Tropical Plans, Tropical Palms

Tropical Palms • Kissimmee, FL
Colorful cottages at Tropical Palms •  Kissimmee, FL

The holidays can be a stressful time – even if you are extremely organized, get along with every member of your family, and find endless rounds of holiday affairs super exciting! Whether this is the case with you, or you find yourself more aligned with Mr. Scrooge when it comes to all things holiday, there is nothing wrong with getting ready for the season with a little “me time.”

The best way to get in some quality “me time” is quick getaway to de-stress before the holiday rush begins. What can more de-stressing that a tropical getaway? Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, fits that bill perfectly. Situated on 69 sun-kissed acres and perfected located to the area attractions, it’s the perfect home base for a quick Florida getaway minutes from the happiest place on Earth.

Tropical Palms • Kissimmee, FL

Spend your days relaxing poolside or playing shuffleboard, bocce, or a few rounds of mini-golf. Or, if you want to slowly ease into the holidays, check out some of these holiday-themed events nearby!

Festival of Trees

The Orlando Museum of Art transforms into a winter wonderland with displays of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and holiday vignettes during the annual Festival of Trees. The event runs November 15 through November 24 at the museum. The festival will also feature live entertainment, family-focused fun, and holiday raffles. Visit www.omart.org for more details.

Tropical Palms • Kissimmee, FL

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration

Running November 23 through December 31, SeaWorld celebrates the season by lighting up the park with more than 3 million twinkling lights and bringing special guests like Rudolph and Santa to welcome the holidays! There will also be live entertainment and special holiday markets. For details, visit www.seaworld.com/orlando.

Holidays at Old Town

Visitors can enjoy the festive decorations that turn Old Town Kissimmee into a winter wonderland. Twinkling lights, strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and snow! Yes, somehow, they manage to bring “snow” to this tropical location, using a biodegradable, non-toxic product like they use in the movies. To round out the fun, there will be a tree lighting ceremony, live music events, a car show and an ice-skating rink. Event runs from November 23 to December 25 and is mere minutes away from Tropical Palms. To learn more, visit www.experiencekissimmee.com.

Tropical Palms • Kissimmee, FL

Holiday Home Tour and Winter wonderland

Get some decorating ideas and a peek inside some of the charming homes in Celebration, Florida, during this event that is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2. This is a self-guided tour and each home is uniquely decorated for the holidays, both inside and out. Visit www.celebrationfoundation.org for more details.

And, if you don’t want to start your holiday celebrations just yet and are focusing only on relaxing, here a few things to consider:

Discovery Cove: Experience the tranquility of life underwater at Discovery Cove where you can interact with bottlenose dolphins and feed the tropical birds.

Inside a Colorful Cottage • Tropical Palms • Kissimmee, FL
Inside a Colorful Cottage • Tropical Palms • Kissimmee, FL

Disney Wilderness Preserve: Home to more than 1000 species of plant and animals, you can choose to hike, bird watch or simply enjoy the beauty of this preserve that is home to bald eagles, woodpeckers, squirrels, snakes, and bats!

Kissimmee Lakefront Park: The park has plenty of walking paths, a fishing pier, and picnic areas. Enjoy a simple day of rest and relaxation amid nature here.

Here’s the plan –pick your colorful cottage for your stay at Tropical Palms; decide what mix of holiday spirit and relaxation you want and then sit back, or get moving, and make this your best holiday season, yet!

The Perfect Present: A Holiday Gift Guide for Glampers

A Holiday Gift Guide for RVers and Campers
A Holiday Gift Guide for Glampers

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for family, friends or yourself? Check out a few ideas that range from perfectly functional to simply whimsical, for whoever is on your list this year!

MOSO Natural Air Purifying Bag

Keep your living and driving space fresh smelling with these air purifying bags. Fragrance-free, chemical free and non-toxic, odors, allergens, and harmful pollutants are absorbed in the bag’s moso bamboo charcoal. They can be reused for two years – bags can be reactivated by placing them in the sun for about an hour. 

MOSO Natural Air Purifying Bag, $8.95- $22.95, mosonatural.com
MOSO Natural Air Purifying Bag, $8.95- $22.95, mosonatural.com

Fjallraven Kånken Backpack

Go glamping in style and keep your things dry when you’re out and about with this backpack! With a big main pocket and lots of other pockets to store your maps, water bottles, a towel, or anything else you’d need for your outdoor adventures, this backpack is a solid choice and comes in plenty of colors.

Fjallraven Kånken Backpack, $80, kanken.com
Fjallraven Kånken Backpack, $80, kanken.com

Huckberry Nordic A-Frame Cabin Candle

Fill your home with the scents of glamping all year ’round! The notes of this candle perfectly encompass a great camping experience – “Whiskey, Spicy Citrus, Bay Laurel, and Disconnected WiFi.” We don’t know a scent that could beat that!

Huckberry Nordic A-Frame Cabin Candle, $28, huckberry.com
Huckberry Nordic A-Frame Cabin Candle, $28, huckberry.com

National Park Pass

Give your loved ones even more reasons to see America the Beautiful by giving them a National Park Pass! These passes cover entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges, standard amenity fees, and some other day fees. For more information on types of National Park Passes and the fees, visit nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

National Park Pass, prices and passes vary, nps.gov
National Park Pass, prices and passes vary, nps.gov

Yeti Rambler 30 Oz Tumbler

This stainless steel tumbler is insulated so hot drinks stay hot and cold drinks stay cold! It’s the perfect gift for that person on your list that’s constantly parched and appreciates innovative design. This tumbler comes in a whole array of colors to suit any personality!

1927 S’mores Original S’mores Kit

Take your s’more game to the next level with this artisanal version of the classic campfire treat! The marshmallows and graham crackers are handcrafted from scratch using local ingredients. The locavore foodie in your life will devour this kit!

1927 S'mores Original S'mores Kit, $17, 1927smores.com
1927 S’mores Original S’mores Kit, $17, 1927smores.com

String Lights (Assorted)

There’s no end to the variety you can find in fun lights to light up your exterior glamping space. Consider the retro Trendy Camper String Light set with its illuminated RVs (lakeside.com) or the Happy Camper metal light set (campingworld.com). If music is your thing, take a look at the Kurt. S. Adler Guitar Multi-Color Light Set (musiciansfriend.com). Or maybe you’re a fisherman who will be lured by the Fishing Bobber Party Light set (amazon.com). If you’re a camping purist, check out the mini Coleman lanterns in the Coleman LED Camp Lantern String Lights (walmart.com.) As we said, there’s no end to what you can light your site with, so, show your personality and light it up!

Happy Camper String Lights
Happy Camper String Lights, prices vary, amazon.com

Hygge: All the Comforts of Home

Hygge: All the Comforts of Home
Hygge: All the Comforts of Home

The most important thing about the space you live in, whether it be big or small, is how that space makes you feel. The concept behind the old adage “There’s no place like home” has nothing to do with the dwelling in which you reside or even the place in which that dwelling sits. Instead, it’s all about that home providing a certain feeling to its inhabitants and guests as well – a feeling of belonging, a feeling of well-being and a feeling of being in the right place.

The Danish call that certain feeling hygge (pronounced hue-guh) which can be described as feelings of coziness, charm, happiness, contentedness, security, familiarity, and comfort. The Danish believe that certain things must be present in a home to create hygge and they include little to no clutter, a nook or snuggle spot, an inviting space to gather with friends (a welcoming dining table or seating arrangement), natural light and soft lighting, soft textures, fluffy rugs, and cozy blankets.

Look around your space – do you have any of these? Regardless of the size of your space, all of these are something that can be easily brought in to make your home hygge-worthy.

Whether you’re traveling and staying in cabin or cottage accommodation or taking your own rig on the road, consider making a hygge to-go box that includes things to make your space as comfy and cozy as possible. Pack it all in a handy storage bin (which can double as a clutter holder) and hit the road. Your hygge to-go box should include:

  1. Cozy blankets
  2. Throw pillows in a variety of inviting textures
  3. LED candles for ambient lighting
  4. Family photos and small mementos of favorite trips
  5. A furry throw rug or two
  6. Incense in your favorite memory-evoking scents
  7. Favorite mugs to hold your drink of choice

So there you have it – A simple list to make your space inviting for you and your friends. To read more about hygge, check out “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wikiing. Better yet, read it while enjoying your snuggle spot!

Stay in a tiny house or a cozy cabin and be sure to bring your hygge supplies with you! Make your reservations today and visit petiteretreats.com.

Small Space Appliances For Convenience

Whether you yearn for a yurt, have tiny house dreams, or maybe a camper of your own, space is always at a premium when you’re enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. The items you choose to bring must be compact or have multiple functions to save space and make packing it a no-brainer. We found a few items that not only provide the comforts of home but are multi-functional as well. These are perfect for a space-saving enthusiast (or future tiny houser)!

Instant Pot

Instant Pot, amazon.com; $59.92

This hot, new item is taking the market by storm thanks to its multi-functionality. You can take foods from frozen to ready to eat in less than an hour, make overnight oats or hard-boiled eggs, bake a potato or a chocolate cake, make rice, steam veggies, and more. Plus, it doesn’t put off too much heat so it doesn’t warm up your tiny space!

Stanley Cook + Brew

Stanley Cook & Brew; stanley-pmi.com; $25

If you’re a coffee drinker these days, you’re not going to trade flavor for convenience when you’re camping. A fresh cup of joe in the outdoors should still taste exactly like your favorite morning brew at home. Enter the Stanley Cook + Brew Set which can be used on a camp stove or over an open flame.  It’s also useful for heating up other liquids and boiling water.

Courant 3-in-1 Multifunction

Courant 3-in-1 Multifunctional Breakfast Hub; target.com; $59.99

Toaster Oven

When it comes to multi-function, the Courant 3-in-1 Multifunction Toaster Oven is hands down the winner.  It combines a toaster oven, coffee maker, and griddle into one and measures only 11.73 inches high x 20.32 inches wide x 11.75 inches deep.  Weighing less than 13 pounds and retailing for under $60 makes sure this handy piece makes the trip!

Stay with Petite Retreats for your next vacation! 

Glamping Gear Guide

Glamping is all about the atmosphere and accommodations. Check out some of our favorite items to add to a more glamorous camping experience!

Glamp Up Your Atmosphere

Canvas Tent

With a bell-shaped canvas tent like this one, you’ll be on your way to glamping in no time. The canvas is waterproof too, so you’ll stay dry and comfortable.

Fabric Bunting

Add cute and colorful decor to your space by hanging fabric bunting in the doorway of your tent or from the porch of your cabin to give a pop of cheer to your camping space.

Fairy Lights

These fairy lights add a whimsical element to your campsite and are made with a flexible wire so you can hang them up and around wherever you want a bit of extra light. Find a set of lights that are battery powered or opt for solar powered, like these!

Lanterns

Light up your campsite with a vintage feel with these vintage-style lanterns. They may look like classic lanterns, but the LED lights are 21st century and have handles that allow you to hang them wherever you please.

Add soft light

Take your camp lighting to the next level when you add a colorful soft light to the inside of your tent, cabin, or yurt. These battery powered ones give off a soft illumination and last for about 8 hours.

Don’t sacrifice your gourmet meals and stellar place settings with these glamorous campsite kitchen must-haves.

Complete cutlery backpack

Take your campsite barbecue to the next level with a cutlery backpack. Neatly packed, this pack is stocked with everything you need to set up a gourmet meal anywhere you like!

Adventure Cooler

You’ve committed to the cuteness of glamping, but sometimes, you just need something that is sleek and functional to keep your food cold and the pests out. This cooler from Stanley has a sleek style, is easy to carry, and will keep ice frozen for 36 hours! Pretty cool.

Camp Vibes Enamel Mug

Enamel mugs are great for camping because they are lightweight and durable – perfect for roughing it in the woods. But grab an enamel mug with a cute design and bold colors and you’ll elevate your glamping vibes.

Tablecloth

Pop this durable tablecloth on your picnic table and instantly elevate your barbecue! Set up the plates and silverware from your cutlery backpack and you’ve got a gourmet table setting at your glampsite.

Cutting Board 

This cutting board does triple duty! With its own knife and fine wood, this cutting board also works as a platter to present your meats and cheeses.

Utensil Set

Cut down on clutter and plastic when you bring along a multi-use utensil set that has its own carrying case. Easy to pack, easy to clean, and easy to use! Each utensil has additional functions like a can opener hook on the end of the fork and a measuring tool on the handle of the spoon.

Keeping Things Cozy

Mystical Fire Packets

Turn up the volume on your typical campfire by adding these special color packets to the fire. Just remember to save this party for after you roast your marshmallows!

Wool Roll-Up Blanket 

Keep warm in style when you bring along a patterned blanket. This one is extra functional and features a waterproof side plus straps and handle for easy carrying.

 

Tapestry or Rug

A lightweight rug or tapestry can create a cozy atmosphere when hung above your head or laid on the ground to give your feet something soft to step on. A tapestry infuses your glamping site with some of your own personality and a pop of color.

Lightweight Chairs

These fold up chairs are lightweight and give off the glamping vibes with their gold color and sleek design.

Boho Style Hammock
If you love a good portable hammock for lounging with a book at your campsite but don’t like the feel of a standard nylon hammock, opt for a contemporary style that has some bohemian character to it, like this one that has a lovely fringe and inviting camel color.

What are your favorite ways to give your campsite something extra? Share your style tips with us in the comments!

Clever Packing Tips for a Tiny Vacation

Clever Packing Tips for a Tiny Vacation
Clever Packing Tips for a Tiny Vacation

Somewhere, someone wise probably said that too much stuff ruins vacations. Well, we couldn’t say exactly who that person is but we’re sure that someone said it at some point. The notion probably originated from standing in a messy hotel room surrounded by too many unworn outfits and souvenirs spilling out from an overstuffed suitcase. Now that Petite Retreats offers a variety of tiny unique accommodations, some of you may be thinking about how to downsize your vacation in other ways. Check out some space saving tips that will help you cut down on the stuff and experience more from your vacation!

Roll up your clothes to save space.

Roll your clothes up into little clothing burritos and stack them inside zip lock bags. Close the lock almost all the way to the end and either suck out or push out the excess air, essentially vacuum sealing your clothing. This will allow you to bring more outfits and take up less space in your luggage.

Bring one less pair of shoes than you think you need.

How many pairs of shoes do you really need to bring? Unless you have a different kind of event every single day – like, a wedding one day and then a climb up a mountain the next – you probably will only need one to three pairs of shoes to get you through your tiny vacation. Sneakers, a pair of flip flops, and hiking boots should suffice. Wear your biggest and bulkiest shoes while you’re traveling. Bring extra zip lock bags to keep everything clean.

Download whatever you can to your smartphone, tablet, or e-reader before you leave.

Petite Retreats is all about getting away from the hustle and bustle of city-life and retreating to beautiful forests and sandy beaches to recharge and immerse yourself in nature. There will be times when you’ll want to listen to your favorite podcast or fall asleep reading a good book. Instead of lugging a whole bunch of books and magazines or burning CDs to bring along, download everything you’ll want for entertainment onto one smart device. This way you can curl up with a good book and leave some space in your luggage for other essentials.

All the travel-sized-things

Don’t get tied up using full-sized shower stuff. Fill up travel sized 3 oz. bottles of your favorite shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Snag a packet of face and body wipes to easily freshen up on-the-go without adding more bulk to your bag. Even if your trip doesn’t require a full TSA security check, their guidelines for liquids will help you from overfilling your luggage.

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village
Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Bring only what you need.

The Petite Retreat Tiny House Villages are fully stocked with all the things you would need in your own home like pots, pans, linens, flatware, and even fixings for coffee and tea. Relax knowing that all you really need to vacation tiny is your suitcase of clothes, shoes, and a really good book (on your e-reader or smartphone, of course!)

Pick lightweight clothing that is also functional.

Merino wool clothes are lightweight, keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and don’t wrinkle. Look for this fabric if and when you’re shopping for any additional clothes that you may need for your getaway.

Learn how you can vacation tiny with Petite Retreats!

Share your small space packing tips in the comments!