Travel Guide: Travelling with kids – Off to Adventure Land
Travelling with a child does not automatically mean an all-inclusive travel package. Read about the opinion of Alex and Lars, founders of the "Große Pause" podcast and learn from their experience as a family hitting the road.
Lars, Lenni and Alex. That's who we are! The three adventurers of the “Große Pause” Podcast. Actually, we are in an awkward position. Lenni is a child of separation and unfortunately stays with us only every other week. But we want to show him the world – in a way it is usually not seen by kids. Off the beaten track and different from a standardised family holiday. Our situation doesn't stop us from doing exactly that. During small time-outs we travel again and again and show him great places. Travelling with a child is a special challenge, but we are very happy to face it. Because a child’s shining eyes comfort you over so much stress.
Why a time-out with children is essential
A small family holiday, whether by plane or by car, is enormously important for the development of a child. Everyday life can quickly become boring for children. And especially when school starts, you tend to travel less or only at certain times. It's the holidays – a flight is damn expensive, particularly to a popular travel destination.
But family trips can be very individual. It doesn't always have to be the crowded beach. When travelling with a child, variety is particularly important. Spending time together in a new exciting place is something special for every child. Afterwards they are relaxed, just like you... hopefully :)
A single parent friend of ours and her child are already on their second year around the world. For many people a time-out like this is unimaginable. But during such a trip a child learns much faster and more than in Germany. At home, every day is the same, even if there is certainly more to discover for children than for us. Abroad, everything's new. Especially long-distance journeys will definitely flash a child! Whether toddler or schoolchild. For example, we spent 6 weeks in Indonesia with Lenni last summer and he learned so many new things. There was no standardized booking at all. We did everything ourselves. And it was worth it! Whether a big city, a lonely little island or the deepest jungle. Every day was an adventure. Travelling with a child is an experience on its own.
Time outs can also be much shorter and a weekend at the Baltic Sea in a completely new place can be very exciting for a child and give its development a little boost. You don’t think so? Try it out and observe your offspring in its development.
Package holiday – a parents’ nightmare
A package holiday is actually still normal for many families. But we're getting together with more and more families for whom there's nothing abnormal. We are talking about standard package tours. Often spending way too much money, families travel to places that are totally overcrowded and where everyone speaks the same language – our own. The restaurant serves the same meals as at home. Convenient. Or simply not necessary? What is left to discover for a child on a journey when everything resembles home? Exactly, nothing! Even small children notice this very fast. A 7-day package holiday in a popular tourist destination, and 4 nights hardly slept. And this is supposed to be a family vacation?
As a family you should make sure to make something special out of it. This is not about travelling the cheapest way possible, but about experiencing something with your children and getting out of the comfort zone. There are many holiday ideas involving children. An old wisdom says: "He who strives for what everyone has will only get what everyone gets". So think a little "out of the box" – Natucate will help you spend a meaningful time out with your children! Voluntary work in exchange for an all-inclusive holiday in the Egyptian beach resort? Plus paying money for it? No way – that's what a lot of people might think.
But if you look back in many years, wouldn't you probably love to turn back time to be able to experience a real adventure with your child(ren)? Travelling with a child is an incredible challenge! But also a great chance to create a memory you as a family will never forget.
Trying something different – why not?
So why do many families still travel in such a way that children find it exhausting and often boring?
Especially journeys by airplane are not taken on by many people. For lots of parents, flying is a nightmare par excellence, especially with smaller children. We even know families who prefer to stay completely at home instead of going on a family trip where you have to cover a certain distance by airplane.
Money is another aspect. Travelling with a child is expensive! Especially when you rely on excessively tailor-made off-the-shelf products. Beware! Sometimes the “basic price” is indeed cheap. But the actual cash is collected on site, because you can't run away anymore, can you? :) In addition, lots of people think that long-distance journeys with children are more expensive in general.
Taking care of travel plans yourself prevents many people from doing something different. Of course, an unusual journey with a child is something completely unfamiliar and dealing with the planning process seems to be too complicated – that’s why doing nothing at all seems to be much more convenient. A seemingly better idea: A holiday with children at home or in an environment where you can find many other families. It's nice and simple, you're not alone and you don't need to take of anything yourself. This is how lots of German families plan their vacation.
Be courageous and do something different! An adventurous holiday with children can offer so much more if you have the courage and go other ways than most people do.
Exceptional journeys with a child – What you should be aware of
It's not that hard to plan great trips with kids and stay away from “standard destinations”. We can give you some advice from our own experience:
Choose one of your family dream destinations and don't pay attention to what others say about it. Most opinions on extraordinary places will be negative anyway. Too dangerous, too expensive, too far away etc.
Don't try to make a trip halfway around the world and to return home two weeks later. This is usually more stressful than fun and won’t give you the chance to really get to know a country and its culture.
Think about how to get to your place of interest and consider a slow pace of travel. Especially when you just arrived after a long-distance flight, it might be better to first make sure to settle in and to continue your journey a few days later.
Try to avoid large hotels on site, but rather choose holiday apartments close to local communities. You can find them on Airbnb and often also on Booking.com.
Make sure to not only plan activities for your children, but also for you as parents. However, choose activities that your children can also participate in.
Do not eat European food in a country where European food is actually not common. It usually tastes worse and is more expensive. You child will get used to the local dishes in no time and often also like them.
Enjoy the time – this is our most important advice!
If consider these aspects, it’s more than half the battle. The rest will be taken care of on site, for sure :)
Conclusion: Travelling with a child
An adventurous journey with a child, whether as part of a sabbatical or as an extended holiday, can be an enrichment for the entire family and an unforgettable experience. And it doesn't need to be a journey that you only do once in your life. Once you get the hang of it, you can repeat your trips with different destinations as often as you want. Because in the end, it's all just a habit. Yes, of course – you will have to spend time on planning, and sometimes you will also have to pay one or two additional euros to learn the lesson. But as a reward, you will experience an unparalleled journey.
Where to find us
If you liked the article and would like to learn more, then visit us on our website and subscribe to our “Große Pause” podcast. In our podcast, we will tell you how we are currently preparing for our sabbatical, will share the events during our time out and will reveal what happens afterwards. Lenni will also be part of it. We want to show him the greatest places in the world as often as possible. You can learn from these experiences and take them for yourself.
Furthermore, there is a community where you can exchange ideas with other families and people who are striving for a sabbatical. Discuss your ideas and thoughts with them. Together we can always go further than alone.
We're looking forward to seeing you! Alex, Lars and Lenni
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