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Once upon a time, long long ago, I decided that it would be fun for our family to have a travel mascot join our trips.  I’m not sure where I got the idea originally but I’m sure I saw it somewhere and thought it was a great idea.  I chose Vacation Mouse (more commonly known as the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie mouse) from our collection of stuffed animals and off he went on his first trip.

travel mascot vacation mouse in family photo
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Where it all began… Here we are ready to begin Big Trip 1.

When the kids were young they would gladly carry him and hold him for pictures.  Now that they are teenagers, they prefer to pose the mouse in pictures by himself or with the dog.

travel mascot vacation mouse at albert the bull statue
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Vacation Mouse poses with Rocco in front of Albert the Bull.
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Vacation Mouse loves a good selfie! This is him with the world’s largest Duncan Phyfe chair in North Carolina.
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Just taking a walk on the beach in Michigan…

Unfortunately, we have almost forgotten to bring Vacation Mouse with us several times.  Even once he’s in the car, we sometimes forget to take him out to visit our various stops.  One solution is to let him ride on the gear shift so he is close at hand whenever we stop.  Sometimes he hogs the a/c though and I really wish he wouldn’t.

travel mascot vacation mouse in car
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If Vacation Mouse rides here, we are less likely to leave him in the car when we stop somewhere interesting. Unfortunately, he likes to hog the a/c vent!

Vacation Mouse has become a part of the family and has earned his own photo tag in my photo organizing software.  I’ve even had other extended family members comment if they haven’t seen him represented in our vacation photos, asking where he is.

Here’s a collage of some favorite photos of our family’s travel mascot.

travel mascot vacation mouse collage
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Some favorite memories with Vacation Mouse

I hope he (and I) have many more trips ahead of us!


Travel Mascot Inspiration

My crazy idea to add Vacation Mouse to our travels inspired my friend Allie to do the same.  Her family’s travel mascot is named Roadie.  They met at Barnes and Noble in Rhode Island about 5 years ago and were an instant match.  Roadie joined the family for their trip to Boston and they have been travelling together ever since.  Here are a couple favorite photos from Roadie’s family.

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A favorite snack of Roadie’s – blue milk!
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Roadie says that camping and fresh air are good for the soul!

Tips for choosing your travel mascot

  1. Choose a small mascot.  A plastic toy or small stuffed animal usually work best because they fit easily in your luggage or purse and can be posed on their own without blowing away.  Being washable may also come in handy.
  2. Choose a colorful mascot to help them stand out in photos (You can see that I did not meet this requirement!)
  3. Give your mascot a name and discover their personality. (Vacation Mouse is very recognizable as the Give a Mouse a Cookie mouse and gets much attention from fellow travelers who recognize him.)  Maybe your mascot wants his own Instagram page?
  4. Take lots of pictures!  Include the mascot in group photos as well in photos alone.
  5. Have fun!

Famous Travel Mascots

Seaman Jr., is a travel mascot named after the Newfoundland, Seaman, who went with Lewis and Clark to map the Louisiana Purchase in the 1800s. He is currently on a mission to the International Space Station on SpaceX CRS-15 to help celebrate NASA’s 60th anniversary and the National Trail System’s 50th anniversary.  Several stuffed pals are concurrently traveling along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.  Check out the various journeys and pictures of Seaman Jr (and friends) at the NPS Newfie News blog.

Like all famous travel mascots, Seaman Jr. posed for some official photos before his mission.

seaman jr travel mascot NASA NPS
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Seaman Jr in his official photo. He is now on his way to the Space Station. Prior to launch he visited all of the NASA facilities across the country.  Thanks to NASA and NPS for sharing the photo.

Most recently, Seaman Jr. was featured on the back cover of the Kennedy Space Center’s July 2018 issue of SPACEPORT Magazine.  Soon more reports of his adventures will be posted by NASA and NPS on a travel blog.  In the meantime, feel free to check out the press release for more information about his trip.

I, for one, can’t wait to read more about his important mission to help survey and photograph sections of the 3,700-mile long Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from space!

I think Vacation Mouse is feeling a little jealous of Seaman Jr’s exciting adventures.  After all, he has been to the Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Visitor Center and he’s been to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL (which were both fun), but he hasn’t been to space!

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Vacation Mouse is doing his best to help the kids paddle the Lewis and Clark keelboat barge.
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Vacation Mouse with the kids enjoying the moon landing replica at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville

Want to know where Vacation Mouse is going next?

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What about you?  Does your family have a travel mascot?  Have you ever met any famous travel mascots?

Every family should have a travel mascot! See our favorite adventures and find tips for choosing your own travel mascot.
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  1. Hooray for Vacation Mouse! Roadie is the main character from “Bear in Underwear” by Todd H. Doodler.

  2. Vacation Mouse may not have been to space (yet), but he certainly has got to travel with your three, little cuties! Nowadays, they may not be so little, but I still think they’re cute!

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