Family traveling for many people seem like a real challenge. For a couple like us, who are just engaged and love to travel is really a question for discussion. This is why we were so happy when we got a chance to engage with someone from our Instagram followers, who is a real expert in these matters!
As Traveler’s Child reached 10k followers on Instagram we started this project where we search the most interesting pictures we found made by our followers and share them. This is how we found TripMemos and got in touch with the wonderful person behind it – Anne Moss. She kindly accepted our proposal of doing interview and sharing her wisdom about family traveling.
Brief description about the traveler
The family of travelers
So, first of all, we asked Anne to introduce herself and her family as travelers:
We’re a family of four living in Israel. Our boys are 13 and 15, both home-schooled.
I don’t think we used to think of ourselves as travelers up until a decade ago. We’ve always enjoyed traveling in Israel and went abroad once every 2-3 years. Back then – we’re talking 20 years ago! – travel was more expensive, so we weren’t able to travel overseas more often than that.
We’ve always wanted to know more about other places and meet people from different cultures. Growing up, I used to have pen pals (yes, that was a thing back then!) from 80 different countries. Both of our families have always hosted people and so naturally, as soon as going out there to see the world became more feasible, we knew we want to do more of that.
When asked about which places that their family has been to were the most wonderful Anne, though had to think more about this, came up with a quite certain answer:
The list of wonderful places we’ve been to is long but I can say that the American Rockies is definitely where we love traveling the most. Specifically, Glacier National Park in Montana is our favorite place to visit. We’ve been there twice already and may return again this summer! It’s just immensely beautiful and there are always animals to view. Glacier has the most bears per square mile in the entire North American continent! We must have seen at least two dozen bears there already.
We also wanted to know, what is on Anne’s bucket list of places, which she and her family want to visit the most.
Our Bucket List is extremely long. I really should create a blog post around that, just to keep track of all the ideas in my head. The five top items would be: Patagonia in South America, Australia, Japan, China and Alaska. Hoping to strike off Alaska this summer!
Another really interesting thing about Anne is that she runs a wonderful blog called TripMemos. Here you can find out everything about Moss’ family traveling around the world, which includes awesome photos and useful tips for travelers.
Turns out, there is a wonderful story behind this blog!
This is actually my second travel blog! Our first “big trip” was back in 20111 Planning ahead for five and a half months was fun and challenging. I collected a lot of information and since I’m a web publisher, it was easiest for me to just type it all into a blog. So, I started a blog in Hebrew about traveling to the US, just for our own use. When we hit the road, I updated the blog daily with our stories and photos, as a way to keep in touch with friends and family. That blog became very popular and I kept it going during our subsequent trips to the US. It’s now the most extensive resource for Israelis traveling to the US and I regularly help people who post their questions as comments to posts.
This year, I decided that it’s time to try and do the same in English. Rather than focus on the US, I decided to cover all the places we’ve been to and the ones we’re going to visit. Same concept, of sharing both our experiences and tips as well as our “cheat sheets” for visiting new places.
Most memorable family trip
After a very interesting introduction about herself and her family, we decided to get to know more about what Anne has to say about her traveling experience.
Our first question was what were the most memorable trips with your family?
When the boys were very young, we traveled in Israel a lot but didn’t want to take babies/toddlers on a trip away from home for longer.
It was only when our younger boy was 5 that we decided to venture on a longer trip and chose the US as our destination. That month long trip to California and Arizona was our very first visit to the US. We fell in love with the country and knew we were going to return for more.
Fast forward a couple of years and we hit the road on our first long US road trip: Five and a half months long! It was the perfect trip. We got to see the most incredible places and meet wonderful people along the way. It was so awesome, we just had to return for another four and a half months in 2013 and then again for two and a half months in 2015. Our tickets for the summer of 2017 are already booked… We’re flying into NYC where we’ll pick up a vehicle and drive all the way to Alaska and back!
We try to incorporate a visit to Europe with each of these trips. Most airlines allows you to stop over for up to six nights on your way to or from the US, so we make the most of that! So far, we’ve visited London several times, Rome and Amsterdam. We also visited Switzerland and the French Alps last year, on a separate short trip. This March, we’ll hop over to Paris and Berlin for a week and a half. Flights are so cheap these days, we just find them too tempting to pass on!
Traveling with children
Eventually, we got to ask Anne the question, which we found the most interesting when talking about family traveling – what are the biggest challenges when traveling with children and how do you cope with them?
I have to say, we found our kids to be superb travelers. We keep saying that they’re far more fun to travel with than most adults we know! Even when younger, they were easy going, flexible and enthusiastic . When we left for the first long road trip, Dan was only 7 and Ron was 9. Some people told us they’re bound to get bored and miss home but that did not happen even once in five and a half months!
I think part of that was due to our choice of destination. The US is very suitable for family travel, especially if you’re road tripping. Everything is just easy and accessible and the minivans are large and accommodating. We could carry a lot of stuff with us, like toys, food and water, and that made things easier for everyone.
Also, we wanted to know, from Anne’s perspective, how important it’s for children to travel from young age?
I don’t think it’s important for children to travel at a very young age. Not before the age of 5-6. I do think it’s awesome to travel with babies and toddlers, but mostly as a way for the parents to keep traveling if they want to. The kids themselves won’t remember much of anything that happened before they turn 6 or so (just the way the brain develops).
Once they turn 6-7, travel becomes important for many reasons. It’s educational and it helps bring the family together. Our kids learned a lot during our travels, and gained a second language. They now speak English as fluently as they do Hebrew.
Actually, Anne has already discussed this matter on her blog, so if you want to learn more, just read it here!
After this we really wanted to ask for her advice for people who are afraid and avoid family traveling and if there was she would’ve wanted to know before her first trips with her children.
Generally speaking, I’m against dispensing parenting advice. I think each family is different and what worked for us may not work for others and vice versa. There are many parenting styles and they are all legitimate, with the obvious exception of neglect and abuse, of course.
That said, if you want to try traveling with kids, just do it. See how it works for your family dynamics and find your own path. Don’t let others scare you. If you think it could work for your family, chances are it will!
One more story, please..
While browsing through all the pictures stories in Anne’s blog and Instagram, there was no doubt that there had to be tons of interesting and wonderful stories! We were in awe of how awesome her family traveling was! So, we might of asked to share one more MOST MEMORABLE story before the end…
So many stories! I mentioned Glacier National Park before, so I’ll share a story from one of our visits to the park.
We were crossing the Going To The Sun road that morning – probably the most beautiful mountain pass in North America – and were making stops on the way to take in the views. When we stopped near the Wild Goose Island viewpoint by St. Mary’s Lake, Ron and Dan – then aged 9 and 7 respectively – insisted that they wanted to stay in the car and have their cookies. We opened the back door and let them have a small tailgate party with some snacks, while we walked 100 yards away from there to take some pictures.
While we were taking photos, we heard a commotion. A momma bear with three cubs came down the road! I asked someone where the bear was and she replied, “she’s headed over there, where those two boys are”. As you can imagine, we rushed over back to the car! We found both boys inside, doors and windows locked. The bear noticed everyone running, so she left the scene.
It was all very exciting, of course, and we interviewed Dan on video to tell us about their experience. It’s one of my favorite videos ever. Apparently, the boys noticed the bear coming over. They had enough Jr. Ranger training not to panic. They went in the car right away, shut all the doors and windows and as Dan put it “we even buckled our seat belts!”
And what was the most memorable event for your children?
I think overall, it’s more about things that happen, than about places, though the kids do have a surprising appreciation for awesome views.
So many experiences to choose from… from whale watching, to feeding alligators in the swamps of Louisiana and hiking a glacier in Canada. And of course, every bear and moose and rattlesnake we saw along the way! For a single event, I’ll choose the Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. We were there in 2011 and witnessed them setting a world record of more than 600 hot air balloons in the air at once.
Finally, we want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Anne Moss for sharing her incredible stories and experiences of family traveling with us. It’s been a huge pleasure and, as always, for the last question we ask our guests:
Why people should travel more and what do people who are avoiding this are missing in their lives?
I think traveling is a wonderful way to experience life with your loved ones. It can bring you together as a family like no other thing can. Traveling together, we create the best kind of memories that literally last us a lifetime.