The Kid-Friendly Amsterdam That Your Teenager Won't Hate

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What comes to mind when you first think of Amsterdam? 

Windmills. Weed. Stroop Waffles. Tulips. Weed.

That’s what I thought. And so did my kid. 

The last time we went to Amsterdam, he told me it was pretty boring. He said that Amsterdam is only fun for adults because kids can’t do “adult things” and Amsterdam only has “adult things”. He actually did the air quotes.

But he’s not completely wrong.

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Creating a New Normal

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Hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve written on here.

According to the analytics on this page, seems you guys keep coming back, hoping for something new. I’m thankful someone is still checking up on me.

So, I guess I should fill you in on what’s been going on the past year or so.

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How to Score a Free Hotel From an Airline (or at Least a Free Tour)

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Whenever I am looking to book a ticket, one of the first websites I go to is Skyscanner. Often, this means that I will end up booking my ticket through a third party website. Which means I will sometimes have a long layover somewhere to help curb the costs. (I don’t know why this curbs costs, but whatever)

On our recent trip to Brussels, we had a 13-hour layover in Istanbul going there and a 23-hour layover coming back. That’s a looooooong time to be sitting in an airport when you don’t have lounge access. So once the ticket was confirmed, I began looking online to see if the airline or the airport offers a free hotel say.

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Our 2 Days in Brussels

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Brussels is one of those cities that you’ve heard about, but it never is really on your list of places to visit. At least this was true for me. With the exception of waffles and fries, I didn’t really know much about the European city. But when a flight deal calls, I come running!

I found a flight from Addis Ababa to Brussels for about $370 and saw I could catch a train to Paris and Amsterdam from the centralized location and booked it back in March. My experience flying Turkish Airlines back in February was pleasant, so I wasn’t worried about the experience. And the added long layovers were appealing as it would allow us to visit another city in the process.

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Brussels: A Food Tour

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We were in Brussels for only 2.5 days and I can’t tell you one landmark or historical site that we saw. Okay, that’s a lie. We actually saw quite a lot despite being completely focused on eating anything fried and delicious that we could get our hands on.

We took a City Sightseeing Bus and saw most of the city during one of the full days. We got off a couple times to explore the area and even stumbled upon a museum dedicated to musical instruments around the world. We paid the extra 2€ and got the audioguide where we were able to listen to the actual musical instruments being played.

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We Ended Up With a Free Tour of Istanbul and It Blew Our Minds!

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So, we are headed to Brussels and I noticed that my ticket had a 13-hour layover. I tried to get a free hotel from Turkish Airlines, but that didn’t work out. (More on that later) But we were offered a tour of Istanbul for free99! So we took it. I mean…what else were we gonna do in the airport for that long?

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Eleven

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The boy is 11.

Every year, I get super sentimental and this year was no different.

I often stay awake preparing to wake him up in a special way or with a surprise and this year he was in for the greatest surprise of his young life.

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