Since the birth of our little one five years ago, our adventurous travels have been restricted to camping trips at one end of the scale and to all-inclusive family resorts in the Algarve at the other. But with our youngest reaching the trip minimum age of 5, we decided to book Intrepid’s Thailand Family – Land of Smiles.
I began reading the trip notes that I downloaded and my excitement was building around seeing the elephant sanctuary, hill top temples and exploring the khlongs of Bangkok. But there was also some nagging concerns about travelling as a family.
It’s summer in North America and that means that I’m gearing up kids for my family travels yet again.
The definition of family is evolving and I’m one of the growing numbers of people who are defining family in a rather untraditional way. My family doesn’t have the traditional mother and father with children. Instead it is just me – an aunt with 6 nieces.
The camel’s lashes drew closer and closer as he slid into sleep; my seven-year-old daughter Julie rubbed his curly-haired head as he drifted into dreams upon the sand.
My son Ben, ten, was sure he saw Jedi knights in the twisting alleyways of Morocco’s medinas, for the men’s jelebas (cloaks) looked a lot like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s.
These are memories from our Kids in the Kasbahs trip. When traveling with children, the world becomes full of wonder.
“How did people build a temple as big as Angkor Wat 1,000 years ago before machines?”
“Why does $1USD buy so much of the local money?”
“Why were Americans fighting in Vietnam?”
These were some of the many questions my children asked during our two weeks travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia with Intrepid. They also asked more unanswerable ones, like “Why would Pol Pot kill people just for being educated?” Or less perplexing, but equally tough to answer, “Why is everyone always beeping their horns?”
“How the heck am I supposed to choose from any country in the world?”
This was the question that Evie Ott asked herself for years, from the moment Evie’s aunt told her that she would take her anywhere for a week. Evie’s aunt happens to be Sherry Ott, travel blogger extraordinaire and brains behind The Niece Project, so when Sherry said “anywhere”, Evie knew she really meant it…
You’re never too young to get bitten by the travel bug, but luckily for Adam Slater he found a way to scratch that travel itch by joining the very organisation that was responsible for his first overseas trip…
“When you work at a travel company – it doesn’t take long to realise that wherever you go, there’s always someone around the office who has been there before you.
Family travel can play a strong role in the education you offer to your children and grandchildren. Lynn O’Rourke Hayes from familytravel.com has 5 great tips for you to consider when deciding where you should go…
Reflect your values
The travel choices you make can send a strong message to your loved ones about what matters most to you. Consider the family travel bucket list as a thoughtful and deliberate reflection of your own values, hopes and dreams. So before you begin listing desired destinations, ask yourself what aspects of the world – geographically, spiritually and culturally – you want to share with your children, grandchildren and perhaps other friends and family members.
Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you lose your sense of adventure. Christian Wolters, Intrepid Canada Vice President Sales and Marketing, knows this better than anyone, since his son’s first overseas trip was to Cuba…
“Back in 2011, my wife and I took a trip with my 2 year old son to Cuba. We didn’t want to stay in a resort as we wanted to explore the interior and experience the vibrant Cuban culture. As a history buff, I wanted to visit historic sites, especially after watching ‘Che part 1 & 2′. I yearned to visit the Bay of Pigs, explore the train that Che destroyed in Santa Clara and witness the relics form the revolution everywhere.
Picture this – you spend your youth backpacking, discovering some of the world’s most remarkable locations and getting away from the tourist traps. Then you get a little older, fall in love and soon you’re a parent – surely your days of adventure are behind you, right? Wrong!
In fact, Intrepid Travel is proving that travelling with kids can be even more rewarding than travelling solo. Intrepid’s co-founder Darrell Wade says that travelling with his family has opened up a whole new way of discovering the world; however, initially he was worried that his backpacking days were over…
Any trip that helps preserve “family travel sanity” is bound to get a thumbs up. Intrepid traveller Elaine Phelan explains why Vietnam proved to be her family favourite…
“I can tell you our Vietnam Family Adventure will stay with us a lifetime. We travelled from north to south, which was great because we experienced the nice juxtaposition of travelling from the culture shock, crowds and chaos of Hanoi to the modern, exciting Ho Chi Minh with its wide boulevards, French Quarter and culture.