Meet: Tamara Gruber, Flight-Finder, Podcaster, Blogger | The Expedition
Tamara Gruber and family walking on street in Vienna

Meet: Tamara Gruber, Flight-Finder, Podcaster, Blogger

Exotic vacations weren’t a part of Tamara Gruber’s childhood in a working-class New Jersey family—though there was one road trip to Disney World! 

Still, she had a passion to see the world. “I even had travel posters on my walls as a teen,” she says. 

She ended up traveling a lot for her career in tech marketing, and would always stretch business trips so she could include some sightseeing. By the time they had their daughter, Tamara and her husband, Glenn, were living in Rhode Island. Because they didn’t have family nearby, Hannah always traveled with them. 

 “Today she is 16, and I see the powerful benefits of travel in shaping her into an empathetic, resilient, and concerned global citizen,” Tamara says. 

 A few years ago, Tamara started to make enough money from blogging about travel to turn it from a side hustle into a full-time job—and has expanded her platform to two websites, multiple social media accounts, and a podcast. 

Needless to say, it’s been a challenging year for travel, and for travelers. But Tamara has been making it work. She shared her advice for finding the cheapest flights, taking your first big family vacation, and more.  

In three words, our family’s travel style is…

Curious, comfortable, well-planned

What made us fall in love with traveling was…

I’m not sure exactly! But growing up I had a strong desire for a different life and to see and experience more of the world.

The first trip we took with our kids was…

We had many road trips and flights to see family in N.Y., N.J. and Florida in her first year. But the first vacation we took with her was to Beaches in Jamaica. We wanted to ease into travel in a way that was very family-friendly and convenient. She loved all the Sesame Street characters, and we loved the staff that helped make our stay as stress-free as possible.

Our best family travel hack is…

Decide your destination around the flight deal.We follow good airfare deals as much as possible. Around Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I look for great international airfares for spring break or summer, and jump on a deal when we find it. We’ve been able to find flights to London, Vienna and Morocco for $300-500 per person. 

Our must-have family travel gear is…

A selfie stick that is also a tripod with a Bluetooth remote control. It folds up small enough to fit in my purse. It has been a great way to get family photos where it isn’t just our faces in a close-up selfie.

If I could change one thing about how people travel, it would be…

I wish more families would have the desire or courage to break out of their routines and try something new. I see so many that go to the same place year after year. There is a lot of joy and comfort in that, but sometimes it’s because they don’t know how to plan anything different. Family travel can be so much more than beach vacations, cruises, and theme parks.

I’ve recently started planning some…

Summer travel, even if it is something we have to cancel, and that has helped me have something to look forward to. 

Being a travel influencer when so much of the world is shut down is…

A bit scary to be honest, as I watch the business that I’ve built over eight years get hit hard by something out of my control. It has also been a bit of an ethical dilemma. As much as I love to travel, I believe that the past few months have not been the best time to be taking leisure trips. I do believe that there are safe ways to travel and I know that many have a different risk tolerance, but I’ve not felt right promoting that people travel while guidelines are largely still that we should stay home. That said, sometimes you want or need to travel and when someone does, I want them to be aware of the guidelines and restrictions and follow the rules. We are taking a road trip this spring to look at colleges because it is something we need to do before making such a big decision. But when I share about it I will show that we are testing, following local travel restrictions, wearing our masks, being extremely careful about potential exposures, and quarantining and testing on our return.

The most important lesson our daughter has learned from traveling is…

That even with the best planning, things will go wrong and you need to be able to roll with the punches, figure out plan B or plan C and not get completely worked up about it. Hopefully this is a life lesson that she will apply in many situations.

The hardest thing about traveling with kids is…

There are different challenges at different ages. Babies and toddlers are the hardest because of all the gear, schedules, and the lack of reasoning. The golden age is really 8 to 12, when they are much more adaptable and open to new experiences. Teens can also be a challenge because of their schedules, less energy, and less desire to disconnect from friends, activities, and electronics to spend time with family. I’m fortunate that I don’t need to balance different personalities and interests between kids since I have an only child. We have learned to plan trips that have something for everyone and are tailored to the way we like to travel. 

On our bucket list are…

Oh so many places!! I’m trying to visit all 50 states and I only have one left. I dream of bucket list experiences like seeing the polar bears in Churchill, Canada. I also really want to get to Greece, Switzerland, Paris, and Amsterdam, since we cancelled our 2020 trips. As a family we also have Japan, New Zealand, China, Argentina, and Peru on our bucket list. And I’m still dreaming of a relaxing trip to the Maldives someday.

Our favorite travel app is…

I use so many for different purposes. But I like Hopper to check to see when the cheapest flights are, and to set flight fare alerts. It will tell you if you should wait to buy or buy now based on predicted price changes.

Families can learn more about us by…

Checking out our family travel blog at We3Travel.com. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @we3travel. For those that listen to podcasts, please subscribe to Vacation Mavens wherever you get your podcasts. Finally, you can find my travel and lifestyle site for Gen X women at YourTimetoFly.com.

Sara Clemence is a freelance journalist, formerly travel editor for The Wall Street Journal and news director for Travel + Leisure. She's the author of Away & Aware, a guide to mindful travel.

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