5 Questions: Monet of The Traveling Child

5 Questions: Monet of The Traveling Child

At Penguino, we're a little obsessed with following families who travel the world together! We love dreaming about new places and planning our next getaway. But let's be real. What we really want to know is how everyday families make extraordinary adventures happen!

Today we're thrilled to share Monet, the gorgeous writer behind The Traveling Child. Monet is mom to two sweet girls: Jordyn and Kennedy. She loves to share her family's trips and to inspire other families to get out there. Plus Monet is a part of Penguino's community of influencers!

You love to travel and didn’t let motherhood slow you down! What is behind your passion for inspiring families to travel?

I have loved to travel for as long as I can remember and when I became pregnant with my first I heard over and over again how I would no longer be able to travel just because I was becoming a mother. It was extremely discouraging and if I wasn't the determined person I am I most likely would have listened to the naysayers and my family wouldn't be having all the fun we are now.

Monet of The Traveling Child

My friend convinced me I should be sharing our family travels with others to show parents that travel is still possible post children and I am so glad she did. No parent should feel as if they have to give up their passions because they choose to have a family and sometimes you have to see someone else doing it to know it's possible.

Why do you want your girls to experience the world?

I really believe traveling is a classroom in itself. Through our travels, my girls have learned so much. From knowing about different cultures, languages and foods I know my girls know there are great people all over the world. They don't have negative connotations about people just because they look different from them because they have experienced the good in people from all over the world. In addition they have learned how to easily adapt to different situations. From surviving 25hrs of travel, flight delays, unconventional beds and cars they are flexible in a way many adults aren't.

The Traveling Child is full of practical tips for families on the go. What’s one thing every mom or dad should know?

Life is short, just go! Your kids are a lot more adaptable than you give them credit for and being off schedule for a few days will not ruin them and once back home in a few days they will be back on track. Experiences are what life is a ll about and these memories you create will last forever.

You recently took your girls to Thailand. Tell us about your trip?

Thailand was amazing. We spent time in Phuket, Chiang, Mai, Bangkok. My eldest daughter is still talking about the day we spent with at the Elephant Rescue Park, feeding, bathing, and walking with 3 elephants that were rescued from a circus. You can't leave the country without visiting Ayutthaya. It's only an hour from Bangkok and so gorgeous! It was a great mix of adventure and relaxation at the beautiful beaches in Phuket.

Where is your family headed next?

We just came back from Aruba and are headed to Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Brussels in August!

Your next stop? 

Visit The Traveling Child on Instagram for more inspiration plus a chance to win a $75 gift card to Penguino Travel! The giveaway will start on Tuesday July 11 and end on July 12, 2017.  

City Break with Kids: 5 Tips to Have Fun & Save Money

City Break with Kids: 5 Tips to Have Fun & Save Money

Do your summer vacation plans include a visit to a big city? Cities like New York, San Francisco, London and Paris are wonderful for kids of all ages. From incredible playgrounds to fascinating museums, there’s so much to do. Here are five ways to make the most of your experience!

#1: Stay like a Local

Fun Kids in London

Rent a family friendly-flat in a cool neighborhood! When we travel to a big city with our kids, we prefer to rent a home through Airbnb or Kid and Coe. Don’t get me wrong – I love a nice hotel – but luxury is lost on little kids who get the most joy out of simple things. Staying in a flat instead of a hotel makes sleep so much easier. When the kids have their own bedroom, mom and dad can relax during nap time and after bedtime. And having a kitchen makes it easy to cook a few meals at home.

One of our favorite things to do with our kids in a city is to visit the local market to find fruit and vegetables, cheese and yogurt, bread and pastries (and a little wine) – and then head home to make a simple meal. Not only does this give our kids an authentic experience, it’s more relaxing and less expensive than eating out.

#2: Skip the Car

 If you have a just a few days in a city, don’t waste time in traffic! Walking is one of the best ways to discover a city. Our City Walks with Kids and City Scratch-Off Maps make it easy to plan a walk that’s the right amount of adventure! If you want to cover a little more ground, consider renting bikes for a day. To help little kids keep up, there’s nothing better than a Mini Micro Scooter.

Remember that when kids walk all day, they will get hungry. It’s a good idea to bring along lots of snacks, as well as antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

Before you go, learn how public transportation works in your destination. How do tickets work? Do kids ride for free? Can you bring a stroller? Are there elevators or escalators? Taking a train or a trolley is fun. And remember, you can always get a taxi back to your hotel in case of a meltdown!

#3: Don’t get Stuck Indoors

Big cities like London, Paris, San Francisco and New York offer incredible outdoor spaces! From parks and playgrounds to zoos and fountains, there’s so much to do outside. When we lived in London, our favorite thing to do on a sunny day was to picnic at one of the city’s incredible parks.

Child watching ducks in Regent Park in London

Traveling in the cooler months? Pack warm, waterproof layers so you can have fun outside even in the rain or snow. Even in the summer, it’s a good idea to bring a lightweight rain jacket or umbrella!

#4 Have a Rainy Day Plan

While kids love playing outdoors, it’s not fun to be cold and wet all day! And in the summer, it’s nice to do something inside to get a break from the sun.

Most big cities have incredible kids’ museums, but don’t stop there. Science, natural history and art museums can all be fascinating to little people. The trick is to let your kids take the lead. Go at their pace. Look for hands-on exhibits. Ask your kids what they want to see – and skip the rest.

Before you go, find out what’s involved. How much does it cost to visit? Are kids free? Can you bring a stroller or backpack? 

#5 Eat (Almost) All The Time

Maybe it’s all the delicious, interesting food – or maybe it’s all the walking! Either way, it seems like our kids are always hungry when we’re exploring a new city. Keeping little tummies full is essential to avoiding meltdowns. Make sure your kids eat something every two or three hours. And remember to drink lots of water!

Kids eating gelato in Paris

Discovering new foods is fun – but it can be expensive. Start the day with a healthy breakfast at your hotel or apartment. Visit a neighborhood market to stock up on kid-friendly snacks like yogurt, crackers and fruit. Food trucks and farmers’ markets are an easy, inexpensive way to sample new foods!

Want to try that innovative, upscale restaurant you read about in Afar? Go for breakfast or lunch when the restaurant is less crowded and your kids are in a better mood.

Looking for more city break inspiration? Shop our City Collection!