Travel Mamas 11th Anniversary – My Blogging Journey & Most Popular Stories

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Eleven years ago I didn’t know what a blog was. Today Travel Mamas is one of the world’s top travel blogs. To celebrate the 11th anniversary of this family travel blog, I’m counting down our 11 most popular stories of all-time and sharing my blogging journey!

family travel blogger car

My crazy travel-loving family (Photo credit: Stephanie Heymann Photography)

The traditional 11th anniversary gift is steel, the symbol of strength. That seems appropriate, given the crazy times in which we are living. We all need strength now more than ever — strength in terms of our health, our families, our resolve, and our community.

The African proverb, “It takes a village,” is as true when it comes to raising a child, as it is for building a family travel blog, or getting through a crisis. You are my village. Over 8.2 million readers have visited since its launch. I’m so grateful to every single one of you who has come along for the journey. I literally could not have done it without you. THANK YOU for being a part of the Travel Mamas community!

15 Tips for Flying with a Baby or Toddler

(Photo credit: Melpomene,

11. Flying with a Baby or Toddler – 15 Tried and True Tips

Flying with young children can be a daunting endeavor. It’s no surprise, then, that list of tips for traveling with a baby or toddler was by far our most popular family travel blog post of the last year.

Best Beach Hotels for Kids

(Photo credit: Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama)

10. Best Beach Hotels for Kids – Recommended by Family Travel Experts

Nothing says “vacation” more than a day at the beach. This round-up of dreamy, kid-friendly beach hotels will make any family want to jet off to a tropical locale for some splashing, sunbathing, swimming and smoothie sipping!

vision board party sample

(Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. Why and How to Host a Vision Board Party

Travel often plays a big role in the images added to a vision board. Learn how to host a vision board party including what to buy, how to structure the party, how to make vision boards with kids, and what NOT to do.

montreal with kids

(Photo courtesy of Tourism Montreal)

8. Fantastique Things to Do in Montreal with Kids

What’s not to love about Montreal? The food, sites, festivals, and more attract tourists to the largest French-speaking city in Canada. Read this list of 10 fantastique things to do in Montreal, written by Canadian and Curious Travel Mama, Claudia Laroye.

8 Tips for Disney On Ice with Kids

(Photo credit: Disney On Ice)

7. Tips for Disney On Ice with Kids

Even if you don’t live near a Disney theme park, you can still experience the magic of Disney close to home with Disney On Ice. To maximize the fun factor, check out these eight tips for Disney On Ice with kids.

things to do mall of america besides shop

(Photo credit: Mall of America)

6. Things to Do at Mall of America Besides Shop

Do you know how much there is to do at Mall of America besides shop? I do! Check out these 30 fun things to do at this mega mall.

Best Travel Toys for Kids, Babies and Teens

(Photos from

5. Best Travel Toys for Kids, from Babies to Teens

The best travel toys can make the difference between a cherished family vacation and a long journey you’d rather forget. Discover some of my favorite distractions for family vacations by age — from babies and toddlers to preschoolers, grade school children, tweens and teens.

Double-helix waterslides, part of the Forest Oasis Waterscape at the Woodlands Resort ~ 10 Best Hotel Pools for Kids in the USA

(Photo courtesy of Woodlands Resort)

4. Best Hotel Pools for Kids in the USA

To compile this list of the 10 best hotel pools for kids in the USA, I went to the experts. I asked some of the most popular family travel bloggers to share their favorite kid-friendly hotel pools from their travels. Of course, I included a couple of my favorites, too!

Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers

(Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

3. Top Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Amusements abound for all ages abound at this California theme park. Young Disney-goers are sure to go gaga for this list of the 10 best Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers.

Dos and Don'ts of Castaway Cay

(Photo credit: David Roark, Disney)

2. Dos and Dont’s of Disney’s Castaway Cay

In addition to remaining popular for years, this story also holds the record for most comments on a non-giveaway post. Discover the wonders of Disney’s Castaway Cay with these tips from family travel experts.

Best San Diego Attractions for Kids

(Photo courtesy of Birch Aquarium by Scripps)

1. Best San Diego Attractions for Kids

The most popular blog post on is about a place I know and love well. As a mom who lived in San Diego for 15 years, my picks for the best San Diego attractions seem to resonate with readers.

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin 10th blogging anniversary

That’s me — The Travel Mama! (Photo credit: Stephanie Heymann Photography)

My Blogging Journey

Want to know how I started Travel Mamas? After years of taking creative writing classes as a hobby, I landed an agent for a book on how to travel with babies and young children. She told me to start a blog as a platform for my book. That’s why was born.

At the time, I was still figuring how to be a mom to a toddler and a preschooler, and I was clueless about blogging. There were no blogging classes when I launched Travel Mamas 11 years ago, nor had I ever heard of a blogging conference. Nope, I had to figure everything out the hard way. And, boy, did I ever take the hardest route!

There have been a lot of late nights, technical frustrations, and steep learning curves over the past decade of blogging. Most of my original blogging buddies have moved on to other ventures. But I persevered. And I’m so glad I did.

As Winston Churchill said, “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” Well, I can’t stop thinking about Travel Mamas, whether I’m traveling or at home. I’m forever taking notes, snapping photos, and thinking about how I can help make travel easier and more enjoyable for readers. Travel Mamas really is my life’s work.

Travel Mama Colleen Lanin and family in Scottsdale

I’m so thankful for my village! (Photo credit: Stephanie Heymann Photography)

The Travel Mamas’ Guide

You might be wondering…whatever happened to my book? You can get your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, that’s what!

My First-Ever Blog Post

I thought it would also be fun to share my first-ever family travel blog post. Take a look at the story that launched it all, Why We Travel with Children.

What kinds of stories would you like to read on this family travel blog? What other family travel blogs do you love? Let us know in the comments below!

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of 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,, 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. Hi Colleen!

    Congratulations on 10 years – it’s a great a accomplishment.

    Here’s to many more viral posts and family adventures!


    • Colleen Lanin says

      Thanks so much, Carrick! I’d really love some more viral posts! Wouldn’t we all?! πŸ™‚

    • Terisa King says

      Congratulations Colleen!! Wow 10 years, that’s amazing. If you are ever heading to the Midwest look us up. My husband and I own Kishauwau’s Starved Rock Area Cabins and our property is just a 10 minute drive from Starved Rock & Matthiessen State Parks. Starved Rock is the largest state park here in Illinois with amazing hiking & stunning views. If you’re a nature buff you would love it.
      Our property is host to 17 cabins spread throughout our 65 acre wooded property on a bluff above the Vermilion River. We offer a totally unplugged, peace and quiet getaway for our guests and cater to everything from just 1 couple looking for a romantic getaway to single family vacationers to large family reunions. Kids love the swings that hang from the large oak trees out in our big yard and parents love getting their kids away from their technology, even if just for a little while. I would love for you to check us out. You can also see the wonderful reviews we work so hard for by just googling Kishauwau’s Starved Rock Area Cabins reviews. You may also see Kishauwau Country Cabins, that’s us too. I took on a DBA back in December. We are very shadowed by the state park and they do not really send business our way as they also have cabins. I am really working to find ways to gain more visibility this year and I thought travel writers might just be the key.

  2. Thanks for this post! It’s such a great cross section of your travels and blogging journey. I have to go read them all.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Thank you, Stacie! You & I met shortly after we both started blogging. It’s been fun to follow your blogging journey as well!

  3. This is such an inspiring post. 10 years?! Congratulations! ? I would like to read all your Disney posts ?

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Thank you! And as for the Disney posts, as they say in Beauty and the Beast…be my guest! πŸ™‚

  4. Wow congrats on 10 years! I’m going to check out the Disney on ice post now because I might take my kids this month!

  5. Congrats on your 10 year anniversary! Blogging definitely isn’t for sissies πŸ™‚ I didn’t know you could swim with manatees, so now I’m off to read that post to learn more!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      So true! Anyone can start a blog, but only those with grit can keep one going! Also…I hope you go swimming with manatees someday! πŸ™‚

  6. Sharon Wu says

    wow, that is incredible that you have been blogging for 10 years. congratulations to you! xx

  7. GiGi Eats says

    Isn’t it insane to reflect over TEN YEARS and remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished!!! Also, it’s weird to look back on what blogging USED TO BE LIKE and what it’s like today! I have been blogging for 8 years and man oh man has the atmosphere changed entirely!! I don’t hate it but I also don’t really LOVE what blogging has become to some. Personally, I blog because I just love it – but I know this is not the case for everyone. I can see first hand that YOU are with me though, you do this because you LOVE it πŸ™‚

    • Colleen Lanin says

      So wonderful that you have a passion for blogging, too, GiGi! I think readers can tell that bloggers like us are truly passionate about what we do. Congrats on 8 years of blogging & best wishes for many more!

  8. Terri Steffes says

    Congratulations! I just passed thirteen! I went to an inspiration board party and it was a blast. I wonder if they read your post!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Wow! Congrats on 13 years of blogging! You really were a pioneer in the blogging world. I hope you had a great time at your vision board party, too! πŸ™‚

  9. Wendy Polisi says

    Isn’t it amazing how much ten years can change us?? It sounds like you used those ten years to the fullest!

  10. Ronnie E. says

    Congratulations on the anniversary! It takes hard work, determination and constant motivation to reach 10 years. 6.3 million visitors is super impressive too! Imagine the number of people you inspired along the way. πŸ™‚

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Thanks so much, Ronnie! My favorite thing ever is when someone tells me they read a story of mine & then decided to book a vacation to that destination, buy that product I recommended or follow my travel tips! My goal really is to inspire families to travel more often & better!

  11. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    Congratulations! 10 years is a major achievement in this world of blogging! I enjoy reading your travel articles. They are all well written, making me feel that I am actually in the same place as you.

  12. Congrats on your blog’s 10th year anniversary!

  13. Sara Welch says

    I am so glad I found your blog! There is so much material here to keep me busy and informed, for hours! Very cool!

  14. Beth Pierce says

    Congratulations on the success of your blog! You have some really great content so it’s no wonder you have done well!

  15. Porsha Carr says

    The biggest congratulations ever for having one of the top 10 travel blogs! That is a amazing achievement! I hope to be like you one day πŸ™‚

  16. Sara Smith says

    Happy Anniversary, Travel Mama!!!

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