Caz and Craig are a happily married couple from Australia with two beautiful kids. But they have a secret: they are full time travelers! Armed with a mission to show you that “travel doesn’t have to stop after kids”, the two are the visionaries behind the travel blog, YTravelBlog where they share secrets on how to live your travel dreams. They used to collect travel magazines, rip out photos, and glue them onto big pieces of cardboard to find inspiration. But now, read how they use Pinterest to dream, plan and jump into the unknown.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. How did you meet and get bit with the traveling bug? Were you both adventurous from the start?
We both grew up in the same small town on the east coast of Australia, but didn’t really know each other until our early twenties. Caz moved to London for 2 years straight after graduating from University and put her teaching degree to good use. During that time she traveled the UK, Europe and Asia before returning home to Oz, but still had very itchy feet.
It was then that we both got to know each other. Craig shared Caz’s passion for travel and his big dreams of also living overseas and traveling the world. We got married, and 3 days after our wedding took off on a 5-year honeymoon, which involved working holidays living in Bangkok teaching English, a year living in Dublin, and 4 years living in Raleigh, North Carolina. We traveled extensively in the UK, Asia, Africa and the USA.
We are now both full-time on our travel blog, having turned our passion for travel into a full-time lifestyle. It’s a dream come true. Caz left her teaching career and Craig left the construction industry. We’re currently on a 1 year road trip around Australia with our two kids, blogging and pinning as we go. So we are full-time bloggers, parents and travelers and time management is definitely tough, with no two days the same. But, we are living our passion and spending quality time with our kids so the benefits far outweigh the struggles.
How did the blog come about?
After living and traveling the world for 8+ years we’ve always been a part of the travel community, and we love sharing tips and stories with other travelers. Plus Caz has always loved writing in her journal and Craig taking photos, so starting a travel blog was a natural progression. And we needed to find a way to feed our travel addiction, to have time-freedom and be able to live where we want, when we want. So becoming location independent has always been a huge desire.
Our blog is 3.5 years old now and we are grateful for the lifestyle it has enabled us to live, the people we have been able to connect with around the world, and the brands we have been able to partner with on campaigns.
How do you plan your trips, especially now with kids? Are your trips less adventurous and more laid back now?
Our list of places we want to see is endless, and continues to grow. But sometimes we enjoy going back to familiar places as well. As for traveling with kids, we say this all the time to others, travel doesn’t have to stop after having kids! Whilst our style of travel has evolved over the years now that we have a 6 and 2 year old, and we don’t move as fast as we did, traveling as a family and creating lifelong memories together is so important to us.
We love the outdoors, as do our kids, and we still get out in nature and go hiking and bike riding and being adventurous. Whilst we do visit “attractions for kids” and try to find the balance between adult activities for us, we’re not the type to hang out in aquariums, museums and playgrounds, preferring to get out there and explore and meet the people and eat the local food.
Travel with kids needn’t be a hassle and it can be one of the best experiences you have as a family. It’s just about paying attention to their needs and finding plenty of rest time and having enough activities for them to do along the way. Bored and overtired children become cranky and frustrated kids in a hurry—parents moods soon follow!
Our top 3 tips for travel with kids would be:
1. Slow Down - spend more time in fewer places. Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt if solo or as a couple.
2. Determine Your Preferences - sit down with your whole family and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member of the family gets to experience something they love.
3. Stay in Apartments or Vacation Rentals - most big-city hotel rooms were not built for families with young kids. With an apartment you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, a washing machine, and separate bedrooms. These facilities can make your trip so much more enjoyable.
How do your kids like traveling?
They didn’t have a choice, they chose us, lol. But seriously, they love it. They are both adventurous by spirit, social and have come to understand the benefits of travel and the memories created far outweigh any hassles.
We stumbled upon your Bucket list board with 4.2 million followers! How have you used Pinterest to find inspiration and come across new experiences?
Our bucket list board is easily our biggest and it’s mostly for travel inspiration, those dream destinations we ALL want to visit. This board is not just for us as the curators, but for all our followers to get inspired to live their travel dreams. “A pictures tells a thousand words” as they say, and there is no better way to inspire a trip and stir emotion than through travel photos.
Before Pinterest, we used to collect travel magazines and rip out photos to pin to a cork board. Or we glued photos on a big piece of cardboard and called it our travel bucket list board or vision board. Now we use Pinterest.
What we love about Pinterest, and what separates it from say Facebook and Instagram, is that things stay where we put them and are easy to find again, for us and others. So we LOVE using Pinterest for travel planning and sharing. There are essentially 4 phases of travel: Dream, Plan, Experience, Share. And Pinterest lends itself perfectly to all phases. By creating our boards into topics, and then pinning photos and blog posts to those boards, we can easily organize and categorize our travel planning and travel tips.
We’re currently pinning our way around Australia on a one year road trip using our Australia travel board and the cool new feature “Place Pins”, which helps people to locate a destination and plan their own travels. This is a great tool for sharing your trip afterwards, by highlighting points of discovery such as places you eat, where you stayed, things you saw, which your followers can then benefit from. We’ve also created a Sydney place pins board sharing our insider tips on things to see, do, eat, stay in Sydney.
Besides clicking on the travel category, we also use the “Search bar” to research new places, pins and boards. But our favourite way to find the best photos is to use the “Related Pins” function where you see other images from the same destination or topic as the original photo you clicked on, simply by scrolling down.
We recently published an in-depth blog post on How to Use Pinterest for Traveling Planning that outlines how we get the most out of Pinterest.
Pinterest has become a HUGE part of our business. Alone it brings in over 120,000 unique visitors per month to our blog. We also get many emails from people who say they discovered us on Pinterest so it’s been a great way to build our audience and bring new eyeballs to our site. And with new features coming out on Pinterest, the future is exciting and we’re just getting started.
Browsing your blog, it seems like you’ve got the earth covered! What’s next?
We’re 4 months into our year long road trip around Australia. After that we have plans to road trip the USA for at least one year, and finally hit Europe for about 4-6 months. Our youngest daughter will be 5 years old by then so we hope to finally settle down somewhere, put the kids back into traditional school, and take shorter regional trips.
Let the adventures continue!