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....
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....
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...
Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Visiting Marengo Cave is a perfect way to spend a cold Indiana day. Not only is it Indiana’s most visited natural attraction, but it’s also a U.S. National Natural Landmark. Located in Crawford County in Southern Indiana, it’s a bit of a drive from Indianapolis, but definitely worth the time, even just for a day. As the latest installment of my Explore Indiana project, it was a fun and unique experience! One of my favorite parts of visiting caves is that they are weather resistant. The cave stays at 52 degrees year-round. A hot summer day? Why not visit a cave? Too cold to be outside in the winter? A caving trip is a fun activity. The day I visited, it was pouring down rain. Although that did limit my photography options, it didn’t limit my fun in checking out the underground cave system. We started the day with a dash to the gift shop and to get acclimated to the location. The gift shop is extensive with plenty of options guaranteed to get your kids asking for souvenirs. There is also a small concession area next to it with tables and machines for sodas and snacks. We packed a lunch so food wasn’t an issue. After this short detour, it was on to the main event. There are two standard cave tours: Crystal Palace and the Dripstone Trail. You can do one or both. The Crystal Palace tour is about 40 minutes and the Dripstone Trail is an hour so it would be very possible to enjoy both in an afternoon. Insider Tip: The combined cave tour ticket...
The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

It’s that time of the year. The time when we start racking our brains to figure out what in the heck we should get for all our loved ones. I thought I’d start early this year and scout out the BEST gift ideas for every traveler (and non-traveler) on your list. For the Gals: Travel Yoga Mat – I’ve mentioned this one several times but it’s just that awesome! This is such a great thing to take on vacations even if you aren’t a big-time yogi. I use mine for morning Pilates and just general stretching. It’s lightweight, pretty and cleans easily. A membership to The Sisterhood. This pilates program is the one I enjoy every morning. I use the ap on my phone and each morning I get a new workout (10 to 30 minutes). It’s perfect for at home or when I’m traveling. I really can’t recommend it enough if you are looking for a low impact daily workout that can be done from anywhere. Even if I just head out for a quick overnight, I ALWAYS pack my travel diffuser and a few oils. Diffusing lavender or thieves in my room makes such a difference in how well I rest. I get rid of that stuffy smell and feel and it’s just such a simple way to improve my stay. As a bonus, these small diffusers are super affordable. A lovely gift would be one of these along with a bottle of essential oils. Speaking of heading out overnight, the Vera Bradley Grand Weekender is the bag I always use. It’s perfect for a quick weekend...
Everyday Adventure Essentials

Everyday Adventure Essentials

Are you ready for everyday adventures? Do you have everyday adventure essentials already packed and in your car? Or if you were to be out running around and discovered something fun or interesting to do would you have to “wait until later” when you are better prepared? Or have to purchase something to participate? Don’t let that ever happen to you again! With this simple Everyday Adventure Essentials list, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. Print out the .pdf and then spend 20 minutes creating your own bag for the car. You probably already have most of these items around the house. I guarantee that someday in the future you’ll be so glad you were prepared! I use a simple tote as my bag and find it fits well in the back of the van, and also can be easily grabbed and transferred to the Jeep if we decide to drive it for the day. The bag I use is no longer available, but here are some terrific options: All Year Round I always have the following in the bag: A deck of cards, Uno, six dice, a notepad, and a pen. These come in handy when visiting a winery, brewery or local restaurant. It’s a fun way to pass the time and keep everyone involved and off their phones.Bug spray and sunblock. Regardless of the time of the year, these two items come in super handy. A growler and a half-growler. Just in case we find a beer or even rootbeer on tap that we love!An outdoor blanket. Perfect for picnics in the summer and wrapping...

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