A Quick Guide To Family Friendly Resorts for 2015

Summer 2015 is here and families are traveling near and far for their annual family vacations. Traveling with one or more kids can be challenging and expensive if you don’t plan ahead, research different options or jump on the latest craze of crowdfunding your entire trip. Some destinations are more family-friendly than others or offer perks like free dining for children. For savings deals and the best experience, look for off-the-beat-and-path destinations beyond the typical Disney World stop.

To give you a head start, here’s a list of family-family resorts in the U.S.:

1. Princess Royale. Known as one of the best hotel destinations in Ocean City, MD, Princess Royale’s accommodations are created for family-style vacations with two-room suites and fully-equipped kitchenettes in most rooms. In addition to the property’s amenities including beach access, a sprawling pool and pizza bar, endless activities for kids are located in close proximity.


Courtesy: Tripadvisor.com

2. The Breakers. Perched on 140 acres of pristine waterfront, The Breakers is a luxury destination fit for the entire family. The property features a year-round kids’ camp, private babysitting, playgrounds and more.


Courtesy: TheBreakers.com

3. Kingsmill Resort & Spa. Situated nearby Colonial Williamsburg, attraction options are plenty for this resort. Made up of three-floor condos in villa-like clusters, daytime activities include soccer, fishing, swimming, craft-making and more.

4. The Tyler Place Family Resort. A rustic style summer camp resort with something for every age group, The Tyler Place Family Resort is perfect if you are looking for organized activities for both parents and children. For example, parents can enroll in archery classes, practice yoga, and take painting classes and more.


Courtesy: Tripadvisor.com

So pack yourself a meal replacement shake that’ll energize you for a few hours because a visit to any of these resorts will have your kids running around in hyper drive!

Loading Up The KIA Sedona For FUN Adventures #AD

This is a sponsored post by Kia.

I only had three full days of reviewing the Kia Sedona LX and feel like I barely scratched the surface of all the fun that can be had in it. And I have to say we had a lot of fun. We set off taking it slow on Saturday and we went to the kids acting class and then to Starbucks. Then we drove to Griffith Park and I forgot to take pictures. I’m sort of out of habit of reviewing vehicles. 20150524_212414271_iOS


The next day we decided to take more of a road trip so I looked at the map and picked out a beach used the GPS and arrived safely. I picked Point Dume State Beach in Malibu. Wow, Malibu was nothing like I expected you travel through these beautiful mountains and then you suddenly are spit out onto the beach. It was breathtaking. I took away all electronics and made the kids enjoy the beauty with me. We had such a fantastic time we just forgot to bring our swimsuits.


I mean we didn’t forget I just thought it was going to be too cold to get into the water and the kids ended up getting soaking wet. So we stopped at Target got some new clothes and the kids were able to change in the back of the Sedona, one kid in each row. The windows are tented so no one can see in. Then after they were in dry clothes we drove in the opposite direction of the beach and found a Sonic Drive in. Then we stopped at home.



Because we had so much fun at the beach we decided the next day we needed to load up and go to the beach again. 20150525_175154034_iOS

This time we planned it and picked up friends on the way. We had the room so why not. The Kia Sedona seats 8 with adjustable seating in the middle. You can move the seats back and forth and from side to side. (Choice of seating available for up to eight,or available Slide-N-Stow™ second row. (translation: multiple configurations for family trips or trips to the hardware store and plenty of cargo room.) When we arrived at our friends’ place I had to pull off to the side very close to the curb, the car sensed a tree and pulled in the side mirror to keep itself from being damaged. That was really a cool feature. (side note, because of all of the cameras on this vehicle parallel parking is a breeze, even with how large it is….I NEVER thought I would park something this big before). They piled in and added their beach supplies and then off to Target we went to get even more supplies. We couldn’t fill up the trunk not at all. 20150525_202416103_iOS

Again, we arrived at the beach for a day full of fun. And driving home the kids reclined their chairs and put up their feet. Yep they were sitting in the lap of luxury. While we also listened to the Kids station on SiriusXM.


Now for features I haven’t mentioned yet. The front seats and steering wheel were heated, while the seats could also be cooled. I love having a hot back so I always use the heat. I mentioned the rear view mirrors and how easily they adjusted when needed and they were quite easy to adjust for the driver. The Kia Sedona also has next-generation, driver assist technology includes Advanced Smart Cruise Control and Blind-Spot Detection with Lane-Change Assist. (translation: conveniences that help make the driving experience enjoyable and safe.) LOVE THIS FEATURE! I ALWAYS use this feature while driving on the highway. Kia collage

It can detect if the car in front of you is slowing down and will slow you down. And, every time I come close to the lane or try to change lanes without using the signal the car beeps at me to alert me that I’m getting close to the line. The sun roof was a feature the kids loved, oh yeah, there were two sun roofs, how cool is that? And opening the sliding glass doors was easy for the kids and if they left them open I had a button in the front seat that I could use to close them.

kia seat orientations

I’m sure there are plenty of features that we didn’t explore. For example we didn’t use the 3rd-Row Seats offer the versatility of a 50/50 split-fold to accommodate a variety of passenger and cargo combinations. The seats easily disappear into the cargo area when not in use. I wish I had this vehicle for the long drive back to Washington. We would be able to take almost all our stuff home in it. Oh and we never took advantage of how many different kinds of electrical plugs this car had.20150526_042114026_iOS

There was USB/12 Volt, and 110 Volt. It’s the perfect vehicle to take on a road trip.


We Loved This Ride

Exploring Rome with your Kids

    A splendid holiday in Rome is not just ideal for history buffs or adventure seekers. Any family that wants to visit the Eiffel Tower, Florence Cathedral, Colosseum, or the Roman Forum, will surely enjoy in this wonderful country.

    But if you are thinking about going on a trip to Italy with your children, careful planning and a whole lot of patience is needed if you want to further enjoy your trip., The city is quite big, so you need to have a keen eye on each family member. If it is your first time to go here, you need to map out all of the family-friendly hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions before you even land. To learn more about travelling to Rome with your kids, check out this short article below.


1. Pace yourself

    The city is surrounded with numerous monuments, historical sites, ruins, and museums to explore. It is highly recommended that you do not rush your visit and start exploring at your own pace. Start navigating the most accessible tourist attractions around your location. That way, you won’t have to waste your time travelling from one place to another.

2. Squeeze some play time on your schedule

    With so many historical sites to visit, you are probably super excited to explore every last one of them. However, do not forget that you are traveling with your kids. As much as you want them to learn about the rich culture of Rome, the young ones might get tired, bored, and cranky after jumping from one place to the next. Make sure that you take adequate rest every once in a while. In addition, find time to break away from the history lessons and just let them explore the local museums that cater to children. Explora il museo die bambini, for instance, is a museum where kids can learn more about science.

3. Rent some travel gear

    Instead of bringing your baby’s stroller to Rome, it is highly recommended that you just rent one instead. Most online services offer a lot of items ranging from nursery equipment, strollers, cribs, high chairs, travel cots, car seats, toys, and a whole lot more. This method will help you save luggage space, and will make your kids enjoy the trip further.

4. Let the young ones become more involved with the trip

    Before flying to Rome, make sure that you introduce your kids to the city. Together, you can read about the Roman Empire, or watch an online travel documentary about the place. This will help them become more interested about the trip. You can also let him decide which place to go next.

Care to share other useful tips when traveling to Rome with your kids? Share your thoughts below!

5 Things to do in Canada’s Cultural Capital, Ville de Montreal

Montreal is a vibrant mega city full of art, culture, architectural masterpieces and good food. The city is well planned and laid out, with a highly efficient public transportation system and a network of bike routes, giving Montreal a more European flavor than the rest of Canada. There’s so much to do here, this article won’t be enough to cover all the magnificent activities and attractions this great city has to offer. So, let’s get started!

1. Head up to Mont Royal

When you’re in Montreal, be sure to include a trip to Mont Royal, the 760-ft. high hill Montreal was named after. Parc du Mont-Royal was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, co-creator of New York’s Central Park. The park offers spectacular views of the entire city, with the Chalet du Mont Royal serving as a wonderful lookout spot. The park is famous for its diverse flora and fauna, and is one of Montreal’s best known and best loved spots.

2. Step back in time and visit Old Montreal

I’m a sucker for all things vintage, and Old Montreal is one fine glimpse into the past. Vieux- Montréal is the site of the original city of Montreal and is a cultural mecca, being the hub and hive of all things artsy. Cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes and horse-drawn carriages will greet you as you set foot in this beautiful part of the city seemingly untouched by time.

Have a drink at one of the many cafes overlooking the river, or enjoy some performance art in the summertime. Most notable is the Hôtel de Ville or the old Town Hall, with its grand architecture and historic past.

3. Say a prayer at Montreal’s grand basilicas

Your Montreal trip wouldn’t be complete without dropping by the Basilique Notre-Dame, one of the city’s most visited attractions. The iconic church is home to a 7,000 pipe organ that’s estimated to be a hundred years old and is located at the rear chapel. It also houses the gigantic 11-ton Jean-Baptiste bell. When you hear those bells toll, better head on inside the church to see the beautiful ornate wood carvings, stained glass windows, centuries old statues and high vaulted ceilings.

There’s also the Basilique-Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde (Mary Queen of the World Cathedral), which is a small scale replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Don’t let the word “small scale” fool you, because this church sits proudly right smack in the middle of towering skyscrapers and can hold its own due to the 294 ft. high dome.

4. Experience Nature in the City

If you’re a nature lover or if you want your kids to experience nature up close and personal, go to the Montreal Biodome for a fun nature adventure. The Biodome is split into four ecosystems: a tropical rainforest, a Laurentian forest, a polar environment and the St. Lawrence marine habitat. The most awesome part of this adventure is you get to experience the changes in temperatures as you stroll through the entirety of the Biodome and enter each separate ecosystem. There are monkeys, bats, capybaras, puffins, marine wildlife and penguins!

Located next to the Biodome is the 185-acre Botanical Gardens, which is home to more than 26,000 species of flora thanks to 10 massive greenhouses each tailored to a specific theme, like the tranquil Japanese Zen garden that showcases bonsai trees and the Chinese Garden which features designs from the 14th to 17th century Ming Dynasty. Don’t touch any plants in the popular poisonous plant section though, unless you want a trip to the emergency room.

5. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Being the art and cultural capital of Canada, Montreal is home to a lot of museums. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal is the city’s most prestigious museum and has been building its collection of fine arts from renowned artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, Cézanne, El Greco and Renoir. The museum is also home to many Canadian and international masterpieces, plus a collection of artifacts from World War I.

Honorable Mention

As I said, we were bound to run out of real estate when talking about all the amazing things you can do in Montreal. A list like this should be 10x long! Anyway, other places you can go to that are worth mentioning are:

· Plateau – you should spend a day or more here. Go to every shop, every café and talk to everyone!

· Stroll the Underground – There’s a network of underground shops, restaurants and even movie theatres for when winter rolls in. A must see.

· The Food – I have to say, Montreal is a foodies’ paradise. Prepare to gain a few pounds when you visit. Don’t forget to try the smoked meat, the Montreal Bagel and their famous poutine.

· The Beer – There are tons of micro-breweries and if you love beer like the people of Montreal do, be sure to go to a few of them.

· Visit the Markets – A trip to Montreal wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Atwater market and Jean-Talon market.

There you have it folks! This list is far from complete because there are a whole lot more activities, events and festivals in Montreal you just have to experience for yourself. If you want to be near the action at all times, you can opt to stay in the many hotels or condos in the heart of Montreal, so you don’t ever miss out.

Belize Bucket List: 10 Things to do in this Beautiful Country #Travel

The Central American country of Belize has become a prominent travel destination in recent years, and for good reason. Besides the fact that it’s fun to say “Belize,” this country boasts some magnetic culture, breathtaking scenery and many activities for the true tourist to the club-hopper and social butterfly to the outdoor enthusiast and the historical adventurer. No matter what your taste, this hidden gem is not so hidden but it has what you need to sate your appetite.GaiaRiver

If hitting Belize is your idea of an exotic vacation, here are 10 places and activities to consider while you are there – because we’d hate to see anyone have any regrets of something they missed! Consider yourself informed.

1. Blue Hole. This is a world-renown diving and snorkeling site located in Lighthouse Reef and is about 1,000 feet long and more than 400 feet deep. This area got its 15 minutes of fame more than 40 years ago when Jacques Cousteau brought it to TV viewers on his popular marine exploration show. Some Belize resorts are actually located near the coral reef barrier, you might want to pick these!

2. Xunantunich. A very popular Mayan ruin which was known as a major ceremonial site for the Maya people. El Castillo Pyramid is located here, which is among the country’s tallest buildings at about 130 feet.

3. Altun Ha Ruins. This Mayan “city” located less than an hour from Belize’s international airport is one of the most popular due to its proximity. This city at one point housed 10,000 people and had as many as 500 different structures. The largest jade object found in Mayan ruins was located in a tomb here.

4. Belize Zoo. Started as a home for animals used in documentaries, it grew into an educational site when many natives knew little about the animals in their country (which makes sense, since most of the 125 native animals at the zoo are nocturnal creatures). This site is about half an hour from Belize City and near Xunantunich, so you could make a full day of two activities on this list.

5. Caracol Ruins. The largest Maya ruin, this one houses the largest building in the country, the pyramid known as Ca’ana, which rises 140 feet into the air and allows for stunning views above the jungle surrounding the site. And yes, you can climb to the top of Ca’ana.

6. Caves Branch River. You can either take a short tubing trip or ride a raft or kayak through a river that spends a good amount of its path underground! It begins in a cave and flows through several limestone hills amidst a dense forest for about 25 miles. A great all-day tour!

7. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. This is something for bird enthusiasts to enjoy, and also those who wish to see species that have been globally endangered, such as the Mexican black howler monkey, American river turtle and Morelet’s crocodile, among others.

8. Dangriga-Hopkins. If you have interest in really seeing Belizean life and culture, head to this urban landscape and small village. This is known as the world’s largest settlement for the Garifuna – a people of West African and Caribbean Indian heritage.

9. Glover’s Reef Atoll. A very remote group of islands 70 miles away from the coastal Belize City, this is one of the world’s best diving and snorkeling areas because of the reefs, pristine water and great preserve of more than 100 species of marine life. It’s so remote, charter boats only make trips twice a week, so expect to spend a couple nights on one of the islands.

10. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave. Located in the Roaring Creek Valley, this 3-mile-long cave has a stream that runs through it continually and it features a large chamber that contains intact human remains – including those of what is called the Crystal Maiden, an intact skeleton of a young woman who was sacrificed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but no matter when you go, you should always make a point to put these 10 activities or place

It’s Family Time: Top 10 Family Vacation spots in the Caribbean #Travel


Crystal clear seas, white sandy beaches, great weather and luxurious resorts make the Caribbean truly special. Beach parties for the mom and dad, diving lessons for teenagers and building sandcastles with white sands for the toddler, the Caribbean has something for everyone in the family.
Here is our pick of top ten spots in the Caribbean for you to plan your next family vacation.


Cayman Islands: Cayman Islands has beautiful barrier reefs for nature lovers as well as all-inclusive resorts for the family that prefers to have a pre-planned vacation. Your kids will have a wonderful time at the Stingray City where they could feed Stingrays and interact with them. In the Caymans, you could go for hiking in the Mastic Trail and get up close with some of the rarest plant species in the planet.
British Virgin Islands: The British Virgin Islands is the place to be for the family that wants to stay away from the crowd and be pampered. Sailing in the clear waters and climbing the granite boulders of ‘The Baths’ are must do activities if you choose to be in the British Virgin Islands.
Belize: Not as touristy as many other Central American countries, it’s the place to be if you are looking for a nature adventure, especially if you stay in the best resorts in Belize. With its lush forests, meandering rivers and lofty mountains is a nature lover’s dream come true. It also has one of the world’s largest coral reef.
Bermuda: Bermuda is for the family that prefers to chill out and relax in the lap of luxury and nature. You could unwind with a massage and a facial at the any of the Spas here, while your kids explore the pink sands at the Horseshoe Bay Beach.

St. Kitts & Nevis: The twin-islands of St.Kitts & Nevis are quite different from each other. St.Kitts is known for its festivals and parties, the most popular ones being the St.Kitts Carnival around Christmas and the St.Kitts Music Festival every June. Nevis is smaller and quieter, with beautiful white beaches, dormant volcanoes and hot springs – the ideal place to be if you are looking for a quiet family-time together in the midst of nature.

Barbados: When in Barbados, you can dance to Calypso music, play beach cricket, watch a horse race or just enjoy your afternoon teas by the beach. This island is home to the much celebrated Mount Gay Rum; don’t forget to take a tour of the distillery and taste the island nation’s gem of a concoction.

Bahamas: Luxurious resorts and duty-free shops for those who enjoy the good life; wildlife reserves, scuba diving and fishing trips for the ones who love being outdoor, there is no dull moment if you are in the Bahamas.

U.S. Virgin Islands: While in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can shop to your heart’s content at St. Thomas Island’s duty free shops, visit museums and historical places at St. Croix, or just walk down the pristine beaches and parklands in St.John’s. You will surely enjoy catching a glimpse of iguanas and other big lizards lazing in the sun, and watching moko jumbies (stilt walkers) dance to Caribbean music.
Trinidad and Tobago: Whether you take the night-time bioluminescence tour on a kayak or go around town tasting the wide variety of tasty street food, you will have the time of your life in the Trinidad and Tobago islands. Trinidad and Tobago is busiest during late February when it cranks it up and becomes all festive to host the Carnival, the Caribbean’s biggest party.

Jamaica: Listen to some reggae beats, tease your taste buds with the island’s own spicy jerk seasoning or just sit by the beach watching the waves crash on the creamy sands, and forget about the world when you are in Jamaica. Jamaica’s southern coast is less touristy, less expensive and great for a quiet family vacation on a budget.

Whether you are on a budget vacation to enjoy the nature or looking to get pampered in a luxurious resort, the Caribbean is the perfect place to take your family. T

Travel To InterContinental Planet Trekkers Hotels & Resorts North & South America

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new signature InterContinental Planet Trekkers Children’s Menu across its InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties. The brand’s North and South American hotels are dishing up exciting and nutritionally balanced meals that promise to take young explorers through an exciting journey of food discovery.


Designed exclusively for young InterContinental hotel guests by award winning chef Theo Randall, and child food expert and best-selling international author, Annabel Karmel MBE, the new menu was developed from start to finish with nutrition and a theme of food exploration at its core. It features delicious dishes with a myriad of flavors, textures, smells and tastes that will take children on an educational and culinary voyage around the Americas while ensuring an enjoyable and nutritionally balanced meal.

Theo is renowned for creating simple, authentic dishes using the best and freshest ingredients. Annabel has written over 37 books on children’s nutrition and cooking for children, and is internationally recognized as a leading authority on helping children to eat properly. Together they conducted a taste and learn tasting session with young guests to explore a variety of ingredients that appeal to young palates in the Americas.

Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray, Vice President of F&B, InterContinental Hotels Group Americas said: “Dining while on vacation is as much a part of the overall adventure as sightseeing. For this menu, we’ve experimented with a variety of flavors, ingredients and combinations to develop a range of dishes that would be familiar to a child’s palate yet create excitement around their dining experience at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts around the Americas. The dishes we’ve created for this menu will leave as much of an impression on the children as the destinations they are visiting.”

With 180 hotels in more than 60 countries, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is dedicated to providing diverse, enriching experiences to help worldly travellers feel they are part of a global club. The brand’s new Planet Trekkers Children’s menu will enable guests’ children to join this club through allowing them to explore child-friendly culinary fare from around the world.

Simon Scoot, Vice President Global Brands, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts said: “As part of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ promise of delivering exceptional experiences for our guests, we are the first hotel company in the world to develop a signature children’s menu in collaboration with two culinary experts.With more than half a million children visiting our InterContinental Hotels & Resorts each year, we want to ensure that we are giving them the opportunity to enjoy ‘Food Exploration,’ which was our guiding principle when creating the new menu.”

The InterContinental Planet Trekkers Children’s Menu is currently available at more than 25 properties across the Americas, and by Q1 2015, most InterContinental hotels in North America and South America will have the menu.

For more information on InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and to explore exciting dining options at the various hotels around the world, visit www.ihg.com/intercontinental. To find out more about the InterContinental brand’s Planet Trekkers Program, visit: www.intercontinental.com/planettrekkers.

To explore IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, visit www.ihgrewardsclub.com and for more information on IHG, visit www.IHG.com.

How to Pick Out A Car with Great Safety Features #MasteringAuto #AD #Giveaway

This is a partnered post our opinions are our own. 

Auto safety has evolved significantly beginning with basic seatbelts and interior lighting to high-tech safety features that can help drivers park their vehicles and avoid accidents. According to safercar.gov, thanks to continuing innovation, today’s vehicles are safer and have contributed to year-over-year decreases in crash-related fatalities and injuries.  


I have a smart car, at least I call it a smart car. The car has lane control and keeps me within two lanes. It complains at me if I swerve too much and if I change lanes without turning on the signal. My car has the ability to brake and anticipate accidents. When I go in reverse I have a backup camera and it yells at me if there is something I’m about to hit. I have automatic lights that change depending on night and day and weather. I also have wipers that auto adjust to the level of rain. So that’s my smart car, and that’s in addition to all the hidden safety features that I don’t think about every day. The car has traction control and lots of airbags. Most importantly – it takes care of my family!

Recently, MetLife Auto & Home® launched the fifth video in its Mastering DisasterSM video series called: “Auto Safety Features” to help consumers understand what technology features to look for when buying cars. For example, very important features in a car are:  back-up cameras, lane-departure warning systems, and electronic stability control (ESC). Whether buying a new or used vehicle, here are a few safety features you should consider and why they’re important 

INSERT VIDEO:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_R3Bs0v3No

MetLife Auto & Home® also shared some tips with us.

Tips to Narrow Your Search for the Perfect Car

When looking for a new car ask yourself the following questions:

What can I afford?

How much space do I need?

Do I need four-wheel drive?

I want something fun to drive, but what?

What options do I need?

Which vehicles are environmentally friendly?

How do I choose a safe car?

Where do I start?

Answers to these questions can be found on MetLifeyourlife.com.

Did you know? By purchasing home or auto insurance through your employer, you could save money by taking advantage of group discounts. If your or your spouse’s employer offered access to MetLife Auto & Home’s group insurance program, you could receive special savings – others who switched saved an average of $466/year!* 

*Savings based on MetLife Auto & Home’s 2014 countrywide research of its new call center customers’ annual average savings in 2013.  MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Economy Preferred Insurance Company, Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI. Coverage, rates, and discounts are available in most states to those who qualify.

Enter to Win:

· MetLife Auto & Home® has 1 $100 AMEX gift card along with a MetLife® blanket to give away to your readers.

To Enter:

Tell us a car safety feature that is most important to your family.

Extra Entries:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AMEX is not affiliated with MetLife Auto & Home and does not sponsor, endorse, approve, nor have any responsibility for this promotion.  Each entrant into the giveaway completely releases Facebook.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, nor associated with, Facebook. No purchase necessary to enter.  Purchase will not affect chances of winning.  Taxes are the responsibility of the winner.  Winner is selected by a random drawing.  No substitutions or cash exchanges.  Unclaimed prizes held for 30 days.  Promotion may be conducted across several locations.  Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.  Void where prohibited.  Entries must be received within contest period, available upon request.  Age and residency requirements may apply.  Entrant bears risk of lost entry ticket.  Winner list is available upon request.  Company bears no liability for winners’ use of prize.  Acceptance of prize is waiver/release from liability.  Publicity release from winner may be required.  Complete contest rules, prize description/value/number of prizes available upon request.

MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Economy Preferred Insurance Company, Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI. Coverage, rates, and discounts are available in most states to those who qualify.

[WA1]Consider encouraging your readers to share on Twitter/Facebook and use the hashtag #MasteringAuto

Karisma Hotels and Resorts Debut Exclusive Nickelodeon Vacation Experience

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce a landmark partnership with Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB and VIA) to bring Nickelodeon brand experiences to Azul Hotels by Karisma.  This collaboration marks the first time Nickelodeon, one of the most globally recognized and widely distributed multimedia brands for kids has partnered with an international resort collection.


The Nickelodeon vacation experience at Azul Hotels by Karisma, a premier collection of family-focused, Gourmet Inclusive® properties in the Riviera Maya, Mexico and Negril, Jamaica, are set to debut in summer 2015.  Karisma Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning luxury hotel collection, which owns and manages properties in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.

“We are thrilled to team up with Viacom International Media Networks to introduce Nickelodeon to our visitors – as Nickelodeon shares our dedication to offering the highest-quality entertainment,” said Mandy Chomat, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts.  “We are confident that the exciting and interactive touch points created for Nickelodeon for Azul Hotels by Karisma will make for tons of fun and very special memories among our guests of all ages.”image

“We’re very pleased to work with Azul Hotels by Karisma to bring our fans closer to the Nickelodeon  characters they know and love,” said Gerald Raines, Senior Vice President, Global Nickelodeon Recreation Partnerships.  “These vacation experiences create yet another touch point for Nickelodeon ensuring that we are bringing the joy and fun of our brand to our fans everywhere they are.”

Exclusive to Azul Hotels by Karisma, the Nickelodeon vacation experience will include character dining’s and interactions with some of Nickelodeon’s favorite characters such as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   

Azul Hotels by Karisma, comprised of Azul Beach Hotel, Azul Sensatori Mexico, and Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma in the Riviera Maya, as well as Azul Sensatori Jamaica in Negril, are designed to keep all members of the family happy and engaged.  Providing something for everyone, Azul Hotels by Karisma boast kids and teen clubs, splash parks, movie nights with popcorn, suites for two adults and three young children, guaranteed connecting suites for older kids, adults-only swimming and lounging areas, and nightly entertainment. 

The Gourmet Inclusive® Experience at Azul Hotels by Karisma is carefully catered to guests that prefer quality over quantity.  From world-renowned partners catering to guests of all ages and the freshest and finest ingredients for an unrivaled culinary journey to ultimate relaxation with 24-hour room service and beach beds, Azul Hotels continuously raises the bar and sets the standard for the world’s finest family travel.

Standard rates at Azul Hotels by Karisma begin at $217 per person, per night including the Gourmet Inclusive® Experience with complete a la carte dining, premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, full-service concierge, and 24-hour room service.  Kids ages 12 and under are 50 percent off; kids under two years old are free.  Reservations can be booked through a GI Vacation Consultant, or by calling Azul Hotels at 1-866-527-4762, or by visiting www.karismahotels.com.

To stay updated and learn more about the Nickelodeon Vacation Experiences at Azul Hotels by Karisma, debuting in summer 2015, please visit:


5 Most Kids-Friendly Countries to Emigrate to: This May Surprise You!

The top five most kids-friendly countries to emigrate to are going to surprise you. You probably have a few thoughts rolling around about what you might find on this list, but the very first one will be something you probably never considered. Before getting into the top five countries on the list it is important to understand the survey conducted was based on real expats living with children. They had criteria for their answers. The top five countries landed at the top because they fit the important criteria.Two kids at city

  • Safety
  • Quality of childcare
  • Outdoor versus indoor time
  • Sports
  • TV- watching less of it
  • Ability to settle in
  • Ability to enjoy new things and not miss friends/home
  • Costs of raising children there
  • Fewer video games
  • Less junk food
  • More social interaction
  • Language learning

There were the criteria used to decide on the top five places. Obviously parents want their children to be safe and have quality childcare options available. It is a plus to see their children get outside, enjoying real life rather than staying indoors with video games, TV, and being unsocial.

The countries on the list have been able to offer more social interaction with more emphasis on education and healthy living versus sedentary indoor lives or unsafe conditions.

The list:

  • Hong Kong
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Netherlands
  • United Arab Emirates

Right now you are probably quite surprised at least with the top place to live with children and number five. Hong Kong while a part of China is still separate. It is freer than areas like Beijing and with plenty of British influence still remaining it is a country with a mixture of cultures. It has been ranked as one of the safest cities.

Australia is less surprising. Australia is still largely unpopulated in large areas. While the cities can have crime, there are also plenty of other locations that provide a safe and comfortable home. It is also not perception or myth to say that Australia as a whole is respectful, where communities come together, and outdoor activities are definitely available.

Canada is another country, which is considered safe, community oriented, and often considered to have the nicest people. No place is completely without crime, but in general Canada tends to have a decent health care system, education system, and offer safety particularly outside of the major cities.

The Netherlands is another community country with nice people who know the value of family and outdoor recreation. Many who have lived in the Netherlands as expats have found it to be extremely comfortable and safe. They have felt more a part of the community than separate no matter where they move from.

The United Arab Emirates is certainly a surprising choice. Knowing there is a hot bed of angst all around the UAE might make someone overlook it as a potential option. Yet, the UAE is family oriented, affluent, and crime is still controlled more so than other countries. Additionally, the UAE has a lot of global business helping to make it a little easier for everyone to fit in.

These are just five of the top countries many are choosing to emigrate and raise their children in.