As my immediate and extended families are scattered across the globe, I began traveling at a very young age and simply took it for granted that everyone else did the same thing. Er nope. By the time I was in secondary education I was often the only person in my class with a valid passport. OK, I must add at this point we lived in the back of beyond in those days so not exactly a metropolis like London! But still. Then from age 15, I began to travel alone to France which involved several hours on a train across the country to London to the airport or seaport (to catch a Hovercraft – anyone used one before?), and later on of course the Eurostar. I visited other countries on our family holidays and later with studies and work.
I’m an introvert by nature and naturally cautious so didn’t view travel, national or international as a big, glorious adventure or anything. I never did Interailing (did anyone do that?) so travel was for me a way to get to what I really enjoyed and that was seeing my family, making new friends and most of all, seeing and experiencing new places and cultures. These places and cultures have impressed on me from an early age and will always stay with me for the rest of my life. And so the cycle of life and generations continue with our children who all had their first passports from birth. Do you know how hard it is to get a compliant passport photo of a newborn baby??!! My husband and his family were the same in that they traveled practically from birth but with that wonderful spirit of a big, glorious adventure I never had. A complete pro, he packed for any part of the world in less than the time for me to print off a boarding pass! Seriously, how could I compete with that?
There’s quite a lot of holidays and travel guides for families with very young children but for us now, the kids are adolescents and I can’t really find anything directed for that age group besides theme/adventure parks. So it has come down to deciding simply what ‘adult’ stuff they can enjoy. The difficult part is there are 3 of them and finding a balance between what they all like is tough. So now we are immersed in the Art of Compromise 🙂 From this year we will travel more than we have done in the past now that everyone can pull their own cabin bags and safely entertain themselves for long enough periods of time. I’d like to share these travels with you and in the meantime, these are on my checklist:
- much as I would like to be spontaneous, ensuring a happy and successful trip always begins with forward planning and with school age children this is even more important due to limited holiday dates
- let personal interest, personalities and educational value be the guides to narrow the vast choice of places to visit
- research each place for safety – sign of the times – especially with children in tow and any medical requirements
- research places of interest and opening times
- sign up to travel sites and other options such as credit cards that give air miles if it suits your financial circumstance – you’re going to be spending anyway so why not reap the benefits offered?
I read somewhere that some parents continue to pay for their adult children’s holidays due to crippling mortgages and other financial constraints – another sign of the times? If you have any travel tips and stories, please do share 🙂
Thanks for reading!