By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on September 29, 2013

Dreaming big for St. Jude

There are those moments in life that stick with you. Having a sick child is one of them. My youngest was born five weeks early, weighing in at just 3lbs 14oz. Those five weeks we spent with her in the NICU and in the Pediatric Unit at the Swedish Hospital in Seattle were agonizing. We felt so helpless. We prayed and shared many moments with other families who had been there for weeks, some many months, but all of us supporting each other with words of encouragement and prayers, sharing stories about travel, life, hope, and love for our families. Many of the families we met during that time at the hospital had children who were battling life-threatening illnesses, some of whom had cancer. I know I can’t begin to understand the true depth of emotions they were feeling, but as we buckled up that tiny little bundle in her car seat, shedding tears of joy that we could finally take our baby home, we said goodbye to the nurses, staff, and others who supported us through that journey and knew that experience would forever change our lives. We gained a new perspective on the gift of life, health, family, and community and were in awe of the strength and incredible spirit of these kids. 

Dream big, save money on travel, and save a child’s life with St. Jude and Expedia. Find out more and enter the St. Jude Dream Trips Giveaway.

Our hearts were full of gratitude for the doctors and nurses who work tirelessly to help our babies when they (and we) need it most. My baby is now five years old and starting kindergarten today. This experience was also the turning point when I made a commitment to dream big – to chase my dreams in family travel, leading me here, to hopefully inspire you to do the same. I share this personal story to emphasize the power of community, dreaming big, and how together, through our shared love of travel with Expedia, we can make a difference so other families can bring their healthy babies home. 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Expedia has joined forces with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help us put our love of travel to work to help families with children battling cancer. 

Well-Traveled Families Blog Carnival

Expedia is giving away more than 150 trips, including 30 big dream trips each day for the month of September with 100% of all donations being made to St. Jude. The giveaways last all month, and a new “Dream Trip” will be showcased each day. Together, alongside a community of family travel bloggers, including friends and fellow Expedia Viewfinders, Matt Villano, Kara Williams, and Carol Cain, we will feature some of our favorite “Dream Trips” during the month of September. Each week, here on this post, we will feature a round-up of the latest blog posts and dream trips featured by our expert family travelers. All you have to do is make a suggested $5 donation to earn you the chance to take a trip you will never forget, or donate $25 to earn a coupon towards future travel and help St. Jude find cures to help children battling cancer. 

So I’ll kick it off here. Let’s dream big and donate to St. Jude to go to Bora Bora

Featured Dream Trip: Bora Bora Bungalow Adventure, Le Meridien Bora Bora (airfare included).

As busy parents, my husband and I dream of taking off, just the two of us on a romantic tropical getaway to lounge away the days in our overwater bungalow at the Le Meridien Bora Bora. Here are the details of this deliciously romantic dream trip:

Spend 5 days in Polynesian paradise in your own private overwater bungalow. Le Meridien Bora Bora is a Polynesian paradise offering extraordinary views of the island and overlooking Mount Otemanu, as well as the Bora Bora Lagoon. Situated on one of the finest beaches in the South Pacific, the resort is an ideal retreat for those seeking exclusive and ultimate privacy. Enjoy two infinity swimming pools, snorkeling, kayaking, volleyball, paddleboards, and shuttle service to Anau. Visit the Turtle Sanctuary, a unique opportunity to meet, greet, and learn about marine turtles in their natural environment. Airfare included.       

Like this trip? There are so many more Dream Trips that could be yours. Here are just a few of the trips up for grabs featured by amazing family travel bloggers who have joined us in supporting St. Jude this month:

The Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui by yours truly, Anne Taylor Hartzell, the Hip Travel Mama.

Las Vegas Dream Trip to the ARIA Resort & Casino by Matt Villano, Wandering Pod

Vail Townhome Getaway by Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals

Laguna Beach Spa Getaway to The St. Regis Monarch Beach by Katie Dillon, LaJolla Mom

Find Your Bliss in Bali at the Conrad Bali by Sharlene Earnshaw, Trekaroo

Luxury Throughout Germany at Steigenberger Grandhotels by Ciaran Blumenfeld with Momfluential Media

A Luxury Shopping Trip to New York City and stay at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel by Kim Marie Evans, Luxury Travel Mom.

Luxury Trip to Morocco at the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech by Amie O’Shaughnessey, Ciao Bambino.

A Ski-Lovers Dream Vacation by Mara Gorman, Mother of All Trips.

NIZUC Resort and Spa Vacation by Keryn Means, Walking onTravels.

The Ultimate Alberta Luxury Pack by Nadia Carriere, Child Mode.

Unforgettable Golf at Sunriver Resort by Amy Whitley, Pit Stops for Kids.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba by Kate Thomas, Travel with Kate.

Carnival Cruise by Carol Cain, Girl Gone Travel.

Make sure to check back here each week, as we add more amazing #ExpediaStJude Dream Trips featured by our expert family travel bloggers.

And make sure to follow our #ExpediaStJude Pinterest board for some dream trip pinning!

What is your favorite dream trip? Share your favorite dream trips and raise awareness for St. Jude families using the hashtag #ExpediaStJude