7 Questions with Suzette Mack

suzette-mackFor more than 16 years, Suzette Mack has been planning travel experiences for families. As a mother herself, Suzette understands the importance of showing your children the world and has helped countless families plan trips around the globe. Suzette has a love for the outdoors and a special spot in her heart for Alaska. Learn more about her below!

1. What 5 things do you always have in your carry-on?

Headphones – I prefer listening to podcasts rather than reading, I often have trouble focusing on a book when flying.

Protein bars –Which usually end up going to one of my kids instead of me.

Dual voltage extension cord – With a USB port and multiple 3 prong outlets. This was a Christmas gift one year for my kids, too, no more arguing over hotel room outlets!

Band Aids – Murphy’s Law…

Mints – They curb my sweet tooth and keep me from snacking too much.

IMG_57402. What was the best meal you’ve ever had while traveling?

For years we talked about the amazing tacos we had at a tiny roadside stand in Akumal. But that just fell to #2 on our list after lunch at a winery in Tuscany. Everything was homemade by the owners, including wild boar ragout and capicola, from their own boars! And the Brunello they served was perfect with it. We are hoarding the six bottles we shipped home. (Though I’m not sure where to get some wild boar to go with it.)

3. If you could leave today and go anywhere, where would you go?

Africa or Australia/New Zealand. When we visit a place, we visit it thoroughly (see travel motto below). But with busy teens, it’s hard to find the time we’d like to commit to these destinations.

4. What popular destination lives up to the hype?

Alaska. I’ve been traveling there for the past 20 years, and every time I go I am in awe of the natural beauty and wildlife. And I love hanging out with the locals…they have some of the most interesting stories.

DSCN06105. What is your go-to getaway?

Living in California, I have the luxury of alternating between the coast and the mountains. I could spend all day watching the waves crash on the shoreline at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. But I have to say my very favorite is the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. I love being surrounded by trees, and, because it’s perched right on the mountain, there’s great hiking, mountain biking, and skiing right outside the door.

6. What is your travel motto?

Slow down. We rarely spend less than 3 nights in any location. Besides seeing the major tourist sights, we want free time to just wander and see what life is like for the locals. On our first trip to Alaska, we stumbled across a Little League championship baseball game at midnight in a residential neighborhood in Fairbanks, that was pretty cool. We are science nerds, too, so we seek out things not on the average traveler’s bucket list, like the Leonardo da Vinci museum in the town of …Vinci!

7. What is your travel extravagance?

It’s not really extravagant, but we all have our own snorkel gear, which we schlep along in one big duffel bag to beach destinations. We are snorkel snobs, and will be in the water almost every day. My kids have been comfortable hopping off boats & kayaks in snorkel gear since they were very young.

To learn more about Suzette, visit her website: http://www.family-treks.com/.