Trial and error travel planning

Traveling with others is always a bit of give-and-take. So it went when we flew to Amsterdam with our two pre-teen grandchildren.  We put aside our usual travel style for one that would accommodate them.  Not everything worked, but when it did, we got some nice pay-back in return.

It may help you to know a few things we learned from a trip traveling with children. Strangely, we think most of what we learned would apply to companions of any age who would be joining you on your adventures.

Be prepared to stop and enjoy

The children had never been to the Netherlands, and there was a lot to see.  We enjoyed watching them observe their surroundings.

Ainsley and Luke loved the skill and artistry of this street performer…

…and tried to watch a game of chess in the Rijksmuseum garden, but the plays weren’t fast enough.

Try to agree on activities everyone will enjoy

We polled the kids before the trip and everyone wanted to go to museums.  We visited both the Van Gogh Museum and…

…the Rijksmuseum, which turned out to be Ainsley’s favorite activity of the trip.

We were all drawn to this piece when Joe realized he could capture both the artwork and us in one photo.

Another favorite activity was an evening cruise with Leemstart Amsterdam Canal Cruises.

The owner had a small boat holding no more than a dozen passengers, and we quietly glided down the canals, often passing raucous and large parties on bigger boats.  We all enjoyed the informative tour.

Enlist everyone in the planning

We asked Ainsley and Luke to look online and select three restaurants not far from our hotel where we could possibly dine in the evenings.  They chose restaurants with French, Indian, Indonesian, Dutch, and Asian cuisines.

Our favorite rmeal of the trip was at Mayur Indian Restaurant, selected by Ainsley in her research before the trip.  The atmosphere was lovely and the food was perfect. For us, all the meals were the highlight of the trip.  Luke and Ainsley were good conversationalists, and we enjoyed their company very much as accompaniment to the fine dining.

Expect to do things you wouldn’t normally do

Well, we don’t normally shop in souvenir shops or sporting goods stores, and, with a few rare exceptions (mostly in Asia), don’t do much more than window-shopping.  It was especially important to the kids to bring back just the right presents for their families.

Success came on the very first day for some of the gifts.

By the last day, Luke still had a few items to purchase, and Ainsley graciously agreed that we should all go to help Luke find what he needed.  In the end, Luke was successful, and they were both thrilled to find the perfect souvenir to take back home for themselves:

Hooded Sweatshirts!


When they were happy, we were happy.



June 2018

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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4 Responses to Trial and error travel planning

  1. Good advice. I suspect your grandchildren would be able to suggest a few things they learned from you too.

  2. Planning excursions that will please everyone is a difficult task but, with input from all, it looks like you were successful and coaxed a lot of smiles from Ainsley and Luke. And what fun to introduce your grandkids to places you love and share the experience with them! Anita

  3. Beth – Perfect end to your Nethlands adventure tale. Seems to me, your tips are good for all travelers. It’s never quite was what you plan, right? But always with times worth the remembering. Good for you – Susan

  4. Looks like you had a good time – something for everyone.

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