At first glance of their Instagram, @thewaytotravel is all about arid and sea-swept landscapes with a few quintessential candids of an enviable couple living out everyone’s dream. Look closer and you’ll spot another pint-sized explorer along for the ride, too. Mario and Ioanna began their nomadic lifestyle when they were kid-free, but their curious daughter has only expanded their travel expertise to include luxury family travel. The jet-set family talks to Porthole about their influencer beginnings, aspirational places to settle down, and how to do it all with a toddler in tow.
- Tell us about your journey into the travel influencer world! We started our Instagram page @thewaytotravel in 2014, mainly for family and friends to see what we were up to as we started traveling around the world. It was the early days of Instagram and, before we knew it, some of our photos were being reposted by huge accounts, creating a viral effect and adding thousands of followers in a short period of time. Luxury hotels started contacting us wanting to “collaborate” and we realized that we could leverage our follower base to stay in some of the best places in the world and showcase them to our followers.
- Is it difficult to raise a family while always being on the move?
We never thought that having a baby and traveling could go hand in hand, but we’ve actually managed over 70 flights with her since she was born less than two years ago.
Since she was born, we wanted her to adapt to us and our lifestyle rather than the other way around. There’s no doubt that sacrifices have to be made but bar a couple of tantrums here and there, she’s been great at adapting to it.
- You currently live in Miami. What must-do’s can you recommend for visitors who want to get away from the obvious tourist attractions?
Everyone does Miami Beach and Wynwood, but Miami has so much more to offer. In recent years the art and design scene has come a long way, so Miami isn’t just about South Beach and Miami Vice anymore! On your next visit, check out Vizcaya Museum and Gardens or the beach at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne.
- If you were to pack up everything and retire your family to one of the places you’ve visited, which one would it be?
We can’t imagine ourselves fully settled anywhere, but if we have to say one place, it would be Australia. It’s far away from everything but, even so, only 24 hours away from anywhere where you might have friends or family. It has all the modern trappings and services you could wish for in places like Sydney and at the same time the natural landscapes you can find there are very impressive and diverse. Australians have a different philosophy when it comes to life, which is very much about enjoying life and the great outdoors and that really resonates with us.
- What advice would you give to new families traveling with children for the first time?
Don’t be afraid! We might all worry about tantrums and ruining a schedule and chances are it will happen. Plan your trip with the baby’s sleep schedule in mind. For example, we try to plan short-haul flights around afternoon naptime, so she sleeps for part of the flight. We try to take the long hauls around the time we would normally be putting her to bed so that she sleeps for most of the flight.
Our little one’s first word after “mama” and “papa” was “plane” and she has seen more exotic animals in their natural environment than we had by the time we were 20. The learning experience, even from a young age, is incredible and we’re sure it will give her huge benefits as she grows up.
Follow @thewaytotravel on Instagram to stay up to date with this jet-set family’s latest adventures.