Our Journey to 5 Star


Growing up a family vacation meant towing around a 5th Wheel trailer throughout California. As kids, we were able to visit different places, while always having our little home. I have such great memories as a child vacationing with our 5th Wheel. Although it was great fun, it was a lot of work for my mom with preparation, packing, cleaning, cooking and then all of the post-vacation clean up. After having our own, little family and relocating to Kauai, towing a 5th Wheel trailer around is just not an option on an island. We wanted our kids to experience life outside of our little paradise on an island and so we decided that traveling is what we will do!!

The question that kept arising was – how would we travel and visit other countries when we live in Hawaii and airfare for 4 people is so expensive? We began researching travel and found various ways to make it work for a middle class family such as cruising for part of the trip to sample multiple locations in a week. Return to the places that you fell in love with later. While cruising is not for everyone, it is very affordable and was the first time my husband was really able to completely relax on a trip by limiting the check in and out of hotels, hailing of cabs, maps, renting cars, taking trains and figuring out where and what to eat for four people daily. Just sail right into a new country on the Mediterranean daily or island to island on the Caribbean. If cruising is not for you, that’s fine…. because the blog provides useful information by destination. Cruising is just a vessel to get to the places you’ve always dreamed of going. We don’t just cruise, we also spend about a week in the place that we depart from to really explore the area. We live a very modest lifestyle on Kauai so that we can take amazing trips around the world. Each year we choose at least one destination as a family and take off for a couple of weeks!!

Our kids track all the places that they’ve traveled on a map in their room with pins. Thus far, they have traveled to Italy, France, Spain, U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Bahamas, Arizona, California, Utah, Florida, Nevada, Washington, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. We are planning to visit Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands later this year. We would like to share our travels with you, as we have found ways to travel the world 5 Star on a dime!!!! As you read through the blog you will see tips on how to save money at each place, history of the destination, great bargain shopping and safety information while still enjoying an amazing vacation!!!

All of the photos throughout the blog were taken by myself or our kids with a simple camera, global phone or smart phone.

Be sure to click on the titles to the right of the page which will take you everywhere that we’ve been.

We welcome you to join us in all of our travels through the blog and hope that it will inspire you to explore with your family!!! We are blessed to travel.

Warning- this blog may cause traveling.

13 comments on “Our Journey to 5 Star

  1. marni says:

    This is awesome! Can’t wait for you to add Turkey to your list. Have to plan when we are there for the summer. You need at least 18 days to see the different regions! I would like to go to Croatia!

  2. Brad Burns says:

    Way to go Russells, you are an inspiration to us wanna go families. Any tips on a cheap way to travel for 10? 🙂

  3. Ruth and Ray says:

    World travelers!!!! What fun to see so many different interesting places. I will never forget St Peter’s Basilica and Rome myself. See you in February.

  4. Albert and Lou Ann Salsedo says:

    Your travels sound exciting. Sharing your secrets and advice will be fun!

  5. Jennifer McGraw says:

    Love this! Can’t wait to read all about your adventures! Love, The McGraws

  6. Stacey Machorek says:

    Keri…you rock! Can’t wait to find some time to sit and browse on here. LOVE traveling…best family activity there is!

    • Keri says:

      Thanks Stacey!!! It’s so much fun documenting our travels. Just read one page at a time when you have your coffee or glass of vino my dear.

  7. Jacki Rolin says:

    oh boy this sings to my heart ! One of the best things we ever did was travel with our kids…. an incredible bonding adventure for all of us…. So worth the day to day sacrifices to make it happen

  8. Jacki Rolin says:

    btw, I am Stacey’s mom !

  9. Jacquie Paige says:

    What a wonderful way to make memories for you and your family. When you get ready to go to Australia, please contact me. mum was born/raised in Melbourne, and we go to Sydney every trip to Australia, as well as other cities. Have some great savings suggestions for you. Love the blog. Love you! Jacquie and Jim

  10. Michael says:

    Recently, the URL for Atlantis Resort Bahamas has been updated. I notice you’re still linking to the old URL on the following pages:


    Would you mind updating that link to http://www.atlantisbahamas.com?

    Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your help!

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