Leaving our Wedding Rings at Home

As some of you may know, Greg and I live right off the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida. We spend a lot of our time in or near the water; we try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. As much as we love our wedding rings, we never want to chance them getting lost or stolen while outdoors (my cousin lost his ring the week after his wedding in the ocean). Luckily, Greg and I found an alternative option to not wearing anything on our fingers during these times. We purchased Qalo Rings before we were even married and knew this was a perfect fit for us!

About the company – Qalo offers products other than the rings we love such as- apple watch bands, blankets, baby teething necklaces, dog tags, and more.

Rings- Qalo offers many different styles of rings so you can choose one, or more, to fit your style (stackable, classic, reversible, modern, strata which features 2 layers of contrasting silicon with an engraved pattern, or you can even design your own ring! How cool!). My personal favorite is the scalloped pearl but I have had my eye on the stackable rings as well.  Click HERE to be directed to women’s rings. Click HERE to be directed to men’s rings.

What size do I order? – Click HERE for sizing help. If you get your ring and it does not fit, you can make an even exchange within the first 60 days. (I have had my ring for 2 years and I feel as though the size has remained the same).

When to wear- We find ourselves wearing our Qalo rings for a few reasons: I work in health care and wash my hands 10-15 times a day which ironically makes my wedding rings not look as shiny as they should, we spend a lot of time in the water during the summer and don’t have to worry about our rings slipping off, we were working out before our wedding and the silicon ring was much more comfortable. The silicon bands stretch so if my fingers get swollen during pregnancy, this in another option- I hate the fact of not wearing anything at all on my finger… 1 because of the symbolization of a wedding band and 2 because if you wear a ring every day and for some reason don’t for one day you probably have freak out moments like I do.

Deals- Military men/women and first responders can receive 15% off their order. Just head over to QALO.com and on the bottom of the page beneath Inside QALO you will see the tab for U.S. Military or First Responders Discount. From there, it will ask you to verify your military information. Once all needed information is filled out, you will then be emailed a discount code that you can use at checkout! There will be a box on the right side of the checkout page that says “Discount Code / Store Credit”. Enter in your military code and your discount will apply!

Want $5.00 off? Use our link! http://share.qalo.com/share/megcarroll1006

Overall, Greg and I love our Qalo rings as they fit right into our lifestyle. Let us know if you already have a ring or if this is something you’re interested in.

Our Qalo rings came on our honeymoon as we spent that time hiking 96 miles!

Traveling Without Your “FUR”iend

Although your 4 (or 3 in our case) legged pet you have is a part of the family, they cannot always travel with you. We take Nash on a lot of trips each year but when we can’t, we use the app Rover. Rover is an online marketplace for people to buy and sell pet care services including: dog boarding, pet sitting, drop in visits, and dog walking. Keep reading to find out more information and how you can also save $20 on your first booking!

Before booking it is important to get the app or make an online profile of your pet. You can see Nash’s profile below as an example.

As you can see above, we provide a sheet with care information for the sitters. This information sheet includes his meal schedule, sleeping rules (no beds or furniture), how to discipline him if he acts up, how to manage his club, and everything else. Nash also has his own travel bag where we put some treats, his blanket, leash, and a toy so he feels somewhat at home. Ask your sitter what he/she prefers you bring along.

Dog Boarding (in the sitter’s house)

Select your dates, put in your address (to find who is in close proximity to you), and hit search. Rover will pull up a list of available sitters and provide information including: their name, distance from your house, nightly price, reviews, pictures they added to their profile, availability calendar, information about their home (whether they have a fenced in backyard, if they administer injections/medications, if other animals are present in the house, services they provide, a section about them, etc), and an option to contact before booking. After you book, you will have an option to message them again as needed.

Most sitters will work with you and will enforce the rules you have at home in their house… for example, if your dog is not allowed on furniture at home, they will not allow him/her on their furniture. We have had great success with sending Nash to the sitter’s house and have been using the same sitter- she is very good at handling his extra needs (watching his club paw, freezing and feeding him his raw food, and handling his high energy), and sends us daily pictures!

* We recommend if the house has other animals to meet before the scheduled boarding dates, this helped us feel better before leaving him for the first time.

Below is our sitter’s profile as an example.

Pet Sitting

Pet sitting takes place in your own home! Select your dates, put in your address (to find who is in close proximity to you), and hit search. Rover will pull up a list of available sitters and provide the same information as above. Make sure to check their profile to see if your pet applies as some sitters request not to watch dogs that require medical injections, are over 100 pounds, etc.

* We do not have experience with a sitter staying in our house, we feel more comfortable sending Nash to the sitter’s house.

Drop-In Visits/ Dog Walking

Drop-in visits are exactly what they sound like and are typically 30 minutes. Just like the other services, select your dates, put in your address, and hit search to find availability near you.

Becoming a Sitter

If you would like to become a sitter, sign in and sign up! This is something we will be doing soon. It’s extra money and you get to be with animals, how cool!?

Want $20.00 off your first booking?

Use our referral code for the discount which can be applied as you are booking. If you end up booking, let us know where you are going and your experience after!

https://www.rover.com/ambas-refer-a-friend/NKDmp4Eg

How to Pack Smart with eBags

If you are like me, or like most people, you tend to over pack… am I right? You’re always thinking you need this outfit “just in case” or that outfit “just because”. Back in 2017, my family and I went to Europe for 24 days and I was able to manage packing in a carry-on bag all because of the company eBags (click HERE). We have been in love with this company for a few years and cannot wait to share why. Continue reading to find out more including: about the company, products, deals, eBags rewards, packing tips to use the most out of your eBags, and products we have and love!

ABOUT eBAGS

eBags is an online retailer of handbags, luggage, backpacks, laptop bags, and travel accessories. eBags has their own products but also carries more than 650 brands on their website to help make your travel ordering experience that much easier!

PRODUCTS, as stated above, the eBags website allows for orders of other brands and products but I will be focusing on only their products below.

Luggage: carry-on luggage, checked luggage, hardside luggage, softside luggage, luggage sets, travel duffel bags, underseat luggage, etc.

Backpacks: laptop backpacks, school backpacks, travel backpacks.

Handbags: crossbody, totes, mini terrace, etc.

Packing organization: counter top toiletry kit, hanging toiletry kit, hanging cosmetic kit, shoe bags, and my personal favorite PACKING CUBES.

Below are some examples of their top luggage items, look at how many reviews they each have! (In my house we own 3 out of the 4 shown- we have the weekend convertible junior not the full size).

DEALS

If you’re looking for deals, check out their featured deals page- here are some examples of what was featured as I was writing this post.

You can also receive free shipping if you spend over $49.00!

Sign up for e mails when you first visit their website and a coupon will automatically send for 25% off.

eBAGS REWARDS

Create an account and get even more while shopping with eBags. With each purchase you are eligible for up to 10% back on orders by gaining reward points that are just like cash, exclusive member savings, and easy access to order tracking and history- and the best part, it is FREE to sign up.

*The only downfall I can say is that your points do expire after sometime. I love it when reward programs save your points.

PACKING TIPS

Visit their website for more information and a how to guide for packing. Need additional help, use their online chat for more specific questions you may have.

PRODUCTS WE LOVE

We have never been disappointed with an eBags purchase. Our all time favorite product is their packing cubes (clikc HERE to go right to the page).

CUBES- The cubes allow for organization, convenience, and creativity each time you use them. I found myself using the same cube for so many different things each time I was preparing for a vacation. Below I will outline more information regarding each cube.  Be sure to check out all the color options!

Slim Size: 2.8 x 14 x 5 in.

Great for: undergarments, tee shirts, socks, and more.

Small Size: 3 x 11 x 6.75

Great for: Smaller or slimmer items such as tanks, undergarments, or even diapers. Remember, not only clothes have to go in here- get creative.

Medium Size: 3 x 13.5 x 9.75

Great for: ANYTHING, this is my favorite size as I will frequently separate shirts in one, pants/shorts in another, and undergarments for a longer trip. I have also used this size for bathroom items such as my hairbrush, straightener/curling iron, face wipes, toothbrush, etc- do you know how nice it is to have everything in 1 bag that you need in the bathroom. Going somewhere warm? Pack your flip flops in here.

Large Size: 3.25 x 17.5 x 12.75

Great for: Packing bulkier items. I love this for sweaters when I am traveling during the colder months or I will put my shirts on one side folded and my pants on the other. This can pack and hold a lot!

Here is a great value set but look around for sets that contain what you think will work best for you. If you do not know what size works best for you visit the website, click your bag of choice that you will be using for your trip, and let the website do the thinking. See the picture below.

* When you are not using your cubes, store them in each other for cleaner storage.

TLS MOTHER LODE WEEKENDER CONVERTIBLE- Our second favorite product is their TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible that comes in 2 sizes (and 9 colors!)- the convertible and convertible junior (we have the junior size). This bag easily holds enough for a 3-4 day trip, including toiletries… I don’t know how they do it! On top of the space for clothing and toiletries, you will also find a laptop pouch, a water bottle holder, and various straps depending on how you want to carry the bag.

This bag is perfect for a carry on but we have used it as our “personal item” even though it is slightly bigger than the requirements… especially with the expanding abilities.

Even our dog loves them! Nash has his own packing cube that we keep his items in if someone watches him. The medium cube fits his: blanket, 2 toys, medication, instructions for watching him, his leash, treats, a bandana, doggie bags, and more. Below is a picture as we were packing for our wedding in New York.

We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions regarding their products, reach out to their chat or send us a message. Let us know if you have any eBags products at home and what you love.

Renting with Cruise America Review

If this is your first time visiting our page, welcome! This post was inspired by our 18-day honeymoon which was spent visiting 6 National Parks while in a Cruise America RV… if you are new, go to our page to read all about our trip. Spending 18 days in an RV, driving just over 2,500 miles, was an amazing experience and we are here to give you all the information you need if you are considering renting with Cruise America. *Cruise Canada is also an option but we are unsure if any of the information below is the same for both.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

As stated on their website- Take the comfort of home with you next time you travel by renting an RV from Cruise America. The stress-free convenience of vacationing with your room on your back affords families and friends the opportunity to travel in comfort and style, while allowing time for a great opportunity to grow closer as you travel to and from your destination. With Cruise America, the journey is a rich part of the reward.

For us– When looking for an RV rental company, Cruise America seemed to offer all the things we were looking for: one-way travel options, easily accessible locations for pick-up and drop off, multiple rental options, friendly staff, and the freedom. Cruise America also offers free insurance and 24-hour service which was a plus.

LOCATIONS

Cruise America has 129 pick-up and drop off locations spanning the United States and Canada. Click HERE and scroll to the very bottom of the page to see a list of their locations.

For us- When picking the start and end destination for our trip, we made sure there was an airport and a pick-up/drop off location relatively close to each other; we used Lyft to get from the airport to the Cruise America location and back (San Jose and Salt Lake City airport). Do your research before, there was another airport just as close in California but the flights were a lot more expensive.

TYPES OF RVs

There are 4 types of RVs you can choose from when completing your booking process (click HERE for an overview of all the RVs and what is included or to look at each one separately/take a 360 video view):

Large RV- 7 passenger

Standard RV- 5 passenger

Compact RV- 3 passenger

Truck Camper- 2-3 passengers

For us: Greg and I kept going back and forth between renting the compact RV and the truck camper. Ultimately, because we booked a one-way trip, the compact RV was what we got “approved” for. In the end, we were very happy with what we had; it was just the right amount of space we needed without feeling like we were bumping into each other the entire time. We slept in the upper bed and store our suitcases under the kitchen table so they were never in the way. One other bonus of the compact RV compared to the truck camper was that I could easily get up and grab a snack/go to the bathroom while Greg was driving- with the truck camper you would have to pull over.

  • The compact RV and truck camper will fit in a regular size parking spot. All others will need to be parked in an RV spot.

BOOKING

After doing your research, you have the option of booking online or on the phone. If you are wanting to reserve a one-way trip, you must call for your reservation.  

For us- The booking process was stressful, frustrating, and difficult. We spent a few weeks deciding on where we wanted to go on our honeymoon, researching fights, and beginning to plan our trip before contacting Cruise America to actually book… when we did, and submitted our reservation, it was declined… again and again! We were told one-way trips are tricky because they must keep specific inventory of their RVs in certain locations. We spent so much time e mailing back and forth offering other pick-up and drop off locations (redoing our trip each time) only for it to be declined. In the end, I stopped e mailing the original staff member we were working with, contacted another member, told him to pick 2 locations for us (we would plan a trip around where he could get approval), and we were able to book that same day (he got us approval to pick up in San Jose/Newark, California and to drop off in Salt Lake City, Utah because he knew we wanted to visit the National Parks)! So, I am not sure if we were paired with the second staff member in the first place if we would have been successful but we will never know… it all worked out in the end. I have no problem sending his contact information if you would like to book with him from the start, he was great.

* You are allowed to cross the boarder of the US and Canada but you cannot pick up in 1 country and drop off in another, we tried as we wanted to visit Banff National Park.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If for any reason you need to cancel your reservation, call 1-800-327-7799 and provide your confirmation number. You may cancel your reservation up to 7 days prior to the pick-up date and you will be refunded your reservation down payment. With less notice and with all one-way reservations, you will forfeit your reservation down payment.

DEALS

Cruise America offers many deals, but unfortunately, as we were looking, none of them applied to us. Examples of their deals that were available during the time this post was written are as followed:

One-way specials: One-way trips happen all the time, just like we did, and the RVs need to get back to their original location somehow. Cruise America has special reservations such as the one below. If this works for you, you can receive a discount… just have the RV to its destination by the return date.

Half Price Miles: Check their website and see what is offered for half-price miles. Bookers can receive 50% off rentals between September 7 and December 31, 2019 using the discount code (FRDM). *Not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer, and applied to new reservations only. Not available on one-way rentals. The offer may be withdrawn at any time.

Enjoying a Free Night: This special offer applies to any size motorhome for rentals of 4 nights or longer from any North America RV Rental Centers departing September 7 to December 31, 2019. To make a reservation call our reservation center or reserve online using the discount code (FRD31). *Maximum of 1 night free. This special offer is applied to new reservations only and is not combinable with any other specials or promotional rates and may be withdrawn at any time. One-way rentals are not available with this special.

Alaska- 300 Miles Free: This special offer applied to any size motorhome from Anchorage AK Rental Center returning by October 15, 2019. Call to make a reservation or book online using the discount code FRD300. *Not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer and applies to new reservations only. Not available for one-way rentals. This offer may be withdrawn at any time.

PRICING

To check specific pricing or obtain a quote, visit their website and put in the appropriate information for your trip. From there, you will be able to select the RV of your choice and select add on options as you desire- click Next and that’s it, you have your quote! If you have questions click the online chat or call their number 24/7.  

For us- As this blog is meant to help others, I have no problem sharing what we spent on the RV.

We chose to add the kitchen kit, we believe this was a good add on for the price (plates, cups, bowls, utensils, pots, pans, strainer, cutting board, broom).

We chose to pass on the other add on options (personal kit for bedding, zero deductible plan), we stopped at Wal-Mart before we began our trip- this ended up saving us money.

We were charged $400.00 for a one-way rental.

We estimated our trip would be 2,800 miles at .35 cents a mile, we only drove 2,500 miles so we were refunded $105.00.

We were refunded our $500.00 security deposit.

Our total cost for the RV was- $3,368.13. A $300.00 deposit is required when you make your reservation and will be applied towards your fees. All other fees are due at the time of pick-up.

AFTER YOU BOOK/BEFORE YOUR TRIP

After you book, a confirmation e mail will be sent with all your information. We recommend you print this out and keep it with you during your trip.

Before your trip, Cruise America will contact you and send you videos you must watch before you pick-up your RV. They were very educational and answered questions we knew we would have. We also referred back to these videos during the trip when we could not figure out how to turn the shower on the first day.

RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST

As stated above, when booking, you have the option of adding on to your rental. Below is a recommended shopping/packing list if you do not choose ANY of the add on options or bring anything from home. We brought some items with us from home but made a stop at Wal-Mart as soon as we picked up the RV and saved a ton of money by doing this.

Plates, cups, bowls, utensils, pots and pans, dish soap, dishwashing sponge, napkins, paper towels, pillows, blankets, fitted sheet, top sheet, memory foam mattress topper (click HERE to see the one we purchased which was great for our 18 days), laundry detergent, bath towels (we bought 3, 2 for us and 1 for the floor as you exit the shower), washcloths, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, matches, phone chargers, car invertor (HERE this was great for nights we did not have electric hookup and could charge our phones and camera- it worked while the RV was not running), camera, and clothes .

You will also need to buy food but don’t buy too much… most places we stopped at had a general store where we could buy additional food as needed. We did have extra unopened food in the end we just gave to a neighbor.

For us- We packed liquids from home such as dish soap, detergent, body wash, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, mouth wash, etc. in THESE so we did not have to buy bigger bottles once we flew out, and it also saved room!

PICKING UP

A few weeks before your trip you will have to call to select your pick-up time slot. Pick-up times are Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Saturday pick-up times vary by locations with some closing as early as 12:00pm. No available pick up times on Sunday so plan accordingly.

For us- Picking up our RV was so much fun because we knew what we were in for the next 18 days. The process took about an hour because they will walk through the RV with you and go over everything including how to dump waste, hook up electric, hook up/refill water, etc. The staff will complete an inspection and write down everything they see so you are not charged upon your return… if you see something, let them know! There was a very small crack on our windshield from a rock we let them know about so we did not get charged for it upon delivery.

Download the Cruise America app before beginning your vacation.

DROPPING OFF

RV return times are between 9:00am and 11:00am, late charges are automatically applied starting after 11:00am.

Additional fees may be added during drop off if you do not refill the propane tank, do not empty your water, or if there is damage to the RV.

For us- Dropping off was a sad moment as it meant out trip of a lifetime was ending. When you drop off, they will walk through your RV and sign off if everything looks how it did when you picked it up. This process took about an hour as well so plan ahead if you have a flight to catch. We arrived at 9:00am and by 10:00am there was a line and people had to wait for their RVs to get inspected.

If you have extra food or items you would like to donate, you can do this at any of their locations for people just beginning their trip.

PURCHASING

Cruise America also sells their used RVs, check out their website for more information.

OUR EXPERIENCE

We had an amazing experience with this company and would definitely book again, if we don’t buy our own RV in the meantime. Cruise America was hands down the most common RV rental company we saw during our 2,800 miles on the road- it was fun waving to others while driving by and even talking to other renters.

If you have any other specific questions that we did not cover don’t hesitate to reach out. We learned a lot while spending 18 days in the RV!

A Memorable Way to Document Your Travels

If you love to travel and want a fun way to document your trips, this post is for you. I came across the Traveller Collective website (HERE) about a year before our wedding (which was September 2018) and was instantly hooked. Because we had always planned on a National Park honeymoon, I knew this would be the best wedding gift for Greg. I ordered a clip for myself and one for Greg but was unable to open and use mine until our wedding… waiting a year was difficult as I was so excited!!

Keep reading to find out more information including: more about the company, other products they offer, how to order, a discount code if you would like to place an for yourself, golden rings (which will give you free travel money!), etc.

ABOUT THE COMPANY, as stated on their website.

PRODUCTS

Traveller Collective not only has the travel rings but a few other products including: necklaces, accessories (hats, totes, and decals), apparel, and gift cards. Check it out!

ORDERING

The first step when ordering is to decide which clip you want. I chose the tan for myself and the brown for Greg.

After you decide what clip you want it is time to order your rings. They have many options to fit your style and budget. Although Greg and I began traveling in high school, before we met, I chose to order rings for only the places we have been together.

Once you complete those two steps it is time to check out… that was super easy right? But first, DISCOUNT CODE!!!

DISCOUNT CODE

Who doesn’t love a discount?! Traveller Collective offers 30% off first time customers using the code TCFAM. Don’t wait, use this and order yours today.

GOLDEN RINGS

Throughout 2019, Traveller Collective will be giving away $7,750.00 worth of free flights to the Collective. They will be randomly selecting orders and placing a golden ring with a special value in with their purchase.

MY HOMEBASE

Create a profile by documenting your travels on their website. It will show a map with shaded areas of where you have visited!

HOW WE SHOWCASE OUR RINGS

Below are some pictures of our rings during our honeymoon, can you recognize where any of these pictures were taken? Let us know below.

Flying Cheap with Allegiant Airline

Destinations are in blue and orange above with the most popular in orange. Visit their interactive route map here- https://www.allegiantair.com/interactive-routemap

You may have read this title and clicked to read because you have never heard of Allegiant Airline, but that’s okay. Allegiant Airline is a smaller airline but is growing and adding new flight routes all the time. They pride themselves on cheap and non-stop only flights. Greg and I have been flying and saving money with them since 2014… but really, July 2019 we got a flight for $8.00 from Florida to Pennsylvania. Continue reading to find out more!

BOOKING A FLIGHT

Booking a flight with Allegiant is super easy! Visit Allegiant.com, put in your destination, dates, round trip vs one way, how many passengers, and hit search.

Your next step is to book with the dates selected or to view the rate calendar, I always recommend this if you can change your dates- it may save you some money!

*** If you book a round-trip flight an automatic $20.00 discount will be applied to your total which is what you see above.

Once you select your dates, hit continue. At this point you will have the option of booking a rental car, reserving a hotel, buying insurance, etc. but if you do not need these options just skip through and purchase!

HOW ARE THEIR FLIGHTS SO CHEAP?

Many people wonder how Allegiant flights are so cheap. Fortunately, they offer an A la carte service so you are only paying for what you need. Don’t need a bag, to pick your seat, or want priority boarding… your flight will be cheaper.

MOBILE APP

Download the Allegiant mobile app for free in the app store. This app saves us so much time at the airport! We usually only travel with a “personal bag” so we can check in beforehand and head right to the security line when getting to the airport, you can do the same while traveling with a carry-on (NOTE- If you are traveling with a checked bag you must go to the ticket counter at the airport).

The app will also pull your boarding pass or passes up for anyone in your party (when booking just use the same e-mail linked to the account) after you check in.

You have the option of booking a flight right from the app but we find it easier to book from a computer or laptop.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Okay, the part you are waiting for. After flying with Allegiant for some time we have learned how to save.

The first and easiest way is to sign up for their Mastercard (information below). Allegiant always has sales but sometimes only for their Mastercard holders- this past Memorial Day they were having $50.00 off which is how I got that $8.00 flight I previously mentioned. Awesome right?!

Another way we save is by flying, yes, you read that right. About 2-3 days after we fly, Allegiant ALWAYS send us a coupon code active for 72 hours only for $20.00 off. Another awesome deal right?! Book your round trip flights separate if you are flying with someone else and turn that $20.00 into $80.00 off.

When booking, you have the option of picking your seats but if you can handle being 1 or 2 rows away from your loved one then skip on this option. Greg and I never pay to sit next to each other and 75% of the time we get seats right next to each other if not 1 row away.

Packing light will pay off! We make long weekend trips back to visit family/friends all the time and pack in a “personal bag” such as a backpack or small duffel bag. My favorite to pack in is the Vera Bradley weekender bag- fits everything I need. When flying Allegiant, there is no charge for a personal bag but there is a charge for carry-on and checked luggage, if you can pack light you will save like us! NOTE- if you do need a carry-on or checked bag make sure to book it when you book your tickets, adding these at the airport will be an extra charge.

Booking online vs over the phone will save you a service charge of $12.00 for each reservation.

Downloading the free mobile app will save $5.00 as you can access your boarding pass and will not have to print it at the airport.

As mentioned above, if your dates are flexible, check the rate calendar as it may save you money.

If you do not have a coupon code, book a round-trip ticket and you will automatically receive $20.00 off. If you are flying with someone, purchase your tickets separate so you both get the $20.00 off deal.

Check out the deals page on the Allegiant website- below is an example of a deal we can get from our home airport.

ALLEGIANT MASTERCARD

So, the Allegiant Mastercard is the main way we get our flights for cheap, there are so many perks. For starters, as you can see above, when you sign up you get a 15,000 bonus when you spend $1,000.00 in the first 90 days which is equal to $150.00 of travel credit; but guess what, if you apply for the card while you’re flying (they make their rounds during every flight), you get 17,500 points which is equal to $175.00 of travel credit after spending $1,000.00 during the first 90 days.

No matter what you use your card on you are building points! Points will be updated on your account after every statement. For example, my statement is the 28th of the month so if I make a large purchase on the 29th, I will have to wait until the following 28th of the month to see the points added.

A low annual fee of $59.00 pays for itself after only a few flights. Add up the price of priority boarding, a free beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and travel credit and it’s like there is no fee to pay. The priority boarding in itself if our favorite part.

To use your points, continue checking out normally. When you go to purchase your flight, you will have the option to use your points or not to in order to save them. I am unable to show a picture of this part as I just used all of my points when I booked a flight last week, I got $93.00 off which brought my flight down to $117.00 after purchasing the front row seat and insurance (perks we usually pass on).

MILITARY DISCOUNT

Allegiant supports U.S. active duty military, military veterans, and members of the National Guard, military reserve, and their dependents by offering select free services.

Free services offered for U.S. active duty or reserve duty and National Guard:

Free services offered for U.S. military veterans and spouses or dependents of U.S. active duty or reserve military, and National Guard:

For all other information regarding Allegiant Airline, visit their website or comment below any questions we may be able to answer- https://www.allegiantair.com/how-allegiant

Grand Teton National Park Guide

(This post is part 6/6- make sure to read the others. While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links and additional images for more information!)

Well, we hit the end of our trip with the last stop being at Grand Teton National Park. We were so excited to finally get here after spending all day in the car (10 hours) from Bryce National Park. Continue reading to see how we felt and how we filled the last few days of our honeymoon.

*All times included time spent taking pictures/enjoying the views.

* We visited towards the end of June

Day 1- Thursday

As I mentioned above, we spent a large portion of the day in the car traveling from Bryce National Park. Although a long day in the car wasn’t ideal, the scenery the entire time was beautiful! A lot of the campgrounds at Grand Teton National Park are first come first serve which scared us a little, but we were luckily arriving on a Thursday night and were told we would most likely be fine. When we were about 2 hours out, I called the Signal Mountain Campground and they informed me that there were three hook up spots left- when we arrived we found one! The campground has electric hook up only. Dump station and water station available at all times, laundry, post office, general store, restaurants, bar, tours, water views, and is $55 a night (may be cheaper for tent but I am not sure). We were going to stay at another first come first serve campground with no hookup but the forecast predicted temperatures in the 20’s overnight and we knew we would need to run our heat which is why we chose Signal Mountain. After we got all checked in, we went to the Signal Mountain Lodge Restaurant for dinner. Our food was SO GOOD and we had views of the water/mountains the entire time. Definitely check this place out even if you are not staying there. We ended up doing laundry after dinner as it would hold us over for the next few days. Our wash was $3 for a small load and $5 for a large load, the dryers were $1.

Day 2- Friday

Greg and I woke up without alarms again today! It felt so good to sleep in… until 9:15. We woke up and got ready for our exciting day on the water through the Grand Teton Lodge Company. Before our trip, we had a few minutes to spare so we checked out the Jackson Lake Lodge which was amazing- they have gift shops, cafes, and great views of the mountains while you sit by the fireplaces.

Grand Teton Lodge Company – Lunch, Wild and Scenic River Raft Trip

We knew we needed some sort of adventure on our trip so we booked a lunch raft trip (Click HERE for more information). We departed from the Jackson Lake Lodge at 11:30 and around 12 we arrived at a private (well 9 of us private) outdoor lunch area right on the water. They offered burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, cookies, tea, hot chocolate, coffee, lemonade, and water. We were accompanied by a nice fire because of how cold it was. After we ate, we all got in the raft and enjoyed a 10-mile scenic view down the snake. Our guide was great and pointed out the names of the mountains and the various wildlife like bald eagles, osprey, moose, geese, ducks, racoons, etc. over the 2 hours we were rafting down the river. We had a great time and would definitely do this again if we were to visit. It even snowed for about 20 minutes which was funny because it was the first day of “summer.” The cost of the trip was $90 a person- food/drink included.

After our lunch trip we decided to check out the visitor center to stamp our passport and add to our patch collection. As we were walking out, we noticed a sign that showed a free ranger led hike that was going to start in 15 minutes, perfect timing! The hike was for the Swan Lake Heron Pond Hike.

Swan Lake Heron Pond Hike

Distance- 3.8 miles

Time- 3 hours – longer time due to frequent stops filled with education from the ranger

After completing a ranger led hike, Greg and I would recommend you complete it at least once. You learn more about the park and they point out which wildlife you would be seeing along the way. We were led by Ranger Jim who was so great.

We finished right around dinner time and headed to the Ranch House which is located next to the visitor center. We both enjoyed our meals and the pricing was not bad. Our total was $47 for 2 soup/salad buffets, 2 beers, and an appetizer.

Day 3- Saturday

Today was such a fun and different day. I read online about a 42-mile scenic drive around Grand Teton that was recommended so that is what we decided to do.

42 Mile Scenic Drive

Distance- 42 miles (can be longer if you decide to go to all of the lookouts)

Time- As long or as short as you would like

This drive took us 6 hours because we took our time at each of the viewpoints we visited. We also stopped at Taggart Lake Loop and completed their 3.8-mile hike. The following is what you will see if you complete this drive from North to South and then back up:

  1. Colter Bay Visitor Center: Enjoy the all new American Indian arts exhibit or meet a guest artist. Take a short stroll on one of the trails along Jackson Lake. Ask a ranger about what to see and do in the park or join a ranger-led activity.
  2. Jackson Lake Dam: One mile west of Jackson Lake Junction, Jackson Lake Dam raises the level of Jackson Lake a maximum of 39 feet. Enjoy the views of Mt. Moran.
  3. Signal Mountain Summit Road: This 5-mile drive turns east 1 mile south of Signal Mountain Lodge. This windy road climbs almost 1,000 feet above the valley floor to the summit. Two overlooks provide panoramic views of the Teton Range and Jackson Lake.
  4. North Jenny Lake Scenic Drive: Turn west at North Jenny Lake Junction onto a 4-mile, one- way scenic drive.
  5. South Jenny Lake/Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point: Hike around Jenny Lake and up to Hidden Falls. Enjoy the shuttle boat or scenic cruise (fee charged).

Taggart Lake Loop

Distance- 3.8 miles

Time- 2 hours

We enjoyed this hike very much, although we were a little on edge the entire time because we did not have any bear spray. The loop on this hike has many different views and is good for all skill levels.

  • Menors Ferry & Chapel of the Transfiguration: Turn east ½ mile north of Moose. Stroll through Menors Ferry Historic District to explore homestead and pioneer life in Jackson Hole. Visit the Chapel of Transfiguration where the altar window frames the tallest Teton peaks.
  • Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center: Watch the film and explore the interactive natural and cultural history exhibit.
  • Mormon Row Historic District, Antelope Flats/Gros Centre Loop: Mormon Row is 1.5 miles east of the highway. Tour iconic historic barns and homesteads. Look for pronghorn, deer, moose, bald eagles, and bison.
  • Snake River Overlook: Stop at this turnout for spectacular views of the Teton Range. Ansel Adams took his icon photo of the Snake River and Teton Range from this site.
  • Cunningham Cabin Historic Site: Take a self-guided walk through the oldest historic building remaining in the park. Look for badgers and coyotes hunting in the nearby meadow.
  • Oxbow Bend Turnout: Located 1 mile east of Jackson Lake Junction, a meander of the Snake River attracts wildlife. Mount Moran provides a backdrop for a classic photo opportunity.
  • Willow Flats Overlook: Stop at the turnout 6 miles south of Colter Bay for a view of extensive wetlands and meadows.

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM– We did not use the shuttles here and believe you can only use it if you are staying at a lodge… not sure on how accurate that information is.

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here, the rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have, you can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of using ours), and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We added to our National Park patch collection here.  

SERVICE- We had limited service and WiFi at our campground and some while driving through. 

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. There are many restaurants located in the park, just ask around for recommendations.

LAUNDRY– There was a laundry facility at our campground.

WEATHER– It was cold! It snowed on the first day of summer here which was crazy to see coming from Florida. Definitely look up the average temperatures before you visit and plan accordingly.    

TRAILS- If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first; you might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures.

FIREWOOD- You are not allowed to gather branches for firewood, it must be purchased.

GAS- There were gas stations inside the park and were much cheaper than ones outside the park, fill up whenever you can.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION– Book something other than a hike!

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED HIKE- Taggart Lake Hike

After the scenic drive, we drove to spend the afternoon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We ate Liberty Burger for lunch and enjoyed our meals and a milkshake for dessert! We had to wait about 15 minutes after arriving because it was a busy spot for lunch.

Before the trip even started, Greg and I knew we didn’t want to spend our last night in Wyoming as we had to drop the RV off in Salt Lake by 11:00am the next morning. In order for this to happen, we would have had to wake up by 4:00am and get on the road. We decided to look for free places to park for the night closer to Salt Lake. Online we found Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, REI, etc… any outdoor shop will let you park in their parking lot for free! We ended up finding a Cabelas in Idaho but after arriving, we realized we were only 2 hours away from the Cabelas in Salt Lake. We decided to make the drive so we could sleep in even longer tomorrow. Our last night consisted of packing up and watching Netflix.

We woke up and headed to the Salt Lake City Cruise America location- the return process took about an hour but was relatively easy. From there, we got an Uber and headed to the airport which meant our honeymoon was officially over.

Greg and I had the time of our lives and we are still so happy we decided to do this trip. We were already planning our next route in as we waited at the airport. Our only regret was not taking the next day off of work. Our flight landed at 11:00pm and by the time we got home and in bed it was 12:30am. Work the next day was TERRIBLE.

So, how do you think we did on our miles? Do you think we hit our goal?

Unfortunately, we did not hit our goal of 100 miles but we came so close….. 96 miles!! 96 miles by foot on our honeymoon is amazing and we would do it again tomorrow if we could!

Let us know what you enjoyed most while reading through our posts. Is there anything we didn’t cover that you would like to hear about? Let us know! As always, feel free to reach out if you need help planning a trip or have any further questions!

Bryce Canyon National Park Guide

(This post is part 5/6- make sure to read the others. While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links and additional images for more information!)

Our second to last stop on our honeymoon was to Bryce Canyon National Park.

*All times included time spent taking pictures/enjoying the views.

* We visited in the middle of June

Day 1- Tuesday

We left Zion National Park at 8:00am (if you remember, RVs can only travel through the tunnel from 8am to 8pm) and arrived at Bryce National Park around 10:30. The drive was very easy and scenic as you pass through the Red Canyons on your way. Because we could not check into our campground until 12:00pm, we hopped on the shuttle and headed towards the visitor center to pick up our maps and get more information on the park. From the visitor center we headed to complete our first hike, the Wall Street/Queens Garden Loop (with an accidental trip on the Navajo Loop).

Navajo Loop

Distance- .5 miles

Time- 15 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 6 (Sunset Point)

The Navajo loop is longer than what we completed but it was closed at the bridges, we accidently ended up on this loop and went .25 miles down until we saw the “closed” signs and back. The views were incredible though so if you have an extra 15 minutes, hike down.

Wall Street/Queens Garden Loop

Distance- 3.4 miles

Time- 2.5 hours

Shuttle- Stop 6 (Sunset Point)

This loop is recommended to be completed in a clockwise direction because there are steep switchbacks or declines down wall street if you complete it counter clockwise. Greg and I realized we would rather go down a steep decline than up an incline and completed it counter clockwise. Either direction is fine and people were going both ways. This loop has great views of the hoodoos and walls- make sure to look up and around! In order to complete a full loop, we completed part of the Rim Trail from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point (where we started). If you want to complete just this part of the hike without the loop I listed above, you can.  

Rim Trail (Sunrise Point to Sunset Point)

Distance- .5 miles

Time- 15 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 8 (Sunrise Point)

The Rim Trail is a total of 11 miles but you have the option of getting off at various shuttle stops and completing short parts. We found this to be the best option as an 11 mile straight hike was not for us. We still got great views of the canyon and hoodoos!

We took a mid-day break from hiking and went to lunch at Ruby’s Canyon Diner. Unfortunately, we were very unpleased with our meals and did not return. We ordered the 15 inch pizza to share/have leftovers for $25.00 only to realize the 7 inch pizza was $6.50… we could have ordered 4 of the 7 inch pizzas for the price of one. We asked to modify our orders to our preference and it was not respected. I ended up ordering a chicken sandwich because of how the pizza looked and after two bites, I threw it out. I am not writing this to warn everyone not to go there, but this was just our opinion. Feel free to try it out! I am sure if you visit you may have a different experience. After lunch we checked into our campground, Ruby’s Inn and Campground. Ruby’s Inn had full hook up, laundry, general store, and a shuttle stop. After checking in, we took a two hour nap before our last planned hike for the day which was another section of the Rim Trail, Bryce Point to Inspiration Point.

Rim Trail (Bryce Point to Inspiration Point)

Distance- 1.6 miles

Time- 1 hour

Shuttle- Stop 3 (Bryce Point)

Once again, this trail is a section of the 11-mile Rim Trail. We hiked from Bryce Point to Inspiration Point because it was mostly downhill. If you complete it the other way, you will have more of an uphill hike. We took advantage of the lookout points and snapped many pictures- our favorite was the Upper Inspiration Point lookout, to the left of that is the Amphitheater. Everything looks fake and we said we felt like we were on a movie set.

After the hike, we hopped back on the shuttle to get our RV- RV’s are only allowed to park at most places after 8pm. We asked for recommendations on where to see the sunset and ironically were told Upper Inspiration Point. The sunset here was very pretty but we enjoyed turning around and looking over the canyon with the color change. We definitely recommended you hike up here to see the sunset, you will not be disappointed.

Our night ended with us being so tired, we once again did not want to cook dinner. We were told the Cowboy Buffet and Steakhouse was good so we decided to eat there. We both got the buffet for $22.00 (each) and I would say it was worth it- you were able to choose from: chicken, pork, rice, pasta, soup, salad, and dessert.

Day 2- Wednesday

After so many days packed with hiking, our bodies were getting tired. We found ourselves picking shorter hikes rather than longer ones but that was okay, we deserved to relax on this trip too. Well… a little since we were still very determined to hit 100 miles! How do you think we are doing so far? Do you think we will hit our goal? Day two at Bryce Canyon was only filled with two hikes, the Tower Bridge in the morning and the Mossy Cave Trail at night to look at the stars (one of the shuttle drivers recommended it).

Tower Bridge

Distance- 3.2 miles

Time- 2 hours

Shuttle- Stop 8 (Sunrise Point)

The Tower Bridge hike is a part of the Fairyland Loop. If you plan on doing this loop, do not complete the Tower Bridge on a separate day! The Fairyland Loop is a total of 8 miles which is why we decided to just complete the one section. This hike is listed as easy but was far from that. First, you hike 1.6 miles down into the canyon and then when you are tired and hot, you have to hike 1.6 miles out- we were exhausted but took many rest periods and drank lots of water!

Before going out for our evening hike to Mossy Cave, we went to the Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill for a country concert- you have the option of eating dinner at the buffet but it was a little too expensive as neither one of us was super hungry ($30-40 depending on what you want as your main meal). The concert was great so if you have time, check it out! It’s $10 if you are not eating dinner and just want to attend the concert.

Mossy Cave Trail

Distance- .8 miles (total out and back)

Time- 30 minutes

Shuttle- No shuttle stop, this trail is outside the park, about a 10 minute drive

Okay, so here is the thing… this hike was only .8 miles but we didn’t complete it for a few reasons. As we were walking in everything was fine, a couple was leaving and said we were the only ones there and to have fun because we would be all alone. As soon as it got dark, all I could think about was the movie Wrong Turn (if you haven’t seen it, google it, and you’ll know why I was scared)- yes, I know I am a baby. Greg also warned me of the animal life we may run into including mountain lions and coyotes, I wasn’t too concerned about them until we saw a really big snake and I thought “Oh, the animals must all come out at night,” which made me even more scared. Greg agreed to forego the rest of the hike after about .3 miles in and on our way back all we could smell was a skunk- now my fear of being sprayed by a skunk on my honeymoon set in! Overall, this hike looked like it would have been great so we recommend completing it in the daytime or nighttime if you aren’t scared like I was. Let me know if you go at night and how the stars are!

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM– There is a free shuttle here at Bryce National Park. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the entire loop or you can look for crossover points to shorten your trip. The bus drivers were all great and can help with anything you need.

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here, the rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have, you can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of using ours), and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We added to our National Park patch collection here.  

SERVICE- We had service and WiFi at our campground which was nice for a change, we were immediately able to send pictures to our family. 

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. There are many restaurants, cafes, and stores in the town of Bryce City and the staff can provide recommendations if you are craving something specific. Our reviews of the restaurants we ate at are above.

LAUNDRY– There was a laundry facility at our campground but we did not need it or know how much it costs.

WEATHER– It was hot! Luckily, there were some shaded parts during our hikes but definitely bring lots of water.   

TRAILS- If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first; you might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures.

FIREWOOD- You are not allowed to gather branches for firewood, it must be purchased.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION- Attend a local event- concert, rodeo, etc.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED HIKE- Views from in the canyon: Wall Street/Queens Garden, Views from on top of the canyon: Bryce Point to Inspiration Point.

Zion National Park Guide

(This post is part 4/6- make sure to read the others. While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links and additional images for more information!)

*All times included time spent taking pictures/enjoying the views.

* We visited in the middle of June

Our honeymoon continued with a 3.5 day trip to Zion National Park. Despite most of our planned hikes being closed because of water levels and falling rock, we still enjoyed our time here so much. Our planned hikes that were closed include the following: Narrows, the Upper and Middle Emerald Pools, Observation Point, Hidden Canyon Trail, and Kayenta Trail.

Day 1- Friday

After our packed day from the Grand Canyon, we arrived at Zion National Park around 7:30pm. Upon getting to the entrance to show our National Park Annual Pass, we were told we must purchase a “tunnel ticket” in order to get through. This is something I did not find during my research- RVs must pay an additional $15.00 because in order to get through the tunnel they must stop traffic and allow for one way travel. The ticket is good for 2 trips so entering and exiting. Unfortunately, one of our planned hikes was on the other side of the tunnel so if we wanted to complete that hike, we would have had to buy another ticket. Because of this, we decided not to. The tunnel is “open” from 8am to 8pm but you are allowed to drive through whenever you want. * If you are an RV traveling through outside of these hours and something happens, you are on your own as it is not recommended.

Our first stop after driving through the park, (our campground was on the other side) took about 25 minutes. We stopped at the Zion Brewery for dinner and drinks. We LOVED this place. Greg ordered the elk burger, I ordered a regular burger with their specialty fries, and we ended our dinner with a brownie sundae. They have indoor and outdoor seating and if you can, sit outside to enjoy views as you eat. No worries about the heat, they have misters to cool you off!

After dinner we made our way to the Zion Canyon Campground and we both said this was the best campground so far. It was $54 a night for a full hook-up pull through RV spot, laundry, pool access, shower tokens, free shuttle to the park, a playground, WiFi, and GREAT views of Zion.

Day 2- Saturday

We woke up and headed towards the Visitor Center by foot. We decided not to take the Springdale shuttle so we could take in the views. When entering the park by foot, you must have your pass, a receipt from parking, or pay to get into the park. Once again, we were able to get information on recommended hikes as well as add to our patch collection here. Our first hike of the day was the Watchman Trail. We began around 10:00am.

The Watchman Trail

Distance- 3.3 miles (total out and back)

Time- 2 hours

Shuttle- Stop 1, start at the visitor center.

The Watchman Trail had great views but was a steep incline for the entire 1.75 miles leading up to the view. That okay, because that means a nice 1.75 miles of downhill on the way back. Greg and I found out we love hiking downhill, especially in the heat! The trail was not as crowded as we thought so we were able to enjoy ourselves starting. *Once you get to the top you must complete the Loop Trail in order to get to the scenic overlook (this is included in the trail distance).

From the Watchman Trail we hopped on the shuttle and got off at stop 9 for the Riverside Walk.

Riverside Walk

Distance- 2.2 miles (total out and back)

Time- An hour and a half

Shuttle- Stop 9

Handicap Accessible

We started this hike around 5pm and it was amazing; the sun was behind the canyon and walking next to the river gave off a nice cool breeze. We definitely recommend this hike later in the day. This trail has 2 access points- the first is a paved road and the second in a sandy path right by the water. Look for the sand access points as you will get a better view of the Virgin River while completing this trail. This trail is also handicap accessible with some assistance. The trail ends where you would begin the Narrows Hike so if you plan on doing the Narrows, wait to complete this then.

Our last hike of the day was the Lower Emerald Pool.

Lower Emerald Pools

Distance- 1.2 miles (total out and back)

Time- 1 hour

Shuttle- Stop 5

Unfortunately, we were very disappointed with this hike. Arriving to the Lower Emerald Pool, it looked more like a rain puddle to us. The views of the canyon were better. (This is not to say you shouldn’t visit! This is just what it looked like when we arrived)

Our day ended with dinner again at the Brew Pub where we had a great meal. Our service however, was not so good. We had a different waiter than the night before and we were not impressed.  

Day 3- Sunday

Well… we finally took a step back and had ourselves a day where we didn’t set our alarms and we SLEPT IN!! We knew this day was going to be short in anticipation for our strenuous hike on Monday so we decided to take in some much needed rest. We woke up around 10:00am and ate breakfast. We bought food from Hoodoos General Store– walking distance from Zion Canyon Campground. If you go, check out their market, they have almost anything you could possibly need. Following breakfast, we headed into the park.

We decided to plan our hikes from the furthest to the closest and riding the shuttle back to the campground stopping along the way. Our first hike of the day was Weeping Rock.

Weeping Rock

Distance- .4 miles (total out and back)

Time- 30 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 7

This was a great, easy hike with views of the canyon. The only downfall is that some of the trail was pretty steep. Also, the water runs off the rocks above so you may get a little wet even if it has not rained.

From Weeping Rock, we traveled to complete the Grotto Trail.

Grotto Trail

Distance- .5 miles

Time- 30 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 5 or 6, start at one and walk to the other.

The Grotto was a nice, relaxing hike with views of the canyon. The trails were mostly flat which made it more enjoyable. We were also almost all alone the entire time which we also enjoyed.

Our next hike was probably the shortest hike in the park, an uphill 100-yard hike to the Court of the Partiarchs.

Court of the Patriarchs

Distance- 100 yards

Time- 15 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 4

You will not find this hike on the hiking guide from the visitor center but all of the shuttles will inform you of it. Once at the top, you have views of 3 cliffs- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Although this was a short hike, I would recommend if you need something to do in any spare time.

Our final hike of the day was hiking along the Pa’rus Trail.

Pa’rus Trail

Distance- 1.75 miles (1 way, we completed 1 way)

Time- 1 hour

Shuttle- Stop 1 or 3, start at one and hike to the other or complete a round trip

The Pa’rus trail was another trail where we were almost completely alone. The trail is almost all paved and has multiple bridges that provide a great photo opportunity. As you are completing this trail, turn around and look at the views of the canyons behind you.

We concluded our day of hiking with beers from the Zion Bew Pub. Greg and I loved their beer and this was a great way to unwind. If you go, let us know what beer was your favorite! While there, we asked for recommendations for dinner and were told the Bit and Spur and Oscars were great and nearby.

We chose to eat at the Bit and Spur (Springdale shuttle 6) for dinner and it did not disappoint. We both loved our meals! The prices were a little high but if you sit out back you have great views of the canyon. Watch out though, as we were eating a flash flood warning came in and we were rushed inside!

Day 4- Monday

Our alarms went off at an early 5:00am in preparation of Angels Landing. We were told to be at the visitor center by 5:30 as the 6:00am shuttle is almost always completely full. We arrived at 5:45 and were number 31 and 32 in line. Luckily, we made it on the first shuttle. Others weren’t so lucky however, and had to wait for the next shuttle.

Angels Landing

Distance- 5.4 miles (total out and back)

Time- 4 hours

Shuttle- Stop 6

This hike is not only listed as strenuous, but is also listed as one of the most dangerous hikes in the states.  Look up pictures and videos online and you will see why! The 2.75 miles to get there is completely uphill- I wanted to give up so many times but Greg was there to support me. He waited as I stopped about 15 times on the way up to “look at the views” aka catch my breath and make sure I was still alive (lol). After you complete 2 miles, there is a lookout point called Scouts Lookout where many people stop, take in the views, and turn around. If you decide to keep going, the rest of the trail is a narrow trail with people going up as others are coming down, with only a chain to hold onto on one side (scary!). I completed the first section of the chains but turned around after that. Greg continued on and is now able to say he completed Angels Landing (it gets its name because someone once said it is so high only angels can reach it). This hike is not intended for those with a fear of heights as there are 1,000 foot drop offs on either side as you are hiking up and down the trial. Prior to completing, there is a sign that warns you that many people have died completing this hike! Only complete this if you are 100% confident, if you start and do not feel comfortable like I did, turn around! The views from Scouts Lookout are just as nice.

After completing the first half of Angels Landing, we continued onto the West Rim Trail.

West Rim Trail

Distance- As long or as short as you would like- we hiked a half mile in and then a half mile out for a total of 1 mile

Time- As long or as short as you would like- 30 minutes

Shuttle- Stop 6

You can only access the West Rim trail from Angels Landing, it is a continuation and a complete 14 mile trip if you decide to do the entire trail. Greg and I hiked a half mile to a lookout point and then turned around as we were getting tired and hungry.

I guess you can say we were pretty tired after these hikes. We went back to the RV and both passed out for 3 hours. The rest of the day was spent sitting outside, drinking beers, making smores, and talking with our neighbors. We have made so many friends along the way so far that we hope to keep in touch with. We encourage you to make friends on your trip as you already have one thing in common- your love for traveling!

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM- There are two shuttles at Zion National Park. The first is for the town of Springdale which we used to get to the entrance of the park and the other for inside of the park. The shuttles inside the park runs every 15 minutes until 8:30am where they then run every 5 minutes. The shuttle stops around 9:30pm depending on where you are inside the park and 10:00pm outside the park using the Springdale shuttle. Be aware when riding the shuttle, you are on the right side of the road depending on where you want to go. 

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here, the rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have, you can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of using ours), and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We added to our National Park patch collection here.  

SERVICE- We had service and WiFi at our campground which was nice for a change, we were immediately able to send pictures to our family. 

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. There are many restaurants, cafes, and stores in the town of Springdale- you will definitely be able to find what you are looking for foodwise here. Like I mentioned above, we ate at the Brew Pub, Bit and Spur, and Hoodoos and would recommend all three. Oscars was also recommended but we did not make it there this trip.  

LAUNDRY- There was a laundry facility at our campground open 24/7- $2.00 to wash and $2.00 to dry. 

WEATHER- It was hot but luckily, the sun was occasionally hidden by the canyon. The rangers recommend two liters per person while hiking. 

TRAILS- If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first; you might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures.

FIREWOOD- You are not allowed to gather branches for firewood, it must be purchased.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION- Find time to relax if you can.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED HIKE– Greg: Angels Landing or the Riverwalk, Meg: The Watchman.

Grand Canyon National Park Guide

(This post is part 3/6- make sure to read the others. While you’re reading, click anything blue and you will see I attached links and additional images for more information!)

*All times included time spent taking pictures/enjoying the views.

* We visited in the middle of June

After what seemed like forever in the RV (12.5 hours) we made it to the Grand Canyon from Sequoia National Park. We originally had 2 days planned here, but after talking to some new friends at Yosemite, they said to pack everything into 1 day and explore other areas of Arizona- we ended up rerouting our trip include Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

Prior to arriving at the Grand Canyon entrance, we stopped at a visitor center outside the park.

We then made our way into the park and to Mather Campground. At Mather Campground we paid $18 a night, no hook up but very close to everything. The campsites are very large and have a picnic bench as well as a fire pit. There is a laundry facility by the entrance to the campground. The Grand Canyon village is also very tourist friendly and includes things like: a general store, restaurant, post office, chase bank, clinic, a chapel, and multiple visitor centers. Be on the lookout for elk, they won’t bother you but remember to keep your distance (2 bus lengths).

Day 1- Thursday

Our first planned hike was Ooh Aah point but after talking to one of the rangers he said it was not recommended to hike into the canyon between the hours of 10am- 4pm. At that point, we took the free shuttle to the visitor center in order to get to the Rim Trail.

Rim Trail

Distance- As long or as short as you would like- we hiked a mile and then turned around for a total of 2 miles

Time- As long or as short as you would like- 2 hours

Shuttle- Yes

Handicap Accessible

The Rim Trail allows for views alongside the rim of the Grand Canyon (where it gets its name). There are many lookout points you can walk down into and almost the entire tail is paved. You may think you have seen it all but there are so many different views from one point to another, take your time and enjoy this hike. It can get very crowded during the day.

From the Rim Trail we got in our RV and headed to our first lookout, Yavapai Lookout.

Yavapai Lookout

Distance- .2 miles from the parking lot

Time- As long or as short as you would like

Shuttle- Yes

Handicap Accessible

Attached to this lookout is the Geology Museum and we recommend you check it out, we found it had the best views. Take your time walking around/reading about the history of the canyon. Look for helicopters inside the canyon, let us know if you saw any!

From that lookout point we traveled to Pipe Creek Vista.

Pipe Creek Vista

Distance- Right alongside the road/parking lot

Time- As long or as short as you would like (stay in 1 spot to view)

Shuttle- Yes

Pipe Creek Vista, along with the other lookout points has great views, it is interesting to see the canyon from another viewpoint.

Finally, around 4:30 we got ready and hopped on the shuttle to complete the Ooh Aah Point trail.

Ooh Aah Trail

Distance- 2 miles (total out and back)

Time- 1 hour and 30 minutes

Shuttle- Yes

This hike was amazing but difficult! The entire way to the Ooh Aah point is a downhill zigzag which means the entire way out is an uphill zigzag… Greg and I had to take many rests periods along the way back. For reference, it took us 26 minutes to hike the mile down and 52 minutes to hike the mile up. You do have the option of continuing after Ooh Aah point to 2 other lookouts but we knew we were already going to have trouble from this point so we turned around.

After this hike we went back to the RV for dinner and some rest. Around 9:00pm, Greg mentioned how it would be cool to see the canyon at night so we hopped in the RV and headed towards the visitor center to the Rim Trail and guess what… that was literally the best idea! We basically had the canyon to ourselves and were able to see so many stars above because of minimal light pollution. If you can, definitely do this as you will not be disappointed.  

At the end of our day we were really happy with what we saw. You can definitely see the Grand Canyon in a day.

OTHER PARK INFORMATION

SHUTTLE SYSTEM- The free shuttle system at the Grand Canyon is great but make sure you know what time the last shuttle is. Here, they run very late compared to the other parks we have visited.

VISITOR CENTER- Definitely make a stop here. The rangers can provide you with any information or questions you may have. You can buy souvenirs at the gift shop, grab free maps (we lived off of using ours), and get a stamp for your National Park Passport! We added to our National Park patch collection here.  

SERVICE- We had limited service here but were able to communicate with our family when we got closer to the village.  

FOOD- We packed a lot of snacks for our hikes including trail mix, crackers, etc. Having the RV available after each hike was very convenient for meals as well. There is a restaurant/tavern located nearby in the village that looked very popular.

LAUNDRY- There was a laundry facility but we did not use it- not sure of the price.  

WEATHER- It was hot! Hike early or hike later in the day to prevent heat exhaustion. The rangers do not recommend anyone go into the canyon from 10am- 4pm. We found 5pm was a good time to start.  

TRAILS- If you are limited on time, plan out your top trails and do them first. You might be surprised that you have extra time in the day that allows for more adventures. As stated before, we believe you can see the Grand Canyon in one day.  

FIREWOOD- You are not allowed to gather branches for firewood, it must be purchased. We bought ours from the general store and it did not last long and it put black smoke on our smores.  

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION- Go back to the rim trail after dark- it will not disappoint.

OUR NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDED HIKE- Ooh Aah Point!

Day 2- Friday

We woke up early and headed towards Page, Arizona in preparation of our guided tour through Antelope Canyon (Ken’s Tours). Our tour was at 1:30pm in the lower antelope canyon. The canyon did not disappoint, every time you make a turn you see another amazing view of the sun shining through. I am so happy we were able to add this to our trip.

-We were told the lower canyon has better views (compared to the upper canyon) and the best time to go is between 10am-2pm because the lighting is the best.

– With Ken’s Tours, adult tickets are $50 and I believe children are $30.

– You must check in 30 minutes prior to your tour.

– You need a reservation to complete the tour, as we were waiting there were so many people that came up to buy tickets and were turned away. Plan in advance.

From Antelope Canyon we drove about 15 minutes to Horseshoe Bend which was another great adventure. In order to get to the rim/overlook you have to walk about a half mile (some uphill/some downhill) but the views are totally worth it! Look down to see boats and how small they are compared to everything; it puts it into perspective.

– $10 to park