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A few extra dollars can go a long way in planning an adventure of any kind! In this post, I will share with you 9 easy ways to make extra money for travel. By utilizing a few of these strategies, you can save for extra vacation spending money. If you’re looking for inexpensive travel ideas, I have a few for you at the bottom of this post!

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Aside from having an amazing career as a teacher, and in return, making decent enough money to enjoy the freedom of traveling every so often, there are also a few other ways that I make/save money. This extra cash might go towards my spending money, the gear I need, or travel expenses for any given trip! Here I will share with you my favorite ways to save and make a few extra dollars throughout the year! 

1. Credit Cards Offer Great Benefits

Earning Skymiles and Flight Benefits

I currently use a Delta American Express Card for almost every single purchase I make throughout the year and just pay it off at the end of each month. Earning miles on EVERY purchase and double miles on Delta purchases means lots of flight opportunities! There are also Card Benefits that change throughout the year; for example, I received $20 back on my card after making my first $50 Etsy purchase with the card; there are deals for Park ‘N Fly, Hilton Hotel, Meal Service, and more. There are no foreign transaction fees to use your card abroad and I get to check my first bag free when I fly Delta which is INCREDIBLY helpful when adventure traveling with camping gear! I also benefit from Car rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Purchase Protection and Travel Accident Insurance.

If you use this link, you can earn extra miles as a friend referral! By applying for a Delta AMEX card through the link provided, you will earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with their new card within the first three months of Membership. If you make a Delta purchase in the first three months, you will earn a $50.00 statement credit as well. Earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after making an additional $1,000 in purchases within 6 months of membership. This is not a free card, however, the miles never expire and if you’re someone who flies frequently, the cost of the card pays for itself in checked luggage alone each year! If you do open up an account with Delta AMEX using the above link, I earn 10,000 miles upon your approval so thank you for helping me earn miles towards my flights!

Cashback on Purchases and Other Perks

Many cards also offer cashback options that can be built up and used towards future purchases. I am currently looking into an REI Mastercard; multiple times throughout the year they offer $100 REI gift card once a purchase is made with the approved card and 5% cashback at REI and 1% cashback on everyday purchases. A great bonus is that REI will donate $0.10 per REI Mastercard purchase transaction to the National Forest Foundation. As an outdoor enthusiast, this card would benefit me in multiple ways! Find a card that works best for you and utilize it.


2. Start Using Coupon Apps to Save or Earn Some Money Back on your Purchases

If You’re Not Using Ibotta When You Shop, You’re Throwing Away Money

IBotta is an app that I use religiously. Every single time I go food shopping I check to see what items might have a discount; to date (about four years), I’ve earned $893.68. The way this app works is that you find offers based on what store you will be shopping with. I most frequently shop at Walmart but have used the app at Target, Hannaford, and CVS. There are different categories for saving as well: Grocery, Mobile Shopping, Pharmacy, Clothing, Restaurants & Bars, Travel and more. You add the discount to ‘My Offers’ and once you have completed your purchase you will scan the receipts in the ‘Redeem’ tab and your account will be credited. When it is time for you to withdraw your cash you can add it to your PayPal or Venmo account or you can put it on a gift card such as Amazon, Applebees, Nike, Old, Navy, Uber, etc… Check out my beginners guide to ibotta for even more information.

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Many Stores Have Money Saving Opportunities

Using specific store apps such as Savings Catcher at Walmart and Cartwheel at Target can often double your savings (when using both). Savings Catcher is used after all purchases have been made and check local establishments for lower prices. If a lower price is found, you are awarded the difference. Cartwheel is similar to ibotta in that you have to search for your savings. Something I like to do with Cartwheel, at Target, is to shop like normal and then use the scanner in the app to scan the items in my cart to see if there is a discount on any items. Cartwheel provides you with the discount right there at the register, meanwhile, Savings Catcher adds up your savings for you in an account for you to later use as a Walmart Gift Card; My Lifetime Rewards Earned equals $71.79.

Similar Apps include Coupon Sherpa, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Checkout 51. See which ones work best for you while allowing you to make extra money.


3. Sell Lightly Used Items into Consignment

Selling via Poshmark

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Poshmark has been one of the best discoveries for this clothing lover! It allows me to sell all of my old clothing online. I have earned well over $1300 dollars through the app selling my old, but still in good condition, clothing items. Everything from shoes, to jackets to bathing suits and denim have sold! Once an item is sold, a USPS priority mail label is sent to your email. From here you print it, slap it on a priority mailbox with the item inside and the product is off on its way! Once the buyer accepts the package, your earnings are released to you. When you’re ready to withdraw your earnings you can have Poshmark direct deposit it to your bank account or write you a check. The app is free to sign up but you can also find great deals to purchase as well. I have found amazing deals on Gymshark Workout Apparel, Slazenger Golf Skorts, and other cute styles for more than half off! Sign up with code KT4TA to save $5.00 on your first purchase.

Buying and Selling Through the Mercari App

Mercari is another app I recently started using to cross-list my items. If you sign up through this link, you’ll receive $10 off your first purchase! I find that when I list them in both apps I’m more likely to sell and therefore, allowing myself to make extra money for my travels. Don’t forget that you can also purchase through these apps. I have found amazing, expensive pieces in great condition for a fraction of the markup price. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Balance Athletica as an activewear line and their pieces are not only expensive, but they sell out quickly. I’ve built up quite a collection with the help of these two apps for a fraction of the cost.

Sell in Person As Well!

There are also options to find local stores that purchase lightly used items to resell at second-hand prices. For example, in my area, there is a store called Plato’s Closet (chain) that purchases second hand trendy, young styles for resale. Once Upon A Child is our local (chain) consignment shop that purchases lightly used baby/child clothing, toys, equipment, etc. for resale! I’ve made nearly $500 over the years in selling old styles to shops like this as well! I often use these funds to turn around and purchase newer apparel and equipment for my trips. 


4. Become A Brand Ambassador to Make Extra Money for your Travels

Become an ambassador for a brand you use and truly believe in. This often comes with a discount on their items and a percentage of sales tracked back to your link and/or code. For example, I am currently a DAZEY LADY, or in other words an Ambassador for Dazey LA. This company is a female-owned, designed and ran slow, sustainable fashion brand. I love what the company stands for AND the beautiful pieces that come with it. Anyone who shops using the code FORTIER will receive 10% off and I will receive 10% commission on their sale.

You can have an affiliate link for just about anything! I also have an affiliate link for the supplement company I love and use, but I know people who make bank off of their Amazon, CBD company, and makeup brands. If there’s a product you love, use daily, and share with your friends and family look into getting yourself an affiliate link. If it isn’t blatantly obvious on their webpage, reach out and see if you can make it happen.

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Affiliate links are a great way to earn a little extra money and support the businesses you love.


5. Get A Part-time Job

This next suggestion is not something I do personally, however, I know a few people who drive for Uber or Lyft. Work your own hours and make a couple hundred extra dollars a week/month depending on your availability. If this specific side hustle isn’t right up your alley, you can look just about anywhere!

Is there a store you love? A spot you find yourself shopping at frequently? Try getting a seasonal or part-time job here to not only earn extra money but enjoy some added benefits and discounts. For example, if you love the outdoors, getting a job at REI, Bass Pro, or Dick’s Sporting Goods will earn you some extra cash flow and give you a discount on the items you might need for your adventures!


6. Are You Getting the Best Price?

Join PARIBUS, a program that scans your emails for recent purchases from participating retailers and provides you with a refund of the difference if there is a price drop on an item you’ve purchased. Stores they monitor include Amazon, Macy’s, Old Navy, Target, Walmart, REI and more!  

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7. Try Some Pet or Babysitting

While I was studying for my master’s degree I used Care.com to find a wonderful family to babysit for a few times a week. I got to spend my mornings with three cute little kiddos and made a few extra bucks to put me through school. When I started my teaching job I found a few pet sitting and babysitting gigs for some extra cash. It was nice to be able to pick and choose my hours based on how busy my teaching and coaching schedule was. All the money I made babysitting became extra money for me to push into my savings and vacation accounts.


8. Get Crafty Ya’ll!

Are you crafty? Create an Etsy shop for your craft! Whether you make dream catchers, jewelry, knit goods, or wooden flowers, whatever it may be, this is a great way to make some extra cash!

You don’t need to be on Etsy either. I know people who sell their crafty skills via Instagram and Facebook as well. They’ll make an example item and post it asking for orders from any friends that are interested. Use your talents to your advantage! My art teacher creates the most beautiful invitations and has a side business making -mostly wedding- invitations. Take your skillset and make extra money doing something you love!


9. Round-Up Your Change Programs

Enroll in a program that rounds the change from your purchases up and places it in an account for you. For example, Acorns is a site that invests your spare change to help your bank account grow. There are even multiple accounts that you can invest in. Chime is another online banking community that helps you save with the round-up tool. Your spare change might not seem like much, but it will definitely add up over the course of a couple of months.


You can travel more frequently if you can spend less money on each trip. A great way to explore new places on a budget is to visit our National Parks. I’ve traveled for weeks on end exploring Utah’s National Parks without spending over $1,500 – flight included. So if you know where to look, you can make any adventure a reality. Use these 9 easy ways to make extra money for travel and start planning today.

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This luxury resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic is for adults only and is the ideal spot for soaking up some sun. Relax in the spectacular bay and pamper yourself with superior services. Enjoy a wide variety of cuisine at a number of different restaurants, explore the vibrant culture of the region, or choose between a round of golf or a spa treatment. This Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville review will cover everything you need to know to decide is this is the best resort for your stay!

Bahia Principe Luxury Resort

Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville’s Easy
Check-In Process

Check-in was simple enough. Upon arrival at the main entrance, we were carted over to the Adults Only lobby where we shared our information with the front desk, received a wrist band, and headed over to lunch while we waited until 3:00 PM check-in. Unlike other resorts, we were not pampered with welcome drinks and snacks, but we had a drink with lunch!

Bahia Principe Bouganville Room Balcony
Absolutely Loved the Balcony of our Rooms

Bahia Principe Bouganville Rooms

A very handsome butler brought us to our beautiful room. We had a gorgeous King Size 4 poster bed that opened up to a seating area and table before leading out to the balcony. The bathroom was spacious, with a standing shower and a jacuzzi tub. The toilet was separated from the core of the room by a frosted glass door. We enjoyed this because it allowed us to be in and out of the bathroom even if someone was using the toilet! My favorite thing about the room was its energy efficiency. You need a room key in order to use any of the electricity within the room; once you open the balcony door, the air conditioning turns off. I know that this obviously helps cut the hotels’ utility costs, but I also love what it means for the environment.

  • Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville Room Photos

The Bahia Principe Bouganville Pool Situation

There are three pools here on the Adult Only side of the resort. The pool furthest from the ocean is known as the peaceful pool. We did not spend ANY time here. We hung out at the Party pool by the ocean! Between the swim-up bar and the entertainment crew, we had a blast all day long. Generally, we were at the pool from about 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Next to the pool is a wading pool and bar.

Bahia Principe Bouganville Daytime Entertainment

The entertainment staff at Bahia Principe Bouganville works tirelessly to get you involved and having fun! Water aerobics is a popular activity for men and women of all ages; we preferred to participate from the swim-up bar with a cocktail, but it was super fun. They also hosted a number of poolside games -think ring toss- and the funniest “sexiest girl competition”. You can take poolside dancing lessons and enjoy a freshly prepared poolside lunch inspired by Dominican cuisine.

Tropical Bahia Principe Bouganville Beach

The beach is beautiful and full of tropical foliage. This makes it less than ideal for laying out all day as the sun is behind the beach, over the resort for the majority of the day. It is, however, absolute perfection in the later afternoon into the sunset. The perfect glow!  The beach is full of chairs and palapas which makes finding a spot to relax quite simple. The beach is a bit of a cove so there are no waves, and the swimming area is fairly small. 

With that being said, Bahia owns a massive strip of beach here. If you walk south along the shoreline you’ll find yourself on a pretty neat bit of a rocky cliff edge. It’s very quiet and peaceful out here and perfect for sunset. Out here you’re on Bech Club stomping grounds where there aren’t very many people. Bring shows because it is rocky! 

Girls Trip!

Dining at the Bahia Principe Bouganville

Upon our arrival, we scheduled our dinners for the week. Unfortunately, the only time slots available were fro 8:30 PM and later which kind of sucked. This prevented us from enjoying the evening entertainment and it was just a really late time to eat. There were a few restaurants that we were unable to schedule a reservation at as well which was a bummer.

Breakfast

A breakfast buffet is one of my all-time favorite things. Breakfast is my favorite meal and I love food so… buffets are phenomenal. They had EVERYTHING you could think of. MY favorite two areas: 1. eggs cooked to order station where you could also have an omelet, and 2. a crepe station with jams, Nutella, peanut butter, and nuts. They also had endless bread, fruit, cereal, hot breakfast items, and some specialty items! I fell in love with their breakfast churros and their donuts. 

Lunch

We always ate lunch at the buffet net to the pool. The selection here was a little bit smaller but it’s an open-air style building right next to the pool and the beach. Every day there was a fajita and nacho station alongside a number of other hot meal items. There was also a salad bar and a dessert bar.

Dinner

The dinner buffet had many options, although we only ate here twice. I was a big fan of all the seafood they had available. There are a number of restaurants that you can make reservations for. You can also order room service at any time of day with a limited nighttime menu.

LOS CORRALES RODIZIO RESTAURANT

Traditional Brazilian grilled meat served tableside. After you take a seat, you head up to make your salad first. Once you sit back down you have a card that is red on one side and green on the other. When the green side is up, that means you want people to stop by your table with what they have to offer. They’ll give you fresh cuts of meat, bread, potatoes, vegetables, and more! When you flip your card to red, that means you’re all set and ready for dessert.

ORIENTAL TAKARA RESTAURANT

This Asian Fusion restaurant was my absolute favorite. It will redefine your definition of delicious oriental cuisine as you try traditional Asian flavors mixed with new bold spices unlike you have ever experienced before.

DON PABLO GOURMET RESTAURANT

Din Pablo offers exquisite gourmet cuisine. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner as you listen to the beautiful music of the tableside musicians while enjoying delicious handcrafted gourmet dishes. You must order the crepes for dessert if you have any ounce of a sweet tooth. Please dress appropriately here; men must wear pants.

Nightlife at Bahia Principe Bouganville

We were unable to attend a lot of the nightlife entertainment due to our dinner reservations. Every night there was something exciting going on on both sides of the resort. If you didn’t mind being on the family side, there were magicians, beach parties, and circus acts. We were really looking forward to the silent disco night, however, it was conducted differently than we had experienced in the past. A silent disco can be extremely fun, we caught the tail end of this one and definitely preferred our previous Silent Disco experiences.

Bahia Principe Daily Entertainment Program
The Bahia Principe Daily Entertainment Program

The Discoteca was a sketchy looking building that played club-style music until 2:00 AM. The first night we walked in here we had a shot and immediately left; our shot tasted like rubbing alcohol. A few nights later we got our buzz on beforehand and then went to the Discoteca to do a little dancing. We DID have some fun on this night but overall, the Discoteca was a less than ideal experience. 

The Nightlife at Bahia Principe Bouganville Resort

Bahia Principe Bouganville’s Fitness Center

I’m going to be very honest here, the gym was bare minimum. There was one treadmill that was working and one stationary bike. A few resistance machines and some free weights were available as well. The space was small and not conducive to more than 4 or 5 people working out at a time. Getting there early, around 5:30-6:00 AM ensured enough space to complete your workout but it certainly wasn’t easy. 

Check-Out at Bahia Principe Bouganville

The Check-Out process at Bahia Principe Bouganville was super quick and painless. It took less than 5 minutes for the whole process to be completed. We were then carted to the main entrance for our transfer to the airport. The only negative part about checking out was that we had to leave!

Bahia Principe Bouganville provides laughter for all girls

Should we Stay at the Bahia Principe Bouganville?

Bahia Principe Bouganville is an absolutely wonderful getaway for a group of girlfriends. If you’re heading here on your next trip, please don’t forget these 21 Must-Have Items For An All-Inclusive Resort. It’s easy to remember your swimsuit and your sunblock, but you often forget to bring simple first aid supplies, a cordless speaker, and other awesome items.

All-inclusive vacations are ideal for when you just really need to relax. During an all-inclusive resort vacation, you don’t have to worry about cooking or planning your meals, you can choose to lay in a lounge chair or partake in any of the daily activities, and you never have to make your bed! Partake in special themed nights, enjoy multiple nightlife scenes, and hit the gym during your stay if you please. It’s a wonderful opportunity to do less thinking and more relaxing. Don’t forget to pack these 21 must-have items for an all-inclusive resort.

A tropical beach sunset

Must-Have All-Inclusive Resort Items

I wouldn’t go on vacation to an all-inclusive resort without bringing these 21 items along for the ride!

1.
Insulated Tumbler

Hands down, THE most important thing you could possibly bring with you is an insulated tumbler. Not only will this help your drink to stay cold and free of bugs & sand while you bask in the sun, but it’s also a really sustainable thing to do as well! Create less waste by using and reusing your insulated tumbler on your next All-Inclusive Vacation.

2.
Beach Bag

Make it your personal item on the plane! This is a great way to get double use out of an item that you absolutely need during your stay. Pack it up with sunblock, books, a deck of cards, sunglasses, a hat, snacks, and a camera for the pool, beach, or excursion.

3.
Playing Cards

A deck of playing cards can make rainy days fly-by at the bar and can even earn you a couple of new friends! Whether you’re trying to pass the time, drink with an added purpose, or add a little pizzazz to your pool relaxation, a deck of cards can do the trick.

4.
A Good Book

Relax your way through a good book -or two- on your next all-inclusive resort vacation. Don’t forget that you can bring a Kindle or your iPad and have a plethora of books to read through on your next vacation for the space of one.

5.
Phone/Camera and Tripod

Four Girls facing the sunset on a rocky shoreline of an all inclusive resort
Couldn’t make this happen without the Tripod!

Almost every All-Inclusive Resort offers photographer sessions. I’ve done them and have really loved the way the photos of me and my family turned out. If you’re looking to save a couple of bucks OR you’re traveling solo and just need a few shots, bring a tripod along. I bought an awesome, inexpensive tripod off of Amazon to bring on my trip this year so I could get the shots I needed for the blog without bugging my friends to take them for me. As it turns out, we love all of the photos we took with it.

6.
Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the bright sun and don’t forget your sunglasses! I suggest bringing two pairs just in case you lose a pair along the way (I may or may not have done that in Punta Cana 2019). 

7.
Sunscreen

The sun is stronger near the equator, and in my experience, most of the All-Inclusives I’ve stayed at are pretty dang close to the equator. Most resorts will have a shop on-site where you can purchase sunscreen but it is often astronomically more expensive than purchasing it at home and bringing it along.

8.
Chapstick

The only thing worse than your back and shoulders being sunburnt is your lips. Be sure to include chapstick with SPF in your packing plans to keep those lips silky smooth and full of moisture.

9.
Bug Spray

Plain and simple, don’t let bugs ruin your stay. I’ve found myself lucky enough to stay at resorts right on the water, so the breeze tends to act as a bug repellent but I’ve experienced a few nights of intense mosquitos that have caused me to pack bug spray for every vacation.

10.
1st Aid Kit

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A mini First Aid Kit including Tums, Asprin, bandaids, nail clippers and alcohol wipes could save your day. Hopefully, you won’t need to use any of the items inside, but just in case you do – you’re prepared! I put my supplies in a plastic baggie at the top of my bag. All-inclusive resorts always have a nurse on hand, and generally and infirmary, but if all you need is a bandaid, it’s certainly easier to help yourself.

11.
Portable Charger

Can’t go wrong with the portable charger! Keep your devices charged throughout the day whether you’re using them to read, play music, or take photos. My specific charger is GoalZero and I love it.  

12.
Waterproof Pouch

A wet bag or waterproof pouch is a helpful tool to keep your valuables dry in the event of a splash or downpour. It’s also a helpful tool to have in your back pocket if you plan on heading out on any excursions such as a catamaran ride or a waterfall trek during your stay.

13.
Mini Speaker

A mini, waterproof speaker is perfect when you’re at the beach or sitting poolside and can’t stand the looping music that has been playing for 3 days straight. It also serves as a great tool for getting ready in the evenings for your night out!

14.
Inner Tube

Pack a cheap, inflatable inner tube to really improve your pool relaxation. Some resorts have pool floats available to guests on a first come first serve basis, but you could have a float at any time if you pack your own! Other packed floatie bonuses… they make GREAT seats. Whether you’re stuck in the airport or hanging out at the beach – your inner tube can really provide a lot of comforts. 

15.
Reusable Food Baggies

Fill ‘em up at home for your flight to save money at the airport and then use them at the resort. Throw some fresh fruit, cereal, or crackers in these bags at breakfast to help hold you (or your little ones) over as you get to lunch. Also, think about your late-night cravings! Although most resorts do account for this with some form of a snack bar, you can have all the treats you need if you remember the proper receptacle. These also work great for bringing snacks on excursions.

16.
Pool Shoes

Bring shoes you intend on wearing ONLY to the pool and beach. They’ll be wet and sandy by the end of each day and it won’t matter because you’ll have different sandals ready for your evening wear. Personally, I pack an array of CROCs sandals for my All-Inclusive resort Vacations; they’re easy to dry off and clean and they’re just so incredibly comfortable. 

17.
Cover Up

An easy, slip-on/slip-over that will allow you access to midday restaurants and help you feel comfortable if you do choose to get up from your beach chair and take a stroll around the resort. I honestly, packed three for my 6-day trip so I can mix it up. In living your day to day all-inclusive resort life, you’ll find that cover ups are the go-to daytime wear.

18.
Cross-Body Bag

You don’t need much when you head out for the night at an All-Inclusive Resort, however, having a small crossbody bag is nice. Pack your minimalist wallet, lip gloss, and phone in your bag for your evenings out on the resort (or town!). That deck of cards is an added late-night drinking bonus as well.

19.
Minimalist Wallet

Don’t pack whatever you normally carry your day-to-day in. Narrow it down to a card you might need in the airport, your health insurance card, cash for tipping and any on-resort purchases, and your identification. A very thin wallet might even fit in your pocket, removing the need for a cross-body bag entirely if you’re just that minimal. Limit the number of things you could lose/misplace with this simple strategy.

20.
Light Jacket

These island locations are hot but they can be breezy in the evenings and chilly in the all-inclusive resort air conditioning. Bring a light jacket to keep you comfortable in the evening; denim jackets tend to match with everything and be a perfect weight.

21.
Copy of Travel Documents

I like to e-mail myself a copy of the travel documents and passport. You never know what can happen so having these at your fingertips to use and reprint can be clutch. 


TROPICAL All Inclusive Resort VIEWS WITH STANDARD LUGGAGE CARRY-ON BACKPACK ON GIRLS BACK
STANDARD LUGGAGE CARRY-ON

Remember these 21 must-have items for your next all-inclusive vacation. The best way to transport your belongings is with the Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack. If the trip allows, I try to only bring carry-on luggage; I always have possession of my belongings and never have to worry about the cost or time associated with checking a bag. I hope you take these suggestions along for your next All-Inclusive Vacation and have a remarkable time!

Standard Luggage Carry-On and Daily BAckpack

Standard Luggage Carry-On Travel Backpack

Have you ever found yourself eager to travel but looking for ways to minimize the cost? A great travel tip I’ve been following for years now is to pack no more than a carry-on. Checking Luggage is a thing of the past; hidden luggage fees can really add up and put you over your travel budget. The Standard Luggage Carry- On travel backpack has helped me to completely eradicate the fees and hassles that go along with checking bags.

TROPICAL VIEWS WITH STANDARD LUGGAGE CARRY-ON BACKPACK ON GIRLS BACK

All About Our Baggage

In the last year that I’ve enjoyed this backpack’s company we have taken a number of weekend trips to Lake Placid, New York for endless outdoor shenanigans, to Killington, Vermont to ski the east, and for a long weekend in Nashville. It has also accompanied me on a flight from New York to the Dominican Republic for 6 beautiful days at the beach. Upon our arrival in Punta Cana, I unpacked the contents of my bag and one of my travel companions was shocked,

“I can’t believe how much you fit in there”,

and quite frankly, I couldn’t believe it either. I was able to fit 6 bathing suits, 7 outfits (dresses, shorts, tanks, and rompers), toiletries, sandals, accessories, sneakers, and workout clothing effortlessly.

Benefits of A Nomadic Backpack

GIRL WITH CARRY-ON BACKPACK AT AIRPORT

It’s carry-on-sized — 21.5” x 13.5” x 7.5” when zipped and 21.5” x 13.5” x 9.5” when expanded (the expansion zipper, just like the one you’d find on a regular suitcase, is CLUTCH).

No more baggage fees — I’ve only taken one flight with this bag thus far, but I did not have to pay money to check it! However, it was gate checked on a small aircraft flight. I will be traveling via airplane again with it in May and I’ll let you know how it goes.  

It’s a front-loading backpack — AMAZING. You no longer need to reach around the contents of your bag blindly; this is one of my favorite parts of any large backpack I own and a deal-breaker for this traveler!

Theft-deterrent — Not theft-proof; no backpack, suitcase, duffel or any other type of luggage is 100% theft-proof but that being said there are always ways to minimize theft of your belongings. The zipper to the main compartment of the Standard Luggage Carry-On backpack is lockable and there is only one way to get into the main compartment of the bag (great not only for the in-between but the hostel and/or couch stays too!).

Standard Luggage Carry-On Dimensions

  • Bag dimensions: 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 in when zipped and 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 when expanded
  • Volume: 35L zipped and 45L when expanded
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Laptop Pocket: Fits 15.6″ laptops and 15″ MacBook Pro

Travel Backpack Features

The Standard Luggage Carry-on takes on a rectangle shape, similar to a suitcase, which allows for more packing space than you might expect. With 10 different compartments, you will easily be neat and organized. Adjustable, comfortable, and convenient,  this pack will not let you down.

BUILT TO LAST.  

A very sturdy and water-resistant exterior of 1680 denier high tenacity ballistic nylon leaves you peace of mind when shoving your pack into overhead compartments, under airline seats, or leaving it for a gate check. However, I would try your best to not pull the zippers by the leather decorative attachments.

HANDLES/STRAPS.

The backpack straps and handles although well-padded, are not the most comfortable I’ve experienced, however, they’re extra adjustable. One of the many great features of this pack is that the shoulder straps easily zip away for storage or to convert your bag into an over the shoulder satchel or duffel with the use of a strong side handle. With so many removable straps the options allow you to carry your bag however it is most comfortable for you. There is also a strap on the back that allows it to be easily attached to rolling luggage.

POCKETS.

With 10 compartments total, your organization should be top-notch.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1 zippered side pocket — unzip for a water bottle or leave zipped for small storage
  • 2 medium-sized accessory/front pocket — store a pair of shoes, a book or other accessories
  • 1 large main compartment — storage for all your clothes and whatever else you might need to fit inside
  • 1 back compartment that houses a laptop sleeve (removable) and two mesh zipper compartments
  • 3 zippered pockets (internal) — two small zippered pockets, one mesh and one nylon on the opening flap. One full zip compartment the size of the opening flap.
  • Expandable Zip which adds 10L (didn’t use it for all the stuff below!)

MAIN COMPARTMENT.

The front-loading main zipper compartment allows for easy access to all of your belongings; with the help of the other interior compartments, this backpack allows for great organization which is the key to a stress-free trip to me! There are two compression straps to help you create space. Standard Luggage also sells two different sets of packing cubes that fit the main compartment perfectly; one set doubles as a day pack once you arrive at your destination. Although I haven’t used these packing cubes, they seem like a no brainer for the organized traveler!  

PERSONALIZATION.

Orange and Teal accents are sent along with the bag. Dress your zippers, luggage tag, and Standard Luggage Logo up in either color or mix and match for a fun bright look! The design of the bag and the exterior fabric of the pack is inviting to pins and patches as well although I’ve yet to personalize.

Fitting a weekend’s worth of Snowboarding gear into any bag is no joke; the Standard Luggage Carry-on Backpack impressed me yet again!

Don’t Travel With Checked Luggage Again

Packing this bag is easy and I haven’t had a single problem with space yet. My only negative comment is simply that the exterior pockets are a bit stiff but have already become more malleable and easy to pack with one use; I look forward to using it in the future. The pack comes with a video ‘manual’ explaining how to convert all of the straps; be sure to watch this to get the most out of your packs features. This is a great product, with a lifetime warranty, that I would suggest to anyone looking to travel a little lighter and more conveniently!

Check out Standard Luggage’s Daily Backpack if you’re looking for a great personal item for your future flights.

I love rollercoasters, and Cedar Point is known as the rollercoaster capital of the world. I need to make the absolute most of my time in the park so that I can enjoy all of my favorite thrills as many times as possible. Use these 9 Cedar Point tips and tricks to Make the most of your time at Cedar Point and have a thrilling day at the rollercoaster capital of the world! At the end of this post, I will share with you my complete Cedar Point Travel Guide.

Cedar Point Park Sign Lit Up at Night with American Flag in background

1.
Download the Park App.

The app can tell you about rides that are down for maintenance, wait times for your favorite attractions lines’, and provide deals on snacks and meals. It provides a map of the park as well as the times that certain attractions run and when eateries open and close. I know I ate two funnel cakes for the price of one because I found the deal on this app! Connect to the park wifi and turn your phone on airplane mode to save battery at the park.

2.
Funpix Photo Pass.

If you like photo memories of your adventures I suggest investing in a photo pass. For $29.99 you have access to unlimited digital downloads. We had an awesome time reliving our day by looking back at our photos. Terrifying expressions, smiles, and straight giddy glee stared back at us when we went through the day’s photos. It allows us to recall one of the best days of our summer over and over again!  

3.
Cedar Point Fast Lane Passes.

Fast Lane Passes are a MUST for thrill rides on a busy day. In the time it took a group to ride Steel Vengeance once (3 hours in line for the front row!), I had ridden it three times. Once in the front row, once in the second row and once in the very back of the last train. We were able to ride Maverick 4 times in a half-hour with our fast lane passes. It really allowed us to make the most of our time there and ride ALL the coasters multiple times. Be sure to select the Fast Lane Plus if you’re looking to ride the park’s top thrill rides (Steel Vengeance, Valravn, Maverick, Top Thrill Dragster, and Gatekeeper!)

THE OG MILLENNIUM FORCE – A PERSONAL FAVORITE OF MINE SINCE I WAS A KID!

4.
Beat the Heat.

Is it sweltering outside? Are you really hot? Check out the Garter Saloon for air conditioning, cold drinks, and generally, good country music! Seriously, this is a lifesaver of a spot to cool off on a hot summer day. Hopping on the Shoot the Rapids, Thunder Canyon, or Snake River Falls might cool you off for a minute or two and leave your clothes wet enough to help drop your body temperature over time. A lot of the restaurants have air conditioning as well, so cool off during mealtime!

5.
Secure your Belongings.

There are lockers throughout the park, but to keep your most important belongings on you I suggest investing in a running waist pack with a zipper compartment. I’m able to store my ID’s, money, car key, and phone flush to my body AND SECURE all day long. Please do NOT try and keep your phone in your hands or pockets on a ride. We were actually held up on a train, waiting to enter the station, because someone had their phone in their hand and it flew back and knocked out a rider behind them. It gashed the side of their face open and EMS had to come and not only perform first aid on the rider (who then needed to continue on to the hospital) but also clean the car of their blood before we could continue.

6.
There’s Nothing Like Night riding.

I suggest riding all the coasters at night as well! It’s fun to see the park lit up and if you’re lucky enough to travel here on July 4th you will have two extra hours in the park AND awesome fireworks. If you do ride at night, don’t waste your time waiting for the front seat; the bugs are AWFUL and they’ll just end up splattered all over your face. Although, it is funny to get off the ride and find one in your companion’s teeth…  

7.
Check the Park Hours.

Review the calendar. There are days when the park isn’t open to the public, or when it has limited hours. There are ALSO dates where the park is open for extra hours; on July 4th, the park was open until midnight. The park remains open for two extra hours for light up the point which gives you two extra hours of coaster riding!

girl turning and smiling with wooden roller coaster beams in the background

8.
Start at the Back of the Park

As soon as those gates open head straight to the back of the park. Lines for Steel Vengence, Millenium Force, and Maverick will almost always be lengthy, however, you’ll find them more manageable in the morning hours. With Fast Passes, you’ll fly thought these lines if you head to them first thing upon arrival!

9.
Stay On Location

Staying in a Cedar Point Resort property affords you a number of perks, For one, you receive complimentary parking for the length of your stay! You’re also walking distance from the parks for your hour early access to over 20 rides and attractions. The extra hour matters.

Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies need to visit the roller coaster capital of the world. Using these Cedar Point Tips and Tricks to make the most of your adventure is key! Follow my Cedar Point Travel Guide to prepare for a day of thrills.

Easily maneuver through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter With this Travel Guide

If you awaited your Hogwarts Acceptance Letter in your pre-teens with fervor, you can’t miss this. Live out your wildest dreams -and biggest childhood letdown- at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In this guide, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Universal Orlando’s’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At the end of this post, I’ll be sharing 7 tips for your Wizarding World of Harry Potter interactive wand, an absolute must for all visitors.

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Diagon Alley Banner

A Tour of Diagon Alley, London

Universal’s Wizarding World left no detail out in creating Diagon Alley. This cobblestoned shopping area located in London, England behind a pub called the Leaky Cauldron, is the center of wizarding London. Inside the alley is an assortment of restaurants, shops, shows, and rides.

View of shops down Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley

What Rides are at Diagon Alley?

Diagon Alley is an impressive impersonation of your favorite books and movies. The interactive spells and shops are what really make this spot, however, there are two phenomenal rides here for your enjoyment as well.

Escape From Gringotts

Escape from Gringotts is a 3D/4D motion simulated thrill ride. First, you will need to store any of your belongings in a locker. Thrill rides require you store loose items in a locker before boarding. The standard lockers are free for a pre-stated amount of time; this time is based on the current wait time and duration of the ride with a large cushion. Large lockers cost $2 ($3 for every additional half-hour, with a max at $20) and can be opened, closed, and charged via your park ticket.

Wait in the queue among goblins hard at work in the marble lobby of Gringotts. Upon being briefed, you will travel deep down underground to board your mine cart. The entire experience is absolutely mind-blowing in so many ways. They did a phenomenal job designing the multi-dimensional thrill ride. With a fast pass, we waited between 25 and 30 minutes each of the three times we rode this ride; without a fast pass, you could be waiting anywhere between 50 and 80 minutes.  

The Hogwarts Express, Kings Cross Station

From this park, you can ride the Hogwarts Express from Kings Cross Station to Hogsmeade. In order to do this, you need a park to park pass. Join the queue at Kings Cross station and watch as those waiting ahead of you enter platform 9 and ¾. Each time the train pulled into the station, mine and my brother smiles stretched a few miles wide! Onboard, you’ll see characters and creatures featured in the films. Be sure to ride in both directions because the experience is different each time!

Universal’s Wizarding World’s Diagon Alley Shops

 All items on the Hogwarts supply list can be bought at Diagon Alley. I suggest coming prepared and all decked out in your best Potter garb, however, if there’s anything you forgot, you can find an authentic replica here.

Gringotts Money Exchange

Here you will find an animatronic goblin that will explain wizard money to you. You can get a refresher course on how many sickles to a galleon, etc. OR you can ask the goblin anything you’d like – try to be patient as you wait for his response. While you are here, you may turn your muggle money into paper wizard money that can be used within Diagon Alley, however, you do not have to.

Madame Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions

This shop has a large selection of Hogwarts house robes, costumes, and accessories. Although I was not about to rock a robe in the 80-degree weather (I hate the heat!), there are so many awesome opportunities to dress just like your wizarding friends in this shop. Make sure to check yourself out in the antique mirror – it talks!

Ollivander’s Wand Shop

The maker of fine wands since 382 B.C. Step into this small, dusty shop -after watching a wand choosing ceremony of course- and find yourself in awe of the wand boxes stacked up to the ceiling. An interactive wand, which I highly suggest, will cost you $55 at a minimum; choose your wand based off of your favorite character, or your very own personality traits. If you’re looking for specific information on Spellcasting with your interactive wand, look no further than these 7 tips!

Brother and Sister standing in front of Ollivanders wand shop with their new wands!
Wands at Ollivanders

Shutter Buttons

Commemorate your vacation with an interactive memento at Shutterbutton’s. You’ll be guided through 12 iconic locations in either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. With a little bit of acting, you’ll have created a DVD photo album in a collectible Shutterbutton’s tin for you to cherish forever.  

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes

I love this joke shop! It’s colorful, fun, and bound to make you giggle. Don’t miss the dazzling display of never-ending fireworks exploding at the ceiling as you shop with your mind on mischief.  Find some of Fred and George’s most popular creations in this shop!  Magical jokes, tricks, and toys including Pygmy Puffs, U-No-Poo pills, Skiving Snack boxes, and Puking Pastilles line the shelves. You’ll also find Sneakoscopes, Bombtastic Bombs, Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, Decoy Detonators, Extendable Ears, and more.

While you’re shopping, don’t forget to take into consideration package pickup and delivery. You can often purchase your items and pick them up on your way out of the park; items can also be shipped to your home or straight to your hotel room. 

Colorful staircase of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Diagon Alley Live Shows!

Ollivander’s Interactive Wand Choosing Ceremony

This short, intimate experience happens every couple of minutes at Ollivanders Wand Shop. Pile into a room and watch as a wand keeper walks an individual, chosen by them, through a number of spells. Each will go wrong until the proper wand chooses its wizard! At the end of the ceremony, you will exit into the shop so that you can purchase your interactive wand.

Improve your chances of being chosen for this experience by wearing event pins (I’m celebrating _______) and being decked out in your Harry Potter gear (but not a wand). Be warned, this show takes place in a dimly lit room where spells go wrong, loudly, until they go right! It can definitely be frightening for small children. You are able to leave in the middle of a show.

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

Sway and groove to the dulcet tones of Molly Weasley’s favorite, the singing sensation of the wizarding world, Celestina Warbeck! Sway and groove to never-before-heard songs including ‘A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love’, and ‘You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me’.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard 

Gather ‘round for a trunk show performed by the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts. Watch as they retell the famous tales of Beedle the Bard, a 15th-century author of wizarding fairytales, through stylized scenic pieces, props, and puppetry.

Everything you Need to Eat and Drink in Diagon Alley

The Leaky Cauldron

Just like the books suggest this pub-style inn provides a decent meal in a casual setting. Make sure you look for the wanted posters of Sirius Black during your meal. Don’t forget to notice the actual leaky cauldron in the fireplace as well!

The Leaky Cauldron is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! You order and pay at a cashier who will give you a table number. You then take this number to the seating area and staff will direct you to a table. Your food will be brought out to you when it is ready. The cottage pie is a family favorite and the Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew is hearty and delicious. Most people rave about the Toad in the Hole dinner, and I really wish we would have tried it! Butterbeer potted cream is a must for dessert. 

Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour

If you’re a solid fan of both Potter and ice cream, you probably remember Harry spending a lot of time at this Diagon Alley ice cream spot before school started in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Now is your chance to have some soft-serve or hard ice cream on a hot day. Or it could be a cold day, realistically, any day is a good day for ice cream. Hardpack top flavors include Clotted Cream, salted caramel blondie, and earl gray and lavender.

The Fountain of Fair Fortune

This shop sells non-alcoholic wizarding drinks such as Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, and Otter Fizzy Orange Juice. These are classics from the books that you simply need to try!

The Hopping Pot

The local watering hole if you know what I mean. Aside from Butterbeer – which is a must- , you can try exclusive Diagon Alley drinks like Tongue Tying Lemon Squash, Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice, Peachtree Fizzing Tea, Fishy Green Ale, and the Wizard’s Brew and Dragon Scale beers. You can also find small snacks here as well!

The Hopping Pot Storefront
The Hopping Pot

Diagon Alley Universal Tips

  • Late at night, right before the park closes is perfect for photos down the alley.
  • Certain merchandise is only available in Diagon Alley. If you see something you want in Diagon Alley, buy it because it might not be available in Hogsmeade.
  • Make sure you explore all of Diagon Alley, taking a wrong turn down Knockturn alley for some dark magic might just be the highlight of your experience. 
  • Take a photo with the Knight Bus and its driver, watch the windows of Grimmauld Place, and call the ministry of magic from the phone booth before you enter into Diagon Alley.  
  •  If you aren’t sure how much time you are going to need and what corresponding ticket package to purchase, you can upgrade your tickets in the parks any time before closing. So if you purchase a 2-day pass, but find you need another day, simply upgrade your tickets while in the resort and you will still get the discounted multi-day rate.

Hogsmeade Banner

Explore Hogsmeade Village

Spend your day in the picturesque little village of Hogsmeade. The cottages and shops mirror the wizarding village near Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where the Hogwarts Express train station is located. Appreciate every detail of the thousand-year-old shops, eat some of the best food in the parks, and ride one of my absolute favorite rides ever. 

girl with wand in front of hogwarts castle in wizarding world of harry potter  florida
Feelin Witchy in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hogsmeade Rides and Attractions

Hogsmeade is home to several Harry Potter themed rides as it was the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal’s Islands of Adventure houses a majority of the Harry Potter-themed rides.

Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure is an absolute masterpiece of a ride. This epic new (June 2019) addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will fly you beyond the grounds of Hogwarts Castle, deep into the Forbidden Forest, twisting you through towering trees, rubble, and past magical creatures. You will have a massive smile plastered on your face for the entirety of the adventure.

You need to get to the park before the gates open and head to this line first. Due to the nature of the ride, it has had a rough opening with technical difficulties shutting it down – often halfway through the day. The opportunity to secure belongings in a free locker is available at the ride’s true entrance. Currently, the line begins in the lost continent due to the number of people who beeline for this queue as soon as the park opens. Staff members are really amazing about allowing a member of your party to leave and use the restroom or grab a snack while you wait. Have a plan for who will ride the motorbike and who will ride in the sidecar. You board the coaster on a moving platform which helps to keep everything flowing. Hold on tight and expect the unexpected.

Motorbike or Sidecar?

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 

You will be required to secure your belongings in a free locker located at the base of the castle before entering the queue. Walk through the halls of Hogwarts Castle as you are welcomed, as a muggle, to attend a lecture on the history of magic. Harry, Ron, and Hermione will distract you from your destination where you will then experience moving and talking photos and the sorting hat. From here you’ll wait patiently to board your flying bench.

The motion-based dark ride begins with a sprinkling of Floo Powder from Hermione before taking off through the grounds of Hogwarts to a Quidditch match. After being chased by a dragon, you will find yourself in the forbidden forest riders descend into a set of the Forbidden Forest, where you will encounter Aragog and the Whomping Willow which will take a swing at you, conveniently knocking you onto the Quidditch pitch. Get in on the action of the game until dementors ruin the fun and send all witches and wizards scrambling to safety. With the help of Harry, your ride will end by flying back to Hogwarts where you will exit your bench.

view of Hogwarts Castle
Hogwarts Castle

Flight of the Hippogriff 

A junior rollercoaster located in Hogsmeade that takes you on a Hippogriff’s journey. A Hippogriff has the front legs, head, and wings of an eagle and a backside of a horse. This is a family-friendly roller coaster that spirals and dives around Hagrids living space.

Hogwarts Express

The Hogwarts Express also leaves from Hogsmeade and travels to Kings Cross in Universal Studios (Park-To-Park Ticket Required). In Hogsmeade, you can take a photo with the engine and conductors before or after riding. Remember that the ride is different in each direction so don’t just travel one way and say it’s over; experience familiar characters and creatures from the books and films. Once you arrive in London, at Kings Cross Station, pop around the corner to the secret entryway into Diagon Alley and keep the Potter magic alive.

Hogsmeade Village Shops

The quaint, snowy village of Hogsmeade is meant for shopping! Everything is true to character and just perfectly Potter.

Dervish and Banges 

Dervish and Banges sells all the items that wizards and witches will need before starting school at Hogwarts. Supplies including quidditch equipment, school robes, sweaters, ties, journals, and stationery items, can be found here. 

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Located at the base of Hogwarts, Filch is selling all of the items he’s confiscated from students over the years to unsuspecting muggles. Here you can find Hogwarts related merchandise, books, movies, and special collectibles. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride photos can be viewed and purchased inside Filch’s as well.

Ollivanders

A mini Ollivanders is present in Hogsmeade for those who may only be traveling to one park. Although I’m glad Universal thought about their guests in the light, I still suggest the true Ollivanders in Diagon Alley if you do have the option. 

Owlery/ Owl Post

The Owl Post sells a variety of writing implements, stationary, and stamps from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Missing your family and friends back at home? Mail your loved ones a postcard or letter. By dropping them into the post box at the Owlery, you are ensuring they will be delivered with a true authentic Hogsmeade postmark on it.

Honeydukes!

I was drooling the entire weekend waiting to come in here! If you have a sweet tooth, you must stop by Honeydukes for the greatest chocolates, fudge, and candies in the Wizarding World. Don’t leave without buying Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans for those Harry Potter lovers at home.

Hogsmeade Live Shows

There are several live shows available for your viewing pleasure in Hogsmeade Village.

Triwizard Spirit Rally

This is an awesome display of martial arts and dancing. This demonstration. Staged right in an alcove near the Flight of the Hippogriff brings together the students of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and the Durmstrang Institute. The Triwizard Spirit Rally showcases a group of three men performing martial arts-type moves and a group of four women performing rhythmic gymnastics moves with ribbons. The performance lasts about 6 minutes; although it is fun and exciting, especially for true Harry Potter fans, I wouldn’t go out of my way to attend this show – however, if you’re walking by, definitely stop and watch.   

Frog Choir

The Frog Choir includes a group of 4 singers. The witches and wizards sing three or four a cappella wizarding-related songs, including “Hedwig’s Theme” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” The ten-minute show is followed by a photo op. Cute if you’re passing by, but not something I would make it my mission to attend. There is so much to do in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that this is simply not at the top of my list.

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts

A show I would definitely go out of my way to witness. On select nights, watch in awe from Hogsmeade village as a dazzling spectacle of music and lights are cast against the majestic backdrop of the castle. The later the showing, the less crowded the viewing area will be and the better the lights! There truly isn’t a more enchanting way to end a magical day. 

Best Food and Drinks in Hogsmeade

Hogsmeade doesn’t have very many food options, but the restaurant they do have is one of the absolute bests in the park.

Three Broomsticks

Three Broomsticks is wonderfully themed and provides one of the freshest and tastiest dining experiences in the park. This dimly lit, rustic tavern provides a reprieve from the Florida Sun and family-friendly dining experience. When you enter, you head straight to a cashier. At the cashier, you will order everything for your whole party. 

The menu offers English pub fare, such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Cornish pasties, and a “Great Feast Platter”. A children’s menu is available as well. I ordered the Cornish Pasties and Garden Salad which included flakey pastry pies filled with ground beef, vegetables, and potatoes, served with a side salad and choice of dressing. I really enjoyed my meal and it was quite cheap at $9.99. My parents had no complaints about the Smoked Turkey Leg and Shepards Pie as well.   

After ordering you’ll be directed to another counter to pick up your food. From here you’re free to choose your seat; if it is exceptionally busy, a cast member will guide you to an open table. The large back patio is definitely the best spot to dine! Don’t forget to order your Butterbeer or the famous strawberry and peanut butter ice cream. 

It doesn’t look like much, but those pasties were delicious!


Hogs Head Pub

It offers a selection of beers, the most prominent being the exclusive Hog’s Head, which can’t be purchased anywhere else. Hogs Head Pub also offers specialty drinks, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks for Muggles and wizards who are of age.


Don’t Miss These Universal Harry Potter Tips

Universal Studios is an amazing park packed with a ton of great experiences.  It would be an absolute shame to miss any of them! Here are my top two, out of 11 Universal Orlando Tips for First Timers.

Universal Express Pass

I love the Universal Express Pass and honestly, I invest in express passes at nearly every Amusement Park I travel to. If I’m spending money to be there already, I want to ride everything and I want to ride it multiple times if I do so desire. The Express Pass will help you out on Escape from Gringotts, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Hogwarts Express, and Flight of the Hippogriff. Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure does have the queue for an express line, so I do foresee it being available in the future. For now, because the ride is so brand-spanking-new, it’s fair that everyone has an equal opportunity to ride! 

Universal Photo Pass

I love a good unlimited photo pass opportunity. What better way to remember your vacation than by photos alongside your favorite characters and on your most memorable rides? Universal offers multiple packages each including unlimited digital downloads, discounts photo gift products throughout the parks, and free prints. 

We had a ton of fun with our Photo Pass on rides and at photo spots throughout the park. Don’t miss a single opportunity!

Universal Orlando

Park Entrance Photos)

E.T.’s Toy Closet & Photo Spot

Meet SpongeBob SquarePants and Friends

MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack

Revenge of the Mummy

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Meet Shrek, Donkey, and Friends

Meet The TRANSFORMERS

Roaming Universal Studios Florida characters, where applicable

Back to the Future Automated Photo Capture in KidZone

Despicable Me Super Silly Stuff Store Photo Op

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts In-Queue Photo Op

The Dark Room

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

DeFotos Expedition Photography (Park Entrance Photos)

Spider-Man appearing at the Marvel Alterniverse Store

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Jurassic Park River Adventure

T-Rex Automated Photo Capture in Jurassic Park

Raptor Encounter Photo Op in Jurassic Park

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

The High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! In-Queue Photo Op

Roaming Islands of Adventure Characters, where available

The Grinch Seasonal Photo Op

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Infographic Guide

WWOHP by Kaitlyn Fortier