Travel Family Spotlight: Lil Kid Big City


Travel Family Spotlight: Lil Kid Big City

One of my favorite things about social media is meeting other families that love to travel and adventure. I like to dig in and find out what works for them and what draws their family to want to be "on the go" so we started a little series here on the blog where we spotlight other families who love to travel. We hope you will enjoy the next installment of the "Travel Family Spotlight" series.

Beth Beckam loves everything about New York City and she and her son spend their days "exploring NYC and beyond, one playground at a time". She is the creator and face behind the Instagram account @littlekidnyc (although you mostly see her 4-year-old son in front of the camera!) and its accompanying website.  She started "Lil Kid Big City" as a way to showcase her love affair with New York City through the eyes of a toddler. We know you'll love her perspective on adventuring with her son and living life to the fullest!

1. Tell us about your family.
Hello! We are a family of 4 fun loving New Yorkers – My husband and myself, our 4-year-old son, and a mini dachshund named Hot Dog, with a not so mini personality! She is our first baby and absolutely considered a member of our family.

2. Where do you live now? Have you always lived there? Where do you consider "home"?
While we are currently (and will forever be) New Yorkers we originally hail from Wisconsin. My husband and I both are originally from Wisconsin (however we didn’t meet there – another story in itself!). We currently live in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. We've lived in Lower Manhattan for 15 years, and have seen the area change drastically. When I first moved down here it was a desolate area - with no grocery, very few restaurants and residents. We've had the incredible opportunity to watch the neighborhood drastically change and grow - now home to many families, schools, movie theaters, and things to do (and even soon to be Whole Foods!) it is most definitely “home.” Couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

3. How often do you travel with your family? Is it local travel or international?
We travel as often as possible (and as financially feasible!). We love exploring a new city, location, country or town. To me, traveling is everything. It is a cultural experience, an opening to a new way of thinking, and a better learning experience than any school setting.

4. What would you say your typical week looks like?
I recently left a long career in fashion to concentrate on writing and photography full time. I went from long days at an office to working at home and exploring. While my days do feel busier than ever – I have never been happier. I love spending more time with our son, seeing him grow and exploring our city together. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t like working for the weekend. Everyday can be a weekend.

5. You do a lot of local adventures and activities with your son around the NYC area. How do you find all of the fun activities you plan? What motivates you to get out so much and explore where you live?
I had the misfortune in my life to have several family members pass while I was young. Life is such a blessing – and we never know what the future could bring. My motivation is simple - to live each day to the fullest, to surround yourself with loved ones, and to experience and see as much as possible.

There’s no better place to do this than New York City. I am completely and totally driven by the energy and beauty of our incredible city. The cultures and people of this city are everything. We’re so lucky to live in such an amazing city. I couldn’t imagine not taking part of this energy.

We have often been asked how we find activities.  As I have been living (and exploring!) in the city so long – much of the annual events and activities are committed to memory. Years ago, I compiled a picture book of the city – and walked every single city block from lower Manhattan to 100th street. It took an entire summer – but I learned so much about our city, the neighborhoods, restaurants, architecture, and history. So much so that the city feels quite small to me now. In addition to all my city knowledge, I do also spend a bit of time Googling current events, joining mailing lists, and the usual roster of city experience websites, always trying to stay on top of the latest art opening, and special events.

All of this is what inspired us to start our website. Our friends and followers trusted our research, our city knowledge, and were looking for a curated list of activities. Lil Kid Big City was born.

6. Why do you like to travel and adventure around NYC with your son?
I’ve always been a city explorer – way before our son was born. I would tear open an issue of Time Out New York with as much enthusiasm as a present on Christmas morning. To my delight – our son is just as much of an explorer as me. He loves experiencing new things, seeing the city, and learning about our world (often asking me to take him to see things!). My utmost joy comes from watching his reactions, and discoveries. Experiencing the city again through a child’s eyes may be the best gift of all.

7. What's a memorable travel experience you've had with your family?
My husband and I recently celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary in Las Vegas, with a vow renewal ceremony. We were originally married there, by Elvis, and hired the same Elvis to perform the ceremony. It was so special to have our son there by our side (Vegas can be fantastic for kids!). Now our little guy is the biggest Elvis fan, and is so excited to see Graceland next month.


8. What's the easiest and hardest parts about traveling with young kids?
Now at age 4 – traveling with our son is a breeze. A loaded iPad, a plethora of "dollar store" toys and small books and games make the time fly by. The challenges always come from the things you can't control – delays, unexpected travel changes and weather. Pack for the worst, hope for the best – you'll always be okay (just be sure you have a great back-up battery and used the bathroom before leaving!

9. What are your favorite travel resources?
I love to search and discover a city before traveling – often making our own itineraries way before leaving. I cross reference many different platforms and sites in doing this – everything from local bloggers, travel websites, tourism boards, Instagram, and more...

10. What are three items you never leave home without?
Back-up cell phone battery (I have a mega one that would last about a week if needed – its heavy and big, but I love the peace of mind!), iPad (a must now these days, no?), and a supply of snacks. You never know when you may be delayed, or need to fill a hunger pain.

11. What advice would you give to someone who wants to explore where they live with their kids but is nervous or isn't sure how to get started?
No need to be nervous! I find that fear comes from not being prepared. Do a little research (Where to? Opening hours? How to get there?) and pack smart so you feel comfortable for anything (diapers, snacks, wipes, change of clothes, etc.) Once I feel confident in these things I feel like I could take on anything.

Regarding getting started – the amazing internet resources today make it so easy. A quick Google will usually yield many choices – but I urge you to find the resource that calls to you personally. There are many company sites with journalist approach to activities with a basic synopsis, and many sites that offer opinions and first-hand experiences. There are (very!) large sites that seem to list everything – which is great for an explorer! But this may be overwhelming for someone looking for a quick activity and a small sampling. Search for what calls to you. You’ll get more out of it, find yourself inspired, and (most likely!) enjoy your experience even more.

12. What's your next travel adventure?
Memphis and Nashville next month! Our son has been asking to see Elvis’s home. My husband and I have been before – but are excited to share the experience with him. In addition to this we have arranged for our son to be the Honorary Duck Master at the Peabody Hotel! Nashville is a quick drive away! We’re exciting to visit this fun music city again. We have a very exciting stop to make while we are there. We recently wrote a children’s travel book on NYC and are working with an illustrator who lives there. We will be visiting her and her studio while in town. More to come on this soon!

Dont't forget to follow Beth on Instagram at @littlekidnyc and on her website Lil Kid Big City.



Travel Family Spotlight: Capitol Momma


Travel Family Spotlight: Capitol Momma

One of my favorite things about social media is meeting other families that love to travel and adventure. I like to dig in and find out what works for them and what draws their family to want to be "on the go" so we started a little series here on the blog where we spotlight other families who love to travel. We hope you will enjoy the next installment of the "Travel Family Spotlight" series.

Alexis Aschenbach is the face behind the Instagram account @capitol.momma. She is a mom of two girls (ages 3 and 6) and is expecting a baby boy in a few months. She started "Capitol Momma" as a way to chronicle her adventures around Washington, D.C. with her daughters. She loves scouting kid-friendly places, activities, and events. She is also a contributor to the Mommy Nearest website. We know you'll love her perspective on adventuring with her kids. And she takes beautiful pictures of their adventures. You can also follow along on her website Capitol Momma.

1. Tell us about your family.
Hello! We are currently a family of 4 with a baby boy due in September. I'm Alexis, my husband is Tommy, and our two girls are Clara (6) and Mae (3). I grew up in Nebraska and moved out to D.C after college. I didn't think I would end up staying forever but I met my husband out here and this is where we started our family. Now I absolutely love raising our kids here - there's so much to do and experience in the D.C. area.

2. Where do you live? Has your family moved around at all?
We live in Potomac, MD just a few miles outside of Washington, D.C. My husband owns a local business so we are here to stay!  We really like this area because it offers the best of both worlds - we get to enjoy the benefits of suburb life but are close enough to the city to be able to enjoy everything it has to offer too.

3. How often do you travel with your family? Is it local travel or international? Where has been your favorite place your family has traveled?
We take a few trips within the U.S. every year. In January we head south to Florida when we really start to feel like we need a break from the cold weather. In the summer we visit family in Nebraska and also go to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Those are our regular trips and then we usually go somewhere new as well. We haven't traveled internationally with our girls yet. I hope to take them to Europe when they get a little bit older. I was in a study abroad program in London during college and really found a love for traveling while there. I want my girls to experience that too.

It's hard to pick a favorite because I think there is something special about every trip but Napa and Sonoma will always be a favorite of mine. Before having children, I was a wine buyer for a large U.S. wine retailer and spent a lot of time in wine country. When my oldest was just five months old we went as a family. It's pretty easy to tour wineries with a baby strapped in a Bjorn but I definitely wouldn't take older kids! Save that for a parent's getaway trip!

4. You do a lot of local adventures and activities with your kids around the Washington, D.C. area. How do you find all of the fun activities you plan? What motivates you to get out so much and explore where you live?
I keep a running list of all the places I want to take my kids and do a lot of research too. We have our favorite places we like to visit over and over again like local farms for berry picking and the Smithsonian museums but then I try to mix in some new places to keep things interesting. I find a lot of activities on Facebook and Instagram and by reading other mom blogs.

I actually find it more stressful to be at home with my girls than out exploring! When I am out with them I am not worrying about trying to get the dishes or laundry done - I can just be present with them and temporarily forget about all my other responsibilities. My oldest daughter is now in Kindergarten and I'm realizing that it's going to get harder to find time to go explore together. I am really trying to do as much as I can with them before sports, birthday parties, and school activities completely fill up our schedule.

5. Why do you like to travel with your kids?
They love it and I love watching them experience new things. It's the best to see the world through their eyes with such wonder and excitement. Plus it's a great learning opportunity for them. Especially in the D.C. area, we have so many historical sites and museums to explore and I try not to take that for granted.

6. What's a memorable travel experience you've had with your family?
Last summer we had a memorable trip to Colorado that the girls still talk about all the time. I've really missed the mountains since moving to the East coast! Growing up in Nebraska, we used to ski in Colorado every winter so it felt great to go back. It was just so relaxing breathing in the mountain air, going horseback riding, picnicking, and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.

7. What are the easiest and hardest parts about traveling with kids?
I've always been a planner so that part comes easy to me. I like to make sure we have a schedule even while traveling so we make sure to maximize our time and see everything we want to see. The hardest party is probably when I'm traveling without my husband. He works really long hours so most our local trips are just myself and the girls. I've flown solo with them many times as well and that can be hard with a restless toddler on a long flight but still always worth it.

8. What are your favorite travel resources?
For flights I usually check and Google Flights. For rental cars and hotels, I often book them through the Bank of America Travel Center and use credit cards rewards points. I find that Instagram is also a great resource to find fun things to see and do while traveling.

9. What are three items you never leave home without?
1. Snacks - My girls seem to always be hungry so I always pack snacks in my bag and keep extra in the car. Food is an essential to keep everyone happy when we are out on adventures.
2. Water bottles - another essential! We are usually doing something active so it's important to stay hydrated.
3. My camera -  I always take my DSLR with us everywhere we go. It can get a bit heavy to lug around but documenting our adventures is a passion of mine. I love capturing a moment in time and being able to go back to it by looking at a photo.

10. What's your next travel adventure?
We will be taking a few local day trips over the girl's spring break. I'm trying to do as much as I can with them without completely exhausting myself while pregnant! In May I'll be going on a trip to Palm Beach, Florida without my husband and the girls for a little R&R time with a girlfriend. I hardly ever travel without my kids so I'm really looking forward to having a break! And then we are headed to Nebraska in June to visit family.

You can follow Alexis on Instagram at @capitol.momma or on the Capitol Momma website.


10 Things to Do With Kids in Budapest

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10 Things to Do With Kids in Budapest

Budapest is an amazing city and surprisingly very family-friendly. We hadn't been to Hungary before so we did a lot of research beforehand and asked some friends for tips on what our kids would like. When we travel with kids we prefer to get the feel of a city, wander, and explore rather than just check off a "To Do" list, but, of course, we had to fit in some of the iconic sites too. We hope this list will be helpful to you on your own adventure to Budapest with kids.

1. Wander the Castle District. The castle district of the city is full of sights and attractions. We hiked the hill up to Buda Castle (the Funicular was under construction while we were there) and stopped along the way to look over the Pest side of the city and at the Danube. My husband took the shorter staircase up to the top with our two oldest daughters while I pushed a stroller the long way around. In the castle district some of the sights you can visit Buda Castle, the Labyrinth, Fisherman's Bastion, Holy Trinity Square, and the Mattias Church. We hiked up to watch the sunset over the Danube from the Castle District and it was breathtaking.

2. Visit the Great Market Hall. Budapest's largest indoor market is a great place to buy souvenirs, taste local cuisine, and sight-see. The lower level of the hall mostly has produce, meat, and paprika vendors and the second level consists of shops selling arts and crafts and embroidery. The second level is also a good place to grab cheap Hungarian food. The basement is more of a supermarket and also where you can find fishmongers, spices, and pickles. We picked up a few souvenirs here and walked around tasting local cuisine that looked good to us. Our three-year old didn't last long inside because she wanted to touch everything, but our older girls had fun exploring this expansive market.

3. Stop at some playgrounds. We cannot say enough about the playgrounds in Budapest. We found them everywhere and they were wonderful. We especially liked the ones that were fenced in. Our favorite playground was just across the street from Erzebet Square on the way towards St Stephen's Basilica on Oktober 6th Street. We also loved the Olimpia Park playground near the Parliament.

4. Take a break in Erzsebet Square. This square is the largest green area in inner city Budapest. It was named after the wife of the Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph. The main attractions are the Danube fountain the middle of the square, the Design Terminal, and the Budapest Eye (Ferris wheel). It is also home to many cultural events and has a playground that our kids enjoyed. Our apartment was just a block from here and we loved wandering through and people watching. We also quite enjoyed the views of Budapest at night from the top of the Budapest Eye.

5. Enjoy the architecture of Parliament. The Hungarian Parliament is one of the iconic buildings in Budapest and it was built in the Gothic revival style. It lies on the Danube and it is the largest building in Hungary and the tallest building in Budapest. The best views of the building are from a Danube river tour. Guided tours are available of the building and you can also visit the Hungarian Crown Jewels. We enjoyed watching the changing of the guards outside the building and visiting the Lapidarium. We didn't take a guided tour on our latest visit.

6. Soak in the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. One of our highlights of our trip was visiting the thermal baths. I took my older daughters (ages 5 and 7) and left our 3-year-old with her dad because I was worried she might be too young for the baths and she isn't completely potty trained. After buying our tickets, renting a cabana (private changing room), renting towels, and changing into our swim suits we were ready to explore the baths. We mostly stayed in the larger baths outside because they were warm but not too hot for kids. We also explored some baths inside (paying close attention to the temperature readings) and soaked in some for a few minutes. I encouraged my kids to relax but not be too rowdy in the baths since most people were there to soak without distractions. We had a great time and wish we had been able to stay longer. The baths are located in City Park.

7. See the sights on a Danube River tour. We did a Hop On/Hop Off Bus tour in Budapest and it came with an evening boat tour of the Danube. It was a 60 minute ride along the Danube where we learned about the history and architecture of the buildings and bridges we passed. We didn't take our kids on the boat tour, although they would've enjoyed it. It did get a little chilly so we'd suggest dressing warmly. We took the boat tour that was closest to sunset and it was fun to watch the sunset across the city.

8. Step into history at the Budapest Zoo. While we soaked in the thermal baths my husband took our younger daughter to the nearby Budapest Zoo. The Budapest Zoo is one of the oldest in the world. It has 1,072 animal species and is located in City Park. Our daughter was especially enchanted with the hippopotamus, but apparently they also have a Komodo dragon and a wombat. Before arriving in Budapest we'd heard a lot of people telling us to visit the zoo and we don't usually visit zoos in other cities, but this one didn't disappoint.

9. See the mummified hand at St Stephen's Basilica. We might have visited St. Stephen's Basilica three times while we were in Budapest because our kids were obsessed with seeing the mummified right hand of Stephen (the first King of Hungary). The church is beautiful and decorated in the neo-classical style. Visitors can climb 364 stairs to the dome of the church to see amazing views of Budapest (there is also an elevator). We would definitely recommend stopping by this church and maybe grabbing a gelato nearby (see below).

10. Eat, a lot. We were surprised at how wonderful the food was in Budapest. We loved the traditional Hungarian dishes at restaurants we went to and also stumbled upon the Budapest Spring Fair where we got to try a variety of specialties. When we made our "To Do" list for Budapest we also had a "To Eat" list and we included the following foods on our list: Goulash, Langos, Rakott, Rantott, Dobos Torta, and Turo Rudi. Of course we tried some other things too. We also found some gelato we liked at Gelarto Rosa and donuts at Mr. Funk (sometimes we crave American food when we travel for a long time). Definitely spend some time trying food when you wander the streets of Budapest!

We hope you enjoy these "To Do" activities in Budapest. Let us know if you have any favorite activities that we missed!

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Travel Family Spotlight: Flights From Home


Travel Family Spotlight: Flights From Home

One of my favorite things about social media is meeting other families that love to travel and adventure. I like to dig in and find out what works for them and what draws their family to want to be "on the go" so we started a little series here on the blog where we spotlight other families who love to travel. We hope you will enjoy the next installment of the "Travel Family Spotlight" series.

Emily Holt is the face behind the Instagram account @flightsfromhome.slc. She is a mom of a darling one-year-old and she started "Flights from Home" as a way to post travel deals she found from Salt Lake City to destinations around the world for family and friends. Her account became so popular that she has now expanded into Southern California, Las Vegas, Denver, San Francisco, and Portland and has separate Instagram accounts for each city as well as a community page at @flightsfromhome. The deals she finds are amazing and the work she does makes it so more families can travel inexpensively, so of course we are big fans! Of course, Emily and her family love to travel themselves and they are now learning how life changes when you travel with a young child. We hope you'll enjoy our interview with Emily from Flights From Home!

1. Tell us about your family.
Our family currently consists of me, my husband, Cam, and our little girl, Jade (1.5 years old). We call Salt Lake City home. My husband manages software development and I'm an attorney. We also are huge Utah fans.

2. Where do you live? Has your family moved around at all?
Cam was born and raised in Salt Lake. He went to Alta High School. I was born in California but have been here since Junior High School (Orem and Salt Lake), so I definitely claim Utah as home.

3. How often do you travel with your family? Is it local travel or international? Where has been your favorite place your family has traveled?
We try to travel internationally twice a year. Last year was Italy and Cambodia. This year was Croatia/Bosnia and TBD. Aside from that, we take a couple domestic trips. Usually these are small and often involve visiting family around the country. It would be great if we could figure out a way to get unlimited time off work :)

So far, our favorite vacation destinations have been Cambodia, Ireland, and Brazil. 

4. Tell us a little bit about your website/Instagram account and what gave you the idea to start "Flights from Home"? How has what you do evolved as you have expanded to different markets? What other cities do you think you will expand into?
I started Flights From Home as a way to share travel deals with friends and family. Call it a weird hobby or whatever, but I like Flights. And I figured an Instagram account was better than the weekly mass texts people were getting. Over time the account has just grown, and I figure, the more the merrier. I have heard from so many people that they have been able to take trips they never dreamed of because of my account, so that has really been a lot of the driving force for why I have kept it going.

The posts have changed a little as the account has grown. Mostly so they are more readable. We did open up a few new cities, which has been fun, but also definitely more work than I anticipated. As of now, we don't plan to open any more markets until the other accounts are a little more established. Then, I guess we will just go from there.

5. Why do you like to travel with your daughter? How has travel changed for you since having your daughter? How has it changed as she has grown into a toddler?
Traveling with Jade has definitely changed things. The pace of travel is much slower, and we overall have to be more flexible to account for things that might come up. But really, this has actually been a welcomed changed. It's nice to be forced to spend a little less time go go going on vacation. Plus, it's truly nice to just unwind as a family for a week or two and just enjoy each other's company. 

6. What's a memorable travel experience you've had with your family?
Candidly, that's the great thing about travel--there are so many to choose from. One of my favorite memories though is when we took Jade to Cambodia when she was eight months old. We were in a market and there was this lady that was selling all of these cute handmade, patchwork animals. I picked out one I liked and was showing it to Jade, and immediately her eyes went to the strangest looking monkey and she just started laughing. I don't think I had ever heard her laugh that hard. Needless to say, we bought the money and still have it. We always joke how Jade has this tendency to pick out scary souvenirs, which has been true on a few vacations since then.  

7. What are the easiest and hardest parts about traveling with a baby/toddler for you?
The best part about traveling with kids is that I find places tend to be a lot more accommodating. For instance, we have been taken to the front of the line in security in airports or customs because we have a small kid. Also, in Asia, we got upgraded everywhere--mostly because people loved Jade!

One of the harder things is dealing with sleep issues in new time zones. To combat this, we try to maintain some normalcy wherever we go. For instance, we try to get up at a reasonable time, so hopefully we are tired by the end of the day. We also bring Jade's portable white noise machine and her blanket, so that she has something familiar even though we are in a new place. Even trying our very hardest though, a lot of times we just roll with the punches. There have been many times where I have been up at 2 a.m. watching a movie with Jade in a foreign country because she woke up and can't fall back asleep. And you know what? I really don't mind because I don't get 2 a.m. cuddles that often at home.

8. What are your favorite travel resources?
For flights I'm a huge fan of Google Flights and Kayak. For places to stay, we try to use @Airbnb when possible (especially in Europe). Having a full apartment, rather than just a hotel room, with a little girl is invaluable. And fortunately, @Airbnb rentals are usually cheaper than hotel rooms. 

9. What are three items you never leave home without?
Aside from the required passports, when we travel, three items we never leave without are snacks, a linen ring sling I use to carry Jade, and Jade's white noise machine (see above regarding attempting to adjust to sleep). 

Our staple snacks are goldfish, trail mix, and Swedish Fish. We always pack half in our carry-ons and half in our packed bag for when we come home--plus, snacks are always good to have when you need something at 2:00 a.m. in a foreign country.

As far as the sling goes, we actually don't take a stroller and just use the sling. Jade is still light enough that I can carry her when she's tired. Plus, she naps right in the sling, so Cam and I will keep doing things wherever we are while she is napping.

10. What's your next travel adventure?
Other than a few domestic trips to California, we actually don't have anything in the works right now, which is kinda strange for us. Usually though, we go wherever a cheap flight takes us, so it doesn't bother me that nothing is planned. I'm sure a deal will come along and the conversation will go something like this: "Cam, how about this for our Fall trip?" "Sounds good." Haha. 

You can follow Emily's flight deals on Instagram at @flightsfromhome.slc (or the community page @flightsfromhome) or on Facebook or on the Flights From Home website.


Travel Family Spotlight: Wanderlust Crew


Travel Family Spotlight: Wanderlust Crew

One of my favorite things about social media is meeting other families that love to travel and adventure. I like to dig in and find out what works for them and what draws their family to want to be "on the go" so we started a little series here on the blog where we spotlight other families who love to travel. We hope you will enjoy the next installment of the "Travel Family Spotlight" series.

Vanessa Hunt is the face behind @wanderlust.crew. She is a mom of four, a travel junkie, a lover of food, an awesome photographer, and an expert at finding travel deals. She is currently based in California (although that won't last long) and you can follow her and her crew on Instagram at @wanderlust.crew and on her website She posts about travel, worldschooling, worldwide families, photography, and finding the best travel deals (check out her Wanderlust Wednesday posts for the latest travel deals!). She is also a founder of @TravelMums, an Instagram account for like-minded mothers who see the importance of travel. Vanessa and her family inspire us with their travels and their perspective on the world. We hope you'll enjoy our interview with the Wanderlust Crew!

Tell us about your family.
Hi there, we are a family of 6. Me (mom) Vanessa, Paul (dad), Abbi (10), Jackson (8), Amelie (6), and Ethan (4) and we absolutely LOVE traveling! I think Paul and I have always had the travel bug, but it wasn't until our youngest was born that we decided that this crazy life was for us! When he was just 2 weeks old we packed up or gave away all our belongings and moved to Hawaii for a year and a half. After that we went to Washington, D.C. for a year, and then took off for a cross country road trip, then all over Europe for a year! We can't seem to stay in one place for long, even though we've tried. We love books, history, music, art and being together as a family.

Where do you live when you aren't traveling?
We really consider wherever we are at the moment to be where we live. We get a little confused when people ask "Where are you from?" But I grew up in California and Paul grew up in Canada, so those are our "original"homes. Right now we are in California for a little while.

Did you have any reservations about traveling full-time as a family?
Honestly, we've had really positive vibes about traveling full-time as a family most of the time. I'm not sure we had reservations about it, more like a few obstacles that we had to overcome to make it happen for us. But in the end we knew it was exactly what we wanted. I guess maybe the only reservation that I had was pulling the kids away from a sense of community and from family, but we have been able to find a sense of community on the road in the places that we go and especially at church. And we've had more visits from family when we are in Europe than we probably would have being in the U.S.

How did you come up with the idea to travel full-time as a family and how's it going now that you've been doing it for a while?
Well, our first thought was that we would move to France for a year and just come back to the U.S. when our year was up, but after looking into visa requirements for 6 of us, we were feeling a little daunted. Then we thought, why not just move around Europe and not have to worry about visas?? So the idea of full-time travel was born. So far (nearly 2 years) it's going really well! There are definitely some days that I want to bag it all and just settle down for good, but I know that lifestyle would never suit us in the end.

What are some unexpected things that you've encountered as you have been traveling full-time with your family?
Definitely a few things. I was really surprised that so many people in Europe speak English. I thought we'd really be practicing our language skills more, but so many people speak English that it's difficult, because they want to practice their English! It's great though! We also made so many unexpected friendships. We are still in touch with many of the people that we've connected with, especially our Airbnb hosts. We have been the recipients of so much kindness and I'm forever grateful for that! Humans are just so amazing!

What's the most memorable travel experience you've had with your family?
Oh, so many, that's a tough one! We have some spiritual memories, scary ones, special ones, funny ones! Our host in France had us over for a real French dinner at her old French Revolution era house, we had 6 courses and the kids had to sit through the whole thing. We had to attempt the whole conversation in French and it was a little scary but so fun and special!

When we arrived in Lake Como, Italy we were taking a train to Venice.  I was waiting on the platform with the kids and luggage when the train came and Paul was dropping off a rental car. I loaded everyone and everything on the train, having faith he would make it in time! We watched him running after the train from the window as the train pulled away from the station! The kids were BAWLING! He was able to catch the next train and meet us there. No big deal and it was a really good lesson for the kids that everything works out in the end and we always have a good laugh about that!

While we were in Paris, we had this awful feeling that we should leave. It was the strangest thing! We left and several hours later were bombarded with calls and texts from family members! The Paris attacks were that night! I had chills all over!

While staying in Switzerland, we ended up being there for a huge festival called Herbstmesse where the entire city turns into something resembling a State Fair. It was awesome and so unexpected!

What advice would you give to other families who want to make a change to full-time travel or plan a long term trip?
To families looking to traveling full-time, I would recommend reading my article 5 Steps to Afford Full-Time Travel, which will walk you through how to live a life of full-time travel.

What are you favorite travel resources?
For first hand advice I love Instagram!! I have made so many incredible friends there including Elise! I just don't even know what I'd do without my insta-fam. When you travel full-time you don't really have a lot of friends, so it's nice to have a sense of community on the internet.

The Facebook Group Worldschoolers is also an amazing resource and community full of full-time traveling families.

For flights, I love or Skyscanner.

For housing, hands down Airbnb has been our best friend! We have stayed almost exclusively in Airbnbs around the U.S. and Europe and we've paid less than our rent before we started traveling full-time and met so many incredible people this way!

What are three items you never leave home without?
1. Good Vitamins: Staying healthy on the road is so important! We are exposed to new germs every day, so having a good vitamin for us and the kids has been crucial. I think the whole year we were in Europe we only got one cold and never had to visit a doctor.
2. WiFi! We are both digital nomads so having good WiFi is crucial and sometimes the places we stayed did not have great internet, so we always travel with some type of portable internet like a MiFi. We got ours from Cell Hire in the U.S. for about $100/month.
3. Gum! The gum in Europe is awful, pack your own! haha!

Where are you headed next?!
Oh good question! We are heading to Puerto Rico for a month in April, Canada in the summer to learn how to camp and next year we are headed back to Europe and can't wait!