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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

I HAVE STRUGGLED TO POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA... but I am committing the rest of this month to try an A to Z challenge. Going to kick off with Arizona, my home state, and this photo of Picacho Peak. It’s impossible to miss this 1500 foot peak on the drive on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. It’s most famous for a Civil War battle that happened here in 1862, the largest one in Arizona history. If you happen to visit in spring, you will be rewarded with some of the most stunning wildflowers. I drove by this park many times during college and every time it took my breath away. The way the light reflects on it depending on the time of day never fails to impress. Save this post for later and remind yourself to stop for a visit. Have you been to Arizona? What’s one thing there you want to see or recommend people see? . . . #atozchallenge #visitarizona #arizona🌵 #arizonastateparks #picachopeak #arizonalife #arizonahiking #challengeyourself #arizonatourism #arizonatravel #travelwithkids #satw #takeyourkidseverywhere #wanderlustmomblogger #wearetravelmums #stateparks #aztagram #azlife

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

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

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?

THIS YEAR WE MANAGED TO CHECK OFF ONE OF OUR BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS In February, we traveled to Morocco and explored the markets of Marrakech. It was an unbelievable experience and quite honestly, the rest of this year’s travel was not nearly as exciting. In our latest blog article, we’re sharing destinations that should be on your family’s travel bucket list. You can find the link in the profile. What’s on your travel bucket list for 2021 and beyond? . . . #travelbucketlist #bucketlistadventures #bucketlistfamily #bucketlistideas #familytravelblog #familytraveltribe #takeyourkidseverywhere #wearetravelmums #wanderlustmom #marrakech #moroccotravel #morocco🇲🇦 #marrakechmedina

Our family is always up for an adventure, and there are plenty to be had in Florida. We’ve enjoyed many hours shelling on the beach, riding bikes through tropical forests, and encounters with wildlife. We might live in Texas, but we find there are ways to keep our “Florida state of mind” strong. It’s not easy to do, but we make our own Florida adventures to keep our spirits up. Create your own Florida adventure by entering to win one of @VisitFlorida’s adventure boxes. (Check the second image to see what you can win). Enter to win at the link in the profile. What’s your favorite Florida adventure? #ad #LoveFL @scarymommy

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO STAY ON A SUNFLOWER FARM? Maybe I’m the only one, but I’ve found the place! Eleanor’s outside of Topeka, Kansas offers a restored farm house where you sleep among the sunflower fields. And if you want to get married or have a birthday party there, they have space to do that too! Read all about it at the link in our profile. We are sure you will want to book your trip for next summer! Have you ever stayed on a farm? . . . #eleanors #sunflowers #sunflowerfield #farmstay #agritourism #kansasfarm #kssoy #kansasliving #kansaslife #farmfoodtour #sunnyfarmhouse #sunflowerfarm #kansassunflowers #sunflowers🌻 #midwesttravel #roadtripusa #roadtrip

CLOSED: It’s never too early to start dreaming about a 2021 road trip. I’ve come together with a few of my favorite family travel blogger friends to give YOU the chance to surprise your family with a great road trip prize package worth over $800! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 👉🏻 Enter to win:⁣⁣ • $500 Airbnb gift card⁣⁣ • $100 Visa gift card to help with gas and road trip snacks⁣⁣ • $100 @prana gift card ⁣⁣ • 1 Annual USA National Parks Pass for 2021 ($80 value)⁣⁣ • 3 @moonguides travel guides of your choosing (up to $75 value)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:⁣⁣ 1️⃣ Like this post. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 2️⃣ Follow me @kidsareatrip and all of these amazing family travelers:⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ @walkingontravels⁣⁣ @stuffedsuitcase⁣⁣ @we3travel⁣⁣ @nobackhome @vagabond3⁣⁣ @ytravelblog⁣⁣ @clarissalaskey⁣⁣ @somedayilllearn⁣⁣ @2traveldads⁣⁣ @localpassportfamily⁣⁣ @thesnazzymom ⁣⁣ @thejetsettingfamily⁣⁣ @theamericanfieldtrip ⁣⁣ 3️⃣ Leave a comment telling us where you would like to go on a road trip in 2021.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ➡️ For extra entries, tag a friend you’ve missed seeing in 2020.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣GIVEAWAY RULES:⁣⁣⁣ This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram, Facebook, Airbnb, Visa, or the National Park Service. Prizes by Prana and Moon Guides were donated for promotional purposes.⁣⁣⁣ By entering you are confirming you are 18+ years of age, that you release Instagram of any/ and all responsibility, and that you agree to Instagram’s terms of use. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Disclaimer- void where prohibited by law, no purchase necessary. • Contest runs from Dec. 2 til Dec. 9, 2020 at 8:00 pm EST.⁣⁣⁣ • One winner will be chosen at random. The winner will be notified via Instagram and must supply their shipping address and contact info.⁣⁣⁣ • All entrants must meet the above entry criteria to qualify.⁣⁣⁣ There is no cash alternative to prizes, nor are they transferable.⁣⁣⁣ • The winner will be contacted within 7 days of the contest closing and must respond within 14 days.⁣⁣⁣ • Delivery will be to US addresses only (no P.O. Boxes).⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣#tennesseelife #visittennessee #greatsmokymountains #nationalpark #nationalparkgeek #findyourpark #roadtripusa #pigeonforge #gatlinburg #nationalparkobsessed #familytravel #roadtripusa #roadtrip

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