“A” is for Austria, “B” is for Bregenz

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Austria is one of our favorite countries to spend time in.  It has abundant opportunities for families in both city and country environments. This month I will highlight the areas we’ve been able to explore with our children.  Some trips I did without my husband and some I did with him.  And since it is my goal to start this year off by highlighting one country a month in alphabetical order, I’ll start our Austrian locations in order too.  First up is a Bregenz, a small town on Lake Constance (Bodensee in German).

“The Bodensee” or Lake Constance in English is the German/Austrian equivalent of the French Riviera.  Many native Germans and Austrians will have spent a few weeks of their life here at some point.  Bregenz, Austria sits right on the lake.  Yet this town is also right at the base of a large mountain range.  We only spent the day here but it was a wonderful stop for the kids.

Here are the highlights for children…

1. Walk around the Lake’s pedestrian promenade and take in the beautiful sights, then sit at a cafe and have delicious ice cream creations all while taking in the beauty of the lake.

A yummy ice cream mustache.

A yummy ice cream mustache.

2. Take the Pfänderbahn funicular up to the top of the mountain. It’s walkable from the marina. We easily took our stroller with us into the cable car and each station at the top and bottom had a wonderful play area for the children to entertain themselves on days when the wait was long to get on the cable cars.  http://www.pfaenderbahn.at/en/

Little explorers.

Little explorers.

Checking out the lake from the cable car.

Checking out the lake from the cable car.

3. Once you arrive at the top, you are immediately met with a “kinderparadies” (A children’s paradise).  The first thing that will catch their eye is the playground, with a towering slide.  Then off to the side they may notice the animal “farm” of boars, mountain goats and other native animals of the region.

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4. There were several trails for easy strolling to advanced hiking that all began at the top station of the Pfänderbahn.  We set off on one leading to an open grass field where my boys looked like they were trying to recreate a scene from The Sound of Music.


5. Use this town like we did; a starting off point for the “KäseStrasse” or “Cheese Road” in English.  Not a road in the traditional sense but a collection of towns in this area that all make wonderful and unique to the region cheeses.  It will not only be a fun but delicious vacation! http://www.bregenzerwald.at/w/en/kaesestrasse-bregenzerwald

10 Reasons To Make Traveling Abroad With Your Kids a New Year’s Resolution.

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I admit, I am jumping on the bandwagon of new year’s resolution blog posts. Finding time to finish writing and posting about all of our trips is high on my list this year!  So here it is, a challenge for you to add something that I’m sure many moms and dads have considered, and perhaps dismissed….travel more with your children.  I know what some of you moms (and dads) might be thinking, a trip to the grocery store without kids can feel like a vacation, so why would traveling WITH kids to a foreign country be fun?! It’s a feat in itself just to pack them up to take them to the park or the library for an hour let alone a one to three week vacation overseas!  But here me out, the hassles you will face when traveling with your kids are not really any more difficult than if you stayed at home with them today.  So why not get out and experience something new!  Here are a few reason to try to convince you that it’s worth the perceived hassle to pack those bags up and hit the jetways.


At an art gallery in Strasbourg, France.

1.  You will create life-long learners and explorers.

2.  Traveling sparks curiosity and wonder, traits that can spill over into learning about new things in school.

3.  They develop a unique awareness of other cultures that can allow them to explore new ways of thinking.

4.  It provides an opportunity for them to learn how to behave in different social settings.

5.  Because watching your child(ren) interact on the playground with other children speaking 2-10 different languages reminds us that laughter is the universal language!


6. Long train and airplane rides give you a chance to have all of those conversations you mean to have with your kids that life often gets in the way of letting you have.

7. Seeing how other people live, whether in worse or better conditions than their own, shows children how people can be happy in many different lifestyles.

8. Interesting and unique travel scenarios (good and bad!) strengthen the bond between family members.

9.  Because Venice could sink before you get to see it!  Seriously!

But on a very serious note, one of my favorite reasons for traveling with my kids is that…

10. Your children will teach you more new things on a trip about their abilities and character (and your own!) than you ever imagined.

So break out that Atlas, spin that globe or simple stay tuned to my blog and start planning your next (or first) big adventure abroad with your little ones!