Category: Travel

Flying the Family-Friendly Skies: British Airways with Kids

Flying the Family-Friendly Skies: British Airways with Kids

If you’re wondering which airline has the best champagne selection or the highest thread count on their linens, this is not the post you’re looking for.

Our family travel style is very middle-of-the-road for international travelers. We fly in basic economy most of the time. Sure, we love a good airport lounge and we very occasionally spring for the lay-flat beds on nighttime flights. But we also are not “luxury” travelers. We don’t care about alcohol selection and don’t like to be checked on every 10 minutes. We do love getting from Point A to Point B without dreading our travel days, even if Point B is halfway across the world.

So here’s my review of British Air and our flights to and from Switzerland this year with our preteen C and our little toddler J.

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What Does it Cost to Take a Family to Switzerland?

What Does it Cost to Take a Family to Switzerland?

Joining Maui, Las Vegas, and Camano Island on our “2018 vacations we travel-hacked” list is Switzerland! This was my sixth time to Switzerland but my first time bringing kids along.

The Trip

Once again, we traveled at a peak time to a destination famous for being expensive. We were in Switzerland for 7 nights over the holidays, and also traveled overnight getting there and getting home – so we were away from home for 9 nights, 10 if you include the airport hotel the night before the trip.

We were mostly in the Berner Oberland, exploring Interlaken, Thun, Murren, and Grindelwald, with a brief visit to Zurich on our way home.

We had the obvious advantage of staying with friends for the majority of the trip, although this did not mean they footed the bill for all our food. In fact, we ate out almost every day and consumed as much local chocolate and cheese as we could get our hands on… which you’ll see reflected in our dining/grocery spending.

We also willingly took on the extra expense of premium economy and business class air travel, as well as three nice hotel stays to make our flight schedule more convenient. You could easily do Switzerland for less than this, particularly if you don’t mind flying in basic economy in the off season (and if you have the advantage of flying from closer than the west coast of the USA). You could also do this trip for a heck of a lot more.

Below is the cost breakdown for our trip, and as such the last of our spending for 2018.

This is for a family of 4 during the ever-popular travel time of Christmas break. You can read our tips for air travel with infants here

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Announcement: We’re NOT Selling Everything to Travel the World!

Announcement: We’re NOT Selling Everything to Travel the World!

Whaaaaaat??!!

This might come as a huge shock to those who know us, what with the recent upsurge in nomadic impulses among Millennials – especially those who, like us, have always loved traveling and are drawn to minimalism.

If you were unaware of this trend, just search “nomadic lifestyle” or “millennial nomads” or “digital nomads” or “nomadic families” or anything similar and you’ll be up to speed in no time. People seem to be hitting the road in droves with one-way tickets in hand.

Could we if we wanted to?

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Cheating at Thanksgiving Vacation

Cheating at Thanksgiving Vacation

I’ll admit it right off the bat: we are really lucky to know lots of people who live in cool places and do cool things and frequently invite us along for the ride.

It’s now our firm policy that we say “yes!” to as many invites as possible from our loved ones.

I do realize this gives us a huge advantage over people who feel like they are blazing the travel trail on their own while most of their acquaintances prefer to be parked on the couch watching TV, or who feel unsupported in their desire for adventures by loved ones who don’t have the same hobbies. But if that’s you, please know this:

The more you pursue travel and adventure, the more you will meet other people who do these sorts of things, and the more you will get intriguing invitations sent your way.

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Travel Hacking our Holiday Plans

Travel Hacking our Holiday Plans

After over a year of Stateside travel adventures, we are finally allowed to get a passport for Baby J! Naturally we’ve lost no time in trying to book some trips abroad. But we also bought a house and moved this summer, so we are really tired of spending money.

I’m happy to say that even though I think Maui will take the travel-hacking cake this year, we’ve been able to work a little magic to send 2018 out with a bang!

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Air Travel with Infants

Air Travel with Infants

My husband and I travel a lot with our kids, one of which is pretty tiny. Apparently we don’t seem too beat up by it, because people keep asking us for advice on traveling with infants. Here’s what I’ve got:

Check Bags Like it’s Going out of Style

Most airlines allow strollers and carseats to fly free. We always check these at the ticket counter (although you can often check strollers at the gate too) and carry Baby the rest of the way. Call your airline to confirm policies on checked and over-sized items.

When flying with the kids, we like to pack everything we need and not worry about checked baggage fees (shout-out to Southwest Airlines, which allows us to not worry about them anyway).

I recommend you embrace the checking of whatever amount of luggage makes traveling with your kids easier. Your days of spending a month in Europe with one carry-on suitcase and a messenger bag are over, and that’s okay.

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How We Accidentally Saved $5,000 on Cell Phones

How We Accidentally Saved $5,000 on Cell Phones

If you’re looking for the “save $20 on Google Fi” link, it’s right here!


I’ve been hearing complaints from a lot of people about their cell phones and/or cell phone service. Most recently, it was from the guy fixing my fireplace. Turns out he is spending way more on his phone and phone service than I am, and he isn’t nearly as happy with it.

I’m not sure why it’s not already common knowledge, but more people should know this: cell phones do not need to be expensive.

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Where We Go When We Can’t Leave the USA

Where We Go When We Can’t Leave the USA

One of the many complexities of being foster parents is that we have to get written permission from the Department of Child Services to leave our state with our foster kids, and we have to get written permission from a judge to leave the country.

For a couple that once considered themselves to be travel-savvy globe-trotters, this restriction has been a bit of a challenge. In the years between when we started dating and when we started fostering infants, our airplane adventures looked something like this:

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“They’re Too Young to Appreciate It” & Other Objections to Traveling With Kids

“They’re Too Young to Appreciate It” & Other Objections to Traveling With Kids

Let’s take a well-deserved break from talking about houses and moving and house projects and money and dive back into the topic of travel!

As somewhat seasoned travelers who have now entered the life phase of family travel, we run into a fair number of objections to traveling with young kids (and even medium-sized kids):

“They won’t remember it.”

“They’re too young to appreciate it.”

“It’s too expensive to take the whole family.”

“The kids would rather just stay home and play (latest trending video game) anyway.”

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Traveling with Foster and Adoptive Kids

Traveling with Foster and Adoptive Kids

This is a topic I get asked about often, so I wanted to share this interview that I did in 2016. I have revised and updated it here. These pictures are all the real deal from our family travels, so forgive the blurriness, pixelation, and/or general low quality that you’ll see in some of them. That’s just cracker crumbs and sunscreen on the camera lens. 

First, tell us about you, your family, and your travels.

When I was little, my parents were very insistent about all of their kids trying new things and seeing new places. Sometimes that meant camping (usually in the rain) near our home in Washington, sometimes it meant trips across the country by train or plane to see family. As we kids got older, it included more difficult backpacking, biking, and skiing trips and then international travel and things like scuba diving and riding camels.

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