Common Questions Answered
When deciding whether or not to go traveling with kids there are seemingly a million reasons not to go, and a billions ways in which things can go wrong. The reality is that these concerns rarely materialise, but there are certain responsibilities you have as a parent and with a little planning and a lot of hope you can streamline your trip and leave your worries at home.
It goes without saying that the number one concern for parents is safety and even now it is still what I plan everything around. Though it’s fair to say not every parent will let their kids para glide, or burn around town on a motorbike, we all have some level of safety which we need to meet in order to adhere to parental responsibility and also so we can relax a little without spending the duration worrying.
All of the different aspects of safety are covered in this website, but the reality is that with a bit of common sense and planning you can minimise risk and look forward to a fantastic holiday with the young ones in tow. Ticking the safety box however is just one area of travel. Travelling takes us out of our comfort zone and things which might not usually be a concern is suddenly a big deal – This is completely natural, everyone who travels for the first time will have some kind of reservations.
With that in mind I have trawled through the emails I have received and picked out the most common questions people have asked:
Is traveling with kids exhausting?
It goes without saying that the younger your child is, the more tiring it will likely be, but as parents we are already used to long days and if you can settle into a routine and of course, once your child adjusts to the changes in temperature and humidity things get easier. I have always said that generally, the most difficult part of any trip we have done is the first week or so. However, older children are easy, they help out so much and love the responsibility. As my children have gotten older our trips are now very much ‘us’ where as when Abi was 4, it was most certainly ‘me and the kids’. Check out traveling with babies and young children for extra advice regarding our little mites.
Is it expensive?
That depends; It can be insanely expensive and costs can very quickly spiral out of control, or it can be almost as cheap as traveling alone. See the scams section for advice on how to avoid paying more than you should.
Does travel wear kids out?
If you board a lengthy train journey through stunning scenery then it doesn’t matter how beautiful the journey may be through your eyes, it will soon become a repetitive bore through those of a child. However, catching a child in that stage of boredom is fantastic, because with the right tools and ideas their imagination can run wild.
What about illnesses, I’ve heard it can be dodgy in places?
Increased risk of illness, poor sanitation and tropical diseases are obvious concerns for any parent, and for many it will be their major concern. Unfortunately there is no escaping the fact that when travelling, children are more likely to get ill than back in the UK. Similarly, medical standards may not always be to the same standard as in the UK, but with a little care, planning and common sense the risks of illness can be massively reduced. See the Stay well page for loads more info and advice.
Does it get too hot for kids?
Put simply, yes it does. It gets too hot even for adults, but again, a little planning, a lot of sun lotion and gallons of water mean that the sun doesn’t have to be anything other than a necessary part of your trip. Check out the Climate section for how to deal with the varying weather.
Is it dangerous?
Some places are dangerous, but more often than not tourists are not the focus of criminals. Generally, your biggest risk is falling victim to some scam or at worst pick pocketing. But situations do change and when traveling you need to be aware of places that are more risky than others, and where to avoid. The UK government runs a site where you can check the situation prior to travel, or should you find yourself somewhere, how best to get out. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
What are the chances of me being scammed?
About 100%, but think about it, you are a foreigner probably in a country where poverty likely to be rife; you are fair game. Invariably you will pay more for a bottle of water than a local would, or it might even be a government enforced ‘tourist tax’ that stings you, but then again some people are conned out of lots of money. Avoid spending your holiday shelling out needless and copious amounts of cash by reading common Scams and preparing yourself.
Can I book trains/buses/flights Online?
Some things are vital to book prior to travel, whether to save money, or to guarantee a place. Read the section on planning for a heads up.
Would you suggest nice hotels, or beds on a budget?
Booking hotels can be an absolute minefield. On the one hand you want somewhere cheap, but on the other you don’t want to literally get what you pay for when you hand over a crisp $5 note. There are a million things to consider in regards to where you are staying and different people will rank different aspects in a different order. For instance, my top 3 tend to be safety, cost and location. Yours might be safety, comfort and amenities. See planning for more help.
I can barely manage money in the UK, how will I cope abroad?
Spending abroad has never been cheaper, or more efficient. The days of going to your local currency exchange and looking to get screwed are over.
What should I pack?
Remember, what you pack – You carry. Check out the Packing section for essentials, and for short cuts.
OK, I’m ready to go – Now what?
Excellent, your life is about to change forever!!! Start Planning and look forward to your holiday of a lifetime!