Beyond NYC: Incredible Ways to Enjoy New York State


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New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations for travelers of all kinds. It’s a bustling city with so much to see and do, so it’s understandable that so many people flock toward it. But NYC isn’t everything that the state of New York has to offer. There’s so much more to see throughout the whole state, whether you’re looking for other cities or more of an outdoor experience. You could miss out on a lot if you only stick to NYC and, believe it or not, the city actually isn’t for everyone. So where should you go instead?

Head to the North

New York City lies in the southeastern corner of New York State, so pretty much everything else is north of NYC. So by heading north, you’re going to discover somewhere new. But if you keep going to the northern part of the state, you could find yourself especially delighted by what you find there. Next year is the perfect time to visit because the 2024 total solar eclipse in the Adirondacks is going to be an incredible sight to behold. There won’t be another for 20 years, The region is full of stunning scenery and offers beautiful towns, ski resorts and much more.

Summer in the Hamptons

When you hear “the Hamptons”, you probably think of rich people and their second homes. And it’s true that a lot of wealthy people spend their summers here, but you don’t have to be rolling in dough to plan a visit there. You can find affordable accommodation for a comfortable stay, or maybe go for something a bit more luxurious if you’re willing to stretch your budget. The beautiful beaches of the Hamptons are definitely worth checking out. In Montauk, you’ll find so much happening during the summer too, including festivals, markets and more.

Explore Towns and Cities

Outside of NYC, there are so many different towns and cities to explore across the state. Places like Rochester, Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse all offer something different to anyone who wants to explore New York. You can discover history, culture, great food and much more by expanding your horizons and stopping at some of these places. Some might only be worth a day trip, while others have plenty to offer if you want to stay for multiple days. They can make great bases for exploring different parts of the state too.

Visit Wine Country

People might think of California more when they consider US regions famous for wine. But the east coast has plenty of winemaking too, and New York is no exception. Finger Lakes Wine Country offers more than 100 wineries, distilleries and breweries, making it perfect for wine lovers or even people who prefer beer, whiskey and more. Taking a tour is a good way to get a snapshot of the region and there are even wine cruises you can take.

NYC might be amazing but it’s not the only place in New York. Look beyond the Big Apple and you can discover so much more.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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The Best Of A Bad Situation: Canceling Your Vacation

It’s never something done with a happy heart, but there are a lot of things that can force you to cancel your vacation. It could be an injury, illness, family matters you have to attend to, or plans have changed with your travel company or even the country that you’re going to. However, while you might want to mourn your travel plans, it’s a good idea to get into gear and do what you can to salvage what you can, including the money spent on the trip so far.

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Can you reschedule?

You may not have to cancel your trip entirely if, for instance, your flight is canceled or your hotel doesn’t have the room that you were expecting. There’s a good chance that your airline will be able to get you on another flight, and you can always find another accommodation. Get what refunds you should and see if you can’t be flexible with your plans. Of course, it might mean making a call to work and letting them know you might need an extra day or two off, but most employers should be accommodating. If worst comes to worst, save the money you get back from your canceled trip and put it into the budget for your next trip, instead.

Make good use of your coverage

If you’re ever spending any significant amount of money on a vacation, then you shouldn’t do it without the necessary protection. Travel insurance providers like Generali are primarily there to help you recoup your losses if your vacation falls through. Just make sure that you’re fully aware of which reasons for trip cancellation are covered, and that you meet the requirements. If you have to cancel because you change your mind or because you have a cold, that might not get covered. More serious health issues will, as will most issues that are entirely out of your control, like issues with your flight provider. Either way, it’s better to have insurance than to not have insurance, that’s a certainty.

Keep all evidence you can

You may be able to get your insurance provider to cover everything, or you might be able to get a refund from your airline, but to do that, you should make sure that you have all the evidence you need. Keep hold of every bit of correspondence regarding your vacation and its cancellation. An itemized bill of all of your expenses, any refund promises, invoices for your accommodation, any emails or letters sent for the reason for cancellation, and the like, should all be kept. Don’t take too long to start filing your claim, either, as some providers do have a limit on how long you can file it. You need to cross your i’s and dot your t’s to get what you’re owed.

You might not be able to get absolutely everything back, and you can’t undo the pain of having to watch your plans go up in smoke, but with the tips above, you can ensure a canceled trip doesn’t take everything from you.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Traveling to a Foreign Country for the First Time: 5 Things to Help You Do It Right!


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If you are traveling abroad for the first time, there is a lot to take on board when preparing yourself to go to another country overseas. It gives you an abundance of opportunities, but it can be a very daunting experience, especially for families who haven’t done any traveling for a number of years because of the pandemic or haven’t done any traveling at all! This is why it’s worth bearing in mind some of the following when it comes to getting the most out of your international travel experience.

Understand the Country

It’s a good idea to do some research on the country to give you a better insight into the traditions, culture, and language. While you may want to test your French pronunciation and language skills, it’s just as important to get a bigger picture of the country you are traveling to. While you may be venturing to another country as a tourist and plan on having a lot of downtime, it’s common courtesy to ensure that you get a good grasp of the country and the culture. While ordering food in a foreign language isn’t necessary, it’s always beneficial to show willingness. When you show hotel staff or waiters that you have taken the time to learn a few key phrases or have gone beyond the basics, this will result in a far better relationship with everyone.

Prioritize Safety

It is a good idea to understand the country better so you know the places that are safe for tourists, but you also should have some street-smart knowledge. When you’re walking around, if you have bags and wallets unsecured and you venture into a place that is very tourist-heavy, you have to have your wits about you. It’s important to enjoy ourselves, but we should think about keeping most of our valuables in the hotel safe or being a bit more vigilant when we are in unknown areas. As beneficial as it is to go exploring, you need to determine the comfort level of yourself and the family so you minimize risk. It’s a good idea to share your itineraries and information for your accommodation and tour guides with a family member or friend back home so someone knows where you’re supposed to be, just in case the worst-case scenario happens.

Get Travel Insurance

Lots of people avoid getting travel insurance because they think it’s way too expensive, but since COVID, it is becoming far more of an essential practice. Anything can happen when you go traveling, so you need to have something in place to cover medical expenses or ensure you can get medical help overseas. Depending on where you go, healthcare providers may very well ask you to pay upfront for treatment, and this is where travel insurance can cover all of those expenses. And if you need to get home quickly, it can cover the costs of returning you home safe and sound. Travel insurance doesn’t just cover medical emergencies, but it can help if you experience delayed or canceled flights, lost baggage, or even financial problems.

Getting Ready for the Time Difference

If you are venturing from the US to Europe, there can be at least an eight-hour difference. Jet lag can be very difficult to deal with, and learning how to fight jet lag is not about pushing yourself to stay awake as long as possible, although this might be useful. If you have a vacation booked, the best thing you can do is to start moving your body clock closer to that time. This might not be feasible, but for example, if your destination is eight hours ahead, if you can at least get your body clock four hours ahead of what you are normally used to, this can help offset that terrible sickness feeling that comes with jet lag. You should also drink a lot of water during the flights and spend the first couple of days taking it easy, especially if you have young children. If you schedule too much, you could run the risk of burning out and feeling like you need another vacation upon your return!

Do Not Overpack

It might be the vacation of a lifetime, in which case you may feel like you need to pack anything and everything. But packing light will help you travel far easier, especially when it comes to taking luggage up a flight of stairs or navigating public transport. You should pack appropriately for the country you’re traveling to, for example, warm clothes in a cold destination, but make sure that you leave some room for souvenirs!

There are many ways to prepare for travel, and some of these will always make a significant difference in the quality of your vacation.



I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Planning a Weekend Getaway in New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the most famous cities in the world, alongside the likes of Barcelona, New York and Paris. It is located along the great Mississippi River in the southeastern region of Louisiana, USA. With its diverse culture, incredible cuisines and magnificent architecture, the city should be at the top of your list as you plan your next weekend getaway.

The city is widely known for its distinctive culture, jazz music and for the iconic New Orleans streetcars, vintage-looking carriages have become a symbol of charm and romance for more than 150 years they’ve been operational. The 32-mile street railway starts in a street uptown and stretches all the way to Canal Street, making a few stops along St Charles Avenue, Loyola and Audubon Park.

If you need more reasons to visit New Orleans, here are a few of them.

Visit the French Quarter

The French Quarter is the oldest and most popular neighborhood in New Orleans. It is home to a few centuries-old buildings with beautiful little balconies wrapping around them. The neighborhood also serves as the roots of the city’s rich and unique culture, with museums, art galleries and amazing cuisines to go along with the soothing sounds of jazz music as you walk down the old streets.

Steamboat Tour on the Mississippi River

Like the streetcars, the Mississippi river boats have become permanently ingrained into the New Orleans culture. Your weekend getaway wouldn’t really be complete without a short cruise in one of these steam-powered paddle boats. They offer tour options for both night and day. Day tours generally involve sightseeing and learning more about the city’s history, while evening cruises are perfect for dinners, cocktails and live jazz music.

Jackson Square

If you are an art enthusiast, an afternoon stroll around Jackson Square would be a great way to start your weekend getaway. The park is located in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter and is just a few steps from the Mississippi river. It is surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in the city, housing various stores and restaurants. As you explore Jackson Square, you can take a few minutes to appreciate local artists who display their paintings, drawings and other works of art around the park.

St. Louis Cathedral

Founded in 1720, the St. Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in North America. It is one of the many architectural masterpieces in New Orleans and includes both Renaissance and Spanish Colonial architecture. Despite being over three centuries old, the cathedral is still in use, hosting masses every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. You can also visit the cathedral any other day for tours between 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

If you get hungry after exploring the city, it might be time to try some fantastic local cuisine. The city has a few signature dishes, including Creole gumbo, beignet doughnuts and Cajun jambalaya. You can also try out a muffaletta and po’boy sandwich if you are on a tight budget. New Orleans has something for everyone – whatever cuisine route you choose; every mouthful will have a flavor of the city’s unique melting pot.

So, have you ever been to New Orleans? If yes, leave us some recommendations of the best places and things to see in the city!


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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