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Vacation Mavens

Kim Tate and Tamara Gruber

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Vacation Mavens is a travel podcast offering destination inspiration and travel tips for traveling with kids. Co-hosted by travel bloggers, friends, and moms Kimberly Tate from Stuffed Suitcase and Tamara Gruber from Your Time to Fly. Each week we chat about our recent travels and interview fellow parents and family travel experts about destinations or travel tips to provide the info you need to jumpstart family vacation planning and tips to get you out the door.
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Explore Ireland through the voices, stories and opinions of locals who live there and travelers who travel there. Cities include; Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Killarney, Midleton, and Belfast. Stories include; iconic sites to explore, things to do, modern culture, history, heritage, ghosts, and of course tasty things to eat and drink while in Ireland.
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Want to learn an Irish jig during your Ireland vacation? The Irish Dance Experience in Galway is the place to go! The Irish Dance Experience in GalwayCLICK HERE to add this to your Ireland vacation board on Pinterest! Riverdance & the Culture of Irish Dance It's been over 25 years since Riverdance brought Irish dance... The post The Irish Dance Exp…
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Dublin is a popular city for most visitors to Ireland, and often the first or final location visited due to its proximity to Ireland's busiest airport. For families visiting with children, from toddlers to teens, Dublin can be a bit overwhelming as some of the more popular attractions – like the Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick's... The post Dublin…
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Kim is back from her 7th Alaska cruise! This one was on Princess Cruise visiting the Inside Passage that cruises from Seattle and visits Victoria, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagaway and sails through Glacier Bay. Note: Kim was hosted by Princess Cruises for her trip. This cruise visits Victoria very briefly at night so not a good choice if you really …
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The trick to packing light for your Ireland vacation is to choose clothes that can be ‘mixed and matched' to create different outfits. See my Ireland Packing List here. But if you are staying longer than a week you may find that you need to wash your clothes in something other than a sink. In... The post Here’s How to Do Laundry During Your Ireland…
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There is a lot to do as you prepare for your Ireland vacation… Flights. Accommodations. Transportation. Tickets for tours and attractions. What to pack. What NOT to pack. The list goes on and on. Which makes it very easy to overlook the three important documents you must check prior to leaving for your Ireland vacation:... The post 3 Important Docu…
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Summer vacation is almost here and we are getting ready for the busiest summer travel season ever! Be sure to pack your patience, your travel insurance, and these travel apps. In this episode we talk about some of our favorite travel apps that we are using lately for road trips, plane travel, and international travel. Travel Apps to Download this S…
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St. Maarten is a popular destination in the Caribbean, but many people only visit as a brief cruise port destination. However, getting there is pretty easy with direct flights from the USA and there is plenty to do and see on this Dutch and French Island. Tamara recently visited St. Maarten to stay at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort as part of a pres…
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Kim took her oldest daughter on a Caribbean Cruise for her college spring break this past March. After sailing Holland America in Alaska in the past, she was excited to try the Holland America Caribbean cruise on the Nieuw Statendam. This was a unique itinerary that left from Fort Lauderdale and visited Nassau, Bahamas, Amber Cove in the Dominican …
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Tamara has finally made it to her 50th state...Oklahoma!! She took an Oklahoma road trip to visit both Oklahoma City and Chickasaw Country in south-central Oklahoma, in partnership with Chickasaw Country and the Chickasaw Nation. Oklahoma City has a lot to offer as a stand-alone destination including the First Americans Museum and the National Cowb…
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Tamara is hosting an all-women small group trip to Portugal this fall and she would love for you to join her! Find out all the details and sign up here. Did you know that Kim has been on safaris in four African countries? Today she shares some great tips that will help you decide where you might want to go, understand the differences between variou…
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Tamara is hosting an all-women small group trip to Portugal this fall and she would love for you to join her! Find out all the details and sign up here. In this episode, Tamara talks about her two-week German Christmas Markets road trip! If you have this magical holiday trip on your radar, make sure to give this episode a close listen and check out…
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Before we say goodbye to summer and pull on our flannels and break out the pumpkin spice, Tamara and Kim are back with a recap of Tamara's European summer travels including a month spent exploring France by river and barge cruise! Tamara first spent two weeks in the United Kingdom, on a road trip through both Scotland and Wales with two other trave…
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Well it has been a minute since we had a chance to catch up and record a podcast but in this episode Tamara shares her insights and experience from her recent family trip to Japan. Kim and Tamara also share their love for Scottsdale, Arizona and some of the things they did on a girls' trip together. Read more at: Scottsdale girls weekend Reasons to…
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Kim took a last minute spring break trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland with her younger daughter and this week on the podcast, she tells us all about it! She flew into Dublin and then stay at a country estate hotel in Northern Ireland before visiting Belfast, the Causeway Coast, Derry/Londonderry, and Galway before looping back to Dublin. See Kim…
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Happy New Year! We are back and apologize for taking so long to release a new episode. Moving forward, we will strive to have one episode a month to share our travels and tips, as we continue to each put more time into our respective websites. But first, Tamara has a big announcement and that is that she is hosting a women-only small group trip to …
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This episode is sponsored by Glacier Country Tourism. All opinions are our own. This week, Tamara shares what it is like to visit Glacier Country, Montana on a girls' trip and Kim shares her thoughts on this scenic part of Northwestern Montana. From Missoula to Whitefish, Kalispell to Glacier National Park -- if Montana is on your bucket list, give…
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We are back from our summer travel and packed a whole lot into a one episode recap! We apologize in advance for some audio difficulties on this one, especially after taking so long to get it live. Thanks for hanging in there with us! On this episode we cover Tamara's summer trips to: Nantucket (read her 3 days in Nantucket itinerary) New Brunswick,…
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We are still catching up about our spring break trips and this time Kim shares the ups and downs from a Norwegian Cruise Lines voyage from New York City to the Bahamas with stops in "Orlando" and Norwegian's private island. Listen in and see if you are ready to set sail. In NYC, Kim stayed in the Hyatt Centric in Times Square for 2 nights before he…
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After a long hiatus, we are back with an update! Unfortunately Tamara and Kim both came down with COVID after returning from their respective spring break trips, which has delayed getting a new episode out. But this week Tamara fills us in on her adventures (and misadventures) on spring break and shares some of the highlights and tips from her week…
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Travel is roaring back and before you jet off on spring break, here are a few things you need to know about flying. Tamara and Kim break down which airlines charge fees for baggage, carry on bags, seat assignments, and more. Be prepared and know what to expect before you book your next flight! Airfares are pricey this year with increased demand and…
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Wondering how to earn more points towards travel? Trying to decide which travel credit card is the best fit for your family? This week we chat with points and miles expert Jennifer Yellin about the best travel credit cards for families. Kim and Tamara also talk about the changing travel restrictions in Europe, the Caribbean, and cruises. Note that …
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Family travel adventurer Karilyn Owen, from NoBackHome.com, shares her love of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California. Find out why you should look beyond Yosemite to these lesser visited National Parks. Tamara also shares a some new attractions in New York City that you should check out if you are planning a visit soon. About Karily…
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This week we explore two regions of Portugal. One, the Algarve, is popular for its cliffs, beaches, and sea caves. The other, Alentejo, is lesser-known but serves as the breadbasket of Portugal and is a popular wine region. Our guest, Rachel Laidler, Head of Portugal for EPIC Travel, is an expert in both. About Rachel Laidler Rachel Laidler is the …
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It is a new year and time to start dreaming about planning an amazing family vacation to celebrate getting through the last two years. Since so many of us are in that dreaming stage right now, this week we talk to Tara Cannon, from Pint Size Pilot, to get her recommendations on some epic family vacation destinations and unique hotels for families t…
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Before we look ahead to 2022, we take some time to look back at 2021 and recap some of our favorite travel places and travel products. Tamara's Favorite Things for 2021 This post contains affiliate links, if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. All opinions are our own. Products: Peak Design travel tripod https://am…
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What is green and blue and volcanic all over? This week on the podcast, Kim and Tamara are joined by Katja Gaskell from Globetotting.com to talk about their recent trip to the Azores in a continuation of our Portugal coverage. The Azores are an archipelago of nine Portuguese islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and they are a unique bl…
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Tamara and Kim recently traded the northern cold and rain for Arizona's sunny skies on a "momcation" or girlfriend getaway to Tempe, Arizona. Find out what makes this college city a great option for either a family vacation or a girls' trip. With plenty of outdoor activities and great food, there is a lot about Tempe that may surprise you! Note: Th…
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Cruising is making a comeback and this week we talk to couples travel and cruising experts Dan and Mikkel Woodruff to learn about their recent cruise experience. About Dan and Mikkel Woodruff Dan and Mikkel are a husband and wife team who write about couples travel and cruising (with a focus on small format cruises) around the world. Their adventur…
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Our 200th episode kicks off a series of podcast episodes covering Kim and Tamara's recent EPIC trip to Portugal. This week we are joined by Kirsten Maxwell, from Kids Are a Trip and Multigenerational Vacations to talk about visiting Porto and the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. Stay tuned for future episodes on the Alentejo, Algarve and Azores r…
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Is the weather starting to change where you live? Autumn has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and this week Kim and Tamara talk about where they have visited recently for fall travel and some other fall favorites. Full Episode Transcript [00:00:00.000] - Kim Tate It's time to fall into fall travel. [00:00:14.670] - Announcer Welcome to Vacation M…
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You know how you always hear people talking about getting free stays at hotels or status perks? How do they do that? Find out! This week on the podcast we talk road warrior Ed Pizza from the Miles to Go podcast about the best hotel loyalty programs for families and ways to earn status and free hotel stays. About Our Sponsor: Room Steals Today’s epi…
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This week Kim and Tamara are catching up on their respective August travels. Kim shares what it is like to cross the land border between Canada and the USA right now, plus what you need to know before you go. Meanwhile, Tamara almost made it to the Canadian border on her Western New York road trip, but not quite. She tells us about her eating adven…
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We all know Cancun, and maybe even the Riviera Maya, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen...but did you know there is so much more to the Yucatan Peninsula? This week we chat with Rossana Wyatt from Life is Full of Adventures to learn more about the Yucatan state of Mexico, Mérida, Mayan ruins, and other things to see on the Yucatan peninsula. ABOUT OUR SPON…
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Wondering what it is like to visit Disneyland now that California is reopened? Want to hear about a fun place to stay near Disneyland that makes a great family vacation? Tune in this week while Kim shares her family's experience in Disneyland and Irvine, California. About Our Sponsor: Room Steals Today’s episode is sponsored by Room Steals. Listene…
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Tamara is just back from a trip to Greece and she tells us all about this dream vacation. Find out what it is like to travel to Greece right now -- plus what to do and where to stay in Santorini and Naxos! ABOUT OUR SPONSOR – ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES Today’s podcast is brought to you by Atlas Ocean Voyages. If you have ever dreamed of cruising to Greece…
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Kim is back to traveling and this week she fills us in on her recent Seattle staycation and her mother-daughters trip to Vail, Colorado. About Our Sponsor - Atlas Ocean Voyages Today’s podcast is brought to you by Atlas Ocean Voyages. If you have ever dreamed of cruising to Greece or Egypt, now is the time to book! Atlas Ocean Voyages just introduc…
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This week we dive into Tamara's recent Maine road trip and explore how to get off-the-beaten path in the Downeast Acadia and Maine Highlands regions. ABOUT SAFE TRAVELS KIT Our sponsor this week is Safe Travels Kit. Founded by New York fashion executive and avid globetrotter, Adriana Martone, the Safe Travels Kit is a patent pending, first-to-marke…
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This week we are catching up on Tamara's recent travels around New England -- from a girlfriend getaway in Vermont to glamping in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. About Safe Travels Kit Our sponsor this week is Safe Travels Kit. Founded by New York fashion executive and avid globetrotter, Adriana Martone, the Safe Travels Kit is a patent pending, f…
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This week Kim gives us the download about her West Coast road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles, California. Planning a West Coast Road Trip Driving from Seattle to Southern California takes about three days if you want to take the scenic routes and make stops along the way. Ideally you will take 10-14 days for this trip. However, if you have less t…
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This week we tackle on of this year's most popular road trips -- the Grand Circle road trip in the Southwest USA. And we have the perfect guest! Anne Howard from Honeytrek shares her insights and tips after having spent weeks in this region over multiple trips. About Anne Howard Anne is the co-founder of the couples adventure travel blog HoneyTrek …
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Sometimes we want to avoid technology when we travel, but other times tech can actually make travel easier and more enjoyable. Stay tuned this week as we chat with Scott Tharler, The Family CTO, to get his recommendations for family travel. About Scott Tharler Married with three children, Scott Tharler is a gadget expert with over 20 years of exper…
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This week we check in with Tamara about her family's spring break road trip to look at colleges. Find out how the trip went and why her visit to the Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado was the perfect spring break retreat. College Road Trip Stops The first stop was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to visit Lehigh University. This historic town is popular at Ch…
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Dreaming of sunny skies and palm trees? Us too. Before you plan your next vacation to the Sunshine State, be sure to listen to this week's episode with Joella Doobrow from RovingJo. We break down the best Florida hotels and resorts up and down both coasts (and a few in the middle) for families, girls' trips, and romantic getaways. About Joella Doob…
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Needs some tips for stretching your vacation budget to go further? This week we chat with dad and tech entrepreneur Nate Ritter, from RoomSteals and learn some new tricks for finding hotel deals. About Nate Ritter Nate is a travel expert, who first got started in 2007 when he was able to fly & stay in Paris for $300 (accommodation included). This f…
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It is the five year anniversary of the Vacation Mavens podcast! To celebrate, we are talking about one of our favorite topics -- wine (and travel)! This week we are joined by Mary Jo Mazanares, from Traveling with MJ, to talk about how to go wine tasting and some of our favorite wine regions. About Mary Jo Mazanares Mary Jo is an avid traveler with…
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Budget is often cited as a top reason why families don't travel. Given how many of us are having our budgets squeezed right now, how can we start to save for a future trip? This week we talk to Danielle Desir from The Thought Card podcast and get some insights on turning your dream vacation into a reality. About Danielle Desir Danielle Desir, and s…
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This week we are "traveling" to upstate New York to the land of mountain resorts of yore in the Catskill Mountains in New York. Fadra Nally from All Things Fadra fills us in on what is different in this region from the times of Dirty Dancing and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and why it makes a great spot for an outdoor-focused girlfriend getaway with w…
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The cost of a family vacation is one of the top factors preventing many families from traveling. When travel is safe, I know many families will be excited to take the skies and get away. This week we chat with Lyn Mettler from Families Fly Free to get her tips about saving on airfare and earning points to fly for free. Lyn Mettler is a longtime tra…
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So many of us are dreaming about a tropical escape right now, but is it possible? This week we talk with Amber Mamian, from Global Munchkins, about her recent family trip to Hawaii. Find out what to expect in terms of testing, travel restrictions, and hotel and activity protocols when you are visiting Hawaii during COVID. About Amber Mamian Amber M…
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