Why Let Parenthood Get in the Way of Travelling?
The world is full of people who wished they went travelling. Walk into almost any bar in any city on a Friday night, and you’ll find someone who’ll tell you that if circumstances had been different they would have packed a bag and went and explored the world. Their reasons vary, from money to relationships. Parents will tell you they made the trade between traveling for parenthood. But the truth is, these things aren’t mutually exclusive – there is a community of parents who travel successfully full time with their kids. It’s not for everyone, but for those who make it work, it’s a fulfilling and enchanting experience.
The first thing backpackers who trot the globe with their offspring will tell you is that it’s an unconditionally different experience than doing it solo. Sometimes you have to go when you need to stop, and sometimes you have to stop when you need to go. Situations will demand virtues from you that will gift you enlightenment and growth – primarily patience! But then again, what parent is patience not demanded from, right? We take a look at some indispensable advice from those traveling the world with a bag on their back and a tiny palm in their hand.
Get the Accommodation Right
Getting your expenses in order often means compromising on accommodation, and traveling solo often leads to spending the night in some questionable hostels and guest houses – which isn’t an option with children. So the first thing is safety, while an adult may be able to navigate their way round a dodgy room with trip hazards, questionable construction and sharp edges in exchange for a cheap nights rest, this just isn’t the case with little ones. While winging it is often demanded of those traveling, nothing compares with research a few days before – in the age of the internet, hostels, hotels and guests houses are thoroughly reviewed online. Planning ahead wherever possible with a site like Hostelworld can really make the difference.
Let the Kids Have Their Own Bag pack
By giving the kids their own backpacks it gives them a responsibility which (hopefully!) they will cherish. Involve them in the experience, let them pick the color and have an input into the style. Get a good quality one that the kids will love but will also be practical, from somewhere like ergobag. Guest houses can get messy, and when the kids have their own bag they can put their washing away in their bag, gifting them responsibility, while you get something out of it yourself. There are also additional perks like if they see something they just have to own, you can remind them that they have to carry it around with them.
Let Them Have a Say
Including them in decision making (strategically of course) will benefit everyone, as it gives them a sense of empowerment that they will repay you with in effort later in the trip. If they want to go to Disneyland Park while you’re in California, why not take them?
Don’t Expect Too Much of Them
You should always be prepared for kids to just give up on stressful days, maybe you’ve walked too far, or maybe lunch is an hour later that day. Whatever it is, always have a plan so that you won’t find yourself looking for accommodation at 10:30pm in a remote village in Greece.
If you do decide to go traveling with kids, you’ll be experiencing the world in a completely different way from almost anyone else. Even the sternest of taxi drivers will let their guard down when they see you with kids, and people will go that extra mile to help you.
You could very well be just about to embark on the most special experience of your life. Have fun!