Tell us a little background about you and your blog.
We3Travel inspires families to explore the world by providing tips, reviews, destination information and sample itineraries that make family vacation planning easier. Since 2013, our family of three has been showing parents how, with a little planning and preparation, they can take kids anywhere – and have fun! From the cathedrals of Europe to the rainforests of Costa Rica to the battlefields of Gettysburg we are raising a global citizen, one trip at a time. My background is in marketing and I’ve always had a passion for travel. I strive to show families how, even with limited vacation time and school schedules, you can explore the world or your own area.
What is your number one family travel tip?
Prepare your kids before you go. If they are involved in the planning and know a bit about a place before going there, it will “click” when they see it in real life and it will be a more meaningful experience. I have plenty of tips for how to prepare kids but one of the best ways is reading books. I often provide a list of books to read before you go, especially if a destination has historical significance.
Where was your favorite destination to travel to and why?
We are the type of family that likes exploring new places instead of always going back to the same locations, which makes this question especially hard. So far, I’d say one of our favorite trips was to Italy. What isn’t to love about Italy? The food, the weather, the people, the architecture and especially the history. It was thrilling to watch my daughter behold the Colosseum for the first time and follow on our tour guides’ heels answering and asking questions. To see her soaking in the rich history and culture, relishing in the food, and making a new Italian friend — it was everything we had hoped for and more.
Do you have any favorite sites, blogs or magazines you read to help plan your travel?
So many! I love to listen to the Rick Steves and Independent Traveler podcasts to get travel inspiration. I’m always saving good articles on Pinterest boards so that when I decide to visit a place I can go and read more details about what to see and do. When I’m planning I use TripAdvisor, Trekaroo, Family Vacation Critic and other review sites. I also follow a ton of other family travel blogs and get great information from blogs like 100 Roadtrips Across America, The World is a Book, Traveling Mom, Walking on Travels, Gone with the Family, Mother of All Trips, and so many others.
Do you have any favorite travel apps or gear?
Yes! I write about travel apps frequently and have favorites for roadtrips, international travel, and flight travel. I also search for apps for the city that I’m visiting so I have local metro apps and family travel guides. For flight planning I like Hipmunk, TripIt is helpful for tracking travel plans, Skyscanner for tracking flights, Gate Guru for seeing what services are in the terminals, TripAdvisor city guides for attraction information, iExit for roadtrips, History Here for exploring cities, mTrip for building itineraries, Google Translate (with Word Lens feature) for translation, Duolingo for language learning, OpenTable for restaurant reservations, Food Network on the Road or TV Food Maps for finding celebrity chef restaurants and Eat St or TruxMap for finding food trucks.
What got you into travel blogging? How did you start?
I spend hours planning our family vacations — looking at guide books, travel sites, blogs, maps, restaurant menus, and reviews to put together itineraries that help our vacations run smoothly. I started blogging in 2013 after sharing some of these itineraries with friends to help them with their planning and getting such a positive response. I recognized that many families want to explore, but they just don’t have the time it takes to plan a detailed trip. My desire is to share our experiences and the tricks we have learned through our travels to inspire families to travel more.
Do you have any advice for family travel bloggers who are just starting out?
The family travel blogging community is very supportive and helpful. No one can go everywhere and every family is different so I think if you are interested in adding your voice and experience, go for it! Start with what you know and what you are passionate about — whether it is adventure, resorts, Disney, local, or other travel passions.
Where do you plan to travel to this year?
We will be visiting Quebec City in February for Winter Carnival, spending time in San Francisco and Monterey, California in March, I’ll be in Gulf Shores, Alabama in May, and doing a roadtrip through Virginia in August. We are still planning our “big” family trip for 2015 and waffling between the Grand Canyon and Iceland.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?
New travel bloggers should join travel groups on Facebook and consider attending events like TBEX.