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Gray Malin’s Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Tykes

Keep your little ones inspired, engaged, and happy both en route and in destination.

A famous photographer who jet-sets to the most coveted global destinations, Gray Malin can often be seen at Aspen Mountain’s Sundeck restaurant, exploring a national park in Jackson, Wyoming, working in St. Barts, or navigating the bustling city streets of New York City with his husband and two adorable children. And while his young children may already claim more passport stamps than most of us, he adopts tried-and-true methods for keeping his little ones occupied while adventuring. As a Club Member, Malin’s favorite aspect of the Exclusive Resorts Residence Collection is the ability to stay in spacious homes versus smaller hotel rooms. What’s more, his Ambassador arranges for his children's gear and favorite toys ahead of any vacation, so he can focus on reconnecting with family in between non-stop photo shoots. And as an artist who credits his grandparents for fueling his wanderlust (he used to spend hours as a child paging through his grandparent’s photo albums from various travels), time with family is as precious as time behind his camera lens. Here are his takeaways to keep the kiddos smiling while exploring.

Ice Cream Cone Cheers
Beach Picnic, Nantucket


  • I recommend staying in a house over a hotel when traveling with young kids – there is just more room and having a kitchen makes such a difference.
  • Let your children choose between several activities so they feel included and excited to participate. The more you empower kids to pick what they’re interested in doing, the more engaged they will be.
  • Always have some of their favorite toys, books, and snacks on hand, especially for the plane. We always download kid-friendly and/or educational entertainment that I let my kids pick out on a tablet or a phone in advance.
  • Try to incorporate outdoor play or walking so they can move around and get some exercise.
  • Research parks, pools, and playgrounds nearby to your hotel or vacation rental in advance.
  • Let each child have a small backpack (but let them know that they must carry it) and fill it with their toys.
  • Take lots of photos so you can always look through your adventures together and savor the memories and experiences you get to share from your travels.