show episodes
 
Vacation Mavens is a family travel podcast offering destination inspiration and travel tips for traveling with kids. Co-hosted by Family Travel bloggers, friends, and moms Kimberly Tate from Stuffed Suitcase and Tamara Gruber from We3Travel. Each week we chat about our recent travels and interview fellow parents and family travel experts about destinations or travel tips to provide the info you need to jumpstart family vacation planning and tips to get you out the door.
 
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show series
 
The cost of a family vacation is one of the top factors preventing many families from traveling. When travel is safe, I know many families will be excited to take the skies and get away. This week we chat with Lyn Mettler from Families Fly Free to get her tips about saving on airfare and earning points to fly for free. Lyn Mettler is a longtime tra…
 
So many of us are dreaming about a tropical escape right now, but is it possible? This week we talk with Amber Mamian, from Global Munchkins, about her recent family trip to Hawaii. Find out what to expect in terms of testing, travel restrictions, and hotel and activity protocols when you are visiting Hawaii during COVID. About Amber Mamian Amber M…
 
Like everything, skiing is going to look a little different this year. This week on the podcast, Kim and Tamara talk about what to expect if you are planning a day trip or ski vacation this winter. Be prepared to make reservations, limited capacity, longer lift lines, and new lodge and shuttle procedures. Get the scoop! What to Expect at a Ski Reso…
 
Lake Tahoe is a great outdoors destination with plentiful vacation rental homes perfect for social distancing. This week we chat with Leslie Harvey from Trips with Tykes about her family's experience visiting the Lake Tahoe area in the winter and the summer. Find out her favorite ski resorts for families, the differences between North Lake and Sout…
 
Wondering what it is like to visit one of the Florida theme parks during these COVID times? This week the Mavens chat with Rob Taylor from 2TravelDads to get his take on the safety protocols at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Find out what you need to know to decide whether or not now is a good time to visit Orlando. ON THE PODCAST This po…
 
Are you intrigued by the music, food, and culture of Cuba? Find out what it is like to travel to Cuba with kids as we speak to Deborah Haile, author of a series of children's books about traveling with kids. ON THE PODCAST This podcast is sponsored by Moon Travel Guides. Learn more about The Open Road: 50 Best Road Trips in the USA. All opinions ar…
 
Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for families during all seasons. This week we talk to Preethi Harbuck from Local Passport Family about her many trips to Yosemite. We cover the best places to stay, good hikes with kids, and fun things to do in Yosemite. Tamara also fills us in on her most recent glamping experience at the KOA in Linc…
 
Whether you are a frequent camper or a newbie, our guest this week, Catherine from To and Fro Family, offers up some great tips on camping with kids. We talk about how to find campgrounds, packing tips, and great ideas for entertaining young kids at the campsite. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking about Tamara’s Huttopia glamping trip 16:13 - Talking w…
 
This week on the podcast, Kim fills us in on her summer family vacation to Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park in her home state of Washington. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim about her recent vacation 02:50 - Olympic National Park 08:08 - Waterfall Hikes 10:45 - Where to stay 23:20 - Mount Rainier 29:38 - How long to spend …
 
Kim and Tamara both managed to pull off a socially-distanced, outdoor-focused vacation this summer not too far from home. Tune in this week to hear all about Tamara's summer vacation in the Adirondacks in New York and her cabin and hotel stays in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 01:50 - Tamara’s trip …
 
Have you ever considered renting a houseboat? This fun type of vacation rental is a great way to socially distance! Find out what it is like to stay on an "RV on the water" and get houseboat rental vacation tips from Jessica Averett, from Bring the Kids, on this week's episode. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 05:25 - What’s happe…
 
Vacation home rentals are soaring this summer and for good reason. Renting a vacation home -- whether or it is a cabin in the woods or a beach house -- is a great way to socially distance. Listen to our tips on what to look for when renting a vacation home, plus our suggestions on what to pack to supply your vacation home. ON THE PODCAST 00:35 - Ta…
 
Can you just picture yourself relaxing under a palm tree on a beautiful beach with a tropical drink in your hand? When you are ready to plan a vacation to the Caribbean, get ideas on the best islands and resorts from Caribbean Expert Sarah Gabbadon Greaves. Just keep in mind that some reopening plans have changed or rolled back for Americans since …
 
If you are ready to hit the beach, head to Virginia Beach, where there is something for everyone. This week we chat with Brianna Simmons, from The Casual Travelist, about her hometown of Virginia Beach and all it has to offer families. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara about the beach 06:20 - Tamara’s upcoming trip 12:20 - Talking …
 
This summer is definitely bringing back the great American road trip and one of the most beautiful is an Oregon Coast road trip. On the podcast, we talk with Jessica Baker from Boundless Bakers, about the time she spent on the Oregon Coast and she fills us in on the best places to stop, must see towns, and side trips to take along the way. ON THE P…
 
If your vacation budget is being squeezed, you are not alone. This week we tackle the topic of affordable vacation destinations (that you can hopefully take this year or in the near future) with Tim Leffel, author of "The World's Cheapest Destinations." Plus, we share some of our favorite black family travel content creators and commit to bringing …
 
With states across the U.S. entering some phase of reopening, Kim and Tamara tackle the topic of summer travel. What will be open, what should you expect if you travel, and what are the best trips to think about right now? Tune in. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 01:15 - Finding travel information 02:00 - Florida 11:08 - Flying 1…
 
Wondering what is in store for the National Parks this summer? The Vacation Mavens chat with John Tillison, a former park ranger and publisher of the Park Ranger John website, to get his take on planning a visit to the National Parks in 2020 and what to expect. Plus we talk about virtual Junior Ranger programs that you can do at home. ON THE PODCAS…
 
We have reached the point in staying at home when we are really missing travel. To get the experience of traveling at home and fighting back boredom, this week Kim and Tamara interview two tour operators and a winery owner about the virtual experiences they offer. Angelo from LivItaly shares the innovative and engaging ways his tour guides are shar…
 
If you are starting to feel a little stir crazy at home and missing travel, plan a travel theme night. This week on the podcast we chat with Katja Gaskell from Globetotting about how her family is spending their Friday nights dressing up and cooking recipes from different countries. Kim and Tamara also share some fun ideas for family movie nights. …
 
Remember travel agents? They are no longer just those storefronts advertising cruises and packaged trips you used to see in shopping malls. Today's travel agents are advisors that can help you design a custom vacation. And in these uncertain times, using one is more important than ever. This week Kim and Tamara talk with Christina from Showcase the…
 
All of this family time has been great, but when this is all over, I think us moms are going to need a girlfriend getaway. This week, Kim and Tamara chime in with their picks for girlfriend getaway destinations and tips for planning a drama-free trip. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Sponsor - Comrad Socks 01:30 - What we are doing to keep active 03:25 - Eas…
 
These are tough times but we are here for you! Find out what happened when Tamara cancelled her trip to Europe and what we are doing at home while social distancing. Just remember, we will get through this and someday we will be traveling again. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking about Tamara’s cancelled trip 14:38 - Should we stay or should we go? 17:…
 
Ugh. As much as we don't want to have to tackle this topic, it is at the top of everyone's minds. This week Kim and Tamara share their decisions regarding spring break plans because of the coronavirus. Find out where to find important information regarding COVID-19 and travel warnings, as well as tips for staying healthy during this challenging tim…
 
Often getting through an airport is the worst part of a trip. The hassle, the rush, the stress -- the people! This week on the podcast, Kim and Tamara share their tips for making the airport experience as low-stress as possible, even when traveling with kids. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Sponsor - Comrad Socks 02:08 - Getting to the airport 14:13 - Getti…
 
We have talked about the Big Apple before from a local's perspective and the borough of Brooklyn, but what do you do on your very first visit to NYC? Tamara and Kim talk with Claudia from The Travelling Mom to get her advice (and share their own) about what to do, where to stay, what tours to take, and where to eat for NYC first-time visitors. ON T…
 
What do you do when you get that dreaded alert on your phone or when your listing on the board of departing flights turns red? This week Kim and Tamara give their past tips as road warriors for what to do when your flight is delayed or cancelled, including how to be prepared for the inevitable. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 01:…
 
Do you think cruising is all about the big ships? Think again. There are many types of cruising including river cruising, sailing cruises, barge cruising, small ship ocean cruises and more. Join us as we chat with Dana from Dana Freeman Travels about all sorts of cruising from the big ships to the smallest windjammers. Don't worry, we also chat abo…
 
Who knew the small city of Madison, Wisconsin could offer so much to do -- especially in the winter? This week Tamara fills us in on her recent trip to the Wisconsin state capital, and home to the University of Wisconsin - Madison and shares why this college town makes a cool winter weekend getaway. Warning: you may end up craving cheese curds if y…
 
Nothing like starting off the new year with a bucket list destination! This week we chat with Keri Hedrick, from Family Travel in the Middle East, about visiting Egypt with kids. We dig into what you need to know -- is it safe? how should you book? when should you go? and more. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 04:11 - Talking with…
 
Have you ever traveled to a new city and been overwhelmed by all the hotel choices? Wonder how you go about choosing a hotel or finding the best deals? Wonder why you are stuck in a noisy room by the elevator? Find out our tips for booking a hotel and requesting a hotel room that is best for your family. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking about Tamara’…
 
Most visitors to New York City only explore Manhattan. But what do you do when you want to explore the other boroughs? Local mom Ranjana Armstrong shares what she recommends to do with kids in Brooklyn -- beyond just walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 04:25 - Talking with Ranjana about Nugget 11:0…
 
It is time to head to Miami and explore the street art of Wynwood Walls, the beaches of South Beach, the food of Little Havana, and the wilds of the Everglades. This week we are chatting with Guiomar Ochoa to get her insights on what to do in Miami with kids. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara about the holidays 08:06 - Talking with…
 
At the end of every year we like to look back at some of our favorite travel experiences, destinations, hotels, and products and share those with our listeners. So settle in and listen up as we share our favorites for 2019! At the end of every year we like to look back at some of our favorite travel experiences, destinations, hotels, and products a…
 
This week we are chatting with Lee Huffman from the We Travel There podcast about his recent father-son trip to Amsterdam and Billund, Denmark. Learn about everything LEGO including LEGOLAND Denmark, LEGO House, and the LEGO Hotel. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Allianz Travel 02:19 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 06:58 - Talking with Lee Huffman 10:10 - Bre…
 
The Vacation Mavens love a fun girls' trip and what could be better than pairing up some wine tasting and adventure? This time, we head to Santa Rosa in the heart of Sonoma's wine country to learn all the things to do with friends, or with family. From zip lining to hiking to glamping within view of giraffes, listen to all we experienced during our…
 
Do you show up to the rental car counter and get overwhelmed with all the choices? Do you want to prepay for the gas? Do you want additional insurance? Do you know what your existing insurance covers? Ack! It is all so confusing, so this week we chat with road warrior Ed Pizzarello and get his car rental tips. Listen to Ed's tips for renting a car …
 
Slip on your wellies, don your kilt, and grab a Scotch because this week we are chatting with Moon Travel Guides author Sally Coffey about Scotland. Sally fills us in on things to do with kids in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Isle of Skye. About our Sponsor Moon Travel Guides If you’ve traveled the Americas, then you already know Moon Travel Guides a…
 
The Channel Islands is one of the most unique, but also one of the least visit, National Parks in the United States. This week we chat with Travis Timmons of the So How Was Your Trip? podcast about his family's recent trip to Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Sponsor 01:14 - Talking with Kim and Tamara 03:28 - Talking wi…
 
Now that it is fall, we are turning our attention toward winter getaways. If you have ever dreamed of visiting Santa Claus, taking a reindeer safari, and sleeping under the Northern Lights, tune in to hear about Finnish Lapland. Kevin Wagar from the Wandering Wagars shares his family's experience in Finland during the winter and all the things ther…
 
Where is the largest amusement park in the Pacific Northwest? Silverwood, just outside of Coeur d'Alene Idaho. Find out more about this lakeside gem and tips for visiting Silverwood as Kim shares her family's experience this summer. ON THE PODCAST 00:34 - Sponsor 01:40 - Kim’s trip to Idaho 10:08 - Tips for Silverwood Theme Park 15:36 - Where to st…
 
Have you been to Iceland and want to go back to see something new? Or maybe you would love to see Iceland's natural beauty without the crowds you find in the Golden Circle or the South Coast? Tamara shares how to get off-the-beaten path with Hidden Iceland. Tune in to hear about her girls' trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the West Fjords. ON …
 
Kim recently took a weekend getaway to Victoria, British Columbia on the Victoria Clipper ferry from Seattle. Find out where they stayed, what they did, and tips for taking the ferry. Wait until you hear about the orcas on the whale watch they went on! ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim about Victoria 04:15 - Traveling on the Victoria Clipper …
 
Dreaming about a trip to the Canadian Rockies? Listen in as Tamara shares the highlights from her mother-daughter trip to Kananaskis, Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. Plus Kim chimes in on what she did in Banff before boarding the Rocky Mountaineer train earlier this year. ON THE PODCAST 01:53 - Talking about Tamara’s Mother Daughter Trip 05:45 - Ka…
 
Have you ever thought of planning a girl's trip to Maine? In August, Kim and Tamara headed up to the Northwoods of Maine for a girls' trip filled with hiking and laughs, with a stops in Portland and Freeport along the way. Find out more about their trip and some things you can do with the family too! ON THE PODCAST 02:20 - Where to go in Maine 05:3…
 
The Florida Keys is a perfect road trip destination for families, or friends. This week Kim and Tamara talk all about their recent trip to the Florida Keys and Key West, with stops in Key Largo and Key West. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with Kim and Tamara about their time in the Florida Keys 02:31 - Getting to and around the Keys 10:45 - Key Lar…
 
Happy summer!! While we have been on a short break, Kim and Tamara have kicked off their summer with some fun travel -- of course! In this episode we tell you all about Tamara's trip to Orlando with teens, Kim's last-minute Alaskan cruise romantic getaway, and Tamara's wine-tasting trip to France with her hubby. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Talking with …
 
Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited in the United States? Find out what to do in the park and the surrounding area, including Pigeon Forge, on this week's podcast. We are chatting with Tennessee native Sarah Wilson from The Wandering Rumpus to get her take on visiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park …
 
Find out why Johnston County, North Carolina makes a great weekend getaway from Raleigh or a perfect place to stop on a road trip down I-95. This week Karen Dawkins from Family Travels on a Budget joins us to share her knowledge and love for this special part of North Carolina tucked between 95 and 40 just outside of Raleigh. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 -…
 
Sure we love to travel with our kids, but sometimes parents need to get away too! This week we share our suggestions and tips for planning a couples romantic getaway, and some of our favorite trips with our respective partners. ON THE PODCAST 00:30 - Kim and Tamara talking about couples vacations 03:33 - Kim’s upcoming trip 05:16 - Tamara’s upcomin…
 
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