Jody Halsted

Jody Halsted

Writer, Ireland Expert & RV owner

Jody Halsted is a freelance writer with a mad passion for Ireland, her RV, and 'off the beaten path' travel.

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Minitime

5 Alternative Spring Break Destinations for Families

The approach of spring break brings a sense of excitement and renewal. Cold, grey days of winter are beginning to turn warmer and brighter. The first colors of spring, be it early yellow daffodils or green sprigs of grass sparkling with dew, brighten a dreary landscape. For families, spring break is a welcome escape from cabin fever that has been building since mid-January. It’s a break from day-to-day life and a chance for excitement and adventure.
Refuse to follow the crowds to the typical spring break getaways. Instead, let these five alternative spring break destinations entice you with their family-friendly activities, offbeat attractions, and exciting experiences.

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10 Tips for a Stress-Free Road Trip with Kids - MiniTime

To compile the very best family road trip tips, I asked some of the most respected family travel bloggers to share their sanity saving tips for a successful road trip with kids.

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Most Festive US Cities to Celebrate the Holidays with Kids

As the holidays approach, a sense of excitement begins to vibrate through the air. Decorations are pulled from storage with joyous anticipation of an evening spent trimming the tree while family-friendly movies play on the television. Whimsical displays fill the stores, and the sounds of Christmas songs carry in the still, cool air.
Celebrations abound across the US to welcome the holiday season, but these five cities take holidays with kids to a new level of wonderment and magic.

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Festive Family Vacation Ideas for the Holiday Season

Towering evergreens decked in ribbons and lights. Holiday classics playing in the background as you decorate sugar cookies. Letters to Santa sealed with candy cane kisses. There is really nothing more special than celebrating holidays with kids. It’s so easy to believe in the magic of the season as you watch their eyes sparkle in the glow of twinkling lights or you hear their sweet voices sing along to a favorite holiday song.
Add extra enchantment and make new memories this Christmas with these wonderful family vacation ideas filled with the spirit of the holidays.

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5 Fabulous Resorts To Host Your Family Thanksgiving

More families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving than any other holiday in the US, bringing together relatives from far and near. But has your family outgrown Grandma’s house? It’s not surprising.
This year, give your family a bit more space and take the stress out of busy holidays with kids. From turkey dinner with all the trimmings to activities everyone can enjoy, these family-friendly hotels and resorts go all out to make sure your Thanksgiving is filled with fun, thanks and plenty of memories.

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Family-Friendly Midwest Lake Destinations to Visit this Fall

Perfection could be defined as autumn on a Midwest lake. Warm days give way to cool twilight that seems to last for hours. Brilliant sunsets, brushed with hues of bright foliage, reflect upon a mirror of still water. And fun family-friendly festivals celebrate the bounty of harvest in America’s heartland.
Welcome the change of season at one of these spectacular Midwest lake destinations.

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Unique Animal Adventures Kids Will Love - MiniTime

When your kids are ready for animal experiences beyond the petting zoo, go big with one of these adventurous family vacations. Whether walking on land, swimming in water, or soaring in the air, animals big and small are an incredible sight to behold. While many family-friendly attractions in Canada and the US have an animal component, few are truly magnificent.
When you’re ready for a family vacation filled with epic animal activities try one of these unique adventures.

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Chicago’s Best Kept Secrets for Families

When choosing family-friendly attractions in Chicago, a few places always seem to make the list: the ‘Magnificent Mile’ and its luxury shopping, the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, Millennium Park with photo opps at the Cloud Gate sculpture (aka ‘the bean’), the Field Museum of Natural History featuring Sue the T-Rex, and the massive Shedd Aquarium. All worthy sites. But to get a deeper flavor of Chicago with kids, add a few of these ‘local secrets’ to your itinerary.

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Family-Friendly Highlights Along the World’s Longest Signposted Driving Route - MiniTime

Stretching over 2500 kilometers along Ireland’s sometimes stark, always rugged and never disappointing western coastline, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest fully sign-posted driving route in the world.
Beginning near the most northerly point of Ireland and ending near the most southerly, the route is filled with breathtaking views, family-friendly activities, and more incredible, fresh, local food than you can imagine.
A drive of the entire route would take 6 weeks to do properly and not feel rushed. But if your Ireland vacation runs 7-10 days, choosing one or two of the highlighted locations below will easily fulfill your Ireland travel dreams.

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A Family’s Guide to Dublin, Ireland Dublin with kids

The majority of international flights to Ireland arrive and depart from Dubin, making the ‘Fair City’ either the first or final place a visitor to Ireland explores.
And a fine city it is! The City Centre is compact enough that even a child can traverse it, and public transport – bus, Luas, or taxi - are frequent and inexpensive. Here’s a great family’s guide when visiting Dublin with kids.

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7 Castles in 7 Days: A Tour of Ireland for Knights & Princesses ...

Ireland is a magical land perfect for family travel. As your plane touches down, the shimmer of the raindrop covered grass may convince you that emeralds cover the hilltops. Every turn you take along the ancient, winding roads is more magnificent than the next. And absolutely anything is possible.
The average length of an Ireland family vacation is 9 days – including flight days.

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5 Incredible Midwest Towns You Aren't Visiting – But Should ...

Living in the heart of America’s Heartland lends itself to wonderful exploratory road trips. From Great Plains to arid Badlands, Great Lakes to Ozark Mountains, the Midwest is far more than flat land filled with corn, beans, and hogs – it’s a traveler’s paradise!
Each of the five fabulous towns listed below offers family-friendly accommodations, activities, and incredible dining (even the kids menus are good!) Let me inspire you to fly in to ‘fly over country’ for your next family vacation!

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Family Fun in Illinois: 7 Reasons to Visit Champaign County ...

Located in the heart of Illinois – just a couple hours from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis - Champaign County is a perfect family getaway for a long weekend or a mid-week break.
The central cities of Champaign-Urbana, or Chambana, as the locals call it, are a funky mix of Midwestern values and hip urban life. Filled with cultural and educational opportunities, wonderful parklands, and fresh, delicious food, you’ll be planning your return visit before you leave!

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Camping by the Sea: Best Beach Campgrounds for Families ...

As you prepare your summer adventures, it’s likely two words figure into your plans: beach and camping. Beginning your search for the perfect waterfront campsite, you’ll find two things – a) the list is long and b) the term 'beach camping' has a different meaning everywhere you look. Add the term 'family-friendly' and you’ve really got your work cut out for you.
Every family has different requirements when choosing a family-friendly beach campsite, whether it’s location, facilities, or activities. At least one of the following recommendations should be a perfect fit for your family adventure!

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Following Dinosaur Tracks in Texas

All kids, it seems, go through a 'dinosaur phase'. And while they may not grow up to be paleontologists, the fascination with dinosaurs never completely goes away.
Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas, is one of only a handful of US sites where you can still see dinosaur tracks. Nearly 113 million years ago, at least three different species of dinosaur roamed the edge of a retreating sea. Today you can view their tracks at multiple sites along and in the Paluxy River.