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Magical Family Travel. Do You Believe in Magic?

Over a lukewarm cup of coffee and a living room full of toddlers, I somehow managed to read an article in its entirety and I have to say, what a breath of fresh air. I’m Done Making My Kids Childhood Magical, offers a fantastic perspective for parents feeling the pressure in this showoff society we live in. As a person who advocates traveling with your kids and having magical family travel, I just have to explain why I agree with this article and why other parents should breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, there is no more pressure to make your child’s childhood magical, because being a kid is magical.

The Crazy Things We Do

In her article, Bunmi Laditan goes on to explain all the crazy things we do for kids today, elaborately themed birthday parties, designer threads, decked out bedrooms and extravagant vacations. Her point is basically that we don’t need any of the glitter to give our children happy childhood memories or prove we love them, because for most of us, our happiest memories are of the simple everyday pleasures of just being a kid.

magical family travel

True, we don’t need to make our everyday lives a grand production for the sake of the children. Let’s be honest, for many of us parents, kids give us the outlet to express our own creativity; to revisit our own childhood whimsy. I’ve said before in my blog that I am not a big a birthday party person. In general, I feel like they are too much work and too much money for the reward. I would rather take the money and spend it taking my kids on an adventure, but traveling is what I enjoy. See how I made my son’s birthday fun for all of us in St. Patrick’s at Newport Dunes, HERE.

magical family travel

Opulently themed kids’ parties may appear to be a way for parents to boast, but I know that some women honestly love to decorate, throw parties and entertain guests. Their kids give them an excuse to satisfy this appetite. Honestly, I don’t have that desire, so I don’t do it. We may not have extravagant parties, but my kids aren’t lacking excitement about their birthdays because all the important elements are there: friends, family, food and little extra attention. Simple.

magical family travel

Magical Family Travel without Travel

The same applies to travel. Laditan states, that you can have a perfectly magical childhood without going on a single vacation. Interestingly enough, I totally agree. Jigga-What? Yup, I agree. How can a woman who has based her whole blog on traveling with kids possibly agree? Well, it simple. It’s not about the trip, rather it’s more about the family bonding and the experiences a family shares together. In actuality, togetherness is what makes for a truly magical family travel. See my post on Traveling in Place, HERE.

magical family travel

I am traveler, that’s who I am. Trips are not planned to solely bring magic into my kids’ lives. I plan trips to keep my sanity and as a result my kids get amazing experiences. Kids like being with their family and that’s what travel, for us, is about. We separate ourselves from our daily hectic schedule to just take time to be together. In fact, my mother said the thing she loves most about our RV trips is that for four days no one is rushing off to work or other various activities. We are all in one place together for a block of time with nothing more to do than talk to each other. That me say that I love when I hear my kids and my nephews talk among each other about their shared adventures. For RV tips, see my post, HERE.

magical family travel

Furthermore, magical family travel doesn’t have to be about exotic far off places. It’s about the escape; the opportunity to let go of all the distractions in our busy lives that keep us from merely enjoying our families. My blog isn’t advocating parents to drop crazy amounts of money on extreme vacations or to brag about what my kids get to do. It is simply to share my stories, my family travel advice and all my money saving/sanity saving tips. Basically, I’ve learned along the way and I want to help others travel with kids easily. That’s it.

If you love to throw parties, then by golly, throw those parties. Like to decorate? Then add your flare to those bedrooms. If you love fashion, then dress those babies to the nines. Finally, if you love to travel, keep traveling and take those crazy kids with you.

Here’s to the magic of families!

Do you feel pressure to make your kids’ childhood magical?

What magical memories are you making?

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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. Spot on. We travel for ourselves but want out kids to enjoy it because it will help us enjoy it and we have decided to go and want them not t be miserable. The honest truth is that they would be just as happy running around the garden as a beach on the other side of the world, the main thing they want is mum and dad running with them.

    • Exactly. We whenever I ask my kids what their favorite part about a trip was, they always say, “Mommy and daddy didn’t have to work.”

    • Yes, or build a pillow fort, a tree house or have the parents show them cool stuff, build things together, learn a new skill. I have a friend who doesn’t like hiking as an adult, because her parents took her on the mountain a whole day, without fun stuff when she was little. What may seem an awesome idea for us, can make kids miserable and mark them for life.
      Kids need to explore at their own pace! 🙂

      • True. It is good to have a mix of activities so everyone feels like they have had a good time.

  2. I agree with your sentiments, holidays are exactly that for us – family time, bonding time without rushing to classes, works or having schedules!

    • We don’t realize sometimes how much family time means to kids, but they really love it.

  3. Its the simple things that kids love like just hanging out with us , we really should treasure this time as it won’t last forever. Soon we will be daggy un-cool parents in there eyes.

  4. I personally don’t have kids, but do hope to someday start a family. I’ve always said I want my kids to be well traveled. My grandparents started me very young with traveling (although solely domestic), and I truly believe it spawned my love for travel.

    • That’s how I feel. I love seeing my kids talk about the world with kindness and knowledge. I want my kids to be well-traveled too and hopefully they will continue traveling when they have a family of their own.

  5. I love taking my family on adventures to open them up to new learning experiences. Even a small trip to a local hiking trail brings family bonding and exploration of our world. I agree it doesn’t have to be an expensive “show off” kind of vacation to make magical childhood memories.

    • Right. My kids’ favorite experiences from even the most exotic travels were the simple ones. Like free sundaes or the playground. Haha.

  6. I’m not a parent but I love the concept of not putting the pressure on parents to make ever moment the best ever. Great post!

  7. I live in an area where its very much keeping up with the Joneses. Extravagant birthday parties, big vacations, expensive clothes and summer camps. And you have to wade through what you like. We like travel (duh!) and I love giving my kids birthday parties. Not the crafty, pinterest kind but the lets do a bounce house place which still costs a small fortune! A big thing around here too is to have your kids in a million activities. My kids do religous ed one day a week, and they each get to pick ONE thing else to do. And they have to enjoy it or we arent continuing. My kids love travel… from a visit to a local amusement park to a bigger trip. They really dont know the difference, but again as you said they like spending uninterupted time with mom and dad (or extended family).

    • You are so right, there are so many things that kids could be doing but we also make it a point to prioritize travel in the same way, whether it is local getaways or longer travels. We view it as an investment in their education and in our family bonding. In fact, we have an essay on this exact topic that should be appearing soon and I will add a link as soon as it is published if you are interested.

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