Connect with family and friends when traveling

I just returned from a short trip to the beautiful City of Roses, Portland, Oregon.  I stayed downtown and walked everywhere to see the sights and experience the amazing cuisine in this city.  Food & Wine’s description of Portland as a “revered food city, also known for its fantastic bars and coffee scene” is accurate.  Also, the bluest skies are not just found in Seattle (my home)!

Thanks so much to Maggie for the excellent suggestions on things to do and see and places to dine.  It was a treat to connect with her as a member of one of my favorite hometown families. To share stories about Maggie’s very special Uncle Jim who was such a VIP in my life, was a privilege.

While in Portland, I visited Moonstruck to sample their chocolate truffles and indulge in a Moonstruck mocha!



We began traveling internationally with our sons when they came home from college on breaks as a way to “keep the peace;)” and “see the world”.  Our family vacations when they were younger had been primarily in the US and included visiting family or friends with a focus on active travel to ski, snorkel or backpack and hike.

As Leo Babauta reports on “traveling with a family is a completely different beast than traveling solo or as a couple”. Many of his suggestions with a few modifications worked well when traveling with our adult children:

  • Pack light-his family each used a backpack and our family uses the smallest roller bag and absolutely no checked luggage
  • Stay in central apartments- limit hotel stays as it is often cheaper to rent (Airbnb/VRBO)-you have a kitchen, a washer/dryer and a living room-it is much more comfortable
  • Walk everywhere- the best way to explore a place is by foot-“you only really see a place when you walk it”
  • Gelato will keep kids/adults happy-kids and adults including daughter-in-laws agree
  • Learn a bit of the language-hello, thank you, and where’s the bathroom are a good start
  • Ask locals for recommendations-your apartment owners are a great resource
  • Naps are good- a nap (which I rarely do at home) can be a good way to stretch out your day
  • Buy groceries and cook-eat breakfast before leaving for the day and spend a few evenings cooking the cuisine of the country
  • Educate yourself- traveling can make history come alive, so a little research goes a long way
  • Have relaxation days- include days where you just hang out
  • Wine makes things better- you will relax and smiled more
  • It’s a grand adventure- do not over plan and be open for spontaneous activities.

In August, we spent a week vacationing with our son and daughter-in-law in South Africa.  They are both seasoned travelers and let us tag along.  Our trip was an unforgettable experience that was nearly impossible to capture in photos or videos, but I will try this week!

16 Essential Tips for Traveling with a Family


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