Christmas Markets in Austria & Germany with Travel Mom Jaclyn
Travel Mom Jaclyn joins us to share her extended family’s holiday season adventures at Christmas Markets in Austria and Germany. As President of Collette Travel Tour Company, she also shares more on how they can bring your travel adventure to life.
What was your last big family adventure?
In December, we took the kids (twin sons 9 and daughter 7) on their first trip to Europe for Christmas Markets in Austria and Germany, Innsbruck, Austria to Rothenburg and Munich, Germany, along with my extended family (kids from 5 to 9 years old).
We landed in Munich then drove two hours south to Innsbruck, where we stayed for four nights. On the first day, we had a walking tour of the city with a local guide. It’s a great way to start the trip as they can make recommendations on what’s good to do with the kids (like taking the train up the mountain) and favorite local spots. We spent time relaxing, shopping, and enjoying the Christmas markets.
Austria and Switzerland are just beautiful and full of unreal scenery. We had great weather and got to sit on one of the mountain tops having lunch in the sun outside. The kids loved the sausages and schnitzel and lots of hot chocolates. They were into trying everything!
We then traveled via a private bus to Rothenburg, which was a fun part of the adventure, as we took the scenic route through the mountains on the way.
We were in Rothenburg for two nights, then Munich was our last stop for one night. It was a nice weeklong trip to introduce the kids to Europe.
What was the best part of the trip for you?
I really enjoyed Rothenburg…going to the Christmas Market (it’s a 500-year tradition here), the kids were free to roam around, and visiting the Christmas stores, they are known for. They are like gorgeous museums.
What was the BEST part of the trip for the whole family?
Having four nights in Innsbruck with three full days allowed everyone to go at their own pace without rushing around. And everyone loved the charm of Rothenburg.
What was the best part of the trip for your kids?
Eating lots of deserts! They also loved the horse & buggy rides on our day trip to Seefeld (40 minutes by train from Innsbruck).
And, the last day at the bierhuis in Munich, with their jugs of apple juice, the culture, music, the lively atmosphere.
Tell Us about Collette
Started in 1918, Collette is a world premier travel tour company. The first Collette tour to ever run was a jitney bus of travelers that left Boston headed for Florida. 102 years later, we have tours to all seven continents.
My Grandfather bought the business in 1962, so it’s now a third-generation, family-owned company. I was raised traveling, and it’s now so fun to be able to share that with my kids.
Our headquarters is here in Rhode Island, with offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
We offer a variety of different styles of trips for all different types of travelers. All of our itineraries are curated and vetted by us. We don’t outsource anything.
- Classic is our flagship collection of tours in all countries for up to 44 people.
- Spotlights are city stays like New York City and Paris. They’ve been very popular as more people want to stay in one place to experience it.
- Explorations are small groups of around 19 people. This size allows us to get more culturally curated with our restaurant and hotel choices.
The top thing we hear from our guided tour travelers is about the friendships made on the tours, and they continue to travel on future trips together.
You can get in touch with Collette via our website, Go Collette.com or call us directly. We’re also AAA’s Member Choice Vacations provider and work with other travel agents/agencies if you have something you like to use. We have Customer Care centers in Rhode Island, Nevada, Vancouver, and Sydney. Someone else is always there to answer.
Top Tips and Advice
- You can experience different cultures from home through food.
- The pacing of your trip is very important to ensure you have enough time in each place.
- Be as minimal as possible when packing, and always know if you need something, you can find it at your destination.
- When traveling with the kids, don’t be too fixed on the day’s schedule so you can go where the kids want to go.
Why do you travel with your kids?
I love creating memories as a family. The innocence and curiosity the kids bring to travel is such an amazing thing to watch.
Travel is the best educator. It’s a big world, but it’s a small world. We’re all connected and similar as human beings. Everyone has their values and belief systems, and being able to teach my kids other people’s values and that they can be different, and we can all get along, that’s what I want to instill in them.
Next trip you’re planning or dreaming about?
I’m really looking forward to traveling to South Africa and Vietnam.