Travel inspiration so you can wander too.

About Us

When I Wander…

We spend our days as a traveling family (that homeschools) and I am our resident travel expert often planning travel for others or actually exploring with my own family on day trips, cruises, staycations, and getaways.  I’m a wanderer.

We spend our time at theme parks and national and state parks with beach and museum days in between.

I’m Portia. My family includes my husband of 28 years and our five children.  But mostly, you’ll find photos of where we wander and our youngest 2 adventurers, Parker & Piper (Often lovingly referred to as mini-me or the little one).

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We travel family style, often looking for the best deals while also finding adventure for free.  We go exploring on nature walks through parks, preserves, trails, and conservation areas wherever we happen to be. Our favorite accommodations are usually suites and larger rooms at mid-range hotels but occasionally, we splurge on luxury or vacation rentals that I love to share with you.

7 Things We Do To Make Travel Easier, Cheaper, or Better

  • We go with the flow. We travel when the travel price is right.  I look for what’s on sale and then see if I can make it work, starting with flight price alerts and budget airlines.
  • I book hotels in advance as soon as I have the flight details arranged, if it’s booked too late, prices usually increase as the date gets closer but that’s not set in stone either.
  • We use our loyalty programs and rewards, religiously. That means freebies!
  • We drive to most things under 6 hours in travel time and walk as much as possible once we arrive.
  • I look for attractions starting with lowest price, hopefully free first. Then, I carefully plan the “can’t miss” splurges.
  • Memberships – they make it easy to visit more for free wherever you go.
  • Always carry baby wipes and sunglasses, I don’t know how you’re living without those 2 things.

OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES

We know how important it is to save money so we can have more to spend on the things we love. Here are our favorite travel resources for saving money and planning your trips.

Booking Flights: To compare flights and set price alerts, search on Google Flights or Momondo

Accommodations: We typically stay in mid-range or boutique hotels with loyalty programs.  That way we earn ourselves free stays to help extend our vacations and getaways for free.  Learn more about earning your free stays here.  For vacation rentals, we prefer to book using VRBO (for the lower fees and better support than Airbnb, sorry, we’re not big fans of the alternative) You can also book vacation rentals on Hotels.com

Travel Insurance: We feel pretty strongly about this, travel insurance is a MUST for international trips, and if you still aren’t sure why, check out our Travel Horror Stories. We recommend comparing your options with Squaremouth , learn more here

Local Attractions:  We utilize memberships to help us see more when we travel. NARM members get free or discounted access to reciprocal member Art museums, Arboretums, Historic Sites, and Nature Centers throughout North America. AHS reciprocal membership includes gardens throughout the U.S. and Canada. ASTC membership gives reciprocal access to Science Centers and Museums. America the Beautiful National Parks Pass allows entry into National Parks for $80 annually.  You could spend less than $300 for all 4 memberships depending on your local museums and have access to hundreds of museums, parks, and gardens.  Memberships often pop up on Groupon so always look there first.
Save more with loyalty programs, read how to get more free flights and hotels here.

Professionally Speaking As a Florida Travel Agent…

I have been planning travel for family and friends for almost 20 years, it started when I was a reservationist in 2000 at a small dotcom company no longer in existence today.  As an adult, I have dabbled in a few careers including helpdesk, ESL teacher, and real estate sales.  Travel has always been a passion of mine and I’ve always routinely come back to it.  I’m passionate about travel and travel photos.

I was dreaming of places to go long before I could ever even afford a postcard of them.  I am especially passionate about family travel and enjoying new experiences with those you love.  For that reason, I focus on affordable travel and making the impossible become a reality.  There is no finer moment than the one when you’re standing in a place you thought you’d only ever see in pictures.  It’s even more beautiful when you get to share that moment with others.

My specialties are cruising the Caribbean and Disney World.  Locally, I enjoy all parts of Florida and can point you to lots of Florida’s treasures.  You have many choices for deciding your next adventure but if you ever want help from a travel expert, just reach out. Travel agents can be very useful at no extra cost to you.

16 Unique Things to Do in Florida

Wondering why you should use a travel advisor? There are plenty of reasons, what’s most important though, is that you have someone on your side, working out the details, reminding you about the importance of insurance, and there when things don’t go as planned.  You don’t have to try to figure it out all by yourself.  Let’s plan something together

Not sure where you want to go?  Need inspiration? Check out more of my travel photos.

If you’ve been around awhile, you may notice that in 2020, I’ve added new collections of travel inspired and seasonal wearable art and home decor to the site and at popular shopping locations online. Click Collections to browse them all or shop directly at the store.

Portia O’Laughlin

That Cruise Life / An Affiliate of Cruises and Tours Unlimited
Florida Seller of Travel Ref. No. ST15578

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Thanks for wandering with us…

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