We have been living vicariously through the travel postings of Jordan Rhodes, founder of Glimpse Guides, an upscale travel and lifestyle business with a focus on families. City guides are available in the app store for London, Paris, Florence, New Orleans, Charleston and Hong Kong with many more to come, and hardcover guides and other travel products will begin launching this fall. All proceeds go to the Give A Glimpse social platform which provides funding to cover travel costs for scholarship students wishing to study, intern or volunteer abroad.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Arkansas, went to school in Charleston, then moved to London before coming back to New York and settling in Greenwich, CT a year after that. I have now been in Greenwich for 12 years.
How many children and what are their ages?
I have three kids with my husband Noah – Scottie, 6, little Noah, 4, and Georgie, 20 months. Although, they have such big personalities it feels like I have ten.
How did you catch your travel bug?
My siblings and I have loved to travel for as long as I can remember, and I think it’s because my adventurous parents took us many places at young ages. They also had a rule that we had to go to college out of state, and encouraged us to study abroad. We’ve all lived outside of the U.S. – either working or studying, and some of us did both. My family’s adventures inspire my own. And now I’m very lucky that my husband loves to travel as much as I do.
What advice would you give to new families with young children about traveling abroad? (best age to start, best cities to start with, etc.)
I once read a quote that has always stuck with me, “Deciding not to travel with your kids while they’re young ‘because they won’t remember the trips you take’ is like saying you’re not going to read them books because they won’t remember the stories you read.” Travel can shape minds at an early age and I think everyone should travel with their kids from the start – I notice my kids remember little things about trips they took when they were very young. They’re also really easy travelers because they’re used to it. And on the off days they are not good, just remember that airplanes have bar carts…
How do you research for your trips, any go to resources?
I find myself being drawn to other people who love to travel, so luckily I have a lot of friends that I look to for inspiration. I also depend on sources like Departures magazine, Town and Country magazine, Garden and Gun magazine and Instagram. Some of my favorite Instagram accounts are a mix of travel writers, brands and travel publicists, including @glamglobetrotter, @julia_ransom, @megnolanvr, @klaraglowczewska, @juliet, @wolfandmoses, @derekblasberg – the list goes on.
What do you always have in your travel bag?
Headphones for those rare moments when all kids are occupied, de Mamiel Altitude oil for a sense of calm, a change of clothes for each child because something ALWAYS happens to the ones they’re wearing, my go-to Brunello Cucinelli scarf which can turn into a baby blanket, and my iPhone. I used to look forward to flights so I could read novels, but sadly those days ended when my first child realized she could make noises for attention.
We are always looking for the perfect family friendly hotel or resort, what are your favorites?
I tend to choose walking cities with my kids for a few reasons – there is more to do, and I love keeping the little ones strapped into strollers! In London I love the Connaught – there is a pool for the kids (a ‘must’ in often rainy London), an endless list of creative activities and amenities, and elegant, quintessentially English rooms, suites and public areas. Plus you can’t beat the location in beautiful Mayfair.
Nantucket and Charleston offer the best of both worlds in terms of city life and beach vacation – there is so much to do but you can also relax. In Nantucket we love the White Elephant hotel; we tend to hop around in Charleston but The Dewbury is on my list for an upcoming trip in October.
Other favorite hotels and resorts include The Little Nell in Aspen, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, and Skibo Castle in Scotland.
For a relaxing couples vacation I love the Grace Mayflower in Washington, CT.
Where did you travel to this summer, tell us a bit about your amazing trip and any favorite spots that you discovered along the way?
This summer we went to Nantucket, London, Italy and a few other European countries while driving from Venice to Zurich. The Prosecco region of Italy, particularly the town of Asolo, was gorgeous and very family-friendly. Salzburg, Austria was so charming and Zurich was amazing – beautiful, safe and sophisticated, yet perfect for families.
Where are you headed to next?
This fall Noah and I are headed to Scotland and England for a shooting trip, and I’m, trying to make a side visit to Florence to take photos for my upcoming guidebooks. Then we’ll visit Charleston with my son (for short trips we like to take one kid in order to spend quality time with them), Chicago with my oldest daughter, New Orleans with some friends, and Aspen for Christmas with the family. For me the anticipation and planning is half the fun!