26 Reasons I’m Thankful for Travel

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It is approaching Turkey Day here in the U.S. and families are busy preparing big festive meals to feed big hungry mouths. In between bites of green bean casserole (my favorite) and turkey stuffing, families are getting mushy as they remember to give thanks for the wonderful things in their lives. Although Thanksgiving is an U.S holiday, I think gratefulness translate worldwide. Being a traveling mama I am feeling very thankful myself, so I’d thought it would be fun to share my 26 Reasons I’m Thankful for Travel.

1. Family Fun

First thing I am thankful for is my lovely, exciting and crazy family. Without them my travels and life would not be nearly as exciting. Even when we aren’t on the road, everyday feels like a vacation with this wild bunch. I love our teamwork and support system. We work together like a machine to make our group goals a reality. I love them more than words will ever be able to express.

Thankful for Travel

2. Self-Motivation

I am thankful my drive. It sounds silly, but multiple multi-generational trips a year can be exhausting. It is easier and cheaper to stay home, but that would not satisfy me. My passion for travel and the joy I get from making memories with my family is worth all the extra effort.

3.Creating Global Citizens

I’m thankful for the travels experiences I have given my kids. I hear them talk about the world and my heart flutters. They already know so much about different cultures, food and geography. They are curious, courageous and compassionate.

Thankful for Travel

4. Earning Rewards

I am thankful for my travel rewards credit cards! Without them I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish many of our big adventures this year. I even earn enough rewards to get us through future travels!

5. Travel Hacks

I’m thankful for flight trackers like Google Flights, Yapta and SkyScanner for helping me get the best deals on airfare equaling more trips.

6. Flexible Work

I’m thankful for my bartending job, because not only has provided me enough money to fund our travels, it also has an amazingly flexible schedule that allows me freedom to spend time with my kids and take time to actually travel. Plus, it is a really fun work environment, a social outlet and gives the gift of cocktails!

Thankful for Travel

7. Serendipity 

This brings me to my next travel thanks. If I didn’t work at the bar, I would have never met this awesome couple from Glasgow. I met them just as I was planning my trip to Scotland and they provided me a ton of useful travel tips. I’m also thankful I took notes and their advice, because it made my trip fantastic! You never know who will meet, that will lead to your next adventure.

8. Going Abroad

I’m thankful for our two week trip to Scotland for many reasons. HotDaddy and I were able to take my parents and our kids our this grand adventure. There were lots firsts for our group such as, Papa’s first passport, our first trip together to Europe, and our first time to Scotland.

Thankful for Travel

9. Scotch

Scotch. Yes. Scotch. Thank you Scotland for turning me into a Scotch lover. Although I have always been a whiskey lover, I have never cared for the peaty flavor of Scotch, but after having two weeks of nonstop consumption at an affordable cost, I have discovered many Scotch’s I love and now have to have it in my life!

10. Accomplishments

I’m thankful for our last trip to St. Pete Beach. We love visiting every year, but with our Scotland trip planned a week later, we almost gave it up! I am so grateful I we didn’t, because with  HotDaddy starting a new job and we couldn’t visit in 2016. Thankfully, we are must likely going to be back in 2017 and I am hopeful for that possibility. For more on St. Pete, see HERE or where to stay, see HERE.

Thankful for Travel

11. Financial Freedom

I am grateful for HotDaddy’s new job, because it has given us a little more financial freedom and more reasons to travel as he has to work across the country every month. Plus, he gets to work remotely when in town, giving us much more time together during the week.

12. Local Travel

I’m thankful FireCracker started kindergarten. It has given her an outlet to shine and grow. Plus, coupled with HotDaddy’s new work schedule it has kept my booty in town and forced us to enjoy more local travel.

13. Home Sweet Home

I am thankful for living in Southern California, because there is so much to do. So, even though we have been restricted to weekend getaways, due to work and school schedules, we are having a blast! We have enjoyed everything from our beaches to our mountains, our amusement parks to our big cities. What an exciting state to live and visit!

Thankful for Travel

14. Access to Disney

Disneyland is a big deal to many families and I am so grateful to have Disney Passports, allowing our family to practically live at Disney parks. We don’t need all day marathons that leave us feeling exhausted and grumpy. We have the freedom to pop over for a couple hours during the evening to squeeze in a few rides and a beer. What more do you need?

Thankful for Travel

15. Upgrades

Although I really like our first RV, I’m thankful for Sis’s new RV, The Voltage! Now we have even more room for our big family RV trips! It seems like every year our trips get bigger as the family grows, so an upgrade was needed.

Thankful for Travel

16. Firsts

I am thankful that we finally took our first Disney Cruise. Not only was it amazing experience, but we are now official Castaway Club members. This means there are many more Disney cruising in our future and I am very thankful for that!

Thankful for Travel

17. RV Trips

I’m thankful for all our RV trips this year! We were really busy with other travels and didn’t RV as much as we normally do, but the ones we did accomplish (Mission Bay, Newport Dunes and Vail Lake) were memory makers.

18. Mountain Escape

I’m thankful for our annual weekend getaways in Idyllwild. Fireside Inn is our favorite place to stay, giving my kids an awesome experience every time. CuddleBear still talks about our cabin weekend even though he has been all over the place. Most likely, because it a slow-travel where all we do is enjoy nature, eat at amazing restaurants and play card games. For more about Idyllwild, see HERE or about Fireside Inn, see HERE.

Thankful for Travel

19. Travel Eats

Food! I am thankful for all the amazing, delicious and exciting food we have experienced this year on the road and locally. We seriously have eaten the best food this year. From Idyllwild’s unique foodie restaurants to Scotland’s hearty comforts to the endless crab legs in Florida. I have been eating my way around the world and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

20. Adventurous Eaters

Speaking of food, I am thankful I don’t have picky eaters for kids. Actually, that was something HotDaddy was concerned about before we had children. We love food so much that the thought of having picky eaters terrified him. Well good news, we don’t and they are willing to try anything and everything. However, CuddleBear does need a bit more encouragement than FireCracker sometimes.

Thankful for Travel

21. Smooth Flying

As a fearful flyer (yes a traveler afraid to fly), I am very thankful that all my flights have been very smooth! I was really nervous about flying over the Atlantic, because I knew cruising over it can be very rough. Good news, flying over it is much smoother and probably the smoothest flight I have ever flown!!

22. Safety

I’m thankful for safe and healthy travels. As a mom you always stress before a trip that everything goes okay; that nobody will get hurt or sick while away from home. Although I had some sleepless nights of anxiety before every adventure, I am happy to report all went well!

23. SPF

I am thankful for SPF 50+ sunscreen, because I have some white babies and we traveled to (and live in) some hot places. I don’t want to damage their beautiful baby skin, so before every day at the beach I frosted them like cupcakes.

24. Pretty Girls

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea made the list too! CuddleBear was obsessed (and when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed) with their Pretty Girls video. It saved me so many times this year. It calmed him down from meltdowns, it entertained him during long transportation, and it soothed him to sleep! Thank you Britney and Iggy for being so pretty and talented to capture my son’s heart at 3 years old!

Thankful for Travel

25. Meeting New People

When traveling you get to meet so many wonderful people and I am so grateful for all the friends I met on the road this year! We had some great times laughing by the pool and in the pubs!

26. Travel Writing

Lastly, I am thankful for taking my travel writing in my own hands and diving into my travel blog head first. I have made some wonderful friends in the travel community, have a creative outlet and platform to share my stories and advice with the world, and I have expanded my opportunities to continue a life of family travel!

Although I am always looking forward and planning for the next big adventure, Thanksgiving reminds me to take a step back, slow down and reflect on blessings in my life. Surprisingly, today we are not on the road, but I am excited to be home with my family, gorging on turkey, stuffing and pie. We are going to wear stretchy pants, eat until we pop, watch Trains Planes and Automobiles, and lock down some more travel plans. No matter where I am in the world, as long as I am with my family I am home. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
Are you at home or on the road?
What are you most thankful for this year?

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I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".


  1. I really love this and I loved the way you acknowledged local travel. Not being able to travel as far and frequent as you’re used to can be a real bummer, but I too have been adventuring more local destinations and it is totally fun!

    • It makes you appreciate your home more too. It is so common that travelers do more in a location than locals ever do, so why not be a traveler at home and enjoy the things a tourist would?

  2. Travel is one of the best things you can do with your life! Exposing yourself to different places and cultures allows you to shed your preconceptions! I can imagine it’s especially good for children, as they will have more respect for different cultures growing up!

  3. Amazing list, amazing life well done. I am also happy to have some mini world citizens that have the capacity to ask about countries, cities and cultures while still in primary school and not just cartoons lol

  4. What a fantastic list! I think it’s pretty incredible that your children are able to be a part of such rich and rewarding experiences. Hats off to you. 🙂

    • Thank you! I want them to be comfortable in the world they live. Not afraid of it. I also want to create a deep bond between all of us.

  5. Great list of things to be thankful for, including not only travel but also family, work and personal growth. Gratitude is so important for happiness. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I love this list, not the traditional Thanksgiving or travel list, but it gives us some beautiful things to think about. I’m thankful for the travel that I get to do every day 🙂

  7. Very good story about Travelling, if you every happen to visit Turkey , please contact us. We will be more then happy with your holiday. Hope to hear from you soon.

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