Creating a visual guidebook of things to do with children in tow all over the world.
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Gimmelwald was the final stop on our Schilthorn journey and the one I was most excited about. Most of towns in the Swiss Alps are chock-full of tourists and the businesses that cater to them. Gimmelwald is different. Some wise resident saved the town from being turned into a ski resort by convincing developers it was an avalanche zone (it’s not). Now it’s a peaceful traffic-free town populated by cows and their farmers. We followed Rick Steve’s guided walking tour up and down the tiny main drag.
Our first stop was this amazing playground adjacent to the gondola stop. Our child refused to try the slide, but Alex and I both went rocketing out the end and nearly injured ourselves. Worth it. After tending to our wounds, we admired the charming flower-laden Swiss cottages and their associated cows. We perused deserted cheese shops operating on the honor system by encouraging us to leave our Swiss francs on the counter. And then we plotted how we could bring the simplicity and peace of this way of life back to LA. #getglobetrottingswitzerland #getglobetrottingschilthorn
Murren was the next stop on our slow journey down the Schilthorn. A fellow traveler tipped us off on a nearby playground that was not to be missed. We were feeling pooped from our hike so we took the CHF 9 funicular up to The Flower Park. This playground was so beautiful that it was half kids actually playing and half kid-free adults staging Instagram photoshoots. We played here for a while, ate our packed lunches, and then hiked the 1.5 mi back down to the gondola. This hike couldn’t have been more different than the previous hike. It was all lush countryside and cows and had us both (alright mostly me) belting The Sound of Music at every vista. #getglobetrottingswitzerland #getglobetrottingschilthorn
On our trips, I am the activity-finder and Alex is the navigator. It’s rare that he finds something he REALLY wants to do. When we got to the top of the Schilthorn, Alex spied a crazy steep hike down to the next stop. He begged me to do it with him instead of taking the gondola. I waffled a bit, but eventually trusted him because he rarely leads us astray. And that’s how we began descending a cliff of sliding shale. I complained a bit (ok a lot) and we didn’t dare let our child out of his hiking backpack, but it was one of the most amazing places we’ve ever hiked.
The trail was free of vegetation except edelweiss because we were high above the tree line. We had to scoot down some portions on our backsides but eventually we made it to the next stop, Birg. Birg has a free Thrill Walk perched over the edge of a massive cliff. I refused to let my toddler near it, but it would be cool for adults and older kids! Hike was 2.2 km (40 min without kids) and is free with your lift ticket. Wear good shoes. I wouldn’t recommend taking children on this unless they are confined to a backpack or very obedient. #getglobetrottingswitzerland #getglobetrottingschilthorn
I am all about cheap travel. However there are some attractions you MUST see if you make it all the way to a certain location. We did this on our Schilthorn Day in Switzerland! Most people go up the lift, see the top, and then go back down devoting about 2 hours to the expensive excursion. When we book something pricey, we do our best to milk the attraction so that our money stretches further. We planned a full day of adventuring on our way down the mountain and it was the most memorable day of our 3-week trip. We were exhausted by the end but mentally rejuvenated. We will look back on this day as one of those magical travel days that we can reminisce on during more mundane days of parenting.
We began our day by getting to the lift early (not early enough to score the before 8:55 AM 11 CHF discount thanks to toddler tantrums) and buying our passes. We added breakfast to our ticket from the ticket booth because it’s cheaper to buy it at the base of the mountain than the top. We then ascended 4 different lifts with spectacular mountain scenery. We alighted at the top and were greeted with panoramic snowy mountain views in the middle of summer. We then turned to an even more glorious view: an overladen breakfast buffet. We feasted on Swiss cheese, European pastries, various meats, fruits, and eggs in a glass rotating restaurant allowing us to eat and view simultaneously. The James Bond franchise used this lift as their filming location for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, so the entire place is Bond themed down to the bathrooms. According to Alex, the urinals encourage you to “aim like James!” Once we had eaten our fill, we perused the interactive Bond museum and danced a bit to the live Alpine band.
Prices: RT base of the mountain to the top (3 gondolas) CHF 105 for 16+. CHF 8 to add brunch at the base of the mountain, CHF 20 to add it at the top. Ages 5-16 are CHF 52.5, under 6 free! We treated these tickets as a Swiss Mountain theme park ticket. This was the only money we spent all day on food or anything else; see my next few posts to find out how! #getglobetrottingschilthorn #getglobetrottingswitzerland
Braved Disney with two toddlers and no other adults. We hit my favorite toddler-friendly attractions, ate snacks, and made it home in time for naps. I only had one panic moment when I stupidly set them free in Toontown and each kid bolted for a different car. Luckily another mom had my back and I left with the same number of children I came with.
Here are the best attractions for active toddlers in Disneyland: Casey Jr. Train, King Arthur’s Carousel, Small World, Mickey/Minnie’s Houses, Mad Tea Party, The Tiki Room, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Goofy’s Playground in Toontown. All the rest either too scary (honestly Mr. Toad freaks me out a bit too) or my kid tries to escape over the low walls (I’m looking at YOU Storybook Cruise). #getglobetrottingdisney
Voting day in the US of A! I love to see other countries, but I also love my own country. Here’s a place for you to take your kids: the polls on Election Day. I always watched my mom and sisters take their kids to the polling place wearing patriotic clothes. Today I got to do it too, although my kid had a major meltdown while I was filling out my ballot. I had to have Alex come bail me out. There’s still plenty of time for him to develop some patriotism. In the meantime, maybe we will vote by mail.
My purpose in creating this Instagram account and associated business is to challenge the idea that your life is over after you have kids. If I have one soapbox as a mom, this is it! You still get to be you as a parent. If traveling is a priority to you I want to help you make it happen. As parents we let our own happiness take a backseat to the happiness of our kids. This is a natural and normal part of having children. However, I would argue that some parents remove too much of what makes them happy from their lives. That’s why I created Get Globetrotting. I saw families who wanted to travel but didn’t understand how to do it without spending exorbitant amounts of money.
We enhance our parenting by spending our time and money on things that make us happy in turn allowing us to be better parents. We show our priorities by where we spend our time and money. After you have children, you have less time and less money, so it’s more important where you decide to spend both. Our priorities are four: our small family, church, our extended family, and our personal development. Every expense is to improve one of those four things. When we look at our budget this way, travel has to stay in it. What better way to show our priorities than to pay for experiences together as a family? Traveling with a child required adjustment and flexibility, but overall our child has bettered our life and our travels.
Because I believe in my mission, most of my effort goes into posting free budget travel ideas for this account. I am always open to answering travel questions in the comments. If you’d like a little more assistance I offer Budget, Standard, and Premium levels of service. I price them based on the amount of time I devote to each. All levels include a list of things to book in advance to avoid lines/sold out attractions, a personalized itinerary based on your kid’s ages/interests, an interactive map, and a budget snapshot so you know exactly how much you’ll be spending. Budget Service starts at just $25/trip. For more info and pricing on Standard/Premium Trip Planning Services check out my website (link in bio). #getglobetrottingsundaysunsets
I chose a lot of succulents for our yard because they are hard to kill and I love their funky shapes. While my mom and I were visiting various nurseries, I learned that my Grandma Fae kept an illegal succulent garden! In the 1950’s succulents weren’t trendy or even readily available at nurseries. During their frequent road trips to visit family in Utah, my Grandpa Karl would pull over in the middle of the desert and work on teaching his three boys how to shoot guns. Fae used this time to search for interesting plant specimens. She dug up the best ones up and carefully replanted them in her desert garden. For a less illegal succulent experience, visit Moorten Botanical Gardens in Palm Springs. Every plant is carefully labeled and the variety is unreal! Don’t miss the Cactarium which houses all the rarest desert plants. It’s $5/adult, $2/kids under 15, and free for kids under 5. #getglobetrottingpalmsprings