Missouri Family Vacation Ideas

Although I am probably biased as it is my home state, I’d say Missouri is one of the best family vacation spots in the Midwest!  From big metropolitan cities to small towns to rural America, Missouri really has it all: kid-centered attractions, world-class museums, award winning dining, incredible outdoor activities, and great people, my home state is a great place to visit for the whole family!

Missouri is well-known for the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

Missouri is well-known for the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

I have been fortunate to travel all over Missouri, and have compiled the below list of my favorite recommendations for families looking to travel in the Show Me State.  The first two Missouri family vacation ideas are obvious, our big cities of St. Louis and Kansas City.  The following five may surprise you…including a few notable omissions. Continue reading

Annoying Travelers

Not even in flying first class, staying in 5 star hotels, or having chauffeurs escort you everywhere can stop some travel annoyances.  Jet lag gets us all…and no matter where you go, there are always annoying people!  Sometimes the most important factor in an enjoyable trip is a positive attitude, which I strive to have on the road as much as possible, but there are simply some that drive me mad.  Here’s a list of those travelers I find annoying:


Ironically, kids are not on my list. In fact, I have found kids (mine or anyone else’s) to usually be quite behaved and pleasant when traveling. Also, they always seem to have a sense of curiosity and wonder, essential for travel!

1.       People Who Have Never Left Home
The “non-traveler” is actually the most annoying to me!  Obviously this is a travel blog, and one of its goals is to encourage and inspire others to travel.  That said, one of the most annoying travelers I come across are those that have never traveled.  I have always felt that travel teaches us to be more accepting, more adaptable to change, and most of all allows us to experience life.  By not traveling, a person closes their views too far into their local life, not understanding the wider world around them; this usually comes out in political views and so on fairly clearly, and is bad for everyone.  I have typically found that the less one travels, the more resistant they become to change, and the less likely they are to be accommodating and accepting of different cultures and ways of life.  Most of all I am always startled when I meet someone who has never seen the ocean (any ocean) in real life.  The most startling though are St. Louisans who have never been to Illinois (you can literally see Illinois from STL…it is literally across the river; the picture of STL that is plastered all over this site…was taken from Illinois, which is a 3 minute drive or 10 minute walk)!  Their lack of wonder astonishes me.


2.       Chronic Tailgaters Who Do Not Pass
This drives me nuts (pun intended)!  I’ll be driving in the left lane (the “passing lane” or fast lane as others call it) passing other cars going slower than I.  I do not excessively speed, but will go 10% over like most reasonable Interstate drivers (that is 77mph in a 70 stated speed limit).  Anyway, there is always the annoying driver that will speed up and ride the tail of my car, so I get over to the right lane to let them pass.  They then slow way down and fall far behind.  I then move back into the left lane, only to have them get right back on my tail.  So I go back to the right, and again they fall way behind.  Chronic tailgating is the term for this – drivers who just tailgate, and if there is no one to tailgate, they slow way down (or sometimes speed up to the next car to tailgate, but once there are no more cars to ride the tails of, they go back to a reasonable speed).  This has happened a few times, usually the driver is on a cell phone or simply not paying attention, so I assume using other cars to pace their driving.  Regardless, it’s incredibly annoying, and dangerous.


3.       People who plan their vacation years in advance, to every little detail, and talk about it daily
Yes I love planning trips and encourage everyone to do so, and be excited about it.  Travel should be fun and something to look forward to.  That said, the type of person who has begun planning for their 3 day cruise (yes it is usually a short cruise) in 2019 and talks about it every day between now and then drives me mad.  What is worse is that they often fret over minor details that will have no impact on their experience, yet flip out when they think they have planned it wrong.  Usually these are folks who do not travel too often, so I can understand the over excitement, but I certainly don’t need to hear about it every day for the next 6 years!


4.       Over-packers
I never check a bag when traveling alone; regardless of how long I travel (I once went to Europe for 3 weeks with just one carry on).  With kids we pack a lot more, but it’s a lot more people (we still usually only check one bag).  I have traveled with adults who have packed more bags than days of the trip (5 bags, 3 checked, for a weekend getaway)!  I have also traveled to Europe with adults who packed more bags than they could carry on their own, despite my warnings that everywhere they were going had lots of stairs, no elevators, and there would not be anyone available to help them.  There is no need to pack extra everything!  Everywhere I have been in the world, and especially anywhere in the Midwest USA, has what you might need.  There is a Walmart, CVS/Walgreens, shopping malls and so on everywhere where you can buy whatever it is that is needed.  Packing light makes travel a breeze, whereas packing everything you own and then some makes travel too much work.


5.       People who argue with flight attendants
I fly a lot, and this one is annoying, but also entertaining.  Fortunately most flight attendants are either accustomed to idiot fliers, or have a sense of humor.  There is flat-out no reason to argue with a flight attendant, and even if there was, it will get you absolutely nowhere.  Especially in coach.  The most amazing is when the last person gets on the plane to be informed that there is no room left for their bag and it must be gate checked (duh – if you are the last one on the plane, there is a 0% chance that you bag will fit in an overhead) and then decides to verbally abuse the flight attendant over it (a recent flight I heard a passenger insist it was his “constitutional right” to have his bag with him – that passenger was crazy in my book)!  Flight attendants are there first and foremost for passenger safety, and frankly if you are in coach on a domestic flight, the service is no different than riding a public bus (what are your expectations of your city bus driver)?  Now domestic first class is slightly better, and international business/first is a whole different thing altogether (it’s wonderful), but generally I think folks need to adjust their expectations of flying away from the ideal of the luxury days of the 1960s and into flying buses of 2015.

Iowa City, IA: Iowa Children’s Museum

Arguably one of the nation’s very best children’s museums, I would personally rank the Iowa Children’s Museum near Iowa City, Iowa as #2 nationally only behind the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis!  Home to everything a family would expect from a top children’s museum, this large, well-organized, and nearly brand-new museum is as interactive and engaging as they come.  Thus far, it ranks as my top children’s attraction in Iowa and a must-do when visiting the central part of the state.

Iowa Children’s Museum near Iowa City, Iowa

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