10 Books In 10 Minutes Series

January Dreaming

Dear TGC- It’s the New Year and I am so ready to start 2021 off on the right foot. My New Year’s resolution is to travel more! I want my family to experience this world and everything it has to offer! One slight problem…. I haven’t the foggiest idea where to even start! Any ideas to get me dreaming in the right direction?

5000 ideas will have you January dreaming and get you planning to travel more in no time

Oh, yes, travel dreamer! I do have a few good tips! Let’s start with a good book to peruse through and share with your family. I found this gem up at the National Geographic Hall (available everywhere, though) and I love just turning the pages and reacquainting myself with all those geographic basics of each country. I think a good reference like this is a great way to keep things flowing. It keeps our minds wandering and our options open.

Reality Strikes

But let’s be a bit realistic, parental dreamers, we’ve got kids to factor into the equation and that can be a bit daunting. I’m going to let you in on my parenting secret: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. It seems like a blogger who is talking about global citizenship, should have a better parenting philosophy but that about sums it up (along with: don’t cause an international incident).

I have three great, strong minded young adults now and the last twenty years have taught me that just trying to do my best everyday is all I can expect. So, my kids love animal shows, I took them to see animals! My kids would eat anything put in front of them, let’s go out to eat (this is actually more important than it seems). They love swimming, let’s hit the beach. When it came time to plan trips, I followed the same ideals. If we were Australia bound, it was time for coral reefs, kangaroos and koalas. I was always dreaming but success came when I kept my dreams in focus with those three strong willed spirits.

Dream Big

One thing that you may also want to think about is next December. Yep. It’s one year away and maybe it’s time to have a serious conversation about whether you want to have a traditional holiday or do you want to commit to a holiday travel experience. Think about it, you could start close to home at a mountain resort or perhaps you could celebrate at an airbandb at the beach! The choices are limitless.

From Christmas markets in Germany to surfing in Australia, your holiday could go from lots of presents under the tree to lots of adventures to do and see. You just need to make the choice and commit to a shift in your thinking. Wherever my family and I end up, I take out their stockings and we each contribute a little something to each one. An ornament to commemorate the year, a book for something to think about, and a treat that brings back a memory. Nothing is too difficult to pack and everything is from the heart.

Think It Through

December is not the only time to take advantage of family travel. Spring break is another opportunity to pack the kids up and experience the world. It’s springtime, the air is fresh and the flowers are just starting to bloom. The tourist crowds are not at their summer peak and 5 to 6 days in a great location could be just what everyone needs to power through the rest of the school year. How about loving Paris in the springtime under the Eiffel Tower. How about experiencing the metamorphosis of Japan during cherry blossom season. A littler closer could bring you to our Capitol to experience the Smithsonian, take in the new babies at the zoo and with a little planning, see the White House. Your adventure awaits.

January is a great time to dream. Go ahead and get cozy by the fire and you may be surprised that country 72 looks like as much fun to you as to your kids!

100 Countries, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do

New Year’s Day! All around the world, young and old look forward to putting the old year to bed and planning to make the year ahead the best lived year possible. Time to celebrate in style! So how can the global minded family celebrate? Try these activities to make New Year’s Eve a fun and festive occasion for everyone.

Celebrate another country’s New Year! It’s so hard for young ones to stay up so late to watch that ball drop. They get whiny and overtired just to watch something on TV that they really don’t understand!  I live on the east coast, so I can conveniently choose a country that is ringing in the New Year at say, a conservative 7 pm my time.

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Good choices for me include Iceland, Italy, or Morocco. Different variations would be to count down a different country throughout the day and celebrate by tracking the new year across the globe or having a lunch that represents another country (like Singapore or India) that has already made it to 2020. Little celebrations like this take a normally confusing holiday for little ones and add some global meaning to the change of time. But, in case those activities don’t just quite cut it… you could go BIG! Check out these three last minute ideas….

Road Trip!

Why not take off for two or three days and go discover something in your home state? If you think about it, I bet you haven’t taken the chance to see some of the wonderful things that make your hometown a great tourist destination. Try using an app like TripAdvisor or Localuer to find something in your area that you may not have considered before. Be sure to check on hours and holiday schedules on any local destination- you’ll thank me later Smithsonian visitors.

Resort

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Interested in a balance between kid time and adult time? Need a quick getaway from the cold? How about a family focused resort? There tons to choose from: Great Wolfe Lodge is a kid centric wonderland that keeps kids entertained 24-7. Franklyn D. in Jamaica is known for its family service. Perhaps you are ready to jet set during the cold winter months and need to recharge your batteries on a faraway island! Check out Fiji’s Kokomo Island for the best in southern pacific hospitality. Don’t forget that winter is always time to go skiing and take in those other winter sports. Check out family friendly Beaver Mountain for all your winter needs.

Rental

Check out apps like VRBO and Airbnb to see if there are any last minute finds for great picks in the city or on the beach! Easy app rentals are available worldwide and can always be arranged through reputable handlers: just check out the host rating and be realistic about what you are renting.

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Okay, so we are done opening presents, the thrills and surprises of the holiday season are drawing to an end, the holiday decor is getting a bit dusty. Yep. I’m there too. I’ve had enough wrapping paper and sweet treats to last all of 2020!

It’s true, secretly, we adults are over it. We are ready to box things up and get on with the chilly trudge through January and February. But hold on just a minute! The cold temperatures of January and February are prime planning and prepping season for the global traveler!

If you are a first time planner, January is prime time to start searching for that perfect trip you’ve always wanted to experience. January is dream time. So, where to? (That’s my favorite question!) Perhaps its time to explore ancient ruins in Greece or maybe its time to relax at a beach resort on some tropical island. Then again, hiking in the Swiss Alps could be just the ticket! Maybe a sporty jaunt to a national park is just your speed. Although, I can’t argue that a cruise wouldn’t be perfect no matter what the destination is!

So, where to? And perhaps, more importantly, how to decide?! What should be your step one? It can be overwhelming to simply choose the place you want to learn about. What would work best for you and the entire fam?globe

First things first: Set the time of year that you are available to travel as a team. When do all of your calendars magically align to allow everyone some travel time together. If you are like most families, Summer is your optimum season. The kids are out of school and work, while always hectic, seems to usually have a pretty good Summertime groove.  Europe or Canada may be good choices for you.

On the other hand, you may be a Spring breaker! Ready to tackle a week-long challenge, places like Japan or Costa Rica could really appeal to you and yours. if you are one of the lucky few who have no schedule constraints, the World is your oyster no matter what time of year! Lucky you! Maybe you are just the type who would choose to country hop all over Northern Europe or dedicate some time to a service project in Africa before a once in a lifetime safari! Wow!

Once you have a time frame, you are ready to strategically pick a destination. Someplace new, far away, a yearly tradition? I ask again, where to? Spring is great for beaches but perhaps you’d like to experience Hanami: the art of cherry blossom viewing for the first time by visiting Kyoto, Japan. Summer is prime time to explore Alaska. If you do like an escape from the balmy weather you might be interested in checking out all the wild life down under- Winter is in full swing! Although, I can think of nothing better than taking advantage of the shoulder seasons in Europe. Things are happening but the big cities are not yet over run with tourist mobs. Whether it’s around the corner or on the other side of the world, January is prime time for getting your travel dreams in order!

So you’ve taken the month to pick the perfect spot to pin on the map….. next stop, February! Let’s start booking! See you then….

10 Books In 10 Minutes Series

Ten Books In Ten Minutes: Washington, D.C.

Thanks for joining us for our 10 Books in 10 Minutes Facebook Live Event! Sharing stories from around the world is an amazing gift to give any child. That includes these great books about Washington, D.C. Putting the world in a young mind’s hands is one of the best ways to create productive, understanding adults. Books like this allow readers to develop life skills like empathy, cultural understanding, and a global sense of self.

Washington Monument
Photo by Samad Ismayilov on Pexels.com

TGC strives to connect travelers with quality literature and media that allows the curiosity in all of us to thrive. More importantly, the most powerful tool we have to be the best travelers we can be, regardless of our age, is gobal literacy. So, for more great reads and connections to travel and culture, click hereNote that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too!

Washington, D.C. City Trails

Straight from the publishers of some of the best travel guides for children comes WDC City Trails. This book, great for your older explorers, has over 15 walking tours themed for every interest a kid could dream up! From the Senate to the Supreme Court, this book covers the US capitol covered. The pages are designed to explore all aspects of culture and get your kids excited about visiting this slice of history.

Larry Gets Lost In Washington

Oh, Larry! Separated from his humans, Larry winds up seeing some of the best the capitol has to offer. In fact, he winds up having a bit more fun than most!

House Mouse, Senate Mouse

What does it take to make a law? Follow this quest to choose the nation’s perfect cheese in this witty book perfect for curious minds.

Woodrow, The White House Mouse

Meet Woodrow, a resident at the most famous house around. This mouse is only too happy to show you around and tell you all about the amazing things that happen here.

Curious About The White House

Read on for a few fascinating facts about the most famous house in town. Then find out the answers to your most curious question by exploring the pages. Perfect for your young grade schoolers.

Where Is The White House?

Another chapter book from the bobblehead series. Learn the ins and outs of the people’s house and how it changes hands from president to president. A really great read before you tour.

S is For Smithsonian

From the great global alphabet series comes a version about our capitol. Each letter does a great job of explaining all kinds of different moments you can find around the city. I happen to be partial to the letter “Z”!

Mount Vernon’s Magnificent Menagerie

It’s Christmas and there’s a camel at Mount Vernon! Learn what the holidays were like when our country was brand new.

America’s White Table

Read to discover this important lesson on respecting those who have served and those we have lost. Knowing what the POW MIA table is can be an enlightening moment before visiting Arlington.

Grace For President

Someone has made herself rather comfy in the Oval Office. And why not? Grace finds out all about what it takes to be president and then thinks she would surely be a great one! I agree!

10 Books In 10 Minutes Series

Ten Books In Ten Minutes: Ancient Greece and Modern Italy

A doric column typical of ancient Greek architecture.
Photo by Josiah Lewis on Pexels.com

Thanks for joining us today for our Facebook Live Book Review . I truly love these particular books and hope you will too! Each of them contributes to make us all better global citizens. So, let’s dive in to 10 books about Italy and Greece for kids! Here are the Amazon links to all of today’s picks! Note that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too!

Italy ABC’s

An adorable tour through Italy’s icons awaits in this ABC book. Don’t expect the biggies like the Colloseum and the Duomo. Instead, the smaller gems like scooters and ziti take kids on a journey of the people and places that Italians connect with.

Mission Rome

Get ready! Get Set! Va! It’s time to earn as many points as you can while touring the eternal city. Use this handy book to study up before your trip and as a great activity while you are there. This series, written by a military family, has easy to follow rules and is just the thing parents need when things get a little overwhelming.

Rome City Trails

With more than 15 city trails to follow, you can learn everything from ancient times through modern daily living. City guides are published by Lonely Planet and are a great addition to help kids take a little ownership over trip plans and feel super included. Adults will enjoy many of the themes and kids will have fun tracking down the next place.

Cooking Rocks! 30 Minute Meals For Kids

What would Italy be without the food? I mean, really. If you are looking to help your picky eater expand their palette before your big adventure, may I suggest letting them choose a few easy recipes from Rachael Ray. With easy to follow directions, this book lets kids start to see what good ingredients are all about.

Ancient Wonders: Then and Now

Even as an adult, I sometimes have a difficult time looking at ancient ruins and getting a clear image in my mind of what it must have looked like. This Lonely Planet read is perfect for helping young minds wrap themselves around the giant piles of rocks that they are looking at. So helpful in both Rome and Athens.

Oh My Gods! Trilogy

If you’re going to Greece with kids, you’re going to need to brush up on the world’s first soap opera, Greek Mythology. And, oh my gods, those characters are up to all kinds of shenanigans! This set of books is a great reference guide to figure out the who’s who in this never ending drama. Having a good grasp on these stories can help young visitors relate to many sites and customs that they will come across. These look and explore books are just perfect for that.

The Greek News: Alexander Victorious!

Extra! Extra! Get the latest ancient headlines about all of your favorite Greeks! Alexander takes center stage here but there are plenty of other headlines that start to put together life from so long ago. It can be hard to understand ancient times, but books like this can be a wealth of information.

Z is for Zeus

From the famous ABC series, get ready for 26 stops through ancient Greece. Zeus was in charge of a lot of dramatic, moody people who all seemed to think they either knew better than everyone else or simply didn’t care how anybody else felt! From monsters to Trojan horses, this jam packed book will get you started on your Greek mythology journey.

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief

For older kids, although I’ve taught with this book as young as fourth grade, check out this epic adventure from Rick Riordan. Percy might just be another middle school fail but there are big forces at work around him. With Harry Potter like splendor (don’t rely on the movie here), Percy learns all about mythology as he discovers he is a demigod. One note of advice here: knowing the classic myths makes this adventure so much better. Consider dipping in to a few of those before reading chapter one.

Two Travel Bonus Books!

These are books that I bought while I was in Greece. Both are fantastic and I have used them in the classroom many times. The museum book is a great take on the actual construction while the Then and Now book is a more intricate look at ruins than the one listed above.

Building The New Acropolis Museum

Athens: Then and Now