We have been a bit slow in the traveling families series. In between getting back from South Africa and planning a short camping trip this weekend, we are giving you another update. Cathy from MummyTravels is sharing her traveltips with you tonight. Her colourfull Instagram account is filled with pictures of her lovely girl exploring our planet.
Cathy – and my three-year-old daughter Minnie (not her real name!)
Full-time travelers or part-time travelers:
Part-time between work and the impending start of school
Do you always take your kids along on your travels?
Almost always – partly for practical reasons as I don’t have full-time childcare, so if I’m not at home there’s no-one to look after her, and partly because I want to show her the world and instill a love of travelling. Since she’s got a bit older, I’ve done a couple of long weekends away without her to European cities (Granada and Ljubljana) which has been a bit of a novelty, and hopefully might have a few more options when she’s at school.
Why do you travel with your kids?
I love travelling – there’s just nothing like discovering other countries, different cultures, even just enjoying a bit of downtime in the sun, and I’d really love my daughter to catch the travel bug as well. I also think the younger you start, the easier it is as they quickly get used to things like flying. It’s an amazing education for them too, even for little ones. Plus it’s what inspired my blog – so it seems only fair she should get to join in…
Best tip(s) to travel with children:
Don’t be put off – it’s incredible how many people will tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t travel with children. It’s certainly different to travelling before becoming a family but that’s definitely not all bad, and I’ve had some wonderful experiences around the world with my daughter. My attitude is to plan, plan and plan some more, then to try to be as flexible as possible once you’re there because travel – and kids – never do go according to plan.
Favourite destination for kids:
Her favourite is anywhere with a beach and some ice cream, although she loved spotting dolphins and manatees in Florida. I loved taking her to the Caribbean – each island has so much to discover as well as the sun, sand and sea, so the combination of that and the warm welcome kept us both very happy.
Place you wouldn’t take your kids to:
I don’t think there are many places I’d never take her – we’re just back from Burma which isn’t an obvious family destination. Some I wouldn’t visit when she’s young, such as Madagascar which is wonderful but definitely a bit off the beaten track. I’d love to go to Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu too but I’d rather wait until she’s old enough to appreciate it as well. The big consideration for me is safety: if I don’t think she’ll be safe somewhere, I wouldn’t take the same risks that I might take myself.
Favourite Unesco World Heritage site visited:
This is a tough one! I’ve visited some wonderful places around the world, so it’s tricky to pick one which stands out – but while Bagan in Burma is still on the tentative list, I think it’s a tie between the pyramids in Egypt and Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. The former have fascinated me for years, and my first trip outside Europe was to Egypt, somewhere I’d love to go back to. Climbing the endless stairs to the rock palace of Sigiriya, past the beautiful frescoes, built at a time when Britain was still in the Dark Ages, was fascinating and one of my favourite moments of my trip to lovely Sri Lanka.