27 Feb 2020
Disconnect the plug, leave for a distant country, a remote place, immerse yourself in a culture at our antipodes: the journey is a priceless life experience, which many people give up when they become parents. If it is already tiring in the morning to convince them to get out of bed to go to school, let alone how complicated trips with children can be , perhaps in the equatorial jungle, among the temples of Southeast Asia, on the highlands of Latin America.
Lonely Planet, the most famous travel guide in the world, disagrees, or at least doesn’t think it’s impossible. Long and adventurous trips with children can be done, just organize yourself properly and, of course, pack a good spirit of adaptation. Nana Luckham, one of the authors, provides a sort of practical guide (find it here) short but aimed at traveling with children on the road, so that the dream of getting to know the world never ends and, on the contrary, is infused even for children. First of all, much of the travel planning depends on the age of the children: very young ones often travel for free or with significant discounts on fares, therefore they have relatively little effect on the economy of the trip, but they have many needs related to hygiene, nutrition , at times; older children are more autonomous and, around 10-11 years old, they can even be intrepid: for them the journey will be an experience they will remember all their lives.
Some destinations are more baby-friendly than others: Southeast Asia and the South Pacific are particularly welcome with families with small children, while with school-age children you can also opt for an adventure such as a safari in Africa, a trekking in the mountains. You can also consider picturesque but less tiring options, such as a boat trip, or a bicycle tour in a particularly flat country. In short, finding the right destination for everyone’s needs is essential, as well as being flexible and always having a plan B in case the trip proves too complicated (renting a house, a resort in the countryside, a bungalow on the beach where you can spend the rest of the travel transforming it into ‘vacation’ in the most classic sense of the term).
The health is of course another key requirement trips with children: it is important to make any vaccinations well in advance, check with your doctor about medicines that can be given to children in the case of ‘travel sickness’ (such as dysentery), carry a well-stocked first aid kit and a large supply of medicines. It is very important to buy health insurance before leaving. Another important chapter concerns baggage, and the advice of the author of Lonely Planet is one and clear: light games. To do this it may be useful to choose a warm destination, so that you do not need jackets and boots, without forgetting that some goods can be purchased on site when needed (sunscreen, diapers, spare socks if necessary).