We Had the Time of Our Lives at Mystic Aquarium Through TripAdvisor

I received a complimentary TripAdvisor Attraction to facilitate this post. All thoughts and photos are my own.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities and attractions, with more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations! #ad

And I mean it – we had the time of our lives!

When Scarlet was one, we took her for a special day to Mystic Aquarium and then to a dear friend’s beach house in a town nearby. It was pretty much a perfect day and I had fun taking all the pictures in the world! The day gave me a special feeling because it’s such a magical place. When I was dating Cassidy, we met at Mystic for a romantic weekend. The movie Mystic Pizza was one of my favorites when I was younger. So when I sent my sister a text saying I was booking 7 tickets to Mystic Aquarium through TripAdvisor, and would she come with me, I screamed when I get her instant response to me.

“I’m in.

I hadn’t seen my sister in three months! Almost four! And her little ones are growing so fast. She has the same thing with me – a real love for all things Mystic. We decided to make a day of it. We met at the aquarium in the morning and then had lunch together at Mystic Pizza, and then explored the town a bit with our little ones. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to pull it all together. I already knew and loved TripAdvisor for its millions of traveler reviews, but I had no idea how easy it would be to book attractions, tours, and experiences. And I was specifically looking for things to do in Connecticut because that’s a good halfway meeting place for our families. When I inputted my search terms, it was actually the first hit.

Why is the experience so easy? You can find shoppable tours and attractions at the click of your mouse and also read reviews. This is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities, and attractions, with more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide. And, TripAdvisor Attractions offers something for every kind of traveler. I’m talking everything from walking tours, skip-the-line access, theatre tickets, hot air balloon safaris (#2 on our list!), and even Everest base camp treks. We booked our attraction in advance on my mobile app and had the tickets within minutes.

Booking attractions in person, after arrival, can be risky. It’s better to book in advance where you can read reviews and see a “big picture” overview of what’s available where you’re going. TripAdvisor removes the friction of the unknown and provides knowledge, reviews, ease, and a wherever/whenever capability. There’s also their low price guarantee!

Here are their benefits:

Knowledge: We consolidate the options in one place, so you can easily search for what best suits your needs.
Reviews: We show you thousands of reviews on attractions so you can make informed choices
Ease: We make booking online or on our free mobile app quick and easy – no hotel concierge, no guidebook, no ancient brochures.
Whenever, wherever: You can book a month in advance, a week in advance, a day in advance, or a ‘skip the line’ ticket form the very line you’re standing in.
VIP access: We offer skip-the-line opportunities, behind-the-scenes access, private viewings and more
24/7 customer service: Book with TripAdvisor Attractions and you’ll have 24/7 access to our customer support team
Low price guarantee: If you find a lower price for the same tour or activity within 72 hours of booking, or if you arrive in your destination and find your activity offered at a lower price by our operator, let us know. We’ll refund the price difference

Not to mention, DINOSAURS!

Also not to mention, you can find the lowest price hotel with TripAdvisor. You can find the best prices from 200+ booking sites. With just one click, they compare prices from 200+ hotel booking sites – including the hotel’s own website – to help you find the lowest price on your ideal hotel near your tour or attraction!

Where in the world would you go for your next big adventure?

Top 5 Photographer’s Bucket List For Australia

Here's my Top 5 Photographer's Bucket List For Australia, and how to get around to see all these wonderful places when you get there! #ad

As you have probably figured out, I have the travel bug in a BIG way lately.

There’s talk in my house about going to London as well as back to Florida, and even back to Alaska as a family. (Ok, I think about that nightly) And of course, the kids are obsessed with the idea of going to Australia. There’s something so exotic about the thought of going so far away from home. They think everything is backwards there, like seasons and lifestyle, but maybe we’re the backwards ones?? To be honest, I have been thinking about going there since I was a little girl and probably watched one too many crocodile movies. Alligators and crocodiles and reefs and sharks, oh my. I’d like to go soon!

As you know, I do everything with my camera in mind. Everyone has that something something that fuels them on their adventures. I have a lot of things that do so, but taking photos of a place is an ultimate plus. That’s why I do heavy research before I’m about to take a trip. I want to make sure that I’m seeing all the things I want to photograph and at the right times of the day. That said, that doesn’t mean my idea of photogenic places is the same as other people’s ideas. I don’t need my photos to look like postcards, or to closely resemble the ones already made. Rather, I want to capture the feel I get from a place. I remember really struggling to do that the first time I visited Niagara Falls. Or the west coast!

Here’s My Top 5 Photographer’s Bucket List For Australia:

1 – Whale sharks. I think underwater photography is an untapped medium for me and through no fault of technical know-how. It’s because sometimes I’m afraid to go on the water or in it. Whales sharks are different, though. They’re such a must-see that I know seeing them at an aquarium will never be enough. I need to be close to these gentle giants.

Bonus points that Great White Sharks are my true dream, but I don’t want my camera in the shark dive cage!

2 – And of course, I have to see Quokkas in their natural habitats. People talk a lot about taking selfies with them in Rotto, but I don’t need selfies. I just need them! That’s why I’d get ferry tickets to Rottsnest Island to see them up close.

3 – I have long dreamed about visiting Wave Rock in Hyden. (Western Australia) It’s a giant rock formation that looks like it’s a wave about to crash. I keep thinking about the lenses I would bring (wide) and have my family members in the photos!

4 – This one should come as no surprise to you that I want to see the Aurora Australis in Tasmania. This is a natural light phenomena that is native to Australia, and isn’t like the northern lights I want to see in the north. This is a shimmering and shifting light show that gives off an eerie glow. Sign me up for this natural wonder – WITH camera.

5 – I’d like to climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to get amazing city views!

*Bonus points for the things I want to see, but not necessarily photograph – because I’ll be too busy seeing: Great Barrier Reef, Crocodile Diving, Wineglass Bay Lookout, and many many more. Honestly just get me there on a jet plane SOON!

When there’s so much to see, how will you get around? That’s where Gumtree comes in. This is a site you can use to buy used things from others. On Gumtree you can buy a used car to explore which you can sell before leaving the country. And that’s a big IF you want to leave! That said, it’s an ultimate dream. It’s a big idea. Obviously with little kids in school, this dream is on hold for another time. I’d want indefinite time in a country and you can’t exactly rent a car for an indefinite amount of time. So you buy a used car and then sell it! I always wondered what people did because it’s not like you can fly your car over on a plane! Rather, you leave your car behind and go there with your camera and your dreams.

The rest is up to you. It’s super important to have a way to get around, though. When I visit a new place, I always make sure to have a good car because then you get that big adventure feeling like the whole world is your oyster and you can go wherever you want, anywhere you want. In fact, I haven’t lost most of that feeling since I got my driver’s license!

What would you most want to see in Australia? What would you most want to photograph?