One of my favorite things to see and browse on my Facebook Newsfeed are family travel photos, especially those with children the same age as mine. Sometimes, I do get envy but more importantly, I guess is that they inspire me to take my kids out in the world for adventures and explorations, with us, their parents. I know that one happy picture does not tell the whole story of a family travel. Say, example, the untimely poop, the crying concert in the middle of the night, the number of times your heart skip a beat because the children are horseplaying so hard and the stress that comes with every bath and feeding time. But, that one family travel photo is enough to seal a treasure of a lasting and priceless memory. What a wonder, right? I used to store airfare tickets albeit local destinations only in my office drawer. They inspire me to work harder and they are like a promise which I can claim after all the hardships. When I got pregnant, I thought travelling life would resume as soon as I give birth. I was excited to tag our little prince along. I never thought things would change. For one, my come-what-may-almost-backpacking style of travel can no longer be applied, well, not much. It was changed drastically once we had children. How else parenthood changed my travels?
1. Not much of budget airlines anymore. Unlike before, I’d book any one-peso ticket sale, wherever the destination and whatever time the flights are. Now that we have children we became more conscious of ETDs and ETAs. Also, we avoid the sale of budget airlines for popular destinations to avoid hassles of overbooking and delayed flights.
2. Book everything in advance. We need to search and book beforehand of not only budget-friendly but also kid-friendly family hotels. We do it in advanced for the airport pick-up services.
3. Itinerary is a must. But, do not be heartbroken if that same itinerary is not completed. That would be our number one rule: No hard feelings for missed tourist spots. Unlike before when we own our time, now we have to consider the kids’ schedules and routines. Messing up with their body clocks is a painstaking choice. Let them wake up on their own. Let them finish their milk. Let them nap if they want to. Let them eat on their time. Let them play.
4. Pack light but pack right. I have sacrificed a lot of OOTDs since I travelled with kids. J Now that I learned my lesson, I try to improve my mix and match skills in clothing and have invested in soft/light fabrics.
5. Do I need to say that travelling with kids is more expensive? From airfare, choice of hotels, tour services and restaurants, everything must be more convenient and of course, safe.
6. I do not know with other families but for me and my husband, we admit that travelling with kids is absolutely more tiresome than travelling as a couple. But, it also gives a different kind of joy. As I said, one family travel photo is going to be all worth it. That, we guarantee you.
7. Lastly, I no longer travel without them unless it’s superbly mandatory in the office. I am attached to them as much as they are attached to me. Most of the times, especially when it’s a travel, I’d rather be tired and happy with them rather than be, well, actually it would be nothing else, no other choice, at least at the moment that my children are as young as 2 and 4.
Despite these changes, I would still jump at every opportunity to travel with my kids, may it be by land or by plane. I think it’s fair to conclude that a family travel is a blend of passion, drive, money, time, fun and patience, and lots of love too. Agree? I got passion, fun and drive covered. My husband can take care of the money and patience. Hehe We all have tons of love for each other. But, time. Yeah, the luxury of time is what we lack. I wish we could have more free time for travel. Whenever I see family travel posts on FB, I sense an inner emptiness and longing for that same wonderful and fantastic joyful experience. I wish we could travel very soon. And, I mean, we should, right?
|Puerto Princesa, Palawan January 2014|
|No more risky fun. Bohol 2008|
|No more adrenaline rush. NZ 2009|