Review of The Family Traveler’s Handbook by Mara Gorman.
Parents either contemplating traveling with children for the first time or looking for some tips to improve their travel experiences simply must read The Family Traveler’s Handbook. The recently-published guide is packed with the practical advice that parents need to plan a successful vacation and, more importantly, it lives up to the tagline Inspiring families to see the world together by demonstrating that there’s no need for families to impose limits on their travel experiences.
Author Mara Gorman is an award-winning freelance writer and family travel blogger at The Mother of All Trips who has two school-aged boys that she and her husband have traveled extensively with across the U.S. and in Europe. The Mother of all Trips was one of the first family travel blogs that I discovered when I first started reading about travel online and Mara is a writer that I admire a great deal as she can always be counted on for honest, practical advice as well as eloquent, heart-felt story-telling.
My Early Experience as a Traveling Mom
When my older daughter was born in 1996 it was very difficult to find any information on family travel. I knew that I didn’t want to stay home but there were no guidebooks to be found to reassure me and provide advice on how to travel successfully with kids. Instead we stumbled along learning many lessons the hard way as we were determined to keep traveling as a family even if it was sometimes painful.
Fortunately, for young families today there is now information on the internet and in guidebooks such as this to help make the transition to family travel from couple travel or solo travel just a little bit smoother.
What the Handbook Provides for Parents
The Family Traveler’s Handbook packs an incredible amount of practical information into a handy-sized paperback of less than 150 pages. The guide discusses Mara’s philosophy on family travel, why it’s important to explore the world with kids and what families gain from the experience.
It also provides advice on every aspect of traveling with kids including: the planning stage of choosing a destination, accommodations and transportation; packing; creating an itinerary; feeding kids on the road; visiting museums and other cultural attractions; safety; illness; multi-generational travel and so much more. Parents will find advice on nearly any aspect of travel with kids that is causing them concern.
Why I Recommend the Book
I agree whole-heartedly with Mara’s philosophy that it’s important to get kids engaged in the world and to value experiences over things. Mara describes travel with kids as being more “deliberate and meaningful” and that has been our experience as well. I have observed first-hand that travel provides an excellent education and that kids became more curious and informed about the world beyond their home towns and their own countries as a result.
What I have learned over the years is that many parents are afraid to travel with their kids or to take them anyplace that isn’t deemed to be “kid-friendly”. The Family Traveler’s Handbook shows parents that with planning and flexibility it is possible to travel with kids to nearly anywhere that they would choose to travel as a couple. Then it provides the practical advice that will help these families to travel with confidence. A resource such as this inspires families to explore the world and provides them with the tools to do it successfully and that is just what many parents need to get them out the door and on the road with their kids.
I was provided with a copy of The Family Traveler’s Handbook for review purposes but have received no other compensation for this post. My opinions are, as always, my own.
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