|WAHOOOOO I’m On Vacation!|
As many of you already know we took our first family trip to St. John last week. I was a little anxious about how everything would go in the airports and on the planes and did as much disaster planning as I could. Below is a summary of our trip and what we learned.
The Airports and Flying:
From the TSA website:
“Medically necessary liquids and gels, including medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice, are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in a zip-top bag. Officers may ask travelers to open these items to conduct additional screening and passengers should declare them for inspection at the checkpoint.”
I packed powdered formula, oatmeal, empty bottles, bottled water, creams, lotions, liquid Tylenol, liquid gas relief medication, and a slew of other care items in a carry on just for Carter. Through security all they wanted to know was that it was for the baby. We did have a mixed bottle tested for explosives however. No big deal. We left out of the Columbia, SC airport and it was dead so we whisked through security.
I called Delta Airlines ahead of time to ask what they prefer we do with a car seat, base, stroller etc. They said because our car seat snaps into the strolled to make one piece just to bring it all and they would check them curb side at no addition at charge. They pink tagged them with no hassle at all. They also told me if we had a TSA approved car seat and they had an empty seat he could ride in it. Nice. I fed Carter every three hours and he was perfect on the flights. Not a peep. Also many of you commented that people usually enjoy seeing babies and are not normally grumpy about they being around. I found that to be very true. No one fussed at all. On the plane to St. John there were changing tables in the bathrooms but on the way home there were not. It was a challenge to change him on top of the seat but Carter can handle anything.
|Darla B., Carter, and Rick|
On the way home we were flying late and he was trying to sleep but kept waking up to various noises, one being a small child who’s parents were getting her all riled up at 10:00 PM on a tiny plane. She kept screaming and Carter kept waking up. By the end of it he was fussy, but he saved it for the car ride home. I don’t blame him, he was so tired of being woken up and moved all over. Next trip we will try to arrive at our destinations before bedtime.
The Westin St.John:
|Washing bottles in our room.|
We had a decent room with a view of the ocean; but I would never pay $650.00 a night for it, ever. We had adjoining rooms, Rick and my mom had a veranda and a king, our double room on the end was the only one without a veranda so ask about things like that when getting your room. Same room upgrade just different rooms. The adjoining rooms turned out great because we could just open up the door and pass the baby back and forth and when Chris and I went out at night my mom could put Carter down in our room and leave the door open and go watch TV on her bed etc. I would not recommend this resort to anyone with a disability that limits their ability to walk long distances to take stairs. We had no elevator, and were on the 3rd floor so we had to carry a stroller, car seat and bags up and down the whole time. The resort is very spread out and if you can’t walk they provide shuttles but you are waiting for them to show and having to tip for each ride so it costs a bit more.
Rick splurged and got a cabana at a discount and it was wonderful. If you can afford the extra expense it makes travel with kids much easier. The cabana had a four person table, television, fridge, safe, four lounge chairs, and a hammock. We could bring all of Carters feeding stuff, including the bottle warmer and leave it there. They brought a crib in and he took tons of naps without me worrying he would roll off something. We also didn’t have to go back and forth to the room a thousand times because we had everything we needed.
|Inside Cabana #2|
We did have a $40 daily resort charge which covered things like parking , Internet, water toys etc. I did enjoy taking out the kayaks and water floats for “free”; older children at the resort were having a blast on a bunch of water trampolines. The service was wonderful throughout the resort. One thing we didn’t realize was they have a list of items they can provide you should you forget them. On that list were things like a bottle warmer, diapers, crib, stroller, car seat and on and on. This was a great place to take a family vacation.
The Kids Club Info taken from The Westin’s website:
“We will greet your kids with complimentary welcome bags full of treats, to keep them occupied throughout your stay. Parents of infants and toddlers will get their own special bag with Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, socket covers, and a nightlight.
Located in all Westin resorts, our onsite Westin Kids Club Discovery Room® is the hub of activities for kids ages 4-12. When your kids spend the day at Westin Kids Club, they’ll receive a Discovery Pack® filled with everything they need to explore that destination: a compass, membership bracelet, disposable camera, canteen, and a collectible travel passport.
For the ultimate family vacation, take advantage of the Destination Club package*, filled with numerous perks to help you maximize quality time as a family:
- Registration in Westin Kids Club (full day of supervised activities for ages 4-12)
- Food and beverage discounts (free for ages 5 and under, 50% off for ages 6-12)
- Grown-up time with Parent’s Night Off
- Three complimentary weekly activities: Fireside Storytelling, Stargazing and Movie Night”
We could not take advantage of this service yet as Carter is too young but one day we will! Also the flight was only 3 hours from Atlanta and 37,500 FF miles. I think that’s a great deal for a short 5 day family get away. It was wonderful!
Travel has become something different this year with our new addition but it is no less of a rewarding experience. I think I will really enjoy showing the world to my children and sharing our travels together.
Shannon, The Rookie
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases