Beach – Take the subway, a beach shuttle bus or the ferry to the free, Queens beach that is filled with plenty of affordable food trucks as well as great bars and shops.
Robert H. Treman State Park- Take a dip in the stream-fed pool beneath the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, at Robert H. Treman State Park in the Finger Lakes

Missouri – Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park – Play in the shallows of the East Fork of the Black River or shoot through “Mother Nature’s hydraulics” in the natural swimming holes at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park in Middle Brook, Missouri.

Pennsylvania – Ohiopyle State Park – Cool off on the natural waterslides, courtesy of Mother Nature, the Youghiogheny River Gorge and thousands of years of erosion.

CT – Brownstone Park – This adventure center in Portland, Connecticut, provides an adrenaline-pumping plunge into the water from a zip line. Spend the rest of the day rock climbing, cliff jumping, swimming, kayaking and more

Texas – Blue Hole Regional Park – Picture yourself plunging into Blue Hole from a rope swing… This good ol’ fashioned Texas swimming hole became a 126-acre regional park in 2005.

NJ – Delaware River – Flowing for 330 miles from New York through Pennsylvania, families typically float down the Delaware River from Frenchtown, N.J., where they rent tubes, canoes, kayaks or rafts.

California Coast – The entire coastline is booming in the summer months as temps reach a nice high in the day but cool off at night. Consider SD which has a combination of breezy beaches like La Jolla Shores and buzzing nightlife. Or stay in west LA and checkout Malibu’s cliff-side beaches like Point Dune, known for it’s gorgeous tide pools.

Hawaii – From Maui to Kauai to O’ahu, Hawaii boasts plenty of beautiful beaches but there are also hiking trails to explore. Once you reach the end of the trail, take a dip in one of the cool, refreshing swimming holes before heading back down the mountain.

San Diego

The sunny city that I cant quite compare to anywhere else – San Diego really does have it all from sports and shopping to surfing and sensational dining. On my recent trip with family, I made a point of hitting up a few new spots that have been on the ‘must do’ list for a while.

The nightlife hotspot – King and Queens Cantina
If you are looking for a dinner spot with friends or family that packs a punch in music, vibe and cuisine – look no further. King and Queen Cantina brings a Latin flavor to San Diego’s Little Italy with colorful skull décor and a Dia de Los Muertos theme all year long. Seat yourselves at the downstairs bar or follow mood lighting upstairs outdoor bar where you can take to the San Diego skyline as you sip hand-crafted cocktails at this modern Mexican cantina. Creative owner and founder Jorge Cueva brings the ‘Mexican Cantine’ style and hisipanic popular menu from Orange County’s hotspot Tempo Urban Kitchen to create an eclectic menu from sushi to tacos as well as popular Latin dishes combined with inspiration from around the world. My choices include the sHISHITO PEPPERS (Soy glazed, malted salt, lime crema) the NO TORTILLA TACOS (Stuffed tempura jalapeno, spicy tuna, cheese, spicy aioli, pear and cucumber slaw, radish, cilantro, wrapped in jicama tortilla) and the DIABLO ROLL (Avocado, cucumber, crab meat, and shrimp tempura, wrapped in seaweed and rice, topped with spicy tuna and crispy onions.) Pair these with their famous Margarita Flight or a couple Modelas – and your set for a unforgettable night.

The ambient spot – Havana 1920
Havana 1920 brings Hemingway’s Cuba to life with authentic Cuban dishes, drinks and entertainment. Located just south of Market Street in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, you will find an atmospheric hideaway and hotspot serving up a most entertaining evening. Start your night with an aged rum, overlooking the street scenery from the upstairs balcony – and dig into their CEVICHE TROPICAL (shrimp, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, cucumber, tomato, onion, and cilantro.) For mains dig into the classic SANDWICH CUBANO (Cuban Sandwich Slices of slow roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban Bread) or a BISTEC HAVANA 24 (Angus skirt steak topped with our own chimichurri served with grilled Cuban bread, plantains and a side Caribbean avocado salad.) Once your done, head downstairs for a nightcap and soak up the buzzing scenery.

The brunch spot – The Mission
The Mission is a casual, local eatery with a brunch choice for everyone. Their concept specializes in simple, healthy, tasty food with a whimsical edge and a focus on artful presentation at an affordable price. By focusing on the use of simple and fresh ingredients, this vibrant urban bistro promotes living in an increasingly health-conscious world – which includes everything from classic pancakes and sandwiches to modern Chino-Latino cuisine! A few of my favorites include the SOY CHORIZO BURRITO (Black beans, crispy rosemary potatoes, scrambled eggs, jack cheese, cilantro, scallions, tomatoes and chipotle crema in a large whole wheat tortilla) and the ZEN BREAKFAST (Scrambled egg whites, braised tofu, brown rice, grilled zucchini & squash with tomato & onion garnish) but if you want to indulge there are every kind of pancake imaginable from blueberry to banana. This concept in healthy dining, combined with pleasant surroundings, is The Mission’s specialty and has made The Mission a huge favorite among local San Diegans and travelers from around the world.

The happening hotel – The Kimpton Solamar
This hotel boasts both a great location and great presentation- explore, indulge and recharge right in the center of the Gas Lamp District. This Kimpton offers an all-inclusive vibe with rich décor. Our regal-meets-vibrant, urban refuge provides modern comfort, a rooftop pool oasis, dazzling dining destinations, genuinely engaged service, plus a central location ideal for exploring some of the city’s latest dining trends and sizzling nightlife options. Of course, being a Kimpton, expect all the generous quirks – like happy of complimentary wine for guests at night, cold brew at 6am in the lobby and dog cookies for traveling fidos. By far, one of my favorite spots to stay in SD.

The activity – The San Diego Zoo
This is a great activity for all ages, aside of beaching it and shopping. Set in Balboa Park, The San Diego Zoo houses was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. Walk around the park, jump on the Skyfari aerial tram or hop on a guided bus tour of the entire zoo – and experience live talks, feedings, and demonstrations. Meet over 4,000 rare and endangered animals, and over 650 unique species from all over the world in this 100-acre site.. You’ll get up close to koalas as well as gorillas, elephants, crocodiles and more in exhibits from the African Rocks to the Australian Outback!

Pregnant woman on hospital bedrest gets a surprise maternity photo shoot – Featured in today.com

When it became clear that Francesca Page, then 27 weeks pregnant, was not leaving the hospital before she delivered her baby, she felt sad that she was missing out on some of the traditional mom-to-be experiences. But that sadness didn’t last long. A week into her stay, her sister, Georgina, threw Page a maternity photo shoot in the hospital. See full article here!

When it became clear that Francesca Page would spend the rest of her pregnancy in the hospital, her sister, Georgina, arranged a surprise maternity photo shoot.
When it became clear that Francesca Page would spend the rest of her pregnancy in the hospital, her sister, Georgina, arranged a surprise maternity photo shoot. 

Mommy & baby safe beauty (this summer)

When it comes to caring for baby, you also have to care for yourself. That means making sure that the way you look and feel is as non-toxic as possible. As a mother, or mother to be, what you put on your skin comes in constant contact with baby – from kisses to breastmilk. So what can you do to ensure that you and baby are safe without compromising your favorite beauty products? These brands have found the answers!

OSEA – Osea believes that non-toxic skincare is vital for long-term health, beauty, and radiance. These lucious products are powered by plant-based ingredients so effective they eliminate the need for harmful synthetic ingredients entirely. A top pick for mommys and mommys to be – expect 10/10 skincare without synthetic ingredients or chemicals. My current favorite is their Hyaluronic Sea Serum – lightweight, non-greasy moisture boosting serum smoothes wrinkles & fine lines and replenishes dry, thirsty skin. Hyaluronic Acid attracts up to 1,000 X its weight in water, strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier for visibly improved firmness and elasticity….say goodbye to that lack of sleep tired mommy skin with natural hydration!

ILIA – Ilia are carving out a new path in beauty, by balancing safety with product performance, choosing clean, effective ingredients that work. With roots in organic bases, vivid color, and active botanicals, it’s makeup infused with skincare. These products are made to enhance natural beauty in a natural way and are a go-to for moms who don’t have the time for a ‘ten step’ result and also want that natural glow without compromising what they are putting on their skin. This summer I am loving Ilia’s True Skin Serum Foundation and their Liquid Light Liquid – a unique gel based formula that illuminates, and gives a natural dewy finish to the skin. For a multi use pop of color with a lush scent, try their Color Haze  – a cleanly formulated cream based formula for cheeks and lip that can build in color intensity, or blend out to a soft wash of color. Products have no silicone, gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or synthetic dyes. 


VAPOUR – Vapour Organic Beauty was founded with the principles of performance and purity as first priorities and their makeup contains only natural, healthy, minimally processed ingredients: a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with the remaining 30% comprised of mineral pigments and essential oils. Their on-the-go multi use style sticks are wonderful for moms who need a beauty fix they can take with them, that is not harmful to them or baby. For the summer season, their Runway Mini collection is a must including everything you need to BYOS (stylist) using their bestselling Aura Multi Use shades for warm skin tones and cult-favorite Halo Illuminator..and it all comes in a gorgeous Artisan Makeup Bag.


HERBIVORE – Looks good, smells even better and is 100% safe for mommy. On top of all that every ingredient that Herbivore includes in their products is there for a specific therapeutic reason using highly concentrated, and effective formulas, created and tested on real people — never on animals and always from scratch. All of Herbivore’s products have an emphasis on organic, high quality, and food-grade ingredients and are ethically source the finest raw natural materials the earth has to offer. Aside of the fact that it has the same name is my daughter (Coco Rose) it’s also my favorite line of products at Herbivore. The CocoRose Lux hydration trio has it all for mommy – body polish, rose mist and lip conditioner that is like a sugary rose treat for mommys on the go. Other top choices include their Soaking Salts sets (for mommy relax time) and face oils like Orchid Oil that smell like paradise and provide protection against the visible signs of aging. 


PLUME – hair and lash science – As a mom, having time to put on a full face of makeup isn’t really a reality. However, if you are going to go naked faced, at least keep your brows and facial hair in check. Plume’s pomade and precision brush (100% vegan and cruelty free) promotes the growth of your brows while adding definition and color to your best feature. Their  Ash & Brow Enhancing Serum is also specially formulated by a master cosmetic chemist to promote the longevity and fullness of lash & brow follicles.  These combined with a set of their Precision Tweezers and your brows can take on anything the day throws at you!

Rahua Hair Products – Aside of the fact that these products smell like a tropical lush paradise, they are also derived from it. Rahua products are known for their pure ingredients and unparalleled performance. Straight from the Amazon rainforest these products contain the secret to fantastically long, lustrous hair – rahua oil. This ingredient, used for centuries on the gorgeous locks of the Amazonian women, can now be found in this line of innovative, plant-based products to heal, nourish, beautify, and transform. My favorite? Their hydration line of haircare, which makes me feel like I am bathing my locks in a 100% natural tropical pink smoothie.

Phlur Fragrances – Finally fragrance designed for skin, that avoid potentially toxic ingredients like parabens, phthalates and BHT, as well as possible endocrine disruptors. Vegan and cruelty-free, Phlur scents pack a punch in scent but avoid all the nasties. The brand gives you the option to have three samples sent for $18 so you can test out what you like. A couples popular ones are Sandara (calming and meditative, a spiritual journey inspired by a retreat into nature. Sandara most of all is a reflection of you, with notes of forest air, violet leaves, timur pepper, sandalwood, oak moss) and Hanami (a minimalist scent, for when less is more. Aquatic and floral, subtle and warm, with notes of fig, white florals, hazelnut, sandalwood.)

Making summer travel easier for parents…some tips!

Let the kids help plan travel

It’s certainly one way to avoid problems – let the kids plan the family vacation. Have them decide where they would like to go and what to see. Maybe they would like to stay in a tree house, or see the world’s largest ball of twine. If you provide a map and a little information, you can let them have some input into planning a road trip. If you’re thinking of a beach vacation, most all-inclusive resorts have kids’ programs where they can learn to surf, snorkel or sail. This gives parents a little time to themselves.You can use a travel booking website to find deals and have the kids look through ideas with you online!

Time is key

When it comes to summer travel with family, time is your most valuable asset. If you’ve traveled 10-plus hours and only have a few days to explore, don’t try to do it all on your own via google, especially when you have kids. You’ll most likely end up in touristy areas, waiting in long lines or even worse: a big red bus with 85 other tourists doing the same thing. Instead, pay a little extra and find a local agency who can create experiences that save you time.

Choose easier destinations with a bit of everything

Look at destinations that aren’t as ‘wild’ but respectively have a bit of something for everyone; consider a resort or resort style city like San Diego (zoos, beaches, bars.) Choose places and are easily accessible from the USA or even within it. Less is sometimes more; Instead of trying to see the top 20 best sites in a city, focus on strolling the streets and picnicking in a park. Over plan meals and under plan the schedule.

Get Finances Straight

Plan well ahead, sometimes 9 to 12 months in advance to get the best rates and availability. Airline companies will run flash sales months in advance. Taking advantage of these sales will expand your budget for hotels and tours. Also, be clear about budgets especially when traveling as an extended family with different budgets. Work with a tour company or travel agent and ask to pre-pay for as much of your trip as possible. This will allow everyone to relax and be on vacation with no worries about compounding expenses.

Prep well and pack smart

Pack the bare minimum when you travel with kids because you can always buy what you need in your destination. Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear your heaviest clothes on the flight. Encourage kids to choose and pack their own clothes to minimize complaints and to teach travel skills. Select versatile and comfortable clothes and color-coordinated separates so if something gets dirty you only have to change part of the outfit. And pack bags with what is needed first on the top — a change of clothes for dinner, pajamas, or what is needed during the day including a change of clothes in case of accidents

What being a NICU mom is really like – as featured in Parents Magazine

I delivered my baby girl two and a half months before her due date. The NICU became my everyday reality for six weeks. It was odd, surreal, and completely out of my control.

“You have a fever of 105!” the doctor exclaimed. I was sicker than I realized. And yet, all I could think about was seeing my newborn baby, who was born two and a half months before her due date. That was my first taste of motherhood, that moment I realized I wasn’t thinking only about myself anymore.
Almost two weeks earlier, I had gone to the hospital with what I thought was a backache. The pain turned out to be early contractions—I was 27.5 weeks. Doctors worried I had placental abruption, a rare but serious complication where the placenta detaches from the uterus. I was put on hospital bed rest and waited to see if I would stop bleeding and contracting, or if my little girl would have to be delivered.

They were some of the longest days of my life, essentially going into labor every night and fighting through each day to keep my baby inside me. But I tried to focus on the positives and block out the negatives. Every day, I was greeted by nurses who checked on me almost every two hours. I made friends, I had things from Amazon and Seamless delivered to my room, and I even participated in crafts. I also made daily walks down my one corridor, gripping onto my IV pole, to see the new babies, all the while knowing my little girl would not make it to full term.

My thoughtful younger sister even surprised me with an impromptu pregnancy shoot in the hospital, dragging a light reflector, a bag of wardrobe changes, a photographer, and even my dog in tow, to capture my pregnancy. She knew I would likely not be able to go home until after delivery.

After 10 days, a myriad of drugs, IV drips, magnesium, and steroids, the fight came to an end and my little girl decided enough was enough—as did my body. Within a day, I dilated past the point of no return, and at 6:10 a.m. delivered my 2.9-pound baby. The doctor said my placenta had completely fallen apart inside me.
I remember when my daughter came out, she cried and was breathing on her own, which was an incredible relief. But all I had was a quick glance; I didn’t get to hold her. She was quickly whisked off to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and I was left to process everything for the first time.

The NICU became my everyday reality for six weeks. It felt almost like I was working as a nurse even though that wasn’t my job. It was odd, surreal, and completely out of my control. But I was not alone. Each day, I watched mothers walk in dazed, confused, crying, laughing, smiling, or sleeping slumped in a chair, as their babies sat in little boxes.

A strange part about having a NICU baby is how people react. The corridors of the postpartum area are usually filled with visiting families, balloons, and baby giggles, but when I arrived, that wasn’t quite the case. No one really knew what to do, bring, or even if they should be happy for me or feel bad.

See Parents.com for full article.


Art Bar, Boston

Set on Cambridge’s Charles River – Art Bar is a hidden hotspot for an al-fresco brunch, bar-bite and cocktail, or even a romantic dinner. Attached to the Royal Sonesta, Boston, you might be suprised to find this little gem. ArtBar’s creative, seasonal, American cuisine includes ingredients that are native to the region and New England area. Dishes such as their (jumbo lump) Crab Cakes with spicy remoulade or their Lobster Roll with lemon aioli – set the tone for the best of Boston. 

Dishes are beautifully composed using both seasonal and regional ingredients, perfectly accommodating everything from a quick bite to a happy hour repast, a romantic dinner or a communal feast with friends. Surf and turf are both on the menu, but not to miss are the Pan Seared Sea Scallops with sunchoke puree, shaved radish, snap peas, pancetta crumbs and micro herbs. And did I mention they also have a vegan menu? Yup, serving everything from vegan tacos to burgers and desert (their Coconut Milk Ice Cream – with vegan peanut butter cups – is to die for!)

Prefer to visit for brunch? No problem; brunch is served Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, where you can find everything from Eggs Benedict to Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast. 

ArtBar is proud to be named one of BostInno’s 50 Best Patios in Boston and was included in NECN’s Boston’s Best Patios segment. ArtBar was also named one of the best for outdoor dining in Cambridge by Zagat. It’s certainly worth a try if you are in the area!

Traveling with children; keeping safe amongst the measles comeback

As a new mother, even as a travel expert, traveling with my baby can be a scary proposition. Generally speaking one can base travel risk on vaccinations but occasionally something slips through.

As of April 25, the number of measles cases reported in the United States hit 695 — the highest number in a year since the disease was eliminated in the country in 2000, the CDC said. Worldwide, the number of cases in the first three months of 2019 were triple the amount recorded in the first three months of 2018, according to the World Health Organization.

So what does this mean for babies and young children traveling? In a normal scenario, children first receive the MMR vaccine when they are between 12 and 15 months old. A booster is given when the child is between 4 and 6 years old. The CDC recommends that babies between 6 months and 11 months receive the vaccination before international travel or if they are in a community that is affected by an outbreak.

Infants younger than 6 months are not given the MMR vaccine, because it is believed there are still antibodies present that have been passed on from the vaccinated mother in the third trimester. Because the MMR shot contains a live virus, the antibodies would make the vaccine ineffective.

What can you do as a parent?

1) If a child has not been vaccinated, is older than 12 months and international travel is planned, the initial MMR shot and a booster can be given within 28 days of each other. Traces of immunity are detectable within a few days, according to the CDC, and a person can be fully protected within two to three weeks.

2) If a child cannot be vaccinated due to an immunosuppression, the CDC says, travel should be delayed because the child is more likely to experience severe complications if they get the measles.

3) If the baby is too young to receive the vaccination or wasn’t able to as an infant, you can help minimize the risk of infection by – washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, avoiding crowded places, keeping your child away from people who are visibly sick and putting a cover on an infant car seat and putting surgical masks on older children.

4) Mothers who are nursing should consider continuing to do so through the trip, because breast milk contains antibodies.

No matter where you are traveling or the age of your child, be sure to double check with your pediatrician before embarking on any lengthy or long distance trips. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

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Starter Mommy Kit

I have finally landed back on my feet at home with my 2 month old and, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of a few very trusty products, which have been getting my through the ‘starter’ mommy days. Below I share some stand outs!

Sleep sacks Gunamuna Sleep Sacks are great and are a lifesaver both for chillier nights and for stroller rides. Acting as a baby sleeping blanket, these zip up around the baby but only to the chest, leaving a safe space for the baby to breath and move their arms. Soft, warm and easy to use – these will make your life easy when it comes to having the baby safely snugged.

Dress up clothing – It may be hard to imagine that you will have an excuse to dress up while your slumping around the house in milk stained jeans and diaper cream, but there will most likely be at least one opportunity to dress up your baby in the early months, even if just to take pictures. Feltman Brothers does a beautiful job of vintage-style baby clothes that are elegant and classic, and can be passed down through generations.

Baby bath – When it comes to bathing baby, the task can seem somewhat overwhelming to new parents. Stokke makes it easy, creating pieces like their flexi bath – a foldable baby bath suitable from birth to four years. The space saving design makes it easy to store and convenient to use at home or when traveling, and has features like the  heat sensitive drain plug. The plug works by turning colors, giving parents a visual cue, letting them know that the water temperature is getting warmer and needs to be checked.

Vitamins Wellements range of products provide supplemental vitamins and minerals, all while easing parents’ worried minds. All products are certified-organic and preservative-free, providing clean products for your little one and piece of mind for you.

Bottles – Even if you eventually decide to breastfeed, you will likely still need bottles at some stage and Dr Browns range really do the best job a bottle can do. Thier natural Flow® Options+™ Anti-colic Baby Bottles work best with the vent system in place but also provide an option when baby’s feeding develops to remove the vent. The best part is that their bottle nipples feature their own venting system that offers a feeding experience similar to most nipple-vented bottles.

Mommy makeup – If you’re anything like me, you love kissing your little one as much as possible…. but for affectionate and breastfeeding moms alike, you want to be careful what allergens could affect your baby. During my pregnancy I did some research into clean makeup brands and found ILIA Beauty. From concealers to tinted lip conditioners and multi sticks (one stick that does cheeks, lips and even eyes) they have you covered, both in convenience and organic clean ingredients that are safe for you and baby.

Swaddles and wraps – If you are considering purchasing these, Solly Baby wraps give you and your little one unparalleled closeness and comfort. The easiest babywrap for the coziest babywearing experience, their products are made from sustainable fabrics, environmentally-friendly dyes and Certified Lenzing Modal. Their wraps, swaddles and even sleep sacks, look and feel the part of a conscious yet comfortable mother.

Making the most of the 2019 holiday weekends – MLK, Presidents Day & beyond….

Winter is in full force and there is nothing like travel to brighten the longest, darkest days of the year. It may be time to take advantage of the upcoming vacation days around Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day.

According to flights tracking apps like Hopper, most Americans tend to take two to three trips each year, often around holiday weekends – but holiday weekends can also be the most expensive times to book flights. However, if you’re thinking about a winter getaway around the upcoming MLK Day weekend, you’re in luck – flight prices are low this month, with domestic roundtrip prices averaging $220 throughout January, according to the app. So where should we look?

  1. Sunny Destinations – Right now, you can still score average roundtrip airfares (originating within the U.S.) during MLK and Presidents Day Weekend weekend to sunny destinations such as Los Angeles, Dallas or Fort Lauderdale, for under $300, according to Hopper. Consider LA – with something to do for everyone, from hiking to biking to surfing and site-seeing. Even there where the sun shines nearly 300 days per year, summer is technically high season which means travelers visiting January – April get both sunshine AND lower hotel prices!
  • International Spots – Some international flights to London, Paris or even Vienna are also seeing good deals, with round-trip airfares running as low as $500. Austria makes a great affordable winter vacation spot to hit the slopes, especially with Euro tour operators like Contiki (running weeklong ski trip starting at $685 – including accommodations, day trips, and most meals.) Explore Christmas Markets, ice skating rinks and more in their genuine setting.
  • Winter Destinations – There are places where winter is still in full force, but that offer the best of it. Nevada (flying into Las Vegas can still be found for holiday weekends for under $300) is an affordable winter vacation spot that sees mild weather and offers a variety of activities, from casino-going to outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. And according to Kayak, traveling and staying in destinations like Denver in 2019 may also be up to 55 percent less expensive than the average trip cost in 2018.

But prices like this won’t stick around since jet fuel prices are expected to rise. 7 percent in February (to $235) on average and will continue to gradually rise through May. So get booking!