Five Must-See London Musicals for the Whole Family

 Posted by on January 31, 2014  Comments Off
Jan 312014

Our UK travel partners are always coming up with great ideas for fun family travel activities and a visit to London is always high on their list. There are many fun things to do and see when you are on holiday in London with the whole family: paying a visit to Buckingham Palace, taking a stroll along the river of the Thames, or doing some shopping on Oxford Street, but if you want your London holiday to be truly memorable, we recommend that you see a show in one of the theaters in the West End.  Book a room in one of many cheap hotels in London, and read below the list of the best must-see musicals of this season.

Thriller Live

Are you a fan of Michael Jackson? If your answer is yes, you cannot miss this show at the Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho. After the death of the famous American singer, this show has become a tribute to the memory of the man and his incredible music. With a cast of 80 singers, musicians and dancers, the show is truly a great success, thanks also to the big stage and excellent sound system of the Lyric theatre. The musical will be on until March 2014.

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber has been running in Her Majesty’s Theatre for almost 10 years and it is still one of the most popular and successful musicals in London. The show was inspired by Gaston Leroux’s novel, and tells the story of a beautiful singer and a haunted composer who lives in the Opera House of Paris. The scenery and special effects are magical and absolutely breathtaking.

Mamma Mia!

For a fun night at the theatre, where the audience gets the chance to dance and sing along with the main actors, don’t miss Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre in Covent Garden. Like in the famous Hollywood movie, Donna recalls memories of her happy past while her daughter Sophie dreams of her wedding, to the tune of 22 of the best known songs of ABBA. You can see this musical until April 2014.

Billy Elliot

Another musical version of a famous movie, Billy Elliot has been shown at the Victoria Palace Theatre since 2005. With beautiful songs by Elton John, and the choreography by Peter Darling, this show has been very successful, and even considered the greatest British musical of all time by the Daily Telegraph. The musical tells a story of Billy who is a young boy from a mining community who wants to become a dancer despite his family’s complaints, a touching and entertaining story for the whole family that you should not miss!


Wicked, at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, tells the story of the Witches of Oz and how they became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, years before meeting Dorothy. In the first part of this musical, the audience learns about the background of the witches in their old school, while the second part is set during the events from the Wizard of Oz, telling the back stories of the main characters. The musical is entertaining, but also full of political and social metaphors.

Photo courtesy of Andreas Praefcke via WikiMedia

Travels Around Europe: Five Favorite Family Destinations

 Posted by on December 29, 2013  Comments Off
Dec 292013
Travels Around Europe: Five Favorite Family Destinations

Our travel partners continue to send us great ideas for family vacation destinations that appeal to families with teens and tweens, as well as younger kids. Katie from recently sent us some great recommendations for family friendly resorts and destinations around Europe.   Here are just a few of her favorite European family vacation destinations: A Road Trip through Spain Katie knows that long journeys with older children (particularly if the batteries on their game consoles and tablets have run out) can be a recipe for disaster unless you’ve got the right mix of activities planned. Her first recommendation is a road trip through Spain. Families can picnic in the Andalusian countryside before heading to the enclosed resort known as La Manga Club in Murcia. Older kids can explore by [...]

Travel with Teens and Tweens in 2014

 Posted by on December 22, 2013  Comments Off
Dec 222013
Travel with Teens and Tweens in 2014

The teens are becoming young adults and as they grow up Travel with Teens and Tweens will be taking on a new look in 2014.   Why?  Because, as the teens get older (in fact, #1 Son is now 20 years old and isn’t really a teen anymore) our family travel plans are evolving.  There are fewer “big ticket” family adventures and more travel to visit #1 Son at college, to see aging grandparents, to visit colleges, and to keep up with the Princess’s sports schedule.  We expect that 2014 will see more, shorter trips to many places that we have written about in the past or to destinations that really are not all that interesting for a family travel planning blog. While Travel with Teens and Tweens will stay live [...]

Give Thanks and Help Passports With Purpose Build Schools in Mali

 Posted by on November 27, 2013  Comments Off
Nov 272013
Give Thanks and Help Passports With Purpose Build Schools in Mali

Again this year, over 100 travel bloggers are banding together during the holiday season to raise money for a good cause.  Last the year, this group raised over $110,000 for!  This year, the goal is to  raise $115,000 for buildOn to construct three schools and fund three adult literacy programs in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa.  The Passports With Purpose program selected buildOn for its 2 decades long track record of mobilizing rural communities in some of the poorest countries in the world to build 567 schools. The fun part for you travel blog readers is the way this fundraiser works. Simply visit the Prize Catalog page on the Passports with Purpose website to see all the great prizes that travel bloggers and their sponsors have donated for the fundraiser.  [...]

Ten Tips for Tournament Sports Team Travel Planning Success

 Posted by on November 24, 2013  Comments Off
Nov 242013
Ten Tips for Tournament Sports Team Travel Planning Success

Many teens play on club or select sports teams in addition to their high school squads.  In sports like ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer, teens who aspire to play in college pretty much play their main sport year-round.   Many club and select teams lean hard on parent volunteers to help out with fund raising, supply snacks, and coordinating team travel. In our case, this season we volunteers to coordinate tournament travel for the Princess’s club ice hockey team.  So far, since September, we’ve been to upstate New York, Vermont and Toronto (twice!).  If you are wondering why things have been a little quiet on the blog – work, school and the need to play travel agent  for 20 teen hockey players probably explains it.  In theory, getting the team from point A to point [...]

Nov 072013
Tips for Booking the Perfect Lodging on a Family Visit to the United Kingdom

Many American college-age teens opt to study abroad in the United Kingdom.  The availability of world class academic and cultural  experiences, plus the familiarity of the language, makes it a natural choice whether your student is interested in economics, political science, mathematics, humanities or any range of topics. Many families find that their college student’s semester abroad offers an opportunity to create a special family vacation with parents and siblings meeting up with the college student during a holiday break or at the end of the semester.  For families planning to connect with their traveling college students in the United Kingdom, finding the right accommodations can make the difference between a run of the mill vacation and a cherished family memory.  But where to start? Our U.K. based travel partners [...]

Happy Halloween from the Teens!

 Posted by on October 31, 2013  Comments Off
Oct 312013
Happy Halloween from the Teens!

Its been a couple of exciting weeks here in Boston with the Red Sox winning the 2013 World Series last night.  We’ve been focused on cheering on the team, catching up at school, researching colleges, getting a driver’s license and going to the rink so are sorry we haven’t been able to post too much lately.  We hope to have more updates soon, in the meantime, Happy Halloween! And for everyone working on early decision college applications, take time out for a candy bar!