Ocean Breeze Waterpark Virginia Beach {Family Fun in the Sun}

Ocean Breeze Waterpark Virginia Beach
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Are you looking for a great way to cool off during the hot summer months? Then Ocean Breeze Waterpark Virginia Beach is your answer!

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Located in Virginia Beach only a few short miles from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Ocean Breeze Waterpark Virginia Beach is the perfect way to add some water fun to your vacation!  There are rides and features for the entire family and we have been season pass holders since the boys were babies!  From Buccaneer Bay for the little ones, to The Hurricane for the more daring family members, you’re sure to find something to make everyone happy!  And if going down slides isn’t your thing, you can relax poolside by the giant wave pool or grab a free raft and float around the “Adventure River” which has earned a nickname from my kids as “The Lazy River” because it’s so relaxing!

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Tips to Get a Cheap Flight to France

cheap flight to france
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Going to France may just be a dream for some, but finding a cheap flight to France can easily make that dream come true. As far as other costs, you have to pay to live somewhere during that time and it may as well be France. Watch your budget when it comes to entertainment and food. Other than that, your only added expense will be the bills you already pay at home, a hotel, and your transportation to and from France.

How to Get a Cheap Flight to France:

Last Minute Deals

Last minute deals are always a great way to save money as long as you can be prepared to leave for France on very short notice. Airlines don’t like to have empty seats because they have to pay the expense of the flight whether the seats are full or not. Obviously they make more money if the seats are full. By selling you last minute tickets for a low rate that can at least recover some of their money. The downside is that you may not get the seat you want. You might also have to travel in a section that you don’t want to, like economy class instead of first class.

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Top 10 Tips to Save Money Visiting France

Save Money Visiting France
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A visit to France, and specifically Paris, is the trip of a lifetime for many people. While it’s true that it is an expensive place to visit, there are several ways you can make your euro go further. Here are ten ideas to save money visiting France to get you started!

10 Tips to Save Money Visiting France:

1. Rent an Apartment. Hotel prices are sometimes exorbitant but there are plenty of people who rent their apartments out for visitors. This is a great way to save not only the initial cost of housing, but to also save money when it comes to food.  This is why we chose a France rental apartment instead of a hotel.

2. Eat in. While it can be incredibly tempting to eat out every meal while you’re in such a food mecca, but the cost of feeding a family is high. If you plan to eat every meal in a restaurant you could easily spend 150E or more a day on meals. Instead opt for breakfast in or grab a few items for a picnic dinner.

3. Fixed Price Lunch. If you’re going to eat a meal out, make it lunch where you’ll be able to get more for your money. Most places offer a fixed price lunch, where for 12-15E you get a 3 course set meal (with wine included). Ordering ala carte off the menu will cost you a bit more but lunch is still the best value meal of the day.  This is also the freshest food – usually straight from the market!  And let me tell you, it’s fabulous!

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5 Ideas for Day Trips From Paris France

Day Trips From Paris France
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You’ve booked your trip to France and decided to make Paris your home base for your time in the country. But, if the sights and sounds of the City of Lights lose their appeal or if you just want to get a taste for other areas, there are plenty of day trips from Paris France that you can take from the hustle of the city.

Day Trips From Paris France:

Giverny

If art is something you admire, then a visit to Giverny should be on your radar. This was once home to Impressionist master Claude Monet. He spent years cultivating and painting the gardens here. A small museum that traces the impressionist period paying particular attention to the American artists who came to study under Monet. The gardens bloom from April to October but to see the water lilies in full bloom visit in July and August. To get here a fast train departs Saint-Lazare station to Vernon. Then take a taxi or bus into town.

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4 Questions to Consider When Visiting Paris with Kids

Paris France Kids
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Visiting Paris, France with kids can bring about several issues if you’re not prepared.  Paris isn’t about amusement parks, beach days and water sports. There is history, delicious food and museums.  While it’s definitely a great place to visit as an adult, kids can have a great time too.  Below are 4 things we had to consider when making the decision to take our 2 kids to Paris.

4 Questions to Consider Vising Paris France Kids:

How will you get around the city?

Paris is large, over 2 million people live in the city and the metro area is over 6,600 square miles – that’s a lot of territory! Paris is home to an extensive subway system, has countless bus routes, and is a central hub for commuter and long-haul trains arriving from all over France as well as other European countries. Taxis, tourist hop-on hop-off buses, river cruises, and rental cars are other modes of transportation available.

While it may be very tempting to rent a car, parking and driving in the city of lights is not always an easy task. When visiting some of the cities highlights you’ll likely have to pay quite a bit to park and still end up walking a long distance. If your plan is to remain in the city itself, public transportation is the best option. However, if you plan to visit other areas of France renting a car may make more sense if you’re not a fan of trains.

Where will you stay?

Taking a trip to Paris can be extremely costly and it might seem like a great way to save money by booking a hotel or apartment on the edges of the city, or even in a Paris suburb. If you have older children, are comfortable navigating public transportation, or have a car this may be a complete non-issue. But with smaller children who may need a nap in the middle of the day or for a short stay this could cause more headaches than it’s worth.

Map out what you would like to see and do first, and then select accommodations that are central to these things. It will make your stay more enjoyable and allow you to spend more time doing the things you want to instead of sitting on the bus.  This is one of the reasons my family chose a France Rental Apartment in the center of Paris instead of out-of-the-way lodging.

Is my child old enough to enjoy and participate in this activity?

There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Paris. From strolling through the Louvre to taking in the breathtaking architecture of Notre Dame, walking up the Champs E’lysses or wandering through Jardin Saint Germain, it’s impossible to be bored. Unless you’re a toddler.

Encourage your family to brainstorm together some ideas for things to do and see. If you’ve got little ones, go easy on the museums- after awhile the novelty will wear off for them. Keep in mind some “free time” like visiting one of Paris’ parks like Parc de la Villette that includes an enormous dragon slide! There are plenty of kid-friendly guided tours offered, loads of beautiful gardens to let them run, and a science and children’s museum that will keep them intrigued.

We made an agreement with my kids ages 7 and 10.  Mommy and Daddy get to do something we want to do then you get to do something you want to do.  It worked out well for us, most of the time.

What will they eat?

If you have a picky eater this is likely to be the number one question you’re asking. The French do not do child friendly menus of chicken nuggets and frite (fries). While you’re likely to be able to find something that appeals to them like a pizzeria or grilled chicken, this can be difficult.

Unlike in the United States where food is largely available only in large markets, in Paris you’ll find food shops around every corner. Fruit, fresh bread, yogurts, cheeses and everything in between is easy to purchase and make into a meal. You can gather the things you need and have an impromptu picnic!  That is the Parisian way after all.

Let the kids pick out fruits and other goodies from the market themselves. They may be more inclined to try something that they picked out.  You’d also be surprised how a simple “Bonjour!” from a child to the vendor can result in free cherries and cut up apricot!  The French are big on attempting to speak their language and they love kids (especially when they are polite!)

See the Fodor’s Around Paris with Kids (Travel Guide) book for more Paris France with kids tips.

Do you have other tips for visiting Paris, France with Kids?

Where to Go for Adult Summer Getaways

Adult Summer Getaways
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Sometimes you just need a break from the children. Adult summer getaways let you enjoy your vacation without children whether they are your own or not. There are plenty of resorts and spas that understand your needs to be alone. Now you just need to learn how to find those places and what to expect when you get there. Here are some tips to make sure you end up with exactly what you are wanting in an adult summer getaway:

Define Children

You really have to set your parameters here. Many resorts advertise that they are adult only resorts, but actually allow children. You won’t have to deal with crying babies or toddlers running rampant. On the other hand, you may be subject to the fast talking teen chatter and constant texting that teens do. Some adult only resorts consider children 13 and older to be adult enough to attend the resorts. Even if you like teenagers, you may not want to be around them while trying to enjoy your adult time.

Be sure to find out the exact age requirements before you sign up to go to a spa or resort that may not be what you think it is.

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How to Budget International Travel

Budget International Travel
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When you know how to budget international travel, you save so much money that it’s like planning your next vacation. There are a lot of things that are different overseas. Being prepared for them means you don’t have to replace things that you may have brought with you. Otherwise, some of your basic supplies could go to waste.

How to Budget International Travel:

Bring Your Own Money: When you go to another country, you need to use their currency. You can use a credit card at most places, but you end up paying at least 3% more just because you used a credit card from the United States. On top of that, you may need to do simple things like take a cab from the airport. When you have cash on hand, this is not a problem.

Order your foreign money online so that you have it before you leave the US. You can get your foreign money at a discounted rate and you don’t have to worry about standing in line overseas to exchange your US dollars for foreign currency.  We used CXI locally for exchanging to Euros.  It is also advisable to get a credit card with no foreign exchange fee.  This will save you a TON of money.

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