Author/blogger Shelly Rivoli knows how to have fun. She also knows how to travel with kids. Here’s her Traveler Tale profile:

Traveler Tales Shelly Rivoli

It’s hard to catch Shelly Rivoli sitting still. We caught up with her on an amazing zipline adventure on Catalina Island.

Name: Shelly Rivoli

What you do: Family travel author & blogger

Website or blog: and

Social media feeds:

Twitter @travelswithbaby

Facebook: Travels with Baby (
Facebook: Family Travel 411 (
Facebook: Shelly Rivoli (

Where you’ve been lately:

  1. Where was your most recent travel adventure? Other than the Catalina-Oxnard-Morro Bay adventures, I was in Baja Sur in late February with my husband, 3 kids, and mother-in-law. We stayed a week in La Paz, then a few nights in San Jose del Cabo.
  2. What was your favorite experience there? We took a day trip to Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez by way of whale sharks, humpback whales, and the sea lion nursery. Each of us, from 6 years to 78 got to swim with a whale shark and snorkel among the sea lions. We also got sprayed by the humpbacks—they were right at the bow of our boat at one point! And seeing blue-footed boobies and getting encircled by dolphins were pretty sweet experiences to round out the day!
  3.  Would you go back? In a heartbeat.
  4.  Could you live there? In La Paz, yes, but I think just for a few months each year. It’s pretty quiet.

Animal travel:

  1. What’s your favorite animal travel experience? Discovering I was paddle boarding among dolphins! Also in La Paz.
  2.  Do you have an animal travel bucket list? Definitely, which is largely inspired by my kids who are wildlife enthusiasts. The whale shark was high on the list—and we got to check off so many other amazing animal experiences in that same trip, but the whole amazing Sea of Cortez experience has also inspired us to seek out even more animal experiences, like visiting the mom and baby gray whales in Magdalena Bay, on Baja’s Pacific side. We were also very sorry to miss the manatees on our south Florida trip, though we saw plenty of amazing wildlife there. I’m hoping to return to Florida at some point and have us all paddle board with manatees.

Culinary travel:

  1. Beer, wine, or hard liquor? I love good beer, but I’m a devout red winest. 
  1. Have you ever traveled for one of the above? Considering I live in Northern California where you can’t drive 10 miles without passing a winery of some sort, it’s hard to leave home without entering one wine country or another. But since having kids, there have been no purpose-built trips for booze. 
  1. What won’t you eat? I’m pretty open to trying things—I’ve had rattlesnake, donkey salame, chicken feet, and I even accidentally ate dog once, though I would not have chosen to. What I choose not to eat out of fear are the hamburger patties from Macdonald’s. At least you know what you’re getting when you eat a chicken’s claw.

Outdoor travel:

  1. Camping or glamping? Glamping! 
  1. Is there a camping destination you’d love to try? Botswana. 
  1. What’s your adventure profile? Hard, soft, or no thank you? Soft adventure for me. All of the adrenaline, none of the first aid. 
  1. Sailboat or speedboat? Who’s driving?!


  1. Big ship, small ship, or no ship? Small ship, though this is very tricky for us as a family of 5 since most cabins are for 2 people, and even booking 2 cabins won’t cover us.
  1. Caribbean or Mediterranean? Do I have to choose?! If it comes down to cruising, I’d choose the Med because it’s so fabulous approaching the old port cities the way they have been for centuries and you can cover so much ground. In the Caribbean, I think I’d rather spend as much time as I can on the beach and in the water, not staring longingly at it from the boat.
  1. The one thing a cruise line could do that might change your mind about cruising (or not cruising)? Stop making the ships so freaking huge!!! Seriously, a few thousand tourists are too many to descend upon a small island or city for a day.


Shelly: These are some tough decisions!

  1. Europe or Asia? Time to head back to Asia, I guess. Two of my kids haven’t been there yet.
  2. North America or South America? South America!!!
  3. Africa or Australia? Both, please? Australia because I want my kids to see the Great Barrier Reef while there’s still something to see and because they’re all passionate about marine biology.
  4. New York or Los Angeles? New York—it’s been too long.
  5. Hawaii or Alaska? I’ve been lucky to visit the Islands multiple times, but I still haven’t made it to Alaska.

Last words:

  1.  Advice you’d like to share – Ha! More than 400 pages of it on traveling with kids under 5 years in my book, Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (2nd)
  2. Shameless plugs – If you know anyone who loves to travel–or doesn’t love to travel–and wants to/needs to travel with babies and toddlers, get them the book. No, seriously, get them the book. Seriously. It covers everything from camping to cruising, road tripping to flying overseas, and dealing with water/food safety & vaccination issues, trip-planning tips for different temperaments… Seriously. Get them the book. 😀 And if you’re traveling with school-age kids, check out for “the 411” recommendations of what to do/where to eat/where to stay with kids for destinations ranging from Mexico City to Marrakech, Kauai to County Kerry, Sequoia National Park to San Francisco, Chiang Mai to…go see for yourself!
  3. Where are you headed next? SoCal road trip the day after school’s out! 1 mom, 3 kids. Yeah, I’m a little nervous—and outnumbered. Wish us luck!


Show Shelly some social love with follows and likes and don't forget if you know people who travel with little ones: "Seriously, get them the book!"