Making It Easy: Traveling The World (Or Anywhere) With Your Kids
We admit that we can sometimes be a little bit of a Walter Mitty family. The simplest of cues can suddenly lead to the most niggling thoughts and ideas, ones that we can’t shake. Instead, we start delving into all the research we can to see if it is possible and what we would need to do and what we should take into consideration. Luckily, we have this blog, so whether or our Walter Mittyness wins or not, it isn’t for nothing because we can share what we’ve found out with you. What are we alluding to with this preamble; traveling around the world as a family, of course.
Come on. How amazing would that be? There just isn’t a better way to make lasting memories as a family unit that to explore the world. No way. Of course, for many, it is a pipedream because, well, that is how they see it. It is a fairytale thingy that can’t actually be done because they are worried about homeschooling or the stresses or whatever else.
Well, after reading about all the amazing benefits of travelling the world as a family, we went and did a crazy amount of research of our own and and found some amazing tips to make your family travels that little bit easier, whether it be an around the world trip or short travelling adventure. And here they are:
Family Health Is The Priority
It’s at the top of every parent’s list, and for good reason too. Luckily, the major things to be concerned about are also considered to be the basic things, in the sense that they are relatively easy to protect yourselves against. These include things like taking out the right insurance plan, getting all the vaccinations you may need to meet the issues surrounding your destinations and those kinds of things. The worst thing you can do is be paranoid about your little adventure, though, because it is more than likely that you and your family will experience a healthier lifestyle elsewhere than you will at home.
Set A Steady Pace
The one thing you’ll notice is that children can tire quickly, especially when you are constantly on the move and doing things that their little mind would consider to be monotonous. Kids are kids. They want to spend a healthy chunk of time playing. That’s what keeps them happy and entertained and in high spirits, so don’t ignore this. The best way to ensure this happens is to make a note in all your planning that allows your kids a little bit of time to settle, play and recharge their batteries, and try and ensure this happens after you’ve been moving around a fair bit. Kids make friends so easily, and you’ll find this helps you make friends easy too. So make the most of this by getting to know a place when energy levels are dropping.
Play To Your Audience
You need to keep the age of your kids in mind at all times when it comes to planning the little adventures within your big adventure. Let’s say your kids are five and six, then you need to accept that going to Africa isn’t exactly going to be worth the risks of Malaria or the financial investment; wait until they are closer to ten in order to get the biggest wow factor. There are just certain cultural highlights that you will love and they will love and they will win out because if they aren’t having a good time, well, you won’t either. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t go to places that are “culturally rich”, it just means that you will need to do some homework and see what kid-friendly activities are around, which there will be plenty.
Have Realistic Wants
You may have always wanted to do a walking tour of Rome or a pounded the cobbled streets of Lisbon or got lost in the temples of Bhutan, but these goals may not be too realistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t try and achieve this, just be fine with it not happening too. The other thing that is important to plan for are the little things, like just chilling on that beach you absolutely love in the south of Spain. These things can be just as amazing as the big touristy things, so consider them when it comes to planning what type of adventure you want to have. Do you want to do all the tourists attractions or are you happy to sit in a gorgeous cafe in a European piazza while your kids play about. Do you want to have a relaxing next stretch or is it time to have an action packed week? If you sit down and chat about all of this with your family – as a family – then you will be able to work out exactly what kind of trip to plan for and commit to.
Home Away From Home
Life on the road can be quite exhausting and quite daunting, not just for your kids but for you too. This is especially true if you head somewhere that is completely new and amazingly different, somewhere like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand; those kinds of places where there are different cultures, different languages, different foods and smells and ways of doing things. As such, always try and rent a house or an apartment that you can make your base. This will mean you have a familiar place to go back to at the end of each day, a home away from home that will act as the stable place of comfort. You can eat in, cook, watch TV, do the washing and live the normal life you led at home, just in a totally new place. Not only this, but it will often be cheaper than staying in hotels, while it will also give you a much more honest account of what each location is like.
Rule Of Water
Kids love water. That is a fact that no one can deny and reason enough to try and always head to somewhere that has something water-based. It could be a beach that has gorgeous little waves that lap against the shore and no tide to worry about, such as the Med. It could be that you have found a resort with a pool that the kids can use and abuse to keep themselves entertained. Most hot places will have an epic water park or splash pad that you can visit too, and there is nothing that entertains a kid as much as a water park or splash pad. Period. That’s a fact.
Know Your Transport
There are certain criteria that you think about on this front, apparently, from entertainment to ease, cost to concerns. As a general rule, don’t take buses anywhere. This is especially true in developing countries. They are uncomfortable, hot, tiring, and they tend to be driven by people a need for speed and a complete disregard for safety. Basically, there is a reason they are so cheap. Instead, look into getting around the world tickets beforehand to conquer all of your big trips and to keep you slightly on the plan. Then take trains or boats where possible. Kids love trains and what’s not to love about a quick boat trip. Just make sure you have sick bags, games, and books on hand to help them relax and be at ease. Oh, and the better you are at keeping kids entertained on long-haul flights with children the more likely you’ll still be sane by the end.
Have A Budget And Stick To It
The quickest way to ruin an amazing adventure is to have financial stresses looming over your head. That’s where a budget can keep you happy. So figure out what your budget is beforehand, try and book your flights in advance and then figure out what your daily allowance is. That way you will be able to know what you have, where you have gone over and where you have saved. If you can make a note of this then you’ll be even less likely to be caught out. It is also worth deciding what things you really want to splurge on during your planning stages as well so that you can account for these. There are plenty of ways in which you can make savings too, such as using Skyscanner, Airbnb, and any other apps and tech that could help, while eating in or eating cheap can save you a small fortune too.