Babcia and Yia Yia!, Travel U for Kids

Travel U: Family Game Night

We are always searching for ways to enjoy travel whether we are out and about or stuck at home. Join us as we check out some fun games for travelers! While everything is at your fingertips just below, don’t forget to join us for our podcast chat by clicking here!

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Games To Keep your Wanderlust in Check

Check out these games that will keep you travel happy when you are grounded! Some are tech friendly and others are old fashioned.

  • The Backpacker App Super fun and easy to use. Backpacker tests your knowledge of different places around the world with tons of multiple choice questions.
  • Worldle on Facebook! Check out the geographic cousin to that addictive word game!
  • Rules of Mahjong This ancient game is a great way to learn strategy and a bit of cool culture at the same time.

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!

Join us for the conversation on our podcast, Babcia and Yia Yia Travel The World, where we chat about these games for travelers and SO MUCH MORE!!!!!

Games To Travel With

For games on the go, check out these great picks that immerse you in culture or keep you busy on the road.

  • Menu Games for kids! We are big fans of setting kids up for success! This simple checklist game will let you try foods before, during, and after your trip.
  • Uno Easy, portable, classic.
  • Backgammon This centuries old game is popular in places like Turkey. Know the rules and join in!
  • Chess. This game has international rules and is a great strategy session. Find chess players in Poland.
  • Poker. A deck of cards and a simple round of 7 card stud makes friends in all kinds of places!
  • FIFA Football/Soccer If you plan on traveling in June and July, check out the scoreboard and countries in line to wine the world cup. It will be celebrated and be lots of fun, so being in the know can be a great experience!
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Intro To Travel Lit

10 Movie Classics To Inspire Any Traveler

I know! You’ve had enough! Like me, you want a plane ticket and you want out! Well, while we still wait for the green travel light, we can all continue to dream a little. Wanderlust is a tough feeling to quell when you can’t get out there and feed the addiction and the closest things we have to traveling right now may be through our television screens. So, here they are. My list of 10 movies to inspire your wanderlust: Europe edition. I literally have had these movies on repeat all summer long so at least I can dream!

Murder On The Orient Express

Legendary, cinematic splendor awaits you in this 1974 masterpiece. Agatha Christie lets you time travel back to 1935 when train travel was the ultimate luxury. As the mystery unfolds, the traveler in all of us can’t help but pick up on the little details like how hats were packed or how compartments were constructed to use every little space. As the train travels from Istanbul across the continent toward Calle, it’s hard not to assign yourself a compartment and dream about helping dear Poirot solve the unsolvable.

One note, Albert Finney’s Poirot has quite the accent and Agatha Christie leaves a treasure trove of clues for the viewer to follow. It’s possible to miss a few key moments without hitting the rewind button. This is literally my favorite movie of all time, with more than 40 viewings to my name, I still find gems every time I watch. You won’t regret watching this one over and over.

Update: Both the remake of this movie and the iconic Death on The Nile are available. Of the two, I highly reccomend the original for “Orient” and Kenneth Brannaugh’s new version for “Nile”.

The Sound of Music

Let’s start at the very beginning. This epic masterpiece by Rogers and Hammerstein has had families singing along for decades now. I mean, who doesn’t Julie Andrews? And while we are all singing about champagne and mountains and nuns, our inner traveler can breathe in climbing every mountain and skipping down cobblestone streets. Just. Like. Julie.

Let’s not forget the serious story of how WWII reshaped Europe (and the Pacific) forever. It’s an important topic for any traveler headed to Europe and this is a great movie to start that conversation.

The Zookeeper’s Wife

10 movies to inspire your wanderlust

Warsaw. 1939. All hell is breaking loose as Hitler invades Poland. While all of this is going on, the zoo’s residents still need looking after. This true story delves into what it meant to try to find life in the midst of destruction and how to help humanity in the face of adversity all while trying desperately to save the animals in the zoo.

From total destruction, Warsaw rose from the ashes and rebuilt itself and saved its zoo that still stands today. When travelers come across stories like these, it helps define the resilience of a people and allows one to appreciate where they are so much more.

Monuments Men

Robert Edsel’s account of how a band of soldiers came together to save the very art we all travel to see is quite unbelievable. As D-day shifted the war into retreat, Hitler was intent on using a systematic program to strip Europe of its masterpieces. This end of war story tells how the program was dismantled and the art was recovered.

Take a minute and gather up the enormity of the situation. So much of what we look at when we go to museum after museum is featured in this movie. No traveler could walk away from this underappreciated story without a little more respect for what it took to get things to look like they do today.

Julie and Julia

What words can I use to explain how wonderful Julia Child was? Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are masters of their craft as they bring us the story of France’s ultimate fan girl, Julia Child. Meawhile, Amy Adams struggles to find her place in the world over in New York City and uses Julia as her inspiration. Paris. New York. Paris. New York.

Travelers will adore this post war look at Paris with touches of Normandy. The foodie in all of us will adore recipe after recipe that Julie and Julia whip up. Watch it then go make some macrons.

The DaVinci Code

The second installation in this Dan Brown series sets itself in Paris, London and Scotland. Following the code found in art at the Louvre, this twisty tale unwinds with symbol after symbol. While the movie in no way can compare to the incredible detail that was researched for the book, it does allow for sweeping views of some amazing European icons.

Travelers will adore a peek into The Louvre after hours. Paris shines as a member of the cast and lends that spark to both London and Scotland as the movie continues. Let me just start planning that next trip!

Eat. Pray. Love.

Life changes. Man, those changes can be tough. So, Liz needs to figure out what her next move is. The good news for us travelers? She has our dream job. Liz travels the world writing. while she struggles to find herself, Liz gives us a sense of Rome, an interesting take on a small slice of India, and a breezy bit of Bali.

It seems that Liz eventually finds a little peace after she learned to balance all of her eating, praying, and loving. Lucky for us, we can travel with her until she figures it out.

Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels

This 80’s throwback is all about two dirty, rotten… well you get the idea. These two cons take on a new mark in Europe and inappropriate hi jinks ensue. Travelers will enjoy the grandeur of the setting. Laugh, enjoy, and wish that you could be there too.

Mamma Mia!

Opa! Donna and the Dynamos are back together to throw a wedding for Donna’s beloved daughter. Men show up and chaos (a Greek word by the way) and Abba music ensue. Sing along as we traipse around this stunning gem of a Greek Island.

While most of the film was shot in studio, you can dance and you can jive on the islands of Skopelos, Skiathos, and Vis where all the water shots were filmed. Although, if you have a dream to see the chapel on the top of the hill, it’s not there. That’s CGI magic at work. So, get your dancing shoes on and take a chance on this sing along!

In Bruges

Dark, funny, and tragic all at the same time, In Bruges is about two Irish assassins, a midget, and some culture. I’ll leave it at that. Travelers will appreciate Ken’s love of art and site-seeing as he tours some of the icons of the small cities. However, I can’t discount that when I travel I sometimes feel like Ray and just want to pull up a stool for a pint at the pub.

One last note.

Seven of these films started their lives as books and the teacher in me would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the books that preceded these great picks are far more detailed and intimate. They may be 10 movies to inspire your wanderlust, but, always read the book first!

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Intro To Travel Lit

5 PBS Picks For Every Traveler

I have a confession. I’m a TV junkie! As much as I love to travel, I love channel surfing equally. Predictably, I am always looking for shows that bring me somewhere around the world on a guided tour. I grab my remote and my Listography book and go destination dreaming. It used to be rather easy in the early days of the Travel Channel to digitally travel the globe. But these days it seems like ghosts and ridiculous scandalized history fill up the time slots there and you’ve got to search the channel listings elsewhere. Where does one go to calm their inner traveler? Where can you go to ensure that you are still educating yourself as a global citizen? The most surprising place these days is that rock of television education, PBS.

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You may not have checked on PBS since your Sesame Street Days or you may think that the only thing you will find for adults is historical British drama on Masterpiece, but, trust me, there’s more. PBS has developed a wonderful lineup of travel related shows to inspire you to book your next trip to places you’ve never dreamed of. Check out some of these gems:

Peter Greenberg's investigative approach to travel is a great eascape!

The Royal Tour with Peter Greenberg

CBS journalist Peter Greenberg has been traveling the globe for years and seems to do it in a fearless manner. He has that wandering Gypsy spirit feel and digs beyond the surface in the places he visits. While he’s done a few other series (just google him for a full list), The Royal Tour has an interesting take on each country as he tours with the head of state. Check out Poland, Rwanda, and Ecuador with more to come. Peter has several series so it’s worth searching out other shows like Travel Detective.

Barefeet with Mickela Mallozzi

Mickela dances her way through the world and inspires you to join in.

Mickela is here to show you how much she loves dance. Mickela is also a travel junkie like the rest of us. Bare Feet take those two ingredients and shakes them together to create a frothy mixture of traditional dance and interesting locals from around the world. I am a particular fan of the series of shows that she follows her own DNA across the globe. Talk about following your inner traveler!!!!

Samantha Brown’s Places To Love

Samantha Brown invites you to pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of wine! A conversation with your inner traveler awaits!

The world’s happiest traveler has cut ties with the Travel Channel and shaken hands with PBS. Her new show gives her a travel freedom like never before as she weaves destinations both here and abroad simply because they are a place to love. The show has turned her into a host that doesn’t just tour the hotel rooms and hit the top sites but, instead, works to relate to the local people and create lasting memories. Just what everyone’s inner traveler needs! Jumping channels may be the very best thing she has done for her career and the TV loves her. So do I. From New Orleans to New Zealand and Baltimore to Shanghai, you’ll be inspired to love these places as much as she does.

Rick Steves’ Europe

Rick Steves dominates the European travel scene.

The king of the European travel guide is here to help you every step of the way with his long running series. Rick;s pragmatic view of Euro life and his no nonsense approach to seeing it all will have you packed for Normandy to see D-Day beaches and Norway to cruise fjords in equal measure. He’s been to almost every nook and cranny and has a cult-like following. You will easily spot Americans in Europe with their tell-tale blue and yellow guide books leading them every step of the way. His show is a great capsule look into each Euro destination you can think of. Watch, plan, travel. It couldn’t be easier.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr inspires your inner traveler by taking a good look at your roots.

If you have done so already, you may be yearning to trace your family’s genetic history. Henry Gates, Jr. is your host as he explores the backgrounds of some high profile guests. Get ready for them to meet surprise after surprise in this incredibly important series. If you need inspiration to get yourself back to the fatherland or the motherland, look no further! Henry and company will have you finding those roots in no time. Of equal help is TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Which is co-produced by season 1, episode 1 star Lisa Kudrow from Friends fame. This show is more travel minded as celebrities track down their roots across the globe.

While all of these shows are tailor made for adults, what would TGC be if we didn’t have something for the kids? So, here is our bonus pick that’s just right for the younger set to develop their inner traveler (but you don’t have to take my word for it.)

Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton

Levar Burton has been inspiring the inner traveler all along!

You may need to read no further because you are already singing the theme song. I get it! What I didn’t get when I was little was this show’s undeniable commitment to our kids. And making sure those kids have an understanding of their planet. From culture to science, LeVar and company strung together shows with books that helped kids understand one essential thing- humanity. This show is far ahead of it’s time and, once you get past the super 80’s shorts, never fails to bring kids to a new level of understanding. So, take a look, it’s in a book 🎶🎵🎶. Reading Rainbow is where it’s at! Honorable mention goes to the newer series, Between The Lions, for carrying on LeVar’s book legacy.

Note: I would provide a link to a dedicated web page but Reading Rainbow is available (free or a small charge) through most carriers. Start with YouTube.