Tag Archives: Trip Sisters

California Dreamin’ with the Trip Sisters – Northern Versus Southern Perspectives

Episode 96 California Dreamin’ – Notes

Special Guest:

  • Ashley Johnson
  • Title: President & CEO of Visit Laguna Beach
  • Website: www.visitlagunabeach.com
  • Social: #MyLagunaBeach #lagunabeach #southerncalifornia
  • Facebook: @VisitLaguna |  Twitter: @VisitLaguna  |  Instagram: @VisitLaguna

Special Mentions


Colleen & Catie’s Picks:

Catie – Northern California – Sonoma County and Monterey County 

  • Sonoma County is about 1.5 hours from the San Francisco airport. Monterey is 90 minutes from the other direction. 
  • I always stay in the town of Healdsburg when I visit Sonoma. It’s a quaint little town where you can walk around with great food, shopping, and wine tastings. We stayed in Harmon Guest House in Healdsburg. It is the newest addition to the acclaimed Hotel Healdsburg and H2 Hotel family. The rooftop bar is the perfect location to gather with friends and take in the Healdsburg views. This boutique hotel offers an urban sophistication with clean lines, and it is eco-friendly. It’s charming and makes you feel right at home. Breakfast is included when you stay at the Harmon Guest House, H2 Hotel, or Hotel Healdsburg properties. (It’s a great value as each room has espresso machines and complimentary snacks. Plus, they have bikes you can use to pedal around town and go to yoga on Sundays.)
  • The Sonoma Canopy Tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will take you ziplining, hiking, and possibly staying overnight, in a treehouse in the Redwood Forest. Get ready for 7 ziplines, 2 sky bridges, a spiral staircase, and a rappel back to the forest floor. One of the ziplines is over 800 feet long! We stayed overnight and made memories that will last a lifetime. Gourmet dinner and breakfast are served in your treehouse if you stay overnight. (Every Yurt has its own bathroom in case you were wondering. There is no shower, but there is a sink and toilet.) 
  • The Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa is located in the heart of wine country with luxurious accommodations and a European vibe. There are numerous pools and indoor baths, as well as a sauna and steam room. The WIllow Stream Spa was a much needed treat for all of us. We secured a private cabana with a jacuzzi to use before and after our spa treatment. The elegant mission style Spa is located on top of an ancient thermal mineral spring, flowing from 1100 feet below the surface. Give yourself enough time here before or after your treatment. It’s worth it. 
  • Bricoleur and MacRostie are both family-run boutique wineries in Sonoma County with rose garden views of the Sonoma Mountains. 
  • We stayed at Bodega Bay Lodge right on the ocean and kayaked in Bodega Bay with Sonomads looking for seal pups.
  • Hyatt Carmel Highlands in Big Sur is located in Monterey County and the town of Monterey. The Hyatt Regency Monterey and Spa is newly renovated, so check it out!
  • The local restaurant called Mezzaluna is family-owned and all the locals go there. It’s 5 minutes from Pebble beach. 
  • We hiked Big Sur and rented electric bikes through Mad Dogs & Englishman and biked Carmel by the Sea. It’s such a great way to see the town. We took a ride to Pebble Beach and had lunch at the Bench. It was perfect. 
  • A shout-out to Sanctuary Vacation Rentals!


Colleen – Southern California – Dana Point and Laguna Beach

    • These two locations are only about 10-15 minutes away from each other. 
  • We stayed in Dana Point at the amazing Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. We had an Ocean View Suite with 2 king beds. It looks over Salt Creek Beach. Their spa is open 9 am to 5 pm daily. Reserve online or by phone. 
  • We also had our dinner at RAYA, Pan-Latin coastal cuisine by the famed chef Richard Sandoval. The table had direct ocean views. Finally, breakfast at The Market Place is the casual and easy grab-and-go option. It is open on weekends at 7 am. Check The Ritz out on Instagram and Facebook at @ritzcarltonlagunaniguel, and Twitter at @RCLagunaNiguel.
  • We took a 2-hour Whale & Dolphin Watching Tour with Dana Wharf. We saw a pod of dolphins and even a white dolphin, which is a rare sighting! Two hours was the perfect amount of time. Dana Wharf offers whale and dolphin watching, dinner cruises, sunset cruises, and even school field trips.
    • The world-renowned Aquarium of the Pacific has been fully reopened at 25% capacity and with safety precautions. It is open Monday-Friday from 9-6 pm and Saturday-Sunday until 8 pm.
  • We also stayed at Montage Laguna Beach. The cabana reservations at the Mosaic Pool were amazing. Big compliments to the Manager, Renzo! You can also check out the Mosaic Bar and Grille. Additionally, The Drake is a well-known restaurant and is a must-dine-at! You can follow Montage on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @MontageLaguna.
  • Ashley Johnson of Visit Laguna Beach shares that the Laguna Beach ecosystem is highly protected. Along with rules and regulations, there is a kelp reforestation initiative happening. 
  • The Laguna Ocean Foundation is actively doing research to help preserve the Laguna coastline ecosystems. Laguna beach is comprised of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
    • Some zones prohibit ALL commercial and recreational activities which involve disturbing the ecosystem and taking wildlife/fishing. 
    • Other zones only allow for fishing for/catching of certain species.
  • Ashley Johnson also tells us that to get to Laguna Beach, you can fly into the John Wayne Airport. Their free trolley system resumes in late June. You can also rent a car or get an Uber. Their arts festivals, including the Pageant of the Masters, start on July 7th and run through Labor Day. July and August are the busiest months at Laguna, and after Labor Day until about October is when many tourists return home. On June 15th, you can visit with no restrictions.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

Catie’s shout out to a local Chicago business

  • Sophy Hotel – https://sophyhotel.com/
  • We love supporting  local businesses, so this week we wanted to give a big shout out to Sophy Hotel in Chicago. 
  • A 4-block walk to the L stop, this boutique hotel is surrounded by casual dining and shopping. It is located a mile from both the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.
  • Vibrant, modern rooms featuring colorful artwork and hardwood floors come with seating areas, flat-screen TVs, and work desks, plus marble bathrooms with walk-in showers. The suites have dining areas, minibars, sofas, and workstations. Upgraded suites have kitchens and soaking tubs. Room service is available.
  • There’s a fireplace in the lobby. Other amenities include a refined restaurant and a cocktail bar with a library lounge. Breakfast is available for a fee.


Colleen’s supplies for traveling with kids

  • Doodle Hog arts supplies and crafting kits – doodlehog.com
  • A family business from Wisconsin. They support local schools and teachers, even providing worksheets that teachers or parents can download on their site.
  • Specifically tried out:
    • Dab & Dot Markers: Markers are water-based, which means safe and mess-free for the kids. They are washable and non-toxic. Easy-to-use.
    • NOYO Crayons: 3-in-1 crayon, pastel, and watercolor. All you do is add water and your crayon art becomes watercolor art! Also washable.
    • Endangered Species Coloring Books: Not only teaches kids about endangered species, but 10% of profits are donated to support endangered animal relief organizations.
  • Shop by age on their website: Whether you are a kid or an adult, Doodle Hog has arts supplies to keep you busy on your next road trip!
  • Other available products: Watercolor pens, paint kits, sketch pads, tie-dye kits, scrapbooking, etc.
  • Perfect to keep the kids busy in a long car or plane ride.

What’s the tip?

Colleen’s tips for whale watching

  • What season to go whale watching at Dana Point in California? According to Dana Wharf, 
    • “January to March are the peak times for gray whales…Blue whale season runs from May until November.”
    • You can catch a glimpse at any time of day…but the calmer waters occur in the morning.
  • Waterproof clothing is a must. Closed-toed shoes, like tennis shoes–or even better, waterproof boots! Something with grip on the bottom since the deck will be slippery. Check the weather forecast if you’re looking to go on a sunny day. 
  • Have your camera ready. Because dolphins and whales can be quick and elusive, try a fast shutter speed, or if you’re using an iPhone, hold down the camera button for a burst of photos. Charge your camera/phone. The trips can be a couple of hours!
  • Bring binoculars if you have them.
  • If you get motion sickness, keep hydrated and look at something stable, like an object on the boat or the horizon. Or take medication.
  • The Marine Mammal Protection Act has a rule to keep 100 yards away from whales, but both whales and dolphins may just swim alongside the boat!

Catie’s tips for traveling to Northern California

  • It’s all about layering. Bring and wear layers as the weather can shift from town to town.
  • I packed for this trip with a local store called Luxe wearhouse. They had everything I needed when it came to layering. They are a women’s small business boutique in Vernon Hills and Deer Park. Great prices too. 
  • Do the big touristy activities during the week day, like hiking Big Sur or walking the town of Carmel by the Sea. It can be busy and you may want more room to spread out when touring. 
  • Also, pace yourself at the wineries. In my opinion, pick 2 locations each day of wine tasting. Any more and it takes the enjoyment out of it. Relax and take in the views at places like MacRostie and Bricoleur. Always call ahead early and make reservations!

Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 05/16/2021 – Wisconsin Dells / Washington D.C.

Special Guest:


  • Krissy Sigmund
  • Title: Vice President of Chula Vista Resort
  • Website: www.chulavistaresort.com
  • Facebook: Chula Vista Resort |  Twitter: @ChulaVistaWI  |  Instagram: @chulavistaresort


Colleen & Catie’s Picks:

Catie – Washington, DC

    • Catie recently went to Washington DC with her daughter for a three-day weekend. The Nation’s Capital will fully reopen June 11th, and most restrictions will lift May 21st.
    • Full capacity limits allowed at restaurants, museums, attractions, hotels, shops, meetings and conventions and special events on May 21.
    • Washington DC is an easy flight from Chicago (1.5 hours) and a great place to travel to during the Spring or summer. 



    • Gardens 
  • New Memorials 
  • Monuments and Memorials 
  • Washington Monument 
  • World War II Memorial 
  • Lincoln Memorial 
  • Vietnam War Memorial and Vietnam’s Women Memorial 
  • Korean War Memorial 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial 
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • We stayed at the Hay Adams Hotel. It’s a Leading Hotel of the world and located across the street from the White House. You can book dinner or lunch upstairs and see the magnificent view of the White House day or night as well. https://www.hayadams.com/ 
  • We did not rent a car, instead took the Big Bus to site-see and a Water Taxi took us to Mount Vernon . You can also do the Capitol Bike Share. 
    • Blacklane Tour: Mount Vernon
    • Water Taxi – Pick up at the wharf and drop off at Alexandria VA. 
  • Big Bus –  The red loop is a hop-on, hop-off option  Night tour after dinner. The Night Tour begins at 7:00 pm from L’Enfant.  Download the app for live bus tracking, stop locations and times for each stop. 
  • the Wharf–Festival, District Doughnuts, Politics and Prose, Shop Made in DC 
  • Georgetown University – walk through campus
  • Wave mural DC is home to so many beautiful murals!
  • Call Your Mother in Georgetown – If you grab anything here while you’re in be sure to order it in advance online. Everything is amazing and usually ready in 15-20 minutes for pick-up
  • We rented e-bikes from Pedego Alexandria in the afternoon at 3pm.

Colleen – Chula Vista, Wisconsin Dells

  • www.chulavistaresort.com
  • Indoor & Outdoor waterparks. Waterpark passes are included with overnight stays. There are 26 waterslides…altogether it’s 1.5 miles of fun!
  • Spa del Sol is the perfect way to treat yourself while the kids have some fun at the waterpark.. They offer 5 different types of massages, facials, aromatherapy, mani/pedis.
  • Golf Course and miniature golf available. 
    • An all-day pass to the 18-hole miniature golf course is just $9.95+tax
  • Poolside cabanas available. Good to reserve ahead of time.
    • They feature a TV, refrigerator, place to dock iPhone, and even a personal assistant. 
  • The beach, wave pool, kiddie river, and sport pool are currently closed. However, you can still ride the extreme slides, explore the splash pad, or relax in the lagoon.
  • We went to the steakhouse 2 nights in a row…the best steak ever!
  • The Dells Zipline Adventures is filled with rope courses and ziplining. Their newest 10-story zipline, Soar Like an Eagle, is a racing zipline that takes you flying down the course, head-first.
  • We stayed in a beautiful suite with 2 rooms. And it was dog friendly! One of the only Water Parks that allows dogs to stay with you. There is beautiful nature surrounding the waterparks: a perfect place to walk the dog.
  • Social distancing guidelines:
    • Furniture has been grouped and moved 6 ft apart
    • Clear queue lines and social distancing markers
    • All equipment and amenities are continuously disinfected to keep everyone safe


“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

Catie’s travel gadget



    • Natural pain relief and sleep support, perfect to use for travel. It’s a Women owned and led by women company. Mist your mood! Travel size, and Soak This day away. Bring with you when you travel. 
    • Available at Target in the sleep section.
    • Clean mist infused with lavender and chamomile essential oils. This heavenly blend will help you unwind. Simply mist any time you want to decompress, relax, and soothe your mood.


Colleen’s stay-cation gadget

  • Pull Start Fire ($17 for 3 pack) – https://pullstartfire.com/
    • Easy-to-use fire starter, made with waterproof packaging & 89% recycled material
    • No need to bring out your matches or lighter fluid when gathered around your backyard bonfire — Just pull a string!
    • Has it rained? No worries. It will light wet or dry wood. No kindling required.
    • 30 minutes of intense flame… rain or shine, windy or calm nights.
    • Found at REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Camping World, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Amazon, and more.
    • Easy and efficient for the teens to use, too!


What’s the tip?



  • Catie- Tips for Visiting Washington DC


      • Map out your travel. 
      • See what museums are open and book reservations at the museum as well. 
      • 6 Smithosonian museums open in Washington DC  plus National Zoo opening by May 21 ( national gallery of Art).
      • Book now for Memorial day, 4th of July or Labor Day


  • Collen- Tips for Visiting Wisconsin Dells


    • Plan ahead of time: Take a look at all the packages and deals, and make your reservations early so that you don’t miss out on a thing!
    • Have a blast at the waterparks…but remember to check out all the other attractions they have. The plentiful tours, the spa, the golf, and so much more will add a diversity of fun to your visit–and will certainly please everyone’s interests. 
    • Grab a map! It can be easy to get lost in those miles of waterslides and ziplines…
    • Bring water shoes to walk around.

Trip Sisters Episode 55 – 4th of July Travel Including Milwaukee & Cleveland (06/29/19)

If you’re looking to travel for Independence Day, Colleen, Catie, and guest Christina Paull (along with her kids) share their picks with you for the holiday weekend. Later, Thaddeus Hanscom of Vacasa discusses summer travel trends and details some mistakes that people make when planning their vacations. Also, listen to find out how you can win a vaction ‘redo’ by telling your vacation horror story.

Trip Sisters Episode 54 – Ireland (06/22/19)

Colleen and Catie’s Picks on where to stay, what to do, and the restaurants/pubs you should try in Ireland. Billy Condon of Tourism Ireland provides some insight on traversing Ireland with the family, and how you can save some money on your trip. In travel news, a London bar has become the city’s first nudist pub, and the sisters debate over whether or not they’d grab a drink there. Check out www.tourismireland.com for more information!

Trip Sisters Episode 53 – Portland, Oregon (06/15/2019) Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Portland, Oregon! (Including VooDoo Doughnuts!)

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Portland, Oregon. Where to stay, what to see and do! (Including VooDoo Doughnuts!)  Special Guest: Sarah Porter from WorldMark by Wyndham who have just opened a new location adjacent to the Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon, along the Willamette River. SPECIAL OFFER: Use discount code (VACAY19) to save 15% off available resorts on ExtraHolidays.com

For Details: www.wlsam.com/2019/06/15/trip-sisters-show-notes-6-15-19-portland/

Trip Sisters Episode 52 – Turks & Caicos (06/08/19)

Colleen & Catie’s picks for staying at Beaches Resort in Turks & Caicos. A family and couple-friendly resort, great for girlfriend getaways. All-inclusive, with a 45,000 square-foot water park; five magnificent villages. The architecture and ambiance of Italy, France, the Caribbean and Key West with a 12-mile beach with clear turquoise waters. Special Guest: Kim Sardo – of Beaches/Sandals Resorts. www.beaches.com/resorts/turks-caicos/

Trip Sisters – Episode 51 – Our Best Interviews (06/01/19)

Colleen and Catie relive some of their favorite interviews from the past year, including those with travel experts here to share their best tips with you!

Guests include:
Roy Sekoff – Founding Editor of Huffington Post/Writer
Samantha Brown – Travel Expert, TV Host
Andrea Ross – Responsible Traveling Expert
Johnny Jet – Travel Expert
Sheri Griffiths – Cruise Tips Expert
Keith King – Money Saving Travel Hacks

Trip Sisters Episode 50 – Summer Vacations (05/25/19)

Trip Sisters Episode 50 – Summer Vacations (05/25/19)

Special Guest: Justin Zackham – Writer of the films THE BUCKET LIST and SECOND ACT. First coined the term “Bucket List,” as he sets out with his wife Katherine and their two children to complete their own top bucket list goal of making the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first family to visit every country in the world.

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Summer Vacations: Disney World – Orlando, Florida & Grand Canyon – Arizona (South Rim).

Trip Sisters Episode 49 – Oh, Canada! (05/18/2019)

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Canada.  Special Guest:  Pauline Frommer – Co-President of FrommerMedia, Editorial Director of Frommer’s Guidebooks, author of the best-selling “Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City” and “Frommer’s New York City Day by Day”, co-host of “The Travel Show” on WABC
www.frommers.com @Frommers

Trip Sisters – Episode 45 – Secret Chicago (04-20-2019)

Trip Sisters – Episode 45 – Secret Chicago (04-20-2019)

Special Guests: ‘James’ an Editor at Hideaway Report Chicago
Website: www.hideawayreport.com – For unique things to do in Chicago and all over the country!
Social: @HideawayReport

Jessica Mlinaric, Author of “Secret Chicago: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure”

For more information about “Secret Chicago” check out www.secretchicagobook.com www.jessicamlinaric.com and be sure to follow Jessica on social at @UrbanExplorer and check out her blog at www.urbnexplorer.com. The book is also available in stores like Volumes, The Book Cellar, City Lit, and the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Secret Chicago

Restaurant: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse – Located on North LaSalle, this upscale Brazilian chain is great for all-you-can-eat meat carved offered at your tableside. They also have a delicious salad bar!
Family Restaurant: Pasta Al Gusto – Located in Southport in the Lakeview Neighborhood, this compact Italian eatery is simple but delicious, offering contemporary pastas, salads and paninis.
Hotel: Hotel Lincoln – Located on North Clark in Lincoln Park, right across the street from Lincoln Park and & Lincoln Park Zoo, this Chicago hotel offers contemporary style with amazing views from their rooftop bar! Starting around $160/night.
Activity: Wrigley Field Tours – They offer daily tours, both on and off game-day, with prices ranging from $25 – $35. All guided tours are 75-90 minutes, outdoors (approximately 1 mile) and conducted in rain or shine. Wear comfortable walking shoes! Great for Cubs fans or anyone interested in Chicago history.
Free Activity: Lincoln Park Zoo – Walking distance from Hotel Lincoln. You will have to pay for parking if you drive, but otherwise it’s completely free to get in and open 365 days a year.
Tip: Stay in one of Chicago’s eclectic neighborhoods instead of downtown. You’ll get to experience a whole new aspect of the city and you may find places a little less expensive than right downtown.

Restaurant: La Scarola – Located in the Fulton River District, this restaurant offers homemade and genuine Italian food at very reasonable prices. The sautéed scarole, calamari, penne alla vodka, pasta vesuvio, and eggplant parmigiana are all excellent choices!
Violet Hour – Wicker Park – Creative cocktails and small bites in a sophisticated setting, Even offer special events like “Cocktails 101” Class!
The Ladies Room – Logan Square in new Red Light District – Cantonese delights mixes with vintage Asian pin-up art on the walls and a variety of unique drinks. Enter through the bakery and be sure to make a reservation!
Hotel: Viceroy Hotel in Gold Coast – Located in Gold Coast Historic District, this is a sophisticated hotel in an art deco tower. The hotel overlooks Lake Michigan and is a 6-minute walk from a metro station. Starts around $265 a night.
Activity: Check out chicago food scene in different neighborhoods each week.
Free Activity: Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden – Gorgeous in the spring and separated from the busy streets of Chicago by a 15-foot-high hedge, the Lurie Garden is a hidden gem in the city.
If flying in, take the El to and from the airport. Cheaper and easier.
If you drive, download the ParkChicago App for best parking.

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
$29.99 at www.limitlessinnovations.com
3-In-1 Vehicle Multi-Tool features 2 USB ports to charge, a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter. Available in 5 colors!

What’s on your phone?
Swiftdine – Free on Android and iOS
Chicago-based app that cuts your restaurant visit down by 45 minutes. Select the restaurant you want to patron and order from the in-app menu. Pay upfront and schedule the time you’re coming so you’ll be served immediately.

What’s the tip?
Airport/Flying Tips
When going through security, use the left line (often shorter)
Know how much liquids you can/can’t bring on your flight (3 oz in a carry-on, for example)
Wheelchairs can be rented for seniors or those with special needs. They’re available for walk-up rental, but we recommend calling and placing a reservation ahead of time, as certain times get busy and there might be a wait.
Call your airline directly to reserve one (not the airport).
If traveling with a baby, bring more diapers than you think you need – They are hard to comeby at an airport!
If you bring a tablet or iPad for yourself or your kids, be sure to download any videos you want to watch ahead of time, so you don’t need to buy WiFi on the plane.
Use a brightly colored luggage tag to more easily find your luggage at baggage claim- but nothing too fancy! You don’t want to risk someone stealing that nifty luggage tag off your bag.

The Trip Sisters – Episode 38 – Spring Break

Episode 38 – Spring Break

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Spring Break Colleen Place to avoid? Florida, California – Anyplace that’s popular Alternative Spring Break destination? Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – An easy drive from Chicago and not swamped with tourists for spring break. Favorite hotel there? Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI – Nice rooms or villas, plus a club Lounge, spa, golf, and skiing. Favorite restaurant? Geneva Chophouse – Steaks, seafood, wine. Be sure to make a reservation (they get busy)! Favorite activity? Skiing, sleigh rides, golf How to save money on a hotel during Spring Break? Book early and look for packages that include breakfast, parking, cocktail hour, and other perks. How to save money on flights/transportation during Spring Break? Drive, don’t fly. Spring break travel tips? Look for cities that aren’t as warm/sunny. Even north in Florida might be a good option, as it’s not as warm. Also, go to places in the off season, and stay during the week vs. on weekends, to save money Catie Place to avoid? Avoid theme parks during spring break. Go when kids are still in school. Alternative Spring Break destination? Austin, Texas Favorite hotel there? Archer Hotel in North Austin – 8 story hotel that mixes Texas limestone and wildflowers with the soul of Austin. Favorite restaurant? Franklin BBQ – Draws lines down the street for their world-renowned brisket. Favorite activity? Barton Springs Pool – A recreational outdoor swimming pool that is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. How to save money? Food truck scene. Check out the cluster of trailers on South Congress! Cost of flights? Anywhere from $100 to $350 roundtrip. Spirit or Southwest are generally the best value. Spring Break Travel Tips? Try not to post too much on social media if you are not home. Security wise it alerts people that you and your family are not home. If you’re flying to a popular destination, you should book your flight 90 days in advance before spring break (By December) “What’s” with the “Trip Sisters” What’s in Your Suitcase? iPhone XR – Starts at $749 on www.Apple.com With a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, a faster core processor while using less power, easy wake gestures, Haptic Touch on the keyboard, and an incredible camera with a variety of features for your best portrait photos yet, this is a must-have for your next vacation! What’s on your phone? Roadtrippers: iPhone & Android – FREE Offers a database of amazing places to help you map out your next road trip (restaurant, hotel, national park, roadside attraction, etc.), giving you a cheaper alternative to flying during spring break. What’s the tip? Dos and Don’ts of flying for Spring Break (Hopper) Don’t: Depart on Friday – Friday is the most popular day to depart and the most expensive and flying on Friday will cost you 20% more than flying on Tuesday. Do: Travel mid-week – Tuesday is typically the cheapest day of the week to depart. Plus, hotels will also be cheaper, as Saturday night hotel stays will cost you 4% more than midweek. Don’t: Fly home on Sunday – It will cost you 10 percent more than returning on a Friday. Do: Fly home on Friday – Although Friday is the most expensive day to depart, it’s the cheapest day to return. The second cheapest option is Saturday, which will cost you 4% more than Friday. Don’t: Travel during peak spring break travel times – The most expensive times to travel from a U.S. airport this spring are between April 2 and April 15, when flights can have a 25 percent premium. Do: Try to be flexible with arrival/departure days – Even a shift of one week before/after the peak can make a huge difference. Don’t: Wait until the last minute to book your flights. Booking less than two weeks before departure will cost you 25% more than monitoring prices in advance. Booking in the final days will cost you 50% more. Do: Set up a trip watch on Hopper to get alerted about when to book. Don’t: Fly non-stop Do: Fly indirect. Nonstop will cost 8% more than indirect flights.

Trip Sisters – Show Notes – 12/15/18 – Winter Travel

Episode 27 – Winter Travel

Special Guest: Trip Beat
Join Trip Beat, a discount vacation club, for exclusive deals.
Go to www.TripBeat.com/familytravel and click “Join For Free” to become a member and receive your $30 promo code!

Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Big Cities

Colleen – The Abbey – Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Accommodations: The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – Stunning resort complete with 334 recently updated suites and guest rooms, plus 14 luxury villas.

240 West at The Abbey – Higher end, delicious food!
Waterfront Restaurant at The Abbey – Burgers, more casual

Ice skating at the Abbey’s outdoor rink, treating yourself to the Avani Spa at the Abbey, indoor and outdoor pools, and even enjoy a Santa Cruise on the lake.

Packages/Events at The Abbey Resort:
1) Quarterly Long Table Dinner Series – The Abbey’s quarterly Long Table Dinners featuring a special four-course, farm-to-fork menu prepared by Executive Chef Joshua North. Dates are set quarterly – check the website for dates and additional menu specifics.
2) Stay and Ski Package – Stay at the Abbey Resort and ski at one of the Midwest’s premier winter destinations, Wilmot Mountain which is now owned and operated by world-class Vail Resorts!
3) Immersion Family Package – Enjoy overnight accommodations, $50 credit to be used in any resort dining outlet including Immersion Café, and four 15-minute sessions in the area’s first virtual reality gaming center, Immersion.
4) Parent’s Escape Package – This escape includes overnight accommodations, $130 spa credit per stay as well as all day spa access, and at the end of the night, unwind in your room with champagne and locally-handcrafted chocolate. Package is worth a savings of more than $80.
5) Sweet Retreat Package – This escape includes overnight accommodations, in-room amenity of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, $100 dining allowance to the resort’s keynote restaurant 240 West, post-dinner pairing of spirits and locally-made handcrafted truffles from Ethereal Confections, and a complimentary turndown service with an Ethereal Confections chocolate bar.

Catie – Scottsdale, Arizona
Accommodations: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess – Located in Sonoran Desert, home to five top-ranked Arizona restaurants and bars, an innovative spa and fitness programs at Well & Being Spa, six sparkling pools, and even a championship golf course.

Restaurant: Old Scottsdale

Activity: Hiking, horseback riding, shopping in downtown Scottsdale

“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”

What’s in Your Suitcase?
The Heat Holders – Hat, socks, footies – We used these when filming an episode of “Family Travel” in Quebec. They’re known as the world’s warmest socks and are over 7x warmer than regular cotton socks and 3x warmer than ordinary thermal socks! The socks start around $9.99 and hats and gloves around $19.99 and you can buy them at www.heatholders.com

What’s on your phone?
WeatherBug: Forecast, Radar & Alerts – The WeatherBug app is one of the most accurate, real-time current and future weather apps that helps you track any oncoming winter storms. Free for your Android or iOS and there’s also an Elite, ad-free version available for $9.99.

What’s the tip?
Add fresh squeezed citrus juices to help provide immune cells with an energy boost and promote faster recovery from illnesses like colds and the flu
Add Flax seed powder to your oatmeal or yogurt. Then add cashews and almonds to add healthy zinc & omega fatty acids for clean energy. Plus, the probiotics in yogurt can reduce your risk of catching a bug by 27%
Get at least 6 – 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep
Your vitamin D levels may run on E in winter. Vitamin D can spur your body to fight off colds. In fact, taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a week may cut your risk of upper respiratory infection in half.
Don’t touch your face. People who occasionally touch their eyes and nose are 41 percent more likely to develop frequent upper respiratory infections than hands-off folks, a 2013 study in the Journal of Occupational Health found.
Get a Flu Shot – And workout right before hand. When you exercise prior to receiving a flu shot, the post-exercise inflammation boosts your body’s immune response to the virus in the vaccine
To Stay Healthy While Flying:
Drink plenty of water before and during your flight
Opt for hot beverages, like tea, to drink on your flight
Eat beforehand (if possible) to avoid food contamination on flights
If you must eat on your flight, opt for warm foods vs. cold salads
Bring disinfectant wipes to wipe down your seat and area first

EPISODE 23 – Thanksgiving/Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Sisters and travel experts Colleen Kelly and Catie Keogh talk you through all the things you need for smooth thanksgiving holiday travel. Also in today’s show the Trip Sisters talk about their favorite places to get away during the holidays.

Trip Sisters – Episode 21 – 10/27/18 – Halloween Show

Trip Sisters – Episode 21 – 10/27/18 – Halloween Show

Europe in US & Canada, Trip Sisters Episode 19 – 10/20/18 (Encore Presentation)

Europe in US & Canada, Trip Sisters Episode 19 – Encore Presentation (10/20/2018)

Colleen picks Holland, Michigan and Catie takes us to Montreal Canada.  Plus, Bonnie Klaus, the Avid Traveler.

Trip Sisters Episode 20 (10-13-18) New York

Sisters Colleen Kelly and Catie Keogh talk tips and trends on all things travel. Travelers say new budget airline left them stranded after selling flights that didn’t exist. Dogs now have their own Instagram pop-up because humans can’t have all the fun. Hear some of Colleen and Catie favorite things to do in New York.

Europe in US & Canada, Trip Sisters Episode 19

Europe in US & Canada, Trip Sisters Episode 19 (10/06/2018)