Hello. We are the Jerven family. That’s Taraneh (mama), Morten (papa), Robin (two), William (one), and a bun in the oven. We are travelers. In fact, some of our smallest explorers have never had a home base.
Small Folk Travel is our family travel project. We take the trips. We write up our research as travel guides, features, and lists.
Why Small Folk Travel?
Family travel tends to be synonymous with all-inclusive resorts and Disney. We don’t see it that way. That’s not how our family travels. We live in locals-only neighborhoods. We like independent restaurants and shops. We are interested in culture. We alternate city breaks with excursions into the wild. Our excursions can be weekend trips or months on the road.
When researching our travels, we couldn’t find the kind of coverage we were looking for. We decided to write it ourselves.
We think that having young kids is the ideal time to travel. We cover meaningful travel experiences for the entire family. Our coverage is a balance of good stuff for discerning parents and for little ones.
Tot-friendly hiking trails in Norway. Cultural family adventures in Paris without lines. Dining in San Sebastian with kids. The coolest family activities in Vancouver. London’s best museums for toddlers. The best family beaches in France. How to enjoy Amsterdam with small folk.
We pick activities that enrich the lives of all folk, big and small. We think that family travel should be a balance of both. Sometimes we take turns.
We don’t try to tell you everything about a place, just how to best enjoy it as a family. We show you what makes a destination special. We often focus on a cool neighborhood with many other young families.
We research our picks by talking to parents who live in our places. We follow up by relentlessly poking around. All our itineraries are tested by us and our small folk.
We break out the picks from our guides into postcards, organized by destination, for you to flip through for inspiration.
Our section for irresistible click-bait.
- Diaper in 12 languages.
- 7 Reasons to bring grandparents on your next adventure.
- 6 things to know before you fly with a baby or toddler.
- The most annoying Airbnb hosts
- 10 best patisseries in Paris
- 11 worthwhile family travel books
- 9 reasons why having small children is a great time to travel
Ninja Tricks is all about problem solving. Family travel, especially with babies and toddlers, involves more logistics. We exist to help sort the tricky logistics, whether it’s about which travel crib to use, or how to handle two lap children on an overnight flight.
Sometimes it just means sharing a bad experience and how we thought it through, so that you know you’re not the only one dealing with that kind of mayhem. Mistakes and breakdowns happen in travel. The deeper you travel, the messier it gets.
Lastly, although family travel means more problems to solve, it also means more intense rewards. We share the insights and joy that come from family adventures, especially when they deviate from the plan.
About our family
I’m Taraneh Jerven, an American-Canadian travel writer published by international travel brands such as RoughGuides.com and DK Eyewitness Travel. My husband Morten is a Norwegian professor of International Development. We met in London, fell in love, and began traveling the world together. Once our small folk arrived, we saw no reason to stop exploring. In fact, our explorations became more meaningful than ever.
Our kids are Robin (two) and William (one). They are 14 months apart. Our new baby Marion is due this summer. In our experience, having small children is the ideal time to travel. The discoveries that stem from travel and the surprises of parenthood overlap.
Travel writer Bill Bryson says it best: “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
Travel creates wonder. Travel sparks insight. Travel makes you reevaluate routines. Travel shows you how to relish the journey rather than fixating on destination. Travel pushes you to engage. Travel means learning by doing. Travel gives your life a healthy dose of spontaneity.
So do kids.
When we bring Robin and William with us on trips, we find that their enthusiasm and openness to new experiences make travel that much more intensely meaningful. You don’t have to be crafty to see how it knits you closer as a family; it’s the ultimate family education.