Life on the Road as an LGBT Family
Last Minute Travel interviewed Rob Taylor, a travel blogger from Seattle, to discuss his life of travel and his experiences on the road with his husband Chris and their two children. Rob and his family have positively influenced thousands through their social media and blog, and today we were given an inside look at their lives as an LGBT family on the road. If the fear of traveling as a member of the LGBT community has ever held you back from exploring the world, this interview should ease those apprehensions.
Last Minute Travel: Please tell us a little about yourself, your brand, and how you got to where you are today.
Rob: I’m Rob Taylor, one part of 2TravelDads. We believe in getting out with the kids, showing them new sights and experiencing new cultures as a way to learn, and just exploring the globe in general to give the kids a broad world view. We started our travel site a little over two years ago in 2015 to primarily document the cool adventures we were having with the kids, but then realized that many people, LGBT and not, haven’t had a lot of exposure to families like ours. We found quickly that sharing our travel experiences as a gay family was both interesting and encouraging to others, so we’ve ran with it and keep on sharing our journeys.
While we're on the topic of #epic #roadtrip plans, here's an epic #landscape to go with… wait for it… everyone looking at the camera. It's kind of amazing. But seriously, we did an organized #tour when we were in #Yosemite, which was totally out of character for us, and it was great. We got lots of photo ops and had a great #ParkRanger guide who gave us tons of history. ^^^Link to #travelblog post in profile for a pretty sweet #westcoast road trip through the #NationalParks^^^ . . . This shot is in #YosemiteNP along the #Merced #River on the #valley floor with #BridalVeilFalls in the background. If you didn't know it, #kids love #waterfalls!!! #FindYourPark #2TDgoparks2016
What inspired you to start traveling?
I traveled a lot growing up but Chris, my husband, didn’t, so when we started dating I started taking him everywhere I loved. We kept exploring further and further, and then we had our first son and realized how valuable travel would be in raising him so we just continued on. Now with two kids, we see the impact travel has had on them and we won’t ever stop.
We live at the #beach. No, we actually do, like live by the beach in Washington State and we're there constantly, even in the winter. Having spent so much time in #Florida this winter and spring it was funny taking the #kids to the beach yesterday and the water being cold and the sand being full of enormous clam and crab shells. So different from what we've been experiencing during our #travel. . . This awesome #beachday was at #VeniceBeach on Florida's #GulfCoast. You can see that the #sand here is perfect for #digging and #building, which is a prime activity in our #family. And #Venice has great beach facilities for getting kids clean afterwards, and when you're on a #roadtrip you totally need that! . . ^^^Link to #travelblog #itinerary in profile for how to maximize your #beachtime as you trek around the #SunshineState.^^^ . . #VISITFLORIDA #LoveFL #FamilyTravel #LGBTfamily #bluesky #sunshine #optoutside #mybff
What have you noticed about safety and treatment of people in the LGBT community when traveling?
Regarding safety in our own travels, we haven’t felt unsafe, even traveling through the Southern USA or rural Mexico, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t checked out of a hotel or two early because of how we were treated. Offer us a connecting room because we’re a family and extra space is good, sure, but don’t try to place us in separate rooms or separate beds because you’re uncomfortable providing us proper accommodations.
What are your ultimate travel packing hacks? What are some items you simply cannot travel without?
The most helpful travel packing hack we have is to have swimwear for everybody in a carry-on or accessible backpack. You never know if you’ll need to kill some time at a beach or by the hotel pool. And ALWAYS pack a night light or two. If you’re staying in multiple hotels during a trip a sleepy brain is easily confused in the dark. Nobody wants a 2 am broken toe.
Is there any better way to enjoy the #outdoors than having a #beachday? Yeah, I don't think so. We loved #StAugustine #Beach for its colorful shells, cleanliness, and mellow #surf. It is the perfect beach for #kids. And our kids are diggers, so having a place to just #chill and play was great. . . We also enjoyed the #beaches to the north at Ponte Vedra, whose #waves were a bit bigger which brought a lot more shells and seaweed to the shore. Both were great. #Florida has so many great spots for #family fun! . . ^^^Link to #travelblog in profile for some awesome #vacation planning ideas on #FloridasHistoricCoast.^^^
In your experience, what are some of the most LGBT-friendly destinations and why?
We love to spend time in Seattle, WA, and not just because it’s local for us and local travel is awesome, but because we can walk down the street all holding hands and we’re just another family. We’ve also, surprisingly for many, really loved spending time in Florida and have felt totally comfortable and welcome everywhere, and there are some great National Parks to visit. Oh, and Mobile, AL. I know, Mobile isn’t on everybody’s radar, but it’s a more quiet version of New Orleans and is one of the most LGBT friendly cities I’ve visited as of late.
#FunFact: 95% of @BiscayneNPS is underwater. So why was it a part of our epic #Florida #roadtrip? Because we are always up for a good #nature trail, #beautiful sights and learning about the world around us. And actually, our visit to #Biscayne #NationalPark was great scouting for when the kids are a little older and when we have more time, as now we're itching for some #kayaking in this awesome park! . . ^^^Link to #travelblog article in profile all about how to tackle a #fun #family road trip starting in #Miami and heading up the Gulf #Coast.^^^ #sponsored @VISITFLORIDA #familytravel #FindYourPark #encuentratuparque
What advice do you have for LGBT travelers who are worried about safety/how they will be treated when traveling?
If you’re concerned about safety or treatment when traveling, LGBT travelers should always know the laws of the destination they’re heading to. I’m not saying to support or obey the laws that are anti-LGBT, but saying that you should always know if you run a risk by letting you be you. Feel confident choosing a different destination and spending your money someplace else where you can be free to express your love for your spouse, significant other, companion, or to travel proudly as a gay family.
Our first #familyportrait of all four of us in #Disneyland. We're here for #fun, #familytime and the #Cars3Premiere. There's nothing like experiencing your favorite #childhood memories with your own #kids. They get it. They're having fun and giving lots of hugs when Daddy's eyes water 🙂 . . Be sure you check out our#Instagram story for more fun shots and clips, cuz it's all happening!! . . Thank you for helping us through this Sneezy, messy day @kleenex @vivatowels and @huggies. Is a fun challenge with two kids. 🙂 . . #ad #lgbtfamily #twodads #DisneyParks #castle #gaydads #gaydad #PrideTravel #visitcalifornia #oc #bestdayever
What’s been your favorite travel experience thus far?
Long before the kids were born we were hiking in Montana and fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. We were enjoying the flowers and scenery when we stopped to spy on two bull moose on the shore of a small lake below us… when a bighorn sheep ram started down the trail towards us… and then a mama grizzly bear and her three cubs showed up in the opposite direction coming down the hill to the trail. It was the most surreal nature moment we’ve ever had and we’ll never forget it.
Sometimes you leave the kids on the #boat with grampa and grama so you can do a #random rope swing into a #mountain #lake… and that's just fine. One of the most wonderful things about #LakeCushman is that it's actually #warm and you can go #swimming and have so much fun. It's just two hours from #Seattle and is an awesome #destination for a weekend of a week! . . ^^^Link to #travelblog post in profile all about #Lake #Cushman on the #OlympicPeninsula^^^