Traveling to the Fullest with Jennifer from Sidewalk Safari

Interview and Written by Francesca Panzariello 

Making the most out of every opportunity is an essential quality to have for travelers. It’s a skill that travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J), has perfected throughout her many worldly adventures. Through her blog, Sidewalk Safari, she helps encourage readers to take advantage of any opportunity or free moment to explore the world – even if it’s the world right outside their doorstep. 

Jennifer caught the travel bug after finishing graduate school, but she sure has made up for lost time. After realizing her life goal was to live abroad, Jennifer set her mind to it, devised a plan, and made it happen. Without ever traveling to Ireland before, Jennifer and her husband were off to Dublin on a year-long assignment working for a popular tech company. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Thinking they were only living in Dublin for a year, Jennifer wanted to make the most of their precious time abroad. The couple took 23 overnight trips during that first year alone. Whether it was extending business trips or checking off places from their personal list, they were exploring in any way possible. Fast forward six years, Jennifer and her husband are still living in Dublin as if they only have a year abroad, still traveling to the fullest. Exploring places like India for work, jetting off to South Africa on vacation, or just coming across quirky places around Dublin. It almost seems as if they’ve been just about everywhere you’d ever want to go. 

“Turn everyday into a vacation day – even if you’re traveling for work. So many people traveling for business only see their hotel, office, and the airport. If you’re in a new place, there’s always something interesting to see or do”

Originally, Sidewalk Safari was created as a way for Jennifer to look back on her travel memories. Since then the blog has evolved into much more. It has evolved into a model to show people that it is possible combine business with leisure travel. Sidewalk Safari inspires people to make the best of those business travel opportunities. As Jennifer puts it, “Vacation is a state of mind.”  So why not turn your next business trip into a time to explore? 

It doesn’t have to be a big undertaking, start small. Have to travel for a meeting Monday morning? Leave Sunday and explore the city instead. Wake up an hour early Monday, grab a coffee and blend in with the locals. Above all, Jennifer offers this advice: WALK, WALK, WALK! She believes the best way to experience and really see a place is on foot. On your next trip, if it’s walkable, forget public transportation and hit the sidewalk. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Everyone knows traveling can sometimes be overwhelming. Jennifer has the answers to all your travel stresses. Known for her organizational prowess, Jennifer brings those valuable life skills into planning her next trip with her husband. Planning a trip is like planning a project. Break things down into easy to manage pieces.

Keep a checklist, write everything out, and create reminders for yourself. It’s these simple and easy changes that can make all the difference when planning your next trip. As a result, Jennifer is able to live a balanced life, juggling a full time job, traveling and maintaining Sidewalk Safari successfully. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

“You only live once, make the most of the time you have and do the things you love. Travel is a big part of what makes me happy.”

Jennifer inspires us here at Travel Italian Style because she proves that anything is possible when it comes to travel. Very often as women we feel there is a lack of time for ourselves due to family and work obligations. We have trouble finding that balance-- Sidewalk Safari proves the contrary.

While balancing a married life and full-time job, Jennifer has still taken over 80 trips around the globe during the past four years. She proves that staying organized is the key to a balanced and fulfilling life!

 To read more about Jennifer, her travels (especially this post we love during her recent visit to Sicily) and to learn more tips for taking that dream trip, follow along on the Sidewalk Safari blog or on Twitter.

You may also want to check out  Vacation Counts which is written by her husband Scott who blogs about how to keep a healthy work-life balance.

What tips do you use to stay organized to promote a healthy travel-work balance? What advice can Jennifer or the TIS team share with you to help you get on the next plane to Italia?

Meet Francesca

Francesca is an Assistant Travel and Media Coordinator for Travel Italian Style. As an International Relations guru, she brought her studies to After studying in Perugia, Italy this past spring. Here, Francesca developed a better appreciation of the Italian way of life (especially the food). Through her passion for travel, she wants to help others get inspired to start their own adventure.

Francesca joined Travel Italian Style to be part of a company that gives people the chance to experience an authentic Italian lifestyle and to spread the travel bug. 


Traveling Abroad with Your Family: 13 Quick Tips To Save You Time and Money!

Guest Post By: Jenna Greenspoon and Lisa Korbin, Owners of Savvy Sassy Moms

Family vacations are such a special time and being able to take our families around the world is something we are so grateful for. We both began traveling with our kids when they were young, as young as 6 weeks old.

While traveling with young kids is amazing, preparing for the trip brings on lots of anxiety! What to bring and how much, where to begin?! Over the years, we have compiled a list to assist us in acclimatizing our children to time differences, climate changes, and combating boredom.



1. Get plenty of rest before your trip. Often times a family excursion is exhausting, you may be on the go for most of your travel and you can’t count on sleeping on the plane with children in tow!

2. Preparation and organization are key to successful travel with children. Select travel bags that have multiple pockets, keep games and activities in the front compartments for easy access. Ensure all of your children’s favourite items are in those front pockets! And don’t forget to leave room for the additional clothes you are wearing that may need to be thrown into the bags.

3. Load up on dollar store items such as; no-mess crafts and activities, water painting, scratch away crafts, sticker books with loads of stickers and notebooks.

"Buying small inexpensive activities at the dollar store will provide entertainment without breaking the bank, since you’ve attributed all extra funds to the trip itself!"



4. Where are you traveling to? Consider what can be purchased there or ordered ahead of time to arrive at your destination such as diapers, wipes and other children’s items that you may need. This will save space!

"Ask your children to help you pack. This way they know where everything is and hopefully good packing skills will be instilled when they have to pack for themselves later on! "

5. Ask your children to help you pack. This way they know where everything is and hopefully good packing skills will be instilled when they have to pack for themselves later on! For the little ones, have them select 2 or 3 toys that they want to bring along so that they when they arrive, they know what has come from home.

6. Pack outfits in order to eliminate unnecessary clothing. Try not to throw anything in at the last minute, it will probably never be worn.

7. For young kids, pack their clothes in outfits as well and put them in big ziploc bags to save space in your suitcase!



8. Pack snacks that are easy to travel with and containers that are reusable and easy to clean. You will be grateful to have snack containers with you on your trip!

9. Dress in layers for travel. It may be hot in the morning but the second you board the plane or are in the car for prolonged periods of time, you may be cold. If you are traveling to a warm climate, you will immediately want to enjoy the warm weather and shed a few layers upon arrival.



10. Bring travel wet-wipes to keep your hands clean. Your children will be touching everything and so is everyone else. Travel tissues are also a good thing to have on hand!

11. Do not wear anything white on the plane, in the car or at anytime with children on your trip!

12. Make sure that anything important, such as medications, are packed in your carry-on bag. You will never know when you will need it.

13. If you are traveling with young children, make sure to make any arrangements for items needed such as a crib or car seat, ahead of time. Call the place you are staying and be specific about what you need!

"Most importantly, remember the Italian mentality: Take a deep breath, enjoy your time with your family and have fun!"


Meet the Authors |
Featured Guest Bloggers: Lisa & Jenna 

With a strong foundation in childhood education and a driving passion for their work and families, Lisa and Jenna are both prepared and looking forward to the next phase of their lives as working moms. Using their experience as mothers and educators, they will do their best to share their knowledge, the love of learning, and a wealth of valuable personal experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly – in dedication to the pursuit of happy, healthy families everywhere and creating a worldwide (and web) community of savvy, sassy moms.

Be sure to check out more on Lisa and Jenna at, an online style magazine for moms.