Spelling family

I love it when celebrities turn out to be as awesome as you always imagined them to be. In 1990 I became one of the many fans of a little show called Beverly Hills, 90210. I watched it every week, making sure I didn’t miss any of the hook-ups, break-ups or cat fights. In college, my roommates and I had viewing parties where you could only speak during commercials. Yes, I was hooked. And yes, I cried my way through the series finale along with my girlfriends. We loved Tori Spelling.

Fast forward to 2009, when by the awesomeness of social media, I crossed paths with Tori Spelling on Twitter. And wouldn’t you know, she is one of the nicest, coolest, down to earth people I’ve met. Yes, I love it when celebrities turn out to be just as awesome as you always imagined them to be. She’s accomplished so much since the days of 90210, things that despite our new phases of life, we can all relate. While Tori is now a New York Times Best Selling author, a jewelry designer and a children’s clothing designer, she is a mom, first and foremost. Tori is all about family. She eats, sleeps and breathes family, and how could she not? She has been blessed with four adorable children over the last few years…Liam, Stella, Hattie and Finn.

I am so grateful to Tori for answering my questions about traveling as a family of six (did I mention her two youngest are only ten months apart?), and how she balances her family life with her business life.

Me: Thanks for chatting with me Tori. You’ve got mommy-hood down to a science…the perfect combination of love, fun and adventure. I know our readers would love to hear how you make it all happen with your cute family of six! Have you traveled anywhere as a mommy to four children yet? How has that differed from when it was you and Dean vs. Monkey and Buggy, 1:1?

Tori: Yes, we have traveled via road trip with all four kids. We recently went on a nine hour drive from LA to Lake Tahoe. Considering the crazy long trip, the kids did very well. We only needed a few snack and potty breaks. I have yet to fly with all four kids, which I imagine could possibly be a daunting task. Picking up and just spontaneously going with Liam and Stella was always much easier. Now, with two babies, we have to plan because of naps and feedings, etc…

Spelling family1Me: I’m sure it does get a little tricky planning around naps and feedings, but kudos to you for not letting that stop you! How do you manage to balance business related travel with family travel? Are you able to blend them well or do you make specific time for each?

Tori: I hate doing anything without my kids. So, if I have to go somewhere for business and it makes sense, I will bring the kids with me, and depending on where it is, spend a couple days more there after the business is done to vacation with the kids. When we have downtime from work, we love just jumping in the car and driving somewhere. We love road trips!

Me: I remember road trips with my grandmother. They were always so memorable and such a special bonding time. What or where is your ideal family friendly vacation? What do you look for in your destination when traveling with such a young family?

Tori: My ideal family vacation would be Maui. We have been one with Liam, and once with Liam and Stella. So now Hattie and Finn need to go. It’s so beautiful and so family friendly. Plus it has amazing food! When traveling with the kids, I look for a hotel that is very family friendly. And one with room service, movies and a kids club is a bonus.

Me: Yes! Kids clubs are awesome! What tips, tricks and products do you have for traveling with a young family, especially with four children?

Tori: My biggest tip is patience! Jk. I think its best to book an early morning flight. That way I keep them up late the night before and head to the airport in pjs with blankets and they sleep on the plane. Letting the kids watch downloaded movies on your iPad helps too, and I always pack tons of snacks for them. I also have a crafting bag filled with crayons, pencils, coloring books, games, cards, etc…

Me: It sometimes feels like you’re bringing the house with you on a vacation when you have little ones. I’ve got three children just about handled while traveling…is it much different with four? What gear do you find you need bring along vs. what you know you’ll just pick up when you get there? I find I over pack quite often, bringing things I don’t really need or things I could have found at the hotel or market.

Tori: Traveling with 4 probably isn’t that different than 3. For us, it’s just hard having two that are ten months apart. I always call ahead and make sure the hotel has a crib, a pack n play, or a high hair. I bring a fair amount of diapers and wipes knowing I can pick up more on the vacation. Saves space that way. I also bring DREFT so we can wash while we are away. I’m an over-packer though. I’ve tried for years to overcome this to no avail.

Me: DREFT, that’s something I’ll have to remember next time. I’ve had very itchy kids on some vacations when I was left to use the detergent in the hotel. What do you do for YOU when traveling on a family vacation? Moms often spend the vacation taking care of the children from the time they board the plane, throughout the travel destination and back again

Tori: Not much. But at least once on vacation my husband and I switch off and I go get a massage.

Me: I think that’s so important, and I admit, I am so guilty of staying “tuned in” to the outside world when on vacation. I really need to learn to put the phone and computer away…for the majority of the time. Thanks so much T. You are an inspiration to me in so many ways, and I know you are an inspiration to many women out there. As always, you were a delight to chat with and share new insights.