On this weeks traveling mom spotlight it’s Katie Miller from Our Weekend Adventures. I’ve followed Katie and her family on Instagram for a while now and love following alone with them in their adventures. Now I’m happy to share her views and advice on traveling with kids with you!
First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! We’re the Millers – I’m Katie, my husband is Whit, and our two boys Oliver (7) and Elliott (4). We live in Chesapeake, Virginia. We both work full-time during the week so we started doing day trips and camping when Oliver was pretty young as a way to spend time together, stay busy, and explore Virginia. It has really given us a love of adventuring! We love camping, hiking, swimming and spending time outdoors!
You hike a lot with your kids. Do you have any tips for hiking with toddlers and young kids?
Keep them busy and their minds engaged! My kids like to listen to me tell stories, sing songs. Have in-depth conversations about Pokémon. Point out everything of interest along the trail. Don’t have too high expectations of what they can do. Go their pace! Don’t be sad if you have to slow down, stop, or turn around. Investing in a good backpack-type carrier is a great option for kids under 3. They can nap while you do all the work!
I love following along with you on your beach adventures you post to Instagram. What are your top 3 beach recommendations for moms traveling with their kids on the east coast?
So many good ones! Eastern Shore of Virginia – Cape Charles Public Beach or Kiptopeake State Park are wonderful for kids. They are on the bay so the water is shallow and warm with no big waves. They are typically not super busy. The little town of Cape Charles is the cutest and has great food! Outer Banks – Frisco and Ocracoke. We go here to escape at least once or twice a year. Love that they are far away from the touristy part of the Outer Banks. The beaches are beautiful! I love collecting shells and there are some awesome shells to be found here if you wake up early! Virginia Beach – Sandbridge Beach is our favorite beach close by! We go there often year-round for walks on the beach, watching the sunrise, or playing in the waves. False Cape State Park is amazing for backpacking/beach camping as well
How have your kids benefited most from traveling?
They are great on long car rides! Lol. That is definitely a plus. I think they’ve learned to embrace new places and experiences. Try different things. To be brave. The rewards of doing hard things. Hopefully they have learned to appreciate the beauty of nature the world around them.
What has been the best “kid-friendly” destination you’ve visited? What made it the best?
I would say most outdoors places we visit are kid-friendly, especially where they can just run wild. One that comes to mind that the kids loved a lot is Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware. There is so much cool stuff to do and see all within one park. A fort! Multiple lighthouses! Beaches! WWII Lookout towers you can climb! A giant sand dune! A great nature center! Hiking and biking trails! Very cool.
Have you tried any foods on your travels that your kids absolutely loved?
West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls! We’re obsessed. Also tacos. We have to get tacos wherever we go!
Do you have any travel goals for yourself and your kids that you’ve set out to accomplish?
We’re trying to visit all the State Parks in Virginia and North Carolina! It’s been a fun goal and we have gained a real love and appreciation for these states and the nature that makes them unique. We have 4 more Virginia State Parks to go and 16 more NC State Parks. It’s taken us about 4 years to get this far. We are trying to take the time to camp, hike, and, really enjoy and get to know the parks as much as possible as we visit them. For the future? Maybe seeing all the West Virginia State Parks? All the National Parks?
If money, time, etc. wasn’t an issue, where would you go? What’s your dream travel destination?
Oh man, probably Alaska. Looks so cool and different from where we are! So many great parks and beautiful sights to see.
What’s the hardest part and the best part about traveling with your kids?
For me, the hardest part is keeping them involved in the planning process and getting their input on what we are doing. Not planning too much stuff and allowing time for them to just be kids and play. The best part is definitely the memories. I love it when they remember something we did and talk about how really enjoyed it. So grateful for the time we have spent together as a family!
What advice would you give to someone who is nervous about traveling with their kids for the first time?
Just do it! It’s not always easy or fun – but for us, it’s always worth the time you spend and the experiences you have together.
Thank you Katie!! You can follow along with Katie and her family adventures on her Instagram. Instagram: @our.weekend.adventures