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The best family trips

The best family trips are the busiest ones.

My first vote goes to an African safari. My second vote is a Backroads bike trip.

If the family has no option where it’s going or doing every minute of every day, they will have a ball.

Give them a choice — or God Forbid, free time — and they will bicker.

Today, Michael and I finished our fourth Backrods bike trip — in the Austrian and Italian dolomites. Then we shuttled down to Venice where we meet Susan for three days in this hot, over-touristed city.

I’ve learned three more things:

+ Pay for air conditioning. Most places in Europe don’t have it.

+ Get money out of a bank ATM and pay in cash. I emptied two bank ATMs today in Austria using my Visa debit card. They charged me $1.16 for a Euro. I stupidly put something on a Citibank Mastercard credit card. That cost $1.20.

+ Hotels, guesthouses, Airbnbs in Europe all have WiFi. Make sure you use WiFi before you get really gorged by the likes of Verizon and AT&T. Some hotels have open WiFi — no passwords necessary. What a civilized idea.

This is Michael in East Tyrol, Austria this morning.


The Dolomites are spectacular, as you can see. This morning was cool, too.

Harry Newton, who researched business opportunities in Austria. Interesting market. Here’s the biggest-selling t-shirt in Austria. Go figure.


The Dolomites are super for kitch. You think Susan will like this?


Heh. Ignoring my stock portfolio for the last week has done wonders for it. New investment strategy?