We just got back from Orlando, or should I say Disney World, and man am I beat! Doing Disney World with toddlers in a weekend trip is exhausting! Lainey is at a great age (5) but Roman is still in that terrible toddler age (3) where a lot of meltdowns occur very often. I was thankful for the days we spent at the resort more than the days at the parks this trip. I do have a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years with toddlers I will share below, and you can read my last blog post on Disney with toddlers here! You can also see all the behind the scenes videos on my Instagram story highlights here.
My first tip is where to stay when doing Disney with kids. I was pleasantly surprised how close this resort was too everything without being overcrowded by the holiday rush for Mickeys Halloween Party (which we did our last night). Transportation can be arranged ahead of time with your concierge.
Book a resort with a water park & outdoor activities for downtime between parks. The Hilton Orlando has two huge pools, a lazy river, splash pad, slide, and outdoor sports areas all over the property! It felt more like a tropical vacation when we relaxed at the resort.
Plan your days and fast passes as far in advance as possible. This is key with toddlers that have very little patience for rides and meals. We filled up every morning at The Hilton Orlando’s daily breakfast buffet at The Bistro. The service and food was amazing! You can do 3 fast passes per day per ticket. I like to plan ours first thing in the morning to knock out all the key rides before lunch! Make sure to mention rider switch if one child isn’t tall enough to ride! Always go back to the resort to nap :).
Bring a Stroller and tie balloons to it as soon as your in the park to easily spot yours! We easily rolled the stroller back into our hotel room each night.
Tips specifically for Mickeys Halloween Party: Arrive to the park early (they let you in as soon as 4pm day of). Try to go mid week for less of a crowd. Dress up! Bring your own trick-or-treat bags! Hit up the rides when everyone is grabbing candy, there are no fast passes during this time so barely any waits! If you are visiting other parks, The Hilton Orlando has packages that include Universal Orlando & 4th night free! (Harry Potter was my favorite during Halloween)
Get the specialty drinks at the bar, from milkshakes for the kids to patron in a mini bottle, The Hilton Orlando pool bar had the best selections!
All and all we really enjoyed our convenient location & hospitality at The Hilton Orlando! It was the perfect quick weekend trip to get the Disney bug out of our system 🙂 Thank you so much to the Hilton team for having us!
I know it’s exciting visiting somewhere for the first time you’ve been dying to go to. That’s how I felt about Turks & Caicos 5 years ago, and we’ve been back 5 times since. This time was nothing short of exciting, for a few reasons. I did my first social media Instagram takeover with Villa Renaissance (where we stayed). We also got to bring my dad for his first time ever with us & one of our friends Nick traveled down too. There’s nothing better than traveling with friends and family! But here’s a secret I’ve learned from traveling so much. Vacationing to a place you love for a second, third, fourth time and so on, only gets better every single time. We created this same pic above of the kids napping on our last trip to Turks-Roman really was asleep the first time! (You can read my first blog post I did on Turks & Caicos Here) You can also see live videos from both our stays on my instagram, under my story highlights here.
Here’s why it gets better for me: 1. The first time traveling somewhere new, I get exhausted from researching nonstop because the area is brand new to me. I want to know where to eat, what excursions to do, what are the happening places. I specifically research on google now “Blog” and input city (for example turks) when looking for things online in a new city because I know most bloggers probably have similar taste to me. (SN thank god for instagram/bloggers who did travel guides and document everything, It saves people like myself so much time planning a trip! ) The second time you visit the same place, you no longer have to research or plan ahead, you know where to go and what to see. (Grace Bay Beach- Villa Renaissance!) 2. By the third time and so on, you now can hit up all your favorite spots + try new places without having anxiety you are missing something special. You can try new accommodations, new restaurants, and discover even more areas you didn’t discover when researching. (We ventured out next door to Seven restaurant & it turned out to be our favorite meal on this trip!) 3. You know what to pack. (SN: Bring water wings/floats for kids to Turks, no hotels or stores sell puddle jumpers!) 4. You probably know the best time to visit. (Turks- September for us has always been lucky weather) 5. If you’re lucky, you’ve made friends and can catch up (We love Johnny from TCI Flyboard!) Instagram here.
So if you read all that, you know this trip exceeded all our expectations :)! Below is my ultimate travel guide to have the perfect family vacation in Turks & Caicos:
(Boardwalk Villa Renaissance, wearing Lspace & Vici dolls)
*Accommodations: Villa Renaissance (Find them on Instagram here)- Go stalk all their beautiful pics like I do and get major vacay envy:)
This time around we wanted to try a new place. I knew we wanted to stay on Grace Bay Beach still (one of the top beaches in the world) and we were traveling with the kids again (lainey’s 3rd trip, Romans 2nd). We were mainly looking for our own Villa with home style necessities (kitchen/washer/dryer) that was at a more affordable price. Some accommodations on Grace Bay can break the bank, and its very hard to find luxury stays with the kids in a normal price range. Luckily we discovered Villa Renaissance and we are so glad we ending up booking a Villa with their resort. I tend to do a ton of research before confirming anything, and you can see all the reviews on where we stayed here and here. And You can book our exact room here: (Villa 603!)
Things we loved about Villa Renaissance:
-Since we went in the fall (hurricane season) we pretty much had the resort to ourselves. It felt like we had our own mansion on the island.
-Pool & Whirl Pool are in the center of the hotel, so you can sit on your balcony and overlook the pool if you’re on the second level. (I enjoyed doing this when Roman would nap, but lainey was still swimming with my dad or yeirdon)
-Bar/Food you can order for on site (We ordered a pizza from across the street and ate it at the pool one day, so good!)
-Tennis/workout center on site
-Shops/restaurants all within walking distance (most breakfast spots we went were right across the street)
-On Grace Bay Beach (voted top beach in the world)
-Sandcastle storage at the beach & several comfortable lounge chairs
–Villa 603– one bedroom suite, with a pull out couch for the kids! The king bed was very comfortable. (Specifically Villa 603 Owner Nicola was amazing, we were emailed an entire island itinerary/things to do before we arrived that was very helpful)
(Tennis Courts at VR: another bikini from Pearl Street Swim)
(View from our balcony at VR overlooking pool, outfit: Little trend setter)
(Sandcastle fun out front of the hotel, they provide everything)
(View from flyboarding, lainey wearing minnow swim)
–TCI Flyboard: Third time doing this! Gets easier every time. We love Jonathan from TCI Fly-board. He is very responsive when scheduling and is such a help when trying to figure out how to “stand up” on the Fly-board (its a jet-pack under your feet, tip: keep your legs straight!). You can tell Jonathan takes pride in his company and is a genuine good person. It takes a great instructor for a first timer when trying to fly-board (see pics), He gets on the jet-ski connected to you and instructs you the entire time. He usually sets up in front of Blue Haven resort, so anyone watching can stand in the gazebo at the end with an excellent view to snap pics. My dad ( who is 62 years old) did this and got up a few times! Typically you “fly-board” for 15 minutes but can go longer if you want. Book this excursion here.
(The kids loved watching everyone go, except me haha, roman was ready to nap by the time I went and over it, so all the videos of me he is screaming bloody murder, poor thing)
(Our friend Nick, his first time!)
–Island Vibes Tour– We always do the half morning tour. They pick you up out front on the beach (if you’re staying on grace bay) at 9am and bring you back around 1pm! The guys on that tour are so fun, I always see other boat tours jammed packed with people, and its never like that on island vibes! They stop at the prettiest beach for an hour and let you explore, and then take you snorkeling & wrap up the day by jumping off their diving board in the middle of the ocean. This is all while serving endless rum punch :). Book this excursion here.
(Roman, Yeirdon and myself all got sea sick on the tour 🙁 This has never happened before (we’ve done this excursion 4 times too) but the waves were a little choppy, so Ro got sick first all over me, prompting me to feel bad, then yeirdon seeing it all got sick too! All while lainey remained calm. That was the one glitch on this trip, but we quickly got over it once we got to the beaches)
(It started down pouring for 10 minutes when we arrived at the island so we all snuggled up under the boat and watched the rain storm, this was a cool experience, but a little chilly!)
(Diving board off top of boat)
(The best seat on the boat, you can ride up here the entire time if you want amazing views)
(All these images are from the private beach the tour takes you to, My dad did come in handy :))
-If you want to just stay at the resort, you can always go paddle-boarding or kayaking out front on grace bay beach.
(Breakfast view grace bay club, traveling clutch from justmadra)
–For breakfast, we love eating at Grace Bay Club, especially with kids you can overlook the beach in the morning while they play in the sand. We also walked to Shay Cafe & Lounge one morning, they had really good crepes! -Every Thursday there is a local fish fry, you can grab local cuisine for half the price at restaurants and listen to live music bordering the pier/beach. If you’re looking for a true island experience with locals, head here.
–Somerset Beach BBQ- We did this one year when Lainey was just with us and she danced the night away while we ate 🙂 They set a buffet out right on the beach in front of the somerset resort and set all the tables are on the sand. They have live music too, and its so beautiful to watch the sunset go down! They only do this once a week (Tuesdays).
–Seven- We went here for the first time and were blown away by food and presentation. I would sit outside if I came back, I just hate eating inside on tropical vacations when you could be anywhere in the world- I’d like to eat with a view.
(I got the pumpkin ravioli, it was so good we ordered another round)
-This is a pretty calm island, I would only come here for a chill vacation with friends, family or honeymoon. If you’re looking to rage on a bachelor/bachelorette this wouldnt be the place. They have some casinos, but I’ve never been to a club here (I know there are some though).
*Plane/Travel Packing List: (All images from pictures above/feed)
My looks: You can also shop my looks directly on the @liketoknowit app here.