Gone are the days of Googling “luxury family hotel.” Resort Internet database Poshbrood.com is curated by, and for, the world’s most travel-savvy moms
Travel writer-cum-luxury vacation expert Elizabeth Thorp has what one might call a dream job. She travels the world with her husband and three daughters (“there’s a lot of drama,” Thorp laughs. “And shoes…”) in search of those rare resorts that effectively meld opulence with pool noodles and chicken fingers. Having gained her writing chops at Washingtonian magazine and The Huffington Post, Thorp has a critical eye, and knows what she’s looking for in a much-needed yet versatile vacation.
Her daughters (Isabelle, 9; Lucy, 7; Penelope, 4), however, have their own set of criteria. “Usually my girls’ reactions go something like this,” says Thorp: “‘The hotel gave us an activity kit when we checked in and our room had candy and mini robes. There was also a TV in the bathroom mirror. Five stars!”’ —Lucie Alig
Your job sounds really fun! Can you tell us more about what Poshbrood does on a daily basis?
The website is a free, curated catalog of mom-tested, Poshbrood-approved hotels, resorts, inns, cottages, and villas. We also love to blog about cool gear, amazing deals, and celebrity interviews regarding travel. Aside from globetrotting with my favorite people on earth (a.k.a. my brood), the best part of the job is booking travel. As a member of Virtuoso, an invitation-only consortium of luxury travel professionals, we design customized travel experiences all over the world. Whether you want a private villa at Round Hill, a “babymoon” in Maui, a family reunion in Paris, or a 70th birthday party celebration at Wimbledon, we can help. Need Aspen or St. Barth’s for New Years? Nantucket in August? Anyone going anywhere can contact Poshbrood/Smart Flyer for their travel needs.
How did you come up with the different categories and filters on the site? (We especially love “Pets” and “High roller!”)
My first paid writing assignment was a travel with pets piece for Washingtonian. When we were traveling with two labs, I was like, “come on! There must be cool hotels who accept dogs that don’t fit into my purse!” As for the “High Roller” section, I almost titled it “Live Like J.Lo” (in her P.Diddy yacht days). Hotels in that category are on the more expensive end, probably starting at $700 and up a night. Because all stylish mothers need a little pampering, don’t we?
What’s your go-to advice for travelling with kids?
Bring snacks, snacks, and more snacks! A hungry child is a cranky child—especially on airplanes, where meals aren’t always available. I pack granola bars, tiny boxes of raisins, cheese sticks, goldfish, and—I’ll admit it—M&Ms to reward good behavior, or when in dire straits…
Any other tips for killing time at the airport, on long car rides, etc.?
Before a trip, I’ll scrounge around the bins in our playroom to find some long-forgotten small toys (Polly Pockets, pretend cellphones) and wrap them up like a gift. During critical moments, I’ll whip them out for the girls, who most likely forgot they ever had the toy, and are excited to see it. It gives us a solid 30 minutes! Technology is also essential for long road trips or plane rides. There’s only so much “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” a person can take!
Can you name a few off-the-beaten-path travel destinations for this summer?
Summer is the perfect time for families to visit ranches in Montana, luxury eco-lodges on Vancouver Island, the wilds of Maine, or even further north in Nova Scotia. Now is also a great time to live large in Greece. Due to their economic crisis, many luxury resorts are offering incredibly low rates to keep occupancy up in June and July.
What would your kids say were their all-time favorite family vacations?
I took my seven-year-old Lucy to the Goring Hotel in London last year, and she’s still talking about it. We also went to Paris and the Dordogne region of France for spring break, and the girls were so excited to see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. The southwestern Dordogne region—dubbed “the land of 1000 castles”—is really perfect for families. You can rent a chateau with an inexpensive local chef, go to wineries, swim, bike, kayak, visit prehistoric caves, and of course, get nice and chubby on foie gras, cheese, and chocolat. There’s a fairy tale medieval town around every bend.
What other mom bloggers and parenting websites do you enjoy?
I like mom writers who have a sense of humor and are not all cupcakes and lollipops. Motherhood is amazing, but it’s super hard work! I love Babble, Goop, HuffPo Parents, DailyCandyKids, and FabFitFun. Kourtney Kardashian’s site is also really cool, and Ali Wentworth is one of the funniest people I know (her show “Daily Shot” on Yahoo is a hoot). Also, I swear this is not gratuitous, but I love Elizabeth Street. Another mom blogger in NYC turned me onto you guys, and sometimes you make me late for my deadlines…
When do you find time to write? Do you jot down notes while travelling, or reflect on your stay after the fact?
I take notes and photos while it’s all happening, and then do the final draft when I’m back at the office. As for when to find time to work, I’m definitely not the perfect model for work/life balance. For Mother’s Day this year, I received a beautiful letter from my oldest, and at the bottom it read: “P.S. Your cellphone is attached to your face!” There is no secret formula.