This month, for my series of interviews with inspirational family travel bloggers, I am talking to Sarah, the author of the aptly named ‘A family travel blog’. Sarah has a stunning looking blog and being a travel industry insider is full of ideas, tips and advice to make any family trip a great adventure: she is also a slow traveller, like me, and, again like me, dreams of going to Peru and see Machu Picchu. Who knows, maybe we will meet on the Inca trail one day!
Tell us about your family: how many of you and how old are your children?
We are a family of 4, my kids are ages 5 and 9.
Where is home and where are you right now?
Home is in Denver Colorado. As I write this we are up in the mountains, exchanging the summer heat in Denver for the crisp, cool mountain air!
How did you come up with the idea of a travel blog and when did you start writing?
I’ve always written about travel professionally (I’ve worked in the travel industry for nearly 20 years) and when I had my children and started travelling with them people kept asking me for tips and advice. SO, I decided to start writing and soon discovered that I LOVED the creative process of building a blog brand, creating content and sharing that with readers from around the world.
What is your favourite kind of travel: independent, all-inclusive resort, cruise, a mix of all? What do you like about it?
When travelling as a family, we like to slow down, stay in vacation rental homes (not hotels), rent a car and really explore on our own schedule. We go slow, but always seem to pack a lot into every day! Having said that, there is a time and a place for everything, and from time to time we have also enjoyed a vacation at a beach resort!
How do you decide on a destination? If you have older kids: have you ever had an epic fight over where to go?
I’m always the one to make the decision! The good news is that my family trusts me to plan fabulous travel experiences. I’m sure as the kids get older they will express their own opinions, but, for now, I’m in the driver’s seat 🙂
You visited many countries: do you have a favourite so far? And your kids?
I really fell in love with Nicaragua when my family was travelling around Central America last year. I found it to be safe, quiet, beautiful, inexpensive and still “undiscovered”. I think my kids preferred Costa Rica because there was SO much to do there.
One of my all time favourite travel destinations is Kenya. I’ve visited more times than I can count, as I used to work there, and can’t wait to bring my daughter there in September of this year! I always love watching someone experience Africa, Kenya and going on safari for the first time!
Do you have a dream destination you haven’t managed to go to yet?
Peru and trekking to Machu Picchu are at the very top of my list at the moment. Cuba as well.
Many people are afraid of travelling with children: safety concerns, fear of the holiday being a lot like hard work. What is your best advice to make a family holiday a success?
My best advice is to extend trips as long as possible. Having the ability to slow down and relax is key to making the most of a trip. We like to plan one small adventure each morning/day and then have time to relax in the afternoon. Maintaining the right amount of activity and relaxation is important.What kind of packer are you:
What kind of packer are you: carry-on only or everything but the kitchen sink? Is there one item you never leave home, no matter where you go or how long for?
Carry on only whenever possible! On longer-haul trips, I like to pack some old clothes for both me and the kids. We then leave these well-loved clothes behind as donations as we go along, which is especially appreciated by locals and helps us create more space in our luggage!
I am sure you have some great stories from your travels: share one with us!
Oh man, this on-foot border crossing was a big adventure for my family last summer in Central America: http://afamilytravelblog.com/travel-between-puerto-viejo-costa-rica-and-bocas-del-toro-panama/
Here are also some interesting things I’ve learned travelling with kids:http://afamilytravelblog.com/traveling-the-world-with-kids/