The Miller family. Photo Credit: Kimmie Zimmerman-Rocha

Our family of five has traveled together to 5 continents, 14 countries, and 27 states thanks to our employee airline benefits. We hope to prove to families that they don't need a c-suite position, lottery winnings, inherited wealth, or any of those labels to travel the world. We're just an average family who's financially literate, determined, and persistent. We made certain decisions in our lives to afford the life we currently live. Visit our blog to learn more about how we make travel happen for our family. We share our travel costs (down the penny) on the blog after every trip to back up our claims!

We began our travel journey after we got married to celebrate our anniversary, but after having our first child, we brought her along, starting what has now become our favorite way to travel: as a family. Often, our parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews join us for an extended family adventure. We are so grateful for the opportunities to experience multi-generational travel and feel like we’ve learned so much along the way.

When planning a trip for our immediate family or extended family, we take a few things into consideration. We think about our purpose of the trip, the family members we are traveling with, budget, food, and the attractions we'll visit. One of the biggest challenges in planning this type of trip is deciding where to stay. Our tip is to locate all the attractions on a map, create one long route, then choose a central place to stay so that you reduce time lost traveling to and from your planned activities. It also ensures a shorter ride back to the airport as a result of not staying near the furthest attraction. This approach has shown itself to be extremely effective as we’ve traveled here in the US as well as internationally.

Below are a few of our favorite places to visit with extended family. We have traveled to some of these destinations more than once, which has been great because scenes change, new activities and attractions emerge, and your perspective is different each time you return.

Oahu, HI 

We traveled to Oahu with our parents for our 10-year anniversary. When we arrived and opened the door to the most beautiful and private beachfront vacation home, the kids' responses were undeniable. Watching them run from room to room with smiles and laughter set the tone for the entire trip. The adults were just as excited to claim their space. We enjoyed hours on the Hukilau Beach Park, where we found ourselves inches away from a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the shoreline. The highlight of our stay included visiting the Kualoa Ranch to zip line, taking a tour through the Jurassic Park valley, and feeding the horses. A bonus to traveling with parents is having a built-in babysitter in cases where a child is too young to take part in certain activities. Our youngest daughter did not meet the weight requirement to zip line, but Grandma, who did not want to zipline, planned their own intimate tour of the Ranch and made awesome memories of their own while they waited for us to return. It was a win-win for everyone.

The Miller’s celebrating 10yrs of marriage at Hukilau Beach Park with parents. Photo Credit: Chelsea Stratso

Don’t get us started on the delicious food in Oahu! From the malasadas (donuts) at Leonard’s Bakery to the shaved iced at M Matsumoto’s, everything was so tasty. We tried a few of the food trucks and were not disappointed.  One of our favorites was Giovanni’s Original Shrimp Truck, where we ordered platters that all came with salad and rice. Everything was amazing, made-to-order, and flavorful!  Hands down, one of the best ice cream shops in the world (and we’d know!) has to be Scoop of Paradise. We each ordered different flavors to share and every single flavor was absolutely heavenly!

You cannot leave Oahu without visiting the Dole Plantation and trying the dole whips, which is another name for pineapple-flavored soft-serve ice cream. Grandma added coconut to her cone, and the kids had a taste and wanted coconut on theirs, too. Our Hawaii trip together was so special, from zip-lining with Grandpa to our professional family photoshoot, all were priceless memories we’ll keep forever.

Colorado

Colorado is a state we enjoyed so much, we visited twice! The first time was during the summer. We wanted to explore Denver and surrounding areas of Brighton to soak up as much as we could. Our favorite destination was the Red Rock Amphitheater. Just 30 minutes from Denver, it’s a breathtaking outdoor stadium that's nestled in the mountains. A must-see if you ever visit Denver, as lots of bands from U2 to The Beatles have performed there. Musical venues hold a special place in our hearts, from orchestra halls (our first date) to outdoor amphitheaters, we enjoy visiting and learning about the history of each place.

The Miller children skiing on one of the bunny slopes at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Photo Credit: Tiffany Miller

On our more recent trip to Colorado, we went to Breckenridge with our sister's family—a trip that changed our lives. We tested out the famous winter sport of skiing and fell in love! With all ten of us being novices at it, the proper training made all the difference. Everyone got a solid understanding of the basics, and now we are ready to do more of it. Our sister and her husband have three children with the exact same ages as ours, so it definitely made things easier and more fun having travel companions at every level. The day we skied it was a sunny 50-degree day out on the slopes after a fresh snowfall. Sharing this new experience together will be treasured long after it's over, and it only strengthens our family bond. The next day, we snowmobiled through Prospect Mountain, enjoying the crisp fresh air, and sipped on a complimentary cup of hot chocolate midway through our tour. We also went snow tubing in Keystone together during snowfall. It may sound like an uncomfortable and cold activity, but it was so much fun, especially for non-skiers in your family. We may only go snow tubing now during a snowfall!

Seattle, WA

Seattle is one of the few cities we can think of with so much diverse terrain. There's the lush green woodlands, then the glaciers and volcanoes enclosed by the brisk waters of the Northwest. We splurged on our vacation home near Dash Point because we wanted a view of that terrain. Our large wrap-around terrace faced Maury Island and was the most serene, breathtaking view to enjoy a cup of tea to every morning. We've experienced a lot of views, but this one was one to remember.

Tiffany Miller and kids sitting at Kerry Park enjoying the view. Photo credit: Jeremy Miller

From our family hike at Olympic National Park to our family dance party courtesy of the awesome jukebox in our vacation home, we were impressed with everything about Tacoma and Seattle. The kids loved sliding down the 60ft. slope slide running parallel to the staircase in Point Defiance Park. Our visit to Seattle will definitely not be the last, as there is so much more to see from the big city to the mountains. We created special memories there, and we’d be so excited to travel back with extended family to show them some of the breathtaking views. It’s a destination that never gets old.

Traveling together is one thing, but experiencing a new travel destination together for the first time is a remarkable feeling. It’s a feeling that we hope to inspire all families to enjoy. We're just an average, middle-class family making choices to support our desires of traveling the world together. If we can do it, we know any other family reading this can do it, too.

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