One Mom’s Tips When Traveling With Kids

Rachelle Hruska MacPherson, best known for her I MISS BARACK and TIME’S UP shirts worn by Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep, is known for her hand-stitched cashmere brand Lingua Franca. The series was born after Macpherson suffered from post-partum anxiety and her doctor encouraged her to do something with her hands, and the founder of the party website Guest embroidered shirts for fun. After she posted a photo of the BOOYAH shirt, her friends asked if they could buy it, and the rest is history.

Current politics often carries the message of Hruska McPherson’s Lingua Franca, but travel is a huge inspiration for her. (For example, her LF x Emporio Sirenuse collection.) If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll see lots of family travel photos of her two sons and her husband Sean McPherson (Chelsea Hotel, Crow’s Nest, Bowery Hotel). , and the Waverly Inn, etc.), in glamorous locations such as Patmos, St. Moritz, and Venice.

We caught up with a busy mom to get tips on how to travel with two kids and hear more about kid-friendly destinations.

Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Hruska McPherson

What was the first place you traveled with your children?

We traveled to Malibu and Nebraska to see family when they were babies, but our first real travel adventure was to Portofino, Lucca, and Lake Como in northern Italy.

How has having children changed the way you travel?

I’m a very nervous flyer and having kids always kept me busy tending to their little needs, which made this aspect of traveling a little easier and took some of my worries away. Other than that, I would probably say more likely to check where the nearest hospital is or the local emergency number.

Looks like you had a great summer trip with your kids. What was your children’s favorite place and why?

I like vacations that leave plenty of time for relaxation, but also some cultural/historical learning. We fell in love with the Greek island of Patmos and visit it often—it has the most churches per square mile anywhere in the world and is where John the Baptist wrote. The Book of Revelation (in the cave). Our boys are happy anywhere as a family swimming, cliff jumping, or playing cards, but visiting museums and ancient sites with them is also fun in this new age. We also visited the Greek Acropolis in Athens on our last trip, where they are now at school. It was fun to experience it through their eyes.

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Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Hruska McPherson

What is your favorite place to travel with your kids + one of those hotels? Why is this especially important for children and adults?

My favorites are the ones that have a connection to the location, like Patmos in the summer or Jose Ignacio, which I used to visit every winter. We rent houses in these areas.

But since you asked, and since we’re in the hotel business, I’ve had the good fortune to stay in a couple of great hotels with my kids:

  • The Ritz Hotel in Paris – This seems obvious, but I love visiting Paris with my kids of all ages and this hotel is amazing in treating them like little princes. I remember being overwhelmed when we first traveled there with the baby; Comfort for kids is off the hook.
  • La Posta Vecchia – The Roman outdoors will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s so much fun for families, but also because it’s where my son Dash took his first steps.

I love traveling to Mexico with my boys because it’s a part of them (their grandma was half Mexican from Mazatlan), and there’s so much to discover and do; every trip is a brand new adventure. My favorite thing to do in Mexico is to stop in Mexico City for a few days – which is happening right now – and we stay at the Four Seasons when we have the kids. Then we head to one of the country’s countless vibrant cities. In Oaxaca, we stayed at the Quinta Real, a really cool hotel, which is an old converted monastery, and in San Miguel de Allende, we stayed at the Casa de Sierra Nevada. Both are kid-friendly and great fun to hang out with. Recently we went to Mexico for a trip to Troncones.

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Other great hotels for kids:

  • La Mamunia in Marrakech
  • Shanghai Peninsula – They have an hour-long scavenger hunt for kids that covers the entire hotel.

  • Fasano in Sao Paulo – They set up really cute tents to play in, lots of amenities for kids, plus the best rooftop pool.

  • La Sirenus in Positano – Positano with kids makes the best shots and we love visiting our friends Carla and Antonio. Italians really know how to take care of their guests!

  • Badrutt Palace in St. Moritz – They serve your kids fries on black tie silver plates. I mean that in the extreme, but it’s also a surreal experience.

  • La Residencia in Deia – I love playing tennis with the kids here!

  • Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina – Another cathedral, what can I say?

  • Villa D’Este on Lake Como – Italians love children and they are very friendly here. Same with Splendido in Portofino. Anywhere in Italy with kids is great!

Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Hruska McPherson

What you never travel without…

We recently switched from Globetrotters to Rimova only. Not that great, but fully functional. Post-pandemic, we’ve forced ourselves to pack very well, often only taking carry-on bags. I also love my second bag option, the Paravel bag. If I have an overnight flight, I always take silk pjs to change into. I know it sounds silly, but it makes flying luxurious. I also love charging earplugs, a great (Lingua Franca, obviously) eye mask and cashmere bandages. We try to get our kids to be self-sufficient, and we did that when they were younger (were they around 5?) so they have to pack and carry the things they need in their backpacks without mom’s help.

Are there any places you’ve traveled with your kids in the past that you wouldn’t recommend?

I really like Istanbul, but I really don’t recommend taking your baby around the mosques at sunset. Sean and I had an amazing trip to India with two friends who don’t have kids, and while we miss them so much, they wouldn’t have been able to see half of what we did if they were with us. They wouldn’t have been happy with our travel schedule and I’m sure we made the right decision.

Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Hruska McPherson

What is your best advice for young parents traveling with young children?

My only advice is something I tell myself every time I go on a trip. Expect things to go wrong and surprise you. No, but really, you need to be prepared for disaster and know that it’s all part of it. It’s part of the adventure. Some of our best family knowledge comes from travel disasters.

If you haven’t had a great trip with Hacks for Kids, would you like to share?

When we had kids and traveled to different regions, we always “hacked” bottle feeding times to get our kids on the right schedule. Now there are gummies for older children and babies to help them sleep. If you’re traveling and changing time zones, there’s nothing wrong with trying to get everyone on the right schedule as quickly as possible.


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