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About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Scottsdale with Kids – 25 Fun Things to Do in the West’s Most Western Town

Scottsdale may be best known for its abundance of swanky spas, golf courses, and shopping malls. Thankfully, families will find a wealth of kid-friendly attractions here, too. As a family travel expert who spent half my childhood living in Scottsdale and then moved back to this Southwestern city with my brood several years ago, I […]

Why and How to Do a Home Exchange Vacation

Curious about how a home exchange works? If you would like the comforts of home while traveling at almost no cost, then doing a home exchange may be for you. Whenever I tell people my family has done a few home exchange vacations, they exclaim interest in doing the same. Of course, many would-be exchangers […]

Living in Arizona – Hot and Cold in the Desert

Living in Arizona has its pros and cons, as does anyplace. When I moved away from Arizona after college, I swore I’d never move back. Thirteen years of life in the desert was enough for me. I wanted cooler weather and a new adventure. But nearly two decades after I departed, I moved back. Are […]

San Diego Botanic Garden with Kids – An Enchanting Place for Families

San Diego Botanic Garden is an enchanting place for all ages. For families, it offers not one, not two but THREE children’s gardens full of hands-on activities. In total, you’ll find over 30 themed gardens here. There are also plenty of walking paths surrounded by plants and flowers from around the world. As multi-year members, […]

Why and How to Host a Vision Board Party

If you are asking, “What’s a vision board?” – obviously you are not nearly as obsessed with Oprah as I am. So, I’ll give you the scoop. A vision board is collage representing things you would like to attract to your life. Here’s how and why to throw a vision board party to get the magic started.

30 Things to Do at Mall of America Besides Shop

You’ve heard of the Mall of America. It’s that giant shopping mall in Minnesota. This mall’s 520 retail stores can keep any shopper happy for days. But do you know how much there is to do at Mall of America besides shop? I have spent a ton of time at this mega entertainment complex over […]

Scottsdale Christmas Activities and Winter Holiday Events

The holiday season is brimming with merry activities in the Valley of the Sun, especially with this array of festive Scottsdale Christmas events. Celebrate the season with lights displays, kid-friendly amusements, special dining experiences, and other revelries. Enjoy a jolly season with these 21 things to do during the winter holidays in Scottsdale, Arizona. This […]

Florida Family Vacations that Kids and Parents Love

Florida family vacations appeal to sun-loving, adventure-seeking kids and parents alike. Theme parks are an obvious draw with plenty of amusing options to choose from in the Sunshine State. Florida also boasts amazing sand beaches, educational attractions, and plenty of opportunities to play in nature. Here are nine of the best family vacation spots in […]

Fabulous Things to Do in Miami with Kids and Teens

The array of fabulous things to do in Miami with kids and teens may surprise parents. This South Florida city is renowned for its sizzling nightlife and hot fashion sense but it also offers a lot for families. With incredible beaches, animal encounters, artsy offerings, and other amusements — there’s something for everyone in The […]

What to Do When You Get Sick on a Cruise and How to Avoid Cruise Ship Illness

Cruises allow travelers to experience new cultures, see interesting sights, taste new foods, and have a whole lot of fun while unpacking just once. Cruising, however, also comes with lots of opportunities to become ill. Cruise ships have become notorious carriers of the Norovirus (or stomach flu). Other viruses like the common cold and bacterial […]

Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale with Kids and Teens

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids and teens abound for vacationers seeking sunshine, water play, and all sorts of fun. Families will find outdoorsy attractions as well as indoorsy play. Plus, the beauty of this beachside Florida city is undeniable. Let’s dive into this list of 12 amazing Fort Lauderdale family activities! This […]

Disneyland Character Dining – Which Meal Is Best for Your Family?

Every Disneyland character dining experience has its own feel, special touches, and star characters. All four of these special meals at Disneyland provide a great way to meet many beloved Disney characters in one fell swoop. This frees up park time to enjoy rides, shows, and other attractions rather than waiting in long lines for […]

Best Travel Books for Children According to Travel Experts & Their Kids

The best travel books for kids encourage curiosity and increase global awareness. Children of all ages expand their horizons through literary travel with these stories. To create this list of incredible reads, I reached out to those in the know: travel writers whose kids love to explore the world as much as their parents do! […]