Tips on Trips- Williamsburg

Where to Stay- 

We stayed on sight at the Williamsburg Woodlands. The hotel was fine and staff friendly. When making the reservations I was told I could only have a room with two queen size beds because of our package, but upon arrival we were upgraded to a suite. Breakfast is included. It's self serve, not anything to write home about, but the kids thought it was great and that's all that matters. You will have to look somewhere else for a decent cup of coffee. They are next to the visitor center and you can pick up the shuttle to the historic district or walk.  It's a nice short walk to the village. I recommend the walk, very pretty. We have stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge before. A nicer hotel with a better breakfast and closer proximity to the historic village. In my opinion they are both fine and accommodating.

Where to Eat-

The historic village of Williamsburg has a couple of " historic" Taverns where you will find items similar to the 18th century Williamsburg. Not our favorite choices, but for the kids, it is fun. They like the idea of eating in "historic" eateries. Best for dinner, maybe one meal unless you have a package deal that includes meals at the taverns. We love the The Blue Talon Bistro, it is very kid friendly and great quality food. Outside of the park a couple of great places for younger kids are The Peking Restaurant and Captain Georges, two fun buffets, not the greatest food, but fast and easy for the kids. Plus what kid doesn't like a buffet. A nicer option a bit outside the park is La Tienda, this is great for older kids or kids that are able to sit through a longer meal. Great wine selection and wonderful array of tapas.

Lunch time can be a bit trickier in Williamsburg as your options within the historic park are limited to the taverns. However, right outside in Merchants square are some wonderful options. Our favorite is The Cheese Shop. They have great sandwiches as well as an array of amazing cheeses. You can get it to go and picnic in the historic village or eat on site. Dog Street Pub is a great option for both lunch and dinner. Fun gastropub with a kids menu. Of course the other options are just to eat from some of the stands that sell hotdogs and sandwiches.

Williamsburg VA, why not? Presidents Day, February 2017

Williamsburg, Virginia 

A Short Weekend Away

Williamsburg  Virginia, a step back in time,  is a great place to take the kids for real time history lesson without using a screen. If you plan it just right you can get great deals and that is exactly what we did. Entrance to the park, hotel and "breakfast" all for  $129/night. This was for the  Williamsburg Woodlands. For the five of us.  So we thought, "Why not escape for a couple of nights during Presidents Day Weekend."  For us, it's not a long drive, although it feels like forever because we have to go through the DC area. When I missed the on ramp to EZ pass express lane, it was forever.

Upon arrival in the evening, we were upgraded to a two room suite, that consisted of a king size bed and a queen pull out couch.  Kids loved it. We loved it as there was a door in between the rooms. It was short lived as our seven year old proclaimed he would sleep in between mommy and daddy. That translates to sleeping on top of mommy and kicking her all night.

We used Uber and went to our favorite restaurant in town, The Blue Talon. It's been our go-to over the years when in Williamsburg. It's an engaging combination of French and American classics, as well as a nice bourbon selection.  And  it's kid-friendly. Great meal and great time as a family. We shut down the restaurant, thanks to DC traffic getting us there so late. Fine with us, as it was Friday, the kids had school all day, and they were tired and ready for bed so they could have a full day the next day.

As I've said before, do not treat your trips like a classroom.  Do not try to cram everything down their throats or it becomes a chore. My husband and youngest were up and out early, played mini golf and headed to the historic town.  Thanks to climate change, we were all in tshirts this weekend. The other two and I were up later and met them in town. We picked out a couple of landmarks to visit so the kids could get a feel of the historic significance and then decided to have a leisurely lunch at The Cheese Shop. Sometimes, the best times are spent over a meal, together. Of course on the way to lunch they passed by the outdoor ice skating rink and the begging started.

Tips for Kids- Thailand and Cambodia

Thailand and Cambodia. We went in 2016 when our kids were ages 11,10 and 7.


If you are flying from the United States like we were, this is a very long trip to get across the continent.  Make sure to find the fastest route there.  It may cost you a little extra, but worth it in the end.  Luckily because it was international, in-flight entertainment meant we didn't need to worry about ipads or iphones or downloading millions of shows or movies.  The kids had access to so many movies and tv shows.  This was also a problem, because it meant they would be stuck and probably not get any sleep.  Set limits.  Make sure they get 5-6 hours of no TV time and hope that they get some sleep during this time. Or else you are doomed.  As far as food is concerned, it is always a good idea to pack some snacks.  We flew Air Emirates, they kept us well nourished and when it wasn't meal time they had baskets of fruit and candy.  They also had drinks available the entire time. Of course, our kids hoarded the candy.

Tips on Trips- Thailand and Cambodia

Where to stay


You could drive yourself insane looking at all of the possibilities. My job at my job became searching every website for the best location, most reasonable, kid-friendly hotel in the city.  Finally, we decided to go with a big hotel name, mainly so the kids could have a pool to decompress. We were surprised by how good a deal we got at the Shangri-La Bangkok. This was commensurate with what we discovered years ago, in casting the net wide. Often, deals emerge at more expensive spots making them cheaper than ostensibly cheaper hotels. In this case, the Shangri La was refurbishing their luxury tower and ws offering great deals in the other tower.  So instead of trying to find the best deal in the best location and the newest/chicest hotel, we just went with a reputable name.

Cambodia- A must See

August 15-19 Siem Reap

When we planned our trip, I told my husband there was no way I was going to Thailand without seeing Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  We have flown half way around the world and to be so close to Cambodia, who knew when I was getting back. He agreed and the plans were made.  We hired a guide for three days and spent all four nights in Siem Reap. In order to enter Cambodia you must have a visa, but as long as you supply customs with a passport picture, they will create one for you upon your arrival in the airport. Customs in Cambodia consists of the developing world practice of getting as many people as possible to work a single task.  Oh, and the workers' children that hung out in customs behind the desk.

Koh Samui, Paradise for Sure.

August 8-15 Koh Samui

What an amazing island.  The summer monsoon season hits the Andaman Sea hard but largely spares the  Gulf of Thailand, so we concentrated on island there. Koh Samui did not disappoint. We decided to stay on Choeng Mon Bay. It's known as among the more family friendly beaches of Koh Samui, and Koh Samui itself avoids the full moon revelers. Wow, the horseshoe shaped beach was beautiful, the water was so warm and the eight dollar massages on the beach were the best. Right behind the beach is a small village of shops and restaurants, so finding food and supplies and laundry is a step away.
We chose The Imperial Boat House Beach Resort, and it did not disappoint. The hotel is surrounded by lush trees and vegetation which made it feel very secluded. We were fortunate enough to get an actual rice barge boat that had been converted into a hotel room. Upstairs was a lounge area, while downstairs was a bedroom. The hotel set up an extra bed in what was dressing area. The kids loved it as did the adults.

During our time in Koh Samui, we did two excursions through 100 Degrees East. We chose this company based on the fact that it is small groups  and at least 4 staff members. Moreover, they were so awesome as our youngest broke his heel while in Koh Samui and one of the staff carried him up and down the stairs to see the Emerald Lake, if you do this tour you will understand how hard this climb is. On one of these, we visited the Angthong Marine Park. The islands of this park provided the inspiration for Alex Garland's book The Beach (it should be noted that the movie was shot on Phi Phi Le island in the Andaman Sea). We sea kayaked around tropical islands and had lunch and some time on our own beach (pictured). The other excursion was to snorkel off Koh Tao. The snorkeling in Koh Tao is spectacular: clear water, huge schools of fish, intact reefs, giant clams along the bottom.

Chiang Mai, Oh My

August 4-8 Chiang Mai

August 4 

The family of five left Bangkok and headed to Chaing Mai. A few options exist to getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. One is the night train, and another is flying (bus is cheapest but least comfortable and slowest). We opted for flying and booked five relatively inexpensive tickets on Thai Airways. The taxi from Chiang Mai airport into town is quick, easy, and not expensive (which is true about taxis in general in Thailand). We again chose The Shangri-La, and were welcomed with the same nice welcoming customer service and we were able to get upgraded to the concierge floor. This included drinks, snacks, evening cocktails and newspapers at all times. Oh were the kids so excited, it was actually a nice way to unwind after a day of touring.

First stop and last stop, Bangkok. Summer 2016

August 1-4, 2016 Bangkok

After traveling more than 24 hours, we arrived bleary-eyed to the big city of Bangkok. Fortunately, we arrived at night which meant straight to bed.  We chose The Shangri-La, Bangkok and were surprised by how good a deal we received. This was commensurate with what we discovered years ago, in casting the net wide. Often, deals emerge at more expensive spots making them cheaper than ostensibly cheaper hotels. In this case, the Shangri La was refurbishing their luxury tower and was offering great deals in the other tower.  So instead of trying to find the best deal in the best location and the newest/chicest hotel, we just went with a reputable name. Great hotel with great service. So, after settling into our hotel, we all crashed and were ready to hit the ground running the next morning.

August 2

Our first morning we were off to see the Royal Palace and Wat Pho. We'd heart about the heat and humidity of Bangkok, but experiencing it was more impressive than we anticipated.  Our clothing was drenched after the first ten minutes. The kids were so enamored by the sights and the details, smells, colors and just the vastness of the Wat that fortunately they didn't realize how thirsty and hot they were until about thirty minutes into the visit. By this time the visit was over at least for them and we were able to get them a much needed drink and then head off to the next Wat (the Thai word for temple). On the way, this was a chance to discuss the tenets of Buddhism, and the Thai people's strong faith and reverence to the Buddha and his images.

Bring the kids? About the five family travelers

Traveling with Kids is the Most Rewarding

All too often, parents say they can't take their kids traveling; "It's to far away, my kids do not adapt well to new settings, their schedules will be off, they are too young to appreciate the experience."
Watching children experience new tastes, smells, cultures, and places is the most rewarding part of traveling as a family. Ever since we had kids, we have taken them on adventures nationally and internationally. They were never "too young" to travel, they never had issues adapting to new places and there was never a plane ride that was too long for them (technology helps with this). Children will adapt and embrace their new surroundings. They will want the new adventures and keep you going until you, the parent, are ready to collapse at the end of the night.

Traveling with kids doesn't mean fancy or expensive. It can be as simple as planning a weekend camping trip or driving an hour away to the next city/town over.  Or it can be as extravagant as flying halfway around the world to far off destinations.  Of course, moments of epic meltdown will happen, as will eye rolling, fights in hotel lobbies (for us, those are standard). But all of this is part of the wonderful moments, the moments that we cling to and remember, the moments that make you realize this is why we brought our children.

We continue to pursue our love of travel and constantly look for adventures that we think our children will enjoy and embrace.  My hope and goal is that this blog will help guide you and give you ideas on traveling with kids. Through our experiences and recommendations, we will help transition you from not wanting to travel with children to embracing the idea and opening their world to new experiences, tastes, smells and learning opportunities that they can have with them for the rest of their lives.

The wonders of family travel come when you don't treat your trips like a classroom or a history lesson.  You can't do or see it all, but you can introduce your kids to new cultures and experiences, and hope that they will gain a love for travel.   Remember, you want your kids to gain a love for travel and a passion for discovery.  I promise, you will be able to sneak in some learning without them realizing it.

I have always been an avid traveler. When I met my husband and discovered his love for travel and adventure it was a perfect match.  We promised each other to never stop exploring. Now that we have three children, it has become our mission to expose them to as much travel as possible.