|Travelling is such a great family
experience....nothing like bringing the family
together by putting three children in the
back of a small stationwagon.
Not only does traveling expose the kids to
other cultures and history, it teaches them
be flexible, easy going, and willing to try
Trying new foods
Today, so many children are picky eaters, in some respects it is due to
the choices parents give them.
Don't give them a choice!
We have found that our kids were willing to try new things
They really don't have any other options. There are no "kid meals"
offering chicken nuggets and pizza.
Your Bed & Breakfast may only offer one menu and we insisted that the
kids eat the meal offered and not offend our host
In some cases...you may eat at the only restaurant in the village--the
next nearest might be 30 minutes walk uphill.
You will be surprised at what they will try...if encouraged with a smile
Our kids are normal kids...one's favorite food is tacos...the other
chicken nuggets...they love McDonalds...but
Here are some interesting things my kids have tried
**Wild Boar Gnocchi
**Salad with Geese Gizzards
New Family Favorites
Cheese Spatzl (Germany)
Tarte Famblee (Alsace, France)
Salad Nicoise (Mediterranean)
Gulassuppe & Oxtail Soup (Germany)
Traveling with a larger family can be a challenge.
Most European rooms are described as "doubles" --
that means two twin beds.
Full size beds are rare...Queen and King are almost
Some hotels and B&B's offer "family" rooms
In some cases they are like two room hotel suites ...more
often that not...it could mean five twin beds....literally
pushed side to side.
Many times we have booked two rooms--which can be
price prohibitive. We would put our littlest in with us and
the boy and girl (two years age difference) in a room by
Many times, a "hotel" will only accept a family of four.
So we have left one child outside...and snuck them in
later...throwing duvets and comforters on the floor to
make a bed
Some places will drag in a cot or a spare mattress for the
The point is....be flexible.
It will never be "like in America"
that is a good thing...we travel to try new things
We are big believers in cutting cost where you can.
Many of our trips are three weeks...you simple
cannot afford to eat out three meals a day.
One of the first things that we do is buy a cheap
cooler (to throw away at the end of the trip) and
keep it stocked from the local grocery stores.
We visit the local markets for fruit, produce,
cheese, sausages and bread and
We have picnicked at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, at
11,000 feet in the Swiss Alps, along the Romantic
Road in Germany in front of castles...even in our
hotel room on the floor in bad weather.
We try to pack light...we get better every time we go.
Use carry-on size suitcases...and roll-on duffel bags
Do not bring large size suitcases.
European cars are smaller...and packing the car is
like a puzzle game. Also, large cases are hard to
maneuver in train stations and buses.
Don't bring new shoes....You will just get blisters.
Bring a older pair and you will probably be willing to
throw them away at the end of the trip.
Bring neutral colors..tans, browns, blacks and blues
Trust us... Americans don't really "blend in" wearing
yellows, pinks, and teal
Bring mostly casual clothes...it your travels include
one or two big cities...bring one nice shirt and pants
Ladies...bring one little black dress...not too dressy
Bring layers and a windbreaker. No coats.
We even survived glacier snow in the Alps in a t-shirt,
long sleeve t-shirt, sweater and jacket in layers.
Same with pants....sweats over jeans.
Bring a bathing suit and water shoes ...you never
know when you will need them.
We bring a duffel bag for everyone's shoes (limit of
two pairs per person) and their coats...we put
umbrellas and rain ponchos in the outside
pockets...and it is all kept together and does not
need to come in and out of the car at hotels
We bring a duffel bag for a catch all....it holds the
toiletries, snacks, picnic blanket etc...on the flight
over. Then becomes the dirty laundry bag and
Bring lots of ziploc bags in several sizes...you will
use them for everything!
Pack light...you never know how far you have to walk
|More Picnic Tips
Ask your B&B Host if you can put re-usable
freezer packs in their freezer overnight.
You can always ask...several B&B's provided
lunch service...For a fee, they packed sandwiches,
fruit, chips and drinks in a box lunch for the day
At your first grocery store, invest in paper plates,
napkins, plastic cutlery and cups.
Buy lots of hand-wipes.
Bring a lightweight blanket with you
We used a blue "Neat Sheet" sold at Walmart
Bring Your Medicines with You
Bring prescription medicines with you.
And an assortment of over the counter
medicines...headache, upset stomach,
cold medicine, eye drops,
anti-itch cream, Benadryll
Ask your doctor for a generic antibiotic
for just in case.
During most of our stays, we rented a car. However, when
we home-base in large cities such as Munich, London or
Paris we make use of their excellent transportation system
of subway and buses and don't rent a car until we are
ready to leave town.
We also have taken the train in connecting the dots of
For example, the South of France we used a car...then we
turned it in at Nice and took a train to Venice....then used
their excellent water bus service
...then took a water taxi to the airport to fly home.
We also have used organized bus trips to move from area
to area. When we were in London, we didn't want to rent a
car and try to navigate a big city (especially driving on the
other side of the road) so we took a bus trip to Windsor
and to Stonehenge and to Bath....After two days in Bath
(and a total of a week in England) we picked up a rental car
Finally, flying can sometimes be the cheapest way
between larger cities. We flew from Edinburgh, Scotland
to Dublin, Ireland on Ryan Air...it was cheaper than driving
the rental to the coast and taking a ferry. (Ryan Air...five of
us to fly one way was $125 total --cheaper than gas to
drive) And on our first Europe trip we went from Paris...our
goal was Salzburg...so we got a flight into Munich,
Germany...and then a rental car to Austria
Be creative and think outside the box.
Another good reason to pack light
We try to bring one week of clothes.
Usually larger towns will have
self-service laundry centers.
Or, You can ask your B&B host if they
will launder a load of clothes
Or, you can wash in the sink (and use a
hair dryer in a pinch in the morning)
Bring old underwear and socks. Wash
them once on the trip, then throw them
away...leaving room for more
|Walking the streets of London
Everyone had a carry-on size case
One duffel bag for shoes and coats
One duffel bag as catch-all.
Total of 7 small suitcases for five people
for three weeks of travel
***Even my teenage daughter can pack for
three weeks into a carry-on***
|Bryn B&B Conwy, Wales
with castle in the backyard
|Turret Guest House
|Most Important Tip
Buy the Rick Steve's Travel Book for
the area you are traveling.
Read it, highlight it, Carry it with you
at all times.
You will not believe how helpful it is
We call it our Travel Bible
|Hotel or B&B
We have stayed in both fancy name
brand hotels and family run Bed and
Breakfast establishments. We much
prefer the B&B's.
Of course, free is free. We have cashed
in travel awards with Hilton and Marriott
and had some excellent stays in big
cities (Paris, Munich, Salzburg and Nice)
On many occasions, we have pulled into
the village or town, visited the local
tourist information office or TI and used
their room booking process.
Other times...we have research on-line
or in travel books (We love Rick Steves)
and reserved rooms before we went.
In almost all cases, the smaller inns and
B&B's offer friendlier service and
sometimes unique and interesting
"homes away from home"
|Bring a Day Pack with you
It is great for carrying through
town your cameras,
emergency umbrellas, jackets,
snacks, water bottles and
sometimes even picnic
We also collect pins and
patches from our travels . It is
a great conversation starter as
people love to talk and share
their travels. It has even been
photographed by tourists.
You can buy it
you can fit it in your
(it goes for Mom and Dad too)