Dream. Explore. Discover.

 

Iconic Family Travel Attainable for the Average Family

Travel Around The World, with Kids with Passports and Pushpins, because Life is too short to stay home.

Travel is my passion and traveling with kids our lifestyle. This year (2018) we stopped making excuses. We have four autistic kids, and I have Celiac Disease (requiring a strict, forever Gluten-Free diet). Hubby works a full-time job, and it is too hard, and too expensive to get away for a week.  Traveling often, and dreaming of long-term world traveling seemed impossible.  It’s not.  No more excuses.  We are off on our new life’s adventure. A goal to visit as many places on the globel as possible as often as possible—travel and experience the world—even if it is only in our backyard.

Passports and Pushpins is a travel blog that will help you plan vacations and adventures with your kids, and take you along our journey to traveling freedom. We aspire to start long-term traveling soon, but for now, most of our trips are short adventures and vacations. Follow us as we plan our trips, check off our bucket list, save for a life of travel freedom and work on living without tethers.  Is traveling expensive, time-consuming, and difficult?  It can be—but where there is a will, there is a way.  Let us show you the way. Hi, My name is Jeannie, and I travel with my husband, four autistic children, and when lucky a special needs helper, and whoever else the kid’s plot to fit in the minivan.

We want to inspire you to travel more and go further than you dreamed you could. I want to show people that no matter the circumstances they can live life to the fullest, stand in their dream locations, conquer their fears and slay their excuses.  Just pack up the kids and go traveling. Do it.  You’ll thank me. I am Mom to this traveling family, author of Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed; Growing up with Un-Diagnosed Autism. A writer of Middle-grade novels (focused on monster hunting and weird things—see the World of Weird. My search for totally crazy, real stories, myths, urban legends, and creepy crap in the locations we visit). I am working on an MFA at Seton Hill University, Writing Popular Fiction, and the creator of Aspiewriter.com—Understanding Autism from the Inside and  Passportsandpushpins.com—Pack up the Kids and Go Traveling.

 

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What Passport and Pushpins can share with you:

  • Family travel experiences, with or without autism, and Celiac disease
  • Traveling the world with, how, why, and the hard stuff
  • Where to travel, how to afford to travel
  • The best, most unusual, most creative and weirdest destinations we’ve visited
  • Theme park Guides & Special Needs Traveling Advice
  • Tips on how to make family travel cheaper/traveling creatively
  • Accommodation options, at every price point and what works best for us
  • Planning tips, itineraries, the truth about budget airlines, packing, luggage, and must-have travel gear

OUR STORY

Although we’ve only begun this blog adventure and commitment to chasing our traveling dreams, that does not mean we have no experience at traveling with children. We’ve lived in several places in the United States, including New York City (born and raised), Mississippi, South Carolina, and the North Country, NY in the Adirondack Mountains. We’ve always traveled.  With four Special Needs boys ages 19, 14, 7, and 4, there are no vacations, only adventures.

Since 2013, we’ve traveled, reviewed and written articles about Traveling with Autism, and have a series on our other site aspiewriter.com that covers Theme Parks and their Special Needs Accommodations. We’ve covered Disney, and Universal Studios, Six Flags and others as Amusement Parks are a family favorite, and we will be bringing you the best of those from around the world at Passports and Pushpins.  I can’t wait to visit Disney Japan!  That’s my deal, the kids can choose destinations I would not usually choose—but I get a foreign Disney day!  That’s a Mom Day.

We aspire to take you along for the journey as we try out different ways to travel (so you don’t have to if it goes sideways). Luxury resort travel, couples vacations, cruises across the Atlantic, Airbnb, hostels, sleeping on the overnight train, camping, RV-ing, road trips and house-sitting for free accommodations are just a few things we have our eye on this year.  If you have something, you would like to learn more about contact us.  Maybe we can try it and report back!  I’ll be the guinea pig.

Check our Bucket List here, and if there is a destination you’d like to see the Passports and Pushpins Family visit, we will add it to our Reader’s Bucket List.

 

ABOUT THIS TRAVEL BLOG

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN IS AWESOME!

Kids are not baggage. They don’t even need their luggage most times and are what makes sharing our world and planet worth it all.

What do I mean by Iconic Family Travel Attainable for the Average Family?

There are many travel writers and blogging families who went to places like Southeast Asia with a goal to spend as little money as possible, and  we might try to do that one day, but it isn’t high on our priority list.  We aim not to do cheap budget travel, or adventurous travel like trekking the Himalayas (although every day with this tribe is an adventure) and we always say vacation is not a vacation it is an adventure!  But what we dream of seeing is the Iconic places of the world, the Colosseum in Rome, the Louvre in Paris, the London Bridge, Eiffel Towel, beaches in the Caribbean, cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Prague, and Brussels.  We adore the old-world feel of Old San Juan and other historical towns.  Mayan ruins and pyramids, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan are all on our wishlist.  And until then, we explore our backyard by car, plane, and trains. Go to Disneyworld, Universal Studios, and all the amusement parks the kids adore.  Camping and RV-ing, and going to the witch museum in Salem, MA.  We will even cover things to do in our local area, and daily trips like heading to the County Fair and taking the older boys to see the “The Fluffy Guy,” and cramming us all in a hotel overnight to do it.  Our goal is to go, go as much as possible and live life instead of sitting around each day waiting to do it someday.  No more of feeling like days not lived.

We hope to travel on weekends, and as much as possible while Hubs is still working his regular full-time job, and THEN take off for more extended periods of time.  He has three years and 11 months until he can retire and we hope to save enough money or find enough ways to make long-term travel to new and exciting destinations a possibility.  So welcome to our journey, strap in because I promise it will be a hell of a ride.

We travel with a family of 6 when we are lucky, and my eldest rotten teenager agrees to come along, 7 when the  unofficially adopted 23-year-old who lives with us tags along, and sometimes we have the staff to attend to our four autistic boys.  And when we are extremely fortunate, sneak in a Couples trip or two for the weekends.

Life is insane, hectic and passing us by so quickly that I feel like I am missing it.  School, appointments, therapies, lessons, sometimes we need a break from it all!  We will be writing about our travel adventures even if they are day trips in the local area, or short overnight and weekend breaks and bring you all the exciting places and things to do and see our world must offer.

If you are here from my aspiewriter site about Understanding Autism, welcome.

I don’t talk about autism here (except in the this is our regular life fashion during our travel and those times when something needs a little special attention) but for the most part this is about us enjoying different destinations, living life to the fullest, keeping this tribe happy and not letting autism stand in our way.  On another note, I have Celiac disease and will often evaluate eating places for their ability to keep me well with a good understanding of my dietary needs.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that requires strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free diet.  We worried that my nutritional restrictions would hinder my dreams of traveling the world and eating in different countries. But I must figure it out as I go along, and it will only enrich my experiences while I learn to live and eat as the locals do and shop in the groceries stories to buy my safe foods to prepare.

We intend to travel creatively.  I refused to hear how we cannot do something, tell me how we can!  I hope that you can see yourselves in the places we go, and learn how you too can live the life you dream of even if it scares the poop out of you.  We will travel to fancy places and on the cheap.  To resorts and hostels.  From saving for big iconic adventures to house and pet sitting.  We will try it all.

What you likely will not see us do is dragging backpacks into the wilderness because we are more of the average modern suburban—mostly, an American family scared of spiders, and do not like sleeping on the ground.  We require decent restrooms, modern facilities, and fast Wi-Fi.  Our idea of roughing it and camping was our RV-ing trip!  I don’t care, that is how we camp!

You also won’t see us trying to save money by staying at the cheapest places where you might need your sheets or mosquito nets or need to worry about our kid’s safety.  I admire those with the courage to seek out those experiences, but that doesn’t fit our family.  I want to sit on a grassy lawn staring up at the Eiffel Tower eating ice cream.  Thank you, very much Miraculous Lady Bug.

I have been on a sort of a weird mission in 2018 to do things that scare the crap out of me!  Travel scares me but I love it, and I want to see everything.  No more fear—we will figure it out.  We have only this one short life, and that’s all, we get.  I want to feel like every day was truly lived.

You will also find us in weird places like a catacomb and looking at waxed dead guys on our couples anniversary trip to Puerto Rico, because, well, I am a weirdo!  But I have an excuse!  I’m a writer. I am working on my MFA in Popular Fiction and currently writing two Middle-Grade horror series.  I love all things supernatural and weird, so hopefully, you will enjoy my quest to seek the bizarre and freaking creepy stories of truth, myth, and legend.  Often truth is way stranger than fiction!

So if crypts, catacombs, and weird ghost tours are not your thing, hang in there, and watch the London Bridge go by from the window and the city lit up at night.  I’ll hunt the ghosts.

The Passports and Pushpins Family are the not-so-average America family.  Jeannie is a writer, Hubs works full-time for now, and they have boys on the autism spectrum ages 5, 7, 14, and 19, with an unofficially adopted young man with autism who is 23.  Celiac disease, food issues, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree is how this family lives and they currently live in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State.