We are the 50stateschallenge family. Jennifer (mom), Alex (dad), Marissa 11 and Vanessa 7. About 2 years ago our oldest, Marissa, told us she wanted to visit all 50 states before she graduated.
It all started when we took a road trip to North Carolina to go skiing. She was amazed how different everything was from where we lived. I showed her pictures of New York, California, the mountains and explained to her that the world is much bigger than where we live. After that my husband and I decided to take on her challenge to see all 50 states before she graduates.
Where abouts in the world are you right now?
We currently live in Pembroke Pines, FL. We are a part-time travelling family. We try and plan a trip every 3 to 4 months with lots of exploring within the state of Florida in between. We are an outdoors family for sure so we like to go and adventure any chance we get.
What do you love about Florida?
I would have to say the culture in South Florida. My husband and I are from Hispanic (Cuban) backgrounds and you don’t have to go to far to see how much Cuban influence there is in South Florida. From the food to the music to the languages spoken here. My second favorite is for sure the beaches. You can travel in any direction and be at the beach in no time.
Anything you don’t like?
How fast pace everything is. Everyone is always on the go. Makes it hard to enjoy the simple things.
What are the most challenging aspects that stand out?
Defintely our schedules. My husband and I both work full time and our kids both are in elementary school. Throw in travel soccer for Marissa and finding the time to make it all work gets a little tricky.
The financial aspect. Traveling is pricey even more when it’s a family of four. We have found that taking roadtrips works better for us. Our kids do awesome they don’t seem to mind being in the car and it allows us to cover more ground on less money. We are always on the lookout for deals on flights, hotels and rental cars. Whenever we see a good one we jump on it.
Hows the food?!
The food in South Florida is amazing. Whatever you are craving you are sure to find it in South Florida. We have had some places like Wynwood that have blown up lately and have become must stops for any food enthusiast.
Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?
Know what your family likes and incorporate it into your travels. My youngest daughter loves rocks, minerals, fossil even dirt. Whenever we travel we make it a point to find a “special rock” so she can add to her collection. We have also done mining tours. My oldest is an adrenaline junkie, rock climbing and hiking are always on our list.
Research. Before we pick a destination we always research. My favorite is Pinterest. You simply type the city or state that you are interested in traveling to and so many options pop up. Blogs from other families and pictures.
Have fun. It shouldn’t be a stressful thing. Try not to overbook yourself so you can enjoy the moment. Especially with kids you don’t want to tire them out to the point that they become cranky. Yes even at 7 and 11 years old they get cranky!
What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their tribe?
Don’t think about it too much and just do it. It doesn’t matter how old your child is they will enjoy it as long as they are with you. Also don’t limit them. We use to put off traveling or doing certain things while on vacation because we thought they were too little or couldn’t handle it. They are much stronger than we all think. Just last year we went on a 7 mile hike with them and I was so nervous. I didn’t think they would be able to make it, I though it was going to be a waste of time. Boy did they prove me wrong. They loved it. Now they wont stop asking me when we are going again.
I am a strong believer in learning through experiences. If your kids are learning about something in school try and incorporate it in your travels. You can tell them about 9/11 and the World Trade Center or you can take them to New York and show them. You can tell them about Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue or you can take them to Massachisettes and show them Plymouth Rock. Our country has so much history and so much to offer. I feel like its up to us to show them. They will remember it for ever. If they just read it in a book it wont matter as much to them
Where can we find you?!
Website (blog) - www.50stateschallenge.com