Let’s get traveling – and bring the kids.

December 13, 2021

Looking for family travel inspiration? You’ve come to the right place. 

I’m Lee, the founder (and for the moment, everything else) of Mango Tree Travel. I’m a mom, a litigator, a cook, a wine lover, a scuba diver, and – maybe above all else – a woman who loves to travel. I live for the anticipation of jetting off to a new place, towards a great sunset at a local restaurant, a view of the Caribbean Sea, or a day exploring an island.  

I loved to travel before I had kids and have made it a priority to keep traveling with them. Traveling has shaped their first few years and brought us closer together. That’s a feeling I want to share with others who need family travel inspiration. I created Mango Tree Travel to encourage you – and other busy parents like us – to get excited about family travel. I want to help you find the perfect hotel – the hidden gem – where you (and your kids, of course) can enjoy your next family vacation.

Why family travel? 

Some of our very best moments with our kids have been on family vacations. A multi-family trip exploring Grenada with four 18-month-old babies (chaos, but the best kind). 

A family vacation to Cartagena where our 3-year-old surprised us by trying (and enjoying) octopus, and we found two of our all-time favorite hotels (Casa San Agustin and Hotel Las Islas). 

A post-vaccination adventure to Bequia in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, where we reconnected after adjusting to life with a new baby.

Even in moments when family travel seemed impossible and totally overwhelming – like in 2021, when we had our second child amid COVID concerns and restrictions – we were determined to find ways to keep it up.  For us, it was a way to feel like we hadn’t lost ourselves in the sea of major life changes.  

The inspiration for Mango Tree Travel

Here’s the thing: I not only love to travel, I love travel planning.  When I say this out loud, it confuses people. But I can lose hours exploring travel websites, blogs, and Facebook groups looking for family travel inspiration. I enjoy hunting for the perfect hotel – somewhere that offers a connection to the destination. I study maps and articles and try to get a sense of the place we’re headed before we get there. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much joy I get from finding hidden gem hotels and restaurants, and how much this contributes to my anticipation for the journey.

I want to walk into a hotel and feel a sense of energy at having arrived, while at the same time, a sense of calm, relief, and relaxation. We love the Caribbean, especially with kids – but not necessarily the go-to all-inclusive resorts that are an easy choice for family travel. These have a time and place, and some are great, but more and more I look for small, boutique hotels with character. Hotels that, in their own way, are a destination, rather than just a place to crash. 

On family trips, especially with young kids, we tend to spend more time at our hotels – so, these should be places where we want to spend time. That means something a little different for each family and each trip. For me, that means a hotel with friendly staff, good food (and drinks), some family-friendly amenities, but more than anything, personality: that certain je ne sais quoi that you immediately want to tell your friends about.

But I’ll also admit, as I’ve gotten older and busier – and as the children in my life insist that I get less and less sleep – I also like a nice hotel.  I don’t necessarily mean luxury – though there’s a time and a place for that, too.  I mean comfortable.  We are a family with two parents who work full-time, demanding jobs, and have two small children. When we pile everyone onto an airplane to get away from our daily routine, we need a break, sleep – and maybe even a little pampering – when we get there.  

A hotel with kid-friendly staff and thoughtful amenities goes a long way in these circumstances.  So, I am on a hunt to find these kid-friendly hotels all across the world, starting with our favorite destinations in the Caribbean (like Grenada), so that I can recommend to them other busy, travel-loving parents.

If this post resonates with you – if you’re a parent who loves to travel and who also loves a great and unique hotel experience – then I want to hear from you!  Get in touch if you’d be interested in writing a guest post about a great (or maybe even not so great) family travel experience. Let me know if there’s a hotel you can’t wait to recommend to other families. And don’t forget to sign up below for travel and hotel inspiration! 

4 Responses

  1. Congrats on the new blog! I agree – sometimes I think the travel planning is as much fun as the travel itself. And I definitely hear you about wanting a nice hotel. Luxury travel makes me cringe a little bit, but my nights in budget hotels are behind me. Give me a nice boutique hotel any day!

  2. Very cool blog! I love where you’re coming from with trip planning and finding the perfect spot for a family vacation. Sounds like your family has been to some pretty great spots. Can’t wait to read more!

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Parents often joke that we take “trips” with little kids, not “vacations.”

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