They say travelling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. When I was still single, I enjoyed travelling a lot. And now that I have my family, I still carry this passion in travelling. I wish to pass this on to my children because you will learn a lot about yourself and the world around you through travelling.
Travelling as a single woman is a totally different scenario from travelling with the family. Aside from the obvious fact that it is more expensive because of the number of people to go with you, it entails careful planning. You could say that my family is lucky because I greatly enjoy planning for our long and short distance family travels.
Today, I will share with you my mommy-tested travelling tips when jetsetting or road tripping with the family (especially with small children). I will make use of the acronym T-R-A-V-E-L for an easy recall.
Family Travel Tips To Remember:
T- Time is key and everything in travelling.
Time is a very important thing to consider when travelling. Make sure that it does not coincide with any important event in our family’s life. Consider researching early on about your country of destination’s holidays, take advantage of long weekends, or the school break of your children.
If you are planning to visit another country for their festivities or celebrations, make sure to plan way ahead since the accommodations will surely be fully booked or airfare rates will be higher.
When booking a hotel for your family trip in advance, you can check out Traveloka for great deals on your lodging needs. Remember, booking in advance is important because it can save you money.
R – Research, research, research.
This is an important thing that we should do regardless if we are on a DIY travel planning, or tapping our travel agent. It will help us a lot if we are aware of the important documentary requirements that we should secure before flying out or hitting the road. Some countries require their visitors to get a VISA. Also, learn about the taxes or fees you must pay according to the rules.
Make sure to know all about this beforehand to avoid hassle and delays.
Please also take note of what currency they use as well as its conversion rate. When we pay attention to this, we could prepare financially. Checking on the weather of your country or place of destination is also extremely important. This will guide us on how we will pack for the travel. Or if we need extra baggage allowance as you pack those bulky winter clothes and boots.
A – Act like a local.
I could still remember how we had a blast during our very first family travel in Hong Kong in 2014 because we used their Mass Transit Railway (MTR) aka trains. The first day was a bit challenging since we have to get used to the system. We were to remember the name of the station closest to our hotel and its corresponding exit point. But on the second up to the last day, it became a breeze. We even brought a stroller for Noa everywhere we go!
Travelling is meant for you and your family to experience something new. When in Rome, do what the Romans do. Try their food, ride their common or mass transportation (if you can), and wear what they wear. So not to make it too obvious that you are a tourist, refrain from wearing a pair of boots when the locals are just wearing slippers or flip-flops.
Be sure to educate yourself with their rules especially when you’re in public areas. You wouldn’t want the attention of their law enforcers for breaking them. Remember, ignorance of the law excuses no one.
Study the area you are staying at in advance (at night in your hotel room) by securing a map from the airport/hotel lobby, or by using your mobile phone so not to make it too obvious when you’re already out to explore. Download offline maps if you get access to the Internet.
V – Visit the must-see tourist sites.
Let us be honest here, you decided to visit a country because you first heard of a popular and must-see destination there. If you have come across of the words: You have not been to _____ if you’ve not seen or had _____.
Make that as your guide as you make your family travel bucket list. Do not forget your digital/action cameras to document your adventure. You would also thank me for saying to bring as many power banks as you can.
Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of water/tumbler and refill it in your hotel to save money. Dress in your most comfortable clothes and pair of footwear.
E – Expenses incurred must be observed.
Make a spreadsheet or a list of your allotted budget during your stay. Trust me, it is very tempting to do a shopping spree when you’re abroad. Unless you are rich or have saved tons of money for this travel, you would not want to go back to your country penniless in your bank account.
Write down what you really NEED to buy, and check out several stores before purchasing. Who knows, this move might leave some extra cash for the WANTS in your shopping list.
Go around the shopping area first to find out what products they are offering. Don’t be intimidated to politely haggle or bargain with the vendors.
L – Love and cherish each moment spent with your family.
You will never know if you really like a person unless you travel with him. Travelling will also bring out the best and worst in us. I remember having a petty fight with my husband when we were visiting Hong Kong Disneyland. I could still recall how pissed I was over something that we did not agree with.
One worst case scenario of a travel nightmare that could bring out the worst in you is to lose a passport. Always bring your passport wherever you go. Securing the important travel documents is always a priority when I travel with the family. You wouldn’t want to ruin your much-awaited and well-prepared for vacation because of this horror, would you?
Ready now to T-R-A-V-E-L with the family?
Travelling will not only make us closer to each other. It will open our eyes and minds to new experiences and learning around us. A great vacation will only happen if we plan. Of course, there will still be room for comedy and errors along the way. But when we ready for any incidences and situations, we will surely find a way out of it.
Remember my mommy-tested T-R-A-V-E-L tips, okay? May this help you plan an awesome vacation with your family! TIME is of great essence when travelling. RESEARCH a lot. ACT like a local. Don’t forget to VISIT the places you really like, check your EXPENSES. Lastly, LOVE each moment with your family. Our family is the main reason we are working hard and saving all this time to give them the best TRAVEL experience ever! ♥