How to Turn a Family Visit into a Mini Romantic Vacation

by Paris Permenter & John Bigley, Editors of

You know what waits ahead. The family that you haven’t had the chance to visit much in the past weeks or even months. The conversations. The eating. The focus, not on each other, but on the reunion of a family for the holidays.

It’s a situation that can make even the most secure couple a little uncomfortable and, for those new in a relationship, can be downright terrifying.

But you can experience a holiday get-together and find a little time for just you two, no matter how big the crowd.

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DoubleTree Suites Melbourne Beach Oceanfront

Went down to Melbourne Florida for New Year’s and spent a couple days at the Doubletree Suites.   Great hotel!  You can read my review below and reviews from other travelers.


Great staff and Great Location – Review of DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront, Melbourne, FL – TripAdvisor DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront: Great staff and Great Location – See 1,086 traveler reviews, 276 candid photos, and great deals for DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront at TripAdvisor.



Single Seniors Who Love to Travel


By Lillie L Lacy

Folks over fifty that are now considered elders by travel as well as excursion firms are usually searching for excellent journeys to take. They are usually retired and have both free time as well as cash to finally take off on excursions they have dreamed about for several years. Furthermore, lots of women particularly have lost their partners or spouses due to health problems or death. This short article is dedicated to those single seniors who desire adventure to keep them physically energetic as well as psychologically still sharp. Due to the multitude of baby boomers now at retirement age, there are a lot of options for individuals in this classification. While single seniors may be afraid to travel alone there are some significant small group trips available.

Here are merely a few of the companies that are accommodating elders to give you some general concepts. Road Scholar (, now celebrating 40 years of business, offers educational journeys to numerous places as well as some journeys under the heading “Adventures Afloat”. It is advertised as “the not-for-profit leader in educational travel since 1975, offering 5,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries. Alongside local and renowned experts, experience in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning opportunities, from cultural tours and study cruises to walking, biking and more.”

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Family Things to Do in Kansas City


By Chris CO Olsen

Kansas City isn’t just famous for its barbecues, art and jazz; there are plenty of things to do and places to visit. Here’s a list of fun things to do when visiting the place with family:

– Visit the National War Museum:

The National War Museum is America’s official museum dedicated to the First World War that killed more than 9 million people and maimed several more. This is a great place to help tweens and teens to appreciate peace and understand the futility of war. It is a well curated museum with interesting exhibits that include artifacts related to the war including war tanks, airplanes, and dioramas of German, French and British bunkers. There are plenty of interactive games where children and adults can create war posters or learn about airplanes.

Spoiler Alert: Children 12 and under are likely to be bored

– Visit Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium

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Minnesota Children’s Museum

Minnesota Children’s Museum

By Dawn Marcotte

Hours: Opens at 9 daily. Closing times vary from 5:00 pm to 8:00 PM

Prices: $8.95 per person ages 3 – 101

Location: 10 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN

Parking: In the World Trade Center Ramp for $4 the first 3 hours

The Minnesota Children’s Museum is a favorite family attraction in the Twin Cities. This 4 story building contains interactive and imaginative play areas for children of all ages. 5 permanent exhibits are complemented with 2 traveling exhibits to create a new experience at every visit.

Earth World Exhibit

Earth World is located on the top floor of the museum. This room contains a giant ant hill for the kids to crawl through and explore. There are several mini slides that are a great size for the youngest visitors. The kids can also try to find the queen ant. When they tire of playing in this area they can explore the forest area, complete with an old log tunnel and a beaver lodge. This room has a second floor where there are animal displays of turtles and snakes. This room also has a small stream for kids to play in. The museum does provide waterproof aprons and a hand drier for use. This room is adjacent to the outdoor play area that is open seasonally.

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Squid Lips Review – Melbourne, Florida

We just returned from a quick trip down to Melbourne Florida.   We had dinner at Squid Lips on one of the nights.   The food was excellent and the service was top notch.   You can read my review and reviews from others at the link below.


Squid Lips Overwater Grill, Melbourne – Menu, Prices & Reviews – TripAdvisor Squid Lips Overwater Grill, Melbourne: See 469 unbiased reviews of Squid Lips Overwater Grill, rated 4 of 5 on TripAdvisor and ranked #43 of 363 restaurants in Melbourne.

The ABCs of B&Bs

by Paris Permenter and John Bigley

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, B&Bs and small inns offer good getaways and a chance to immerse yourself in more of the local atmosphere.

These small inns are intimate properties that only host a handful of guests at a time. Here the two of you will be part of just a small group of guests, and you’ll get to know each other as you would aboard a small cruise. Often the owners of the inn reside right on property, so you’ll receive personal attention.

Our favorite inns make us feel like we’re guests of the family returning for another stay. We enjoy chatting with other guests, usually experienced travelers, and with the owners, who give us an insight into island life. Over the years, we’ve shared dinner conversations with hoteliers about hurricanes, gardening, local specialties, local sports, and island life in general. It has given us a perspective on these destinations that we would never have received at a larger property.

Ask plenty of questions before booking a stay in a small inn. These properties may offer limited services and may be more restrictive. If applicable, be sure to ask:

·is smoking permitted indoors?
·are children allowed as guests?
·is breakfast served at one time or as guests wander in?
·are intimate tables available or are meals served family style?
·are special dietary considerations met?
·is there a minimum stay?
·does a remote location necessitate a rental car?

Husband and wife team Paris Permenter and John Bigley have authored over 20 guidebooks and also edit Romantic Travel Magazine, an online publication featuring worldwide destinations.

5 Tips for Women Travelers on Packing Less to Avoid Luggage Fees

suitecaseBy Elizabeth Avery

Have you grown tired after an all-night flight of waiting while you join 300 people looking to find your luggage spinning endlessly around a conveyor belt? To make matters worse, new baggage fees are being levied while fewer carry-on’s are allowed. This is a reprise of past practices that for a long time had disappeared. In my student days, airlines exacted baggage fees by charging by the pound for “overweight” luggage. It was a hit and miss process. I found by hoisting my overweight bag high on my shoulder it appeared so light no one weighed it! Going one step further, on one small flight to the South Pacific Island of Aitutaki, each passenger was weighed in addition to our luggage.

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Mardi Gras in a Nut Shell

Mardi Gras in a Nut Shell

By Sabrina Toth

Every year, thousands flock to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. While it is certainly known to be an event full of long nights and debauchery, there’s more to this event rooted in history, religion, and family. It is the celebration right before Lent where you can party hard before the solemn religious season and this type of celebration can be found around the world.

Parades in New Orleans are nothing like your average parade. It’s not about just watching floats and marching bands go by; it’s also about participating in all the activities. “Throw me somethin’ mister,” is a phrase closely related to this. Throws include beads, stuffed animals, doubloons, boas, plastic cups, and even shoes! Make sure you bring a bag to haul this all with you back to your hotel. If you don’t want to take them all, you can certainly find a lot of people you can give it to along the way.

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How to Get Airline Upgrades for Free

How to Get Airline Upgrades for Free

first classBy Karen Snowdy

Ever wonder how luck plays in being upgraded into first class? Is it by choice at the hands of an airline ticketing employee or is it luck by automation?

A while back, a “surprise” upgrade wasn’t the rare thing it is today. Unfortunately, there are factors that have contributed to this “non upgrade” environment – like the airlines’ love of fees and surcharges, computerized seat assignments (which make it much easier to know where everyone is well before flight time), and booked to the max flights.

Just because your chances of getting an upgrade have gone down, upgrades do still happen and you shouldn’t necessarily loose faith that you can’t be the lucky recipient of a first class ticket!

Here are some tips on getting the elusive free upgrade.

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