Today’s interview is from Caz Makepeace of Ytravelblog. You probably have already heard of Ytravelblog as one of the biggest travel blogs right now. They blog about their extensive travels pre children, and their exextensive travels as a family as well. You can follow their adventures on the blog, twitter, facebook, and on pinterest where they are very active.
What was your travel style like before you had children?
We would live and work in other countries on working holiday visas and travel within that country during work holidays and weekends. In between country relocations we would travel for extended periods of time. Anything from 2 months to a year depending on finances. We were budget backpackers.
What ages were your children when you started travelling with them?
Kalyra first went overseas when she was six months old and Savannah when she was 8 weeks old. They have been travelling with us ever since.
Why did you decide that exposing your children to travel was important?
It is the best way for children to learn how to adapt and think for themselves. It also teaches them how to appreciate the differences that exist between all people in the world. I wanted tolerance and compassion to be something they just grew up being rather than having to learn it at a much later age.
What is your travel style now that you travel with children? How did it change from before you were a parent?
It didn’t change a great deal. We still did our expat travel. We just didn’t travel for those extended periods of time in between. This was purely because of financial reasons. If we had the money we would have no hesitation travelling long term with them.
What has been the most difficult thing about travelling with children?
The excess luggage is really the only thing I struggle getting a hold on. It is difficult to not be able to do some of the things we always loved, like hiking mountains and partying till the wee hours of the morning, but I’ve been able to accept that that is just the way things are for the time being. The luggage thing though…
What has been the most rewarding part of travelling with children?
Spending every day with my girls and watching how they interact with the world around them. It is like I am doing it all for the first time again.
What is your favourite travel memory of travelling as a family?
I think one of my favourites was our recent P & O cruise to Vanuatu. Savannah, our 1 year old, had the most precious encounter with a young girl from the local village. It was so beautiful that everyone stopped to watch it rather than watch the fire walking we had all come to see!
They were so excited to see one another and they jumped up and down and squealed with delight, holding each other’s hand and stroking each other’s face. It was that moment when I realized all the sacrifices and the decision to travel with my children was so right and so worth it.
According to your child, what is their favourite part about travel?
I like seeing the animals
According to your child, what was their favourite place you have travelled as a family?
New Zealand because Daddy did the Hakka.
According to your child, where in the world do they most want to travel to next?
What tips would you offer parents when it comes to travel with children?
Be very flexible. Things will happen and you will have to change your plans and sometimes even stop them.
Involve your children in the planning. What do they want to see and do? Talk to them about it before you travel to get them excited about it and after it continue talking about what they loved and learned. This helps them to understand the importance of doing it.
Travel slowly. Don’t try to do it all. You will all get exhausted and will end up going home early.
See our 25 tips for travel with kids
Are there certain destination or holiday types you would recommend for parents travelling with children?
We only did this for the first time this year and have since been on two cruises. We never thought we would like it, but we love it. It is such a great holiday for families. There is plenty to do for parents and children and it is very easy and enjoyable travel. Parents can easily get some much needed time out. Plus you do have the encounters with other cultures and countries, although it is a very touristy encounter.
Otherwise, I would recommend South East Asia as a great destination for families. It is safe, cheap, exotic and the locals adore children.
And finally – what are you upcoming travel plans?
We are currently planning and organizing for next year. Our problem at the moment is we cannot decide between a year road trip around Australia or a round the world trip. It all depends on finances and what we can arrange. In the meantime we are just doing little week road trip down to Bright, Victoria next month and possibly a few weeks in Thailand in January for some R & R.