Meet: Tara Cannon, Adventurer and Blogger - The Expedition
Tara Cannon and her family smiling against winter scenery
Tara Cannon and her family.

Meet: Tara Cannon, Adventurer and Blogger

For some people, taking their kids out of the state counts as adventurous. 

Not for Tara Cannon, the woman behind the family travel site Pint Size Pilot. Tara and her husband were intrepid travelers pre-kids, and have worked hard to maintain that approach with their kids. 

That doesn’t always mean heading to remote Panamaian islands or Chile’s Atacama Desert—sometimes it’s figuring out how to do a sleepover in a big-city museum. And in the pandemic, it’s meant lots of exploring around Vancouver, where Tara lives with her husband, Rann, and two kids,  Lucas (16) and Ella (13).

She shared her best travel hack, her favorite kind of lodging, and her advice for upping your family’s adventure quotient. 

In three words, our travel style is… 

Nature-filled, unique, remote. 

What made me fall in love with traveling was…

A 10-day school trip to England and France when I was 14. It rained the whole time and I was terribly homesick—yet a seed of curiosity was planted.

My first adventure-travel experience was…

A 37-day Contiki trip through 13 European countries in my early 20s. Yes, really, 37 days. Who does that? That said, many people who were on that trip are still dear friends today. 

We have been under really tight restrictions in Vancouver, but…

Last summer we were able to do some travel within our home province of British Columbia. We decided to try to turn ourselves into proper hikers and did a big road trip into the B.C. Rockies, hiking along the way. We saw bears!

I am simply crazy about…

locally-run boutique hotels. 

The one thing I want my children to learn from traveling is…

To appreciate the fact that they won the lottery by being born in a country like Canada.

We decide where to travel by keeping…

a list of countries in my head that we would love to visit. Pandemic aside, an amazing seat sale does a lot to push one country ahead of another.

The most family-friendly destination we’ve visited is…

Fiji. Fijians are exceptionally warm and welcoming to children.

The destinations on our bucket list are…

French Polynesia, Iceland, Tanzania, and Japan. 

Our best travel hack is to research…

the perfect credit card reward program for your travels. In the past few years, our credit cards have been very useful for lounge access, room upgrades, and more recently, refunds through cancellation insurance coverage. A well-chosen travel rewards credit card can pay for its annual fee several times over.

My absolute favorite travel app is…

Tripit. You just drop all your trip confirmations into the app and it creates a shareable itinerary.

The first trip I took with my kids was…

Zihuatanejo, Mexico. We have since returned as a family three times.

The advice I would give other families who want to be more adventurous travelers is…

Quality over quantity. I have often made the mistake of trying to cram too many activities into one day. Sometimes less is more—like maybe you don’t need to see every waterfall on the island. 

Families can learn more about us by…

Connecting with us at PintSizePilot.com (family travel guides) or on Instagram. We’d love to hear from you!

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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