May 2023 Parent Spotlight
From Solo Explorers to Family Travelers— Meet Mari & Garrett
Who says you have to stop traveling around the world just because you have kids?! 🌎✈️
Mari & Garrett were avid travelers before they met, and their love for exploration continued even after starting a family. There’s no perfect time in life for anything— so why wait?
In this month’s Parent Spotlight:
📸 Meet Mari & Garrett
💬 Learn why they travel— even with kids
💳 How they learned about travel rewards
Parent Spotlight: Mari & Garrett | @marionthemap
Kids: Two Boys, 2 and 4 years old.
Favorite Destinations: Ireland
Family Souvenir Tradition: Christmas tree ornaments from their travels
Mari & Garrett are the parents behind @marionthemap. Both parents were avid travelers before they met, and their love for exploration continued even after starting a family. With two boys, aged 2 and 4, they have embraced the wild adventure of traveling with young children and have adapted their travel style to accommodate their kids' ages, and have found joy in sharing their journey with other families.
So, why is family travel so important to Mari & Garrett?
There are two main reasons family travel is important to this Atlanta-based family: Firstly, they value the educational opportunities it provides their children by exposing them to new cultures. The second reason is creating memories within the limited time they have as a family. They recognize that their children will soon venture out into the world on their own, and they aim to seize the present and make unforgettable moments together.
" I love seeing the wonder on our children's faces when they experience something new. I love that they are able to use words and references from other cultures in conversation easily. I think they will be so much more prepared for the challenges and changes that life has in store for them by learning from travel."
Traveling with kids can be challenging, especially in the early stages when you're trying to figure out what gear to bring along and what items are unnecessary. That’s the challenge this couple faced:
“We've really had to hone our skills in terms of what is a must-have to bring and what we can leave at home or rent. This has led us to taking more road trips in the kids' younger years, so we can bring those must-have items with us, but now that our kids are getting older, we're looking forward to switching back to more plane travel.”
If you're new to family travel, Mari & Garrett are here to share their best advice: Be flexible & learn to travel slowly.
“No trip will be perfect. There will never be a perfect time. You will never be able to follow a minute by minute itinerary. But none of that matters. Your trips will be wonderful experiences together. The things you might worry about happening like not getting enough sleep or someone getting sick could easily also happen at home.
Learn to travel slowly. It's going to be different than some of the whirlwind trips you might have done pre-kids, but it will still be just as special, and you'll still get to share beautiful memories with your family all over the world.”
They also shared how they learned to take advantage of travel rewards.
The best thing that I've learned as a family traveler is how to take advantage of rewards travel. As our family has grown, it's become more expensive to have these adventures. Utilizing rewards travel has made trips possible for us that may not have been before. My personal favorite is Travel Rewards University that is taught by two moms. They have different travel styles - one budget and one bougie - and for me, it's been the perfect combo to learn from people who also have family travel in mind when strategizing their trips.
Let’s not forget about the food!
One of the best meals that these parents had was at Mudbrick Restaurant and Vineyard on Waiheke Island in New Zealand. They would love to go back there together.
As a family, they enjoy taking their kids out for dinner dates, but their favorite place is Kane Tiki Bar at the JW Marriott in Marco Island. They were married at the hotel, so they love sharing that spot with their kids, and the restaurant is a perfect combination of great food and drinks for adults with a casual vibe for the kids. And it's hard to beat the location right on the beach.
We hope you've enjoyed learning about Mari & Garrett and why they love family travel. You can continue following their journey on social media, and don’t forget to check out their website for travel inspiration & guides.
Be Featured Next!
Our Parent Spotlight segment features families who have explored the world with their children and provides valuable insights for new parents ready to start their family travel journey. Share your stories, tips, and encouragement to help others make unforgettable memories by clicking below!
Remember, the best advice these parents shared for new families is to be flexible and travel slowly.
As always, we're here to help you plan your next family adventure. If you have any questions or need travel tips, don't hesitate to reach out. We're always here to help!
The Traveling Parents Team
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