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Postcards to Seattle (and Great Ideas for your Family Travel)

September 14, 2023

Introducing Marissa Pedersen, a local mom, travel writer, and photographer who loves hiking, exploring national parks, and traveling to new places. Feel like your family travel routine needs a refresh? Marissa’s travel site, Postcards to Seattle, has lots of great ideas for new places to discover in the Northwest and America’s national parks. Marissa is one of the new partners for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). 


    SEA: Introduce us to your family! 

    Marissa (me) — I’m obsessed with all things hiking, national parks, road trips, and everything else the Pacific Northwest offers. I’m always looking for new hiking trails and hidden gems around the city to show you. 

    Derek — Dad, a software engineer who loves to golf, ski, and garden.

    Jasper — 5, loves to follow mom with his own camera and travel anywhere. 

    Kieran— 2, loves being outside anywhere by the ocean and watching baseball.

    SEA: How did you start traveling?  Decorative

    Marissa: My husband and I went to Europe for our honeymoon eight years ago and visited a handful of different countries, and that was my first time ever going abroad. I loved it and started my website to document all the places we went and write mini travel guides for anyone interested in them. At the same time, I started my Instagram account and began posting pictures of all the places we went. 

    When I got back, I decided there were large sections of the Pacific Northwest I hadn’t explored yet, so I started doing weekend trips to various places around Washington and Oregon and writing about those. Eventually, I learned how to monetize what I was doing, and quit my job, and I’ve now been a full-time travel writer and content creator for over six years. 

    However, my main goal has always stayed the same — to provide helpful information to anyone who reads my articles or sees my videos on social media, so they’re inspired to go on the same trip and know all the best places to stop.  

    Now that I have two little boys, it’s been so fun to see travel through their eyes — they’ve been to Hawaii, Canada, Arizona, California, and all over the Pacific Northwest. I love seeing how excited they are to get on an airplane and then reach a new destination. 

    SEA: What do you like about working with SEA? 

    Marissa: People may think I’m biased with SEA Airport being my home airport, but it really is one of the best ones I’ve been to, and that’s after visiting 30 countries and countless domestic destinations. It really knows how to showcase the best of the Pacific Northwest, whether that’s getting a grilled cheese sandwich at Beecher’s Cheese, listening to local musicians play while you wait for your flight, or finding your next read at Elliot Bay Book Company. 

    I’m thrilled to be working with SEA Airport over the next year to show everyone else all its great features, give recommendations on where to eat, and give tips on efficiently getting through security and to your gate. 

    SEA: Do you have any advice for people who want to do what you’re doing? 

    Marissa: I get daily messages from people online asking how they can get started being a content creator or starting a website, and my biggest tip is to just do it. There’s no “perfect time” to start, and honestly, the more you do it, the more you’ll get into a groove that works for you. 

    I’ll be honest — my first few years of Instagram posts and website articles were horrible — but I’m not embarrassed because they helped me refine where I am now. Every single time you practice taking photos, writing a caption, or publishing a blog post, you’ll learn how you can improve it for the next time. I’m eight years into this and still learning. 

    SEA: You’re an experienced traveler. Can you share your travel routine and pro tips on how to get where you’re going?  


    Tip 1: Plan ahead, but know travel never goes according to plan. There will be delays that are out of your control, and your kids will have a tantrum at some point, but that’s all part of the journey. Take a deep breath and try your best to focus on the rest of the trip or the fun things you’ve already done. 

    Tip 2: Traveling with two small boys, I always try to be prepared with tons of snacks as well as activities they only get when they travel so they don’t get bored of them. We have lots of waterless markers to draw with, busy boards to play with, and new books to read, so whether we’re in the air or waiting for a rental car, they’re always entertained. 

    Tip 3: While the children’s play area is amazing when traveling with little ones, we actually encourage the boys to walk around while waiting for our flight. That way, we all get some energy out before sitting on the plane and exploring new places to eat (because I still haven’t been to all of them, even with at least 100 flights out of SEA under my belt). 

    However, a few of my favorite places to go are Subpop Records to look at all the music, Made in Washington for the fun PNW gifts, and Ballard Brew Hall for lunch. 

    • Download the FlySEA app to get walking directions to these places.

    SEA: What are the things that you won’t leave home without? 

    Marissa: Whether flying or on a road trip, I always take refillable water bottles for everyone in the family and electrolytes. It’s so easy to get dehydrated when you travel, so these always help everyone feel better once we get to our destination.  

    • After bringing your empty bottles through security, search for “water refill station” on the interactive map  

    Also, more snacks than you think you’d need when going with the kids since they’re always hungry, it seems. 

    SEA: What do you like the most about travel? 

    Marissa:  I’m always fascinated by other cultures, whether that’s seeing how life is in India, eating dinner with locals in Argentina, or just getting coffee at a local cafe in a small town in Canada. I learn the most when I talk to locals and hear their perspectives on their area, culture, and way of life, so traveling has taught me to be more open than I used to be. 

    With kids, it’s now fun to have them try different foods or even meet other local kids at the playground and socialize with them. The boys love to travel and always ask where we’re going next. 



    SEA: How do you prevent your kids from getting bored while you’re traveling? 

    Marissa: We have some go-tos, like different Bingo cards, so they can look out the window in the car and try to check off their boxes based on what they see. My oldest is really into drawing now, so he likes to try to draw what he sees when we travel somewhere, and my youngest just likes imitating whatever his big brother does.

    I also try to engage them in conversation about what we’re looking at, where we’re headed, and what they’re looking forward to. While I mainly plan our itinerary, letting them pick an activity or two always makes them more excited. 

    SEA: What’s your favorite accessibility resource at SEA? 

    Marissa: My youngest is hearing-impaired, so I’ve become aware of and very appreciative of the auditory and vision assistance available at the airport for others who may need help. 

    For example, did you know that the airport provides services for travelers who are deaf and hard of hearing? Like sunflower lanyards so other travelers and staff know that we need more time or a little assistance, and remote video interpreters.  

    Follow Marissa Pedersen on Postcards to Seattle:  

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