Would-be parents are sure to have heard this warning before: “Travel as much as you can now, because as soon as you have kids you won’t be able to go anywhere.” Bloggers Daniela Ramirez, Monet Hambrick and Carmen Sognonvi—three frequent-fliers who happen to be moms—could not disagree more.
“If kids live there, kids can visit,” says Hambrick (@thetravelingchild), who has garnered a dedicated following documenting the adventurous excursions she takes with her husband and two daughters. Here, these three well-traveled moms share their favorite family travel memories and offer tips on vacationing with kids.
I loved flying to Los Angeles and renting a vintage VW van to drive down the coast. We didn’t go very far south, but it was because of the vintage van, not Nico. My personal tip for moms is the opposite of what most people say: Make sure your kid fits your lifestyle and don’t stop doing what you like. All you need to do is make little adjustments and you’ll get to experience all your favorite things from a different pair of eyes.
I travel quite often to places that aren’t necessarily considered “kid-friendly.” That’s OK—in fact, I’ve learned I’m not as adventurous as my kids. When we went zip-lining in Costa Rica, they were the ones encouraging me to let go! My top five trips were to Kenya, Brazil, Morocco, Jamaica and the Southwest. Getting to spend Thanksgiving Day camping on an RV in the Grand Canyon was beautiful—talk about gratitude. We saw national parks and took the girls on short hikes. We did a private tour with the Navajo to learn about their traditions. It's important for us to show our kids the world and introduce them to many different cultures.
One of my missions is to show people who may have childhood memories of miserable family trips that you don’t have to do it that way. Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be an exercise in misery. My family and I enjoy luxury travel, but I think one of the biggest benefits of traveling as a family is the bond you create through these shared experiences. The first time I brought my daughters to Hong Kong, which is where I am from, was special. I had expected them to experience a bit more culture shock, but they felt right at home. My two sisters were still living there and while we reconnected with family we also made sure to take the girls to all the important tourist spots, like The Big Buddha, and all the local food spots.