Ashley Steel and Bill Richards are parents working two full-time jobs and living in the suburbs (of Seattle, which is an incredible launching place for all kinds of travel). They travel with their kids every chance they get and have just finished an extraordinary book about family travel, entitled Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids.
This book is told from an educator’s AND a parent’s perspective – the definitive guide to family travel. It’s full of excellent suggestions that will change your life. It will open the world to your family in a way that you never thought possible. And, it will chart a new course for your family – and your kids, and their lives. It’s that powerful. Visit Family on the Loose online at http://www.FamilyOnTheLoose.com
Tell me about your book. Why did you write it - and how is it different from other family travel guidebooks?
We wrote the book to help more parents have fun with their kids on the road (or plane or train). I hope that experienced travelers will find creative ideas, lists of games, reminders of opportunities, and a new twist on smart family travel. I hope that new or timid travelers will find motivation and enthusiasm, enough ideas to get them through the tough spots, and a fresh perspective on how fun traveling with kids can be. Our book is different from other guidebooks in that it isn’t a guidebook for a place. It’s a resource book on how to travel. For example, we’ve got ideas for what to do while waiting for the bus. Maybe give your kids the digital camera? To really get them engaged, give them an age-appropriate journalistic assignment such as “take 5 pictures that express the essence of this place” or “capture 5 emotions without shooting a living thing.”
Where have you traveled as a family? Do you practice what you write?
Our first trips with kids were to scientific conferences. Each daughter went to a scientific conference at six-weeks old by coincidence. After that, we expanded to family visits and then international adventures. We’ve spent time as a family in many regions of the U.S.A, several Canadian provinces, Japan, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Italy, France, Denmark, England, and The Netherlands. Before kids, we lived in Thailand for a year and also traveled in Guatemala and Honduras. I spent a semester in Denmark living with a Danish family. Bill worked and traveled through Australia and also traveled extensively in Asia before we met.