217 episodes

Vacation Mavens is a family travel podcast offering destination inspiration and travel tips for traveling with kids. Co-hosted by Family Travel bloggers, friends, and moms Kimberly Tate from Stuffed Suitcase and Tamara Gruber from We3Travel. Each week we chat about our recent travels and interview fellow parents and family travel experts about destinations or travel tips to provide the info you need to jumpstart family vacation planning and tips to get you out the door.

Vacation Mavens Kimberly Tate and Tamara Gruber

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 99 Ratings

Vacation Mavens is a family travel podcast offering destination inspiration and travel tips for traveling with kids. Co-hosted by Family Travel bloggers, friends, and moms Kimberly Tate from Stuffed Suitcase and Tamara Gruber from We3Travel. Each week we chat about our recent travels and interview fellow parents and family travel experts about destinations or travel tips to provide the info you need to jumpstart family vacation planning and tips to get you out the door.

    Ireland and Northern Ireland

    Ireland and Northern Ireland


    Kim took a last minute spring break trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland with her younger daughter and this week on the podcast, she tells us all about it!

    She flew into Dublin and then stay at a country estate hotel in Northern Ireland before visiting Belfast, the Causeway Coast, Derry/Londonderry, and Galway before looping back to Dublin.

    See Kim's articles on:

    Ireland travel tips Ireland packing list 2 Days in Dublin
    Ireland Trip Highlights:
    Killeavy Estate in Northern Ireland Belfast - Titanic Belfast and city architecture Causeway Coast - Carrick-a-Rede bridge, Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle Bishop's Gate Hotel in Derry - walk the walls around the city Galway - Kim didn't love Galway and her stay at the G Hotel because it felt more like a conference center hotel then something great for families. It was also a long walk into the center city. (see where Tamara stayed at a bed and breakfast near Galway) Kylemore Abbey in Connemara & Cliffs of Moher Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin suburbs Malahide Dublin - Trinity City Hotel and Trinity College / Book of Kells, shopping for Aran Sweaters

    • 55 min
    215 Oceanside Disneyland California

    215 Oceanside Disneyland California

    Spring break is almost here and on this episode Kim and Tamara share their experience on a girls' trip in Oceanside, California and then their mother-daughter trip to Disneyland with their girls. 
    If you want some inspiration for a SoCal getaway, be sure to listen in!

    • 44 min
    214 Northern Italy + Big Announcement

    214 Northern Italy + Big Announcement

    Happy New Year! We are back and apologize for taking so long to release a new episode. Moving forward, we will strive to have one episode a month to share our travels and tips, as we continue to each put more time into our respective websites.

    But first, Tamara has a big announcement and that is that she is hosting a women-only small group trip to Iceland in September 2023! You can get all the information on YourTimetoFly.com and she really hopes that some listeners will be able to join! Note that there is a discount of 15,000 ISK if you register by January 15, 2023.

    Next Tamara tells us all about her two-week trip to Northern Italy! Some highlights include:

    5 Days in Piedmont full of wine tasting, truffle hunting, and great food Her stay at La Villa Hotel in Piedmont A wine tour with Piedmont Food and Wine Tours Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como 2 days in Milan (highlights walking tour with LivTours) Hired DayTrips to visit Bergamo, Brescia, Sirmione on Lake Garda, and Borgo sul Mincio 2 days in Verona (mentioned Love in the Villa and Letters to Juliet movies), ½ day walking tour with LivTours 2 days in Bologna Cooking class in Bologna with Cesarine 2 days in Parma Day trip with Food Valley Travel Return to Milan

    • 52 min
    Glacier Country, Montana

    Glacier Country, Montana

    This episode is sponsored by Glacier Country Tourism. All opinions are our own.
    This week, Tamara shares what it is like to visit Glacier Country, Montana on a girls' trip and Kim shares her thoughts on this scenic part of Northwestern Montana. From Missoula to Whitefish, Kalispell to Glacier National Park -- if Montana is on your bucket list, give this episode a listen!
    Read more:
    Adventurous Weekend Getaways to Western Montana- We3Travel
    Best Things to do in Glacier National Park - Stuffed Suitcase
    Things to do in Glacier Country, Montana
    Glacier Country is a tourism region of Northwestern Montana that covers eight counties To get to Glacier Country you can fly into Missoula or Glacier Airport in Kalispell, both of which offer many direct flights, especially from the western USA You need to rent a car to visit this region and part of the experience is the scenic drives through the countryside To visit Glacier National Park, Tamara stayed at the Homewood Suites in Kalispell, which is about 45 minutes to the western entrance of Glacier National Park To visit Glacier National Park you need a reservation to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road from when it opens in June through mid-September. Reservations open 120 days in advance and fill up in minutes.  Things in and around the park close by mid-September to early October. Kalispell and Whitefish are both good for exploring Glacier National Park if you can't get reservations in the park. Whitefish is a ski resort town that is very cute but also pricey. The road into the Many Glacier section and Two Medicine Lake are gravel and very rough road. Kim stayed in Under Canvas at Glacier National Park in West Glacier and the Isaac Walton Inn, which is an old train depot and you can stay in a train caboose. On her trip, Tamara stayed in a few different types of accommodations including: The Lodge at Trout Creek -- B&B lodge Bridge Street Cottages in Big Fork Laughing Horse Lodge Residence Inn Missoula If you want to see wildlife, drive through the Bison Range not far from Missoula Other fun outdoor adventures are: Kootenai Suspension Bridge & Kootenai Falls Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area Llama trekking with Swan Mountain Llama Treks Soak in the hot springs at Quinn's Hot Springs Kayaking Clearwater Trail into Seely Lake Sunset boat tour on Flathead Lake Shoulder season in September was a great time to be  If you are visiting be sure to Recreate Responsibly: Leave no trace Plan ahead and make reservations Be flexible as plans may need to change because of weather, fire, road closures, etc. Be mindful of wildlife and carry bear spray when hiking (buy it there but don't bring it on the plane)  

    • 48 min
    212: Summer Travel Catch Up

    212: Summer Travel Catch Up

    We are back from our summer travel and packed a whole lot into a one episode recap! We apologize in advance for some audio difficulties on this one, especially after taking so long to get it live. Thanks for hanging in there with us!
    On this episode we cover Tamara's summer trips to:
    Nantucket (read her 3 days in Nantucket itinerary) New Brunswick, Canada (Road trip itinerary, places to stop on the Fundy Parkway, and tips for visiting Hopewell Rocks) Prince Edward Island, Canada (3 day PEI itinerary) Sailing on the Schooner Heritage Maine Windjammer Walking holiday on Hadrian's Wall Path And Kim shares about her adventures:
    Mediterranean cruise on Costa Cruise Lines (One Day in Rome Itinerary) Gorilla trekking in Uganda Alaskan cruise on Holland America Graduation trip to Disney World and Universal Orlando (How to Save Money at Disney World)

    • 1 hr 27 min
    NYC to Bahamas Cruise

    NYC to Bahamas Cruise

    We are still catching up about our spring break trips and this time Kim shares the ups and downs from a Norwegian Cruise Lines voyage from New York City to the Bahamas with stops in "Orlando" and Norwegian's private island. Listen in and see if you are ready to set sail.

    In NYC, Kim stayed in the Hyatt Centric in Times Square for 2 nights before her cruise. The hotel was part of the American Express Fine Hotels Collection and she was able to get a $200 statement credits on her Amex Platinum Card. The hotel has a good location, but slow elevators and the rooftop bar is not open to minors. They flew into Newark and took the Airtrain to NJ Transit to Penn Station Kim was able to visit the Museum of Natural History, rent bikes and ride through Central Park, see a Broadway show, and explore NYC before the cruise. The cruise port terminal in NYC is very busy and it is hard to find the right spot to check in with very long lines. It took over three hours to complete check in for the cruise so if you are cruising out of NYC soon, be sure to pick an early check in time and expect to wait. Passengers has to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test, as well as a passport, in order to board. The ship seemed to be understaffed because there was a lot of waiting in line to disembark and wait for tenders for excursions. The ship didn't seem to be at capacity but that may be because there wasn't enough staff to fully open. Kim and her family cruised on the Getaway from Norwegian Cruise Lines. Her girls like the ropes course but they have recently changed the ropes course and moved things around. If you book a package that includes specialty dining, it is usually just for the first 2 people in a cabin and if you want to add the kids you need to pay extra. In the bathrooms they provide a pump of shampoo and body wash but not lotion or conditioner. The kids club was not open during her cruise and they instead offered a voucher towards the arcade. When docked at Port Canaveral, Kim and her family went to the Kennedy Space Center but they didn't have a lot of time to explore because the boat didn't dock until 1pm and they didn't get off the boat until 2:30 and the KSC closes at 6pm. At the Norwegian private island in the Caribbean you need to take a tender boat over to the island so getting on and off takes a long time.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
99 Ratings

99 Ratings

Parkmom82275 ,

Most excellent podcast

I love this podcast! I’ve been listening for years. They are so down to earth and share information that is applicable to me. I look forward to their new episodes abs love their advice. I’d love to go on a girls trip with them sometime!

AmyinBama ,

My favorite travel podcast

I’m so happy I stumbled across this podcast when they only had a few episodes out. I feel like I know them I have listened so long. I definitely relisten to episodes about my next travel destination over and over again. They have now covered so many places. Great job ladies!

Megan Zech ,

Fun listen during the pandemic

I just got into podcasts and I’m so glad I found this one. Working from home for almost a year now, I love daydreaming about where my family can go post-pandemic. I would love a future episode about New Orleans. NOLA is definitely in my top 5 domestic bucket list.

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