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Chasing the Dream: Feeding my wanderlust

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Let's get away

Traveling is in my blood. Jetting off to new places to explore and learn is exciting -- something I want to pass on to my children. But that's not always easy. Learn how to get started traveling as a family.

I dream of giving my kids a childhood filled with great travel experiences. It's one of my big life dreams. But it can be challenging in today's economy so I've had to redefine travel for myself -- and learn to leap at just the right opportunity.

Exploring New England

A few years ago, I made traveling a priority. Though I'd traveled a lot as a child, I hadn't since having children. To embark on family travel, I had to redefine what travel meant for me. It used to be limited to trips involving airports, planes and hotels. But these days, I know traveling can be much more -- and in a local area, too.

Our first family trip was to nowhere. Really. I rented a cabin in the woods in the middle of Connecticut, and we glamped for a few nights. It was exciting for the kids to get away and refreshing to live without technology for a few days. Since then, we've traveled to Cape Cod and the Jersey shore, along with visiting family and friends.

These small trips fed my desire to get away but also prepared us for more. And I knew there would be bigger adventures to come.

The big trip

Back in January, I was delighted to be invited to Food Blog Forum Orlando, a conference for (you guessed it!) food bloggers. There were a few awesome things about the trip: First, it was held at Walt Disney World in Florida. But better yet, the nominal conference fee included two nights in a Disney hotel and four-day Park Hopper tickets to Disney, so the whole family could come, too. I booked and planned the trip as fast as I could before I changed my mind or second guessed it. We were finally taking a big trip as a family.

Everything about the trip was magical -- from visiting my family to Disney to the conference to the mere act of flying somewhere far away. It wasn't just about rides or even the amazing information I learned at the conference -- it was about having fun as a family and learning a few new things, too.

We returned to Connecticut last week, closer as a family than ever. I found myself wondering why we haven't done this sooner.

Follow your wanderlust

Do you travel with your family? If not, you should. Here's how to get started.

Start small

Those trips around New England that we took? They prepared our kids for staying in hotels. They were also fun and fulfilling. Start with shorter trips within driving distance to get your feet wet. You'll also learn more about your travel style.

Save away

Knowing I want to travel more, we collected change in a box. By the time we left for Florida, we'd amassed enough change to pay for about half our food for the week away -- no small feat since we ate out for every meal.

Shop the sales

Once you are ready to book, research your options. I was able to save more than $100 on our weeklong car rental using the Name Your Own Price feature on Priceline.com. I also found some coupons for places we wanted to eat.

More from Chasing the Dream

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What is a dream?
Using your intuition to achieve your dreams

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