The family and I visited the north western part of Greece this summer and here’s what we noticed.
June is the month to visit Greece. The earlier in June the better. European schools will have their kids in school until the middle to end of June. You’ll be wandering around the beaches and going to the restaurants thinking, “Where is everyone? It’s the summer right?!.”
Make sure you have a data plan for your mobile phone. If you are coming from the United States, look into T-Mobile. They give you (2G) data rates with your plan for free when traveling in Euro Land. You’re going to need the data plan to keep your maps app going. Street signs and house numbers are not used very often. So if you’re doing AirBnB’s, you’ll probably keep getting coordinates of the houses.
A lot of bars and restaurants will have freshly squeezed orange juice. Get that for the kids. It’s cheap and it tastes great. Not to mention that it is super healthy too.
Always keep your mobile phone recharger (and adpater) in the car. If you’re driving around all day, finding great places to take the family to, your phone battery could run out of juice in the afternoon sometime before you make it home. If that happens, take the family for a fresh orange juice somewhere and ask if you can plug in your phone. All places will say yes.
If you have a car, look and see if you can make your trip shorter and/or easier by using a local ferry. For example, instead of driving around a bay, if there is a ferry crossing the bay, take the ferry. They tend to be really cheap. Most likely you’ll save a lot of time doing this.
Now … if you’re catching an international ferry to or from Greece, make sure to call the ferry company a couple of days in advance to confirm that the ferry has not been cancelled and that it is sailing on time. It all depends upon the company but some companies cancel a lot. On our trip, the ferry from Venice to Patras was cancelled. Luckily, we were able to catch it from a different city three hours away. Then on the way back, the ferry from Patras to Venice was cancelled. We had to book with a different company to get back.
If you’re taking a longer ferry, try to catch the ones that go at night. You can reserve a cabin, have a good night’s sleep, and wake up in a different location. You can maximize your “vacation time” this way.
Everyday, or every two days, you should clean out your wallet, purse, or bags of all the receipts you have. For every purchase that you make, you will at least get two reciepts.
If you have space in your bags, bring some super small, two piece fishing rods that you can break down for the kids. They should have really small hooks to catch fish that are 3 to 5 inches long. You can let the kids fish from the rock points on the beaches. They’ll usually only be fishing in 4 to 5 feet of water.
If you’re heading into town for dinner, try to find tables next to the water in the port. The kids can drop lines straight into the water, without casting, and have a chance at catching these 3 to 5 inch fish. They’ll be able to see the fish. So that will keep them excited about it. This will allow you to watch the kids and relax at the same time. This is what you want.
For bait, stop at a supermarket and buy a pack of frozen squid. Chop up on squid per day for bait. If it doesn’t get used, throw it away so it doesn’t stink up the car.
You can also ask the restaurant you’re eating at if you can buy a raw piece of squid. In some cases, they might just give it to you for free.
Look for the different things on the menu and give them a try. You most likely end up seeing rabbit, fish roe, and maybe some other unique seafood items.
Learn how to really use your maps app on your phone to find the “off the beaten path” beaches. The beaches won’t have any facilities, but you could end up having a beautiful beach all to yourself.
That’s what we noticed. We hope some of this information will help you and your family have an even better time than we did.
Have fun with the kids!