Meet Heather Brummett.
Heather is a business owner, mother of two, and founder of Inspiring Momma – a Houston-based lifestyle and travel blog for moms and dads. She recently stayed at our Summer Bay Orlando resort in Clermont, Florida after a full day of Walt Disney World theme parks with her husband and kids.
We caught up with the Inspiring Momma herself to learn more about her writing, perspective on family travel, and gather a few pointers to share from her family vacation experiences.
Exploria Resorts: Do you visit the Disney theme parks often?
Heather Brummett: This is the first time we’ve ever been! We got park hoppers and were so sore last night. [laughs]
Which of the parks did you go to?
We went to Hollywood Studios. My daughter wanted to do the Rockin’ Rollercoaster so we went there. Then, we went to Epcot which my son really enjoyed. It’s so futuristic and scientific, so we did all the rides there. Then, we went to Magic Kingdom. The last time I went, I was 13 so this was our first time as a family.
What did you think of Toy Story Land?
We didn’t ride any rides over there because the lines were extremely long, but it’s neat. I would’ve preferred some of the other areas because my kids like the thrill seeking type of rides, but for the really young ones I bet it would be fun. Magic Kingdom was our favorite. There was something for everyone. We didn’t spend much time on the kiddie rides.
Did you have family vacations as a kid growing up?
For me growing up, vacations were always a family time. That’s what I try to do with ours. I want to make memories. Relaxing is good, but I want them to make memories that they’ll have forever. My dad passed away when I was young, so I have a lot of good memories from our family vacations. Those are some of the best memories I have of him.
Our Florida vacation was one of our most wonderful trips. I’ve only been twice. The first time was when I was 13. We went to Disney and it was just fun. Special. No one was stressed. No one was worrying or in a rush. This was actually when OJ Simpson’s police chase was happening. My father was a big sports fan. [laughs] Little things like that you remember. I really wanted my kids to have that same kind of vacation experience.
You want to have that time away. You’re not working all day long. Nobody’s watching TV all day long. You’re spending the experience together and can carry the memories with you forever. I remember there was a water feature show that was done to different colors and sounds on a family vacation I had when I was little. My parents liked to go to the shows. Anything musical. They were very musical people.
Were you thinking about starting a blog before you had kids?
I always loved to write, but never really saw myself having a career of it until I had kids. The blog started with me really just wanting to have an outlet to talk about my life — share the little things that me and kids did during the day — and then I realized that people actually wanted to learn more about that. Other moms were saying, “What can I do with my 3-year old or my infant?” So they started coming and it became this whole community. It’s been a lot of fun to see.
How has the Inspiring Momma blog changed since you started it?
It’s become such a bigger thing than it was then. At first, the blog was more about just being a mom because I had two little ones so it was about spending time with the kids. We did kids crafts, like volcanoes in the front yard and stuff like that. As the kids grew, my blog changed because they were getting older and weren’t home with me anymore. They were going to school, so the blog became about “This is what we’re doing now.” It’s grown with me. Jackson was a baby when I started it, so it’s been cool to see.
What advice would you give to parents who want to plan a successful family vacation?
You have to give and take a little. You can’t do the sports or music theme every vacation. It helps to think about what each person is looking for. We were on our way over and saw a sign for helicopter rides, so my husband is making some calls to learn about that. A helicopter ride is something we wouldn’t have thought about when I was planning but his spontaneous side caught it. I try to leave some wiggle room so we have the option to do other things as they come up.
On a family vacation, you just want something to do together. It all gets so busy when school starts, then work can get stressful. It’s nice to have that time to invest in your family and enjoy them while they’re still little.
Maybe you don’t feel like paying the admission to a theme park or being on your feet the whole day. Theme parks can be a lot of work. At Summer Bay Orlando, it’s easy. You just walk down from your room. Forget something? It’s not a big deal. Tired and want to come back later? Okay. You can do that here. My kids were super excited about the marina area and LOVED the bouncy inflatables. My daughter was down by the pool when a hula hoop contest began. There are so many activities!
What do you look for when planning things to do and deciding on a place to stay?
My husband’s a “pick a spot on the map and drive to it until we get there” kind of person. I’m a planner. I research a lot before doing anything. I’ll look at TripAdvisor, Google, other blogs… I like to have things planned out.
- What do they have for the kids?
- What can we do as a family?
- Does the hotel or resort carry the little toiletries I need?
- Do I need to pack shampoo?
- What will be included in this?
- Does the hotel provide breakfast or is that something I need to plan for?
I don’t want to wake up in the morning and have to figure out our day or spend the whole vacation going to the store. I want all those little things figured out at the beginning so I’m not stressing the whole trip.
Accommodation details are helpful to know, too. My husband has a bad back, so beds are really important. If it’s a board bed, he’s going to be miserable the whole trip because he’s sleeping on something hard. If it’s a nice comfy bed like the beds here, then he’s good for the day because he’s had a good night sleep.
Does your family have a “coming home” ritual?
We always have to tell what our favorite part of the trip was. That’s a big one for me. It’s interesting to hear what that is for different people. One person might like sitting out by the pool and another might say “zipline!” or something exciting that we wouldn’t have expected. It’s fun to hear what their favorite part of the trip was. My mom did that when we were little.
This trip, we bought a little cube polaroid camera that we can use to pass around and take pictures of the trip. When I get back, I’m going to upload the photos and make a CD out of it so we have a collection of random moments to look back on. Here’s us at the pool. Here’s us at the zipline… you know? I love home videos. They’re awesome.
Curious about Heather’s family adventures at Summer Bay Orlando? Visit the Inspiring Momma blog for her review.
Bonus: Heather Brummett’s Words of Wisdom for Travel Bloggers
Find the right fit for you. Don’t just work with just anybody. I think it’s really important to only work with the companies or brands that stands for what you naturally stand for. For me, that’s family-friendly. I want a family atmosphere. Price-wise, I’m looking for something that is attainable, but also not so low that it doesn’t have the fun things my family might want to do.
A lot of bloggers might work because it’s a cool opportunity, but I think it’s important to stay true to your style and who you are. It took me a little time to figure that out. You can explore new things, but make that match if you’re going to be working with them.