The Educational Tourist: How I got started

The Educational Tourist – The Beginning

I was raised in a family of travelers. We discussed places far and wide and had fun planning the trips. No down time on these trips – my mom crammed as much as possible into a trip saying, “You can sleep when you get home!”

Vive la France!

Vive la France!

My travels alone started when lots of people start theirs – I was young, single, and child free. Foot loose and fancy free! I traveled when, how, and where I wanted.  Crazy schedule? Check. Carryon luggage? Check.  Insanely full itinerary. Check! It was whirlwind and it was fun!

St. Mark's Venice

St. Mark’s Venice

I taught elementary school for 15 years and each school year I saved, planned, and waited for summer.  Then, with busy itinerary in tow, I would take off into the wild blue yonder.



Then, my life became even more wonderful and full when I met my husband.


Travelling was an exciting part of our life.


And then….. traveler #3 was on the way!


But we’d still travel right? How much space/time/energy/planning could one teeny tiny baby require? (LOL!) Seriously, they are just like luggage, right? As long as you feed them and they have a clean diaper they’ll be happy and you can just schlep them anywhere, right?


In a word….no. Not for me anyway! While life was better and more full than it had ever been…it also included a LOT less sleep. And I had NO idea how much energy my precious little chickadee could zap from me!! For a long time all I wanted was a nap! The thought of jet lag and no sleep was too much to bear.


But we kept going! Chickadee traveled domestically. Jet lag wasn’t a problem and we were on the move! Our youngest learned to sleep in new places and be comfortable around new things and people.


Then, our 2nd traveling chickadee arrived! And still we traveled. With more stuff, and less sleep than I ever imagined.


But, oh the adventures!! We bought a motorhome and took off into the wild blue yonder! That was so much fun and a GREAT way to travel with the littles.


Kids will easily bloom where they are planted.


But still, I wasn’t willing to deal with jet lag and so little sleep. Between the two of them there were some nights I swear I slept only 5 minutes!


Then, one day, while I wasn’t looking… the chickadees grew a little taller, learned from all the traveling we were doing, became a little more flexible about food and sleeping and I thought – IT IS TIME!!


So, I planned and researched and planned some more. A dream trip, indeed! Italy was going to be our first international destination with the kids.

BUT my research didn’t turn up the educational and age appropriate materials I was sure I would find. Where were the guide books on a child’s level? Where were the things just for their interest level? I searched and searched. When I didn’t find them I created my own. And THAT, fellow traveler, is what the Educational Traveler’s Guides are all about. The first one – a travel guide to Rome is kid tested and THIS mom and former teacher approved! From there I have written 11 more titles!

Down time with the activity kit

Down time with the activity kit

What a wonderful trip we had! Read about our adventures at the colosseum and in Vatican City.


Learning doesn’t just take place in a classroom. Here the chickadees study a map to find the colosseum in Pompeii. (Yes, there is one there, too!)


Travelling is all about the food, the smells, the weird signs, the inside jokes you’ll develop – the memories. Teach your children to be global citizens and show them your passions.


Let’s explore the world! The Educational Tourist can help you plan the perfect trip! Be sure to look into the rest of

The Education Tourist travel guides for kids! Click on your destination:

Canada, Austin, New York, London, Nassau, Spain, France, Rome, Vatican City, Louvre, Galleria Borghese

Happy Travels!

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10 Responses

  1. Pamela says:

    Love, Love, Love all the pics. It makes me want to pack up right now!! So empowering to know that I can take my “brood” of a blended family on a trip abroad and actually be able to enjoy myself and they can learn a little something along the way. : )

  2. Virginia Tanner says:

    Love your Blog! The pictures from “our” Italy trip brought back all the memories and has made me so excited to share our upcoming trip to Spain. Well done!!!!

  3. Jeff says:

    These are wonderful tips and memories from our many trips. Looking forward to future adventures!!

  4. Jacquelyn says:

    Fantastic! My little chickadee is only eight months, about to embark on her second domestic trip next weekend.

  5. Sharon Goldsberry says:

    I love everything about your blog! Beautiful pictures and great handmade items!

  6. Teaching seems like such an awesome way to start traveling with those nice long summer breaks (and quarterly breaks if you’re on a year-round/alternate school schedule!). Kudos to continuing to travel with kiddos in tow.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      It really is…great time off and enough money (if you budget) to see the world! 🙂 It has also given me a great background to really teach my kids along the way. Thanks for stopping by!

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