Meet the Zeliff Family
Derrick, Dana, K (12) and Lucy (10) are Americans living in Nice, France. In 2015, we sold it all and moved from Virginia to France! It wasn’t easy, but it’s been a rewarding experience for the entire family. Join us as we travel Europe learning all about the culture, language and food in your favorite and little known European destinations.
We love the expat lifestyle so much that we extended our French residence again in 2017, and will keep Nice as our home base for another year of travel. The kids have excelled in France soaking up the language, making friends from all over the world and turning into little foodies.
To date, we have visited 26 counties and 3 continents as a family. See our 2015 in review to learn about our European adventures that took places mainly in the summer and during school breaks.
We love exploring Europe and the U.S. as well as cruising and relaxing in family friendly all-inclusive resorts.
About Dana is the writer, photographer, social media director and visionary behind The Talking Suitcase. Dana is a professional blogger and has been sharing how to save money for over 7-years on her other blog, The Coupon Challenge. When not blogging, she can be found worldschooling her two children, reading or planning their next adventure.
About Derrick is a pipefitter turned family chef, co-blogger and amateur videographer. He jumps on board whenever Dana gets a
crazy new travel idea. He’s the master of researching, planning and mapping out the best places to see, stay and eat in a new area.
Derrick & Dana both grew up traveling. Dana’s family enjoyed a more luxury travel lifestyle traveling within and outside of the U.S.A., while Derrick’s family enjoyed the great outdoors, camping and hiking the Western U.S. National Parks.
One thing about family travel, it’s not always about the kids! We’ve enjoyed many couples trips to destinations such as California, Las Vegas, Cancun and the Bahamas.
Our goal is to travel in comfort while staying within our means. Travel is no fun when you come home to a huge credit card bill. Learn what luxuries are a must for your family and which you can go without. That way you can travel more often!
Dana is a hotel snob, so skimping on accommodations isn’t possible. We have also learned that guided tours can make traveling easier. To balance, we don’t eat out every day. We cook in (if possible) and limit our eating out at each destination. We get a taste of local food, but also learn what it’s like to live like a local – shopping at the markets and grocery stores. It helps that hubs is a good cook!
We also walk instead of jumping in a cab. It’s easy on our wallets, better for our health and we see more of the local area. When staying at a destination for a week, we usually rent an apartment. It’s cheaper and there is more room to spread out and cook meals. That saves us money for nicer hotel accommodates when necessary. We’ve also learned tricks to save money on the things we want to do.
For example: Don’t pay full price for a cruise! Travel in the off season or search for deals online. Balance is key to family luxury travel. Set a budget before you travel and stick to it. It’s not the amount of your budget, it’s how you choose to spend it. Do you agree?
About The Talking Suitcase
The Talking Suitcase is dedicated to showing parents that they can still travel the world with kids. Travel doesn’t have to end just because you’ve added kids to the mix! We focus on travel with older kids – teens and tweens while highlighting our favorite kid-friendly destinations, share some our experiences as expats in France, provide tips for traveling well while staying within your budget, and even make you drool over some the food from our adventures.
Many people feel that once they have kids, their days of seeing the world must come to an end. Yes, traveling with kids can be challenging. BUT it’s also a rewarding experience for both parent and child.