5 Questions: Keryn from Walking on Travels

Here at Penguino, we love following families who travel the world together on Instagram. It is so easy to get lost imagining beaches in Australia, markets in Thailand, castles in Germany…but let’s be real. What we really want to know is how these inspiring families make their travel dreams come true.

To kick off our new 5 Questions series where we ask travel influencers for the inside scoop, we’re interviewing Keryn Means, the Founder of Walking on Travels.  Keryn is a mom of two boys from Washington, DC. Walking on Travels is full of practical tips (we all want to know how to survive jet lag!) and travel inspiration. 

You love to inspire families to travel. Why are you so passionate about helping families get out there?

I have watched too many friends put their lives on hold after they have kids. They have given up the things they love like going out to eat, traveling, and doing more than just going to the playground and children’s museum. I want to encourage women to get out and explore with their kids. Show your kids what you love about our world. Don’t wait until they are grown up to share your passion with them. Let it shape your kids. Travel can have a huge positive impact on children, and it only happens if the parents share it with them.

What is your number one tip for dealing with jet lag?

Don’t fight it. Jet lag is part of travel and if you let it overwhelm you, it will. Understand that the first day of your trip may be a wash and that is okay. If you take care of yourself and your family, take the day slowly and get the food and rest you need, you will have a much better trip.

Want some more tips (and a free jet lag cheat sheet?)— head to Walking on Travels!

Tell us a little about your favorite destination.

It is really hard to pick just one favorite! Each one has something unique for families. We love Hawaii, Italy, Scotland, Iceland, Kyoto, and many of the national parks across the U.S. I’ll focus on Europe though since I know that can be a hard one for parents to wrap their heads around, no matter how much they want to go, thanks to jet lag.

Italy is a parents’ dream when it comes to feeding and entertaining your kids. Pizza, pasta, and gelato will always be a winner. There are ancient sights to explore at every turn and plenty of space for kids to run.

Scotland is a beautiful country filled with friendly people and loads of outdoor spaces. Hit the city for a few days and then rent a car and start driving into the highlands to hike and slay a few dragons.

Speaking of slaying dragons, traveling with kids can be hard on a mom. How do you care for yourself while on the go with littles?

Everywhere we go, I try to hit a local coffee shop by myself in the afternoon, take a nap or book a massage appointment. The misnomer about vacation for families is that parents get a break. Stay-at-home moms especially need some time away from their kids to embrace the idea that this is a vacation, not just another day of motherhood in a different location. Yes, we want to give our children the world and be with them, but a little mom-time or pampering can go a long way towards family happiness.

You are headed to Greece in March. Tell us more.

I am going to Greece for a week in March to volunteer with refugees who are escaping the horrors and war in their homeland in Syria and across the Middle East. I’ll be working with full-time volunteers as an extra set of hands to hand out warm clothing and make meals.

Greece is overwhelmed with refugees, but they continue to try to welcome any who make it to their shores and seek refuge. I’m excited and nervous about this trip as it is unlike anything I have ever done.

As a mom, it is time for me to get off the couch and stop watching what is going on in the world. As a freelance writer, it is time for me to share a story that is too often ignored by news organizations as something more “interesting” pops up in the world. No child should have to live through a war. If I can serve a few families a meal and give them a safe place to take their first deep breath after leaving home, then I will do that.