This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WW Cheese, manufactured by Schreiber Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.
WooHoo for summer!!! Y’all know what that means right?!?! It's road trip season! All across the country, families are piling into their vehicles and hitting the open road.
Nothing makes our lil’ family happier than making memories while traveling the globe. The question on everyone’s mind is always how do we do it? Our friends know we aren’t exactly living in Bellaire, so how are normal, everyday folks always out exploring?
Lucky for you, I have several EPIC Road Trip Money Saving Hacks to share! You will be shocked to find out how much loot you could save by applying these hacks to your next family adventure! If you stretch your dollar now, there may be more road trips to take later!
The best way to save that cash when you’re hitting the road with your fam is to bring your own snacks. By planning and preparing snacks for your epic road trip, could not only save a ton of loot, but have access to better-for-you options, instead of going for typical fast food. Heading to your local Wegmans and loading up your cooler with yummy snacks such as WW Light String Cheese is such a simple task AND it will save you a ton of money, allowing for more epic road tripping adventures in the future.
WW Light String Cheese
Everybody has a different wellness journey, but we all love a good snack!!!! I just love heading to Wegmans and stocking up on WW Light String Cheese before our epic road trips. Not only is WW Light String Cheese an enjoyable option for someone like me focusing on weight loss and eating better, the rest of my family can chow down too since WW Light String Cheese is beyond delicious!!! With 50 calories, 1 SmartPoints® value per stick, 6g of protein and a mild, creamy taste, it’s a delicious and convenient snack for your journey!
Just head to the dairy/cheese aisle at your local Wegmans and toss a package into your cart! I’m sure you and your family will love these yummy cheese snacks, so we’ll help you share them with everybody!
While you’re at it, visit the Wegmans store locator to find one nearest you or visit the WW website here! It’s got great tips, tricks, recipes and more!
I know a ton of people avoid good-ole road trips because of gas prices! Depending on the size of your family, when you compare road trip to the price of flights, it’s the most frugal way to travel! Use these pointers and watch how much you save!!!
• Fuel prices are usually cheaper on weekdays. Try to avoid filling your tank on holidays or weekends.
• Do you have a card that offers rebates or travel rewards? I suggest you use that card to purchase your fuel. Some cards offer up to a 5% rebate. Purchase the gas with the card and pay off your card ASAP with the cash you had set aside for your epic road trip!
• Depending on weather conditions, you can also use cruise control to automate the amount of fuel your car uses!
• Make sure your tires are properly inflated before leaving for your epic road trip. Poorly inflated tires are less efficient.
Driving long distances can get pretty tiring. Then add antsy kids? Omg!!! Stopping for the night when driving from point A to point B is a must! When mapping out your epic road trip, check out the towns your navigation claims are your preferred driving distance for one day. Then compare hotel prices. Once you figure out the cheapesttown to stay in for the night, there are travel websites that allow you to pay an even lower rate for a hotel. These sites will tell you what star grade the hotels is, but not the name of the hotels themselves. If you’re boujee like me when it comes to accommodations, look for those 3 to 5-star hotels. You best believe I’m taking the gamble and letting the site pick my stay for the night for a super low rate! They tell me straight-up what star rating the hotel is!! No surprises there!!! It’s a win-win!
4. Find Free Things to Do
One of the best parts of an epic road trip is the luxury of stopping at all the must-see sites on your journey!!!! No matter where your epic road trip may take you, there should be a ton of free (or inexpensive!) activities. Simply search “free things to do in (city)” and your phone browser and you should find enough to get you started. Some free activities that we love seeking out are hikes, farmers markets, free live music, picnics, beaches, historical landmarks and exploring museums, just to name a few!
A little fact about me. All things musical & artsy put a huge smile on my face!!!! I can’t sing. I won’t even attempt unless I’m drunk at karaoke night. If you ever witness such a travesty, please take me home. Your girl can’t hang and that only means I’ve been hanging too long and my chaperone must be tipsy too lol..... however, I do love playing instruments (jam sessions!!) and I love to dance. I played flute and trumpet in school and I cheered and danced as well. So you best believe I’ve been obsessed with Cirque Du Soleil since I was I first discovered it in high school. At one point it was my goal in life to see them all. A girl can dream ;-)
When we spotted a Facebook ad stating Cirque Du Soleil Crystal was headed to Erie, you best believe we scooped up tickets. My daughter had a blast at Mystre in Las Vegas over Spring Break & Crystal looked just as entertaining and very family friendly!!! We just had to see it!!!
Cirque Du Soleil Crystal
is not just an ice show, it’s the very first experience on ice from . Watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats claim their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics. Discover a new kind of performance as meets the ice to defy all expectations.
Directed by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, Crystal, our misfit heroine, takes you on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world to become what she was always destined to be: confident, curious, and creative. CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to colorful life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of.
Cirque Du Soleil Crystal is definitely one fabulous show!! So much talent goes into the production of Cirque shows, that they are all enjoyable and very entertaining regardless of the plots!!!!
Since I’m brutally honest with you guys all the time, I thought I would be real. While this show is amazing to watch, I would not head to this particular show if music and theater aren’t your thing OR you are childless. I personally would love it if my hubby would take me to a show like this for date night, but I’m going to assume, most people would find this particular show a tad bit too family friendly. I don’t think this show was ment to be geared to the kiddos, but the whole show just gave me Stars on Ice and Disney on Ice vibes the whole time. Lots of talent. Cool plot! Just a tad bit on the kiddie side.
If you have kids, definitely take them. It will be all they talk about for weeks. If you love theater, go!!! You will enjoy the talent behind the production. If you are looking for some entertainment and you have watched several Vegas shows hoping for Vegas epicness in your hometown, I would wait for the next show to hit town! This show is nothing like those productions.
Have you been to a Cirque Du Soleil show?
Literally my new favorite spot on Chautauqua Lake! Harbor Hotel Carousel Bar! It’s so pretty!!! I just can’t get over how Insta-worthy this spot is. Definitely not the norm here in WNY that’s for sure. The best part?! Chautauqua Harbor Hotel Carousel Bar is just a few minutes away from my house. If I ever get bit by the wanderlust bug and I don’t have a fabulous trip planned for awhile, all I need to do is drive down the road and pretend I’m on vacation all I want!!!
A lakeside Carousel Bar, paying tribute to the grand carousels of yesteryear. The Carousel Bar promises a one-of-kind experience whether for lunch, dinner or sipping cocktails while taking in the spectacular sunsets for which Chautauqua Lake has become famous.
Carousel Bar Summer Hours (July 1-Labor Day weekend):
I thought this would be a fabulous spot to really give you the reasons why I love this spot so much!
1. Champagne Lakeside ~ I didn’t have to purchase a bottle and I wasn’t handed a mini-bottle to pour myself. Legit glasses by the glass!
2. Atmosphere ~ Just look at that view?!? I can just stare off into the lake for hours. I almost feel bad for those drinking with me. I daze off into those water views.
3. Food ~ You can dine at Harbor Hotel without paying for the 5 star dining experience inside. Enjoy pizzas(very flatbread like), wings, and other yummy smaller plates for half the cost of inside!
4. Fire Pits ~ When it starts to get dark, take your beverage fireside!!!
5. Insta-Worthy Photo Opts ~ Nothing better than snapping those pics and having your backdrop look inst-worthy!
6. Not Too Crowded ~ we have yet to experience large crowds, which is super nice. We were just there Friday and while yes, there are people everywhere, you can still snag a seat with ease!
7. Dock Your Boat ~ Have a boat?! Lucky you and we should totally be besties. I am lacking a boat bestie lol.... anyway, you can dock your boat for free and walk right in for a drink.
While this is legit my new summer spot, I will add that drink prices are high. This is a resort after all, so expect to pay resort prices for things like a beer. This is always the one drawback when I bring newbies. Totally worth the extra cost for the views alone if you ask me! Can’t wait for another chance to sip a cocktail at the Carousel Bar.
Do you have any local spots in your neck of the woods that make you feel like you’re on vacation?
Something ridiculously neat and totally unplanned happened when we were in Las Vegas! Haylie and I were headed to Mandalay Bay for a little aquarium fun. We grabbed my phone to book a Lyft since we were feeling pretty lazy. We did too much walking the day before. It was Lyfts everywhere we went for the second half of our trip since our legs were beat!
Las Vegas Strip 1 Storms Family 0
While clicking away on the app, I was given an option! I could book a self driving car!!! Of course the adventurous part of me squealed with excitement and was like hell yeah!!! It sounded so futuristic. Like the stuff you see in movies!!! After a 10 minute wait for our Self Driving car to arrive, it was time to find out exactly what all of this Self Driving Lyft stuff was about since it was totally new to me!
Lyft Self-driving Ride Service
I apparently have been living under a rock because Lyft's self-driving cars powered by Aptiv have apparently been picking up passengers around Las Vegas for the past year! The program launched in May 2018 and over 55,000 people have been adventurous enough to book a ride. If you’re a world traveler, this is probably old news, but I figured it’s a share-worthy story since I can’t be the only globetrotter to never hear of this.
The cars are self driving, but arrive with two engineers on board in the front two seats. Lyft is on stage 4 out of 5 when it comes to self-driving testing, so engineers on board are legally required to make sure everything goes smoothly. These two individuals basically take notes about the ride and will even spill all the details on these rides. Basically they are the cars babysitters just Incase anything goes wrong.
One of the engineers even pointed out to me that their self-driving cars average a 4.97 star rating and 92 percent of riders gave feedback that they felt safe during the ride. I will have to agree that I too felt very safe. The cars are very aware of their surroundings that’s for sure.
The entire self/driving car experience took about five minutes since we were only headed to Mandalay Bay which is pretty close to where we started, MGM Grand. Honestly, this makes for a really neat story to tell folks, but the ride felt uneventful. Not going to lie, I had hoped for a car that chatted with us, on its own, and drove us, on its own, the presence of two people in the front with screens took a bit of fun from the ride. For the thrill seeker, that's let down. For the self-driving industry, it's a giant win.
It was still neat to take part in what I expect to be the future of the Taxi industry. We aren’t too far away from self driving cars! So glad I had the chance to experience it at the beginning. Can’t wait to see where Lyft is in a year when we head back to Vegas. You bet I will be checking the app constantly for a Self-driving ride for an updated review. Maybe by then we will be close to stage 5 and zero engineers on board! How neat would that be?!?!
The Adventuredome Theme Park!!!! Our last Las Vegas trip was a family focused trip! My daughters second time in Vegas, but the first time she actually left the hotel/foodcourt/pool. Our prior trip was all about hubby and I, so we had babysitting set up through the resort and they took great care of my daughter poolside while hubby and I did all the non-family activities Vegas had to offer. This time around? If something was labeled kid-friendly, you bet we were there!!!! So you best believe we made the trip down the strip to Circus Circus and spent the afternoon at Adventuredome!
Located at the Circus Circus Resort, the Adventure Dome is a five acre indoor Adventure/Amusement Park for adults and children. There are rides and attractions including, Canyon Blaster, the world's only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster. Other rides include bumper cars, midway games, video arcade, rock climbing, FX movies, and clown shows.
All Day Passes ~ When you first arrive and feel the park isn’t as HUGE as you imagined, don’t let that stop you from purchasing an all day pass! The park is wayyy bigger than you realize and purchasing the Adventuredome all day pass will end up saving your a ton compared to purchasing each ride individually. Roller skating is even included in the all day pass! Worth every penny if you’re with kids. Trust me.
Eat Before You Arrive ~ The food at Circus Circus and Adventuredome really isn’t anything to brag about. Vegas food prices are expensive and paying high prices for just ok food?! No one is happy when that happens!! Eat before you arrive!!! You will thank me later.
Souvenir Shopping ~ Honestly, the shops inside the Circus Circus before you enter the Adventuredome have the cheapest prices I spotted for t-shirts, shot glasses, coffee mugs. You know, all the cheesy merchandise you want to being home for your friends and family!! With deals like two t-shirts for $20, I definitely brought home something for everyone!!! Even picked up a killer Las Vegas tye/dye for myself!
Plan To Spend 2-3 Hours ~ If you purchase an all day pass and plan on doing everything, plan on this being a 2-3 expedition. Adventuredome isn’t usually that crowded, but if you happen to be visiting on a holiday/weekend, you might want to add a little bit more time to your schedule since some of the coaster lines will have a small wait.
Bring Socks ~ If you purchase an all day pass, roller skating is included. To skate, you will need to be wearing a pair of socks! Come prepared if skating is your thing.
Height Requirements For Coasters ~ This is an obvious thing to keep in mind, but it’s good to know a head of time so you can prepare any kids in your party that may be under the height requirement. To ride the coasters you must be 48 inches tall. Being inside a casino, you best believe they are pretty strict about height for all the rides. Even the baby rides my daughter was being measured and she’s 7! I’m assuming it must be a policy of theirs to measure everyone for insurance reasons.
Free Clown Shows! ~ Who doesn't love clowns? FREE shows on the main stage take place all day long. Perfect activity when you want to take a break from all the action. Performances daily at noon, 1, 3 and 4 p.m. Additional shows Friday and Saturday at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm.
Snacks ~ I suggest to eat before you head to Adventuredome, but if the kiddos do get hungry or thirsty, there are snack shops throughout the park! You can purchase things like 20oz sodas, bags of Doritos, chips and candy! Nothing was too crazy priced either!
Nevada Resident Discount ~ you can save $2 by flashing your Nevada ID when you purchase your tickets! It’s not a huge savings, but hey! It’s at least something!
Mini Golf, Rock Climbing, 4D Movies ~ Someone in your Party not into rides?! There are a few non-ride options for that person to enjoy. A few of these activities like the golf do cost extra, but at least that person won’t be bored!
If you are hitting up Vegas with kids under 10, Adventuredome is a must! I’m honestly not a fan of the actual Circus Circus hotel since it’s a tad bit run down, but I do give the Adventuredome part of the resort two thumbs up! My 7 year old had so much fun at Adventuredome. We were trying to kill time between checking out of our hotel and heading to the airport and Adventuredome was the perfect activity to do such a thing! With all day asses we rode everything and then went on a few of our favorites one more time before heading to our Lyft.
I usually have at least one thing to complain about, but besides the Circus Circus being run down, I have zero complaints about the actual Adventuredome! Everything was priced right considering you are in Vegas and we had a blast! If I find myself in Vegas with my daughter again, we will be back!
Have you been to Adventuredome?
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.