in Family Travel

Family Travel Tips with MummyTravels


We all love to travel and for some reason when you have a family everyone assumes it’s not possible. Our aim is to show you those travelling dreams of yours can soon become your reality. Ensuring you travel better, cheaper and for longer.

Introducing Cathy from mummytravels.com, winner of the Brilliance in Blogging award 2016 for best family travel blogger.

I’m an award-winning travel-obsessed writer who’s visited 60 countries and is never knowingly underpacked. I’m also mum to the mini traveller – aka four-year-old Minnie* – and trying to work out how to cling on to normal globetrotting life by my fingernails. The blog was set up when I was pregnant to answer the question of whether you can keep travelling with a child in tow, after everyone told me I’d have to stop once I had a baby. Aged four, she’s taken more than 15 overseas trips and countless in the UK.

*not her relationship name

MummyTravels.com Family Travel Tips

1. Best family travel / advice tip you could give

Always plan ahead – and then be ready to abandon the plan. Knowing I had food and entertainment, or had planned somewhere for lunch or to help her nap, and an endless supply of wet wipes always made me feel a bit more relaxed about travelling with my daughter when she was little. I soon learned she wouldn’t necessarily nap, eat or anything else when she was ‘supposed’ to but at least there was a back-up in place!

2. What is the most important reason travel as a family?

To show my daughter the world. There’s no greater pleasure or greater education. She’s had far more experiences this way and soaks up everything new like a sponge. I love rediscovering it through her eyes too.

3. Any tips to save money travelling as a family?

I’ve found some of the practical changes end up saving money – we stay in AirBNB or self-catering villas a lot more for the space and flexibility so that’s often less than a hotel. I’m also more likely to go out for lunch than dinner and hitting the bars!

4. How to you begin to plan for a family holiday?

For now, it’s usually looking at a holiday which tempts me or the opportunities I get – then I work out how family friendly it is. Although I’ve found that with enough determination and planning, pretty much everywhere is family friendly – there are kids worldwide after all. Now she’s a bit older, I like to talk to her about what we might do in advance or look at photos too, as well as finding it on the map. And I have a huge packing list so I don’t forget anything vital!

5. Tips on keeping the whole family entertained during travel? i.e. airplane / car journeys

When they’re little, it’s all about quantity. 10 things that will entertain for five minutes and then start again: books, stickers, apps, their favourite tv/films, colouring (water magic pads are brilliant). Anything interactive is ideal so lift-the-flap books for example and puzzles/activity books now she’s older. I usually pack a magazine or two as well. For the first few years, don’t expect to relax with a film yourself – then if you do, you’re winning.

6. How many family holidays do you manage to fit into a year?

As many as I can! She’s as happy with mini breaks as big getaways so we often do more shorter trips although hopefully a couple of bigger breaks as well. For the past couple of years we’ve done the #take12trips challenge to arrange one trip or day out a month and usually manage closer to three.

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7. How do you manage to afford to travel as a family? Any tips?

There’s no way I could afford to travel this much if it wasn’t part of my job. But it has also been great making the most of travelling out of peak season before my daughter starts school. I often travel solo with her which means we can squeeze in to one room (if we’re not doing AirBNB). Most of my available spare cash goes on travel though – I’d rather blow it on holidays than endless new clothes and nights out (although they’re in shorter supply without a babysitter anyway). I’m ruthless about selling things on on eBay for the same reason.

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8. Any destinations or countries you’d recommend to travel to as a family?

I’ve just come back from Burma earlier this year which was amazing – incredibly child-friendly although I’m glad I waited until she was almost four thanks to the malaria tablets. She loves the beach too: anything from rock pooling and sandcastles in southwest England to the Canary Islands, Caribbean and Florida’s gulf coast. But Copenhagen was also great with a toddler.

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9. What destinations have you found to be the most affordable and enjoyable?

The Canary Islands again – there’s a lot more to discover than the reputation suggests and they’re not too pricy if you stay in a villa. The same goes for Portugal. I’ve also appreciated the advantages of all-inclusive for the first time: we stayed in great ones in Antigua and St Lucia, both part of the Elite Island Resorts group, and there are so many things to do plus no worries about counting the cost of every ice cream and drink. There’s something to be said about knowing the cost upfront and travelling just outside high season was less than you might expect.

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10. What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve had to make by travelling as a family

To start with it was the spontaneity, being able to just head off on a whim without worrying too much about cots and high chairs. It’s still tricky to wander aimlessly with my daughter, something I’ve always loved doing to discover the destination. And as I often travel solo with her, I’ve missed a lot of the more adrenaline fuelled thrills which are one thing that really isn’t compatible with a preschooler. But I’ve had such wonderful experiences and found you really can still be adventurous with a bit of planning so I don’t think we’ve missed out. She’s also taught me to slow down and enjoy the moment a bit more.

If you enjoyed Cathy’s 10 Family Travel Tips, head over to her travel blog at mummytravels.com where you can discover more about her family travel adventures.

Article written by Adam Boston

Discover the most inspiring travel stories, must do adventures, and photography of the world seen through the eyes of Adam. Uncovering what the world has to offer, from one country to another.

Comments


Currently there's 3 comment(s)

  • Natalie

    Commented on 25/01/2017 at 20:02

    I love reading about traveling families. We always travel with the kids and find traveling an important part of their educational foundation. We live in a global community and teaching kids how to see the world wtih wide open eyes is a valuable gift.

    We like to get them thinking about their destination before hand so we read all about the culture and food, etc. which gets the little gears moving!! I’ve made lots of reading lists about world destinations!

    Always love great tips because a mom can never be too prepared!!

    Reply
  • Priyanka Pradeep

    Commented on 14/02/2017 at 12:46

    I have a 10 moNth old daughter aNd i doNt kNow how to travel with her. ANYWAYS your article is very iNspiriNg. i should start TRYING atleast
    Priyanka Pradeep recently posted…Top 10 must visit National parks in IndiaMy Profile

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  • Gwyneth Clover

    Commented on 29/03/2017 at 18:21

    Family vacations have the effect of creating beautiful memories that will last for the rest of people’s lives. Photos of family vacations can be viewed years and years after, and can be mesmerized as really good times spent together with the whole family. This is especially important when the family start segregating. As a parent, it is difficult to realize how fast time actually flies by. Children won’t always be children. Before you know it, your children will be all grown-up and you will have missed opportunity to spend the quality time with them. They will be living lives of their own soon, and their priorities will be focusing on their own lives, so taking the time for a family vacation now when it isn’t too late, is a must.

    Do not plan a too active family vacation that will tire you out more than relax you. A day full of activity and adventure should always be followed by a day of rest. Some family vacation destinations do not really provide an opportunity for a proper rest, as there’s so much to do. But if the children get tired, you will be the one who has to listen to their whining, and you will probably want to avoid that. In reality though, a vacation involves stress and is never all fun and games, so to speak. Plane flights get canceled, children can be a nuisance, family members might get enough of each other and want some freedom from spending so much time together.

    But when thinking about the negative aspects and putting the family vacation off, because of them, you must bear in mind that in 10 years you will only remember the good things: the beautiful places that you visited, the adventures and fun that you experienced, and the people that you met. Thus, the benefits of family vacation definitely outweigh the negative aspects. So, do not waste a breath and go on a family vacation as soon as possible!

    Cheers then.
    Gwyneth Clover recently posted…Health and beauty benefits of cabbageMy Profile

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