How To Keep Travelling As Your Family Grows

18 December 2019

This blog post is a contributed post.

Photo Source - CC0 License

When you’re young, you don’t realise the fantastic opportunities that are waiting just around the corner. Life is far easier when you don’t have a family to look after. You have more freedom, which means you can pretty much do what you want. There are fewer financial restrictions, and this allows you to travel the world to your heart’s desire. 

I’m not saying that having children is a bad thing at all. It’s the most special thing you can ever experience in life. But, it does make certain things harder than they once were. For a lot of families, this includes travelling. The simple fact is that you don’t have the time or money to travel as often as you used to. Does this mean you’ll never be able to travel again? No!

In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much travelling you can still get through if you’re smart about it. Sure, the travel process may change, but you can still go out and see a lot of the world. So, if your family keeps growing - and you want to know how to fit your travel ambitions around this - then here are some ideas to help you out: 

Find Family-Friendly Holiday Destinations
What’s better than travelling on your own? Travelling with people you love and care about. Instead of trying to think of ways that you and your partner can go on holiday, consider bringing the whole family along with you. A family holiday once a year is a wonderful tradition to start. It creates memories that your children will live with forever. Some of my fondest memories from childhood include holidays with my parents and our family. It’s genuinely special, so take your kids with you for some fun. 

The trick is finding destinations that suit your family. Can you take everyone to a place like Bali or Bangkok? You could, but your kids wouldn’t have much to do. Instead, look for destinations of holiday ideas that everyone can enjoy. I was reading an article called Kids Costing You A Fortune? Here Are Some Ways To Save, and it talked about the idea of Disney World for a family holiday. This is a clever idea as it gives your kids something to really enjoy while also taking you to a new place. There are Disney parks all over the world - Paris, Florida, China, etc. It could be the perfect opportunity to explore a country that’s new to you while ensuring the kids are entertained. 

There was also a note in that article about cycling between going big and going small. In essence, you can’t afford a massive family holiday every year - or multiple times per year. So, explore small family getaways that don’t cost too much as well - like a day trip to somewhere local. 

Arrange Travel During School Holidays
A significant issue - when you have a family - is that your schedule suddenly becomes locked up. Before, you could take time off whenever you felt like it to go on holiday. As long as you gave notice at work, and you still had holiday days to take, then there were no problems. Now, you can’t really do that. 

Your children have schedules of their own, and you’re in charge of maintaining them. When you have a baby, they don’t really do a lot - but you still need to look after them. The key problem is when your kids are old enough to go to school. Now, you have to juggle your own schedule with their school one. You can’t really go on holiday whenever you like because your children will get pulled out of school. Or, they won’t be able to stay on their own and sort out their own schedule. 

Instead, the best approach is to arrange travel during school holidays. This way, if you do bring your kids along, then they won’t miss any school. However, if you need to find someone to look after your children - like your parents - then it’s much easier for them to do this when the kids aren’t at school. It’s unfair to lump your parents with your kids and force them to deal with the school runs every morning, homework, etc. But, if school isn’t on, then their life becomes a lot easier. Now, you can travel without feeling guilty. 

Take Advantage Of Kids Go Free Opportunities
Probably the biggest problem is that travelling becomes so expensive when you have a family. Before, you’re paying for two people. Now, you’re paying for an extra one, two, maybe even three or four people! This adds money to the transport costs, it forces you to pay for larger accommodation - which usually makes everything more expensive. 

There are a couple of ways to reduce these costs. Firstly, you should look for any instances where children are free. Some airlines won’t charge you for a ticket if your child is below a certain age. So, that’s an instant win in my book. The same goes for some accommodation places as well. Often, they don’t count children of a certain age as guests. As such, you could buy a room for two, but keep three people in there. 

Then, you have attractions where kids-go-free. Look around for these, and it can lower the costs during your family holidays. If you don’t have to pay for your children to do specific things, then it’s much easier to manage your budget. 

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Move Away From Hotels
Nowadays, people seem to shy away from hotels. This is thanks to the growth of Airbnb. People realise that you can save so much money by renting a small apartment or house, instead of renting a hotel room. The simple fact is that this can help you travel when you have a big family. Even if you travel as a pair - without the kids - staying away from hotels will save money. 

But, it’s obviously more advantageous when the whole family comes along. Instead of renting out a massive hotel room - which costs a fortune - you can rent a small Airbnb or apartment. Sure, you lose out on amenities, but it’s worth it. Half the time, you don’t take advantage of all the features of a hotel anyway. So, save money, and make travelling more affordable. 

Weekend Trips Away
I mentioned earlier about the idea of planning holidays around school schedules. Well, you can actually do this during the school year as well. Travelling with your family is incredible, but you sometimes need some time to yourselves. Obviously, you don’t want to pack your bags and go on a two-week holiday without your kids! It’s unfair on them, and it’s unfair on whoever has to look after them. 

Having said that, you can go on mini-breaks instead. My idea is to travel on weekends. Take a little city break from Friday to Sunday, and you can enjoy the best travel experiences. Often, when you’re limited on time, it makes it better. Now, you try and do loads of things in a shorter period. As a result, you may experience more things than if you stayed in the same place for a week. Plus, you get to keep costs down with a shorter break, and you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your kids with their grandparents. 

Don’t assume that your travelling days are over when you start a family. You can easily enjoy the wonders of travel if you play your cards right. Use this advice to plan your next holiday or weekend break, and you can keep making amazing memories. 

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