A Journey Via My 7 Links

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There are stories on TravelMamas.com that I am incredibly proud of, and others…not so much. In a few, I let my heart hang a tad more open than I feel comfortable with. (Those are probably among the best.)

A blogging game of sorts has me reflecting on this site’s nearly 250 blog posts. This Tripbase project, entitled My 7 Links, is an effort to unite bloggers and their readers through lessons learned. Thank you to my fellow Best Family Travel Advice blogger, Mara Gorman of The Mother of All Trips, for nominating me to participate. Basically, I am supposed to pick re-read-worthy previous posts in 7 specific categories. Come along on this journey down Travel Mamas memory lane!

Fall foliage at Wolfe's Neck Farm in Freeport, Maine

Most beautiful post

I wasn’t sure if I should pick the story with the most beautiful photos…or the one that is most beautifully written…or the one with the most beautiful message? In the end, I went with the one whose story encompasses the idea of beauty and a longing for it: Fall Beauty at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, Maine.

Most popular post

This one was easy. The 10 Best Family-Friendly Hotel Pools in the World has been one of the most popular stories on TravelMamas.com every month since it posted in August of 2009. Apparently I am not alone in my love of great hotel pools!

Go Explore Nature

Most controversial post

Despite my oft devil’s advocate stance in real life, I don’t write a lot of controversial posts. When I was quoted in an MSNBC.com story about meeting up with other traveling families, I was shocked to read the negative responses in the comments, like “What!!?? Aren’t family vacations supposed to be with family? This is patently stupid and ridiculous.” In response, I wrote Connecting With Other Families While Traveling – What’s Wrong With That?.

I also stirred up some fiery feelings amongst travel writers in TBEX 2011 in Vancouver – A Stunning Conference in a Charming City of Contrasts. (I know that brings My 7 Links now to 8. But what can I say? I’m rebellious and controversial like that.)

LEGOLAND Water Park Splash Fountain

Most helpful post

This is the 7 Links category that I struggled with the most. Google Analytics can tell me which stories are read the most, but it can’t tell me which stories resonate the most deeply with readers or which ones you find most helpful.

So, I asked Travel Mamas Facebook fans which post they found most helpful. Regular reader Jenn Huff said she found the LEGOLAND stories on TravelMamas.com most helpful because, “There isn’t much info out there about LEGOLAND except that it exists and people have gone there. Your posts, on the other hand, were insightful and actually had lots of great info about the park, weather, food, activities and advice.” I’ve written seven stories about LEGOLAND on this site so far, including LEGOLAND Water Park: Joy Is Good, Right? and LEGOLAND for All Ages. I hope you’ll find them helpful too!

Hobbiton in New Zealand

Post whose success surprised me the most

New Zealand in the Footsteps of the Lord of the Rings is the most popular guest post ever written for this site. When Travel Mamas Guest Blogger Maria Berkestam of The Extended World Travel Blog proposed this story idea to me, I knew it would be popular amongst Lord of the Rings fans. However, I underestimated the number of Lord of the Rings fans out there and the depth of their passion. My husband is a die-hard LOTR fan and begs me to watch the movies with him, but I have to admit I’ve neither seen any of the films nor read the J.R.R. Tolkein books. Maybe I should get on that?

Baby and Toddler Travel Sleep

Post that didn’t get the attention it deserves

When I teach classes on how to travel with babies and toddlers, I start by asking parents what they are most concerned about regarding travel with young children. Besides “everyone else on the airplane hating me,” the most common worry is that children will not sleep well while away from home. Therefore, I was a tad surprised this post on Travel Sleep Tips for Babies, Toddlers & Children did not get a lot of interest. Based on an interview with Davis Ehrler, child sleep specialist and author of the 3-Day Sleep Solution Workbook and DVD, this story offers some terrific advice to traveling parents. This was one of the first stories on the site so I blame my lack of search engine optimization knowledge. Inspired by this 7 Links story, I recently updated the post a bit; I hope it will now get the love it deserves.

Julian California

Post I am most proud of

Why We Travel with Children was the welcome post when Travel Mamas first launched in March 2009. It is the essence of why I write this blog.


Well, how’d I do? Do you think I chose the right 7 Links? Leave a comment with your thoughts on any of these blog posts or other Travel Mamas stories.

About Colleen Lanin

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.

  1. Joan Grossfield says

    Very interesting and easy to read.

  2. Thanks for the nomination! Looks like you already had a chance to check out my 7 Links (http://goexplorenature.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-7-links-look-back-at-go-explore.html). I enjoyed reading your list.


  1. My 7 Links: Lifestyle and Travel Posts Worth Reading says:

    […] deserve to see the light of day again. I was tagged in the same week by my friends at Trekaroo and Travel Mamas so it’s my turn to share.  There are 7 categories of blog posts and since I’m not […]

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