weird and wonderful world of family travel

People tend to be curious about our journeys with the kids, currently aged 6 and 9. They have come along on our journeys since they were born, and can still remember lots from places like Cuba, Vietnam, Morocco, Thailand, Laos as well as places closer to home. Normal questions are ‘How do you do it?’ ‘Do you book hotels in advance?’ ‘What do the kids eat?’ and so on…

What will today bring? Morning glory in Luang Prabang

In this post we’ll lift the curtain and shine some light on what goes on behind the scenes of family travel. Here are the basic questions answered:

What do the kids eat?

This question always makes me giggle. My kids are NOT the most adventurous of eaters – at home. They’ll cringe at the sight of peas, carrots, lentils and tomatoes. However, stick them on a street café in a back alley in Luang Prabang, and they’re willing to try anything. ANYTHING. Duck fetus, sure! Fried bat, yes please! Scorpion, why not? Snake, yummy! The list is long. I have no explanation to this, other than maybe I’m just too A4 in the kitchen? The bottom line is, when you’re on the road with your kids, they’ll cope with just about anything as long as their parents encourage them and provide them with a secure backdrop when the surroundings become a bit too alien. Also, I think it’s important to chill out when it comes to food. Living on pasta, rice, eggs on toast and fresh fruit for a month is ok!

Give it to me! Mattis eating duck fetus (left) and scorpion (middle). Siena is happy with her street food and chop sticks.

Do you book hotels in advance?

We rarely book hotels in advance. This would limit our flexibility to stay longer in a place if we really like it. Having said this, we always make sure to have a reservation for our first night after the long haul flight from Europe. We also tend to arrange to be picked up by hotel staff at the airport. This takes the stress out of a potentially highly stressful situation, and is always worth the extra few dollars. Apart from this, we tend to guide ourselves by Lonely Planet or other suitable travel literature along the way. Sometimes we may phone in advance to secure a booking with a particularly desired hotel or hostel, especially if there’s a bank holiday or other festivities happening.

The hotel in the picture below is a great, little place in the centre of Bangkok. It’s a garden and a tadpole pool, a piano and a very arty, laid back atmosphere. A vintage kind of place with some seriously delicious smoothies! It’s called Phranacorn Nornlen, and we are totally recommending it!

We booked this hotel in advance, because we had read that it was child friendly.

How do you do it?

We do it the same way as we would have done it without the kids, only trying to limit the amount of hours spent on transport per day. This is not to say that we don’t do overnight journeys, or time consuming bus rides. As every traveller knows, sometimes it has to be done. Then it’s a matter of preparing the kids for a day of being stuck inside a vehicle, and of course, focusing on what we’ll be able to enjoy once we reach a destination. It may be a beach, a cave, a city or simply a hotel. Either way, the vagabond parent’s secret weapon is always to create anticipation and excitement! Oh, and of course, we always stack up on lots of local goodies. Seaweed flavoured Pringles killed at least one hour on our way from Bangkok to the island of Ko Chang.

Once the kiddos know that there's a bonus like this at the end of that tediously long bus ride, they're more likely to keep going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks EasyJet, for choosing this post as your blogger of the month!

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7 comments on “weird and wonderful world of family travel

  1. Excellent insight into planning your trips around with kids.
    Mine aren’t as adventurous. Free Tip if travelling far on one day try to wear them out the previous day with exercise such as swimming and walking etc.

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Travel blogs in September

  3. Pingback: Child friendly Bangkok « Photito's Blog – a travel journalist confesses

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