Author: Michele Duncan

Should You Send Your Child on a Foreign Exchange Program?

Should You Send Your Child on a Foreign Exchange Program?

During my oldest son’s last year of middle school, we started planning on which high school he wanted to attend. He didn’t go to private school, but there were several academies available (11 in total). Learning new languages and studying different cultures in the world was something that he was passionate about. With that being said, he decided on the Global Studies and World Languages Academy, and was accepted into their program.

A week before he began his Freshman year of high school there was an information session on the academy’s expectations. At the end of the session, a current senior got up and spoke about his experience with the school, and how he participated in a foreign exchange program. At that moment, I remember internally freaking. I was thinking that there was absolutely no way that I was going to send my almost 15-year-old off to another country to live temporarily with a family that I didn’t know. It just wasn’t going to happen.

A few months later our son came home from school explaining to his father and I that there were scholarships available for a summer exchange program in Japan. He was taking Japanese in school, and a coordinator from Youth For Understanding came in to talk to them about it. We wanted our children to experience the world, so I didn’t want to hold him back. We told him to go ahead and complete the application process, and I did some research to ease my mind.

I believe it was around April when I found a packet in the mail addressed to my son from Youth For Understanding. I was so nervous (but in a good way) about whether or not he earned the scholarship. I couldn’t wait to pick him up from school to hand him the envelope. It was the news he had been waiting for, he got accepted and was going to stay with a family in Japan for 6 weeks! My husband and I were so proud and excited for him!

I wanted to write this post to help ease other parent’s minds about giving their child an experience of a lifetime. Here are the reasons that I recommend allowing your child to study abroad for either a summer or year:

Learn Cultural Differences

They get to experience the values, beliefs, and lifestyle of a family from another culture. It gives them an open mind to learn that “their way” isn’t the “only way” in life, and that it doesn’t make it wrong or right. Their experience allows them to educate their peers on the acceptance of cultural differences.

Experience New Foods

They get to experience all of the different foods from another country. Being from America, our son couldn’t get over how small the serving sizes were in Japan, or I suppose how big the serving sizes are in our country. He absolutely loved the cuisine in Japan and missed a lot of it when he returned home.

Develop Independence

It gives them a chance to be independent. I want to address that while I was nervous about sending my child to stay with people I didn’t know, it had nothing to do with him exploring another country. His father and I were more nervous about him losing his check card, passport, or other important documents. He was barely 15 when he left for his exchange program. Guess what? He didn’t lose a thing and he came back a more independent young man because of his experience.

Establish New Relationships

They get to meet amazing people that embrace them as part of the family. We are extremely grateful that our son’s host family wanted to share all that they could with him during his 6-week visit. Not just about their family, but about the beauty of their country as well. The sole purpose of an exchange program is to be a part of a family to learn about and understand their culture. Host families are not required (or supposed) to treat your child like they are on vacation. We truly appreciated all that his host family did for him out of the kindness of their heart.

The relationship that they develop with their host family can last throughout their life. Several years after our son graduated from high school, his host family contacted him and wanted him to join them on a trip to New York. He was extremely excited, and enjoyed showing them around and helping them translate English.

Explore a New School

He also got the chance to attend school in Japan. By doing so he was able to learn about the different teaching styles compared to his home country. He also got to interact with many students close to his age.

A Once in a Life Time Experience

It’s a once in a lifetime experience. As adults we always have the opportunity to travel around the world; but not in a way where you get to be a part of a family, and truly embrace the culture with the people that live there.

Promotes Cultural Curiosity

It opens their eyes to wanting to explore more of the world. The year after he returned from Japan he applied for another scholarship with a different exchange program, and was awarded a 2-week trip to South Korea, which he visited during the summer of his Sophomore year of high school. During his Senior year of his undergrad studies, he completed a semester in Spain and also visited many places along the way (London, Morocco, Iceland). While my husband and I have not been to Japan, Korea, or Spain (and we are a little jealous), he has taught us a lot about his experiences. His influences even caused us to share our culture with others as well, and we have hosted students from Japan and Denmark.

Our Recommendation

Giving our son the opportunity to explore other cultures has been one of the best decisions that we have made. We don’t have any regrets whatsoever, and we highly recommend using Youth For Understanding to find a foreign exchange program that interests your child. If you are considering sending your child on a foreign exchange program and have any questions, please post them in the comments below.

Where to Stay in the Outer Banks, NC

Where to Stay in the Outer Banks, NC

This is a must-read post if you are searching for a place to stay in the Outer Banks. When choosing a place to stay, I have a few requirements: cleanliness, décor, and closeness to attractions. The location that I am about to share with you covers just that and then some. I have used many of the descriptions from the rental homes web page, so that I can keep the description as accurate as possible. You can view this page at

The House

Sea Salt cottage is located at the 16.5 milepost on the beach road in Nags Head, North Carolina. The location is magically situated directly across from the beach and just a block or so from the Sound to the west. You can literally walk to the beach!

This home has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths (it sleeps up to 8 people). The large master bedroom and full bath is furnished with a plush, comfortable king bed and is tucked away on the first floor of the home. There is also a sitting area in the master bedroom for beach reading or watching TV.

Two other bedrooms invite guests to relax and get their summer on! The queen-bed bedroom is a boho-chic inspired mid-century modern beachy oasis. The third bedroom is a bright, fun bunkroom that provides maximum sleeping flexibility for up to 4 people with custom-built in beds – one a built-in full-sized and the other a built-in bunkbed. It’s designed for kids AND adults to enjoy. A second full bath and a laundry closet with full sized high-efficiency washer/dryer complete the second floor. All bedrooms are equipped with flat screen TVs, digital cable and DVD players. You’ll be fully connected throughout the home with high-speed WIFI.

The third floor of Sea Salt Cottage provides plenty of seating and a large flat screen TV. The deck off the living area is a great place to sit in the evenings and take in the stunning sunset over the sound. The kitchen is fully stocked and includes stainless steel appliances and a full size dishwasher. There’s a Keurig and traditional coffeemaker for the coffee lovers! The dining area offers table seating and bar stools for more casual meals.

One thing that this beach rental offers that many don’t is a spacious back yard with your own private pool! The owners truly make sure that you are covered with everything you need for the outdoors: beach chairs, beach cart, boogie boards, grill, cornhole boards, and a giant Jenga game! Did I mention that you can WALK to the beach?

Nearby Attractions/Restaurants

As mentioned above, I love a rental home that is within close proximity to restaurants and attractions. The following places are within walking distance: The beach, Jockey’s Ridge (7 minutes), Oregan Inlet Fishing Center (15 minutes), Manteo (5 minutes), Cahoon’s Supermarket, 7/11, Sam & Omie’s Restaurant, Owen’s Restaurant, Super Wings for souvenirs, Tangier Outlets, and much more!

Additional Information

The owners of Sea Salt Cottage have really thought of everything when it comes to providing a comfortable stay for their guests. Upon arrival you will receive a welcome bag with many complimentary goodies such as trashbags, detergent, dish scrubbies, a couple rolls of toilet paper and many other items you may have forgotten to bring to get you through your stay.

My Final Thought

Sea Salt Cottage is definitely where I would love to stay each and every time I visit Nags Head, NC. It is extremely clean, can provide a place for me and 7 other friends/family to vacation, the décor is like no other, you can walk to many locations, and the owners truly care about their guests.

I am not the only one who feels this way about Sea Salt Cottage and know that summer dates book extremely fast! If this is a place that you may want to stay during your Outer Banks vacation, I would highly recommend reserving your dates no later than November/December. Here is a link to explore this rental home’s availability:

The majority of pictures used in this post are from the Sea Salt Cottage website

Let me know in the comments below if you have ever been to Nags Head, NC. What do you love most about the Outer Banks? Is there a particular activity that your family likes to do or a favorite restaurant that you like to dine at?

The Best Suitcase Organizer (Ever)

The Best Suitcase Organizer (Ever)

There are two types of individuals when it comes to laundry. The individual who washes, dries, places in basket and then leaves in basket. The other type MUST fold and put everything away immediately. I am an open-minded person, and feel there is no right or wrong way to go about it. I personally subscribe to folding everything straight out of the dryer, and putting all of my garments in their respective places.

With that being said, one thing that bothers me about traveling is having to dig through suitcases. It is alright if it is just a weekend, but any longer than that, I cringe at the idea of it. Everything in my house isn’t extremely configured (I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about me), but there are a few things that are a necessity…suitcase organization is one of them.

Last year my husband introduced me to packing cubes. We bought a few and tried them out, and it was a game changer for traveling. It is like having drawers in your suitcase and makes it so easy to find what you are looking for. My favorite part about it is the fact that you can pull the cubes out of your suitcase and place them in drawers at your hotel or vacation rental home.

ebags Packing Cubes

This brand is by ebags and comes in an array of colors: aquamarine, black, blue dots, canary, eggplant, geometric, grasshopper, leopard, peony, and tangerine. These packing cubes are made of nylon and have breathable mesh on the top. Your purchase includes one small, medium, and large packing cube starting at $29.99 on Amazon.

When our family went on our last vacation, we were away for almost two weeks. We didn’t have quite enough cubes, so we decided to try out a set by Amazon basics. These cubes are comparable as they are also made of nylon, and have breathable mesh as well. The Amazon Basics cubes come in a set of 4 in the following colors: black, blue, green, grey, sky blue, and red. You can find these cubes starting at $20.00 on Amazon.

My Opinion

Both brands hold up equally well. They are both made of the same materials, and the only difference is where the mesh is placed on the packing cube. Ebags offer more variety in colors, but Amazon packing cubes are more economical. I can honestly say that I don’t prefer one over the other, as both packing cube brands are equal in regards to quality. It all boils down to cost over option of colors.

Have you tried either brand of the packing cubes? Do you have a preference? What do you think of this method of suitcase organization? Let me know if you have in the comments.

Adult Guide to Long Travel Days

Adult Guide to Long Travel Days

One of my favorite parts of vacation is traveling to the destination. I know that is the one detail that most people dislike, but hear me out. My husband frequently mentions that I need to take time for myself. It is something that I rarely do. I currently work 3 part-time jobs (my blog is included in that), instead of one full-time job because I love variety. I am extremely fortunate, as all of my jobs are able to be done from the comfort of my own home.

This sounds like a dream to many as they fantasize about working in their pajamas (that part can be true), running errands, doing laundry (ok, that can be true too), and even getting things done around the house. I have heard the opposite from people as well for fear of not being motivated to work. I have been working from home for quite some time now, so I am pretty good at staying on track with my tasks throughout the day. I would say that the main issue with working from home when you love your jobs is not knowing when to stop, hence where my self-care issue takes place.

Travel days are considered forced me-time in my eyes. I fill my backpack with fun activities, and the time just flies by. Listed below are my recent go to items that I truly enjoy:


I absolutely love this bag by ebags. It can store your laptop as well as anything else you need to bring along on your trip. I love the back as it can slide over the handle on your luggage so that you don’t have to carry it around. It is available on Amazon for $99.

If you love to do paint-by-numbers, you will love this sticker-by-number activity book. You won’t believe how many times I have been questioned at the airport on where I purchased my book. I usually end up spreading the love and pulling a page out to help someone with their boredom. Silvio Rebelo has created so many themes to choose from. I purchased mine from Amazon for $8.79

I also enjoy old school coloring. You’re never too old to color. It’s such a great way to relieve stress. My go to book at the moment is Fantastic Cities by Steve McDonald. $13.67 on Amazon I also recommend the Artist premium watercolor pencils

Despite my need for more self care, I do enjoy reading self help books. At the moment I am really enjoying reading books by Brené Brown. Brené discusses topics on vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. I feel that she relates to many of us, and I truly love her work. $12.89 on Amazon

Last but not least, I always bring my laptop with me everywhere I go. I absolutely love this little 13-inch pink MacBook Air $899.99 It is definitely not a necessity for a trip, but I like to bring it to upload my pictures, and even work on my blog.

Now that I have shared with you what I like to bring in my bag for activities on the road, share with me some things that you like to do. Also, don’t forget that self-care is important and should be practiced regularly, not just when on vacation.

“Self-Care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

-Katie Reed

Our Alaskan Anniversary (Part 3)

Our Alaskan Anniversary (Part 3)

This is the final portion (part 3) of “Our Alaskan Anniversary.” Please click here to start from the beginning:

May 25 – Cruise Glacier Bay: This was our third stop. It wasn’t a port, we didn’t get off of the ship and there were no excursions. We got up early as our ship headed into glacier bay. I have never seen such beauty in nature. It was absolutely stunning. As we moved into the glaciers, the ship stopped so that we could witness the ice cracking and breaking off into the water. I believe that Alaska only allows 2-3 cruise ships per season to explore Glacier Bay. With that being said, you may have to plan your trip around this schedule if you have a particular favorite cruise line that you prefer to travel with.

Hearing the ice crack and watching it fall.

On previous cruises through Carnival I learned that they have an option where you can have professional portraits done at a port (instead of the usual backdrops inside). We haven’t had family pictures done since our boys were younger, and we knew that Glacier Bay would be an amazing background. This was not cheap by any means, but when will you ever have another chance to have glaciers in your family portraits? We were so pleased with the work of Dreams Studios, and highly recommend it if you have a special milestone event.

May 26 – Ketchikan, AK: An Alaskan cruise is by no means a cheap cruise. Excursions are usually pricey no matter where your destination is, but let me tell you, excursions in Alaska are extremely expensive. With that being said, we chose to explore the area of Ketchikan instead of a paid tour. We had a lovely time at this port by eating at a local restaurant. My husband loved the Alaskan Ale, which is not something that we can find back home in Virginia. After lunch we explored a park and were really in for a treat when we realized that a bald eagle was sitting right in a tree in front of us. We also saw a salmon ladder and totem poles throughout the city. It was such a beautiful little town.

May 27 – Victoria, BC, Canada: This was our final port and it was a short visit. We didn’t arrive until 7:30pm and we departed at 11:59pm. With it being a short port we decided to opt out of excursions and explore the town like we did in Ketchikan. I think that the four of us were starting to get tired with all of the time changes and we didn’t stay off the ship for long. I snapped a few pictures and after a 30 minute walk we decided to enjoy some quiet time back on the ship while the other passengers were out exploring. We also took that time to begin packing everything up since our cruise docked the next morning at 7:00am.

This concludes our, “Our Alaskan Anniversary.” I fully recommend taking this trip at least once. In part one I discussed my concern of taking a cold weather vacation. I’m here to say that I would do it again in a heart beat. I have had Alaska fever since we returned home, and look forward to planning a trip back in the near future.

If you have any questions or would like helping planning a vacation itinerary, please contact me at

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Our Alaskan Anniversary (Part 2)

Our Alaskan Anniversary (Part 2)

If you are just joining in on “Our Alaskan Anniversary”, please read part one first:

This post will cover our first two ports which are Icy Strait Point, AK and Skagway, AK.

May 23 – Icy Strait Point, AK: We chose the Whale Watching & Ziprider Combination excursion that was offered by Carnival. I have to say that this might have been my most favorite excursion out of all of the cruises we have taken. We began the excursion with the whale watching portion and boarded a small boat that was filled with maybe 20 people. The boat had large windows on each side that were closed to keep us warm; but the crew would open them up when we came upon a humpback whale (which happened a lot). There was also a small area on the back of the boat where you could sit. This was not enclosed. I sat out there for the majority of the ride, as I didn’t want to miss a thing. As soon as we began our journey the wind hit my face with a clean crispness that I have never experienced before. Up ahead were a flock of birds flying at full speed as if inviting us into a magical place.

Not long after we saw our first humpback whale, we came across several bald eagles fishing and stealing food from seagulls. We also spotted two bears in the distance, but not close enough to get a clear picture. After a few minutes of bear watching, the most incredible thing happened that literally took my breath away. Nearly 3 feet away from me at the back of the boat, a whale began a small breach. I literally caught eyes with him. It was the most amazing thing to be able to witness. As we came to the end of our boat ride, we got a chance to see some sleepy seals on a buoy.

All good things must come to an end, but we still had a bit more adventure left in our day. After we exited the boat, “We boarded a bus that took us on a scenic drive through Hoonah, the largest Tlingit village in the world while on our way up a 1330′ mountain to our Ziprider adventure”. – Via Carnival Cruise Lines. We really enjoyed learning about the Tlingit culture. As we were ascending into the mountain, thoughts began going through my mind. Was I really about to allow someone to strap me into a chair and eject me down a 1330′ mountain? The temperatures were really starting to drop and I was imagining how cold it was going to be while exceeding 65mph down a mountain.

It didn’t matter anymore because I was already at the top when that thought ran through my mind. No going back now. Well…I could actually chicken out and go back down the mountain in the van, but where is the fun in that? I love the thrill of rollercoasters and such, so that was never an option to begin with. As we were coming up to our turn, we got to stand on a platform to watch the people in front of us take off. It was a great way to get the adrenaline going. I was as ready as I was going to be at that point. As I was being buckled in my seat, the ride operator began giving instructions and soon after that it was take off time. IT WAS AMAZING!! It was the most free feeling to be up so high and flying so fast down the mountain. Yes it was pretty cold, but I would do it again in a heart beat. You couldn’t beat the views and it was a once in a lifetime adventure.

My husband is videoing. You will see me on the left shortly after we take off.

May 24 – Skagway, AK: Our excursion at this port was the Takshanuk Mountain Trail by 4×4. This excursion was a lot different than any other cruise excursion we have ever taken. We began by boarding a high speed catamaran ferry that took us through fjords to get to Haines, AK. Once we arrived in Haines, we were guided to a bus that would take us to the Takshanuk trailhead. Once we arrived to our excursion spot, our family of four chose which mule (heavy duty golf cart) we would drive. Our tour guides gave us instructions and we began our trail ride into the mountain. Halfway up we stopped at a log cabin and were given delicious chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. This was such a nice treat given that it was a little chilly.

After our little snack, we ascended higher into the mountain and stopped at a gorgeous crystal clear creek. It was so peaceful! We used our binoculars to look for wildlife, but didn’t see much at this particular stop. After a given amount of time, we were escorted back to our mules to head back to the log cabin for an amazing lunch that consisted of halibut and chicken. This halibut was the best that I have ever had. From then on I knew that halibut would never be the same back home. I really enjoyed this excursion as it wasn’t over crowded. It felt very intimate, as we were guests and not just a group of people taking a tour. The scenery was very breathtaking. I would definitely recommend this excursion to anyone looking for an easy going time that is truly enjoyable.

This concludes part 2 of “Our Alaskan Anniversary”. My next post will be the final portion. What do you think so far? Would you go on an Alaskan cruise?

If you have any questions or would like to talk about a personalized travel plan, please email me at

Our Alaskan Anniversary (Part 1)

Our Alaskan Anniversary (Part 1)

I wanted to get started on this post while it was still fresh in my mind. This may be a bit of a long one, so I will do a 3-part story. For several years, my husband and I have talked about what big trip we would take for our 20th and 25th wedding anniversary. After many discussions, we ultimately decided that we would visit Alaska on our 20th, and Hawaii on our 25th. On May 29, 2018, we celebrated our 19th anniversary by booking our Alaskan cruise that was set to sail on May 21, 2019. We decided that we wanted our 2 boys to go with us on this vacation as they are part of our celebration. We paid for them to go with us, and they had their very own interior room to share, and we had a nice balcony room. The joke of the cruise was that it was the boys’ last paid vacation by us since they are adults now (19 & 23). We decided on Hawaii for the 25th Anniversary, as it will be just me and my husband on that trip.

Family Pictures that were taken on the Carnival Legend by Dreams Studios. We were in Glacier Bay.

This was the first cruise that we had ever booked a year in advance, and let me tell you the year dragged on FOREVER (I might be exaggerating a bit). I was partly alright with that though, as I knew time would fly once we actually began our trip. As we grew close to vacation day, we started to have many different questions. We have only ever been on warm weather cruises in the Caribbean, where they play a lot of reggae style music. We thought about what type of music they would play on a cold weather cruise? I usually dislike the cold (even though I was born on the east coast). I have never gotten used to it. While I knew it was going to be absolutely gorgeous, I began to wonder if I was going to enjoy being cold on vacation. We checked the weather every day before we left to be sure that we packed the necessary styles needed to be warm. Even though we did our research, we still worried a little about it. We packed the best that we could and knew that there was always an option to buy an overpriced sweatshirt on the cruise ship if it came to it. It never did though, and I was pleased with our clothing selections. You can see my cruise packing lists from another post here:

We got up really early on May 18 and began our journey by plane to Seattle, Washington (which is where we were cruising out of). We have family that lives an hour away, so it was a bonus for us to be able to spend some time with them. We stayed the night at their place, and then headed back to Seattle in the in the afternoon to our hotel.  

May 20 – Day in Seattle: Of course I did some planning on what we would do in Seattle that day. You know I love to get the most out of our time (but in a non-rushed kind of way).

May 21 – Board the Carnival Legend: The day has finally come and we are all so excited! I did our registration as soon as we were allowed (months before the cruise), so that we could board the ship as early as possible. It isn’t necessary to get there early, but we like to begin vacationing a.s.a.p. Plus you are able to have lunch on the ship, so it saved us some money from purchasing from a restaurant in the city.  The Carnival Legend set sail at 4:00pm. It was in the upper 60s that day and cloudy, but it was nice enough to hang out on the deck for a while.

May 22 – Our “Fun Day at Sea”: I have heard cruisers say that they think sea days are boring. On warm cruises you can use it as a pool day. Well technically, the pools were heated on the legend, but I never saw anyone using them. You can also take advantage of the planned activities inside the ship. They usually have bingo and trivia games going on. I don’t recall if the casino was open, as our family doesn’t usually go to it. We are board game hobbyists, so we usually pack a few games to play. We also brought books to read, as well as adult coloring books/sticker books.

This wraps up part 1 of “Our Alaskan Anniversary”. Please click here to read part 2:

If you have any questions or would like to discuss travel itineraries, please email me at

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A Zoo You Can Drive Through

A Zoo You Can Drive Through

I am a huge animal lover and came across some pictures on my phone today that I just knew I had to share. 8 years ago, when our boys were 15 and 11, we decided to do a spring break vacation in Natural Bridge, VA. We heard about a place called Virginia Safari Park, and I instantly knew I wanted to go (but knew everyone else would enjoy it as well). I could barely contain myself while looking at the website. While there is a petting zoo area, and a few enclosed animal exhibits, the main part of it is a drive thru zoo. YES, you heard me right. You can drive through three miles of open area where animals are free to roam. What is unique about this zoo is that the animals are encouraged to come up to your vehicle to be fed.

When you arrive at the zoo you pay a per person fee and then you can purchase buckets of animal pellets. They tell you to open up your windows and allow the animals to stick their head in to eat out of your bucket. Let me tell you…the animal feed gets all over the place in your vehicle and you will still find it months later regardless of how clean you get your vehicle. In fact, I’m sure the person who bought my Jeep Grand Cherokee is still finding pellets and wondering why I had animals feeding in my car. Regardless of the mess, I would love to go again.

It was amazing to be able to see such huge animals within arm’s reach while on the safari drive. Watusi cattle were among one of them, and the brochure stated that you should not call them to your car. They have large horns and could cause damage. I know I shouldn’t have done this, and I apologize but…I couldn’t resist. My husband was fussing at me in the process, but I was sure to place a barrier between his horn and the car. He was quite the gentle giant. Nevertheless, please follow the guidelines and don’t pursue in my breaking of the rules.

At the end of the drive we came across some camels. You have to be careful though as they will try to steal your buckets. I suppose that is why they were placed at the end of the tour.

When we were done with the driving portion of our visit, we explored the exhibits and still came across a lot of hands on opportunities. This area was a walk-through exhibit of baby kangaroos (Joeys). They were just the cutest little ones.

My favorite animal is the giraffe and I became ecstatic when I found out that there was an area to feed them. They weren’t hungry and didn’t come up to us while we were on the platform, but just being able to take in their beauty was enough for me.

There is something for everyone at this park and I wholeheartedly recommend it. They are open from March – November. Here is the link to their site for more information.

Have you ever been to a drive thru zoo? If so, tell me about your experience in the comments below.

Get away simply offers stress free travel plans for you to get the most out of your vacation. Email for more information.

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3-Day San Diego, CA Travel Itinerary

3-Day San Diego, CA Travel Itinerary

This 3-day travel plan is designed with the entire family in mind. I feel there is something for everyone to enjoy. All food selections were based on proximity to activities and based off of reviews that I found on The only restaurant that I have been to on this list is In-N-Out Burger and I highly recommend! Attached is a free downloadable travel plan so that you can get away simply on your next adventure.

Get Away Simply offers additional travel plans tailored strictly to what you and your family enjoys while vacationing. I help take the guess work out of planning, so you can truly be relaxed before and during your trip. These plans are offered for a fee. Please email me at for more information.

PARK 'N Fly - Airport Parking Reservations
Hey! Want to go Camping?

Hey! Want to go Camping?

I was going to wait a while before I wrote this article, but it’s too good to keep to myself (I’ll get to that in a bit). I also feel that it is the perfect time of the year to write about camping. Summer is coming to an end, but there is still time to take advantage of the warmth by swimming in lakes, kayaking, fishing, or anything else that screams summer fun. I also think this is a good time to talk about camping as fall is approaching. It’s the perfect weather to snuggle up in a sleeping bag at night, but still enjoy the comfortable temperatures.

My family went camping many years ago when our sons were young and in the Boy Scouts.  We always enjoyed it and often talked about going in the future. We even kept all of our camping gear. Fast forward to about seven years ago. The spring season came around and either me or my husband would say, “hey, want to go camping”? This has happened every single year since then. The only thing added to the statement is, “but let’s actually go this time”. Guess what? We still haven’t been camping. Funny, right!

I recently learned about some new options of camping. I’m almost certain that they aren’t new ideas, but they are to me. The term is actually called glamping. According to, glamping is the activity of camping with some of the comforts and luxuries of home. While I am still interested in traditional camping in a tent, I wouldn’t mind trying out one of these options as well.

Mini RVs

Imagine riding in a mini-van that is equipped with bedding, a table, and a hatch that opens up to a mini cooking kitchen. Jucy RV Rentals offers just that. They offer several different styles of mini RVs to accommodate your family size.

Hit The Road in Your Dream RV

Jucy RV Rentals have locations in the United States in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Visit their website for additional information on their RVs.  

Pictured above: The Jucy Camp from Jucy USA


How about a Tipi stay in Missouri? This rental is so beautiful that I really want to stay there. It is nestled in the woods, and the Airbnb listing states that it is accessible year-round, it’s fully equipped, and offers a hot shower in a temperature controlled bath house. You really have to see this one!

Pictured above: MAGIC Tipi Retreat on VRBO

Tree House

This particular treehouse has been on my radar for quite some time, as it is only 2 hours away from me. It is located in Richmond, Virginia and is as cute as can be! You can go back to your childhood staying in this house. The owners offer a private bathroom as well as an indoor option to sleep if the weather gets too hot & humid.

Pictured above: Trailside Treehouse in RVA – Glamp with private bath on Airbnb

Tent on Top of Truck/Jeep

If you have a pick-up truck or even a hard-top jeep, this might be an option you’d like to consider. It is basically a tent that sits on top of the vehicle. It comes with a ladder so that you can get up to your sleeping space. These roof top tents are available for rent at Off The Grid.

Pictured above: High Country 3-5 Person Tent by Rent off the Grid


Yurts give a great amount of space with lots of coverage from the outside elements. I found this gorgeous yurt located in the Smoky Mountains. It even has a fully updated kitchen. You truly have to see it to believe it!

Panoramic Creek Front Luxury Yurt on VRBO

Let me know if you have ever been glamping before and which option you liked best! Getaway Simply offers specialized trip itineraries to make your vacation stress-free. Email me today at for more information.