Best of New Orleans with Kids: Audubon Aquarium

Best of New Orleans with Kids: Audubon Aquarium

As soon as we entered the Aquarium, I knew our 2-year old was going to love it.  The entrance is decorated with 3 life size sharks; including a Whale Shark!  After a quick stop in the lobby for a preemptive potty break, we make our way around to walk through the Great Maya Reef.  I LOVE WALK-THROUGH AQUARIUMS.   This surrounding view of the sharks, sting rays and fish is impressive.  We walked through as three scuba divers were cleaning, feeding the fish and one was carving a pumpkin!! Yes, he was IN THE TANK carving his Halloween pumpkin!  It was humorous and impressive as he had to fend off several curious sting rays!

Read More

Best of New Orleans with Kids: Audubon Zoo

Best of New Orleans with Kids: Audubon Zoo

We recently traveled to New Orleans with our 1 & 2 year old.  We connected with the Audubon Institute to explore some of their attractions.  We were able to visit the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium!  Both are highly recommended....even if you're traveling without kids! 

Read More

25 Travel Must Haves for Babies & Toddlers

25 Travel Must Haves for Babies & Toddlers

"

We've traveled with a baby.  We've traveled with a toddler.  We've traveled with a baby AND toddler.   We've also traveled with a lot of crappy products and a lot of REALLY HELPFUL products. 

Here a list of the 25 BEST products we have used while traveling with our kids!"

Tavia

Read More

DockATot + Travel

DockATot + Travel

"Now, I don't know what voodoo is attached to this dang DockATot, but it worked a true miracle that only sleep deprived parents can fully appreciate.  It took our crappy sleeper and flipped her to sleeping champ.  A couple weeks after using it, she was sleeping through the night without waking at all.  We became functioning humans again."

Tavia

Read More

How To Successfully Travel with Breastmilk

How To Successfully Travel with Breastmilk

"Something we have had to deal with time and again is transporting breast milk either in a checked bag or carry on.  Both of our kids were/are breastfed.  There were times that we knew we would need a stash of milk upon arrival (for a babysitter), but there wouldn't be time to store up enough before we needed it.  I have put together several resources and tips for breastfeeding mothers who need or want to travel without worrying about their baby's breastmilk."

-Tavia

Read More

Paying for Travel: 9 Ways We Make It Work

Paying for Travel: 9 Ways We Make It Work

"One question I always get when people ask me about traveling is "How do you afford it?"  Well, let me be really honest with you: WE. ARE. NOT. RICH.  We do not have sponsorships. (Although I wouldn't turn them down ;) -- HINT HINT AIRBNB) WE PAY OUT OF POCKET FOR ALL OF OUR LEISURE TRAVEL. We are a military family with two kids living off of ONE paycheck.  The only answer I can think of is: Priority. We prioritize traveling.  We don't do huge home improvement projects, drive fancy cars, live in huge house, etc.  We put our money where our interests are: travel.  Here are 8 ways we are able to afford traveling more than once a year:"

Tavia

Read More

Harpers Ferry: 10 Tips for Planning a Trip with Kids

Harpers Ferry: 10 Tips for Planning a Trip with Kids

"We decided, this particular morning, to go to Harpers Ferry over going to Gettysburg. It was a last minute decision and I wasn't convinced it would even be worth the visit.  My step-dad described it to me as "a historical park with a city on a hill" -- and now we all know he is the WORST ever at describing awesome places.  Our time at Harpers Ferry was better than I could have ever hoped.  So much history, unbeatable nature & the weather could not have been more pleasant."

-Tavia

Read More

GUEST POST: Jenny - An Adventure Worth Taking

GUEST POST: Jenny - An Adventure Worth Taking

"My husband and I are missionaries in the Baltic States and frequently fly throughout Europe for meetings and conferences and to the United States for support raising and to visit family.  With that said, our kids see their bags packed and do not make a fuss about it.  They don’t see the need anymore.  I have a daughter that is 8 and a son that is 4."

Jenny

Read More

Travel Beds: Size Matters

Travel Beds: Size Matters

"There are a million options out there for Travel Cribs (AKA baby cots, pack n plays, etc).  I am not even about to go into comparing them ALL to each other, but I wanted to share this option since so many of my parent-friends are struggling with their tall toddlers and where they sleep on trips!"

Tavia

Read More

10 Reasons Why We love DAYTRIP

Our daughter and our lugage on a 5 hour train ride from Insbruck, Austria to Venice, Italy in 2015

Our daughter and our lugage on a 5 hour train ride from Insbruck, Austria to Venice, Italy in 2015

Have you ever traveled to Europe?  Are you planning a trip?  Have you gotten a little overwhelmed by public transit?  Does packing up your stuff and kids and hauling it to and from a train station seem daunting? 

Well, I was you.  I actually DID ride trains from Munich all the way to Sorrento with my 6 month old in 2015.  There were some long days, missed trains, and lots of running with a baby and luggage.

---> Click HERE to read about how I left my son and husband on ACCIDENT while riding a train from Vienna to Bratislava.

However, once we had our second baby and we were looking at TWO overnight train rides; one from Prague to Krakow and the other from Krakow to Vienna.  I was dreading it.  I knew we wouldn’t get ANY sleep.  I knew we would be so tired that our days in Poland would be really hard.  A few weeks before we left the States, I started looking for an alternative.  I found On Day Trip.

Smiling Faces.  Hand Shakes.  No kids.....I was skeptical.

Smiling Faces.  Hand Shakes.  No kids.....I was skeptical.

I will admit that I was skeptical.  It seemed too good to be true.  They advertise picking you up at your doorstep and dropping you off at your next.  They allow you to pick as many sights as you want to see along the way.  They allow you to stop when you want to eat or use the bathroom.  Their pictures show happy people and super clean cars.  I didn’t see any kids.  I went to TripAdvisor like I always do and read the reviews.  All amazing.  OK.  I need to know more.  I went to every single blog/site that had reviewed the company.  I decided they were legit and began the process to book.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO ON DAY TRIP: https://ondaytrip.com/

A screen shot of the actual website.  You can choose stops along the journey.

A screen shot of the actual website.  You can choose stops along the journey.

The website is EASY as pie to use.  I like that.  Once I entered my start and finish location, I was given options of where I could stop and each one had a description of how long the stop will be and what I would be seeing.  I loved that. I selected Prague to Krakow with a stop in Olomouc, Czech Republic where we would see the UNESCO World Heritage site: The Holy Trinity Column. Just before I checked out there was an area where I could leave a note, so I left a note saying that I would need TWO carseats (one for a 2-year-old and one for a 5-month-old).  ***Note: I was still not sure about the carseat situation, so I got on their live chat and confirmed that I would in fact have two carseats --- they assured me I would.

I repeated this process for Krakow to Vienna and selected Kromirez as our stop.

Our First Experience with On Day Trip

Travelers: 4 adults, 2 babies
Route: Prague to Krakow

The day before the trip I received a message with our driver’s phone number and confirmation time of pick up. 

The day of our scheduled trip the driver was outside our AirBnB about 10 minutes early.  He was in a bright green, very clean van.  He had both age-appropriate car seats as promised.  The driver, Ondra, was extremely friendly and even had some water bottles for us to drink in the car. His English was impeccable. He helped us load up all of our stuff and we were off.  We drove for about 3 hours before stopping just outside Olomouc for gas and a bathroom break.  Ondra never rushed us, so we got snacks and let our toddler stretch her legs in the grassy area.  About 15 minutes after we got on the road we were in Olomouc.  After a brief walk from where we parked we were in the city center.  Ondra had prepared some notes about the city and gave us a walking tour.  He also kindly took pictures of our whole family.  Again, he never rushed us.  He gave us many options on where we should eat lunch and we settled on the restaurant at the local university.  After lunch and a second leisurely walk, we started the second leg of the drive.  About 3 hour later we arrived in Krakow.  Ondra helped us unload our bags and we said our goodbyes. Overall, the experience was AWESOME. 

Our Second Experience with On Day Trip

Travelers: 4 adults, 2 babies
Route: Krakow to Vienna

Again, the day before the trip I received a message with our driver’s phone number and confirmation time of pick up.

This trip went as smoothly as our first.  Our driver, David, arrived a little early.  He helped load our luggage into the car.  His van came with an infant and toddler carseat already installed.  Just like last time, this van was huge.  We were all able to ride comfortably and the van was very clean.  We made one pit stop for snacks/restroom break before we made it to Kromeriz.  David was actually a Kromeriz local, so he knew exactly where we should eat.  He also gave us a nice quick walking tour.  He had several kids of his own, so he wasn’t put out when we had to stop for diaper changes or to nurse.  After we loaded back up it was a quick 2.5 hours to Vienna.  Once we arrived, he helped us unload and we parted ways.

Gangs all here.  We even managed to snap a pic before it started pouring rain!

Gangs all here.  We even managed to snap a pic before it started pouring rain!

We will travel with On Day Trip again and we HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT to solo OR family travelers and here are 10 reasons why.

  1. You don’t have to carry all your luggage/strollers across the city to a train station
  2. You don’t have to wait at train station
  3. You have the ability to pick and choose where you would like to stop and you get to really see parts of the country you would miss on a train
  4. If you use On Day Trip to get from city to city, you don’t need to bring your own carseats – they provide them
  5. They can accommodate as many or as few travelers as you have
  6. The company responds to emails/live chat quickly
  7. The drivers are professional and they own their own vans, so they are clean and well kept
  8. It can be cheaper than a train.  (It cost us 1000 Euro TOTAL for both hauls and it would have cost us 1200 for 8 overnight train tickets)
  9. You arrive directly at your next doorstep, so you don’t have to navigate a new city with all of your belongings/kids
  10. On Day Trip and their drivers do ALL THE WORK for that travel day.  You just get in the car and ride !

SCROLL TO SEE PHOTOS FROM OUR DAY TRIP DAYS!!!!!

I hope all of you take the time to look into this company for your next European romp and let us know if you do!!

Fly Brave.  Travel Often.  See everything.

-Tavia

Founder, www.bigbravenomad.com

DayTrip.png

I left my Husband and Still-nursing Son in Another Country on Accident

I left my Husband and Still-nursing Son in Another Country on Accident

"...I was pretty thrilled with myself because I knew I would have time to get seats and get situated and all Jimmy would have to do is get on the train and give us food!!  PERFECT!!  We board the train. (<-- WORST decision we make all day) My parent’s grab a table and the 4 seats and take Charletta with them.  I am battling bicyclists to get our giant double stroller on the train.  After they finally get their bikes loaded and I get the stroller situated the door to the train closes and the train starts moving. IT. STARTS. DRIVING. AWAY....."
-Tavia

Read More

From Florida to Virginia....and Back

From Florida to Virginia....and Back

"I imagined both kids crying (and probably me) crying the entire drive and me asking myself every 10 minutes why I wanted to do it in the first place. If you think this sounds dramatic, you’ve never driven in the car with a baby/toddler who is able to cry for four or more hours straight, who didn’t sleep AT ALL on an ELEVEN hour drive from Florida to Texas, and who’s cry is the same decibel as a firing rifle. Thankfully though trip went nothing like I imagined and I am so grateful."

-Tavia

Read More

New York City: 3 Babies in the Big Apple

New York City: 3 Babies in the Big Apple

"Eventually we made our way over to Rockefeller Plaza to the see the famous Christmas Tree and we walked through Times Square on our way.  We ended the evening like good tourists at a local Chinese restaurant where we were able to get the giant circular table in the back. It even had a giant lazy Susan in the middle. I felt like I was in a movie. The food was so delicious, the service was prompt and the company was fantastic.

Read More

Why Big Brave Nomad Chooses Airbnb

Why Big Brave Nomad Chooses Airbnb

"We’re in Tucson, Arizona staying at the JW Marriott since Jimmy is there for work. It’s 7:15pm, the baby is asleep and I hear the faintest clang of dishes in the hall.  Jimmy and I creep to the door, slowly open it (praying it doesn’t squeak too loud), and thank the hotel staff who just brought us our room service meal.  As we sit on the floor outside our room scarfing down delicious food and maybe a few beers/cocktails it dawns on me how drastically our travel accommodations have changed."

Tavia

Read More

5 Amazing Weeks in Montgomery, Alabama

5 Amazing Weeks in Montgomery, Alabama

"I can not believe it's been a year since our time in Montgomery.  They say the days are long, but the years are short and this year went by in the blink of an eye.  While this trip happened a while back, it is worth it for me to share my experiences because they were so positive and we really did have such a good time."

Tavia

Read More