Gift Guide: My Favorite Bags, Backpacks and Pouches for Travel

I like bags, ok? And I do not believe that one bag fits all. In fact, there is a perfect bag for every activity, occasion or mood. Here is a round-up of my favorite bags for travel, just in time for holiday shopping – and travel season! I own and use every single one of these bags pictured below – from backpack to pouch – and they have become my favorite travel must-haves. You will find something for everyone on your list!

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Travels with Teens: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

The idea for this post was born on a family bike ride on Sanibel Island in January of 2015. Biking behind my “new” teen, I had a few aha moments about how our family vacations were evolving as the kids were growing up. Our oldest was being particularly stinky about our bike ride – something we had done almost every trip to Florida. It was a tradition! But this time, it was like we were torturing him. By biking . . . in the sun . . . on vacation.

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My Travel Bucket List

bucket list

I have always had a few travel ideas in my back pocket, but have never put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) to draft up a more complete list of all the places in the world I would like to visit . . . from vague to specific . . .

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8 Tips to Take the Pain out of Packing


Travel is fun, but let’s face it – packing is not. This wouldn’t be a proper travel blog if I didn’t dish out some tips for making the packing process easier, less tedious, or more efficient. I strongly dislike packing, but it must be done. Over the years we have honed our packing skills – especially when it involves all 5 of us getting prepared. We never start early, and there’s no chaos or panic (anymore). Here are my top 8 tips, take what you will:

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In your mind, what image epitomizes “vacation”? Is it putting your (preferably bare) feet up after a long week at work? How about putting your feet up and enjoying a gorgeous view? For us Minnesotans, this scene generally includes water of some kind: lakeside or poolside during our glorious summers – or next to an ocean, during the months of December through April, with our feet touching warm sand. Because WINTER.

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Black Hills Gold

This is a special trip to write about. It is almost too hard to put into words without dedicating six posts to it, but I’ll try. 4 adults and 6 kids packed into 2 minivans for 8 days doesn’t sound like vacation magic, does it? Well, it was. And we will always look back on this trip with a heightened sense of nostalgia for several reasons . . .

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