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Babcia and Yia Yia!, Intro To Travel Lit

‘Tis The Season For Travel Lit

Okay! We know! Traveling during the holidays is usually far more of a hassle than a great experience. While some of us get the pleasure of enjoying a true travel experience under the tree, most of us are either tucked in at home or schlepping somewhere we’d rather not. We hear you and we know you are calling out for a little help. Our response to this SOS is to work on your library. Books? YES!

These days, we’ve been totally inspired by the curated library on the Holland America Rotterdam cruise ship. It was completely curated to reflect a traveler’s interests. It got us thinking that sharing a curated list of books and book inspired moments for the traveler may be the best way we can wish you the best of spirits this season. So, pour a glass of wine, get yourself a great latte, and get comfy under your favorite blanket. Let’s travel, book style! 

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Use books to start your next travel dream

We can’t get enough of the grand libraries and bookshops of the travel world. Book lovers everywhere are always keeping an eye out for those amazing little places that can never be anything but delightful. Be sure to seek out the bookshops and libraries in the destination that you are going to visit. Carve out time to find the dusty corners and the sleepy cats who supervise all of the stacks! We suggest that you plot out your latest reads with this amazing find: Plotted: A Literary Atlas

Some of our favorite- but not always famous- bookstores that are worth your time are:

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  • Shakespeare and Co., Paris: Let’s talk about the line! This most famous of bookstores on the banks of the Seine can have quite the queue! But it stands the test the time. Make enough time to at least walk by it.
  • The Red Wagon in the St. Germain area of Paris: Children’s and adult books are just steps from Luxembourg Gardens.
  • The American Bookstore on Spui Square in Amsterdam: A long held American outpost, this is the place to grab a quick read before sitting down at a canal side cafe.
  • The Strand in NYC- books as decor are on display on every single wall. This bookstore is a piece of art unto itself and is our bonus pick!

Connect to your reading in more ways than one

We can’t get enough of how digital media has made book reading more accessible and portable while giving us book junkies a way to connect and share. Two of our favorites are Audible which allows you to listen to books at your own pace and Goodreads, a book loving community that let you connect and create goals to aspire to. While both of these services are by Amazon, we are not partners with them but we do love this cute little page holder that makes a perfect stocking stuffer! We’ve been busy reading and have some great picks for all kinds of travelers. We’ve added an Amazon link to each pic to make it easier to connect with these fabulous reads!

For The True Academic:

Babcia says: Go back in time and find out how the world changed as each drink was formulated. It’s fun to try and guess what they are before cracking this book open and it’s more fun to learn how they influence us to this day.

Yiayia says: Enjoy this heart-wrenching Holocaust survivor’s story. This story demonstrates that the power of love can see us through the darkest parts of our lives. Lily was liberated in 1945. She is an extraordinary woman who speaks out on the hope that evil would not happen again.

For The Romantic:

Babcia says: The first in a series of easy breezy romance stories, Julie Caplin creatively sets the scene for her classic boy meets girl stories all over the globe. Fun and fast, this is a quick read for any romance reader.

Yiayia says: Opa! When things fall apart where should you head? Santorini of course. Enjoy this romance novel on the beautiful Greek Island. Take in the blue tiled villas and turquoise waters. Let the love and beauty of Santorini wash away all your sadness!

For the Power Planner:

Babcia says: This travel journal keeps memories in an easy to update format. It’s a can’t miss for me and I so enjoy adding to it every now and then.

Yiayia says: Who doesn’t have a bucket list? If not, get started. This book gives you places all around the world guaranteed to meet all your desires. You will find hidden gems, cathedrals, castles, etc. to make your trip complete. So stop dreaming about it and get out and do it.

For The Logistics Lover:

Babcia says: Getting organized has never been so polite and Marie Kondo’s philosophy of getting organized can help any traveler reduce and streamline to better focus on the long range travel plans we all crave.

Yiayia says: With the big movement of minimalism, this book is on target. The Swedish author, Margareta Magnusson, provides an element of humor to a daunting task. Get rid of things that are not needed and are just taking up space. Hold on to those things that are dear to you and family. Start cleaning!

For The busy busy mamas

Babcia says: with so much in the news, this book gives you a good look at how certain reads wound up being banned. It makes you want to enjoy a little taste of Kansas City’s great banned books landscape.

Yiayia says: This is a must read when planning a family vacation. This is a great assistant to the busy mom. It will give you great options from cruises to all inclusive resorts.

For the Murder Mystery Maniac

Babcia says: It’s a classic and it’s well travelled Christie brings her characters to life in this must read who done it.

Yiayia says: Reading a good mystery should be on everyone’s list. This one takes you on a destiny wedding off the coast of Ireland. Meet all the wonderful characters and decide who done it!

For the Outdoorsy Enthusiasts

Babcia says: Get back to basics as you explore the great outdoors and learn what nature is really saying to you.

Yiayia says: “I now walk into the wild.” Follow Christopher’s unconventional life choice as he leaves friends, family and job behind and heads into the wild of Alaska.

For the European Wanderer

Babcia says: You can’t miss when you get a story from a great piece of art and that’s exactly what Theresa Chevelier does with Girl With A Pearl Earring.

Yiayia says: You don’t want to pass this on by. Go along with Katy as she takes a trip she is has been waiting years to take to Positano. She is only missing one thing, her mom. Journey with her and witness how she reconciles with the past.

And one for the kiddos!

Lauren Pelkey Wally the Wandering Wallaby! This great first look at how amazing the world can be! We had the pleasure of chatting with Lauren and learning all about her travel journey and how she became a children’s author. Check out our conversation in our podcast. You can click the link below.

Try This Scandinavian Tradition

Take on the Icelandic custom of Christmas Eve reading. Pop some popcorn, put on some low music and have everyone crack open a brand new book. Happy holidays! Love, Babcia and Yiayia!

Notes on Planning and Packing, Travel U for Kids

Gift Experience!

gift experience to unleash the global citizen in each of us

As everyone is out and about on Black Friday tracking down all those deals, I’m sitting back enjoying a little well deserved me time. After all, I did 16 hours in the kitchen yesterday! So, why am I not out there hoofing it from store to store? I gift experience! My gifts to my family focus on experience! I am a true fan of the gift card, the ticket, and the voucher. You may think that gifting like this is a bit impersonal and doesn’t hold the thrill of a traditionally wrapped box. I beg to differ. I am a fan of promoting the global citizen in all of us by experiencing the world around us. Here are five ways to infuse experience into your gift giving this season.

Add a friend!

If you are gifting a trip to the zoo (A great first start! Zoos are underrated!), add a stuffed zoo buddy with the tickets so there’s a little something to hug in the moment and something to look forward to a little later on. Consider other add ins like t-shirts, sunglasses, accessories, or other event specific gear to add in to the gift. It doesn’t have to be big, just a good match to the experience.

Plan ahead!

Gifting an experience like going to a national park or theme park? Add in a camera to save those memories. Cameras come in all shapes and sizes these days and there’s one that’s just perfect for the trip and your price point! Not a fan of another piece of equipment to lug around? Me too! How about a small lens to add to your iphone camera? Those work too!

Make it fun!

One way to make a gift fun is to make it an experience in itself. How about a scavenger hunt? Perhaps a gingerbread house building contest? Maybe an ornament hunt is just your style.(Think Easter egg hunt in the winter.) No matter what the experience, have a few reindeer games to make it fun!

Match it up!

Tickets to a concert? Add the CD! Passes to a museum? Add a field guide! No matter the destination, a companion gift is a perfect pairing for your experience. Mouse ears are great if your headed for Disney and a pasta making kit could be just the thing if you are going to Rome. Perhaps this is your first travel experience and your young recipient needs a piece of luggage.

Read all about it!

No matter the experience, no matter the destination, there is a book to support your experience. Fiction and non fiction options are endless! Guide books, stories of destinations, historical accounts, and notable novels all work like a charm. If your interested in something more personal, a journal or a day planner may be just the right fit. Note that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too!

No matter the age, no matter the interest, there’s an experience out there that’s just the right match for the loved ones on your list. Happy holidays!

There’s plenty to experience!

There are tons of great last minute ideas for great last minute gifts that focus on experience. Some are big and some are small. Here’s hoping you find all kinds of fun and creative gifts for the ones you love!

  • Escape Rooms
  • Hunting and fishing experiences
  • Concert or live performance tickets
  • Art classes at a museum or local studio
  • Movie tickets
  • Food crawls
  • Zip lining experience
  • Hot air balloons or sky diving
  • Unique restaurant experiences
  • Museum tickets

Looking for more? Check out our eco friendly picks, our subscription box picks, and our 2021 gift guide for plenty of great picks!