I love talking to other traveling moms about family travel. As a family travel blogger, I think it’s important to show others that seeing the world doesn’t have to stop once you have a child.
A friend of mine recently complimented me on my ability to give my kids so many amazing adventures. As a family, we’ve traveled to Southeast Asia, Paraguay, and more recently to India. But I think it’s just part what you do as a mom. You share what you love with your kids and give them opportunities to experience your world, whatever shape or form that may be.
But my friend’s comment got me thinking. There must be other moms out there who love to travel with their kids, just like me. I thought about what their experiences might be like. How do they make family travel work, with the added costs and more complicated logistics? What was their motivation to continue to travel, even after having kids?
Meeting a fellow family travel blogger
So I reached out to a family travel blogger on Twitter – Marcie from the blog, Marcie in Mommyland – and asked her if she wanted to chat about family travel. Marcie lives in the Seattle area too, so I invited her to coffee near my work. When I saw her in person, I instantly knew we would get along. She’s bubbly and friendly, and very easy to talk to. And even though we had just met, I felt like we were like old friends, catching up over a cup of coffee.
And as it turns out, she shares the same outlook as me when it comes to family travel. Here’s a snippet of our conversation with my fellow family travel blogger, Marcie.:
What kind of family travel do you like to do?
I like to do all kinds of travel with my family. Mostly international trips. It’s a fun thing to do with my husband, but it’s so much more fun with my toddler. And now with this baby, I’m excited to travel with him too. Traveling with kids, you see these places through their eyes, and what they find interesting. So it’s a very different trip than when you go just by yourself or with friends.
Where have you guys gone as a family?
My son’s first trip ever on an airplane was to Thailand. We went for a big family get-together when my son was six months old, and everybody thought we were crazy for taking an infant on that long of a flight. But he was fine. He slept the whole way, and the trip itself was a blast.
We’ve taken him to Italy last summer for a family wedding. We did a cruise around the Greek Islands, which was phenomenal! It was a Royal Caribbean Cruise. They have child care, which was amazing. So even if I just wanted dinner with my husband, I could just drop our son off at the child care for a few of hours and they ordered him his food, and he got to sit and watch Mickey Mouse Club or play with friends. It was so nice!
What was your travel style like before you had your son?
My travel style was go, go, go, go, go! I’m a maximizer when I travel. I want to see as much as possible, because it’s so expensive to travel. I kind of feel like when you come home from your trip, you should be exhausted, because you’ve seen as much stuff as you possibly could. You should have ten thousand photos. You should really experience it, and you should spend the next month just kind of processing all the things you saw and experienced.
But now it is so different because I have to remember that my toddler has short legs. He needs naps. He needs breaks. He can’t go very fast. And it’s been really good to slow down our pace. We choose one thing to do in the day, and then do nap time, and then we’ll just see how everybody’s feeling after that.
I agree. It’s almost like you have to lower your expectations of what you want to see in a country or a place. So you have to say to yourself, okay, I guess my priority for visiting New York is just to go see Times Square, and if I don’t see anything else, it’s okay.
Exactly! You have to be okay with it. I figure when kids are a little bit older, then we can do some more fun adventures where we can do a little bit more.
Well now, you’re expecting your second child. How do you think that will change your travels?
I’m very curious to find out. I’m hoping that I’m not going to get deterred when he’s still a little baby, because I think, just from my experience with my son, we traveled frequently when he was under a year old. And I think that’s the plan again, because now I know I don’t need to bring nearly as much stuff as I thought. I can just put him in a carrier, and he should be able to sleep most of the time just on me, and we can still go and be out and about. And still have our downtime. I think it’s going to be okay.
I see from your blog that you guys are a multi-racial family. Has that influenced how you travel or where you end up going for vacation?
Yes. My husband’s family is from Hong Kong, which is cool because he still has family there. I love Hong Kong. It’s somewhere I probably wouldn’t have gone, had I not met my husband. I’m so happy that we’ve gotten to go, and his family has been able to take us to some really cool places, and given us a lot of tips and tricks. I’ve been able to do little trips into mainland China, and seen things I never would have seen on a tour. My husband’s family travels a lot, and so it’s been fantastic.
So then you get the travel bug from both sides of the family!
Yes! Yes! I’m constantly thinking, where are we going next? I’m always looking at the calendar, figuring out where we can go, what we can see, who’s living where now. It’s pretty fun.
Why is family travel so important to you?
I just love seeing new places and experiencing new things. And seeing things that I can’t find in Seattle. We have so much cool stuff here, but it’s so different to actually be in another country and eat the foods, or see the buildings, or talk with the people that live there. Just because it’s a whole other viewpoint, and I really appreciate that. Along a similar line, I want my son to be exposed to all different kinds of people and places, just because I think it shapes who he is. You can do a lot of reading, you can watch a lot of PBS, you can kind of get a sense of the world. But unless you’re physically there, and breathing the air, and seeing the sights, and just experiencing it, it’s just so different.
What is your best piece of advice for parents that want to do more family travel.
Just do it! I think people psyche themselves out, and they tell themselves, “Oh, when the kids are five, or when the kids are ten, then we’re going to plan our big trip.” I don’t think it should deter you. If your kids are babies or toddlers, even if they aren’t necessarily going to remember every place you went, it still changes who they are. Whether or not they actually remember it, it’s still inside them, it’s changed their brain, it’s changed how they see the world. So I just think, just do it, just make it happen!
I think I may have found a kindred spirit! Talking with fellow family travel blogger, Marcie, I couldn’t help but agree with everything she said. I travel with my kids for the exact same reason that she does – to really give them a hands-on experience of the world.
My conversation with Marcie made me realize that family travel doesn’t necessarily have to be somewhere exotic or adventurous. It can be something small as going to the town next door or getting to know a new place. The most important thing is that you’re exposing your kids to something new and different. It’s that exposure to new experiences that will shape how they look at the world in the years to come!
What family travel blogger do you like to follow? Share it in the comments below!
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