5 Must Have Travel Trips for Kids

5 Must Have Travel Trips for Kids

5 Must Have Travel Trips for Kids


Looking for travel tips for your kids? It doesn’t have to be impossible to enjoy vacation and travel with your kids. By following some simple tips and routines you can have a fun trip and travel with your kids with less stress.


I’m in kind of a brain fog right now since we got back from vacation last night but I don’t regret any of it – the late nights, the way too many carbs and the lack of routine were completely worth it! We had such an amazing time, just a few hiccups, and I learned some things I wanted to pass on to you!


See the thing is, we haven’t been on vacation for 2 years. After my husband was out of work for 7 months, it’s been an uphill battle to get in control of our finances again and even have space in the budget for much fun. Don’t get me wrong – I’m super happy and my life is full of joy but honestly, we don’t have much ‘fun’. 


Related Post: How to Survive When Money is Tight 


I wanted this vacation to be one that we’d all remember, with limited stress and just a great time for all of us! Luckily, it completely exceeded our expectations and we’re home now – tired and beat – but so happy and grateful for our time together!


If you haven’t gone on vacation yet this summer (or want to think ahead for next year), I wanted to share some of the things I did to help it go smoothly AND some places that I wish I had planned better!



This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


How to Travel with Kids


How to Set a Budget for Vacation


Since we don’t have credit cards, everything we do has to come from our income and needs to be budgeted for. When planning this vacation, we did our best in advance to find places we could save money and get deals so that it wasn’t super expensive.


Sometimes when you go on vacation, you just want to have fun and don’t think about spending until you get the bill later. By pre creating a budget, you can still have fun but make choices that don’t leave you feeling regretful later on. 

Ways to save money for vacation: 


– Bringing snacks on trips with kids:

This was a HUGE one. I bought snacks from Aldi and put them in small ziplock bags before we left (because we all know what happens if you just open a bag of chips right?). When we stopped as rest stops there was no need for any impulse buys and we had snacks for the hotel room or late nights as well. I shared all that we brought on my Instagram – just click the highlight for Travel Tips!






-Staying at a hotel with a continental breakfast:


With a family of 5 I will do my best to stay places with free breakfast. Since my kids get up so early (yes, even on vacation) we were able to eat breakfast at 7am and stop for their snack at 10am before breakfast closed!


Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas


– Why have your kids share meals when you eat out? 


We only had to eat out for 4 meals the entire trip (breakfast was free and so were 2 of our meals with the family reunion) so when we did eat out I tried to order things we can share. I never get my kids their own meal – the littlest get a kids meal and an extra plate!


They are food wasters and I knew I’d be so annoyed if they did it when I spent money on food so I was smart about this when we were out. One night we did spend more to eat at a seafood buffet but found one where kids under 4 eat for free! This helped offset the cost since this was a more expensive meal. 


-Using coupons to make travel cheap and affordable 


On our drive back we stopped in Ocean City, Maryland and hit up the amusement park and rides. Our hotel had a discount for tickets so we got unlimited rides for only $18 per kid. At first I did NOT want to pay this because it just seemed so expensive but it was $10 cheaper than tickets at the park and the kids went on almost everything! Seeing Arianna go on rides by herself and literally go on everything in her size made it worth it!


Related Post: 6 Apps to Help you Save Money 




Routines and Systems for Traveling with Kids


I tried my best to be ‘flexible Cara” while we were away which honestly is super tough for me. I’m super type A and love my routines a LOT. But because we have good systems and routines at home, I found many of them transferred over to our trip.


-Nap and Bedtime Routines for Kids:


I was VERY flexible when it came to sleep on this trip. When you have older kids and younger kids it is much more challenging to lock down at 7pm for bedtime while you’re away so my kids were up until 10-11pm most night (and one night until midnight!)


This was something I never thought I’d be willing to do but, when it came time for bed my kids knew what to do. They grabbed their pajamas, read their book, said prayers and went right to bed. It was awesome to see our home routines transfer over on vacation. (If you need help creating an evening routine, check out this blog post on how to create a bedtime routine for your kids!)


-Cleaning Up Routines:


We started a hamper (garbage bag) for laundry as soon as we got there. I had the kids unpack their things so they could pick out their clothes and we could see what they had left to wear. My daughter was so used to putting her clothes away that she asked right away where the hamper was! This helped when we got home because I was able to just drop the clothes into the laundry machine and get them done as soon got home)



– Tips for traveling in the car with kids


Right away we made a trash bag and every time we stopped we would pick up any trash so that a big mess didn’t catch up to us. This made it a lot easier to unpack the car at the end of the trip! Speaking of the car, we had Arianna in a pull up for the entire 6 hour drive. Even though she is potty trained, we wanted one just in case.


We did bring her portable potty and stopped about 4x on the side of the road but I think she got nervous with all of the cars and never actually used it! We only had one accident the entire trip (and that was on the beach when she pooped in her swim suit! mommy had a fun time running back to the hotel to clean that mess up hahaha) 



What I want to remember next time: 


My phone was having issues the entire trip (seriously, just my phone!) where I couldn’t get my social media to load. I was irritated at first – I mean I had 6 hours in the car and couldn’t mindlessly scroll! But it was such a blessing in disguise. I was able to be super present, I barely was on my phone, and just connected with my family, God, and myself. Not having my phone gave me time to think but it also meant I forgot to take pictures!


I got about a dozen pictures total and with all that family sent me, have a great record of our trip. 


But one thing was missing. 


Pictures with me and my kids. 


Most of the pictures I have are selfies of me and the kids and I barely have any pictures with them. I have a bunch that I have taken with my husband and the kids but it’s rare anyone takes my picture. And I’m not mad about it but it reminds me that I just need to be more intentional. Before the trip I should remind my husband to take more ‘in the moment’ pictures or just ask more often when I think “oh this would be a cute picture”. 


This was the only picture I have with me and Isaiah that my hubby took –




While the rest of my family loved vacation , Zay was pretty miserable. His molars are coming in and with the lack of his normal nap he was cranky. I don’t think I ate one meal without him on my lap, throwing food at me, or putting food on my face. Hubby snapped this picture at our last night at dinner when he had just covered me in ketchup while he tried to give me some fries. 


On the next trip, I want to make sure we get more shots and more memories and it’s just not me taking them!


All in all it was a great trip and I came back refreshed, thankful and so grateful for this amazing family and life God has blessed me with!


On the podcast, I’ll be went in more detail about tips for summer traveling so you can hear more details right here! 




Since we haven’t been on vacation in a while, I did a lot of reading and learning and checking out tips online so that we could really enjoy vacation! Most of my tips came from this Super Travel Bundle! It’s got resources, courses, printables and a ton more tips that can help you with your travel needs! One of our goals is to be debt free in the next 7 years and buy an RV, homeschool the kids and travel for the year! There are so many resources that I can’t wait to plug into when we’re at that planning stage!  Check it out here!


Links and Resources to Help You Travel with Kids

Watch my IGTV on how we packed snacks to save money!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

Get $10 free from Rakuten (formally Ebates) before you book your trip

Use Ibotta for cash back on your trip

Use Amazon Home Services for House Cleaning

Need Help Budgeting? Grab my Busy on a Budget course here in the Master your Money Super Bundle



Busy Bags and Activities for the Car Ride





This travel potty is amazing! It folds up and you put a bag under it for easy clean up!




Related Travel Tip Blog Posts

4 Steps to Cheap Summer Activities

How to Survive When Money is Tight

How to Change Your Money Mindset

5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

How to Get Your House Clean in 15 Minutes a Day



Need Help Getting Your Budget Under Control so you can Save for your trip?

Try the 5 day FREE challenge to kick your debt to the curb!


Must Have Book for Christian Moms (More for Mom Book Review)

Must Have Book for Christian Moms (More for Mom Book Review)

What does it mean to have more for mom?


Is there More for Mom out there? 


Motherhood is tough. 


Every single day you may feel like you’re failing. You make mistakes, you compare yourself to other moms and you try to live up to a perfect standard that only exists in our heads. Society screams that you should be one way, your heart may lead you another way and you do your best to lead your children in a way that is pleasing to God. 


Every day feels like you’re on the battle ground. 


And maybe you’ve been there before – stuck in the grind of day to day when months go by and you wonder when you last did something for you, picked up your bible for quiet time with the Lord, or even had a few minutes to take a breather and reflect. 


It’s the unfortunate truth of parts of motherhood but it doesn’t have to be the entire truth. 


God made us for more. He made us to live in and lean on Him. While life will never be without struggle that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to always feel like a struggle. 


So often in motherhood we act as though we are victims. 


“I just can’t find the time to read my bible”


“My house will always be a mess – I have kids” 


“It’s too hard to make it to church with little kids” 


And the list goes on and on. 


But have faith – motherhood CAN feel easier. But only when you lean on God and give in the right way (not just ways that leave you feeling drained) 


Related Post: How to Find Time for Self Care as a Busy Mom 





I was gifted this book for an honest review but the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


More for Mom Book Review

If you’re looking for a book that is refreshing for your mommy soul, you should definitely check out More or Mom by Kristin Furston. 


I was able to preview this book before it came out and was so glad that it came across my lap! 


I’m constantly reading parenting books and listening to parenting podcasts that help me look at motherhood through a new lens. 



Related Post: How to Find Time to Read as a Busy Mom


I had gotten to a place where I was feeling stuck, like my kids were ‘in the way’ of my to do list and irritated at any interruption that wasn’t in my plan. 


I’m so thankful that I was able to read this book because it helped me refocus my parenting and mindset around how much strength God will give me though motherhood. 


This book is a nice, humor filled read that any mom can connect with. In it Funston shares moments from her life (that trust me – we can ALL relate to as moms) and mixes them with the biblical truths that we need to hear when we are in the motherhood trenches. 


Not only does More for Mom speak to your spiritual life but gives you practical and applicable action you can take to change your mindset and parenthood right away. I love reading books that allow me to take action and not just hear their opinions or theory. 


This book is rooted in scripture which is very important to me when discerning parenting books and is laid out in an easy to follow sequence.  It allows moms to recognize what it truly looks like in the daily grind to be holy and whole – not just constantly on the struggle bus.




Quotes from More for Mom


I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from this book to give you a better picture if this book will help you as a mom!


I’ve saved them to Trello board so that I can pull out the quotes as I need a little boost or text them over to a friend who might be having a hard day!






It’s being content in the crazy and having peace knowing that God’s in control, even when I’m stretched thin and don’t feel like I can do anything else”. P5






“We search and search and set happiness at the end of the path we’re tumbling down. But happiness comes along the way. It meets us along the routine rather than at the designation “ p26






“Our thoughts, decisions and overall mindset much live in a holy place, a place set apart from what our world says is natural for us. Once our minds are right, our spirits will lead and than our bodies – actions, words, feelings – will follow.” P 48






“It’s hard to enjoy the behind the scenes of our own lives while we are looking out at the highlight reel of the rest of the world” p85






“Why have we let our reality shape our fantasies? We need to let our God-driven fantasies shape our realities.” p 126







Who Should Read More for Mom


If you’re looking for a great Christian book on motherhood and need some refreshment in parenting, I highly recommend picking up a copy of More For Mom!


Related Post: 30+ Must Read Books for Christian Moms


This is also great if you’re looking to really look practically at the time you spend with God and how you spend the rest of your days. 


This book includes some great chapters and actionable tips on technology and fasting that I’m excited to add into my life!







Make sure you PIN this for later when you’re looking for a great book recommendation! Head over to Amazon to grab this book now!


Have you read it? Leave your review in the comments!




More Tips for Moms

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School 

Activities to Prepare Your Kids for Preschool 

7 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes


Resources for the Busy Mom

Organize Your Life with Trello

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman 






Preschool and Toddler Printables, Crafts and Activities for Easter

Preschool and Toddler Printables, Crafts and Activities for Easter

Toddler and Preschool Crafts, Activities and Printables for Easter


If you’re looking for easy and fun activities for your preschooler this Easter – look no further! I’ve compiled a list of activities, printables, and crafts perfect for both your toddler and preschooler. 

As a mom to an 18 month old and a 3.5 year old, I am always looking for activities that they can both enjoy. I love things that make great morning quiet activities and fun things that we can do when we need to get some energy out! I don’t shy away from a mess but I’d rather have things with less little pieces. 

So if you’re wanting fun activities for your toddler, scroll down, pin the ones that look fun and have a great Easter!



This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Keeping The Spark In Your Marriage

Keeping the Spark in Your Marriage A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 39 iTunes | Google Play Keep the spark alive in your marriage is not just for Valentines Day! Take the pressure off yourself and your hubby by prioritizing your marriage everyday, in these three...

4 Reasons Your Need to Attend the Purpose Driven Mom Summit

4 Reasons Your Need to Attend the Purpose Driven Mom Summit

4 Reasons to Attend the Purpose Driven Mom Summit


The Purpose Driven Mom Summit is an annual virtual conference just for moms!


Last year we kicked off the summit with an amazing group of speakers and attendees and it completely fueled my fire for the vision I have for this site, this community and my ministry.


As we dive back for this second year, I am so excited to share with you our topics, our speakers and all the goodies and bonuses that you can grab for attending!


Early bird tickets go on sale February 25th and our conference will run April 8-12th! Depending on when you are reading this post you can head over to get on the waitlist (which will get you a discount and inside scoop!) or jump on and grab your ticket!


Our theme for the conference is Parenting with Grace and Intentionality and we’ll cover topics form mindset and mom guilt to self care and parenting to meal planning and budgeting! We wanted to make sure we helped equip all moms with the tools they needed to ‘mom by design’!



Why you should attend the Purpose Driven Mom Summit!


The Speakers


We’ve got such a great lineup of speakers this year! We actually still have a few we haven’t announced (eeep! The anticipation!) and some great topics to help you mom with intention!


We’ll be having 19+ speakers and their sessions will span over 5 days! You can watch which presentations you need most in the season you are in and come back to the ones that you need later!


This year’s lineup includes:

Sara Robinson from Get Mom Balanced – Rethinking Self Care and Making it a Regular Habit

MacKenzie Koppa from Cultivating the Lovely – Fostering Hope & Joy in Difficult Seasons

Kim Williams from Single Black Motherhood – The Truth about Work/Life Balance

Elisa Giorgio from Meal Planning Blueprints – Simplifying the Family Meal Plan

Liz Millay from The Steadfast Family – Getting Started with Teaching your Kids the Bible

Kristen Skiles from Stepmomming – Becoming Fluent in your Partner’s Love Language

Christel Brewer from Perfectly Blended and Blessed – 6 Tips Every Mom Must Know to Parent with Intention 

Rachel Martin from Finding Joy.Net – Limiting Beliefs: Would you ever tell your child they’ll never be good at math?

Aimee Guess from Eating Healthy, Spending Less – Grocery Shopping and Healthy meal Planning on a Budget

Kori Tomelden from Kori and Home – Teaching Safety to Your Young Kids

Jess Kempf from Budget for Health – Simplify & Streamline Nutrition on a Budget

Carrie Robaina from Carrie Robaina.com – The Truth about Life Balance

Caroline King from Mama Instincts – Stop Yelling: How to use Positive Parenting for More Joy in Your Home

Jackie Horbrook from Jackie the Educator – Prioritizing What Matters for You in Your Life 

And my own sessions which will be

Incorporating Healthy Living and Exercise to Take Care of You

Money Hacks to Stretch Your Budget and Pay off Debt

Creating Family Systems and Getting Organized with Trello

Get More Done with the Time You Have

Creating Habits for Your Family and Yourself 

We have more sessions that I’ll share soon but for now, get excited about the variety of moms we have sharing their hearts, passions and truth with you!





Summit is Fully Online and In Your Home


I would love to host an in person conference one day (and believe me, it’s on the vision board!) but in this busy season of life, virtual conferences and summits are perfect.


If you’ve never attended a virtual event, you get lifetime access to all of the sessions and can watch at any time (over and over and over!)


The sessions will run every other hour from 9am-5pm each day. They will go up as a pre-recorded session and then, at the next hour, that speaker will be live in our private Facebook community group where they will answer your questions live and talk deeper about their subject!


The best part about an in home summit is that you can make it work around your schedule. No need for a babysitter or to get dressed out of your yoga pants! You can tune into a session when it goes live while you fold laundry or cook dinner, or watch the recording after your kids go to bed with a cup of tea!




Encouragement, Motivation and Practical Tips


Mom life is hard. But we don’t have to do it alone.


In the day to day, it can be such a struggle to stick to our goals, keep a positive mindset and not lose our minds! We are balancing so many things as moms and we need a little pick me up too!


This year’s summit is a great balance of mindset and encouragement sessions to help you through the touch mom days but practical advice to make your day to day mom life easier!



Two Pricing Options


We have two great pricing options that fit your budget and needs!


$39 basic ticket (early bird price $32) This gets you lifetime access to all of the sessions and presentations! This is a great option if you want to attend the conference on a budget!


$46 VIP ticket (early bird price $39) Not only will you get the basic access but you’ll get a digital workbook for the summit so that you can take all of your notes for the summit! You’ll get a few more bonuses along the way as well!


Anyone who buys during the early bird ticket window (from February 25th – March 1st) also gets a 7 day trial to the Purpose Driven Mom Club! The Club is a monthly membership where we work to help moms be accountable to their goals and go after what matters!






Great Community


While our conference is online, I want you to feel connected to the speakers and other attendees. The community that is created when you are around like minded moms working towards the same goals is incredible!


We’ll have a private Facebook community page (and yes, you can access all the videos outside of Facebook too!) where we will chat, get to know each other, ask questions and you’ll get to informally get to know the presenters.


Each presenter will also be doing a live session in the group where you can bring your questions and really dig deeper into the topics!


The group will always stay open so, if you’re watching a session later and have a question, you can always pop on the thread or put a comment for a presenter!


So what are you waiting for? Head over and grab your seat now and we’ll see you in April!

Keeping The Spark In Your Marriage

Keeping the Spark in Your Marriage A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 39 iTunes | Google Play Keep the spark alive in your marriage is not just for Valentines Day! Take the pressure off yourself and your hubby by prioritizing your marriage everyday, in these three...

30+ Must Read Books for Christian Moms

30+ Must Read Books for Christian Moms

Books for Christian Moms


Being a mom is tough and even tougher when you want to make sure that your Christian values are front and center. It can also feel super lonely to be a mom and I have found the best way to really focus on my needs and values is to continually read and listen to books by other Christian moms.

It can be hard to discern what actually is based in the bible and what might have more of a secular view point but my suggestion is to do some research, ask for recommendations and dive in!

Related Post: How to Make Mom Friends and Beat Stay at Home Mom Depression


This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.




How to Get Audio and Books for Free


Many of the books listed can be found on Amazon, Audible, at the bookstore or even for free with apps like Hoopla and Overdrive!


My goal is to read a physical book each month and listen to one on audible as well! The allows me to get in some growth and development in the margins of my busy life or while I am in the car, folding laundry or making dinner!


If you want to use Audible, make sure you head over and use this link to get two book for FREE! Audible provides you with audio books and has millions of titles including many of the ones listed below!


And if audio books aren't for you, go and grab a 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited for FREE! Just click here and even more titles are at your fingertips!


Now go and check out the list below! To read more about it, just click the picture and you can choose the format!



Christian Books Every Woman and Mother Should Read


Fervent by Priscilla Shirer


Becoming Mom Strong by Heidi St. John



Give them Grace: Dazzling your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick



Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that can radically change your family by Paul David Tripp



Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman



Glory in the Ordinary by Courtney Reissing



Grooming the Next Generation for Success by Dani Johnson




The Warrior We Call Mom by Deven Wallace




Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington




Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson




Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with God by Karen Ehman




Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff




The Life Giving Parent by Sally Clarkson




Hello Mornings by Kat Lee




Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey




Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley




Hands Free Mama:A Guide to Putting down the Phone, Burning the To DO List and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters by Rachel Mary Stafford




Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst



You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth




It's Okay Not to Be Okay by Sheila Walsh




Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When He Speaks by Priscilla Shirer




100 Days of Brave by Annie F Downs




Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure




Uninvited: Living Loved When you Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely.




You were Meant for a God Sized Dream by Holley Gerth




Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Minds by Jen Wilken




Lies Moms Believe and How the Gospel Refutes Them by Rebekah Hargraves




Related Post: Lies Moms Believe Book Review 


Mom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get it all Right by Jeannie Cunnion




Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover



Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist




I hope this list of must read books for Christian moms and woman gave you a great list to get started! Make sure you PIN this to come back to later as you need another suggestion! 



Did I miss a book on your list? Put it in the comments!

Keeping The Spark In Your Marriage

Keeping the Spark in Your Marriage A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 39 iTunes | Google Play Keep the spark alive in your marriage is not just for Valentines Day! Take the pressure off yourself and your hubby by prioritizing your marriage everyday, in these three...

10+ Fun and Unique Elf on the Shelf Ideas

10+ Fun and Unique Elf on the Shelf Ideas

10+ Easy Ideas for Elf on the Shelf


Kids love elf on the shelf but it can become a parents nightmare when they run out of fun and unique things for their elf on the shelf to do each day! As parents, we often forget to move the elf, don’t want to take a lot of time to move the elf, and who doesn’t need elf on the shelf arrival ideas?


If you’re like me, then you’re probably always searching your head, Facebook and Pinterest for fun ideas that don’t take a lot of time! I’ve done the searching for you and have a great list of over a dozen fun ideas for your elf on the shelf!


Related Post: Elf on the Shelf Printable Planner



When I was trying to come up with ideas to share and use with my 3 year old this year, I wanted things that were different but mostly, things that were simple! Yes, some of them take a little bit of planning and preparation but they are still super fun and your kids will love them!


This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


Related Post: Minimize Gift Giving with the 4-Gift Plan



The Inspired It – – Fantastic Elf on the Shelf Resources





Spaceships and Laserbeams — Ideas and Letters Templates





Artsy-Fartsy Mama – Elf Advent Calendar






This Mama Loves — Elf Sized Cookies





This Mama Loves — Elf on the Shelf Backgrounds





This Mama Loves — Elf on the Shelf Photo Booth





Desert Chica — Elf on the Shelf Names





Desert Chica — 20 Dress up Ideas for Elf on the Shelf





Family, Food and Travel — Elf on the Shelf Intax Camera





Uncommon Designs Online — Elf on the Shelf Dress



Hope these fun, unique and creative ideas for Elf on the Shelf help you have a great and memorable holiday season! As hard as it can be to always think of things to do with your elf, your children will light up with joy while they make memories with their elf on the shelf! 

Make sure to pin these ideas for those nights when you need inspiration!






Keeping The Spark In Your Marriage

Keeping the Spark in Your Marriage A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 39 iTunes | Google Play Keep the spark alive in your marriage is not just for Valentines Day! Take the pressure off yourself and your hubby by prioritizing your marriage everyday, in these three...