Travel with Children: Austria
You know how much I love to be home. My home is my haven, my sanctuary and my playground. But there's something magical about braving the great unknown.
For many of us, trips to Europe are on a bucket list of things we hope to get to someday when our kids are out of the house and we are retired. But it doesn't have to be that way! It's not impossible to travel with children (in fact, as a mom it feels more like same job different backdrop) and if you go about it the right way, you'll have a world of possibilities open to you!
As of this minute (in 2019), we have taken our two kids to the following places: Arizona, Kentucky, Chicago, Florida, California, New York, Johannesburg (in South Africa), Mosselbay (South Africa), Munich (Germany), Austria and Northern Italy. Our kids are SIX and THREE years old! My son took his first international flight at the age of five weeks. FIVE WEEKS OLD! Honestly, I found under three and over five to be the easiest travel ages. This past January we traveled to South Africa and my three year old had such a hard time with the jet lag... good thing we had a month there to adjust!
One of the best travel experiences we've had with our children was going to an all-inclusive mountain resort in the Austrian Alps. It was absolutely breathtaking and the resort was incredible.
This is Kinderhotel Almhof located in the little mountain village of Gerlos, Austria. With breathtaking views of the mountains all around it was a real treat to visit. But it offered SO MUCH more than that! The hotel has a petting zoo with pony rides around a beautiful lake, it has an indoor-outdoor pool with swimming lessons for the kids plus a separate toddler pool and an even shallower baby pool for the really small ones.
Our room was incredible! It was a suite with three bedrooms, a beautiful bath, a shower a closet and a balcony. The bathroom was outfitted with an adorable kid-friendly sink to help the little ones wash their hands and faces. The modern European minimalist decor was lovely, and I love seeing other architectural styles.
Every morning there's a fun little character named Almie that comes to breakfast to sing and dance with the children. (It was all in German, which I thought made it a great cultural experience as well) Lunch is served buffet style with an unbelievable array of delightful options to enjoy. Dinner is thoughtfully prepared and families can sit and eat together at assigned tables (much like on a cruise). What I found to be especially ingenious was the second dinner served for parents and grandparents once the children have been dismissed for kids club. Each evening, kids club offers fun activities, crafts and games so parents literally get a date night every night! Now THAT is vacation.
All the staff in the kids club are so sweet and at least one or two of them speaks English really well.
We made one or two trips away from the resort to bike around the villages, hike in the mountains and visit a nearby yogurt factory (which was delightful).
We also spent one entire morning riding bicycles through the foothills of the Austrian Alps, which was breathtakingly beautiful. When we stopped for lunch a strong wind picked up, and we started to see a thunderstorm of epic proportions roll in over the mountains. We realized we had to hurry back to the bike rental place, which was a pretty far way from where we were. We sped as fast as we could, with the storm visibly gaining on us, and literally catching up with us right as we pulled up to the rental place. It was intense.
All in all it was an incredible trip and I highly recommend it! If you have any questions about how we did it, be sure to ask in the comments below! Family vacations can be a total blast.