Five Good Family Vacation Spots

This article was also posted on Just Always Traveling as a guest post.

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s a good idea to plan that perfect family vacation. As a mom with a family of four, it helps to have our trips planned in advance, so that everyone has a great time.

Below are five vacation spots great for families. Some of these are places I haven’t travelled to yet, but plan to visit in the future.

1. Great Wolf Lodge

Grat wolf lodge

This resort is great for families with small children because they have events and activities tailored to toddler and elementary aged children. Our family enjoyed our time there, especially since most of their fun-filled activities are free.

The Great Wolf Lodge has a gigantic indoor water park that includes water slides, pools, and water activities that are fun for adults and children.

My daughter’s favorite part of the water park was Fort Makenzie, the kiddie area. Features, such as the water slides, were safe for small children. There were water sprouts in front of the playground and my daughter enjoyed sticking hands in the water and walking through the streams.

The Great Wolf Lodge even has children-friendly events like the Jammie Jamboree where employees teach children dance moves to classic songs like, the La Macarena, Cha Cha Slide, and the Electric Slide (an activity my children loved!).

They also had an event called the Great Games Bing where the employees played games with the children that involved hula hooping, limbo, and dancing.

Other activities for children include; yoga, the magic game, an arcade, a playground and an activity room.

Forgot something? Don’t worry, because this resort provides personal items and beach towels. They also have stores that sell swimsuits, clothes, shoes, and accessories.

For a more detailed look, read Great Wolf Lodge Review from The Young Mom.

2. Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island
Photo from Flikr and taken by Matthew Blouir

If you love the outdoors then check out Jekyll Island. Me and my family have never been here but plan to go next summer.

For privacy, warm weather, and maximum enjoyment of the tranquil view, September is the best time to visit. It’s during the off-season, meaning less tourists in all the popular areas.

You can have a picnic at St. Andrews Beach Park while watching the birds and dolphins play, enjoy a guided tour of Ranger Park that includes education about local wildlife, and experience a 90 minute tour of the historic sites on a red tram.

Other activities include boating, fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more.

Jekyll Island is home to the well-regarded restaurant, the Beach House, where they serve their signature Shrimp and Grits.

Read the Fall itinerary from Jekyll Island to see their current events.

3. City of Helen

Helen City
Photo from Pixabay and taken by paulbr75

Helen, GA is a great city to visit during the month of October.

Helen is hosting its 48th Oktoberfest starting September 6. With Germanic bands, hailing from all over the world, playing live on stage, and polka dancing in authentic Bavarian clothes, this festival boasts entertainment for the entire family.

The Oktoberfest has a variety of German style dishes that your family will love. The Bodonese restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and also has a bar during the Oktoberfest. For lunch they offer schnitzel, which is oven baked chicken schnitzel breaded with fried onions, mushrooms and bacon. At dinner time you can enjoy Hungarian goulash, wursts, and sauerbraten with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

This scenic locale has other family friendly activities like hiking, walking trails, and historic sites.

Read Oktoberfest in Helen, Georgia to learn more about this event.

Hotels in Helen, Georgia from booking.com.

4. Callaway Gardens

Callaway
Photo from Flickr and taken by Tony Crescibene

Callaway Gardens is a great place to visit in November and December.

It has many beautiful attractions like their bike trail, gardens, and the butterfly exhibit for your family to explore. During the fall the leaves change colors making the gardens a beautiful sight.

They also have events like Fantasy In Lights, the Santa Claus shop, and carnival games which are great for the Christmas Holidays. My husband and my daughter went to see the Fantasy In Lights show in December and it was a magical experience.

At Callaway Gardens you can stay at the Mountain Creek Inn, lodge, cabin, or villa. I like Mountain Creek Inn because it includes everything you need such as WIFI, room service, personal items, mini-fridge, access to swimming pool, and onsite restaurants.

You and your family can eat a nice meal at the elegant Gardens Restaurant, where you can enjoy dishes like filet mignon and Chilean sea bass.

5. Lanier Islands

Lanier
Photo from Pixabay and taken by ChanhNguyen.

If you like nature and want to retreat from your daily routine visit Lanier Islands.

Here you can set up your tent and escape from technology as you enjoy the beauty of nature. You and your family can enjoy the tranquility of Lake Lanier and its breathtaking waterfalls.

For those with furry family members, Lanier Islands is pet friendly, so no need to leave your babies behind.

Lake Lanier also has a fancy resort called the Legacy Lodge. The lodge is conveniently located near two restaurants, a coffee shop, spa, gift shop, and a sea water lounging swimming pool.  

It has as a variety of activities for the family to do such as horseback riding, zip lining, golf, and water sports.

beach dawn dusk ocean
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

Going on vacation is important because it’s a great way to spend time and bond with your family. Me and my family enjoyed every minute we spent at Callaway Gardens and the Great Wolf Lodge together.

I hope that you found my list of five vacation spots helpful. Which vacation spot did you like the best or what is your family’s favorite place to have a vacation?

 

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How to Cut your Grocery Spending in Half

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a study done on consumer expenditures in 2017, showed that the average American household (a family of three) spends around $7,700 annually on food, about $641 a month.

In the past, I spent about $400 a month on food alone for our family of four. I learned to reduce our spending to half ($200 a month) by doing five simple things.

1. Make a shopping list

shopping list
Photo by The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

Creating a shopping list can save you money and time.

It allows you to to know the price of all your groceries before you actually purchase them. If the groceries on your list go over your budget, you can make adjustments. You do this by deleting unimportant items or by substituting them with inexpensive items.

Also, having a list will prevent impulse buying. Since you know exactly what you need, you don’t have to wander around the store grabbing random items and spending ridiculous amounts of money.

Using a list can make your shopping quick and easy. For example, when I use my list, I can finish my shopping within 25 to 30 minutes. My list acts as a map that guides me through the store.

Read  Shopping with a Grocery List Saves You Time and Money and Improves Your Health! from Peak Ability to learn more about how a shopping list can save you money and time.

2. Drink water with your meals

Water
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You can pour yourself a glass of tap water from your sink and save money.

Water is cheaper than soft drinks, coffee, tea, and milk. I choose to drink water with my meals and it has saved me at least $10 a week. I can use the savings for gas or other expenses.

And if your water isn’t safe to drink, you can purchase an inexpensive water filter (faucet filtrations and pitchers) or bottled water.

Read Water Filter: How do They Work? to learn more about water filters.

3. Shop twice a month

groceries
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Small buys cost more than buying in bulk.

Normally, I would shop up to three times a week spending around a $100 each trip. I would buy things that I wanted rather than things I needed.

When I started buying everything I needed in bulk, twice a month, it saved me me around $100 per month.

Shopping bi-monthly can reduce impulse spending which can wreck your budget. The less trips you make to the store, the less chances you have to overspend.

To learn how to properly buy in bulk read The Ultimate Guide to Buying in Bulk from The Simple Dollar.

4. Prepare your own meals

cook
Photo by The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

Preparing your own meals is a great way to cut back on grocery expenses.

Via How much it cost to eat at Restaurants, dining out costs $12.15 per person. However, a homemade dinner for a family of four costs under $10.

Check out allrecipes.com for dinners you can prepare that cost under $10.

5. Eat everything in your pantry

food pantry
Photo by Claudia Viloria on Unsplash

Eat the food you already have in your pantry before buying more.

I used to buy new food before using what I had. I would forget about the old food, leaving it to expire, which resulted in me having to throw it out. Valuable dollars spent were wasted.

A great way to reserve your food longer would be freezing your meats and veggies, preferably in a deep freezer. Or making meals ahead of time. You can also donate your food to a food bank so it goes to a good cause.

It’s a waste of time and money to buy something that you’re not going to use, so it’s best to eat  everything you have to save money.

 

Saving money is hard work and it took me awhile to learn how to do it. So, I hope you found the five saving techniques above helpful.

Tell me what are some things that you do to cut back on grocery spending in the comment section below.