Last week me and two of my children traveled to Orlando for a quick three night visit. I like to do these visits when I can grab inexpensive flights and when I do, I always travel on a budget. This time I decided I was not going to pay for any luggage and we would travel strictly with just the one personal item that is always free to bring on the airplane in order to save even more money.
My children each brought a nice sized backpack and I brought my Thirty-One bag pictured above. All three of us were really nervous about how well we would make out, and trust me there were a few times I almost broke down and purchased the luggage, but I was determined to make this work so I stayed strong. We decided to pack only what we would need for the amount of days we would be gone and absolutely no "extra clothing." We wore our sweatshirts on the plane to keep more room in the actual bag. We also agreed we would wear the same clothes home that we wore the night we arrived to amplify the room we had. I purchased travel sized disposable toothbrushes for all of us so before we came home I could just throw them away. We also decided we would utilize the toiletries they gave us at the hotel as well as the hotel hairdryer. This really left more room in our bags.
At first I did this just so we did not have to pay for any luggage through the airline, however I saved more than I even imagined. First of all, can I just tell you how nice it was to get off the airplane and not worry about having to grab our luggage before we headed to our shuttle. It was late, we were starving and we just wanted to get to our hotel as quickly as possible. Same for coming back, we were so tired and cranky that we just wanted to get home. It was wonderful to get off the plane and just head right to the car. We missed a whole lot of traffic exiting the airport parking lot since everyone was still waiting for their luggage to come out while we were driving away.
The largest way I saved money was for the pure fact that we just could not buy anything that would not fit into our bag while we were away, and since we had to use our bag as our suitcase the room that was left was really slim to none. Every time my son asked me to buy him something I was able to say "We can't get it, it wont fit into our bag". For this reason alone skipping the luggage was totally worth it.
We did purchase a few odds and ends and also came home with our three refillable mugs from Universal Orlando and we still actually made it without any problems at all. It was a great trip and an awesome way to save time and money more than I even imagined. If you have it in you one day you should try it too, you may be pleasantly surprised!
For more information on how a Starstuff Travel Planner can help you plan your next vacation head over to www.StarstuffTravel.com or call 1-800-314-0624 today!
1/13/2017 0 Comments
Pocono Weekend Getaway
I have many wonderful childhood memories of traveling to the Poconos quite often with my family. We had a cabin near an area called Tobyhanna that my parents purchased in the early 80's so we would spend tons of weekends and holidays there in all different seasons of the year, however I do have to say, there is something special about the Poconos in the winter time.
As an adult visiting here, it can be somewhat like stepping into a time capsule depending on where you visit. For those of us who grew up here, we love it. Recently, me and my husband took a weekend trip to the Inn at Pocono Manor. This earliest parts of this hotel were built way back in 1902, making it historic in all senses of the word. I love staying at resorts with a bit of history to them while I am in this area. It brings me back to my childhood days and sends a rush of good old fashioned memories with my family. The Inn is actually recognized on the National Registry Of Historic Places, but also has been successfully updated enough to keep it fresh while maintaining its original charm. The resort has its own restaurant, which was nice but is somewhat overpriced. If you are looking for more family-type options, Mount Pocono is less than 10 mins away with several dining options like Perkins etc. We did opt to visit the Mount Airy Lodge casino, another childhood favorite of mine, that has been completely remodeled since then. They have a great buffet for dinner and the casino is within minutes of the Inn.
The Inn at Pocono Manor has some great winter activities that really immerse you in the true Pocono experience. Below you will find the onsite activities you can take advantage of while you are visiting.
Nearby, you can even book a dog sled tour over at Artic Paws Dog Sled Tours. Me and my husband decided to try this and I will tell you, it was so much more fun then I even imagined it would be! Contrary to what many believe, this is not a ride and requires much participation from many. Guests need to be 10 years old and ambulatory. The owners are fantastic and the dogs are beautiful and super friendly. We were also only about 10 minutes from Camelback so we participated in a half day session of tubing, you are never to old to tube down a snow covered mountain!
Lastly, the day we left we stopped by the Candle Shoppe of the Poconos, also another childhood favorite, to grab some of their amazing homemade candles. Did I mention this candle shop has been featured on Animal Planets show "The Haunted". Apparently there is animal-related paranormal activity with reports of the restless spirits of monkeys that were possibly used in medical experiments in the early 20th century.
So as you can see there is enough to keep yourself busy during a nice weekend getaway to the Poconos and you can do it on a budget for those of you coming in from the tri-state area. Remember when visiting many of the destinations in the Poconos they tend to be vintage and still have that 'back in the day' feel but for lots of us that is just exactly what we are looking for!
Looking for more information on visiting the Poconos or booking a winter getaway? Visit www.StarstuffTravel.com
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