Expert Interview with Ashley Muir Bruhn for HotelsCheap.org

By Rob Bruce

In her blog Hither & Thither, Ashley Muir Bruhn chronicles her family’s adventures at home and abroad (check out her recent posts on the month she spent in Bali with her husband and 1-year-old). The blog features original photography, design, family, food, style from New York to California and everything (and everywhere) in between.

Here the full-time parent and part-time blogger shares some of her best (and worst) travel experiences, tips on traveling with children, and where she’d love to go in the future:

How did you come to create Hither and Thither?

My husband and I started the site soon after moving to New York City, which at first felt like a completely foreign place to us. We chronicled our growing love affair with the city, first for our families and later for readers we increasingly felt like we knew.

What’s been your favorite cultural experience when traveling?

We took an incredible trip to India a few years back and I loved seeing the daily acts of charity that were practiced in the markets of Jodhpur and meeting villagers (who so enjoyed getting their photos taken) in tiny Narlai.

What were the biggest mistakes you made during that trip?

We were fortunate that everything went so smoothly for us on that trip. My husband did contract food poisoning, which can be terribly debilitating, so we were happy to have a well-stocked first aid kit. I’d recommend talking to your doctor or contacting a physician who specializes in travel in advance of your trip for advice. Probably the roughest thing that occurred was missing the first three days when we were bumped from our flight due to the Icelandic volcano eruption. The flight had to take a longer route and carry more fuel (thus fewer passengers). It was a reminder to check in early for international flights!

Where are some of your favorite places to visit in the U.S.?

The Southwest is incredible. Those red rocks are like nothing else and our national parks system is amazing. Of course, one of my most memorable trips recently was on the other side of the country: Vermont — the cheese, the blueberries, the small roads, the freshwater swimming and slow pace…just lovely.

What tips do you have for traveling with a child?

Manage expectations. Try to put yourself in situations where you don’t have to say “no” all the time. Cities are more demanding than beach resorts when it comes to your patience. The less you expect to accomplish, the more you’re willing to slow down and say “yes,” the happier everyone will be.

What advice do you have for traveling on a budget?

Go when it’s warm! Cold-weather travel often means always eating in restaurants and paying for indoor activities (or expensive sports like skiing). In the summer, you’re more likely to spend the whole day at a beach, subsist on picnic fare and ice cream cones, and go on a hike. The exception is, of course, that you can get some great rates in the off-season.

Which destination would you love to return to and why?

Italy. I remember feeling like something awakened in me when I tasted fresh pesto in its originating region, along the Cinque Terre. It doesn’t taste the same here! I’d love to go back and rent an apartment on the coast.

What destination tops your bucket list and why?

I can’t wait to go on an African Safari. One day, when we have older kids that won’t scare away the wildlife, and we can afford both the trip and the intense camera lens…

About the Author:

Rob Bruce Rob works out of the Dallas office for HotelsCheap. He has worked in the travel industry for 17 years, and has written articles for several travel publications. Rob is married with 5 kids. In his spare time he enjoys soccer, tennis and hiking. His favorite travel destination is Papua New Guinea. You can follow Rob on Google Plus +Rob Bruce.

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