We look closely at the family traveller.
Now this could be the bog standard family of a couple with 2.2 children, single parent family, simply leave the kids and go or going away with teenagers and young adults.
Tip 0171 Participation by all
Top tip here is participation by all, unless of course you are planning a surprise travel adventure.
As we have said before, the planning and research is all part of your travel experience and what better way of getting the kids interested than actively involving them in this process and educate them at the same time with something they would love to do.
Making travel an all round pleasurable experience means that "Everyone" enjoys themselves.
Now with children of say an age of up to 10 or 12, they are in the "will go anywhere bracket" and usually will be more than happy to go, do and see whatever you do. Having said that, it is all about how you pitch your travel to them.
Tip 0172 Kids need stimulation
Wherever you go, no matter the age of your children, kids need stimulation! Remember that a childs attention span is a lot smaller than that of adults and the key issue here is "Kids have absolutely no concept of time!"
Tip 0173 Kids have no concept of time.
Initially planning together at home means that everyone knows exactly what is going on and can look forward to the various activities/adventures that will be associated with your travel. Keep a few surprises up your sleeve.
Tip 0174 Keep a few surprises up your sleeve.
When travelling as a couple with children, life will be a lot easier than single parent families and our obvious tip here is share the load.
Tip 0175 Share the load.
So many times we see, dare we say dysfunctional couples, where one seems to be doing everything and the other is just along for the ride. After all they have had it hard and want travel time all to themselves and their partner can deal with the dustbin lids! "Not bloomin likely!!!" Come on guys no matter your circumstances, travel unless on business, is for everyone!
And this means pre travel too peeps! This tip will not only let you have an awesome travel experience but will put you in good stead for a wonderful family life in general.
Tip 0176. Share the camera
We quickly mention to share the camera or filming here and we also talk more about this in our photography section within this website and direct you there.
This is because most of you will have, especially with the age of digital cameras, thousands of photos of the kids with mum and none of dad! or visa versa, are we ringing any bells here guys?
Tip 0177 Pack well for the children
Top tip here is, think well on your pre packing for the children. For international or even long distance travel, pay particular diligence to the back packs for children. Not only think of having lots of stimulation for them to preoccupy themselves but also ease of access and weight. You don't always want to be carrying not only you own gear around but the kids and their backpacks when they get tired, cranky or bored.
Tip 0178 Single parent families
Travelling as a single parent family is probably one of the hardest things to do and can quite often put you off travelling for this exact reason. Here you really do have to do a lot more planning and research and we really take our hats off to you.
Please don't be put off though and there are many of you that getoutgotravel and we often meet such families on our travels.
You will be surprised at how many people will help you along the way and are helpful and sympathetic to your struggles.
We need not offer advice for the type of travel families may wish to go on, as this can be just as varied as individual travel but if you feel that your children are of an age where they would be more suited to peer stimulation, of course researching travel where it is likely to come across children of similar age is a great idea and you can dictate how much or how little this takes place on your travels.
Tip 0179 Free of the kids
Be aware once they get a taste of freedom, you may never see them again until it's time to go home which may suit you but if you're planning on a family travel adventure to be as a whole family for spending quality time together, you may run into problems and sulkiness from deprivation of freedom during your travels.
Tip 0180 Teenage children near adults
Well we've all been there! Teens and turning into adults. Again unless you are really fortunate or have a young adult that is very homey or dependant, most teenagers are itching to become independent and none more so than whilst travelling.
We can only advise on one thing. Think long and hard when you get the "it's not fair" quote. All youngsters will eventually need to fly the nest at some point but our top tip here is, whilst travelling you may need to set a different set of parameters or rules and preferably have these in place pre travel to avoid confusion.
Remember you are not on home ground and a simple example, like getting lost in unfamiliar territory is totally different when away from home. We haven't even started on this one! There are so many things that can go wrong and please be aware that even if you have the most sensible young adult travelling with you, they need to be aware that things aren't the same as back home.
If you are planning on being free of the kids, really think about
quality down time on your own.
Tip 0181 Quality down time.
Sometimes this can be difficult as you may not have the luxury of family and friends to rely on.
Remember the importance of quality "you" time though. From the birth of your children you have been one to one with them 24/7 and although some families are quite content with their lot, others need some down time too.
Finally we round this section up with an awareness tip. Children grow up so fast.
Unless you are very lucky, you only get a short window to travel with your children. Make the most of this and take every opportunity to do so.
Tip 0182 Schooling and school holidays
We touch on this briefly as of course our children need a good education.
Personally we both believe that children travelling will learn a whole lot more than the standard curriculum but having said that obviously a good level of education is paramount to a child's all round character and advancements in life.
There are some that home school their own children and travel for them may be a little simpler but for the rest out there please be aware of your child's education.
Many schools and governing bodies are requesting and penalising parents/guardians for taking their children out of school terms for their travels.
We deem this prudent not to comment here, other than of course travel out of peak times are more affordable to most and here the dilemna remains.
If travelling during peak times is cost prohibitive for you and your family, we strongly suggest or recommend you find out whether or not you can, either get extra help for catch-up at school or take school work away with you to complete so they don't fall too behind.
Your child will struggle at school unless your child's school is sympathetic to or have the correct procedures in place for travel during school term.