Travelling with kids in tow is at times no mean feat and, as such, must be treated like a high spirited, fun adventure! It’s about involving them in all the planning (or lack thereof!) and embracing the different cultures, time zones and everything else thrown your way.
I found this very early on when we took our young three-year old to the Canadian Rockies. A short stroll around a rather large lake turned into a 4-hour hike in knee-deep snow as much to our surprise half the lake was still frozen! Our young girl, Daisy, took it in her stride and donned in a tee shirt and trainers, (with no boots, winter jacket or beanie to keep her warm) she simply relied on us parents to set the tone and approach. Once we realized we were up the creek with no paddle (including no food or water for our hike back to the lodge), we both put on a smile, made some jokes and treated the whole experience like one giant adventure. As soon as Daisy saw us having fun, she joined in and sang ‘we’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one!’…all the way back to the lodge.
That was a turning point for me. I learnt there and then that if we were going to continue living a life of travel and adventure with our young family, then we needed to ensure we treated every day and every new experience like one giant adventure. Having a sense of fun, not losing your cool or giving up every time something doesn’t go your way and not taking life too seriously can have a flow-on effect, whereby your children learn very quickly that they can tackle any hurdle thrown their way.
Travel is one of those things in life that you can’t always control so you need to let your guard down and remain nimble, flexible, adaptable and think quick on your feet. Whether it is flight delays, accommodation hiccups, natural disasters, weather issues, financial woes or simple things like losing passports or missing a flight…it always comes down to your mindset and your outlook. If you have a sense of fun, are level headed, adaptable and are armed with a good natured, level headed crew of travellers then you can overcome anything.
Travel is a core value of ours and is something my husband and I are very passionate about. We agreed early on that we want to sustain a life of travel and broaden our children’s minds by exposing them to new and wonderfully diverse cultures, allowing them to learn/see/absorb new experiences in life that you can’t otherwise learn in a classroom.
TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH KIDS:
1) Pack lightly. Easier said than done but with the right luggage choices you can actually be highly organised! Check out this carry on bag from Storksak which we love to use as it has a hanging organiser that provides the different compartments to put the nappies, wipes, bibs, toiletries in etc.
2) Pack the right pram! This is a must when travelling with little ones. We are big fans of the mountain buggy urban jungle. It is so lightweight, compact (not to mention stylish!) and can handle rough terrains including sand, pebbles and rocky surfaces.
3) Involve your kids in planning at the early stages of travel. Explain where you’ve chosen to go and why and then get the maps out and start showing them images and ask them what activities they want to do etc. By getting their buy-in early on and giving them a sense of ownership to assist in the travel planning process, it makes for a more collaborative journey and it’s fun for the whole family!
4) Encourage your kids to write in a paper journal on their trip at the end of each day. This ole school approach is a fantastic way to encourage reflection, improve their storytelling technique and to inspire them with their ever growing travel escapades and tales.
5) For young babies you can’t go past the lightweight Baby Bjorn One Carrier Outdoors. It’s versatile, stylish and you can hike around the Canadian Rockies with your bubs or toddler safely tucked in. It’s also fantastic for boarding the planes when you travel allowing you to carry your bags with ease. http://www.babybjorn.com.au/baby-carriers/baby-carrier-one-outdoors/
Likewise, if you choose to take your own travel cot then you’ll need one of these lightweight and compact cots that are easy to fold up and down. http://www.babybjorn.com.au/travel-cot/travel-cot-light/
6) If you’re travelling long distance or on international long haul flights, you should definitely check out the versatile cozigo. It’s an airline bassinet cover that allows your baby to sleep without the constant distraction of movement, noise and light.