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Top Family Travel Tips and Vacation Spots of the Year

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Since I launched this family travel tips website in 2009, my kids have grown from babies into teens and has grown into one of the world's most trusted travel blogs. I'm honored to continue to share dreamy vacation spots, travel tips for all ages, and global lifestyle articles with readers like you. To celebrate the 14th anniversary of Travel Mamas, I'm counting down our 14 most popular stories of this past year! 

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin and her teenage kids
That's me, The Travel Mama, hanging out with my teenage kids on vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)
Best Travel Toys for Kids, Babies and Teens
(Photos from

14. Best Travel Toys for Kids

I have spent years searching for the best travel toys, activities, games, and crafts to make long travel days fly by. Separated by different age groups, this list of the best travel toys for kids will make road trips, long flights, and train travel easier and more enjoyable for the entire family.

Best San Diego Attractions for Kids
(Photo courtesy of Birch Aquarium by Scripps)

13. Best San Diego Attractions for Kids

This story is a long-standing favorite on As a mom who lived in San Diego for 15 years, my picks for the best things to do in San Diego with kids appeal to family vacationers. That's why I make sure to keep this story up-to-date year after year.

8 Tips for Disney On Ice with Kids
(Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

12. Quick But Essential 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. It's a great way to enjoy world-class skating and the wide-eyed wonder for which Disney is renowned. To maximize the fun factor, check out these quick but essential tips for Disney on Ice with kids.

Grand Canyon
(Photo credit: luckyphotographer,

11. Grand Canyon with Kids – What You Need to Know Before You Go

The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in the United State and one of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth. No wonder these Grand Canyon tips resonate so much with readers! Learn about things to do at the Grand Canyon, nearby day trips, and where to stay near this national park in Northern Arizona.

Tips for road trips with a toddler or baby
(Photo credit: AChubykin,

10. Best Tips for a Road Trip with a Toddler or Baby

Road trips with babies and toddlers might seem daunting even to experienced travelers. Good news, fellow parents! These expert tips for a road trip with a toddler or baby will ensure a smooth ride for all.

The Peninsula Chicago's indoor pool with a view of the Windy City
(Photo credit: Peninsula Chicago)

9. Best Indoor Hotel Pools for Families

This collection of incredible hotel swimming pools is fun for families no matter the weather outside. Dive into this list of the best indoor hotel pools for kids. This massive hotel stretches across 141 acres and has something for everyone to enjoy during a Caribbean vacation.

backyard barbecue party tips
(Photo credit:,

8. Backyard BBQ Party Ideas to Impress Your Guests Without Stress

Take your taste buds on a tasty journey with these ideas for a backyard BBQ party. These smart and inventive tips will impress your guests without stress so you can truly enjoy the shindig.

Montreal with kids
(Photo credit: aetb,

7. Fantastique Things to Do in Montreal with Kids

As the largest French-speaking city in North America, Montreal stands out as a unique and historic metropolitan area. Its French Canadian charm is mixed with many immigrant cultures, making this city in the Quebec province a lively mix of people, food, and attractions. Find 11 fun things to do in Montreal with kids.

Atlantis Bahamas Resort
(Photo credit: Atlantis)

6. Top Things to Do at Atlantis Resort

Atlantis Bahamas Resort boasts amazing water adventures, beautiful sand beaches, and luxurious accommodations. This massive hotel stretches across 141 acres and has something for everyone to enjoy during a Caribbean vacation. Explore 20 things to do at Atlantis Resort.

Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers
(Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

5. Top Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Amusements abound for all ages abound at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks. Younger children are sure to go gaga for this list of the best Disneyland rides for toddlers and babies.

Scottsdale, Arizona sunset
(Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Scottsdale with Kids – Fun Things to Do in the West's Most Western Town

Scottsdale, Arizona 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 in my hometown, too. Explore exciting activities in Scottsdale with kids.

Strawberry Limeade Royal Caribbean mocktail
(Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Royal Caribbean Mocktails: Zero Proof Drinks at Sea

Let's toast to tempting alcohol-free beverages at sea with my round-up of the best cruise mocktails! Discover inventive concoctions on cruise ships like a Blueberry Nojito or Shirley Ginger. Plus, learn about Royal Caribbean's drink package options.

Mardi Gras World in New Orleans with kids
(Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Kid-Friendly Things to Do in New Orleans

The Big Easy may be best known for beads and Bourbon Street, but there is another side to this Louisiana city. Parents may be surprised to find a bounty of attractions for families in NOLA. Let the good times roll with these things to do in New Orleans with kids!

Flying with a baby
(Photo credit: Melpomene,

1. Flying with a Toddler or Baby (Tried and True Tips!)

A plane ride with young children can be a daunting endeavor. It's no surprise, then, that this list of tips for flying with a baby or toddler has been our most popular blog post for four years in a row! If you're planning your first trip on an airplane with young kids, be sure to read this advice for flying with a car seat, the best way to make long-haul flights go smoothly, and which healthy snacks to pack for your next family vacation.

Dad and young kids hiking in Julian, California
My kids and husband when Travel Mamas first launched (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Why We Travel with Kids

A lot has changed since the start of this family travel tips blog! Here's the story that launched it all, Why We Travel with Children.

The Travel Mamas' Guide

I wrote a book about how to travel with babies and young children, too. You can get your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Best Family Travel Tips from Travel Mamas

Save this List of Travel Tips and Family Trip Ideas

For future vacation planning, be sure to save this list of our best family travel tips and family vacation ideas. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. We hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

What type of holiday travel stories and tips would you like to read here in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Tours and Trips Bangladesh says

    Congratulations on the anniversary! It takes hard work, determination and constant motivation to reach 10 years.

  2. khoingn | The Broad Life says

    I have 2 kids now and always take them with me on trips. Your post truly has great ideas for me.

  3. Ntensibe Edgar says

    Nnniiiccceeeee…I’d love to visit the Grand Canyon! I am now reading about the various activities we can engage in as a family!

  4. Many years ago we went to the Grand Canyon with the kids. There were very few barriers and we actually found it to be scary.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      E Ho – I hear you! There is a photo of our family in my story about the Grand Canyon where I am holding onto my then 6-year-old kind of tightly! I also recommend in my blog post to use a safety harness or toddler carrier if visiting with young children. If ever there was a place that warranted such a safety precaution, the Grand Canyon is it!

  5. Congratulations! Reaching 14 years of blogging is a huge accomplishment! I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your travel articles. They are all so well written that it feels like I’m right there with you, experiencing the same things you are.

  6. It’s impressive to see how much the site has grown since its launch in 2009, and it’s no wonder why it’s become one of the world’s most trusted travel blogs. Your dedication to sharing dreamy vacation spots, travel tips for all ages, and global lifestyle articles is truly appreciated by readers like me. Congratulations on the 14th anniversary of Travel Mamas, and I can’t wait to see what new adventures and stories you’ll share in the future!

  7. Oh, I need to check these popular destinations off my bucket list before the kids are too old to fully appreciate them. Family trips are great memories fro the kids!v

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Alita – Kids learn so much about the world through travel. Good for you for making family travel a priority!

  8. I am flying with a toddler coz we are going back to my country but I don’t really know the things I should do. I know it’s challenging so I was looking for tips. Thank you! You got some really expert tips here about traveling. keep it up.

  9. briannemanzb says

    Now that the kids are a bit older, we want to travel more this year. Thank you for the tips. My goal is to go to the grand canyon with kids but I was hesitant because I know I will be traveling with kids thanks for the tips.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Brianne – Happy to share my tips for traveling to the Grand Canyon with kids! I hope you have a wonderful family trip!

  10. Gervin Khan says

    Wow, this is so amazing!
    A decade of beautiful, mess, happy, and wonderful family trips.
    Happy 10th Anniversary!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thank you! It’s actually 14 years of beautiful, messy, happy, wonderful family trips! πŸ™‚

  11. Congrats! 14 years is an amazing milestone and I hope it continues for many more.

  12. I did the zero proof mocktails on Wonder of the Seas last March. I really like how they are trying to accommodate non-drinkers.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Brian – Awesome! Even though I do drink alcohol, I love Royal Caribbean’s mocktails! So much variety!

  13. Jennifer Prince says

    Oh wow! Such a longstanding blog. I love it! And I think it’s great that your kids are older now b/c you can speak to traveling at several different stages. You have great advice!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! The minute we think we’ve figured out parenting, the kids grow and we have to figure it all out again! πŸ˜‚

  14. Nicole Bertrand says

    What a great roundup of all your greatest hits this year! I’m heading to Disney and Atlantis with my kids in the next year, so these tips will come in so handy!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Nicole – How exciting! Enjoy Disney and Atlantis — both are so much fun for families!

  15. This is a really great list! My kid loves hotel pools as well so that’s pretty awesome.

  16. Melanie E says

    These all sound pretty amazing. I think we’d probably love the Atlantis resort as it has something for everyone. We always bring plenty of toys to keep the kids entertained.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Melanie – Atlantis is such fun for families, I hope you can visit sometime soon! And, so smart of you to pack lots of travel toys — it really makes a difference when traveling with kids!

  17. Stephanie says

    This is a great list of family vacation ideas. I think the kids are old enough to take to the Grand Canyon and I haven’t been there in years!

  18. Kimberley - says

    That is amazing! Happy Anniversary!
    We love traveling as a family and these tips are super helpful!

  19. Happy Birthday! I’m not brave enough to repost my very first post. It was terrible! Here’s to many more anniversaries πŸ™‚

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Ha! I have definitely deleted some terrible Travel Mamas’ stories over the years, Corinne! They can’t all be winners, I guess! πŸ˜‚

  20. Congratulations, Colleen!! You do such a great job!

  21. Sara Smith says

    Happy Anniversary, Travel Mama!!!

  22. 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™‚

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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™‚

  30. 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!

  31. Sharon Wu says

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

  32. 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™‚

  33. 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!

  34. 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™‚

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

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