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#WellTraveledFamily Friday Q&A: Amie O'Shaughnessy, Ciao Bambino!

#welltraveledfamily
Welcome to the latest Friday blog post Q&A series called #WellTraveledFamily Friday. Each week on Fridays, we’ll interview thought leaders, family travel experts and everyday families that are blazing trails and are living examples of raising confident, more culturally aware and confident families through travel. These inspirational families inspire us to travel and explore the world with our kids, and I hope that they will inspire you to do the same.
This week, we’re heading over to Ciao Bambino to chat with the lovely Amie O’Shaughnessy, the Founder and Editor of the spectacular family travel website, Ciao Bambino! With a mission to inspire families to travel the world, Amie lived in Lausanne, Switzerland with her 8-year-old son, husband, and dog for the last two years and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You’ll love how she is inspiring others to be well traveled and seeing the world with her family.
Q: What does “Well Traveled” mean to your family?

At this stage “Well Traveled” for us means variety. Although we have a few favorites we go back to again and again as a family like Lake Tahoe, Tuscany, and Hawaii, we thrive on experiencing new destinations. The thrill of learning about an unfamiliar place never gets old. We also like to mix in different types of vacations — wildlife viewing, cultural trips, camping weekends, luxury resorts, beach holidays, mountain settings — we are game for it all!

Q: How does your family make travel a priority?

We keep specific weekends open for getaways and always reserve school holiday periods for travel. This means we miss out on weekend sports (and team participation), as well as community activities. It’s worth it for us, but I know many families find that as their kids get older, finding activity-free time is a struggle.

Q: What advice would you have for parents looking to travel more?

Travel comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Resources like Airbnb and VRBO have revolutionized travel, with and without flexible budgets. Likewise, if you are hankering for an international family vacation, make sacrifices during the year to make it viable. This may mean giving up smaller trips in favor of one big trip. We charge everything possible on a credit card that gives us airfare points — it’s amazing how daily spending can add up to enough points for an airline ticket or two.

Q: What are your top 3 must-have items when heading out on vacation?

1. The iPad has changed everything. I no longer stress about entertainment preparation weeks ahead of time as I know and unlimited supply of books, magazines, and movies is accessible online.

2. I lug a ridiculous amount of lotions and potions with me when I travel. This amounts to a “light packing don’t” for many, but I’m very picky about what I put on my skin and hair; hotel samples usually don’t cut the mustard.

3. I always bring a neutral Pashmina for warmth as it takes zero packing space and spruces up practically any outfit.

6. Where is next on your family’s travel bucket list?

We’ve been to many exotic destinations as a family. If I have to pick just one unique thing it would be sleeping in a tent in giant red sand dunes in Morocco on the border with Algeria. The entire experience was surreal and pure travel magic.

We’re heading to Sun River Resort in Oregon this summer and for our first rafting trip as a family down the Salmon River in Idaho with Middle Fork Expeditions. I need my summer nature fix and will get it in spades during both of these trips. I can’t wait!

What does being a well traveled family mean to you? Share with us in the comments below, or on Facebook and Join the WellTraveledFamily Movement.

Amie O’Shaughnessy is the Founder and Managing Editor of Ciao Bambino, an award winning family travel blog and curated collection of the best kid-friendly hotels and resorts around the world. Ciao Bambino can be found on Twitter @CiaoBambino, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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