When I started thinking about our RV trip to the US, I joined tons of FB group that talked about full time travel. Within minutes my eyes had glazed over and I was convinced that we had to have HUGE, MEANINGFUL. EPIC experiences every day or we were doing it wrong. Who knew there were so many expectations around family travel!
The first month of so, I tried my best to do just that. We stopped at every National Park we passed and did IT ALL. Junior Ranger? Yes! Hiking? Of course! Every day was a new adventure and we have amazing pictures and experiences to show for it.
Unfortunately, there was also a downside that we didn’t really talk about. I was exhausted and Evan was miserable. We both loved the seeing and doing but we (or I) felt guilty if we ever took a rest day. Honestly, living the fast paced life was pretty easy for us because there are only two of us. I can’t imagine if we were a bigger family! We were letting other people’s travel ruin OUR travel. Like anything else in life, we needed to do what was right for us, not what we felt we were “supposed” to do.
I don’t believe you need to buy into the “right” way to travel. Look, I love visiting places like Vietnam and Thailand but I also LOVE Disney. Don’t let people tell you that you have to do one of the other. Maybe they don’t “do Disney” but that doesn’t make them right and you wrong! However, even though I know this, it happened to me too.
Traveling with kids can be hard. It has challenges that solo travels will never experience. So leave the “must do” feelings at home. Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to give you the best family trip you can have!
Amazing Family Travel Tips
- Choose where you want to visit and make realistic plans of what you can accomplish while you are there.
- Determine your budget. Nothing makes travel more stressful than worrying over every penny because you spent more than you wanted to.
- Be flexible. A pool day may be just what the doctor ordered. A down day is not a failure. Remember, travel should be FUN.
- Take into account what everyone wants to do. It can be easy to let one person’s wants overtake the trip. Instead, balance activities so that everyone gets a day.
- Plan to incorporate the local culture. Traveling without seeing and experiencing the local life is a missed opportunity. Take a tour or just take some time to walk amount the locals at a market. Some of our most amazing travel stories came from these experiences.
- Try to visit somewhere you have never been at least every few years. Traveling far and wide gives us all an education that we will never have any other way. Don’t make assumptions based on what you’be heard or what other people believe. Many places are amazing hidden gems that people avoid because of preconceived notions or baseless fears.
- Make your trip your own. Think mountain ranges are boring? Well don’t visit just because Uncle Frank says you must! Are you an ice cream fiend? Well definitely make a stop at the local ice cream factory! I spend hours just browsing local markets. It makes ME happy. Dewey and the kids? Not so much. They have a pool day and I go explore markets. It works for us. Find out what works for you and just do it! Forget Uncle Frank!
In the end my biggest tip is to just GO! Save up and travel. Whether it is near or far, you will see new things, experience new people and LEARN. Travel is the number one thing you can do for your kids! Just do it!
Read about our Amazing Family Travels in these posts!