Kirsten Maxwell is the founder of Kids Are A Trip, a family travel website created to inspire families to explore the world with their children. A bilingual teacher of Puerto Rican descent, Kirsten enjoys creating entertaining and educational itineraries for the entire family. She and her husband have visited 25 countries and counting, exposing her children to cultures around the world.
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
Prague. Words cannot do it justice and the first time we visited on our honeymoon in 1998, it was barely touched by tourists. Seeing Charles Bridge, the Castle, and wandering the streets with nowhere to go was so romantic. And it was so cheap! My husband and I could not believe we could buy a beer there for 40 cents at the time!
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
With unlimited resources I would take a tour around the Balkans hitting up Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Bosnia. I’ve been dying to explore the area and everyone’s photos make it look incredible!
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
Honestly, I was afraid to start my website, Kids Are A Trip. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know coding and had no idea where to begin. Thankfully, I had a local mentor who supported me and told me where to find the resources I needed and here I am today.
Travel related apps! TripIt, Hopper, Google Maps, Momondo, SpotHero. Anything that makes travel easier deserves a spot on my phone.
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
I hate to even share because it might start a tourist rush (LOL), but Colmar, France is stunning.
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
My parents always told me that if I wanted something I needed to work hard for it and never give up. I’ve used that advice in all aspects of life, from parenting to business. It’s just something that really sticks with me.
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
We started traveling overseas with all three kids when they were 2, 4, and 6. In hindsight, we must have been quite a spectacle with our luggage, double stroller, and three children in tow. On many trips we were fortunate people took pity on us and helped us carry luggage (and the stroller) up and down staircases so we had free hands for the kids. We now make a point to help a struggling parent when we see one in need.
When traveling away from home, it’s impossible to really experience a destination unless you immerse yourself. We’ve always felt the need to spend at least two weeks minimum away from home when we travel to a foreign country. This allows us to rent a local home, shop at the local grocer, establish routines, and learn about other cultures on a deeper level.
9.)I travel because….
I love meeting new people, learning about other cultures, and exposing my children to life outside their comfort zone. It’s important for all of us to realize we are only small pieces of a global puzzle.
10.) My favorite travel or business book is…
Not really a business book (or maybe it is), but I really enjoyed A Year in Provence. My husband and I talk about retiring to the Dordogne region of France so this gave me some insight into what that process could look like.
11.) How about hotels? What’s your favorite or one you’d recommend?
This is such a tough question! We loved Martinhal Chiado in Lisbon because they have gorgeous apartments in the city center. Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale is perfect for families. Finest Playa Mujeres in Cancun has beautiful property, amenities, and lovely staff. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Lastly, can you please recommend a resource for up-and-coming travel writers; this could be a course you know, a book, conference etc.
Highly recommend Dream of Travel Writing by Gabi Logan. She has great advice for getting started in travel writing, pitching, and publishing.
Kirsten Maxwell is an ambassador for Travelocity and writes for many travel sites. She is also a member of Luxe Family Trips, a group of experienced travel writers helping families travel in a way that is accessible and authentic. A native Phoenician, Kirsten currently lives in Chicago with her husband and three boys.
Stay up-to-date on their travels through:
Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.