Kirsten Maxwell

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Kirsten is a freelance travel writer, photographer, and social media influencer based in Dallas. She is the owner of Kids Are A Trip, a travel website inspiring families to explore the world with their children and a Travelocity and Moon Travel Guides Ambassador. A bilingual teacher of Puerto Rican descent, she truly believes travel is an education and feels fortunate she can teach her three boys about different cultures as the family has traveled to 30 countries and counting. After traveling as a family for 15 years, she has learned to find those off-the-beaten path experiences while still finding time to explore the popular attractions. Her work has been featured in Lonely Planet, The Chicago Tribune, Bravo TV, and various national publications.

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As the sun sets on 2020, we take a moment to reflect on all of the good times we had this year. Extremely grateful for the time spent with family, trips we were able to take, and new friends we made. Texas gets better each and every day and we are really looking forward to 2021! Happy new year everyone! 🎉 #2021willbebetter #puertovallarta #sunsetlovers #bringon2021 #farewell2020 #happynewyear2021 #sunsetonthebeach #mexico_maravilloso #wanderlust #takeyourkidseverywhere #satw #beachvacation #optimistic #puertovallartamexico #wearetravelmums

Best Things to Do in Maui with Kids

Play under one of the most fascinating trees in Hawaii Sprawling nearly two miles, climbing more than 60 feet in the air, and made up of 16 trunks, the crown jewel of Lahaina town is the mammoth banyan tree at its center. While you’re bound to spot a whale tail from Maui’s shores during Hawaii’s Whale Season (December through April), your kids will undoubtedly deem seeing them up close an unforgettable experience. Kids 8 and up will relish the opportunity to paint their own souvenir at the uber-fun event that is Island Art Party. Check out our guide for planning a multigenerational trip to Hawaii and the best things to do in Hawaii with kids.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE EVE! One of our favorite holiday traditions has been driving around to see holiday lights, and this year didn’t disappoint! I just wanted to wish all of you a wonderful holiday and a happy new year! How are you spending the holidays? Any favorite traditions? . . . #holidayseason #holidaydecor #christmaslights #grapevinetx #grapevinechristmas #christmascapitaloftexas #dfwblogger #dfwinfluencer #texasblogger #holidayhome #celebrateeveryday #merrychristmas🎄 #merryandbright

18 Trips to Take Before Your Kids Turn 18

Enjoy all the thrills of a theme park Theme parks might seem like an easy choice for a vacation with kids, but there are different parks that appeal to all ages. Our favorite big cities have to be: Chicago (because we lived there for 14 years and it’s just awesome), Phoenix (because it’s massive and there’s so much to do in the area), and San Diego (tons to do outdoors and lots of sunshine). If your family loves National Parks, be sure to check out the best national parks for families around the world. Our family has always enjoyed the state and National Parks, and would recommend the newest National Park, West Virginia’s New River Gorge.

D is for Dallas And even though we don’t live in Dallas proper, we still consider Dallas our home. If you find yourself in Dallas with kids, make time for the following: 1) Perot Museum - amazing science and nature museum 2) George Bush Presidential library - currently not open, but worth a visit no matter your political views 3) Dallas Arboretum - beautiful gardens for exploring, great at Halloween and Christmas 4) Six Flags Over Texas - must visit for amusement park fans 5) Nasher Sculpture Center - young kids will love exploring the grounds, teens might not enjoy as much. 6) Sixth Floor museum - learn about the assassination of JFK 7) Dallas Zoo - one of the best zoos in the US 8) Dallas World aquarium - all the fish you could ever want to see and a cool cloud forest exhibit 9) Fort Worth stockyard (yes it’s in Fort Worth) - nothing beats a herd of cattle marching through town 10) National Soccer Hall of Fame and National Videogame Museum - both located in Frisco. These are perfect for kids! Tap the bookmark icon and save this for later! Have you been to Dallas with kids? What’s your favorite thing to do? . . . #dallastexas #dfw #visitdallas #visitfrisco #dfwinfluencer #texastravel #texas🇨🇱 #dallaswithkids #thingstodoindallas #adventurefamily #traveltuesday #gardensofinstagram #nashersculpturecenter #dallasmom

Best Things to Do in Yosemite with Kids

The Valley shuttle is an open air bus that takes you to some of the most iconic Yosemite sights: Tunnel View, El Capitan, Half Dome, and Lower Yosemite Falls (there is also a bus to Mariposa Grove in the summer). Moonlight Valley Floor Tour takes visitors to Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Tunnel View, Bridalveil Fall and more. We booked our tour in the Visitor’s Center in the Half Dome Camp early in morning on the day of the tour (the Centers are open year around in the Valley and seasonally in other areas of the Park). The Junior Ranger Program (for kids ages 7-13) as well as the other special kids’ activities, are offered in the Half Dome Village and throughout the rest of the park.

Since it’s been awhile since I introduced myself, I thought it would be fun to share a bit about our family and some of our favorite travel adventures (thanks @we3travel for the inspiration). I’m Kirsten. I grew up in Arizona, my husband is from Oklahoma. We lived in San Diego for 7 years, then spent 14 years in Chicago. We moved to the Dallas suburbs in August 2019 when my husband Jason took a new job as VP of litigation for a medical device company. We have three boys. The oldest is a HS senior, ready to head out and explore the world. Our middle son is a sophomore who loves reading and being with friends. The youngest loves soccer and basketball and Xbox of course. After earning degrees in Spanish and Elementary Ed, I was in education for over 10 years until I started Kids Are A Trip in 2014. I also co-manage the Facebook group, Luxe Family Trips with @solomomtakesflight and @luxerecess. In January I started my newest site, @multigenvacations , a place where families can find information for planning their large group gatherings. We have been traveling with all three kids from the time they were born. We love exploring new places, spending time outdoors, learning about other cultures, and just being together! As a family we’ve visited 25 countries, and our middle son is on a mission to visit all of the continents before he’s 18 (he’s been to 3 and I wish him all the best of luck)! 🌎 Here are some of our all time favorite family adventures: Mom’s choice: @germanytourism Christmas markets Dad’s choice: @tumblingriverranch Oldest: @visitportugal (which he explored in a walking cast) Middle: New Brunswick (@destinationnb) and PEI road trip Youngest: Adventures by Disney Costa Rica tour Mother-son trip: (and I really shouldn’t pick one because the others will see it as favoritism) In no particular order: @gadventures trip to Morocco, @experiencekissimmee, and @discoverpuertorico Favorite US Beach destination: @visitsandiego Mountain vacation: @discovervailco City escape: Chicago (@choosechicago) Countries: Croatia, France, and @tourismireland What are some of your favorite places to travel? What else do you want to know about us?

Best Things to do in Waikoloa Hawaii

This week I am thrilled to have Lisa from Hilton Mom Voyage sharing the top 5 family friendly things to do in Waikoloa Hawaii! delight in exploring the world’s most active volcano, searching for humpback whales, swimming with dolphins, learning to roast organic coffee, and meandering along dreamlike black sand beaches spotting sea turtles and other marine life. our family’s recommendations for the best family friendly things to do in Waikoloa, Hawaii! Choose from either a three-hour VIP tour including exploring the orchards, picking coffee “cherry” berries from trees, navigating the complicated harvesting process, roasting your own coffee beans and eating lunch OR opt for their complimentary tour.

Let’s talk about Croatia. It’s hard to choose one destination that starts with C because there are so many good ones! (California, Chicago, and Costa Rica were all possibilities). Croatia is one of my all time favorite destinations. The history, the people, the food, everything is amazing. We went for our 20th wedding anniversary, so it was a kid free trip, but I would love to return with them. Here is what I recommend: 1) Spend time in Dubrovnik, but stay outside the city walls. Do day trips during the day to avoid the crowds, and when you come back at night, enjoy the slower pace. 2) Be sure to visit one of the National Parks, Krka or Plitvice (that’s where this photo was taken). The majestic beauty of nature will take your breath away. 3) Visit the town of Trogir. It’s easy to access from Split and very charming. 4) Stay in the old town in Split. Diocletian’s Palace was built in 305AD and by staying nearby, you can visit it without the crowds. 5) Take a day trip to Ston. Here you will find the Great Wall of Europe which has 40 towers and 7 forts, spanning 5.5 kilometers. You can also visit the local salt pans to see how Croatian salt is made. These are only a few of our favorite things to do in Croatia. Save this pin for later to help you plan a future trip! Have you been to Croatia? . . . #croatiafulloflife #visitcroatia #dubrovnikcroatia #dubrovnikoldtown #splitcroatia #ston #trogir #trogircroatia #plitvicelakes #plitvicelakesnationalpark #croatia🇭🇷 #croatiatravel #satw #wearetravelmums #familytravel #familyholidays #adventurefamily

THIS IS BROKEN BOW OKLAHOMA The perfect choice for the letter B in my A to Z series. A year ago, I didn’t even know this place existed. Now, we have started building our first vacation rental here and have purchased a second piece of land. There’s just something about this place, and since my husband’s an Oklahoma native, this just feels right. Broken Bow is 3 hours from Dallas, OKC, and Little Rock, making it perfect for family get togethers away from the crowds. We are looking forward to enjoying it for many years to come. Have you stayed in a vacation rental lately? Where was it? . . . #travelchallenge #brokenbow #brokenbowoklahoma #mountainforkriver #hochatown #hochatime #oklahoma #visitoklahoma #riverview #hikingtrails #oklahomaphotography #satw #takeyourkidseverywhere #travelwithkids #wearetravelmums #dfwblogger #dallasblogger #dfwinfluencer

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