Tag Archives: family travel

The Wayfaring Family’s 2014 Traveler’s Gift Guide #Travel #Christmasgifts2014

Do you have a traveler friend or family member you are looking to buy for. Travelers don’t really need much. They like practical gifts or things that support their travels. Here is my list of my favorite finds of 2014 for travelers. Whenever possible buy local but these are the few exceptions that I think make the cut. 


Travel ornaments- I collect these from every place I go. When I’m not traveling I look for ones that have maps or the earth or local ones.


Life Straw Portable Water Filter : A quick and easy way to safely get clear and clean drinking water. What traveler doesn’t need that. Great for camping and backpacking.

710G243rXVL._SL1500_Go Girl Female Urination device: You might think this is a gag gift. But at some point this little baby will come in handy whether it is a disgusting porta potty or on the banks of a river find out how handy it is to pee standing up.


The Not For Parents Travel Book -Lonely Planet

The perfect travel book to Inspire Travel in Children. I Love this book. But the whole series is amazing.  Checkout the cities editions and the USA Edition.

warmsocks Smartwool Socks. Socks? Really? Ask any traveller what their best investment is and they’ll tell you it’s good socks and shoes. Get me a few nice pairs of smartwool socks, a candle and a book and I’m in heaven. http://www.smartwool.com

waboba_world_ball2 Waboba Ball; Every traveler needs to have some fun. I always have my kids with me. These are great at the beach. They skip waves, bounce and are tons of fun. Small enough to pack and dry quickly. We played with it for hours.


Hobo Roll: I have been a lover of compression bags and compartment bags for a long time and always recommend them to anyone taking a trip but the Hobo Roll is my favorite gift for travelers. Combining the best of compression, and compartment bags into one brilliant sack that can be independently carried or stuffed into another bag or attached to a backpack …there is no limit to how helpful this is. I find especially useful for those one night stays that you need a little bit of everything but not your whole bag….keep all essentials in the hoboroll and everything else in the backpack. It’s a must have now! The first edition is sold out but get on board the kickstarter campaign and get the second edition.


a3096236832_2 The Holland’s Music Or Cookbook : Travelers support travelers. I met a wonderful traveling family via my blog. 2014 brought us together for music, friendship and family fun. This amazing traveling family has been on the road for 3 years living together in a bis and making beautiful music. Check out their website, buy their music, buy their cookbook or just send them a donation. http://www.thehollands.org/#!discography/ckwy http://www.blurb.com/b/583706-the-apron-strings PonoMusicHub PONO:  If Neil Young made it you know it’s good. I’m a music lover. Travel for me often revolves around festivals or shows.If you have a music lover in your life and be sure to check out PONO. You have to hear it to understand the difference…or maybe you just want to listen to testimonials from everyone in the music world you respect. Check out the Kickstarter Campaign video for all you ever wanted to know… https://ponomusic.force.com   Ticket-Stub-Diaries1-630x366-1Travel Stub Diary: Every traveler has a different way of keeping track of the stuff they collect on the road. This little diary is a neat way to make a scrapbook out of one’s travels. UnknownSwell Water Bottle: Just An awesome water bottle. Keeps water cold for 24 hours. Seriously good!


Vagabonding by Rolf Potts: The book that started it all for my family. Give this to anyone who has ever dreamed about traveling the world. It will change their life.

#75 Visit Cape Town, South Africa: 100 Family Travel Experiences

Cape Town South Africa is a great place for families. Ascend Table Mountain for a great view of the city and oceanfront from above. Jump on a boat tour and view Cape Town from sea level while spotting whales, dolphins and other sea life. Visit Robbins island where Nelson Mandela spent 28 years in captivity. Back on land take a city tour to get an understanding of the layout and history of this interesting place. The Victoria and Albert waterfront provides shopping and dining options.All of this in a city that provides a gateway to the wonders of South Africa. Travel in different directions to cage dive with Great White Sharks, follow the Garden Route and travel through wine country, or enter Kruger National Park and the adjacent properties on a multi-day safari.


#99 Raft the Grand Canyon: 100 Days of Family Activities

100 Days of Family Activities

#99 Raft The Grand Canyon

There are lots of ways to visit the Grand Canyon but to really experience it’s beauty and magnitude you need to get down into it and ride along it. We spent 7 days rafting it and camping along it’s shores and took a magnificent helicopter ride out. For the even more intrepid you can hike in and out and carry your gear!




Sleeping with Roosters – Sleep deprivation at home and when traveling

I didn’t realize it until we were several months into our Round-the-World trip, but my whole family (my husband and two children, ages 14 and 10) were sleep deprived. We had been that way since before the kids were born because we live in a society that rewards sleep deprivation.

We were a typical American family – we were hard working, hyper-scheduled, and generally just plain busy. We tried to keep a balanced schedule, sit down for meals, eat healthy and put our kids to bed (after sports and homework) at a decent bedtime.  But typically the kids got about 8 hours of sleep (or less) and we got about 6.

A few months in to our schedule-free trip around the world and  I could see that on an average night my kids needed 10 hours of sleep and we needed at least 8.  Every night. This seems to be on track with actual research. (See the latest CDC article below)foghorn-blue-maran-rooster-crowing-in-fruit-orchard-81


Despite often being in remote places like Bali where the roosters crow all night long or Guatemala where there is a constant barrage of fireworks, we slept more and better. I do suggest you travel with ear plugs as the sounds of life (including traffic, roosters, fireworks, laughter, and occasional drunkenness) are part of the world.

After a year of moving and adapting to all kinds of sounds (and getting plenty of sleep) it was a rude awakening to return home to be delivered to a nasty note from a neighbor.  The anonymous neighbor  was angry because our children were playing outside on a summer night after dusk.

” Please bring your kids inside after dark, some of us have to get up early for work in the morning.”

Being hyper-scheduled and sleep deprived doesn’t make us more productive. It can, it seems, make us more grumpy.

We make getting a good night’s sleep part of our healthy home routine now. We are more aware of how sleep affects all of us.

Starting point for travelers: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Cover of "Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide ...
Cover via Amazon

The BOOK that started the idea of long-term travel for us. If you don’t have it on your shelf – go get it. Be warned: We gave it to two people and both have since embarked on their own version of long term travel experience. It’s really motivating! Not a “how to” as much as a philosophical guide.  Good for the soul of those wanting to get started!


“Vagabonding” is about taking time off from your normal life — from six weeks, to four months, to two years — to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel, once thought to be the sole province of students, counterculture dropouts, and the idle rich. Potts gives the necessary information on:

financing your travel time
determining your destination
adjusting to life on the road
working and volunteering overseas
handling travel adversity
and re-assimilating into ordinary life
Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery and the growth of the spirit.

Rolf Potts funded his earliest vagabonding exploits as a landscaper and an ESL teacher. He now writes and speaks on travel-related issues for dozens of venues worldwide, and his travel essays have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Outside, The Best American Travel Writing, and on National Public Radio. He keeps no permanent address, but feels somewhat at home in Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans and Kansas.