Posted by: Gideon | March 9, 2010

Travel with Kids: What’s the hype??

Post # 28

I meet so many people all the time who are completely amazed at the places that we have taken our kids to or plan to take them to. It seem that a lot of these people don’t look any further than an all-inclusive resort by the beach somewhere. Mostly, they don’t seem to care where it is, what beach or even what country, so long as the dates and the price suit them. They might as well be vacationing down the street, if that offered them an escape from their kids, and some sun and sea.

I guess my approach to life is completely different – I don’t want to get away from my kids and I want to experience life with them, or at least as much as possible, until they inevitably grow up and don’t want to share their experiences with me. I want them to see with their own eyes that their everyday world is not the only world that exists, and that there are so many other people and places that are the epitome of the word “foreign” – I encourage them to want to know more about it.

How should one approach a trip?

Firstly, have an open mind. Know that the world is different, but that because of the differences it is fascinating -imagine a museum, zoo, laboratory, TV, internet and Wii world all rolled  in to one.  That is the world waiting to be explored. Build up the expectations – see movies, read books.

Think about common experiences – know that you will always be able to discuss and remember world travels with your children.

Don’t be afraid – the world is populated by people and families like you – they may look different, speak different languages, live a very different life, but fundamentally, we are pretty much the same.

Don’t be put off by the tedium of travel – air travel is not fun with a family, but it’s the way to get there – so don’t avoid it, and get your kids used to travelling from a very early age if possible. If you don’t make a big deal of it, it won’t be one.

Use resources – its easy these days to find information on everything, everywhere. From hotels to things to do, it’s all out there. Very little is private anymore. You just need to make the decision to go.

There are helping hands out there as well. Read forums, blogs, speak to people. Lots of  others have been there and done it before you.

There is no such thing as “my kids are too young” so we can’t go. Actually, when they grow up it’ll be more like “my kids are too old”. The door is open for about 15 years.

With all this in mind, I am now planning our summer trip this year – we will be some less well know places –  The Republic of Georgia, a mix of Asia and Europe, is our main focus and I have wanted to go for about twenty years. We’ll also be in Turkey, where we travelled extensively without kids, and to Bulgaria, where we have also never been before. Turkey is well on the tourist path these days, though we will try venture off that path as much as we can. And it’s not so long ago that Bulgaria was a total unknown – an East bloc country known for nothing much.

Let me know where you are planning to go? Or, if you have questions, just ask!

PS These days I’m designing fabulous family trips to destinations on five continents. For more info on how I can help your family, visit here.

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Responses

  1. I often wonder what the hype is as well. I have two kids and we have travelled with them since I was first pregant. When we went to France people asked, “Are you taking the kids?” My response, “Of Course.” Why wouldn’t we? We, like you, don’t want to get away from my children. My perspective of the world is much different since I have had my kids. Travelling before kids was doing and seeing the must sees and must dos. These I remember as hectic vacations. Traveling with kids has made us slow down. We notice places more, we have met wonderful people. The world has never been more accessible as it is today and as a parent they best that I can do for my children is to expose them to as much as I can.

    • Hi Rini

      You are so right!

      The fact is, that the world looks different when one has kids – priorities change, and that goes for travel “attractions” too – the major museums etc probably go down the priority list (at least with young kids on board), and the simple joy of being in another city or culture takes over – the parks/the active options available/ the markets and perhaps most of all interaction with the local people – they seem to rise to the top of the list, and we experience a place in a way we would almost certainly not have without kids.

      Thanks for the feedback!


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