Yes, you can still travel when you have kids!

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Living on a sailboat in the Bahamas, zip lining in Cambodia, camping in the desert of Jordan, riding a motorbike across Vietnam… Lots of people seem to think that once they have kids travel to exotic and exciting destinations is a thing of the past. And while there’s nothing wrong with an all-inclusive package holiday (which depending on your kids’ character might be very challenging indeed), we still prefer some more unpredictability and excitement when we travel… with our toddler. There’s still so much you can do when you have kids. In this post, you can read some fantastic stories about traveling with kids. If you really thought your traveling days were over when your children were born, think again!

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While kids change the way we travel, having kids is definitely not a reason to stop traveling. When our son was 3 months old we lived in Dahab, Egypt for 2 months. And then when he was 1,5 years old we went on a 10-month long trip around South East Asia (want to know what that was like? Read our post about the reality of traveling with an infant). We’re definitely not the only traveling family out there and not the only ones sharing our family travel stories either. There are even digital nomad families, that travel long-term or indefinitely, and families with 6+ kids that still manage to travel. You’d be surprised at all the cool things you can still do when you have kids. Having kids doesn’t have to mean your traveling days are over, not by a long shot!

Just to proof this to you, we asked some of our family travel blogger buddies this question:

“What is the coolest, most exciting, scariest, craziest thing you ever did while traveling with your kids?”

In this post, we share some of our own stories and some great stories from other traveling families. All of us had amazing experiences when traveling with our kids. So yes, you can still travel when you have kids. In fact, travel with kids is fantastic! I love the way it changes your perspective and forces you to slow down.

Click the image below to pin this article for future reference:

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you travel with kids?

Easy Riders Vietnam… with a toddler

Everywhere in Vietnam you encounter the Easy Riders, a motorcycle outfit that has been around for a long time. Vietnam Easy Riders tours are legendary. Of course, just about any organization selling motorcycle tours in Vietnam calls themselves ‘the original Easy Riders. Most likely you’ll never find out if they are ‘the original’. But the tours are a fantastic experience, so who cares.

We thought that with a toddler and a lot of luggage, a motorcycle tour wasn’t for us. We talked about it a lot though. And at some point, while we were in Nha Trang, we decided to go to one of the many offices and ask. It turned out our luggage could be transported ahead and taking a toddler wasn’t an issue at all. So we did a very cool, 5-hour motorbike tour from Nha Trang to Dalat and all three of us enjoyed it tremendously. Riding in a massive downpour the last hour of the drive wasn’t much fun, but our little one was warm and dry and even managed to fall asleep! We were so happy with dared to step outside our comfort zone a bit and tried something new. It was an amazing experience that we won’t soon forget.

Dalat is a lovely city. Want to visit with your family too? Check prices and availability of hotels in Dalat.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - Easy-Riders-Vietnam

Halong Bay Cruise with kids

Another thing I never thought we’d do is spend 3 days on a boat cruising Halong Bay with our toddler. And we did it anyway. The boat wasn’t great, but the people were awesome. And Halong Bay was a unique experience and I felt incredibly lucky I could share this with my family.

We were on a Golden Bay Cruise ship, which at $99 per person was just about the cheapest we could find. Of course, it showed. The window in our cabin leaked and the aircon made a horribly annoying noise. It was a bit of a party boat, with drinking games in the evening. But we met some really great people on the boat and had a fantastic time. All of them were very sweet to our little world traveler too, even though as a family we stood out a bit. Taking a cruise with a toddler who can’t swim yet on a ship that has seen better days… I couldn’t have predicted that we’d do it. But we did and we loved it!

A tip we have for other travelers or traveling families is that the cruises double function as a ferry service to Cat Ba Island. Our cruise included one night on the boat and one night on Cat Ba Island. We found out we could extend our stay on Cat Ba Island at no extra costs, only the costs of the hotel room. We just had to phone the cruise company the day before we wanted to leave, to let them know we wanted to travel back to Hanoi. The return trip was included in the price of the cruise. Does this sound like a good option for your family? Check prices and availability of hotels on Cat Ba Island.

Want to visit Halong Bay with your family? The easiest starting point is Hanoi. Check prices and availability of hotels in Hanoi.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - Halong Bay Vietnam

Family pic at Halong Bay, Vietnam

Traveling around the Mekong Delta with kids

The Mekong Delta Region in Vietnam is a fantastic area to travel as a family and expose your children to a different way of life. We choose the city of Can Tho to explore the area and had so many fantastic experiences. One night we took a boat ride down the waterways at dusk where we got a glimpse into the local life. Kids and dogs were playing in the water, whilst others were taking their evening baths. Women were preparing the evening meal’s vegetables right by the water. The waterways are used to transport people and goods and we saw men returning home from work as well as farmers loading their boats with their produce for the next day’s markets.

Early one morning we visited the floating markets. There was so much chaos as farmers sold their produce to local store owners. We were amazed at the ladies in their small boats who whizzed around selling people hot coffee and made Pho right there in their little boats. We were offered delicacies like crocodile, snake, frog and rat. I was not brave enough to try.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - discovering the Mekong Delta

ThriftyFamilyTravels.com – Discovering the Mekong Delta

One of our favourite things was a bicycle ride through the local villages. Everyone we passed was so friendly waving hello and the kids all wanted to stop for a chat or a hi 5. We were even invited by some monks to have lunch with them at the village’s pagoda and played with the orphans they cared for.

For our trip, we stayed at the Nguyen Shack which is a fantastic homestay where accommodation is rustic bungalows set out over the waterways of the Mekong Delta. The place is like one huge playground for kids – with the long swing bridge you need to go over to reach your bungalow, the various animals to play with like cats, dogs, fish, even a pig! If you want to show your children a different way of life, but in a safe family friendly environment, I highly recommend a visit to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta and a staying at the Nguyen Shack.

This experience was shared with us by Melissa of Thrifty Family Travels. You can also follow this traveling family on Instagram.

Want this too? Check out prices and availability of Nguyen Shack Riverside Resort.

Ziplining in Cambodia with kids

We visited Siem Reap last year and among many other awesome experiences, we also took the kids zip lining with Flight of the Gibbon. The zip lining experience is located inside the Angkor Archaeological Park not far from Angkor Wat. The setting couldn’t be more amazing as it’s located inside a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The kids have never experienced anything like this and although they were very excited, they were also very nervous as this was going to put them outside their comfort zones. It was great to watch their excitement build and the nervous chat with the American family that was in our group. Like all things with kids, after the first go their confidence grew and they started zip lining with no hands while making flying motions with their arms and singing as they zipped through the trees.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - ziplining Cambodia

Our3kidsvtheworld.com – zip lining in Cambodia

The experience consists of 21 platforms high up in the treetops, 10 zip lines with the longest being 300m long, 4 sky bridges to walk between the tree tops and finishes with a 50-metre abseil finish. The experience takes a couple of hours and if you have a morning timeslot (I suggest you do, it gets hot over there) it will include lunch at a local Cambodian restaurant. I can not talk more highly of the staff and their very high standard of safety. The tour leaders regularly checked all harnesses and ensured the kids were always hooked on to the safety wires. I was very impressed with their attention to safety.

This experience was shared with us by Sally from Our3kidsvtheworld. You can also follow this traveling family on Facebook

Interested in visting this area with your family? Check out prices and availability of hotels near Angkor Wat.

Washing elephants in Thailand with a 5-year old

Washing elephants in a river in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is not your typical holiday activity when you have a five-year-old in tow. However, when an unexpected opportunity to travel to Thailand came up, we decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of ours to visit the rescued and rehabilitated elephants at the Elephant Nature Park. The park buys back elephants from the tourism and logging trades and gives them home to live out the rest of their days in freedom. We visited the park for two days and took our daughter with us for the experience.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - washing elephants in Thailand

AdventureBaby.org – washing elephants in Thailand

Meeting the elephants gave us an opportunity to teach her firsthand the importance of animal conservation. We heard their stories, fed them fruit and vegetables and threw buckets of water over their backs to help remove the insect eggs that made them itchy. Our experience with these big, gentle creatures was life changing for us all. When you look into an elephant’s eyes and see the scars from her former life, it’s impossible to ignore their plight. Our daughter now tells people we meet that they must never, ever ride elephants – the next generation of eco-warriors is on the rise!

This experience was shared with us by Christine of Adventure, Baby! Read the full story of their visit to the Elephant Nature Park and follow this traveling family on Facebook.

Want to experience this with your family? Check prices and availability at the Elephant Nature Park..

Living on a Sailboat in the Bahamas with kids

I spent two years of my childhood sailing around the Bahamas with my parents and it was my dream to do the same with my children. One year at Christmas I started talking about buying a boat and sailing away. My parents offered to lend us their boat for a few month and the next year we were doing just that. Our family of 5 spent five glorious months island hopping from one beautiful beach and anchorage to another.

Of course living on a sailboat isn’t all sundowners and lounging around. Sailing a small boat around, maintaining it, navigating and planning around weather can all be quite stressful. However, all that work was definitely worth it to spend so much time together as a family. Living on a 40-foot sailboat, you get used to being in very close contact all the time. Since we didn’t have regular access to WIFI, it was so refreshing to be unplugged and to spend time on simpler pursuits: reading lots of books and playing boards games together.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - sailing in the Bahamas

5LostTogether.com – living on a sailboat in the Bahamas for 5 months

The kids were not in school but learned so much in our time away. Travel is such a natural catalyst for learning and they were so curious about the different places we visited, the marine life they were seeing and the history of the region. Since they didn’t always have friends next door, they learned to make friends quickly with other kids on boats and often played in multi-age groups. Living on a boat also forces you to be much more self-sufficient. We had very limited amounts of water and electricity and certainly not a lot of space for toys and other trinkets. The hardest thing about this experience was it left me with a huge desire to do it again, longer and with our own boat. I am hoping that will be in our future.

This experience was shared with us by Dawn of 5 Lost Together. Check out one of their YouTube video to see what life on a sailboat is like.

Chicken bus rides in Nicaragua with kids

When traveling we enjoy riding local transportation to truly get a sense of a country. On our month long trip to Nicaragua we took quite a few “chicken bus” rides with our kids up and down the country. They may not be as comfortable as an air-conditioned private car, but they are certainly more interesting. All throughout Central America these brightly colored, converted old school buses efficiently transport locals from village to village and even between countries. The buses are crowded, hot and not particularly comfortable. However, they are part of the experience of traveling in Central America. Our kids received lots of attention on our chicken bus rides and what kid doesn’t like riding in a brightly colored bus?

The chicken buses are a great way to get around on a budget. They are extremely inexpensive and the on-board ticket collectors very honest. They are called “Chicken Buses” for a reason as passengers are jammed into the bus like chickens, so be prepared to lose your personal space. Bags typically go on top of the bus and you often pay a little extra for the bags.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - chicken buses in Nicaragua

5LostTogether.com -traveling on chicken buses in Nicaragua

Chicken buses make many stops at all the small villages and roving vendors board the bus selling anything and everything. These people are often very poor and make their wages from the snacks and trinkets they sell. We tried a few of the local foods and sweets on board. We were mesmerized by the special elixir creams on offer and the vendors selling pharmaceuticals out of their pant pockets. Riding the chicken buses in Central America is definitely a fun experience as a family and a great way to get around.

This experience was also shared with us by Dawn of 5 Lost Together. Read their full story about Exploring Nicaragua and follow this traveling family on Instagram.

Granada is a very popular destination in Nicaragua for both families and backpackers. Check prices and availability near Granada.




Wadi Rum, Jordan with a 2, 4 and 7-year-old

Ever since the kids’ Nan bought them there first sleeping bags they have been begging us to go camping. We had laughed it off, our expat pampered kids are usually found in a 5-star resort kids club – they couldn’t possibly enjoy camping ‘in real life’, could they? Our trip to Jordan provided the perfect opportunity to get the kids into the great outdoors and experience camping overnight in a traditional Bedouin tent in Wadi Rum desert.

With much anticipation we jump into the back of Mahmoud’s ‘jeep’ at Wadi Village and we are whisked off on our desert experience. Expecting a rather bumpy ride akin to dune bashing, he drives carefully with the kids, making sure to slow and point out interesting features he thinks the kids will love. At the first stop they are off climbing rocky mountains, after some goats they spotted before I can chase them down with the sunscreen. Next, they spot the camels, another thing we had long promised they could do and off they went again for their first solo ride!

Tackling the big red sand dune was rather epic. At some points the kids were sinking in it up to their knees but nothing was going to stop them reaching the top. Every stop it was the same enthusiasm and gusto we had never seen from them before! The excitedly bundled themselves out of the back of the Jeep and climbed anything they could, spotting insects, asking about the rocks and why the mountains and sands looked like they do in the desert. The most nerve racking moment was walking through a narrow canyon with them, desperately griping their over enthusiastic hands and clambering to the walls we made it to see the ancient rock carvings inside – they felt victorious and so did we!

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - Wadi Rum Jordan with kids

OurGlobetrotters – Climbing a red sand dune at Wadi Rum

The best part though was night. The tent was rather fancier than expected and raised off the ground with a proper bed frame and mattress – not quite the ‘roughing it we expected for the middle of the Jordanian desert but the kids thought it was the most amazing experience ever. After witnessing the most beautiful golden sunset atop of a small rocky mountain, we then descended to join our fellow campers in a traditional Bedouin dinner – now here I will admit I couldn’t get them to end their fussy habits but with their rosy, windswept faces at this point I couldn’t be cross.

Then there was the silence. Nothing around us but the uninterrupted star-filled sky and three children absolutely sound asleep after having had the adventure of a life time – and parents who have suddenly realized there are no limits when it comes to where you can travel with your kids – and enjoy it!

This experience was shared with us by Keri of Our Globetrotters. Read about all their adventures in the Middle East and follow this traveling family on Instagram.

Want to go camping in Wadi Rum too? Or do you prefer some more luxury? Check out prices and availability of accommodations near Wadi Rum.

Travelling with kids, in a caravan during winter in Europe

There was no real plan on just how we were going to travel around Europe in winter when we left Australia on Christmas Day. That tends to be the way I approach all my travels though, buy tickets and head off, working things out as I go. We headed to the UK with our daughters, who were 9 and 12 at the time, visiting family and friends before my husband returned home to work and retreat from winter in the northern hemisphere!

The plan was to buy a car that was big enough to use as a camper, a people mover type…though it had 7 seats, the car we bought was far too small but had the advantage of already having a tow bar. So, why not buy a little caravan? We had never had one, so it seemed a great idea. ‘Priscilla’ as we named her, was a tiny 2 berth van, just 11 feet long, ever so light weight, but ideal for the three of us.

And off we went, across the English Channel and into Europe. Spending months exploring Denmark, across to Poland, Austria and the ski fields, over the Swiss Alps to Italy, a lap or to around Monte Carlo and up through France and Holland. What an unforgettable experience. Snow covered mountain passes, cobblestone streets that rattled our van to bits, driving the Cinque Terre – not realizing we were not meant to take a caravan down there.

FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com - Blog: Can you still travel with kids - Winter caravanning Europe

WickedWalkabout.com – winter caravanning in Europe

We stopped to ski, hiked to frozen waterfalls and camped in overnight rest areas for free most nights. The girls became proficient at helping to turn the van by hand on a few occasions when roads ended after we went exploring off the beaten track. The trip was one I’d do again in a flash and will always remember for its incredible times with my kids.

If you are thinking of doing a similar trip – it is possible, it is incredible and will build life-long memories for everyone! Some of our favorite places were skiing in Schladming and going over the snow covered roads through the Dolomites, Prague was a hit with the kids and another was the Cinque Terre where we hiked the trails overlooking the Mediterranean and explored the villages.

This experience was shared with us by Jane of Wicked Walk About. You can also follow this traveling family on Facebook.

Mini Travellers





Author Description

Lisa

Lisa

Lisa is an experienced online marketing professional currently working as digital nomad. She's the mother of a precious little ginger haired boy and if time permits she likes to read, write, travel the world and dive.

There are 18 comments. Add yours

  1. 21st June 2017 | Mini Travellers says: Reply
    Oh my word there are some amazing and inspirational ideas in here. Lots of which I really want to do, like Wadi Rum and Vietnam. Thanks for this post and for linking it up to #MondayEscapes
  2. 20th June 2017 | Jenny Lynn says: Reply
    We couldn't agree more. A great collection of case studies here. Fantastic inspiration #MondayEscapes
    • Lisa
      20th June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      Thanks Jenny :-) We love how diverse and adventurous these families are, inspiring indeed!
  3. 19th June 2017 | Lydia C. Lee says: Reply
    With the exception of cost, I don't understand why anyone thinks you can't travel with kids. We always have - and our third was on a plane at 6 days - her fault, she was late. It was meant to be 2 weeks.
    • Lisa
      20th June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      Wow, 6 days old Lydia? Can't imagine what it would have been like to travel 6 days after our son was born. (I had a c-section and recovery was slow...). Our son does change the way we travel, but we very much enjoy traveling with him :-)
  4. 19th June 2017 | Cristin says: Reply
    Traveling with kids is great whether you opt for a less adventurous weekend trip, a visit to a theme park or a motorcycle tour in Vietnam. Any day you can travel as a family to see something new is a great day! #mondayescapes
    • Lisa
      19th June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      I agree, Cristin. We've been doing lots of much less adventurous day trips lately and it's all so much fun to do with our little boy. Quality family time is what it's all about. It's just great to see that if you do enjoy adventurous travel yourself, it's still possible when you have kids.
  5. 3rd June 2017 | Jo at Rejecting Routine says: Reply
    Completely agree! Kids make travelling a lot more fun and it's amazing how quickly they adapt to new places and people. #fearlessfamtrav
    • Lisa
      3rd June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      I'm not sure if I'd say kids make traveling more fun. We had great fun traveling as a couple too and I used to love traveling solo. I have to say though that kids certainly make traveling a lot more interesting! ;-) It's very special to watch them discover the world and their ability to adapt never ceases to amaze me.
  6. 2nd June 2017 | Nanouk | Digital Nomad with Kids says: Reply
    Totally agree! But you wouldn't be surprised about this ;) It's great to see all these adventurous families doing amazing things! I hope more people get inspired to take their kids travelling :) #fearlessfamtrav
    • Lisa
      2nd June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      Nope, not surprised ;-) Especially not since you'll be traveling long-term in Europe again soon, with two little ones this time! Can't wait to read all about your adventures!
  7. 1st June 2017 | Baby Loves Travel says: Reply
    This is a great collection of stories - I love to read about families getting out there and having adventures. I hope it inspires others to try it #fearlessfamtrav
    • Lisa
      1st June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      Thanks! That's what we hope too! :-)
  8. 1st June 2017 | Jenny says: Reply
    We obviously completely agree with you ;-) But what wonderful adventures you have had together already as a family! An inspiration to all!
    • Lisa
      1st June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      Haha, obviously. You moved to India with two young kids ;-) Talk about family adventure! Love reading your updates!
  9. 1st June 2017 | Wandermust mummy says: Reply
    I love this collection of inspiring family stories. The true meaning of #fearlessfamtrav
    • Lisa
      1st June 2017 | Lisa says: Reply
      Yes exactly! Fearless family travel at its best :-)
  10. 19th May 2017 | Jane says: Reply
    That is a great collection of fabulous stories, Lisa. Thanks for including us too. I've pinned all the images to keep in mind when we hit the road again sometime!

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