Plenty of Kid-sized Fun in Amsterdam

138085156Mention that you’re going to Amsterdam to your friends and family with some travel smarts, and they’ll probably toss you a smirk and ask you why you would take your children to such a destination. After all, Amsterdam boasts quite a well-known “red light” district, certainly not appropriate fodder for a family vacation. And then there’s those “coffee shops”. Everyone who knows anything about international travel can tell you that they’re not peddling “cups of Joe” at those locales but, rather, offering legal cannabis, marijuana, and other substances to those who wish to indulge in “soft” drug use.

So, given all that, why bother to take your children to Amsterdam? Because this wonderful city in Holland has so much more to offer than it’s (slightly) seedy side. Whether you’ve got toddlers in tow, elementary aged children, tweens and teens, or a combination of all three along for the trip, you’ll find that there’s plenty to keep them busy and that the activities that appeal to them will also – for the most part – appeal to parents as well.  (more…)

Top 10 Romantic Things to Do and Places to Go on your Barcelona Honeymoon

87467650They say Paris is the City of Lights and one of the most spectacular romantic cities in the world. Many say the same about Venice. But if you’re heading to Barcelona for your honeymoon, you won’t be disappointed in the romance category. This amazing city exudes romance, from its stunning architecture to its welcoming beaches and lovely parks to its vibrant social scene. Truly, Barcelona is a city of passion and indulgence. Just look at the colorful and oddly shaped buildings, taste the sumptuous cuisine, and take some time to talk to the locals, who are animated, fun-loving, and friendly. It’s the perfect place for a honeymoon.

 In Barcelona, there are places to go and activities to do that should appear on every honeymoon couple’s list. Not only will they ignite that flame just a little more but they’ll also provide you with memories you won’t soon forget…and plenty of photos to share with those back home. (more…)

Stunning Budapest is a Photographer’s Dream Destination

112271894Do you like to take pictures? Does the opportunity to view ornate architecture and magnificent artwork get your juices flowing? If so, you need to pack up your bags and head to Budapest, one of Europe’s most amazingly beautiful cities and a treat for amateur and professional photographers alike, as well as those just tagging along to enjoy the sights.

Truly, Budapest is a treat for the eyes. Not only are the buildings magnificent but so are the views of the river, the not-so-far-away Tatra Mountains, and the beautiful sunsets. Add to those experiences a chance to stroll in the city’s many parks or in the Buda Hills, the opportunity to explore some of the best museums in Europe as well as a host of other historical and religious sites, and the chance to try out a plethora of great places to eat and stay at top-notch hotels, and you’ve got a vacation that’ll please anyone who loves to have all five senses stimulated during their travels.  (more…)

Summer Festivals Abound in Vibrant Galway, Ireland

157986678Galway, Ireland’s sixth-most populated city, has a lot going for it. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and blessed with a temperate climate that keeps the weather rather mild all year round, this pretty city is a prime tourist destination for those intent on exploring Ireland, offering a rich history, lovely natural and manmade sites, and plenty of wonderful activities as well.

Dubbed “Ireland’s Cultural Heart”, it’s a city full of music, theater, cinema, visual arts, and much more. It’s also a wonderful destination for festival lovers, hosting dozens of these events each year, especially during the summer, covering all sorts of arts disciplines, from music and poetry to movies and literature. Additional festivals that aren’t arts-related – but still lots of fun – round out the summer offerings. They make this already vibrant city extra exciting as thousands gather together to enjoy the fun.  (more…)

On a Trip to Norway, Don’t Miss Beautiful Bergen

Bergen, NorwayEvery country has a hidden gem. One of those places that’s often overlooked in favor of a better known city or town with world-class attractions. In Norway, that treasure is Bergen, located in the western portion of the country and best described as simply magnificent. Indeed, it has just about everything. Its natural beauty is accented by snow-capped mountains and amazing fjords, including some of the largest in Europe. Then there’s the town’s interesting Viking past, its excellent museums, its lovely churches, and its family-friendly attractions, like a zoo and aquarium.

Furthermore, it really is just a fun place to hang out, especially in the summer when the sun literally lasts all day, prompting nightlife that extends well into the morning…and then some. In addition, it boasts a fair number of excellent luxury hotels, good shopping opportunities, and fine restaurants where you can sample local Scandinavian specialties. (more…)

Summer Vacations in the Dolomites Put You in Touch with Nature

147674844If you’ve ever been to Italy in the summer, you know that much of the country is sweltering hot. It’s no wonder that droves of Italians, as well as those from other portions of the continent, head to the beautiful Dolomites, where they can spend time outside without developing heat exhaustion and partake of all sorts of wonderful active pursuits, ranging from high-intensity hiking to a relaxing game of golf.

In 2009, the spectacular Dolomites, situated in the northeastern portion of the country, were dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the “natural” category, which lauds areas of exceptional beauty and aesthetic significance. One look at the mountains and you’ll get it. This is truly one of the loveliest places in Europe, and whether you visit in summer or winter you’ll be wowed by the grandeur of the peaks, the views from the mountains, and the diversity of the flora and fauna not to mention the friendliness of the locals.  (more…)

Our Top 5 European Destinations for Families Traveling with Kids

Roadways in Barcelona, SpainDecades ago, when it was time for parents to do some “serious” traveling, they left the kids home with grandma. Happily, that’s not the case any more. More and more parents – perhaps because many are now having children at an older age – are eager to let their children be a little nomadic along with them, and they’re more concerned with providing their children with world experiences than whether or not the kids will cramp their style if they take them along for the ride. We think that’s wonderful! Furthermore, you get to explore your chosen locale from a child’s point of view and through their eyes. What could be better?  

That said, however, it’s still a good idea to do a little research before you choose a destination for you and the family. While most European cities are fairly family-friendly, some are more so than others and there are some that children will find downright exciting! It’s those special, magical places that we’ve outlined in the list below…our Top 5 European Destinations for Families.  (more…)

Kid-Friendly London an Ideal Spot for a Family Vacation

89679947Some European cities just don’t lend themselves to traveling with children. They’re simply too “stuffy”. Happily, that’s not the case with London, a wonderful family destination that’s truly one of the most kid-friendly in Europe. That’s especially important because London is often the first destination many American families choose when considering a trip to Europe, largely because they don’t have to deal with the language issues present in other European countries.

London is not only chock full of places like wonderful parks for outdoor fun, but many of the city’s other attractions – including many museums – are perfect for kids of elementary school age and younger. Add those to things like riding on a double-decker bus and taking a spin on the giant-sized London Eye wheel, and you’ve got a kid’s paradise that’ll be hard to beat. (more…)

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