I have been travelling pretty much non stop since I was twenty. So when I started to consider starting a family I have to admit I was a little scared. Would I have to stop travelling as much? Would I be able to afford it? Was it going to be possible to travel with a young child? Would I have to put off travelling until my child was older?
These were all questions that I had. But I am a pretty stubborn person. I was determined to keep travelling, and not let my own passions and dreams fade away just because I wanted to be a mom. But even though I was pretty determined, I also wanted to make sure I was well educated. I started following other family travel bloggers, I started interviewing other family travel bloggers, and I decided to purchase some how to books especially on the topic of travelling with children.
I did a bit of research and ended up purchasing two “how to” books on the subject of family travel. I bought the Lonely Planet guide to Travel with Children, and Shelly Rivoli’s Travels with Baby guide. Both books have their strengths, and while neither told me nothing I couldn’t figure out from the internet, having the information in my hand made me feel a lot more confident that travel with a baby was very much a possibility.
Below I am going to compare these two books. There are tons of books out there about travel with children, but these are the two that I chose to purchase.
|Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children||Travels with Baby by Shelly Rivoli|
|Preparation||The being prepared sections has a brief overview on travel with different aged children and what to be prepared for. The book also compares different modes of transport and different types of accommodation and discusses what age groups are most suited to each.||There is just so much information in this book about travelling with a baby. The Ages and Stages chapter breaks down the age of your baby into three month age groups and discusses each age group in depth. There is also an entire chapter that discusses nap time, night sleeping, snacks, and feeding on the go.|
|Gear recommendations||A short section in the “Being Prepared” section outlines what gear to consider. It focuses on what gear to consider with babies and toddlers, but doesn’t make any specific recommendations.||Chapter 3 is all about gear. This chapter has a long list of gear to consider when travelling with a baby or a toddler. There are some great ideas in here like high chairs which attach to a standard chair.|
|What to pack||There is a short list of gear to consider for babies and toddlers, and there is also a full medical kit packing list.||Chapter 3 is all about gear and packing. This chapter has in depth lists and recommendations around what to pack, med kit list, clothing, gear, and a huge list of all those little bits and pieces that you might not think to pack but which are all really super useful.|
|Where to go||The book has sections for each continent and has a short overview of each major country. Each overview includes some of the top attractions in the country, some key destinations, accommodation recommendations and other tips like when to go, what to eat, and what to do.||This book doesn’t have any destination recommendations like the Lonely Planet book does, but it does have chapters which focus on types of travel. For example, there is are sections on travels by automobile, travels by airplane, travels by train and travels by cruise ship.|
|Travels with Baby||The book has quite a few tips and tricks for travelling with a baby. These tips are discussed in each and every chapter. There is no one chapter devoted to travels with baby.||When it comes to travelling with a baby this book really seems to think of everything. There is even a chapter on how to baby proof a new environment, like a hotel room or a friends house. It really has everything.|
|Travels with Toddlers||The book has quite a few tips and tricks for travelling with a toddler. These tips are discussed in each and every chapter. There is no one chapter devoted to travels with toddlers.||This book also has a ton of information about travelling with a toddler. There is even a section about potty training on the road.|
|Travels with Young Kids||Young children is the age group least discussed in this book. There are some great tips spread throughout the book though, that are applicable to young kids, like ideas for getting kids excited about travel and ideas for helping children document their experiences.||By the time you are travelling with young kids, you probably have most of the basics down. This book does have some helpful tips around preparing for the journey and dealing with children’s temperaments while on the road which are helpful with any age.|
|Travels with Teens||The section on travelling with teens is one of the smaller sections in the book, but by the time you are travelling with a teen you will have another fully independent person who is capable of making their own decisions and participating in the travel planning experience. Which is a lot less overwhelming then trying to plan a trip with a baby!||This book does not address travel with teens.|
|Overall Review||The bulk of the Lonely Planet book is child focused destination overviews, which is great for trying to decide where to go with your family, but if you want to learn about the nitty gritty of travel with children this is probably not the right book. The book does touch on travel with all ages of children, and also has a section on single parents travelling with kids as well as travelling with teenagers. Another unique section is one which discusses long term travel with children and moving to a new country as a family.||If you are travelling with a baby or toddler for the first time, then this book is a really great resource. It honestly has everything in it. It’s great for people who have never travelled with kids before and it will really put any fears you have to rest. This is definitely the book that I would recommend to new parents who want to travel with their children.|
So which book would I recommend? For me, as a person who loves planning and information, Shelly Rivoli’s Travels with Baby guide was by far my favourite read.