Today, we’re going to talk about the joys of traveling with kids. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “joy” and “traveling with kids” don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence. But bear with me here, because there are actually some pretty compelling reasons why you might want to take your little ones on your next adventure.
Who are we?
We have been travelling full time with our kids for 18 months now. What started as a potential family gap year quickly got out of hand and now we find ourselves pursuing this way of life.
Benefits of Travelling with Kids
First of all, traveling with kids is a great way to create lasting memories. Sure, you might have to deal with the occasional tantrum or meltdown, but think about all the fun and exciting experiences you’ll have together! From trying new foods in Sri Lanka to exploring mountainous landscapes in the Dolomites , traveling with your children can be a truly enriching experience.
How to afford to travel
Another reason to travel with kids is that it can actually be more affordable than you think. Many airlines and hotels offer discounted rates for families, and if you plan your trip carefully, you can find plenty of free or low-cost activities to keep your kids entertained.
Education when travelling
And let’s not forget about the educational benefits of traveling with kids. Not only will they learn about different cultures and ways of life, but they’ll also develop valuable skills like problem-solving, adaptability, and independence.
Challenges of travelling with kids
Of course, there are some challenges to traveling with kids as well. I’m not going to pretend it’s always sunshine and rainbows (I’ve just spent a month in a very small campervan with them)! You’ll need to be prepared for unexpected setbacks, like lost luggage or delayed flights. And you’ll need to pack plenty of snacks … (I was going to say other things but essentially if you always have food, you should be good to go) and other distractions to keep your children happy and occupied during long car rides or flights. As much as boredom can be good for kids, no one wants to subject themselves to the torture of a 16 hour flight without some kind of distraction.
Should you travel with kids?
Traveling with kids can be an adventure that’s both rewarding and challenging. It requires patience, flexibility, and a good sense of humour. But all in all, I think the pros of traveling with kids far outweigh the cons. So why not take the plunge and plan a family trip today? Who knows – you might just create some of the best memories of your life.
Travelling with kids- Because life is for living
We started our full time travels after two years of living in a country with closed borders. In that time we lost a family member and were unable to travel back. The covid pandemic made many adjust their priorities. We haven’t been the most conventional family, choosing to live internationally, but we quickly realized that life is a journey, and we need to enjoy more of the ride.
We want our kids to experience the world, to see the good and bad and overcome challenges on the way. We want them to see the beauty of our world and experience it on a variety of levels and travelling is our way to do it. And most of all we want to share the experience with them, create memories that will last a lifetime and teach the kids that life looks very different to people across the globe.
Yeah but Why Travel WITH Kids?
Are you tired of having quiet, relaxing holidays? If you’re looking for a way to add a little chaos to your travels, bringing the kids along is the perfect solution. Nothing says “excitement” like navigating through airports with pushchairs and car seats or spending your days at theme parks with sugar-fueled little ones.
Now, catch me on a bad day and I’m not sure I could answer that! Travel with family is not always wonderful. But the good far outweighs the bad. Textbooks don’t do the world justice, we have an opportunity to learn about Greek mythology at the Acropolis or learn to scuba dive and swim with Manta Rays in Bali.
Traveling with kids can create unforgettable memories and strengthen family bonds. Whether it’s exploring new places, trying new foods, or experiencing different cultures, traveling together can help build lifelong connections.
Travel is not for you if….
Is Travelling With Kids Safe?
Yep, we are not taking the kids into a war zone so generally we feel travel is safe. Each person will have different boundaries and expectations when it comes to safety. We try out best to avoid situations we think of danger but that is what we all do in most parts of our life isn’t it?
Finding Family Accommodation
Again, a lot of this comes down to preferences for family travel. We usually look for apartments with cooking facilities, and if it’s a long stay, two bedrooms. No-one wants to be hanging out in the bathroom waiting for the kids to go to sleep! AirBnB, Booking.com or Agoda are all good starting points. Joining local facebook groups is also another way to find accommodation.
Keeping things cheap, Couchsurfing, Workaway and WWOOFing could be options for your family.
Keeping the Kids Happy While Travelling.
Kids are kids, they will love some of it and hate some it. We make a lot of decisions of what we do based on our kids because in all honesty, it keep everyone happy. We know that spending a day exploring Venice will need numerous icecream bribes but running around the top of a mountain in the Dolomites will be enjoyed by everyone (and there is enough space to run away from them if they start complaining).
What Travel Gear Will You Need?
Where and you planning to go and how much stuff do you want to lug around with you? We made the choice to stay warm…we have a thin jacket but you will mostly find us following the sun. Another element of this decision was we decided to only take hand luggage. You can see what we packed here. There are obviously essentials but you will be surprised how little you actually need, and if you decide you do need it, there is usually somewhere you can find it enroute.
What About School Work?
We are both teachers, Jak a primary teacher and I’m a secondary teacher. With both girls at primary age I just sit back and let Jak sort out the education!
But really, our learning is evolving as we go. Both girls have specific daily maths we are currently using the White Rose Maths Resources and reading/writing and everything else is inspired by our travels. We supplement their directed learning with some gamification, such as TT Rockstars , Prodigy and Night Zookeeper. We have used Brainpop for projects to support what we see around us and the girls choose an outschool class as an extra curricular element.
Our classroom can be anywhere and everywhere. We have the opportunity to follow our kids interests and ignite excitement in their learning. The best learning moments have been through observation, discussion and real life application.
How Do Families Afford To Travel?
This comes down to your priorities when travelling. Our travel style is budget travel, that means we get to travel for longer. You won’t find us in a 5 star hotel, you won’t get the Michelin starred food reviews from us but you will get an insight into stretching budgets and making the most of opportunities to travel.
We also slow travel, spending extended periods in one place. This often hugely reduces the cost of accommodation. We always try and stay in accommodation with a kitchen so we can cook for ourselves.
Ok, This is all very interesting but let’s not beat around the bush, we want cold hard facts.
It’s a tricky one to answer because you will find a whole range of family travellers on a huge range of budgets.
If you are thinking this is what you want to do, here are some strategies to approach working out your budget.
- Planning to work?
Can you take your job on the road or can you find remote work? Having an income inevitable eases the pressure on your budget but this obviously affects the time you have to explore.
- Work, Save, Travel and Repeat
Work hard, save every penny, travel and spend and then repeat the process.
Various organisations exist to make travel very low cost of free. Check out our post on petsitting (and get a discount!), but also check out Workaway or HelpX for international volunteering experiences, working for lodging and sometimes food.
Okay, okay so figures. I know that’s what you really want.
Destinations will differ massively but just to give you a ballpoint.
Our Europe budget was 150gbp a day. This covers accommodation, food, transport and excursions. We generally stay for a month which massively reduces the cost of accommodation and car hire. We work out a daily budget and track to see if we are over or under, and that changes what we do in the following days.
If we take a trip to the Acropolis, hire a guide and have lunch out, we will make sure we have a few quieter days to balance the budget.
We know that Europe is a more expensive destination so travelling in Asia or South America, our budget will adjust.
- 2023 Best Travel Gifts for Kids that they (and the parents) actually want!
- 7 reasons to use WISE for transferring money internationally
- Bali with kids? The best 7-day Ubud itinerary for families
As someone who the internet regulary thinks is a bot for the number of flight searches I’m doing- this is my thing. We are flexible with destinations and use this flexibility to our advantage but having a very broad flight search, utilising the skyscanner explore everywhere feature to search the cheapest flights. I’ll then back this up with a search through Kiwi.com, and once narrowed down, I will use googleflights and momondo to ensure I’m getting the best deals.
How Do We Afford Long Term Family Travel?
Everyone has a different answer to this. Pretty much none of them are lottery winners or millionnaires though. Every full-time traveler figures out their own way to make this lifestyle work financially.
For us, we both worked in an International School with bonus’s and flight allowances. During covid-19, the country was locked down and we couldn’t travel. Brunei is a very small country and while it has amazing activities, there isn’t a huge amount to spend your money on…so we saved. Once we knew that we planned to travel full time, we became much more conscious of where and what we were spending our money on…so stopped.
But savings will only last you so long, if you are planning to keep on travelling then it is time to turn your had to online career opportunities. Of which there are many but choosing what to focus on will depend on your personal preferences and skillset.
Now we are beginning to build our online ‘Empire’ 😆and are working to set up digital products, videography courses, content creation, drop shipping, print on demand and more. Watch this space, when we figure it out we will let you know!