Family travel snap: Katie Coffee, Lonely Planet’s marketing manager in the USA


This month we’re talking to the lady who, as our marketing manager, makes sure everyone hears about all the fun stuff Lonely Planet does. Katie, her husband and her son Vincenzo love to travel and have recently returned from a European trip to Italy and Istanbul. However, this snap is all about exploring closer to home.

What’s the story behind this photo?

My son Vincenzo and his best friend are sitting on a swing on the shore of Fallen Leaf Lake near Tahoe, California. My husband’s family has been vacationing here for many generations, so summer trips are a regular and very special feature of our life. This photo was taken on the last day of a long weekend: we stopped at the lake right before the long drive home. We played on the beach, swam out to the dock for some jumping, and paddle-boarded around the western side of the lake.

As an only child, our son rarely has kid companionship on vacation and he was so excited to have a buddy along. They were inseparable for the whole trip and he was much more motivated to hike and explore so it was more fun for all of us. We’ll be bringing a friend along whenever we can now.

Kids’ perspective

This is straight from the horse’s mouth: ‘We goed down to the beach and walked over to the sand and found a bunch of sand toys and sat down. I was too scared to play in the water because it’s so deep. I was wearing bare feet. I like the hiking there more than going to the beach. The hikes are really long and they take actually three hours. They’re fun because I get to jump on rocks.’ (Vincenzo)

Katie’s tips for travelling to Lake Tahoe with kids

There are hundreds of amazing hikes in the Tahoe area and children as young as four can walk for a few hours (and have fun doing it!) as long as they have enough breaks.

1) Trail snacks are crucial, and – don’t tell the sugar police – I’ve found that lollipops are excellent fuel.

2) Make accommodation part of the adventure. There are lots of rustic cabins for rent in the area that can give you a secluded, camping-like experience without having to bring all the gear.

3) Fallen Leaf Lake is a great place to explore in summer as it’s slightly off the beaten track – possibly because it is only accessible during the summer and fall.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

I’ve been dreaming about Lake Michigan‘s gold coast since it was on our Best in the US list in 2014.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always….

…bring blank paper and markers! For playing tic-tac-toe, drawing and writing stories. And trail snacks, of course.

…read more


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