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Travel Tips

Featured Friends: Allison from Becoming A Traveling Family

Not going to lie, I love having OG Fly Away Friday friends on my Featured Friends section! This month I'm introducing Allison, aka Becoming A Traveling Family from the wonderful city of Chicago. Her husband and her children travel around the world together as she documents it on her blog. I've been reading Allison's blog for over 6 months now ever since Fly Away Friday was created and have enjoyed each one of them. I know you will too!

1. Tell us about yourself!

Hey all, I’m Allison. I’m a West Coast native living in the great Midwest metropolis of
Chicago. I married my husband (known on the blog as D) almost seven years ago after
dating for less than a year. Hey, when you know, you know. Am I right? I spend my
days with our two adorable rug rats, Ladybug and Buddy, who simultaneously drive me
crazy and make me want to brag to the world about how awesome they are.

Although I didn’t get the opportunity to travel much as a kid, I’ve always had a strong
curiosity about the world and a desire to learn about it. I can remember, as a young girl,
voluntarily doing a report about Romania after watching their women’s gymnastics team
sweep the all-around finals in the Sydney Olympics. Does that make me a nerd? Maybe, but my hunger to learn about the world has served me well as an adult-finally
able to see the world I’ve been reading about my whole life.

2. What made you start a family travel blog?

The reason I started Becoming a Traveling Family had nothing to do with travel. Buddy
was about six months old and active and I was deep in the trenches of the terrible
threes with Ladybug. My children mean the world to me but the demands of motherhood
were wearing me down and I found myself craving an identity outside of just being a
wife and a stay-at- home mom. As clichĂ© as it sounds, I needed a hobby. I’ve always
enjoyed writing so after a lot of brainstorming, with D as my sounding board, I decided
to combine two things I’m passionate about- writing and travel- and voilá! Becoming a
Traveling Family was born.

3. You have a section on your blog called "40 Before 40". Tell us about that. 

I’ve always been a list person. There is something so satisfying about crossing
something off a list. I saw a few 30 Before 30 lists floating around the internet and I
thought it would be fun to adapt it to my travels- both personal and as a family. I’ve
mixed broad locations I want to visit, like Puerto Rico or Prince Edward Island with
specific experiences like becoming scuba certified or attending an Olympic event. Of
course, I’m not limiting myself exclusively to the travel experiences on the list. My wish
list is long and seems to be growing longer every day. And, equally as important, I want
my children to have opportunities that I didn’t have when I was young, to experience the
world and gain an appreciation for it. My 40 Before 40 list is, first and foremost, a way to
motivate myself to travel as often as possible and not turn down opportunities to see
new places.

4. You grew up in Seattle (my second home!). What's your favorite thing about the
city or the PNW (Pacific Northwest)? 

The Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite places. I still consider the cute suburb north
of Seattle where I grew up my first home. Although I haven’t been a resident for years, I
am still a proud Seattle-ite.

It would be impossible to pick a favorite thing about the PNW and Seattle. What I love
about the PNW is that there is something for everyone- fabulous cities, good food,
diverse people, quaint beach towns, a quirky art scene (hello, Experience Music
Project) and countless places for outdoor enthusiasts. The main complaint I hear from
people about Seattle is the amount of rain it receives every year. Although it does rain
quite a bit, the summers and early fall are usually very nice, not cold but not sweltering.
And besides, I don’t mind the rain. It’s a small sacrifice we pay for how green and
beautiful Seattle is.

5. Where are some of the most family-friendly cities you've traveled to?

Living in the Chicago suburbs and traveling frequently to the Windy City, we’ve found it
to be very family friendly. With so much for kids to do and so many parks and beaches
to explore, Chicago is the perfect city break for families. Other cities we’ve enjoyed
exploring and have found to be good for families are Seattle, with it’s proximity to Puget
Sound, Milwaukee and Orlando.

We haven’t had the opportunity to travel much internationally since the kids were born
but we’re looking forward to once again exploring cities all over the world- this time with
our little people in tow.

6. Do you have any advice on new Moms planning on traveling with children? 

My best advice is to just do it. So many people will tell you to wait to travel until the kids
are old enough to appreciate it or are better travelers. Some have even told us that we
should wait until the kids are out of the house. But life doesn’t have to be put on hold
while you’re raising kids. And what better way to help them learn to appreciate the world
they live in than by providing a way for them to see it?

True, that first road trip or plane ride with an infant is scary. There will be melt downs in
public places or hours of baby screaming from the back seat when you’re stuck in a
two-hour traffic jam with nowhere to go. And don’t forget about the toddler throw up
incidents in the car that make it necessary to go 30 minutes out of your way to a service
station in Florida to clean up the car seat, rental car and your toddler. You will get weird
looks and sometimes even nasty comments from fellow travelers without kids. But the
benefits of traveling with your kids far outweigh the headaches and messy situations.
Just do it and it will get easier with time.

7. If you were granted an all-expense paid trip to 3 different places, where would they be and why? 

This is such a hard question because there are so many places I want to go. I’m not
sure where and when my love for London started but I have wanted to see London
since I was a little girl. It could be because Peter Pan, which was set in London, was my
favorite Disney movie growing up. Whatever the reason, I’m dying to see London and
we’re currently in the process of figuring out how to make it happen in the next couple of

Croatia is a country that has emerged at the top of my bucket list in the past several
months. Everything I read about this gorgeous European country makes it sound so
fascinating and I can’t wait for the chance to go and explore it for myself.

The Galapagos Islands have captivated me for years. Ecuador is one of my favorite
countries in the world. I had the pleasure of spending a few months in the beautiful and
culturally rich country but I never had the opportunity to explore the Galapagos. I’d love
to change that as soon as possible.

8. Tell us about your most unique travel experience. 

My first international experience occurred when I was 22, traveling to Quito, Ecuador as
a volunteer with an organization called Orphanage Support Services Organization.
Although I worked in five different orphanages around the city, I spent most of my time
working alongside one other volunteer with a group of 2-5 year olds. This particular
orphanage was broken up into several “casas” with an orphanage worker acting as the
“mom” and the children separated into “families.” We went for two hours several
afternoons a week and played with the kids, incorporating games and activities to help
with development. Although our focus was with the preschoolers, we had a lot of
interaction with the older kids and teenagers, as well. They would always ask for help
with their English homework and they, in return, helped us improve our Spanish.

What also made this experience so interesting was that we lived with an Ecuadorian
family. Our host family was so generous with us “gringas” and went out of their way to
make all of us feel like family.

9. What do you hope to accomplish through Becoming a Traveling Family? 

I started Becoming a Traveling Family as a way of documenting our family’s travels and
connecting with other travelers. My main goal is to inspire and help others who want to
travel. I want to show other parents that traveling with kids is not only possible, but so
rewarding. I want them to know that all the public melt downs and airplane blowouts are
totally worth it.

Now that I feel I have a slight handle on my main goal, I’m beginning to set my sights on
my secondary goals. Sometime down the road, I’d like to earn a little extra money to
use for our travels. I’m currently on the cusp of a new business venture that I’ve been
mulling over for a while. I’m not ready to announce what that is to the blogging
community yet but I’m hoping I’ll be able to talk about it officially by the beginning of
next year.

10. Any wise words or fun facts you'd like to share with my readers? 

There are a lot of exciting things in store for my family. We’re working towards kicking our
travels up a notch in the next few years and becoming expats- hopefully in Europe, though we’ll
welcome wherever D’s company has an open position. The opportunity to live overseas and be
completely emerged in another culture and way of life is something we’d welcome in a



A big thank you to Allison for being on my blog! As such an active member of the Fly Away Friday family, I appreciate your content so much and had a blast getting to know you!  

Want to read other Featured Friends? Click here

Want to be interviewed? Due to overwhelming response on interviews, I now have a section dedicated to bloggers wanting to work with this blog. Click here to find out more.


  1. I don't know if that report on the Sydney Olympics makes you a nerd, but it does make me feel so old that you were so young then and I was around 18 I think? I love your the Becoming a Traveling Family instagram feed as well, by the way! #Flyawayfriday

    1. Thank you! That's so nice of you to say. I guess I wasn't too much younger than you. I think I was 14 or 15. I was in middle school.

  2. I'm so glad that you started Becoming a Traveling Family! You are a great addition to the Fly Away Friday community and I appreciate your honest posts about traveling as a family.

  3. I loved learning more about Allison in this post! It's a lot of fun to get to know others from Fly Away Friday a little better.

    1. Thanks, Courtney! I enjoy getting to know other bloggers, as well.

  4. Thank you again for working with me, Kana!

  5. I'm looking forward to following your journey and where you end up in Europe! What a beautiful life you lead!

    1. Thank you, Cherie! There are definitely some exciting things in store for our family!

  6. What a beautiful idea of writing a family travel blog! Im not going to lie, sometimes thinking of having a family scares me because I think it would end my travel life forever. Looking at your blog you proved me wrong!

    1. Thank you! In a way, I feel like we're just getting started in our traveling. D and I traveled when we were first married but with school, we didn't have the money to. Now that we're more established and we can afford to travel more, we don't want to wait until the kids are grown. And they love it so it's good for all of us.

  7. I love reading about other bloggers and getting to know them outside their own stories so thanks for sharing more about Allison.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love getting to know other bloggers as well.

  8. I discovered Allison's blog thru the different weekly link ups and I always enjoy reading her post and looking at her pictures. Therefore, it is nice to know more about her and her family. Would like to visit Chicago and the PNW. And, I will like to visit Croatia too. Wish you the best Allison! #FlyAwayFriday

    1. Thank you, Ruth! That is so kind of you to say.

  9. It's always great to learn more about other bloggers within a community. My wife C and I are thinking about starting a family soon and we constantly talk about if/how/where we would travel with young children. Your story and your blog and an inspiration to any parents that want to travel. Living as an expat would be great and I'd like to do it for a while too, good luck!

    1. Thank you! I hope that you are able to make living overseas a reality, also. It's something we're currently working towards so hopefully it will happen in the next couple of years.

  10. I really enjoyed reading this - its great to know more about the people who write the blogs I read all the time! I agree about Croatia - we spent some time there last summer and I can highly recommend it! #FlyAwayFriday

    1. Oh, Croatia! Everything I read about it makes it sound so wonderful. I have read your posts about it and attribute some of my desire to visit to them. So thank you, Tracy!

  11. Kana, as you know I think this series is a brilliant idea and so enjoy getting to know a little more about fellow travel bloggers. This one was was especially fun for me to read as our focus is on families too. Nice to get to know you a bit, Allison!

    1. Thank you, Liana! I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading about my little family!

  12. I love the idea of a 40 before 40 list. A great way to not only encourage yourself to try all those things you've wanted to do, but also to look back and reflect on all the great things you've done and achieved!

    1. Yes, I agree! That is another reason I came up with it. I love looking back at our travel memories.

  13. What an enjoyable read! Best wishes to you and your family Allison, I hope your new business venture and possible overseas expat goals come to life!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my family. Best wishes for you, as well!

  14. It's great to read that having a family hasn't stopped you from getting out there and exploring. Also love the 40 before 40 list, I love winging it on the road but it is good to have something to aim for as well!

    1. Thank you! I like to be spontaneous while traveling sometimes but with kids, it's a lot harder to just wing it. And the 40 Before 40 list is mostly just a way of motivating myself to keep traveling, even if it's not on the list.

  15. I loved this! I appreciate all the answers about travelling with children as this will be the reality soon for me when hubby and I plan a family. I hope you get to London ASAP! It is one of my favourite cities in the world.

    1. Thank you! I'm hoping to make it to London soon! It won't happen this year as our travel schedule is already set but I'm hoping for 2018 or 2019.

  16. I lived in London for 3 years and although I don't have kids, I can confirm that it is a very kid-friendly city. Its as so nice getting to know you better! #flyawayfriday

    1. Thanks, Moira! I've heard from others that London is kid-friendly and it just makes me want to go there even more! It's so nice when we find a place that welcomes kids.

  17. I see families traveling all the time and I think your advice is solid, just go! Young or old, it's always a great time for an opportunity. And in a lot of developing countries, they LOVE children so much. I see ALL the time foreign travelers with children get a lot of smiling nods.

    1. I've heard that as well. It makes me excited to travel more internationally and not just in the US.

  18. I completed a 30 things to do before I am 30 list and now I am writing a 40 things to do before I am 40 one. I much prefer these more than bucket lists. It is lovely to learn more about you Allison and I will be checking out your blog and Social Media. I love following other bloggers. #FlyAwayFriday

    1. Thank you, Kathy! I feel like my 40 Before 40 list is more motivating than bucket lists. I have a bucket list that keeps growing longer and longer every day. My 40 Before 40 list is more set and keeps me focused on what I really want to see and do. Good luck with your list!

  19. What a lovely post! I hope one day when I have kids to factor travel into our family life! I love reading about travelling families!