Happy New Year!

It kind of feels like the month of January has lasted an entire year already. Hasn’t it?

I hope you had an amazing holiday season and are geared up for the Superbowl this Sunday! Go Chiefs!

Way back in the beginning of November, before the huge “travel don’t buy gifts” craze took over the internet, my husband and I made a decision. On a quiet evening in bed, we decided that this year instead of buying a plethora of gifts our kids didn’t need, that we would vacation instead of doing a traditional Christmas.

I am so blessed to do this review. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is TIME.

We stayed in a quiet home in Port Charlotte, Florida. Port Charlotte is a little south of Sarasota.

If you are considering making this choice this year, DO IT.

Our children loved every minute of it and it was the best way to spend, not just our money, but our precious time we have left in a house full of fast growing and maturing teenagers.

Port Charlotte is near several of the best shark teeth hunting beaches in the United States.

We spent most of our time at Englewood & Manasota Beaches when we did decide to go out. Note: If you are heading to the beach for Christmas Day, it is packed! Also, sometimes the weather is a little cooler than we expect it to be, but it was still beautiful and we had some awesome sunny days!

We always use AirBnB and have always been incredibly pleased with our hosts. I always connect with them prior to arrival and this time I was introduced to one of the kindest hostesses I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

When we arrived at our property, Kim had planned a grand entrance for the children. She even had the outside decorated for the holiday! The kids devoured the fresh bowl of fruit, and the entire home was absolutely breathtaking.

The home was quiet, clean and the neighbors were so kind. The views were amazing! If you are a bird watcher, stay near the water!

We spent an entire week having access to our own private pool and spa and everyone had plenty of room to spread out. Tip: If you travel in December, request the property owner to heat the pool prior to arrival.

You only get a short while with your family and children. Why wait? Book your Christmas vacation today!

Our kids were so thrilled with the change that we are considering making it annual. They were not disappointed.

Christmas travel tips:

  1. Plan on traffic being heavy, this was something we were not prepared for heading south, especially in to southern Florida. If you can leave a few days prior to the holiday, do it.
  2. Book your overnight hotels early, these filled up so fast! And you don’t want to end up in a sketchy hotel.
  3. See if your host will allow you to request holiday decorations or special touches for your kids.
  4. Pack your Christmas stockings (or Easter baskets) if you can. We were able to send ours to some close family in Florida, but if you can hide them, it was worth the surprise!
  5. Purchase a nice camera early in the year and practice with it. You won’t regret it when you get to your destination. Why pay someone else to take your family photographs? Bonus: your older kids may find a knack for photography. Feed those brains!
  6. Scope out popular tourist destinations and purchase tickets early.
  7. Stay in a quieter, less “tourist” area and enjoy the benefits of no hustle and bustle.
  8. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your host!
  9. If you can afford to do it, rent a passenger van so the kids can spread out. And buy them their own drinks and snacks for the road, this will eliminate the “gas station junk”.
  10. Enjoy your family!

Live love, Tiffany

You can find me on Twitter @417radiochic

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