Travel Think Tank

Travel Time Out!

As we get back into the process of planning for travel, we are all excited to get out there and get going. When we dream of our future travels, we sometimes forget how important it is to remember we are not invincible. In fact, we want to pack so much in that we forget to plan a little travel time out. It’s okay to plan a beach day or a lazy day. It will be well worth it! Here are my pre-coronavirus thoughts on that very subject.

I Don’t Need A Time Out!

I hear you! You are not two years old! Can I just say this? Adults have more temper tantrums than kids. Can we say “hangry” people? No one enjoys a nap more than an adult. And no one, I repeat, no one wants to be around you when you are tired, cranky, and grumpy. We all need a time out and we deserve them! So, say thank you and really enjoy it! You are on vacation after all! So what does a travel time out look like?

Back in the Summer of 2019…

I’m on day one of my European holiday and Belgium 🇧🇪 has not disappointed! The weather is glorious and the airport, while rather dated, was a breeze from runway to rental. I’m traveling with my mom as I often do and we have stopped in this sweet little location for the night before we take in the Normandy region of France 🇫🇷 in the next week. So, why stop at a place like this? Well, this is a great spot to take a time out and recharge after international travel or after up time at a bigger venue. Genval has a lovely bistro full of locals, a beautiful old hotel with plenty of rooms and a lake to just enjoy! Yes, there are paddle boats and stand up paddle boards but, no, there is no swimming. I did check with the front desk and there are bikes for rent. Lastly, nearby is Waterloo with a modern museum that does a great job explaining why Napoleon met defeat here at Waterloo. #quietfind #berlintoparis?

Travel Think Tank

Gift Experience!

gift experience to unleash the global citizen in each of us

As everyone is out and about on Black Friday tracking down all those deals, I’m sitting back enjoying a little well deserved me time. After all, I did 16 hours in the kitchen yesterday! So, why am I not out there hoofing it from store to store? I gift experience! My gifts to my family focus on experience! I am a true fan of the gift card, the ticket, and the voucher. You may think that gifting like this is a bit impersonal and doesn’t hold the thrill of a traditionally wrapped box. I beg to differ. I am a fan of promoting the global citizen in all of us by experiencing the world around us. Here are five ways to infuse experience into your gift giving this season.

Add a friend!

If you are gifting a trip to the zoo (A great first start! Zoos are underrated!), add a stuffed zoo buddy with the tickets so there’s a little something to hug in the moment and something to look forward to. Consider other add ins like t-shirts, sunglasses, accessories, or other event specific gear to add in to the gift. It doesn’t have to be big, just a good match to the experience.

Plan ahead!

Gifting an experience like going to a national park or theme park? Add in a camera to save those memories. Cameras come in all shapes and sizes these days and there’s one that’s just perfect for the trip and your price point!

Make it fun!

One way to make a gift fun is to make it an experience in itself. How about a scavenger hunt? Perhaps a gingerbread house building contest? Maybe an ornament hunt is just your style.(Think Easter egg hunt in the winter.) No matter what the experience, have a few reindeer games to make it fun!

Match it up!

Tickets to a concert? Add the CD! Passes to a museum? Add a field guide! No matter the destination, a companion gift is a perfect pairing for your experience. Mouse ears are great if your headed for Disney and a pasta making kit could be just the thing if you are going to Rome. Perhaps this is your first travel experience and your young recipient needs a piece of luggage.

Read all about it!

No matter the experience, no matter the destination, there is a book to support your experience. Fiction and non fiction options are endless! Guide books, stories of destinations, historical accounts, and notable novels all work like a charm. If your interested in something more personal, a journal or a day planner may be just the right fit. 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!

No matter the age, no matter the interest, there’s an experience out there that’s just the right match for the loved ones on your list. Happy holidays!

There’s plenty to experience!

There are tons of great last minute ideas for great last minute gifts that focus on experience. Some are big and some are small. Here’s hoping you find all kinds of fun and creative gifts for the ones you love!

  • Escape Rooms
  • Hunting and fishing experiences
  • Concert or live performance tickets
  • Art classes at a museum or local studio
  • Movie tickets
  • Food crawls
  • Zip lining experience
  • Hot air balloons or sky diving
  • Unique restaurant experiences
  • Museum tickets

Looking for more? Check out our eco friendly picks, our subscription box picks, and our 2020 gift guide for plenty of great picks!

Travel Think Tank

These are a few of my favorite things….

It’s Christmas time and the air is filled with the excitement of the season. Lights are strung, trees stand at attention ready for Santa’s big arrival! The kids are a little out of control with the anticipation of all that the next two weeks offer. I love Christmas and my time with my family. It never disappoints. I love to laugh, love, and share with them especially as they grow up and start forging their own way in this world. As with anything moms deal with, I always seem to find myself over analyzing what I could do differently or better than before. I know, I know I shouldn’t but, I do! I’m always looking for ways to be creative with the holidays but my kids have brought up a very good point: “Mom!” they say “we never know what to get you!”

Fair enough!

Kids want to give just as much as they want to receive. I must admit, I am one of those moms who falls in the “put me last” category-as most do, but, the kids have a point. How are they ever supposed to know what to do if we don’t help them along? Maybe the thing I need to do is put their gift giving ahead of their gift getting. And in the end, isn’t that what we are always trying to teach them? So, here’s my idea for the busy, put-myself-last, creative holiday moms out there:

Create a simple list of a few of your favorite things!

Here is mine:

1. Bumble bees

2. Maps

3. Christmas ornaments that come with a story or meaning

4. Travel books

5. Polish pottery

The list is open to any interpretation but at least it gives your young gift givers a place to start! So, post your list, cozy up with you kiddos and have an evening with problematic Maria! She is very clear on her favorite things!

One of my favorite things is my travel tree with ornaments from all my travels.