Welcome! I’m Leslie Harvey, and I founded Trips With Tykes in July 2012 to share my love of travel and my tips for making it easier with young kids. I’m a mom of two (daughter born in spring 2009 and son born in fall 2013) living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My Travel Story
My love of travel has a lot to do with my family. My grandparents were world travelers back before most Americans ever left their hometowns. They visited Persia before the fall of the shah and China soon after Nixon opened up relations between China and the United States. I have fond childhood memories of flipping through their photo albums documenting all the exotic locations they visited.
My parents continued that legacy with my sister and me. We were on planes during every major school holiday during my childhood. While most of those trips were simple family vacations to kid-friendly destinations like Disney World, they left an impression on me. My family was more adventurous as my sister and I got older, traveling to numerous international destinations while I was in high school and college. A few years after finishing college, I married my husband Thomas. Luckily, he loved to travel as much as I do and we took many trips in our early years of marriage.
As you can see, I come by my love of travel honestly. But never did I expect that I would STILL be doing so much of it, now that I have two kids.
My Decision to Travel With Kids
When I had my daughter over nine years ago, my husband and I had settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since my family is located on the other side of the country in Alabama where I grew up, it was inevitable that we would find ourselves on the road (or more accurately, in the air) often. We wanted my daughter to have real relationships with her grandparents and extended family. After surviving our first trip or two with an infant, we realized that we could do it. So, we simply kept doing it.
After logging dozens of flights with our daughter, friends and family began turning to me when they were planning their own first trips with their kids. I wrote a couple of emails offering my advice and then decided to turn those missives into blog posts. Trips with Tykes was born!
In September 2013, we expanded our family when our son was born. Within a few months of his birth, he already logged his first flight hours, gotten his passport, and joined a few frequent flyer programs. We haven’t slowed down in our travels even though we are now a family of four.
What Does Trips With Tykes Offer?
My family travel expertise comes from in-the-trenches (and in-the-airline-aisle) real world experience. I’ve gained perspective from both the sheer quantity of travel my family has done as well as from the diversity of our travel experiences. Since my family is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with three airports within an hour’s drive of our home, we’ve flown almost every major domestic airline and have experienced a dozens and dozens of airports. With family located on the East Coast, in the South, and in California, we fly to a lot of varied domestic locales on a frequent basis. We also try to throw in a few international destinations when we can. Our last several international adventures involved taking our daughter to Hong Kong, both kids to Montreal, and a multi-city jaunt to Panama and Cancun. Now that we are a family of four, we are also incorporating a lot more road trips into our travel plans (four plane tickets get expensive!).
I am also a planner and an organizer by nature. I’ve found that this has come in particularly handy because travel with kids requires lots of logistics. It is often very difficult to get the information you need about traveling with children (especially by air), as the rules change often or simply aren’t clear. In this blog, I turn my list-making and organizational skills into simple posts that readers can turn to for one-stop information. No more clicking to 8 airline websites when trying to find rules about checking car seats before booking an airline ticket. My car seat post is all that you need! Confused about what travel products you need to fly with a baby? I have recommendations for travel essentials for your baby registry. I endeavor to keep my posts updated so that you can trust even older posts with accurate information.
Finally, I should also mention that I’m a bit of a miles & points addict, so I’ve been able to do a lot of this family travel on the cheap by redeeming frequent flyer miles and hotel points. So I will occasionally blog about how you can use tricks in the miles & points world to do the same for your family. Tickets can really add up when you have to buy for three or four… or more!
I’m a recovering lawyer (I practiced for 10 years in the Bay Area), so I also have done regular travel for work. But most of my flight time is with a kiddo – and now also a toddler – strapped in next to me.
Contact me at: tripswithtykes[at]gmail[dot]com – I love hearing from readers with questions.
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