My name is Lisa Rusczyk. After having a successful career as a software trainer and instructional designer, I am now a stay at home Mom. I love to blog, participate and social media, and LOVE to travel.
I have been to over 35 states and over 15 countries. I have been to many states as i traveled the United States as a software trainer for over 2 years. I have also been on 12 cruises. I hope to give you some tips from my past and future trips.
Traveling does not need to be expensive. As a family we enjoy camping as a family and going to all inclusive resorts. I hope to share my tips and tricks to find inexpensive travel for you or your family. I am a Senior Member at Trip Advisor. Please view my Trip Advisor Reviews here.
I recently wrote a book 50 Things to Know to Enjoy an All Inclusive Resort during a vacation. After thinking that we could not afford this type of vacation, I did some research and we booked our trip. I hope you can learn from my travel mistakes and excitement. Enjoy!
Here are the places that I have been in the world:
View Where In the World Lisa has been in a larger map
These are some packing tips that may sometimes get overlooked:
1. Carry on
Decide if you are going to take all of your luggage with you on the plane or not. If you are not remember that liquids need to be kept in a separate bag. You can purchase a separate bottle set so you can have your favorite brands with you.
You may need something for a headache, allergies or sleeping pills. When traveling to different places you never know how your body will react.
It is a good idea to pack an umbrella on the outside of your luggage. This way whatever climate that you arrive you will be dry. You never know what type of weather situation you will get yourself into. The (airport worker) will even think you are smarter for doing this). I think carrying a good small travel umbrella is helpful.
4. Extra travel bag with all amenities
If you travel a lot it is a good idea to create a travel bag. This is a bag that you do not unpack, that has all your travel needs in it. This can include shampoo, conditioner, soap, tooth brush and toothpaste, brush, floss ect. Small and easy to pick up is best.
5. Pack in a plastic
Before flight or layovers your luggage may be on the run way for a long time.During this time it may be uncovered during the rain. This may cause your items to, you guessed it, be all wet when you receive it. A good idea is to pack your luggage in a trash bag in the bad. This will keep your clothes dry for when you get to your destination.
6. Exact change envelope
Keep exact change in an envelope so you will not spend it. Then if there are any tolls which need exact change you will be ready.
7. Winter Jacket
Remember not to pack your winter jacket if you are going to a cold place in case your luggage gets lost.
8. Add Dryer Sheets
My husband and I usually have trouble picking a cruise. To decide on a cruise we create a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet includes the dates, name of ship, and name of cruise line, price, and other important information. We make the spreadsheet in a Google doc so we can both have access and add information at the same time. Creating a spreadsheet is a great way to narrow down what cruise to go on. We can then make an informed decision on what cruise to select. Remember different seasons of the year may have different price ranges.
2. Decide the Company to Book the Cruise
After deciding on the cruise, selecting a website to book the cruise though is next. We then use a spreadsheet to make price comparisons. Should we book through the cruise company? Will other websites give you other perks such as travel insurance, free tips, or reduce prices on excursions? Sometimes booking with a certain credit card will give you a better deal. Sometimes union offer travel deals also. Checking around for the best price can save you money.
Try adding your cruise to CruiseCompete.com. Travel agents will bid on the cruise you are interested and give you different prices that may include perks. Then do your research to understand if you feel comfortable booking though a certain company or not.
3. Decide When to Book the Cruise
We like to book our cruise between 60 and 90 days of the cruise. There is less cabin choice, and the cruise may sell out but this is where we find the largest discount on cruises. We also thinking that prices go down a little during the week instead of on the weekend.
4. Decide on Travel Insurance
My husband and I have never bought travel insurance on the 10 cruises we have been on together. That being said, we did drive from Philadelphia to New Orleans once because of a snow storm. At this point we believe if we have a free trip anyway from all of the travel insurance that we saved.
You may feel differently about travel insurance. There are many things that you think travel insurance should cover that do not. Some credit cards offer free travel insurance if you book using their card. The choice is up to you and your situation.
5. Understand the Hidden Costs of Cruising
Here is a list of some extra costs to remember when booking a cruise. These are not including in the cruise price:
- Tips about $12 a day per person
- Getting to the port
- Paying for parking
- Gift Shop (Candy)
- Extra Restaurant Fees
- Forgetting things at home and then buying them again
- Bottles Water
1.Put Out The Do Not Disturb Sign Even When You Are Out of The Room
When you leave your hotel room and you do not want people to know you left, you can put up your do not disturb sign.
2. Back Your Bathroom Stuff in Something That You Can Hang For More Counter Space At Your Destination
For Christmas I got this great bathroom organizer for traveling from LL Bean. I think it is great to travel with for planes as well as weekend trips. I have the medium size one. These are great for cramped cruise cabins or rooms you are sharing with friends and family. Each member of the family can have one.
I have been in a cruise ship room with my parents and sister and those bathrooms are tiny!
3. Keep Luggage Off The Bed
Good Night. Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite. They are real!! Tip: Do not put your luggage on your bed. It may contain bed bugs from traveling. You may also look at the mattress seams and mattress tag for bed bugs.
4. Choose Your Seat Wisely On A Plane Weeks Before Your Flight. Upgrade If You Can When You Get to the Airport
Seat Guru– This is a great site for looking for seats in a plane. It may look like there is a better seat in the front, but there may be reasons why no one has taken it yet. For example there may be a storage area under the seat. I LOVE this site for picking a seat because every plane is different and someone else has already done the work for you.
5. Not Sure When to Book a Flight? Yapta
6. If Using a Blanket On An Airplane Click Seat Belt on the Outside
28 Things to Know Before Traveling With a Baby
Here is a list of things to think about before traveling with a baby. The first year with our baby we camped in a Yurt, went on a cruise, and went to Grandparents that lived 3 hours away. We just got back from a beautiful vacation to Bermuda. We took our 10 month old baby to Bermuda for 7 days on the NCL star leaving from New York City.
I read many websites before going on a cruise with a baby. There was many negative and positive comments about cruising with a baby. NCL did have a 2 and under room with kids activities and toys for kids. The kids activities did not work well for us because they did not fit in the schedule for our day. But the kid room was great. There was many kids toys that were clean that we did not have to pack. Also, babies her age to play together. When I say play together, they really just looked at each other.
The woman in the two and under room said there was 10 babies on the cruise 2 and under and on average there is usually 20 on a cruise. So parents are doing this! My husband and I did have friends and family on the cruise to help out. We were tired after every day but I think we would have been tired anyway.
My husband and I love to go on vacation. We were not going to stop because we have a child. We decided to choose a port where we did not have to fly to. This port was a 4 hour drive from our house. We knew we could do it because my parents live 3 hours away and our baby has already made that trip a couple times. We packed in 2 large suitcases, spiting the babies stuff between the two.
We had 3 days in Bermuda. We took her on the bus 2 days to horseshoe beach, and one day on a water ferry to Georgetown. Some families did not go far from the ship with babies because they were nervous. I think it helped that my husband and I took the same cruise years ago. With a umbrella stroller, we thought we could do anything we could do without a baby. We went up hills, but we were fine. My husband and I have been to Bermuda before so we knew how crazy the buses were. We made the decision to just hold our baby on the bus which worked out fine. If anyone has any questions about cruising with a baby I would love to hear them! We did it and I think with planning anyone can. With proper planning we had an amazing time. We were both tired at the end, but not any more tired than we would have been without a baby. Everyone needs a vacation after their vacation, right? Please help me add to the list until I get to 50! What are your travel tips? Here is more baby stuff on I have pinned on pinterst.
1. Pack Baby Clothes in Shoe Rack
I decided to pack her clothes in a shoe rack. A spot for each day. I packed 3 changes of clothes, 3 travel bibs, and food for each day. When you pack
the baby clothes and your own clothes in one bag, finding those little clothes
are hard to find. Instead of creating a scavenger hunt for yourself pack the little clothes in a separate bag.
2. Don’t Bring Too Many Diapers
A day or two before leaving on a trip count how many diapers you use that day.
Then only bring the amount of diapers for the days you are gone, plus a
few extra. Remember enough wipes too! Remember your swim diapers!
3. Pack Baby Food In Multiple Containers
I read a story about a woman who dumped all the formula she had on the floor while on a cruise. Let’s both learn a lesson from this story by packing baby food in multiple containers so there will not be this type of accident. If you are breastfeeding you may need to think about putting extra milk in different containers.
4. Feeding Chair
A Infant Travel Chair may also be needed if you baby is a little older.
5. Bring Easy to Pack Toys
Bring flat or easy to store and carry toys with you on your trip. The stacking cups worked great on the ship and at the beach. I also like the rings for holding toys and to play with. Great for strollers or to attached to the diaper bag.
6. Plan a Sleeping Place
The ship had a pack and play ready for us. All I had to do was ask the room steward. My parents watched then in their room one day and their room steward found an extra one on their floor. A pack in play in a great place for a baby to sleep while traveling. If the pack and play is too big to bring with you, they do sell other devices for your baby
to stay in one place so you can both sleep sound at night.
7. Bath Time
Remember your baby soap.I believe bathing your baby is where you are both the most comfortable. Some people can bath them in a sink. Other babies don’t mind a shower. If you prefer a tub you can purchase a collapsible tub one or bring the one you use from home. We used the shower and it worked just fine.
8. Remember Your Must Haves
I have certain things that I think works best to put the baby to sleep and keep her from crying. Remember to pack these things because if they work for you then why not bring them with you.
9. Sound Machine
We brought her sound machine. We listened to the waves while we were on the ship and rain in the yurt.
10. Pack Your Baby Medicine Cabinet
A friend recommended to me putting all the baby medicine in a small fishing tackle box to have organized baby medicine whenever you need it. This may include baby Tylenol, teething gel, and a thermometer. There may not be a 24 hour Walmart where you
11. Bring a Baby Hat
White soft baby skin burns quickly! You may be outside for longer than you think. A hat can be helpful even when your baby takes a nap in the stroller.
12. Sun Tan Lotion
I have been told babies under 6 months should not wear suntan lotion. You may want to pack sun tan lotion.
13. Baby Carrier
You may have a personal baby carrier. Think about the terrain when deciding what to pack.
Collapsible strollers work best on the ship and on land. In Bermuda they only allow umbrella strollers on the bus. Jogging strollers are nice for camping but large to pack.
15. Disposable Bibs
Disposable bibs worked great for us during the week. We had three in the diaper bag each day. We just left them to be thrown away when we were finished.
16. Ziploc Bags
Ziploc Bags are a great way to store everything! Snacks, old diapers,wet bathing suits, and old bibs. They are very helpful while traveling with a baby.
17. Pack in Large Suitcases
We decided she was too big and heavy for a carrier. We brought a umbrella stroller. So there was only 2 hands left. We brought 2 big suitcases with all of our stuff.
18. Plan Packing List Ahead of Time
Make a packing list and check it twice. You can’t buy formula, food, or diapers on board.
19. Kitchen Trash Bag
Bring one of these for your dirty laundry. We put the entire families in one bag. Then when we got home, we just put the bag in the laundry.
20. Plan Itinerary Ahead of Time
We did some internet research before going on her trip. For example babies can be on buses without car seats in Bermuda.
21. Connect With Other Moms
You may not be the only one with a baby. Connect and trade stories with other Moms that are traveling.
22. Be Ready to Changes
Everything does not always go smoothly even when you are not traveling with a baby. Have many back up plans.
Give yourself more time than you need.
24. Create a Diaper Bag List
Make a list of things you want in the diaper bag every day. Then you can pack the bag an not worry that you are missing anything.
My husband and I usually live out of our suitcases on vacation. This time we actually organized and unpacked.
26. Recreate Your Changing and Feeding Areas
Put the materials you need in these areas for easy changing and feeding.
27. Reusable Food Pouch
We fed her with a reusable food pouch. We found apple sauce, yogurt, and other liquid foods to add to it on our trip.
28. Wet Wipes
Bring more than you think you need. This are great for cleaning up spills too. You never know where you will be when you might need to clean up lots of poop.
My husband and I love to cruise. We just came back from our 12th cruise and I am 15 weeks pregnant. I hope to share some tips from this cruise and hopefully it will help others who decide to cruise pregnant. We enjoy spending time together with our friends and family. Going on a cruise is an easy way for everyone to like something, including pregnant people.
We just came back from the NCL Breakaway and had an amazing time! We cruised the week before Christmas. We found a great deal and had exceptional service the entire vacation. A nice break before becoming parents of two.
1. Drink Water Often
When on a vacation you may forget to drink water. On a cruise there is water at every bar and buffet. Also they keep your water glass full at meals. But make sure you remember water on the day you get there, the day you leave, and the days at port. Bringing a water bottle is helpful. You just need to make sure the water bottle is empty when you get on the ship so they know you are not not smuggling in any alcohol.
2. Know Where the Bathrooms are Located
On the ship there are many public bathrooms. Plan trips when you are on land around places where you can go the bathroom. At 15 weeks pregnant I had to go the bathroom every 45 minutes. When I was at home before vacation I did not even think about how often I was going. But once I was on the ship, I had to use the public restrooms often. I could not do certain excursions that required a 2 hour drive before a bathroom. But we found fun things to do that had bathrooms around.
3. Ask You Doctor What You Can and Can’t Do
There are many things to do on cruises. I am not a medical doctor to please ask yours before going. Can you go in hot tubs? Can you do a ropes course? Jet ski? Water slide? One thing I know you can’t do it drink. There is many opportunities to drink but there is also fruity drinks without alcohol.
4. Get Medical Information From Your Doctor
At my last doctors appointment before I left I asked my doctor for my medical information. Sometimes you need to send this into the cruise before leaving on cruise day. This included things like blood type, and past history that would be helpful incase something happens when you are away.
5. Check The Cruise Line to See if You Can Sail
Different cruise lines allow pregnant during certain weeks. Each cruise line is different. Check before you book. If you are trying to get pregnant and are thinking of booking a cruise that is months in advance make sure you can still cruise if you get lucky and get pregnant.
6. Buy a Bathing Suit that Fits
Did you know that some people find a pregnant belly as being naked in public? I didn’t. The bathing suit that I brought with me was a little too snug by the time I wore the suit. My new pregnant breasts were too big and my belly was too big too. I was uncomfortable. You should be relaxed on your vacation. Bring a bathing suit you can fell comfortable in public in. Your pregnant body is a beautiful thing.
7. Eat What You Can
Cruise ships have a wide selection of fruit available. I enjoyed all the watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew I could get my hands on. My mouth did not do very well with a large amount of pineapple so I stayed away from that. When I needed some bread in my stomach they had that. When the smells started to bother me I just ordered room service.
8. Try On Your Clothes While Packing
Many of the clothes I brought with me on vacation were summer clothes while I was wearing my winter clothes during my pregnancy. Try on your clothes before you leave so you don’t bring clothes that do not fit right during your vacation.
9. Enjoy Staying Busy or do Nothing
Yoga and a massage may feel great during a cruise. You may also may just want to sit around, eat, enjoy the people and scenery, and do nothing. During a cruise you can choose.
10. To Nap or Not to Nap
Since I was just getting over my first very nauseous trimester, I was tired often. Sometimes I would nap during the day so I had energy for dinner and a show. A cruise gives you this option.