Tips for Traveling Internationally with Teens

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Teens

Although it’s in the plans, I haven’t traveled internationally yet with my teens – how is it possible that I have teens? As my daughter has been begging hinting to go to Italy, I guess I need to start thinking about it. My first choice for advice is my friend Tanya from Traveling Tanya. She recently returned from a trip overseas with her teen girls so I asked her to share her advice with me (and you!). Here are her best tips for traveling internationally with teens … The teenage years are the perfect time to travel abroad! My 13 and 15-year -old daughters are growing up right before my eyes, but I know I still have opportunities to make an impact on the young adults they will become. Traveling as a family during their teenage years gives us opportunities for both once-in-a-lifetime memories and critical life lessons. But everyone knows the teenage years are not always smooth sailing. And that is true for traveling with teens as well! Based on my own travel experiences, I want to share the upside and downside of traveling abroad with teens. I’ll also offer some tips to help you make the best of your family’s travel experiences. Do keep in mind that no two teens are alike. Girls’ travel habits will likely differ from boys. Even siblings who share the same DNA can act vastly different given the same set of circumstances. I’ve learned a lot after taking my teen daughters on several family vacations, including trips to Paris and Italy. But each parent knows their child best, so trust your instincts....
What to Bring to Disney World

What to Bring to Disney World

So what should you bring into Walt Disney World? Now that the kids are older and I don’t need to bring along all.the.stuff. I like to travel light when I visit. I can’t quite make it without carrying anything (I have a food allergy so have to have an EpiPen on hand), but I’ve pared it down to a small wristlet. So what should you pack to keep the weight down but still have everything you need? Since I just have a wristlet on my arm, both hands are free! The Basic Items to Bring to Disney World for the Day For me, these include the must-haves: My EpiPen and a few Benedryl tabs.AdvilMoney, ID, one credit card, annual passholder card, DVC card, AAA cardCell phoneSunglassesPhone chargerReading glasses (a sad new addition …) The Extra Items to Pack These are the nice to have items, but I usually squeeze them in: Hair tie or clipA bandaid (although you can get these at first aid in each park).Pen A few essential oils (typically DiGize for stomach aches and Deep Relief for muscle pain)Hand sanitizerChapstick And that’s it, although I might transfer the DiGize to a tiny bottle and throw in a sunscreen stick if it’s a hot day. I use my cell phone as a camera (and it’s usually in my hand or back pocket). I’ve found it’s so freeing to be able to bring so little into the park and yet still have everything I might need throughout the day! My favorite bag to use is a Vera Bradley Wristlet. They have a variety of patterns (someday I’m getting...
Batesville Indiana Fun!

Batesville Indiana Fun!

Back in January, we had stopped in Batesville, IN for breakfast on our way to a brewery tour trip in Cincinnati, OH. From our short drive into town, it appeared to be a town we needed to revisit when we had more time. With a sudden free afternoon, we decided to head out and add it to the Explore Indiana Counties project! So Ripley County became the next one on our list. First, A Delicious Lunch As soon as you enter downtown Batesville, it’s hard to miss The Sherman. The original Sherman House was built in 1852. Through the years, it has expanded and it even went through an extensive remodel in 2016. However, it still portrays a lot of historic charm along with some magnificent German food. It’s winter in Indiana which means it’s cold, so a warm and hearty meal sounded delightful. It was a bit after the normal lunch hour so the restaurant wasn’t busy and we were seated right away. With plenty of dark wood, gleaming surfaces, and rustic charm, the inside of The Sherman is absolutely beautiful. We were seated in a cozy alcove and our server recommended several restaurant specialties. The food was amazing! The restaurant at The Sherman considers itself an American Bistro with some great German specialties, so my son was able to order a filet (with a side of German potato salad) and we both thought it was better than the much higher priced filet he had recently enjoyed at Disney. We also tried the bratwurst on pretzel bread with horseradish mustard, potato cakes, Bavarian Onion Soup and Bratkartoffeln. If...
A Perfect Date Night

A Perfect Date Night

Date night doesn’t have to be your typical dinner & a movie (although you can make that special by visiting a unique theater!). Why not make this Valentine’s Day different by giving one of these three awesome date night ideas a try? Bonus if you schedule date nights for the next two weeks with the other two ideas! How about a Progressive Dinner? Idea #1: Create your own progressive dinner. We accidentally did this for our anniversary last year. Our first course was chips & guacamole and margarita’s during soccer practice and then we moved on to a much nicer restaurant for salads, wine, and dessert after we took our soccer player home. It was actually really fun and memorable so I decided to upgrade it this year for a unique night out. Start your evening with an appetizer or salad and a drink at one local restaurant, move on to another for entrees (or we did sushi since we aren’t big eaters) and finally end the night with coffee and dessert. If you have an area of town with several restaurants within walking distance of each other this can be a really fun experience! This works best with just two people because even if the restaurant is full you can often sit at the bar and be served pretty quickly at each stop. If you are on a tight budget this year, you could even do this with counter service restaurants – it’ll be a fun and inexpensive adventure. Get out and explore Idea #2: Skip the big night out and go exploring in a nearby town instead....
5 FREE Things to Do at Walt Disney World

5 FREE Things to Do at Walt Disney World

Free and Disney just don’t seem to go together, do they? Let’s face it, Disney can be a super expensive vacation. It’s pricey to stay onsite, park tickets are crazy expensive and the food costs more than other Orlando restaurants. One way to make your trip a little more affordable is to include some free things to do. Add these 5 FREE things to do at Walt Disney World on your next visit and have more fun for less money! Electrical water pageant. Every evening, you can visit the beach at the Polynesian resort and see a FREE water parade. Set to music, this 15-minute show is a fun way to cap off a wonderful day at Disney. Picking up a Dole Whip or cocktail at the resort to enjoy while you watch can be a low-cost treat too! The times vary for this (typically somewhere between 9:00 – 10:00) so check the website or ask at the hotel before you show up. It can also be viewed at other various spots around the lake, but we love the feel of the beach! Resort Activities. I talked a little bit about this on my post The perfect non-park day at Disney, but it also totally belongs on a post about FREE things to do at Disney. Most Disney resorts have a weekly activity schedule with things like bingo, pool parties, campfires, and free nightly movies. You can easily spend an entire day at the resort participating (which we have done many times) in all these fun things to do for no additional cost. Some of the deluxe resorts have...
Pies & Racetracks in Randolph County

Pies & Racetracks in Randolph County

On a VERY cold January day, my son and I decided a day trip was the thing to do. Cabin fever had set in and we needed to get out of the house. We were both in the mood for some comfort food, so we headed Northeast from Indy to check out Winchester in Randolph County as we had heard that was the place for pie. And was it ever! The Wick’s Pie factory is located just outside of Winchester, IN and they make thousands of pies each day. This family business has been making delectable pies since 1934 (the first few years the pies were sold out of a truck!). Now you can buy them all over or have them shipped straight to your home. We stopped in Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant for lunch, as it doesn’t only serve the famous Wick’s Pies, but also a full menu of delicious, homemade Indiana comfort food. After chowing down on a mushroom swiss and a pulled pork sandwich, we reviewed the menu to select the perfect pies. We learned from our server that the pies served in the restaurant are made fresh every day by one lady. She makes them each by hand, using fresh ingredients and ensuring that the quality is up to her standards. Talk about some delicious pie. I enjoyed the blackberry and it was bursting with berries. With a slightly tart, slightly sweet flavor and a delicate homemade crust, it was amazing. Exactly what a fruit pie should be. My son picked the apple crumble a la mode and licked his plate clean. Yum! After filling our...

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