Category: Travel

5 Reasons You Need To Visit Puerto Vallarta Mexico

puerto vallarta beaches

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico holds a special place in my heart.  I’ve visited three times, and each visit is better than the last.  In fact, I love Puerto Vallarta so much I wanted to honeymoon there, but we were young and broke and ended up going somewhere closer to home (read: cheaper) instead.  But a year ago, my husband and I decided it was time for a romantic getaway to Mexico, 17+ years and two kids later.  It was magnificent, like I knew it would be, and I cannot wait to go back.

puerto vallarta mexico

What’s so great about Puerto Vallarta?  Well, besides everything, I’ve made a list of my top 5 favorite reasons to head to Mexico as fast as your little feet can carry you.

palm tree vacation packing

Top 5 reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:

  1. The beach
  2. The cost
  3. The food
  4. The ocean
  5. The people

 

hotel
  1. The beach

Mexican beaches are absolutely breathtaking.  I mean, the sunsets alone are worth the trip. Beautiful sand, great waves, shell collecting, snorkeling, surfing, warm water, you name it; the beaches in Mexico are wonderful.  We laid around and played on the beach for a solid week, and found the whole experience to be nothing … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

International Travel Checklist

International Travel Checklist

Traveling internationally can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re a first timer. Don’t worry. This continent hopping extraordinaire has you covered with an international travel checklist. I don’t necessarily pretend that this is an exhaustive list, but the ten questions below should help create some peace of mind as you prepare for that excursion to a different land.

1. Did I update myself on travel laws and do I have the appropriate documents? Laws are always changing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “I’ve been there before. I know how it works.” Last year I scrambled to get a Kenyan visa, because they changed the system from getting them at the airport to an online process. South Africa (the country I currently choose to call home) drastically changed their laws last year regarding travel with kids. I have seen people turned away at the airport because they didn’t have the right documents. There is no amount of sweet talking that will get you past sticky situations like these. The best source I’ve found to double check laws for the particular country you are traveling to is U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs site. If you are not American, I’m sure the consular … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Tips For Handling Jet Lag

Tips For Handling Jet Lag

The PG version of explaining jet lag is that it’s a bear. I’ve never experienced an alcohol induced hangover, but I imagine morning hangovers have similar characteristics as jet lag…foggy brain, headache, blurry vision, slurred speech. If you’ve flown over multiple time zones and have the above symptoms along with the inability to form coherent thoughts, then you’re probably deep in the trenches of jet lag.

I recently flew over seven time zones. As if 23 total hours trapped with over 300 other passengers in a tin can wasn’t enough to kick the old noggin into a state of disorientation, skipping through different continents sealed the deal. Upon arriving in the good ole US of A, I didn’t know whether to tell the immigration officer thank you, siyabonga, or danke when he stamped my entry into my country of birth. I went with a slight head nod and methodically followed the herd to find my baggage.

Although there’s no way to avoid the somewhat debilitating effects of jet lag, there is hope. With concentrated effort on your part, you will be back on track in no time. I follow these three easy steps and find that my sleep patterns return to a … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Out My Airplane Window

Out My Airplane Window

I’ve looked out many airplane windows. If only I would’ve stepped foot on all the terrain I’ve passed over, my passport would be full of stamps from all over the world. Even though this hasn’t happened, this pass over in the skies has taught me one very important lesson as I’ve peered out my airplane window to the land below.

What you see not only depends on what you look AT, but also on where you look FROM. James Deacon

Flying the friendly skies has taught me about perspective. It’s incredibly easy to get locked into our own little worlds, especially when we’re busy. Life can get fuzzy when you’re zoomed in so closely to the details right in front of you. Sometimes you have to zoom out to gain perspective, because that’s what the bigger picture does…it gives perspective.

City In Desert

When I lift the shade and look out that tiny airplane window, I see things I wouldn’t see if I was on the ground. A city in the middle of a desert, an airplane flying parallel to my own in the sky, a dark night sky dotted with the lights that make it a city. Zooming out to see the bigger … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Reasons to Love Sun Valley

Sun Valley Barn Title

The West is brimming with all sorts of hidden heavenly nooks and crannies. Sun Valley, Idaho is one of them, with 4 distinctly gorgeous seasons and skies a dozen shades of blue in one day. If you ever have an opportunity to visit, take it. You’ll love it.The resort is sprawling and charming and brimming with traditions and history, while nearby Ketchum is snug and brimming with its own rugged charm and cool vibe. (Most visitors just refer to the entire area as Sun Valley.) There is so much to enjoy in both places, perfect for a  long weekend.

Sun Valley SunFirst and foremost, Sun Valley is known for incredible skiing in the winter months. If you visit in the winter, be prepared to pay premium rates for just about everything. The closer to the resort, the pricier the digs. Regardless of where you stay, though, there is plenty of great skiing, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, even ice skating to keep you happy all day long, and plenty of toasty fireplaces and great dining options to keep you cozy in the evening. Guests  at the resort can even enjoy lovely heated outdoor pools year-round. It’s pretty magical to slip into a … >> find out more...

Kimberly

...by day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.

Make Travel Affordable

Make Travel Affordable

When I talk to people, the biggest hindrance I hear in being able to travel the world is money. I get it. Things cost money and the more people in your party, the more money it costs. There’s basically only three categories that seem to wear on the pocketbook. Let’s have a look see, and maybe we’ll come up with some solutions.

1. Where You Lay Your Head. This is important. Who wants to sleep in a place that is dirt and uncomfortable? I don’t. When you’re on vacation, rest and comfort is key, but does that mean spending an arm and a leg on nice hotels? Sometimes, in the U.S., you can find good deals on decent hotels, however, when you travel the world, you’ll find that many places charge PER PERSON! That adds up fast! It’s totally possible to find relaxing places everywhere without draining the dinero. Personally, my go to spot to find a good deal on a place that’s clean is Airbnb. We’ve stayed in some fantastic places AND met some incredible people. Just be sure to read the reviews and find a place that’s going to accommodate your party. If you find yourself in White … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Why Vaccination For Children Across The World Is So Critical

Today we’re talking vaccination! This is really important, and I’m so excited to share what I’ve been doing behind the scenes with the United Nations Foundation campaign Shot at Life.

Before we even dig in, I want you to watch this video from the Shot at Life campaign.  It’s 1:38 seconds and it will make you cry.

Good?  That’s why we’re talking about vaccines.

shotatlife

A couple of years ago I was thrilled to be a part of the online blogging relay #Blogust to raise awareness of childhood vaccination rates and disease prevention.  Since then I’ve been delighted to be involved as a Social Good Fellow and ambassador for Shot@Life.  What’s Shot@Life?  Well, it’s amazing.  And last month I had the chance to go to Washington, D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill on behalf of this amazing global campaign, and to learn more about Shot at Life and why the work we’re all doing is so critical to saving millions of lives.

shot at life

Vaccinations are a tricky debate in the United States, and the fact that we’re even having a debate shows our privilege.  Millions of mothers across the world would give anything to have that opportunity.

I’m … >> find out more...

Allison

Well, hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. We do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, crazy home remodel projects, and cool (yes, cool) DIY crafts you'll totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

I Found Joy At The Dump

Joy At The Dump

Last month I was in Kenya. Nestled along the borders of Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, I find this part of East Africa to be inhabited by some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. It’s as if smiles are a permanent part of their facial features. It’s beautiful, really.

On last month’s excursion to this land of kindness, I went to a dump in Nakuru. I wasn’t scavenging for some trash to treasure pieces to craft a Pinterest masterpiece. No, I went to visit the people that dwelled there. You heard me right. There’s a whole community of people who call this dump “home.” Shocking as it sounds, I wish you could have witnessed it with me.

Happy-Kids

The wind was a blowing that day, and so the debris wafting about in the air caught my eye as did the pungent odors that reached my nose. It was a sensory explosion before I even left the confines of the van we were traveling in. Those marabou storks, though. They were everywhere, perched atop the piles of trash like they owned the place. Perhaps it actually was their territory seeing as how carrion and feces are their delicacy. … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Living In The Third Largest Slum In The World

Living In The Third Largest Slum In The World

A slum is defined as a squalid and overcrowded urban street or district inhabited by very poor people.  If you’ve never visited such a place, then I’m sure the word “slum” conjures up all sorts of images from noise to filth. While there is merit in those thoughts, it would be ashamed to stop there, because you would be missing the greatest asset that gives life to such a place, and that’s the people.

Kids In Slum

I recently returned from my third trip to Kenya, a land that I love dearly. Each time I’ve visited Kibera, the third largest slum in the world nestled 5 kilometers from Nairobi’s city center. Two of those visits I actually lived in the slum. It proved to be a rich experience, because it gave me a taste, a glimpse, of what life is like in a place that is so foreign to my upbringing. It’s noisy. It’s dirty. It’s hard, but the people are gold. Their smiles and warmth melt away the rough edges of life in a place marked by hardship.

Getting Gas

The inhabitants of this slum used to live in a forested part of Nairobi that was pleasing to the eyes. It was a land >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.