Travel Mamas 10th Anniversary – My Blogging Journey & Most Popular Stories

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Ten years ago I didn’t know what a blog was. Today Travel Mamas is one of the top travel blogs in the world. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of, I share my blogging journey below. Plus, I count down our 10 most popular blog posts of the past decade!

family travel blogger car

My family has been along on my blogging journey since the beginning (Photo credit: Stephanie Heymann Photography)

My Blogging Journey

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 10 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.

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin 10th blogging anniversary

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

It Takes a Village

The African proverb, “It takes a village,” is as true when it comes to raising a child as it is for building a blog. You are my village. Nearly 6.3 million readers have visited I’m so grateful to every single one of you who has come along for the ride! I literally could not have done it without you. THANK YOU!

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!

10 Most Popular Blog Posts

To commemorate this anniversary, I wish I could send each of you a traditional 10-year anniversary gift of tin or aluminum. (A six-pack for everyone!) Instead, I’m counting down the 10 most popular Travel Mamas blog posts of all time. Because my goal is to provide the best, most accurate information — many of these stories have been updated and reposted over the years.

swimming with manatees

(Photo credit:

10. Swimming with Manatees, Florida’s Gentle Giants

The only guest post to make this list is also the only story on to ever “go viral,” with over 100,000 page views in one day. Apparently a lot of people want to go swimming with manatees!

Which Disneyland character meal is best for your family?

(Photo credit: Disney)

9. Which Disneyland Character Meal Is Best for Your Family?

This story sure was fun to research! Get your fill of Mickey-shaped waffles, dancing with Goofy, and princesses with bubblegum voices in this detailed round-up of Disneyland character meals.

8 Tips for Disney On Ice with Kids

(Photo credit: Disney On Ice)

8. 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.

vision board party sample

(Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. 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.

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

(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 journeys 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 credit: 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.

San Diego Attractions for Kids

(Photo courtesy of Visit San Diego)

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.

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

Do you have a favorite Travel Mamas blog post? 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?! 🙂

    • 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 ?

  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 🙂 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! 🙂

  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 🙂

    • 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! 🙂

  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. 🙂

    • 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 🙂

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