New York City For Family Travel With Young Kids  

 “It’s a town you come to for a short time.” – Ernest Hemingway
Exploring New York City with kids for the first time is aggravating to say the least. Hhmmm.. just saying that feels bettter. Aggravation, in a good way for all senses. Well, maybe not for the feet and leg muscles. New York, the city that never sleeps, yet our hearts and mind fall into deep slumber the moment we our bodies touch the bedsheets. 

Back and forth using the Subway, we all know when, where and how to enjoy subways with or without crowds 😀

That feeling about New York is too familiar for our family, we had the same “sensations” when we explored “Paris, France with our many firsts” – there are a lot of kids activities to see and do, it’s way too overwhelming for kids and parents alike. 

So, we took a shortcut this time. At least, that’s what we thought we did. We bought New York CityPass and MetroCard and we’re off! 

Five days of feeding the kids curiosity, dragging them around Uptown and Downtown and off we went. We visited six landmarks using our City Pass: 

New York City Pass


American Museum of Natural History (CityPass)

American Museum of Natural History – those fierce faces ready to explore he very crowded museum

Top of The Empire State Building (CityPass)

Top of the Empire State Building – iPhone only photos for our family. It’s those awesome memories we can’t capture that matters more 💞
 
Metropolitan Museum of Art (City Pass) 

Metropolitan Museum of Art – another feet abusing, brain bleeding, senses overloading Museum of traveling family in New York City
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (City Pass)

There she is! Standing tall and proud.
Guggenheim Museum (City Pass)
Picasso, Money, China Arts and lots More!

We also enjoyed “famous” landmarks not part of our CityPass like:
Metropolitan Modern Museum

Unique Kids, Unique Designs


Times Square

Time Square for a traveling family who doesn’t shop – odd 😋
We also watched one musical based on kids choice – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A really fantastic musical, the best they’ve seen, by far. So the kids told us.

Golden Ticket to the Chocolate Factory for the Turknoys Please



Central Park 

Sssshhhh… We’re “dating” … kids said so! 😀

Oh boy, a lot to see and explore in the city. The trick, for us, is to enjoy every moment with kids and stop when they don’t want to explore anymore. We’re happy we get to enjoy a lot and no regrets for the places we didn’t get to see. After all, we can’t have it all. (Or can we?!) 

COUNTRY 31: Morocco, Land of Colors and Much Mor 

“He who hunts for ostrich, will find ostrich.” – Moroccan Proverb


Oh yes, our family is hunting! Hunting hard for our life’s passions fueled by our yearning to be world educated by its unparalleled beauty, diverse culture and history! 

Hunt ostrich, find ostrich. Can’t be more appropriate for our family’s ideals on setting family goals and traveling! Set goals, its necessary! 

Our Country 31/ 100 Countries Travelled Together as Family is Morocco. Also, the second African country after our adventure in Ethiopia, Land of Origins. We’ll update this blog as we go on exploring this wonderful country. 

We visited Casablanca, Morocco’s biggest and capital city,  last March 2017 with only the parents for some travel hacking attempt. That attempt is not as successful as we have imagined. However, it turned out very romantic. It’s just us, though. We can’t state that it’s because it’s “Casablanca” but partly because traveling parents neeeds to be alone every now and then. So we said to ourselves, “we may have travelled Paris with kids, but we have Casablanca. ” Awesome, memorable couple traveling days! 

Travel date mixed with travel hacking in Casablanca! Can you tell we’re stoked and overjoyed?! (March 2017)

But what do we know?! Few months after, kids enjoyed Casablanca with us. Lots of gratitude, no complains. To explore the largest mosque in the country overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with our global children couldn’t be more perfect. 
  

Family selfie portrait I Hassan II Mosque (October 2017)
Kids jumping for joy (October 2017)

Worth noting a brief description of Hassan II Mosque from Wikipedia 

The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II (Arabic: مسجد الحسن الثاني‎‎; colloquially the “Casablanca Hajj”)is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres (689 ft). Completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca.The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.




We just can’t wait to see more of Morocco 🇲🇦 for some serious “ostrich hunting.” 



TAKE TWO COUNTRY 6: Austria’s Really Perfect Landscape and Those Innovative, Healthy, Creative, Fine-Looking People!

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Austrian Proverb
 

The easiest thing to do in Austria, based on our family opinion, is to appreciate beauty. The landscape all throughout the country is phenomenal. We meant it when we say, “jaw-dropping, inhale exhale majestic.”
 
During our first visit in the country back in 2013, we visited Vienna and Innsbruck and we were floored with amazement in every country landscape we saw during our train rides passing through towns from Vienna to Innsbruck. We can ride the train back and forth and we’ll never get tired of the nature, view and even houses with their happy cows grazing in the majestic field.

 

Here goes our first THEN (2013) and NOW (2017) travel family photo in #Vienna Stephanplatz! . . Beautiful Vienna! Beautiful Austria, we are so captivated by your beauty and culture! ❤️ We’ll explore this country any opportunity we’ve got. .

Never did a month pass that we didn’t talk about visiting again Austria. We wanted to go back to Innsbruck and leisurely enjoy the mountain peaks. However, this second time around, we enjoyed worldschooling our little travelers in Salzburg and discovered the UNESCO World Heritage Town, Hallstatt.

 

Salzburg
                                           

                                                                             
Salzburg is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace, the city where legends are born. Kids noted that their mom was being “weird’ in the room where legend was born at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. Like any “typical” traveler, Mozart didn’t quite like Salzburg as much as he loved Vienna. That fact alone comforts our traveller’s hearts. The understanding of Mozart’s childhood, dreams and environment he grew up basically validates our family trails we seek for our three Mozarts.

All about Mozart
Enjoyed the awesome creative vibes in this house! Mozart power! ❤️💚💞

 
We gave Salzburg landscape a chance to impress us like Innsbruck, but this traveling family somehow chases the fog, instead of the sun.
 
 
 

You know climbing the peak in that perfect moment of huge, gigantic enormous cloud covering over the peak followed by one cold long rain showers. Yeah, we like our peak views.. just like this. 😀 . .

 
Hallstatt 
Oh Hallstatt! A small village by Lake Hallstatt in the moutainous region of Salzkammergut. We went to explore Hallstatt from Salzburg on a day trip taking two trains one way. It was well worth a day visit and probably more! We really didn’t want to leave. Would you leave a view like this?
 

Another #nofilterneeded #familyphoto ! When we’re together enjoying majestic landscapes, that’s family bliss to treasure forever! .

We also enjoyed the Salt Mine which took more than 3-4 hours and we didn’t even notice! Definitely a recommended activity for kids in Europe – tourist mode or definitely event long term travel. How fantastic it would be to stay more than a month in this place, we can only imagine.
 

The oldest salt mine in the world. Read that China duplicated the salt mine minus that awesome ancient history and archeology behind the salt mine ❤️

One of our favorite country to explore is definitely Austria. We have explored 30 countries to date across three continents. That makes us well travelled family, right? We say, yes! We set goals to live the life we imagined.
 
 

Type of Family Travelers We Know and Want to Be! 

“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

Since  our family started our family adventures based on our family travel goals, we meet a lot of family travelers online and offline. Perhaps family travel will be the leading form of travel in the near future. Maybe (big maybe) that’s how Millennial will raise their families. Honestly, we see a lot of wins when kids travel early on with their family. It is our contention that family travel will pave the way to world peace.
 

That Big Family Traveler

More than big in number but more on big in ideas and big in luxury! Family travelers can aim for that one-time BIG adventure and they go all out. Disneyworld, Disneyland, Legoland, Atlantis – yes please! Mainly where commercial travel marketing go crazy at. Yes, after all, It’s A Small World After All!

That Disneyland Dream for Princesses

That Hairy Family Traveler

Shun all the risks, these family traveler will visit exotic places in a heartbeat! But of course, exotic is a relative place, it could be Asia for North Americans or Africa for Asians, either ways it is a dangerous, out of comfort zone place for this type of family traveler.

Off to exotic places we go!

That Audacious Family Traveler

Daring, bold and brave, adjectives we don’t normally use at the end of a fairytale like “happily ever after…” That’s boring because  family fairy tale doesn’t have to have an ending. Long term family travelers life their life without borders, that audacious! It must be really    fantastic  to wake up to days and days of something new and different which turns to weeks and weeks which turns to years to years.. up to , who knows, decades even. 

Okay, technically not long term travel.. but hey, this place we called work home for more than a decade is a place away from other home countries… still home without borders.. ha!
 

That Goal (keeper/oriented) Family Traveler

Of course, that cautious family traveler who are vigilant to source out travel deals, who master the itinerary to ensure productive travel days with family because of limited time, limited resources or any other limitations. They are the family who does not make excuses, yet makes end meet in their own creative ways.

Our first trip as family “tourist” will always be one of the most memorable family adventures: the learning curve is the best for all of us when it comes to family traits, tourism, finances and scheduling – that first jump towards own family milestone is the best!
 
 

Our family is that family who is a little bit of everything, who lives by the acronym BHAG, that Big Hairy Audacious Goal of traveling 100 countries in every continent, who appreciate every family travelers we meet.

Any type, any form, any reason, any rationale of family travel. We strongly believe, all families are unique, so their travels should be. 

Create your own family trail
 
 

COUNTRY 30: Czech Republic, Land of Stories 

Kdo hledá, najde.
“He who looks, finds.”- Czech Proverb

 

First, a disclaimer – we never explored all parts of the country, like  what we attempt  for other countries we explored , at the very least, two cities of the country. Our thirtieth (30th, baby!) was mainly spent enjoying the Renaissance, baroque and gothic architecture of its capital city, Prague.  No matter,  boy, did  we  get ourselves full  of stories, facts,  science and history in, arguably, the city with  the most tourists.
We explored the city of Prague, mainly by foot. Yes, our 10 itchy, wanderlust-y feet, plus the three-wheel stroller, which turned 5 years in the family. 
New Town or Old Town, all bridges crossing the River Vlatava, ornate castles , holy churches, monasteries and our family’s favorites, library and brewery! 

Czech Republic, Land of Stories , oh boy do we have lots of stories
Library, architecture, churches and food! All in one city – Czechia

The heart of Central Europe definitely left a mark in our hearts to come back. We want to know more about the Bohemian and other parts of the country. 

 

Hey-O! Completed 30% of our goals. You can be like our family, too! Whatever your families’ priorities are, just go for it

COUNTRY 29: Slovakia, Little Big Country

“The way you call into the mountains is the way the echo will sound. “ – Slovak Proverb



Uummm, what’s  that body of water surrounding this country? None? Really? A landlock country… is definitely something new for our family. We had lived in a peninsula country for quite quite some time now. A little drive away from home will lead us to the Arabian Gulf. Don’t get us started on our archipelago, dearly beloved Philippines. 

Back to Slovakia… little big country surrounded by countries! It’s fantastic in a different sense. Two hours away from Vienna, Austria, ta da, Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. 
It’s like exploring a different world passing through the magic closet (yeah, like Narnia.)  
 Churches, museum, shops and Dr. Seuss House (not really but our hostel accommodation), our two days in the  country is satisfying to say the least. 

These traveling kids see our City Tour in different perspective.. education should be customized, travel with kids should b specialized to the kids need as well… You can almost see the traveling dad rolls his eyes at this! 😂

Waking up in an ambiance of medieval city, we definitely had a fun time going around the city, checking out monuments and restaurants alike. 

Bratislava is kid friendly capital city. Although, we never really see that many kids. Really.

A picture says a thousand words, yes, but the conversations our family had during our family travels will be treasured by all members of the family. 

Enjoying Bratislava Castle and Danube River

As if our days in Bratislava couldn’t get any perfect… we present you, bookstores and street art!

If we see a good library or bookstore in any city, we’re stuck for sometime for sure — this bookstore in Bratislava definitely would have made it to top 1 if are more stories about the country

Bratislava can easily have been a day trip from Vienna or Budapest. But hey, not for our family. There are lots of see, lots of discussion to make. It’s that Little Big Country. 

COUNTRY 28: Hungary, More Than Expected 

“One cannot fight the wind. ” – Hungarian Proverb 
We got very inspired to write about our family travels when we were in Budapest, Hungary. We arrived at a conclusion that kids travel in Europe with Beauty and The Beast for two very obvious reasons , the continent’s natural beauty and it’s beastly barbaric history. Both great topics for worldschooling. 

For Country 28 of our 100 Countries travel goal, we explored Buda and Pest in great detail. We have walked both sides of Danube River admiring the landscapes and history of the country. We are very much aware that the country offers a lot of many diverse destinations, but this particular trip, we decided to simplify our country visit and get to know one of the most beautiful capital city in the world, Budapest. 

Budapest City Tour with Kids for several days is just what our #worldschooling family needs
Getting  to know the Danube River , the second longest river in Europe, serves a gateway for discussion of other countries the river runs through… and yes, more bucketlist and travel goals for the our worldschooling family – Black Forest, Romania, Belgrade. Oh the places we want to go when we visited places we’ve already been. Do you experience that as travellers? The more we know, the more we want!  
Danube River Cruise… uhhmm maybe someday!
 
The diversity of the metropolitan city is very evident. We were exploring St. Stephen’s Basilica one morning and the next morning, we were learning something new about Jewish faith inside the Great Synagogue, second largest synagogue in the world. 

Ice cream after exploring Basilica for the day. Very well deserved for well behaved explorers 😀

The Great Synagogue not only features learning about the Jewish faith but an introduction to the holocaust memorial for Jews. A little heavy discussion for the kids. Maybe next year , there will be more serious discussions about this topic. 

Inside The Great Synagogue

For this moment, in this country, is perfect. Not fighting the kids playful attitude in all sacred places we visited, not fighting the wind of change, trusting God’s will, going with the flow of the river.. Danube it may be. 😂 

There are lessons in every country we visit. We are not traveling with kids because of photos, but of moments we try to capture with our phone cameras. 

Just most of the time, we capture it so well, the memory of that certain place and certain time with kids melts our hearts. All the time. 

Flushed from all the running around Budapest (literally!) the view, the kids, the moment, perfect!

Budapest, Hungary is one for our books. The rest of the country… kids will decide . If Atlas is  a myth, Hungary definitely is not.