Author: travelingu

When you travel, especially during the peak travel season you should always expect hiccups, changes, delays and even frustrations. We arrived at the airport two hours before our flight, which for us is incredible. You can imagine that with four kids we typically arrive at the last minute, running through the security and sitting down just as they closed the doors.  So this time we were pretty proud of ourselves. That is until we handed our passports and itinerary to the ticketing agent and he gave me that look. Dale has flown enough to know that look, either something was wrong or we were in for an adventure. Actually, no matter what the best thing to do is remain calm and just let them explore the options, which is just what we did. 


IMG_3429We soon found that our flight to Atlanta was delayed by over two hours. This definitely put a kink into our one-hour layover in Atlanta connection to Prague. While Curt, our agent was trying to figure out a better solution, Delta emailed Dale twice and called him three times letting him know something we were now well aware of. They had automatically re-routed us from Salt Lake to Los Angeles to Amsterdam to Paris and finally to Prague. Not the best solution in our minds. So we waited while Curt typed away like a teenager texting after drinking three cans of Cola and he came up with a much better solution, a non-stop flight to Paris and then a short flight to Prague. However, because this flight was so full, he couldn’t provide us with seat assignments. Hummmmmmm, new problem, new adventure. In addition, the new flight wasn’t until later in the afternoon, but to our surprise Curt provided us with $60 in food vouchers, which took care of our lunch and was a wonderful surprise. 




We finally got to our gate only to find out that coach was totally full. The only seats were the new Economy Comfort seats Delta sells for an additional $60.00 each, but they do have more legroom and recline twice as far as typical coach seating. To our delight, and because those were the only seats available we were all upgraded at no charge. 




In the end, the lesson learned was; Relax, count on a few delays. Also remember that the frustrations often turn out to be blessings. First, we were wondering what to do about lunch as there was no meal service on our original flight from Salt Lake to Atlanta and we had such a short layover. In this case we had a complementary lunch on Delta. Second, we were upgraded to better seating and a much more palatable itinerary. Yes we have had to spend a few unexpected hours in the airport but we received over $400 in compensation and had fun playing card games with the kids. 




Keep this in mind the next time you run into either a hiccup, change or delay on a future flight. Your outcome will largely be dictated by how you react to the adventure ahead of you. Tomorrow we will be in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and our adventure will not begin, it will just continue.
*Originally posted on 6/2011
For most families, school is over and summer has begun. Memorial Day traditionally is the start of summer, unless you live in our neighborhood where you wake up to snow on the 30th. So where does this summer take you? Most importantly, are you using the tips and suggestion you have learned from “Have Kids – Will Travel”?
For our family this summer will be a busy one. In just a few weeks we will be flying off to Prague, then Vienna and finally Italy where we will visit Venice, Florence and the Amalfi Coast. We have spent a lot of time planning this trip, but this is key to providing the best trip at the lowest possible price. We have realized a few things this time around; With the exchange rate and fuel prices up, they effect nearly every aspect of a trip and if not planned well they can cut into the budget a bit more. These are the unexpected costs that you just have to put an educated guess to. In the end, I believe it will only change our final cost by a few hundreds dollars, but still a cost that is always in flux. 
We came across a new website where we got our flights from Prague to Milan. They even beat out our old favorites, Ryan Air and Easy Jet. searches all of the discount airlines across Europe and came up with a $47 airfare on an airline where we didn’t have to worry as much about our checked bags, if we choose not to carry on. 
So far we have our airfare booked and paid for. All hotels, house rentals and rental cars paid for and so with that, we are just under $2000.00 (for 6 people)……. we are left with food and fun. My guess is that we will come in somewhere close to $3000.00 for all 6 of us. Because we are moving around so much on this trip we are paying for a few more nights of hotel than we normally would. We created hospitality exchanges where we could and used our Marriott points for many, but there are a few places we just needed a clean comfortable bed and had to pay for them. 
If you’re still in the planning process for this summer here are a few tips:
1) Based on the trends, travel is up. Start looking for airfare early. Use miles when and where you can, but begin the process as early as possible. With fuel prices high, demand high and inventory low the price can only go up.
2) check for airfare late at night. Around midnight seems to be best. Business travelers tend to book during the day and inventory is moving quickly. Late at night can save you hundreds of dollars on a flight. 
3) Clear your internet cookies. If you search but don’t book, the search engine will remember your search and they will only let you see higher fares if you search again. Go to your internet browser and clear your internet cookies. 
4) Look at nearby airports. An example of this was a flight from Salt Lake City to Dallas for $450.00 on Delta. The Delta flight from Boise was only $290.00 saving $150.00 per ticket. The return flight stopped in SLC where you could just walk off with your luggage and not complete the flight to Boise. You will need a cheap Southwest ticket from SLC to Boise one way for just under $50 to start off your trip but you still saved $100.00 per ticket. A family of 6 can save $600.00 and a larger family can save more. 
5) Look for home exchanges and hospitality exchanges and save thousands on your accommodations alone.
Have a wonderful summer holiday and please let us know what you did to save on your family vacation, email us at 
*Originally posted 6/19/2011


320.5We always dreamed of traversing the waterways of Venice on a Gondola with a real Italian who slowly navigated our way, serenading us as we sit back into each others arms, taking in the beauty of the architecture, sites and sounds of Italy. A few years back we fulfilled this dream. Sitting for a brief moment in time, with the breathless reality that we were free from the cares of the world until the silence was broken from directly behind us… 

“Are we there yet?”  Yes, our third son was getting a bit impatient with the lack of speed our wonderful ride was providing. The other four children seemed to be somewhat content with the pace, but we have one son, as I’m sure every family does, who’s tempo is a bit more of a speedboat. So much for that moment of ‘romance’.


Yes, we took our four children plus one extra on our perfect romantic vacation to Italy, and it wasn’t the first time nor would it be the last. See, my husband and I have a passion for travel and though a second honeymoon would be nice, the most important thing we can do for our children is to share our passion for exploration with our children. 


Italy+067Our family began traveling overseas when our youngest daughter was three. Actually she had her fourth birthday on that trip. You might well wonder how much of a trip like this would sink in or if she would even understand much of what we were trying to do. Our hope however, was that in some small way she would begin to see her world as something just a bit bigger than the sandbox she typically enjoyed during the summer months. Our other children were nine, eleven and thirteen respectively. 


Traveling with children isn’t always easy, but if done with a purpose it is extremely rewarding. Our little four year old exceeded our wildest dreams and even at fourteen she still remembers vividly her first trip to France and England. Just ask her about her birthday cake at the hotel in the shadow of the chateau where Leonardo Di Vinci lived and is now buried or when we finally got to England and she could finally, somewhat, understand everyone. There is so much she can still recall and so many incredible memories made, that we hope will last a lifetime.
Why then travel with your children? You may have a different answer than we do. For some it might be to just get away to just say, “been there, done that”. To others it might be for the adventure itself or to explore new cultures and ideas. To us, it has been a vital part of our children’s education. Now, after ten years, it has become a way of life, but most importantly it has been an education. The Greek, “exegesis” means to “draw out of”. When we travel, especially with our children we try to use this principle as our main purpose to our adventure. Often our trips have taken a year to plan and prepare for. They first start off by studying the area, the cultures both past and present. Understanding some of the language and the historical notes that have made a difference in how we do things today. Seeing what interests each child and when you find it, start digging deeper and then, together study it out. This is when the fun begins and the trip is set.


On one of our trips was, as mentioned above, Italy.  Others have included France, Germany, Switzerland, Honduras, Belize, China and Mexico, all multiple times, England, Canada, Spain, the Caribbean and nearly every state in the US. We have done all this with our children in tow and with the express purpose to educate and immerse them into the world around them. Our trip to Italy was probably by far our personal favorite because it was then that we really started to discover how best to travel with purpose and direction. Now before we go on, we want those who are thinking, “Well that’s nice but an average family could never afford to do vacations like this”, to get those notions out of their heads. We once thought this too until we discovered reality is what you make it. Most of these trips to Europe were with seven of us and were for a duration of three weeks and cost less than $3000.00, for everyone and everything including air. Most of our trips in the US were kept around $200.00 per person total including places like Hawaii. No, we didn’t sleep in the parks or even hostels. In fact we have slept in Marriott’s, Castles and in Italy we made a 600-year-old restored farmhouse, just outside of Florence in the Tuscan hills our base camp. The best part is that any family, any size on any income can travel the world this way, you just have to know the secrets and take the time and effort to plan… with your family! 
The benefits however are worth any cost, the fact that we have been able to do this at minimal expense is just icing on the cake. As our children have grown they have developed a greater understanding of the world, the problems facing their generation and have been able to, for the most part they kept “unplugged” from the distractions facing most kids their age. Travel brings a greater sense of self with a better understanding and compassion for others less fortunate. It provides a greater gratitude for even the small things they have and opens their world to opportunities and erases perceived barriers others wish to portray. 
We believe it is a direct correlation to the travels they have experienced that has been responsible for their being accepted at the ages of 15 and 16 to their University studies with full academic scholarships, for their love of the arts and their acceptance of cultures and differences in others. For these reasons and a host of others, travel in our opinion is essential in these difficult times for this next generation. 
So the next time you think about a wonderful getaway as a couple with children turn that thought into traveling with your children and immerse your family into this incredible, wonderful world. 
*Originally posted 5/2011
Recently we worked with a family trying to get to Dallas for a family reunion. Because of the short time period, they weren’t able to implement some our ideas for eliminating their airfare but we did find ways to reduce their costs considerably. 

The biggest problem they faced was that they had 12 people traveling and would need airfare plus at a minimum, 3 hotel rooms. The costs for this trip were getting out of hand and many of the options were also limited because 10 of them were flying out of Salt Lake City, Utah and 2 were out of Boise, Idaho. They thought they would all just fly out of Salt Lake, but Salt Lake City is a very busy airport with limited options which creates the perfect scenario for higher airfare. 

We started to look around at options other than Salt Lake. A 6 hour drive to the south provided cheaper airfare out of Las Vegas, but not enough to justify a 6 hour car ride, only then to hop on a plane for several more hours, so we continued to search. Mean while additional pressures, fuel prices and summer travel getting more busy, were rapidly sending what was a somewhat acceptable airfare to a completely out of control and out of reach airfare. 

Finally we saw airfare out of Boise which was not only reasonable but also had a unique twist to it as well. The flight from Boise to Dallas was not only $290.00 RT compared to $434.00 from Salt Lake, but it stopped off in Salt Lake City on the way to and returning from Dallas. 

So taking advantage of the lower fare, the family called the airline and asked…. What if we miss the flight from Boise to Salt Lake City, could we continue on if we got to Salt Lake City in time? (which is where they live) Initially the airline seemed to be ok with this, but finally said no because of it being the first leg of the trip. So being creative again, they found cheap one way tickets on Southwest Airlines to Boise, about $50 one way. Even with this they saved nearly $1,000.00 on the airfare. 

They only needed a oneway ticket to Boise as their return flight also changes planes in Salt Lake. If they carry on their bags from Dallas to Salt Lake they just need to depart and not take the last part of their flight. You may be able to ask if you check your bags that they only go to your “new” destination, but don’t assume, always ask well in advance. 

If your ok with the risks and you have done your homework ahead of time, this is another way to save hundreds of dollars on flights. In addition the family used our tip of arranging a home exchange and eliminated their hotel costs completely. Over all savings on this trip are right around $4,000.00. Not bad for some creative thinking. 

*Originally posted 5/2011
We didn’t rent a car while in NYC. Why would you? The cost for parking would probably exceed the cost of having the car and who wants to drive in the city anyway? We did however decide to take a side trip to New Hampshire and stay a night with some friends and visit with our publisher of, ‘day trips from salt lake city’, Available now at Barns & Noble, Amazon, etc….. 
We had taken a shuttle from the airport to our hotel when we landed, which wasn’t the fastest because the evening rush had just began. The cost after tip was about $40.00 for both of us and we figured it wasn’t too bad. We did hear however that once you take the subway and airport train, you’ll never use anything else. 


Our story begins with us believing this is true. Now don’t get us wrong, We love the ease of the Subway in New York, but when your not as familiar as you need to be and it is crowded and you have your luggage, I’m just not sure if the savings are worth the cost. Here is the cost… The station was right across the street from our hotel, big bonus. However we soon learned there are two blue trains that go towards the airport. One has a stop for the Airtrain and one forks off and heads in a different direction. We, of course, were on the fork train. 


We realized this and decided to get off at a mutual stop and catch the correct one to the Airtrain. The train stopped, We got up and headed out the door, I had a little delay from my luggage and when Dale got outside, and turned around he saw the doors shutting with me still on the train. I thought I could stop the doors and stuck my foot between them and as the train proceeded to take off Dale watched me lose my balance and fall back into the train (much to the entertainment of the train passengers). So Dale grabbed his cell phone… no service. He then proceeded to the person at the ticket booth, no help at all. He walked out of the subway to get cell reception with the hope that he would get off at the next stop and do the same. After only a few minutes we connected on the phone. I stayed at that next stop to wait and Dale got on the next train heading in my direction. 


4470_1161829890955_2406006_nWe met back up, got off at the Airtrain and made it to the car rental place no worse for the adventure- just a lot to laugh about! Total cost for both of us to take the train, $4.00 for the subway and $10.00 for the Airtrain, a $25.00 savings but we’re not sure it was worth the gray hairs. When we returned for our last night in the city we took a taxi and then a hired car to head home. The shuttle, taxi and hired car are all about the same cost and we haven’t decided which I thought was better. 

*Update: Did we keep it under our est. $600? Just under….. we had’ buy one get one free airfare’, free hotel credits (which included a buffet breakfast), discount Broadway tickets, and local small food eateries that are inexpensive with great diversity.  We showed up at the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ box office one hour before the performance and asked “What is the best deal you can do?” (Thanks to Richard Paul Evans…. we always use this phrase and have saved thousands)……the guy looked at us, held his finger to his lips and whispered, “The show is about to start so we will sell you 1/2 price tickets close to the front”. SWEET!

Wonderful Weekend for two!



*Originally posted 3/2011
We specialize in family travel, but sometimes mom and dad need a vacation and our motto changes to ‘No Kids – Will Travel’! For valentines Dale decided to take his wonderful wife (wink, wink:) to New York City for an extended weekend. Even with great airfare of $269.40 RT from SLC to JFK, a five day, four night stay in NYC would cost just under $2000.00. ($538.80-air, $179/night x 4 nights -$800.00 with taxes, $300.00 Broadway tickets and about $250.00 for food). 


Following the techniques in the book, Have Kids – Will Travel, ( we will do this trip for just under $600.00. or about the cost of airfare alone. Tonight we are headed to dinner and then a Jazz club, then tomorrow a day in the city and a night at the Theatre. We will keep you informed as to how well we keep to this budget and all the fun we have in New York for Valentines day. 

*Originally posted 3/2011
As our children get older it becomes more and more difficult to schedule these family trips. One of our sons will have to miss this adventure. He will be beginning his MBA at the University. So our oldest, married daughter quickly let us know that her and her husband would gladly fill in for him. So there will be Six of us traveling. Since there are no gas stations or roads for that matter from the U.S. to Prague, we opted for the quicker more conformist mode of transportation, the airplane. After a few hours with the airline figuring which route would be the best we booked our flight in to Prague and out of Milan Italy for only $98 round trip for each of us. Ok….. wait you are saying…. Did they just make a huge typo? Let us spell it out so there is no confusion… ninety-eight dollars and zero cents. Total. Air, taxes, fees. 
Fireworks over Prague


Now up to this point you were probably thinking this was going to be a cute family blog on how some rich family flew to some exotic European vacation and how jealous you would be as you lived vicariously through their words. We bet we have your attention!


 We don’t travel like a normal family and the thing is, anyone can travel this way too, if you know the secrets. These aren’t some weird ‘join a time-share or travel club that you will never use’ type of secrets. They are time tested, every day, any trip kind of secrets you can use too. Now the point of this blog isn’t to go through all the nuts and bolts of how we do this, because that would be way too boring and not everyone is going to do it the same way each time. 


There are many different ways to get airfare like we mentioned and one might work better for you than for someone else. So the best place to read on how to accomplish this can be found on our website,, where you will be able to order a copy of our book ‘Have Kids-Will Travel and read how you too can travel like a King for the price of Disneyland or less. 


Currently this is where we sit with our trip… Airfare, done. Michelle found out that Vienna is only 3 hours from Prague and has always wanted to go, so we will spend 4 days in Prague and 3 days in Vienna (what a wonderful husband she has:). We are looking for the best and least expensive mode of transportation now along with accommodations. In our next blog we will fill you in on how those are coming along. We hope this finds you wanting to know more!

 – May all your travels be Free – 

*Originally posted 3/11
Can families really travel the world?
We hope as you read our blogs you will get a sense of how absolutely possible it is for families to travel the world. We have been traveling like this with our family for over 10 years now and the difference it has made in our children’s lives is incredible. Our favorite quote is from St. Augustine – “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” It truly is our goal to help families realize how affordable travel can be if you know the right travel secrets and are willing to invest a little bit of time. 


We would like to take you along, through this blog, on our next family vacation and explore Prague, Vienna, Milan and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Right now we are in the middle of planning so check back for the changes we make as we book the trip of a lifetime for the cost of going camping (almost). 
Why Prague? How do we get there?


First of all, Dale is the reason we are going to Prague.  The kids and I have pretty much dictated our past vacations to destinations they wanted to go. Our oldest daughter has always been fascinated with France. So much so that her minor in college is French and we believe she has been there almost every summer since she was 13. 

Second, why not Prague? It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Untouched by the wars that ravished Europe and full of so much history, it would take years to take it all in. Unfortunately we have only a few days this time around. Our hope is that we get enough of a taste to lure us back many times as other countries have. 
*Originally posted 3/2011