Black Hawk Lake Recreation Area Cabins

Must have packing list for cabin camping

Are you looking for a list of essential items to pack for your next camping weekend at the cabin?

Each time I go camping or on vacation, I always forget at least one thing. So I’ve learned to enjoy the ride and not sweat the details too much when it comes to packing for a road trip.

I’ve been fortunate to enjoy many getaways across the USA and Canada and with these experiences, I’ve accumulated a fine-tuned camping trip packing list.

My next weekend getaway includes a cabin reservation at Black Hawk Lake Recreation Area near Cobb and Highland, WI for myself and a friend and so below, I’m happy to share my cabin camping packing list.

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Our Family Reviews team at Mount Rushmore, near Keystone, SD 2018

10 secret tips to an awesome life

There’s an awakening inside many of us that’s coming to understand that the secret to happiness is knowing yourself, treating yourself to recreation, our connections with everyone and feeding our body and minds with health. Late last night I discovered some excellent tips to sustain an awesome life and below I’ve abbreviated my favorites in a reshare post for your healthy education.

Tips for having an awesome life

1) Walk

Treat yourself with a short 10-30 minute walk each day and do your best to sustain a smile which really does make you feel so good.

2) Sit Quietly

Take 10 minutes each day to sit (facing the sun if you can) and just be, your mind does not have to be silent but find a quiet place to enjoy these 10 minutes of nothingness, your mind, body and soul with thank you.Read More »

Travel as a family with Lonely Planet Kids

We’re headed to South Dakota this week for our big family vacation where we’ll camp at Custer State Park for two weeks! I’m so happy to have some fun activities and books for the kids to enjoy while we road trip leaving from Wisconsin on a two day family travel adventure.

I’ve partnered up with Lonely Planet and my boys and my Mom and I will be using the Lonely Planet Kids books. There’s something special about driving for many hours while having fun books with activities to connect with each other as a family while having fun! Oh how I do love to drive!

I’ve included some introduction photos and a vid’ with my youngest son including some of the Lonely Planet Kids books which we’ll enjoy on the road as we head to and from South Dakota this month.

Check out the kids foldout maps, sticker books and other fun books by Lonely Planet Kids at https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/books/

Look for our Lonely Planet Books giveaway next month when we return!

How to get high-speed data in the USA or International broadband Internet while traveling? Skyroam!

Using the Internet while on the road can be a headache for travelers, especially those of us who need to work remote while traveling. Our last BIG family vacation was to New Mexico from our home State of Wisconsin and finding the best option for high-speed Internet was a daunting task which I needed a solution for working while traveling from State to State. As we planned our family vacation from Wisconsin to New Mexico (insert screams of excitement from atop the SKI APACHE ZIP LINE!) a GREAT solution I discovered for how to get broadband, high-speed data for work, while we were physically driving or in a remote location with no wifi connection was Skyroam?

Some of the links in the post are affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission which helps me with things like paying for shipping on giveaway items, to keep the lights on, pay my WordPress.com hosting fees, feed my children LOL.

Before stumbling upon Skyroam, I first looked at my mobile provider/carrier, US Cellular prepaid service (similar to post-paid plan but no paper bill in the mail each month) which turns out, when I roam with my current plan, data is capped for my monthly billing cycle at 450 megs of 4G LTE data and then they throttle down speeds to 2G, ugh. This would not work as I needed a solution which had more daily bandwidth!!

I am so thankful for Skyroam and it provided my whole family with high-speed Internet in the truck while traveling or while at the hotel with slow Internet! This excellent service provides up to 500 megs of 4G LTE data daily for as low as $8 per day and you have the choice of renting the Skyroam hotspot device or you purchase the device outright. All you have to do is sign up is visit the Skyroam.com website and enter your travel details and they ship the device directly to you in time for your travel trip.

Connect with Skyroam’s socials at: Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest or visit the Skyroam for more info!

Feature photo by PCMag

Watch us ride the longest zipline-Ski Apache Windrider in NM

Keller and I had a chance to ride the longest zipline in the lower 48 USA States, called Windrider at Ski Apache in Alto, NM, near Ruidoso.

This is a sponsored post however all opinions are my own.

Windrider zipline at Ski Apache, Ruidoso nm
This adventure experience was wrapped up during our family vacation from Wisconsin to New Mexico and we’re happy to let you know that the Ski Apache zipline tour near is extremely fun and well worth your family time.

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Exploring Multnomah Falls in Oregon & #GIVEAWAY

At least once, everyone must plan to visit the Pacific Northwest, USA including Oregon, Washington and beyond. In this post, we welcome guest contributor and Pro photography Rachel Konsella of Vancouver, Washington. Plus, enter our giveaway for a vintage collection of tourist bells (which were my grandma’s.)


ANTIQUE BELLS #GIVEAWAY (USA/18+/ENDS 3/12)

***3/13/2017 UPDATE – Congrats to the giveaway winner: Karen M. of Michigan, who has been contacted and shipping confirmed! Thank you again to all the entrances to took time to participate in this giveaway and I look forward to continuing want to give away each month, cheers!***

Please enter the giveaway for this post too where we will be shipping, to one winner (see rules) a set of antique/vintage tourist bells.Read More »

25 best travel Instagrams to follow in 2017

For 2017, my New Year’s resolution is to explore and travel to more destinations than I did in ’16. I’ve loaded my Instagram account @matt.w.sweeny by following the list below of best travel Instagram accounts for 2017, it’s time to get out and explore! Below are groups of Instagram accounts which I foresee as having the best insights on travel in 2017. For the record, some images below show “Follow” but we have followed all of these with our Instagram account @matt.w.sweeny.

Jump to the Giveaway!

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TRAVEL BLOGGERS & JOURNALISTS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW IN 2017

1) @traveldudes
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Romantic Getaway Must Haves

Secret Romantic Getaway Must Haves

Have you been planning a secret romantic getaway for your significant other? The anticipation of keeping a secret can be exciting, trying and in my case almost impossible to pull off!

Planning a secret romantic getaway for your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other is a great way to spend a night or weekend away from the kids to rekindle your relationship and celebrate each other with intimacy. Below is a list of suggested must haves for planning your secret romantic getaway.Read More »