Travelling with kids – same same but different…

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Life certainly does change when you have children and for the better. There are those that are able to adapt so well that they could pack their bags at short notice and have no set plans and head off on an adventure ….  Then there is me , Frenchie, where the travel agent and over protective mum kicks in. Where all holidays have to be plotted by myself months in advance, all details have to be carefully planned researched. Trip advisor consulted like my life depends on it…(I do love the challenge of holiday planning and it  becomes quiet addictive. BC (before children) I was far more spontaneous…ok a little more spontaneous – but to be honest I was not as concerned with the quality of a hotel or where we would eat shop etc.  I could wing it way back then.. really, honest… Here is proof: I went as an 18 year old on my first trip in away from family to  New Delhi India and stayed  in a hostel where I was followed by a stranger whilst trying to catch a taxi – Befriended and Indian police man on the return train home (I had a 36 hour journey)  as I was a little unsure of  being the only female in the train compartment !   

I even got myself into trouble at the American/Mexico border on a school trip as my teachers ensured I had a visa for Mexico but forgot the minor details that I needed a visa to re-enter the US – I managed my way out of that situation after getting lectured by the customs officer and a very red-faced teacher…  see I was a little more adventurous BC ….
Having said that, just because you have children in your life does not mean that your entire life must be placed on hold… you can still travel and visit the most amazing places… you just have to look at it differently. There are countless great blogs and websites that list all the tips and need to know information, and lots of them have done a great job at it, so am not going to re-invent the wheel on that one.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned whilst on travels with the kids is that you have to adapt your expectations to what the kids can actually cope with. One size does not fit all when travelling.

Here are some factors that you need to take into account when plotting your  next holiday:

  • Their interests ie do they love to hike, do they get bored at Museums after the first 5 minutes. They might prefer to swim either in a pool or at the beach.
  • Are the kids fussy eaters – allergies
  • Health requirements such as vaccines
  • The climate
  • Is the trip fast paced – allow 2-3 nights in the same hotel much better
  • Allow time during the day to get back to your hotel for a rest a swim in the pool if there is one
  • Are you using local transport vs car hire – are the distances/drives long
  • Entertaining kids while you are in a more tricky location ie Museum, restaurant
  • Travelling with kids does not mean you have to break the bank either.. a lot of families can’t afford to go on an annual holiday – mix it up – go camping closer to home for the weekend or explore your own city which most of us are guilty of not always doing.

The most rewarding travel experiences we’ve had the ones where we had the opportunity to catch up with other families on the road, the kids just relax a little and have friends to play with.  When it is just the four of us it is harder to keep the kids on track and there are times when you don’t feel like you are  on a holiday ..same as home but different location!

There are times when I am plotting my next idea for a holiday or a weekend away, that I  think to myself that it was simpler to just get away. However when we are gathered at the dinner table or on the couch chatting the Frenchie kids recall their adventures in San Gimignano and Legoland Uk like it was yesterday and this makes me realise that they do appreciate their travel adventures. Their lives have been enriched by the experience of new cultures, foods. In essence travelling with children is the same as pre children but with a twist…

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