Last Updated on October 20, 2020 by worldoftravelswithkids
We get many questions here at World of Travels With Kids that we thought it would be helpful and interesting to put all of our most asked questions in one post.
So tell us a bit about your adventures so far?
Answer: We are a family of 4; Ariana is from Western Australia, and Norman from Nicaragua. Travel and adventure is what we do! Our daughter was born in Peru, and we spent the first couple of years of her life in the Andes and traveling around the Americas. However, parenthood changes you and Ariana felt the need to be raising kids in her culture, with her family nearby.
For the first 2 years back in Australia she felt like a foreigner as Peru was her home. For Norman, adjusting to life as a migrant was (and is) difficult. Though there are days when we still desperately miss Latin America, Australia is now home. During this period of adjustment we’ve had trips back to Nicaragua and Peru, but also begun to spread our wings with family holidays to Bali and Fiji. By about 2020 we hope to be heading off on longer adventures around the world.
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Your blog mentions that enjoy responsible travel, can you please tell us a bit more about what that means?
Answer: The terms responsible travel, sustainable travel, and eco travel are all complicated to define and even harder to do in practice! For us, responsible travel is about “doing the right thing” according to our personal values, which are pretty ordinary: treating people and the planet “right”! It is a really simple way of approaching travel. If you “treat people right” it means being courteous, and respectful of their culture and customs. If you treat the planet right, it means not using plastic bags, or littering, and taking public transport where possible (among other things).
In short, responsible travel is about being conscious about the impact you have as a traveler and trying to mitigate any negative impacts. We don’t believe that it is responsible to fly into a country, go to a resort and have no interest in the local culture while you are there.
What are your top three favorite family destinations that you have visited and why?
Answer: We have come to understand that what is typically defined as a “family destination” includes the safety of a resort, Kids Clubs, nannies and all-inclusive meals. Package resorts are not for us. We prefer a place where we can all enjoy ourselves, eat great food, learn new things and have a bit of adventure; all the while the children are safe.
Enjoyment definitely comes in the form of swimming in gorgeous pools or snorkeling in tropical waters but also the freedom to do our own thing. Budget also comes into the equation, you don’t want to feel that you are exceeding the family budget or it takes away the enjoyment of the trip. Fitting these criteria, our favorite family destinations are 1. Bali 2. Australia 3. Peru
In regards to educating your kids, do you follow a method or system ie; home-schooling, world-schooling, un-schooling?
Answer: Currently our daughter attends a small, environmentally conscious local school and our little boy will start kindergarten next year. Like with much of parenting, we are learning as we go. To begin with, we assumed our kids would attend the international schools when we were traveling. But then again, we assumed we would be based in Peru or Nicaragua.
Now we envisage ourselves traveling more. We are leaning towards world-schooling (which already naturally occurs when we travel) but during the next two years Ariana hopes to learn much more about the above mentioned educational styles. This is daunting: in a busy world, if you choose to educate your kids at home or on the road, you need to have the time to do it. Conventional schooling, even if it involves months away, doesn’t require the same input from the parent. We have several years to work out what is best!
Being age specific, what are the greatest challenges associated with traveling with kids?
Answer: Sincerely, the greatest challenges are exactly the same as what you will face at home at each different age.
For example: Under 1 year, teething, routine, sleep. Under 2 years, keeping them from getting on the road or putting their fingers in power points. 3-year-olds, massive public tantrums.
Our children both blossom with routine – keeping in mind that once we settle into travel there is a “travel routine” that they understand – like eating out at restaurants and catching taxis. We find there are always challenges when you change from one routine to another.
For the first 5 years I think that the challenges are about sleep, food, and making sure they have fun at playgrounds etc. Our daughter is now 7 and I notice that the challenges are more subtle and complex. She misses her friends, she is “bored” (oh no), she doesn’t like whatever we are doing. When people greet her, she mumbles and looks at her feet… yes… we nearly have a TWEEN! Like every age, there are new challenges but I am not sure that they are made different by traveling.
Do you fund all of your travel with good old fashioned saving or is there any passive / online income while you are on the go?
We are working on creating some on-line income through our blog, but we know it will be a long road!
Ariana has been self-employed for over 10 years and was a digital nomad or “location independent” before the term was coined (including trying to work from Fidel’s Cuba…!) She is the co-owner of Apus Peru Adventure Travel Specialists and works on it every day (most recently from Australia) and feels blessed that it provides a flexible way to earn an income.
Norman works 8-9 months a year on contracts in the National Parks of Western Australia; it is work that includes long hours and most weekends working. But, the upshot is that he gets 3 months a year to travel and we couldn’t have this lifestyle without this income.
In addition, good old fashioned penny pinching all adds up to having extra money in the piggy bank!
Can you give us a quick summary of how your travel budget breaks down?
Answer: Tricky, it depends on each trip. For the past few trips we’ve been using frequent flier points carefully saved during the previous years which means that we’ve paid taxes on flights only, making the flights proportion of the budget minimal. In Bali and Fiji our accommodation was 45% of the budget, and the other 45% was food, transport, tours and activities. When traveling in Latin America we are able to save a lot by being comfortable in the culture.
Healthy eating and lifestyle is a common theme among your blog posts, can you give our readers some tips on how to achieve a good balance of health and indulgence on the road?
Answer: Can I say, don’t stay at all-inclusive resorts? They are decadent and encourage you to eat and drink, and eat some more! I think because we watch our budget while we travel, this helps us to balance health and indulgence. That is, we will always try to self-cater one meal while traveling. Usually lunch or dinner as nearly always breakfast is included. That means market visits and lots of fruit to eat.
In terms of overall health, we walk a lot on holiday and nearly always lose weight!! We also plan our days to be one active day, one quiet day. This means that hopefully every second day we get to have a sleep in, and most definitely a lunch time nap! Which is also helpful for hot and overtired kids. Finally, we are conscious to switch off social media and the news. For us, a lot of anxiety can be created through the beeps of the phone, or Facebook conversations, or even just the ability to only pick news articles that interest you. Watching the news on TV, especially non commercial channels, you get a full gamut of news.
We have a whole post on healthy lifestyle tips and tricks while traveling called A Healthy Lifestyle And Travel.
How do your children find traveling, do they ever long to be at “home”?
Answer: Yes. Particularly our daughter who loves animals and the garden. We also long to be at home sometimes!
What are some of the best pieces of advice you can give our readers about traveling with little ones?
- Go Slow & plan lots of down time.
- Even if you were the most adventurous traveler in the past, it is likely that you will need to adapt your travel style to work with the kids.
- Listen to your intuition.
Where to next???
Answer: Our next adventures will be in Western Australia as we prepare for 3 months overseas next year. We will spend at least 1 month in Nicaragua and Peru visiting family and friends. Costa Rica is on the agenda for a couple of weeks too. Where we will travel en-route to those places will depend on the most affordable airfare options.
Option 1 will be via Santiago de Chile to Peru, while Option 2 is also pretty exciting; we could go via Hong Kong or Tokyo and spend a week or so around either. Another option would be to spend a couple of weeks in the National Parks “around” Los Angeles, like Joshua Tree or Yosemite. We have a lot of research to do as this year! We made the mistake of booking the tickets first and then looking at the budget of the place later!!! AND we need to listen to our own advice, plan to go slow, and schedule in lots of down time.
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