He’s always on the move, we’re just trying to keep up. Photo Credit: Khalid Lewis

Our little family has been on the move since our son was born. He flew on his first flight at 8-weeks old, and we have been on the move ever since. After returning to work seven weeks after giving birth, we decided to pursue our dreams of being a full-time travel family.

We sold everything and left California in January 2020 to travel the world. That is when our blog, It’s a Family Thing was born. Many people think it's impossible to travel with a baby or toddler, but we are living proof that you can, without spending a fortune.

As a kid, I always wanted to travel the world, but I did not think it was possible. Fast forward over 20 years, here I am traveling around the world with my family.

Who would have thought two Black moms would be traveling to the different corners of the earth with their son? Sometimes dreams do come true.

There is a misconception that once you have kids, you have to stop doing the things you love, especially travel. For us, that’s far from true. Traveling with young kids may take some extra work, but it is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a family.

Stepping away from daily responsibilities and spending time together, truly focusing on them, can be life changing. Why not take the time, while you can, to enjoy the most precious years of your kid’s life?

Traveling while your kids are young is the perfect time to connect with them before they know how to use a phone. You get the chance to have fun by being a kid again alongside them. The time you spend at children's museums, theme parks, and parks helps connect you with your kids in a different way.

One of our favorite ways to connect is heading on a summer beach vacation. Here are some of our favorite beach destinations for families with babies or toddlers.

Ala Moana Beach in Oahu, Hawaii 

Just hanging out at Ala Moana in Oahu on a sunny day. Photo Credit: Corritta Lewis

Nothing says summer like spending the day at the beach in Oahu. There are so many to choose from, but Ala Moana Beach is one of our favorites. This beach is perfect for babies and toddlers because of the calm tide, palm trees, picnic area, a walking path, and concession stands.

Ala Moana is the perfect place for your little one to nap while you take in the sunshine or cool off in the ocean. What makes this one of our favorite beaches is the proximity to our favorite neighborhood, Waikiki.

Waikiki is the center of all of the action in Oahu. There are restaurants, shopping centers, a zoo, parks, and a weekly fireworks show. Although Ala Moana is close to all the action, it is one of the least crowded beaches near Waikiki, so you don’t have to deal with a lot of people.

Plus, it’s near Rainbow Drive-In, which has been around since 1961. After having a bite, you’ll see why. We fell in love with the Loco Moco and have been trying unsuccessfully to recreate it since we returned from Hawaii. Although our version of the Loco Moco isn’t as good as the Rainbow Drive-In, every time we eat it, we’re transported to our time in Oahu.

As if that wasn’t enough, head over to Honolulu Cookie Company and have some of the best cookies you’ve ever eaten. I’m going to tell you now, the one dipped in white chocolate is the absolute best. My wife recently looked in her purse and found the rewards card. We are holding out hope that we will be back for more cookies. I will warn you they are addicting, so proceed with caution. While you are in the area with your little one, head to the Honolulu Zoo. You and your kids will be in for a fun-filled day, plus it is a great way to get some air-conditioning on a hot day.

Orlando, Florida 

Trying to get him into the water at Cocoa Beach Photo Credit: Mea Lewis

As a two-mom family, one of the most important things to us is going to LGBTQIA-friendly destinations. It doesn’t get more family, and LGBTQIA-friendly than Orlando, FL. This is one of our favorite places to visit because there is something for everyone.

Although Orlando is not a beach city, you can get to some of the most beautiful beaches within one or two hours. One of our favorites is Cocoa Beach, which is one of the most popular beaches for families in the area. You can find everything you need here, like shopping, food, a playground, and a dog park for those with furry family members.

When we would go to the beach before, our son was too young to understand what was going on, but this is where he realized sand was fun. While hanging out at the beach, he decided to dip his chips in the sand and eat them. For the rest of our time at the beach, he would dip his snacks in the sand before eating them. As parents, we know a tantrum can erupt at any moment, so you have to pick your battles. This was not a battle we were willing to fight. We let him dip his food until he was tired of eating sand.

La Jolla Cove Beach in La Jolla, California

Being a big boy, getting a little wet at La Jolla Cove Photo Credit: Corritta Lewis

La Jolla Shores is our favorite neighborhood when we visit La Jolla Cove, a town not far from San Diego in California. We like how close the area is to the beach, while still being further from the Downtown area. There are condos and houses in this neighborhood, so it is the perfect place for families with kids to play.

La Jolla Cove is the ultimate destination for families with young kids. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in San Diego County, but there are also so many things to do and see.

The most popular attraction here is the sea lions. At almost any time of the year, there will be sea lions hanging out on the Point La Jolla rocks.

Our first time visiting here, our son and I took a nice long nap while my wife enjoyed the water. Nothing says relaxation like a 2-hour nap under an umbrella on the beach. Although my wife was not thrilled about our long nap, the baby and I enjoyed it.

This is also one of the best snorkeling and kayaking spots in the San Diego area. One of the places we like to hang out is at Ellen Browning Scripps Park. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic, lay in the sun, or watch the sunset.

Traveling with toddlers made easy

Hanging out at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala Photo Credit: Corritta Lewis

After traveling with a baby and now toddler for nearly two years, we’ve picked up a few tips that make traveling with younger kids easier. The number one tip is to use a vacation rental instead of a hotel.

One of the reasons we love staying in vacation rentals, as opposed to hotels, is the additional space. We can run, jump, and play without worrying about disturbing others. A vacation rental is like having a home away from home.

We also love having a full-size kitchen to cook. Our toddler has reached the picky eater stage, so going out to eat is a guessing game these days. To avoid the tantrum, we opt to cook at home most nights.

The final and the most important reason we love vacation rentals is having access to a washer and dryer. Our toddler has this superpower, where he manages to get his clothes dirty before ever leaving the house. How he does it is a mystery, but having a washer and dryer means everything to us. We don’t have to pack as many clothes because we do laundry when needed, and with a potty-training toddler, it’s always needed.

We are not only passionate about travel but helping people along the way. Our travel is not only about experiences but giving back in a meaningful way. We dedicate our time and resources to helping local families as we travel. Follow us on our journey as we help families discover a whole new world.

Follow It’s A Family Thing on Instagram: @_itzafamilything_