5 Reasons Travel-Loving Families Needs to Follow Momfluential Now
“Humans have always had a romance with travel. When we leave home we go in search of the unknown, and part of that is an internal journey. Heroes go on quests and come home wiser and richer. We’re all our own heroes.”
- Ciaran gets around.
“I love to share my adventures live from the road on Instagram and Facebook as well as my blog. I love to share weird markets, great travel gear and local color. You never know where I’ll be or what I’ll find.”
- Ciaran gets around – with four kids!
“We’ve ridden on rollercoasters and survived Tuk Tuk style travel in Asia. From flea bitten hostels to five star lux, we’ve sampled the gamut. Feeling foodie? Our kids have tried turtle and alligator, amongst other things. Want to talk tech? My teenagers are wifi-code ninja masters, able to connect to anything anywhere with a single bar.”
- Ciaran gets social media.
“As a tech CEO and founder of Hashtracking Inc., I always have my ear to the ground. I founded a company that tracks hashtags. We’re always listening to travel industry hashtags and working with travel companies. In fact I watch the hashtag on my Hashtracking Streaming wall daily! I think the best part about being a tech CEO is the freedom to travel and live life as a digital nomad.”
- Ciaran is a photo fanatic.
“You can’t take it with you, but photos create such powerful emotional connections to your experiences and help you to share. I am always searching for ways to improve my photography and the latest gear to make it easier to get that shot, without taking me out of the moment. That’s a tough ask! Currently I’m shooting on a Sony a6000, a Samsung Gear 360, a Go Pro, a Canon 80D and a Leica VLux. Plus assorted cell phone cameras. Why so many? I like having the right camera for the right job. You wouldn’t go off-roading in a Maserati, would you?”
- Ciaran keeps it real.
“I’m a terrible liar. If I don’t like something, I probably won’t write about it. And if I do, I’m going to tell you what it’s really like. My goal with reviews and travel writing is to share my experiences, but ultimately it’s not about me. It’s about all of us. You are going to take this information and use it for your family. If I’m not accurate, you’re going to get pissed off and hate me. I’m only as good as the advice I give; and my family is a stand-in for yours. So when I’m on the road and sharing, I’m taking all my readers with me. I’m always aware of that and consider it a privilege!”
Q&A with Ciaran Blumenfeld, Publisher of Momfluential/Travelfluential, SupernaturalTravel.com and Founder & CEO of Hashtracking.com
McCue: Can you can some of your background – where you’re from, your family background and moving to Southern California?
Ciaran: I’m a SoCal transplant, by way of the the Pacific Northwest. I actually grew on the East Coast in New Jersey, spent my early 20s in Portland, Oregon and came to Orange County when I had kids, because my siblings had moved here and my parents had retired here. When we first moved here we were so overwhelmed by the sunshine we hissed like vampires for a few months. Now we can’t live without blue skies. I cannot picture living anywhere else!
McCue: Tell us about your kids and how you’ve incorporated regular travel into their lives.
Ciaran: My kids range in age from 8 to 20 yrs old, which is a big range! The girls are 16 and 20 and the boys are 8 and 12. Sometimes we joke that we have first and second marriage kids but from one marriage.
Travel has always been a big priority for our family. So many of our best memories were formed on the road and we’ve taken many international trips together. This past year has been an especially big travel year as we’ve been to Asia and Europe and are heading to the Middle East next. Our daughter is doing a high school semester abroad and our kids are homeschooling, which has allowed us more freedom to travel.
McCue: How would you describe your parenting style on the road? Can you share your family travel philosophy and tips/practices that have worked for you when traveling as a family?
Ciaran: We are so fortunate that our kids are enthusiastic and patient travelers. They love it as much as we do and are generally easy to roll with. We try to involve them in travel planning as much as possible so that they are looking forward to the trip and have a sense of ownership. And we have invested in iPads, etc. that make long flights and drives a lot more palatable. We love listening to Audible books together in the car! My best general travel tips include:
- Packing snacks aplenty. Hungry kids = grumpy kids.
- Outfitting your kids with a well-organized backpack in which they can carry and be responsible for their own critical travel gear.
- Not trying to do and see it “all” in one trip. I let my kids skip the Acropolis in Athens because they were burnt out and whiny that day. If your kids love a place, they can go back some day. It’s not a marathon. My kids are now dying to go back and see the Acropolis. I know they will treasure that opportunity someday.
- Recognize that kid tourism essentials are not always the same as adult ones. Catching a rare Pokemon might be the highlight of your kid’s trip to Asia – and that’s ok.
McCue: Why is travel important for families? Is it also important to travel with partner (sans kids) and travel solo?
Ciaran: When you are traveling with your kids you get to experience those rare moments where work, friends, school, etc. all fall away and you are all yourselves, connecting in the most basic and meaningful ways. Travel affords endless opportunities for conversation and bonding with parents. It also puts the world and nature in context for kids. It gives them a wider frame of reference. It’s important to know that the world extends beyond the horizon of their home “bubble.”
I think that couples also benefit from travel without their kids; and for me, solo travel is also extremely important.
Humans have always had a romance with travel. When we leave home we go in search of the unknown, and part of that is an internal journey. Heroes go on quests and come home wiser and richer. We’re all our own heroes.
McCue: What kind of travel with your family have you found the most successful/satisfying? Cities? International? Parks/Adventure/Nature? Beach?
Ciaran: I cannot pick one type of travel! We love it all. Having grown up in California, my kids love to be outdoors. They are giddy with delight each summer when they head off to Catalina Island Island for summer camp days full of hiking, kayaking and skin diving. But they are also completely happy donning plush robes at a luxury island resort. Even when we’ve had miserable trips – times we’ve gotten sick and been rained out, we’ve come home feeling grateful and successful because we have had the time together and have great stories to tell.
McCue: What kind of travel is “trending” right now? What should be the next family trip for your followers to take?
Ciaran: Travel in general is trending right now and family travel in particular is hot. Tour operators and hotels are recognizing the roles that kids and teens, and social media use play in making family travel decisions. Family photos of travel have always been a big deal but in the instagram/facebook age, they are even more iconic. Savvy resorts and destinations are making it easier for families to get those special photos without sacrificing the entire trip to the altar of Instagram. This means trips with a pro photographer along to capture moments and/or time and locations designed to fill the need to capture shareable moments. Shooting family portraits while traveling is also an ongoing trend. As more families travel, watch for more specialty eco and educational tours to pop up catering to groups of all ages. Voluntourism is gaining popularity as well.
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