As a mother who travels and adventures frequently with her child, one might think I don’t need anymore inspiration to get out there and explore the world with my little guy in tow. But the truth is, I need to read about and learn from other families in the trenches. I gain perspective, tips and tricks, and can anticipate how travel will change as Bergen (2 years old) grows and develops.
Having just finished one of the most recently published books on family travel, The Family Traveler’s Handbook by Mara Gorman, I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and filled with so many new ideas on how to get the most out of our getaways as a family.
As you might expect the book is chock full of information on how to best prepare for, plan, and execute travel with children, but it was more than that for me. Throughout the book and weaved into her tips, Mara tells personal stories. I savored these tales and got excited whenever I came upon them in my reading.
Thanks to her fantastic descriptions, I was able to paint a picture in mind of Mara and her family in the thick of an adventure, whether it was laughing together underneath the Eiffel Tower, wandering around Boston with a sticky toddler, or just cherishing an unplanned detour through their neighboring state of Pennsylvania.
Those stories weren’t just interesting snipets to read and enjoy. Tucked into them are information and ideas on how to best navigate a morning, an afternoon or a day traveling with your kids. I love and appreciate the overlying mindset of joy and enthusiasm that Mara displays. She not only shows that travel with your family is possible, but she demonstrates just how much of a pleasure it is to explore the world with her boys.
Some of my specific takeaways:
- Plan and Prepare: I really appreciate Mara’s guidance on how to best ready yourself and your family for all aspects of a trip (destination, transportation, lodging, eating, emergencies, etc.). I now know that I can turn to certain sections of the book and be reminded of exactly what to bring or what to do.
- Involve the Kids: From helping to plan the itinerary, to packing their own bags, to loading them up with destination information and history thanks to a trip to the local library, I love all of the suggestions provided to get children excited, interested, and drawn into the travel experience. This is especially important for me as Bergen gets a little older and has more concrete opinions.
- Situational Advice: Thinking of going to a museum (other than one designed for children)? She’s got great guidelines to follow. Want to tackle the outdoors hiking or skiing? She’ll inspire you to do so and gives great resources for making each activity doable (and enjoyable!) with kids. Terrified of your kids getting sick or hurt on the road? She teaches you how to best prepare so you’ll know how to handle yourself and your child.
If you are in search of the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a loved one with children (or one on the way), The Family Traveler’s Handbook is a great option. And to top it off, the cover is pink and red! Currently, you can purchase the book on amazon (kindle or paperback version), and if you are interested in the learning more about the author, Mara Gorman, go visit her amazing blog, The Mother of all Trips!
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of The Family Traveler’s Handbook for purposes of review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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