Sean Astin remembers his mother, Patty Duke, taking him on a trip to Alaska that he describes as unforgettable. CREDIT: Saeed Adyani ... This photo was provided to the Chicago Tribune and deemed publishable by the Tribune Company and its affiliates without restriction, except as noted in the conditions outlined above in this caption .... OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, NEW YORK TIMES OUT, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION. (Saeed Adyani / / April 29, 2014)

To some, Sean Astin is known as Patty Duke's little boy. But for moviegoers who grew up with him, the 43-year-old actor is little Mikey from "The Goonies" or the plucky star of "Rudy." And with his portrayal of Samwise Gamgee in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, he became an international celebrity. Astin, who resides in Calabasas, Calif., with his wife and children, is one of the stars of the feature film, "Moms' Night Out," which opens on May 9. Fans may follow Astin on Twitter at

Q. What do you recommend that people do during their vacations?

A. That they put their cellphone in the hotel safe and wear sunscreen.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. The Yukon.

Q. What were the first trips you took as a child?

A. One of the earliest trips that I can barely remember was to New York from Los Angeles. My mom took my brother and me to Ixtapa, Mexico. She decided that she wanted to change hotels from the Club Med in Ixtapa to a resort in Los Hadas, so we drove through a monsoon over crab-infested streets. There were like 10 billion crabs! I remember we were driving and there was a cliff on the other side and cars behind us, so we drove over the crabs. It was really sad. But, we got to Las Hadas and it was the first place I ever saw a pool bar.

Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

A. Look up. It might sound like a simple thing to say, but don't have your face in a map or your phone or your stuff. I think most people get to wherever they think they need to get to and then they look up. Driving between the airport and train station, look up and see what's around you.

Q. Where was a fun place to shoot a film?

A. We shot "50 First Dates" in Hawaii. We were in Oahu and stayed at the Kahala Mandarin Hotel. They had a little lagoon with dolphins in it, which was fine with us.

Q. Aside from location shooting, do you incorporate your travels into your work?

A. Yes! I have this political (radio) show ("Vox Populi") and wherever I go there seems to be something relevant to the idea of the government. The other day I was in St. Louis and I went up to the (Gateway) Arch and did a little piece. And then I was in D.C. and got a shot of the Capitol Building behind me. Wherever I go, I can't help but incorporate some of the local scenery or the people.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Disney. I have children and we live in Los Angeles. Enough said.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Florence.

Q. If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. There have been so many. My mom took us on a trip to Alaska when we were kids. That was pretty spectacular. We took helicopters to the top of glaciers and flew on a seaplane and did some salmon fishing. Awesome.