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13 Important Tips You Need to Know Before Traveling to Cuba

13 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Cuba | CosmosMariners.com

Cuba is one of those unusual destinations that's on everyone's bucket list but remains mysterious to most people who hope to visit. In truth, Cuba is very hard to define since it has so many influences from the Caribbean, South America and the United States.

Add in the travel restrictions that U.S. visitors have had to deal with until recently, the lore established by Ernest Hemingway's Cuban-centric novels, and the iconic snapshots of vintage cars driving the roads of Cuba, and you've got a mysterious, compelling place that has every travel lover intrigued.

Discover this amazing, sunny country with these 13 important tips you need to know before your tour to Cuba!

What to Do in Jacksonville, Florida: 5 Activities You Can't Miss

What to Do in Jacksonville, Florida: 5 Things You Can't Miss | CosmosMariners.com

Poised on the Atlantic coast between the state line and St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Florida, has a little bit of everything: a rich history, an emerging tech scene, gorgeous beaches, and a beach-ready climate year-round. It's one of our favorite cities to explore on short weekend trips, as well as a convenient stopover when we're headed to Orlando, Miami, or the Florida Keys.

Here's what to do in Jacksonville, Florida, so start planning your itinerary for your own trip today!

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World: Better for Family Travel or Business Conferences?

With its Central American theming, convenient location next to Hollywood Studios, and sprawling campus, Coronado Springs Resort seems like an excellent option for your next visit to Walt Disney World. Yet, it doesn't seem to get the love that other moderate resorts get (I'm looking at you, Port Orleans).

Why? Perhaps it's because it's often populated by droves of business travelers staying on property and attending one of the many conferences hosted here.

Earlier this year, we found a great deal on a room at Coronado Springs, so we decided to try it out, and determine once and for all if this moderate resort was great for families visiting Walt Disney World or if it needed to be left to the business travelers.

Instagram Inspiration Friday: Airports

Instagram Inspiration Friday: Airports | CosmosMariners.com

I took a bit of a blogging break this week, and it has felt amazing. Other than a day or two here and there, I haven't taken a week off of blogging since my second kid was born back in November 2016.

So, what did I do with the time away? I spent a long weekend at Walt Disney World with my kiddos and my mom: it was surface-of-the-sun hot, but we still had a blast. When we got home, I was exhausted (because of the whole theme park with two children thing), so I've gone to bed early, played with my preschooler, held my baby, and basically remembered what being a non-blogger feels like.

And I started to map out our upcoming Puerto Rico trip. I've bought our airline tickets, so you know it's on now.

Redefining the Family Road Trip Experience: A Review of the Mifold Car Booster Seat

Redefining the Family Road Trip Experience: A Review of the Mifold Booster Seat | CosmosMariners.com

I was provided a mifold for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

As a firm believer that travel should include the entire family, I'm always on the lookout for newer, better, and more efficient products that make family travel possible. One that I'm adding to my list is the mifold car booster seat.

One of the most annoying things that I've had to navigate while traveling with two kids is the car seat. I want to keep my kids safe first and foremost, but that still doesn't stop me from cursing furiously in my head every time I have to contort myself in unnatural positions to remove my kids' car seats when we need to transfer them for travel.

Even when you get to check a car seat for free, the process of hauling a massive booster or car seat through the airport to the check-in counter is anything but fun.

Plus, when you're out sightseeing in New York or London or Paris, and you want to catch a taxi or Uber to your next location, you either have to haul your booster seat around with you (typically not feasible since they're so large) or pray you don't get in an accident and strap your small child into the backseat of a taxi without a booster seat at all (no thanks).

How to Give Your Old Travel Cameras New Life: A Review of KEH.com

How to Give Your Old Cameras New Life: A Review of KEH.com | CosmosMariners.com

This post is sponsored by KEH.com. As always, all opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links; if you choose to purchase through one of the links below, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

I’m one of those people who is obsessed with taking pictures when I’m traveling (and when I’m home and at family gatherings and…well, you get the idea). For me, photos of my adventures in London or that boat ride we took in the Bahamas are the perfect souvenir.

It should come as no surprise that I’m a little picky with the camera that I use when traveling. I was always a point and shoot kid until one of my friends in college bought a Nikon D80, and I discovered what possibilities awaited me with a higher end camera.

The Best of the West: The Ultimate 1.5 Week Road Trip from Las Vegas to Denver

The Best of the West: The Ultimate 1.5 Week Road Trip Itinerary from Las Vegas to Denver | CosmosMariners.com

If you're looking for an epic U.S. road trip, you cannot do better than this one. We took 11 days to explore the best of what Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado had to offer in this incredible (and family friendly!) road trip from Las Vegas to Denver.

Why We Wanted to Do a Road Trip from Las Vegas to Denver

As a child, I traveled often with my parents: we did the typical trips to Walt Disney World, but we also went snorkeling in Key Largo, took a road trip along California's Highway 1, and explored Canada's Prince Edward Island. One thing that we always talked about doing was a road trip to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and other national parks out west.

Things happen, my sister and I grew up, and we never did make the trek out west like we said we would. I still wanted to go badly, but somehow domestic travel always fell by the wayside as I ventured to England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, the Bahamas, and beyond.

The desire to head out West again came up earlier this year when my husband, Landon, and I were brainstorming where we wanted to go on our major trips. Since he has a set number of vacation days, I try to work our family vacations around his schedule so he can join us on as many adventures as possible.

Instagram Inspiration Friday: Cruises

Instagram Inspiration Friday: Cruises | CosmosMariners.com

Love them or hate them, cruises are BIG right now in the travel industry. In 2016, approximately 22.9 million people went on a cruise, and that number is expected to be nearly 24 million in 2017.(1)

Although it's not the only way I like to travel, I have been on half a dozen cruises so far and really enjoyed all of them. (Check out my list of what you probably didn't think to bring on your cruise.)

If you haven't been on one yet, summer's a great time to start planning one for the fall or winter, as you can get some great deals on them if you can travel during school months!

This week's Instagram Inspiration Friday is all about those ships: see if you can resist booking your own cruise after viewing these awesome pictures!

Monthly Goals: July 2017

Monthly Goals: July 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

The year is half over. In some ways, I'm really, really happy with what the blog has done: I've had my best months EVER since January, and I've started bringing in a sort-of steady (but small) income.

On the other hand, I feel like my blog is growing so slowly, and my growth is anything but linear. Some months have traffic that make me feel as if I'm really going somewhere, while others have me scrambling to investigate the minutia of my Google Analytics account. Maddeningly, I do the exact same thing writing and promoting every month, so I feel helpless when the numbers start to dip. Boo to seasonality!

At least, June was a fun month around here. I took my kids to Durham, North Carolina, for a few days--it had been years since I'd been last, and we had such a good time rediscovering the city.