April 10, 2020

Since We Can't Travel, Let's Just Reinvent Travel

Yesterday I received an email from Laura Boldovici, a colleague who is the operations director at the bespoke travel company Beyond Dracula in Romania. I met the very charming Beyond Dracula team about 6 years ago and knew instantly that I wanted our Children’s Concierge client families to work with them! They are incredibly caring and dedicated to helping people explore and interact with their country in ways that are sooo creative and expressive!

And Laura’s email from yesterday keeps this theme going!

She expressed concern for travel-loving families, especially our Children’s Concierge families that are now quarantined at home, unable to travel. To help with any stir-crazy feelings kids and their parents might be having, she sent along some resources to help them explore Romania right from their own homes.

What a great idea!

So I immediately contacted some of Children’s Concierge’s other, most favorite colleagues around the world and ask them if they too would send some resources for exploring their neck of the woods while sheltering at home.

And they did! Now I have all sorts of ideas to share.

Here are some suggestions for "traveling” while the coronavirus will not allow us to actually travel.


Suggestions from our colleagues, Laura Boldovici, Raluca Spiac, Alexandra Da Sacco and Giulio Da Sacco at Beyond Dracula:

  • Check out the 3 episodes (1-hr long each) of Wild Carpathia.
  • If you get hooked and want to see more of Romania, check out Untamed Romania, available on Netflix.
  • Check out Do It Like A Romanian and Meet A Romanian on Beyond Dracula.
  • This virtual tour of the Village Museum in Sighetu Marmatiei, Maramures. It’s wonderful in person and their tour allows you to step inside the old houses and get a feel for what a Romanian village used to be like.
  • A more famous Village Museum, larger too, is the one in Bucharest. There's no virtual tour per se but a short video of its exhibits. As a bonus, you get to see a bit Bucharest from above, especially Herastrau Park where the museum is located. 
  • While still in Bucharest, take a glimpse at the impressive collection at the private Museum of Romanian Records. This is fantastic in real life! And go through some of the impressive rooms of the Palace of the Parliament.
  • Last but not least, see for yourself Bran Castle. Made famous by Bram Stoker's Dracula but in reality connected to the story of Queen Marie of Romania, this is perhaps the attraction most people want to visit.
  • And if classical music is your thing, consider coming to George Enescu Music Festival in fall 2021. Here's a link to watch some concerts from last year's edition.


Suggestions from Letitia Dunlop, our colleague at Original Travel in London:  

  • There are several galleries who are offering virtual tours for their exhibitions — check them out:
  • Tate Modern
  • Tate Britain with it's Walk through British Art
  • The British Museum (Scroll all the way to the bottom for the most useful links.)
  • National Gallery
  • Theatres are also offering some interesting options. Here are a few favorites:
  • The National Theatre - they are streaming a title each Thursday including One Man, Two Govners, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the coming weeks.
  • The Royal Opera House - their 'OurHouseToYourHouse' program of curated ballet & opera content with one production released each week including Peter & the Wolf and The Winter's Tale
  • Shakespeare's Globe - has it's own platform where clients can rent a stream works such as Hamlet, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It and more …      (scroll down for options).


Suggestions from Jan Sortland, our dear colleague at Norwegian Adventures:

  • Enjoy this short, YouTube film about Norway. It’s absolutely beautiful! 
  • Here’s a link to a Gallery of some of Jan’s favorite images of Scandinavia. Get ready! They will take your breath away! 
  • And if you’re in search of a really cool map of Scandinavia, here’s a particularly good one at Norwegian Adventures.
  • Here’s a Picture This game for you all about Scandinavia --- It’s loads of fun. Here’s how it works: Take the following list of words about Scandinavia and try to picture --- in your mind--- what each of the words or combinations of words would look like if you could see them, first-hand. It’s important that you give it a really good try; it makes the second half of the game much more fun:
  • Rock carvings
  • Deep sea rafting
  • Reindeer
  • Viewing the Northern Lights 
  • Body Surfing
  • Fossil hunting
  • Rowing
  • A cooking class 
  • A fashion opening
  • Ice bathing
  • Falconry
  • Luge running 
  • Wild animal safari
  • Fjord viewing 
  • Part 2: Now, switch the words around making new and different combinations. Then try picturing these new combinations you’ve created. Examples – Fossil bathing or wild rowing…

Have fun!

Applause and many thanks to my creative colleagues

around the world!

If you have questions about any of these resources give me a call directly:

301- 442-5437 mobile 

301-309-6601 office 

I’d be delighted to speak with you. We can figure out together how to get your kids to use their time home-bound now to think about and get ready for actually being somewhere new and fascinating in the future. 

I’m pretty good at this! So, I look forward to brainstorming with you.


Sandra Dee Hoffman 

The Last Word

“When you travel driven by the genuine curiosity to discover a new part of the world, a new city, a new way of living, your mind and heart expand. If you allow travel to be a transformative experience, going to the the town next to your own can give you a new perspective on life. Every time you exercise this muscle, you cannot but grow humble. You see that what you hold to be true might in certain situations not be the case. You meet people different from you that feel just like you. You meet people who learnt something which you struggle with and their relaxation and ease encourages you and gives you strength to carry on.“
- Raluca Spiac, Beyond Dracula