7 Reasons to Skip Iceland

You may be feeling left out because all the cool people you know are posting National Geographic shots from Icelandic waterfalls.   Good for them. Don’t be sad that you are not going, too.  Let me explain why, in 7 reasons.   It costs the earth If I am going to spend $500 on a hotel room, it needs to at least pretend to be the Four Seasons.  Not, as I recently experienced, a blah guesthouse with shared bathroom in a nondescript, frozen Icelandic outpost.  There are much cheaper ways to feel bitter and taken for granted, if you’re into…

Where to Stay on the Costa Brava, with Kids

The Costa Brava is a glorious morsel of Spanish coastline, stretching 85 miles from the French border down almost to Barcelona. Dotted with tiny, picturesque fishing villages, quiet calas, and peaceful, rocky coves, it is an ideal Spanish family travel destination.  However, the most beautiful and interesting section is the 35 miles between Begur and Tossa de Mar.  All of my recommended family beaches are here, as well as the gorgeous seaside village of Tossa de Mar. Book your hotel or Airbnb within this stretch.  I made the mistake of staying way up in San Pedro Pescador, which is close to…

Best Costa Brava Beaches for Families 

(Cala Sa Tuna, Begur) The Costa Brava stretches for 85 miles along Spain’s north eastern coast, all the way to the French border.  Yes, its beautful, but there are a few spots that are exceptional for a family beach day. There is an algorithm for the ideal family beach.  It must have access to a clean bathroom, and gorgeous beachside restaurant or tasty snack cafe.   Quiet protected coves are great, with some shady options (just say no to roasting your kids in the baking mid day Mediterranean sun, even if the Spaniards do it). Also, it needs reasonable parking,…

Barcelona is a Disappointment for Families. But the Eating is Good!

This blog shares the good, bad, and ugly of travel with kids, so I’m going to write my unvarnished opinion of Barcelona as a family destination. I moved to Granada, Spain as a 17 year old, and have fond memories of visiting Barcelona on weekends.  I wanted to share Barcelona’s highlights with my kids: the famous paseo of La Rambla, stunning Gaudi Park, and the quirky Sagrada Familia Cathedral. The past two days disappointed. 17 years ago, La Rambla was a charming, flower filled market with interesting wares, brightly colored birds, and fascinating street performers.  Now, it is lined with…

How to Pack for a 6 Week, 5 Country Adventure with Kids

There are two forms of travel:  “First Class”, or “With Children”. Watching harried parents placate exhausted kids while they wait at the baggage carousel after an 11 hour flight will make you question ever travelling with offspring. There are ways to make traveling with kids easier though.  Whether I’m sending the kids to grandma’s house for the weekend, or packing up for a 6 week European summer vacation, each person is allotted 1 carry on roller and 1 backpack.  Nothing is checked in, ever. Checking in luggage is a hassle.  Not only do you have to wait in long bag-drop…

Greece 2018

Here we are at the end of Q1 2017, and you know what that means?  Its time to start thinking about summer 2018 travel.  That’s right- I start brainstorming my trips about 15 months ahead of time.  I need to start gathering ideas, because come September 2017, I will start booking flights for June 2018 travel.  I like to spread out my travel research over several months- this gives me plenty of time to save up articles, blog posts, and recommendations from friends for where I want to go.  Sometimes, the research and planning phase is the most enjoyable!  There…

How to Travel in Europe on a Budget, with Kids!

Europe is definitely not most people’s idea of a wallet friendly destination.  A sunny beach in Mexico would be better, or anywhere in South America? Sure!  But I wanted to go to Europe this summer, so I made it happen, on my Flight, Accommodation, and Transportation (FAT) budget of $1,200 per week for myself and two daughters.  I’ve just finalized my last booking for our 5 week trip through England, Spain, France, Norway and Iceland, and wanted to share how I made it happen! Book one-way flights using credit card miles.  Pay only taxes and fees. Book rental car early,…