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Summer in Europe…Now What?

You’re living in Europe.

You have kids.School has ended. 

Your spouse can’t go away with you. 

And you want to go to the beach!

Here’s how you do it:


Remind yourself that this is a family trip.


Sometimes disappointment sets in because of unrealistic expectations.  Plan for the group – activities for the kids. This isn’t a solo adventure…although you might want it to be.


Look online for the cheapest flights. 


Usually it is with Ryan Air, Vueling, or Wizz Air. Within their website, search for the cheapest location you can go to. Be open to locations you may never have heard of, as long as the location offers the main things you want.

Remember -cheap airlines charge for luggage and food. 

So…each person carries a backpack only. (Yes, it is possible for kids to roll enough clothing into a backpack for 4-5 days of touring. Remember it is not a fashion show – as much as your 11 year-old may think otherwise.)

If you have young kids and a long plane ride, divide your trip into hours, wrap up a few small items from the dollar store or their room.  Each hour give them one to unpack.  They are so excited to open a gift occasionally, they are angels!

Go to places where you can use public transportation. Cars are expensive!



Book an Airbnb close to where most of the activities are.


Get the kids involved. Have each kid choose 1 thing that they want to do. You have the option to veto it. Include your choice too.

On your way to the Airbnb, stop at the grocery store.

Pick up shampoo and body wash, as well as breakfast and lunch fixings. Then, stop by the local bakery. Pick up some rolls. Eat breakfast at the apartment and pack your lunch with you when you leave to explore. Dinner is out on the town. 

Give each kid 20 Euro.  Tell them their food and shelter is covered, anything else (the trinkets they must have) will come out of that money.  This alleviates a lot of whining!



Sometimes the best first activity is a city tour bus ride.


That way you get a general overview of the city and if one of the kids doesn’t have an idea of what they want to see/do, they may get one.

Mind the clock and pack the snacks. The last thing you need is hangry kids. Prepack snacks in their backpacks (all the same even down to the number of M &M’s in the trail mix). Stop to eat prior to the time you know they usually eat. 


Roll with it!


You’ve planned it all out. You are almost to the museum that everyone wants to see but the kids spy a park.

Weigh the options—park and no museum, museum and the park afterwards, or just the park? Which would make your experience that much better?

Now, go explore! Culture is the best education!


*For more from Laura, check out her Experience Blogger Page.



  • Laura Holland

    An Army Brat, Spouse, and now MOM, Laura holds a Bachelor’s in Human Services Psychology and a Master’s in Education from Marymount University. She has taught elementary school in various roles and locations throughout the globe. During her time as an Army spouse, she held various positions in spouses’ clubs, school PTAs, layette programs, city planning committees, garrison leadership groups, and FRG leadership and senior spouse roles. She is the daughter of a career Army officer who moved 12 times across the US and Germany as an Army brat. She met her husband at her parent’s house in Heidelberg, Germany. Together, they have 4 children and have moved 11 times throughout the US, Germany, and South Korea. Her husband retired from the Army in 2021 after 31 years of service and now works for the Army in a senior civilian role. To top it all off, her oldest child is now a LT in Germany. Her support of the Army is not over!


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