Savoring International & Dutch Cuisine in Amsterdam with Kids {Amsterdam Food Tour Review}

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link & I may have been invited as a guest for free or a reduced rate.

Where to Eat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a melting pot, home to 176 different nationalities. With all this ethnicity, it’s no wonder the food is incredible.  You can taste authentic Dutch cuisine or sample dishes from around the globe without the hassle of another plane trip.

While it’s true that Amsterdam is a hotspot for food enthusiasts, it is also a tourist mecca. This influx in tourism means that a significant number of dining establishments are sub-par and cater to the ever present flow of travelers. Having been in Amsterdam for several days before our food tour, I can attest to the wide range of mediocre dining establishments.

Navigating the great food spots in Amsterdam is best left to the professionals. That’s why I was pleased to hook up with Eating Amsterdam Tours, to learn the ins and outs of where to dine and what to eat while visiting this bustling city.

History of Amsterdam

Old warehouse in Amsterdam. A pulley on the top of the building was once used to haul up goods.

Our local guide led us through the Jordaan neighborhood, commenting on local sights and history, then delivering us to our  food rendezvous. We were filled up with both tantalizing dishes and knowledge that you just can’t get on your own.  Did you know the Dutch used to eat tulip bulbs?

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In the Clouds: Visiting Zermatt, Switzerland & the Matterhorn with Kids

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link & I may have been invited as a guest for free or a reduced rate.

Visiting Zermatt, Switzerland & the Matterhorn

Gornergrat is part of the Pennine Alps, near the prestigious city of Zermatt in Switzerland.  It can be reached from Zermatt by the Gornergrat rack railway which is the highest cogwheel railway in Europe. The ride itself from Zermatt to Gornergrat is an experience that should not be missed when visiting the city.

As we ascended the mountain from Zermatt, I found myself yawning constantly – not from lack of sleep but from altitude.  As you creep into the clouds, the trees become more sparse and the lush landscape of the mountain gives way to something almost barren.  It’s fascinating to witness the changes of nature as you climb the mountain in the comfort of the train.  Just five stops along the line and we had reached our destination, Gornergrat, the final stop of the railway.

A quick picture of the train as we're running to jump on before it leaves the station in Gornergrat.

A quick picture of the train as we’re running to jump on before it leaves the station in Gornergrat.

Listen closely to the creaks of the train as it catches the tracks,  clink – clanking all the way to the top during the 30 minute ride.

Marvel at the heights you will attain (or view) on your journey:

  • Zermatt 1630 m (5348 ft)
  • Gornergrat 3089 m (10135 ft)
  • Matterhorn 4478 m (14692 ft) – view
Kids posing with Wolli at Gornergrat

Kids posing with Wolli at Gornergrat

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Things to Do in Châtel, France with Kids {in Summer}

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link & I may have been invited as a guest for free or a reduced rate.

Things to Do in Châtel, France with Kids in Summer

If you’re considering a trip to the French Alps, Châtel must be on your list of destinations.  It would make a great home base from which to explore all that the spectacular Alps have to offer.

Chatel has the Famille Plus Accreditation, meaning that parents can rest easy knowing there are accommodations, restaurants, activities and hospitality services designed just for families.  This endorsement is based on continual examinations, so you know the  resort makes a concerted effort to uphold the high standards required.

Things to Do in Châtel, France with Kids:

Summer Lifts in Chatel, France

Ride the summer lifts – In summer, the ski lifts are in operation to transport visitors up and down the mountains.  There are four lifts open, providing access to various points on the peaks.   Riding these turned out to be one of my kids favorite activities.  They loved the aerial views of Châtel and the surrounding countryside.  Plus I think it was just something new for them, so they wanted to ride up and down as many times as we would allow.  What kid doesn’t love rides?!

Ride the lifts (as many times as you want) for no additional fee with the purchase of a Multi Pass.

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Soaring Through the Sky in Châtel, France {Fantasticable Review}

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link & I may have been invited as a guest for free or a reduced rate.

Fantasticable Review Chatel, France

If your travels take you anywhere near Châtel, France, give this means of transportation a try! Take a flight with Fantasticable.  Of course you won’t be going far, but strapped comfortably into a harness,  you’ll soar over the hamlet of Plaine Dranse at a height of more than 200 meters, seeing the sights from a different perspective.  It is a exhilarating experience with breathtaking views that should not be missed.

As part of K’s 11th birthday celebration, my family went on Fantasticable rides.  K and Derrick each rode alone while Lucy (8) and I rode double.  She was just at the weight mark to ride by herself, but we wanted to experience the thrill together and, to be honest, we were a little chicken to fly solo!

Kids all geared up and ready to soar.

Kids all geared up and ready to soar.

The first line is 1257 m (4124 ft) long and 150 m (492 ft) high.  Adventurers go between 80 and 100km/h (50 – 62 mph), depending on the weight of the passenger and the wind conditions.  Since Lucy and I rode tandem, I figure our combined weight had us going closer to the 62 mph mark!

The second line is the longest and highest of the two – 1323 m (4341 ft) long and 240 m (787 ft) high.  The maximum speed is 120km/h (75 mph).

Derrick getting locked into his harness waiting for the countdown.

Derrick getting locked into his harness ready to fly.

It’s an incredible experience!  The ride is smooth, but the wind whipping by your ears as you fly through the air will keep your heart pumping.

K made a video of his adventure.  Watching him soar over the mountain beats the written word at describing this thrill.

Can’t see the video? Click HERE

Rates:
36€ per person

Restrictions:
Weight must be between 35 and 120kg but can vary depending on wind conditions.

Access:
Use the Pierre-Longue then the Rochassons chair lifts.  You will see the building to get weighed and your gear to the left once you exit the final lift.  Make sure to purchase your tickets at the base of the mountain.

Website:
http://www.fantasticable.com/chatel_anglais.php

Mom and Lucy on Fantasticable

Mom and Lucy on Fantasticable

 

K flying with Fantasticable

K flying with Fantasticable

We would love to hear about your experience with Fantasticable or similar zip line companies.

Don’t miss our article on things to do with kids in Châtel, France for more fun ideas.

Where to Zip Line in Chatel, France

Disclosure:  Our experience was courteous of Châtel Tourism.  As always, all options are 100% my own and may differ from others.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Money Saving Tips: 28 Tips to Keep Money in YOUR Pocket

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link & I may have been invited as a guest for free or a reduced rate.

Save-money-on-Royal-Caribbean-1

Are you planning a cruise?  There is a plethora of cruise money saving tips to help you save money during your next vacation on the high seas.  Some of these tips are specifically for Royal Caribbean, but most will work for all cruise lines.

Cruises can be an affordable travel option – if you avoid being nickel-and-dimed at every turn, once your on board.  Follow these Caribbean cruise money saving tips & tricks to stay on budget.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Money Saving Tips

Booking Tips:

:: Book last minute –  Booking last minute cruises can save you a ton of money.  If you’re flexible with your schedule & room type this is a great way to cruise for less.  Look for cruises going out within the next few weeks.  Cruise lines don’t want to sail with empty staterooms, so you can usually find a good deal.  Payment will be due immediately for last minute bookings,  so keep that in mind.

Booking these types of cruises are most economical if you’re within driving distance to the port or you’ve confirmed that you can get inexpensive airfare prior to booking.

:: Book early – Conversely, you can find good deals if you book 6 – 9 months prior to sailing.   If you know when you want to cruise or have a specific room type and location you want, it’s best to book early. Sometimes early bookings come with incentives on room rates or even airfare.

If you are planning an Alaska cruise, premium rooms fill up quickly, particularly those with a view or balcony.  The sea and land tours can fill up a year in advance.  Always plan for these types of cruises well ahead of time.

:: Book cruises 2-3 months prior to sailing –  Royal Caribbean requires final payment 60 days prior to the sailing date for 3, 4, or 5-night cruise vacations, 75 days prior to the sailing date for 7-night or longer cruise vacations, and 90 days for holiday (Christmas and New Year’s) cruises.  If you looked at a cruise but found it to be above your budget, check back on these dates to possibly get a better rate.  People cancel or simply don’t make final payment.  Cruise lines want to fill these rooms, so you may be able to take advantage of cancellations.

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