The Family Traveler’s Handbook #GIVEAWAY


I’m really excited to share a new book by my friend Mara Gorman, also the voice behind the blog, The Mother of all Trips. I met Mara at a family travel conference a couple of years ago and discovered that she’s practically my neighbor. She lives in Delaware, and she has been traveling with her kids since they were infants and records it all on her blog.

I have consulted with her when we’ve traveled in the past, and her advice is always spot-on, so I was thrilled when I heard that she was publishing her first book, The Family Traveler’s Handbook.

Family Traveler's Handbook

She hooked me in during the first chapter about how they became a traveling family. I love her perspective and was nodding my head along with her when she said:

The reality is that it takes initiative to be a traveling parent. It takes action. It takes a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. You will have to challenge cultural assumptions that say it’s more important to have ‘stuff’ than experiences, and that very young children should be utterly committed to a long list of activities that keep them at home.

I could relate to that not because I’ve made the choice and sacrifices to be a traveling parent, but rather because I have not. We often find ourselves lamenting that we don’t go anywhere or do anything, and we rail off a long list of “reasons” — including the activities and the financial sacrifices and preparation time that Mara mentions . . . but we don’t do anything about it.

Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to travel, to see more of the world, and to show it to our kids while we still can. The reality is, they are growing up quickly and they have spent most of their lives in one of four states — our own, my parents’ home state of Virginia, our family vacation state of Maine, and the land of The Mouse.

I want to see more and do more, and Mara’s book is inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone and do just that.

I appreciate that she stresses flexibility and the value of being prepared all at the same time. She shares anecdotes of their own travel experiences along with wise advice gleaned from years of doing what she loves most… exploring the world.

She tells you how to find the right hotel, how to make the most of museums and cultural attractions, and she gives you tips for traveling on a budget and camping with kids. She has a section on planning and then a section on actually traveling. The book is laid out in a very practical way, but it’s full of real life stories and anecdotes to keep your interest the whole way through. It’s definitely a must-have for the traveling family.


Register to win a signed copy of Mara’s book, The Family Traveler’s Handbook. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to register.

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  1. says

    while not having been able to do a lot of travel my favorite is probably the time we traveled to the beach the first time we all saw the ocean — awesome

  2. Carolyn says

    I would love to read this book. I need to get a better attitude about travel with my kids. I get too bogged down with how much effort it takes that it doesn’t seem fun to me. I need to change my attitude.

  3. Claire says

    We took our daughter to Europe (from Australia) at three months. It was a fantastic experience. Since then we have holidayed locally… But I would luuuurve to read the tips in this book. Travel is one of life’s absolute pleasures.

  4. says

    This book sounds perfect! We love to travel and want to do more of it. The land of the mouse is always a favorite, but I agree taking an adventure is spectacular – our trip to a ranch in Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park definitely was AMAZING!!!!!!

  5. beth says

    i want to be a travelling family! my favorite trip would have to be the semester i studied abroad in denmark. actually living in europe for 4 months was amazing!

  6. Megan says

    My favorite travel memory is when our family went to Hawaii. It was everything and more than I ever dreamed that I would get the opportunity to experience.

  7. Amy W says

    We haven’t traveled much as a family but the first time the kids flew in an airplane was great! So fun to watch how exciting it was for them!

  8. says

    OH MAN – I am going to need to get my hands on this book!

    I have just recently started to travel a lot with my hubby and my 2.5 year old and am really willing to take any advice that I can in this area!

    I want to make it the best experience for ALL involved!!! :)

  9. Lu says

    One if my favorite travel memories is when we climbed to the top of the bell tower of the Duomo in Florence – my two oldest, my brother in law and his oldest. Looking out over all the terra cotta roofs of the town was such a breathtaking experience! Could also be breathtaking because of the 500+ stair climb!

  10. Carol says

    We have been lucky enough to live in so America and got to travel extensively there. Enjoyed a cross-country move last summer from WA to VA. One of the benefits of being a military family! I would love to read her tips and ideas as I could always use help in that regard.

  11. Paige says

    We always talk about traveling more, but get hung up on all the reasons why we can’t do it. I’d love to read this book and get inspired to take an adventure.

  12. says

    You know I absolutely LOVE to travel and am planning my next trip to England this June with my youngest daughter. Can’t wait! And I would love to read this book. Thanks!

  13. Keely says

    We love to travel and have experienced much of Europe and South America, but now that we have a 5 month old, we are trying to figure out how to continue our adventures. This book sounds like it would be so helpful!

  14. Melanie says

    Thank you for this giveaway! It looks like a terrific and very helpful book! My favorite travel adventure was a cruise around the Hawaiian islands with my husband. It was spectacular! It has been my dream to take my children on that cruise someday.

  15. Susie says

    We live in north Africa, and we love to vacation in Europe! A few years ago, our oldest was almost 2 and our twins were 6 months old, we took a ferry to Sicily. The twins were a big hit in their double stroller, Italians stopped us every few feet to ask “jmela?” which we assume means ‘twins’. We drive across the island to IKEA (they don’t have those in Africa!) and enjoyed beautiful views of Mt. Etna. Definitely a vacation to remember!

  16. Heidi Gardner says

    Our family is currently on a spring break trip skiing in Red Lodge, MT. By far one of the easiest trips to do with kids. They are worn out by the end of the day, so we jump in the hot tub, eat dinner, and watch a movie. The next day we repeat. There is very little arguing as we all just know what we’re going to be doing every day. The hill (mountain) offers amazing lessons too!

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