It’s the “hidden gems,” Jan Meert said — referring to lesser known travel sites off the beaten tourist path — that can really make the European living experience so much richer.

 

Meert became the president of Bavaria Community and Spouses Club, an organization open to the whole Bavarian Army community, last year after the predominantly-volunteer group elected her.

 

Meert and her family are finishing off their ninth year in Europe as active military. Together, they’ve built a pretty impressive travel portfolio, including lots of convenient, local and unique attractions often overlooked by travel agencies and passing visitors.


 

Many of the sites are family-friendly, tailored to appease the demanding energy of small children, and make for great, drive-able weekend adventures.

 

Since becoming president of BCSC, Meert has enabled a vision of inclusivity and expanded the scope of community impact. She’s reached out to single Soldiers and new military families and forged relationships with key community leaders. The group meets regularly for lunches, day trips and other committee meetings. To learn more, or get involved, make the connection at www.bavariacsc.com or email president@baavariacsc.com.

 

Meert’s top travel spots in Europe:

 

Europe

 

Rad + Reisen: Self-Guided Bike Tours

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Europe

 

CenterParcs

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Germany, France, UK, Belgium, Netherlands

This is a great place to take small kids after long days of traveling and sightseeing at nearby cities.

 

Belgium

 

Belgian Beer Festivals

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Belgium

 

Belgium Sand Sculptures

When to Go:  June – September

Where:  Oostende, Belgium

 

Brussels Flower Carpet

When to Go:  August

Where:  Brussels, Belgium

 

Bruges Christmas Market & Ice Festival

When to Go:  November – January

Where:  Hasselt, Belgium

 

Czech Republic

 

Cesky Krumlov

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

 

Kutna Hora

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Sedlec, Czech Republic

 

 

France

 

Breakfast in America (Paris)

Where to Go:  All year round

Where:  Paris, France

 

Germany

 

Pick-Your-Own Farms in Germany

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  All over Germany

 

Nachtmann Crystal Factory Outlet

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Neustadt an der Waldnaab, Germany

 

Rudesheim Seilbahn: Castle Tour & River Cruise

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Rhine River, Germany

 

Draisinen Bike Tour on Former Railroad Tracks

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Kusel, Gernany

 

Germany’s Longest Suspension Bridge

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Moersdorf, Germany

 

Miniature Wonderland

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Hamburg, Germany

 

Spargel (White Asparagus) Picking

When to Go:  April – June

Where:  Germany restaurants, festivals, harvesters

 

Rhine in Flames

When to Go:  May – September

Where:  Rhine River, Germany

 

Grape-Picking via Eberbacher Winery

When to Go:  September – November

Where:  Hallgarten, Germany

 

Netherlands

 

Maduradam Miniature World

When to Go:  All year round

Where:  Den Haag, Netherlands

 

Zundert Flower Parade

When to Go:  September

Where:  Zundert, Netherlands

 

Valkenburg Underground Christmas Market

When to Go:  November – December

Where:  Valkenburg, Netherlands

 

Poland

 

Boleslawiec Polish Pottery Festival

When to Go:  August

Where:  Bolesławiec, Poland

 

United Kingdom

 

London Kids Week

When to Go:  August (Tickets go on sale starting in June!)

Where:  London, UK

 

Highclere Castle

When to Go:  May – September

Where:  Newbury, UK

 

 

 


Categories: Travel