Traveling families: travel mamma

I came accross Laurence on Instagram and asked her to share her traveltips with us for our traveling series. She is a single mum with 3 kids, showing you that you can always travel with your children! I was really glad she wanted to join in, because I believe she can be an inspiration for many mums out there 🙂

Names: Laurence, Billie (12), Lola (9) & Gaspard (6) from Montreal, Canada

Blog: I don’t have time 🙂 travel_mamma on Instagram

Full-time travelers or part-time travelers: Part-time. I work in the movie business in Montreal. My job allows me to leave for long periods in the winter since it’s our low season.

Do you always take your kids along on your travels? Before my separation, always. We wanted to show them the world and there was no hesitation that the best trips would be with them ! Since my oldest was born almost 13 years ago, we have travelled with our kids every year between 2 and 3 months. I get no summer vacation with my kids whatsoever so I homeschool them when we travel in the winter and that way we can leave longer. Teachers have always been very accommodating with us and we take it very seriously. 2hrs a day, every day even week ends !
Now we are separated so budget is obviously an issue. I still want to travel with them but it’s more like 2-3 weeks and we don’t go as far. It happened the year my daughter starter high school so in a way I think it’s better because I’m not sure they would have left us leave for such long periods of time.
I recently took my first trip without kids and it wasn’t the same but I’m glad I forced myself to do it. Having a backpack with my belongings only was the highlight of my trip !!!

Why do you travel with your kids? Before I had kids I was already travelling a lot. When time came to decide if I wanted children or not, I knew that I wanted a big family but I also knew that I could not sacrifice such a big part of my life. So their father and I promised each other that we would still travel no matter what, that being parents would not make us give up on seeing the world. We actually started to travel more, and longer, because we loved it so much. The vibe is completely different than at home. You get to talk with them about so many things you wouldn’t have. You have so much more time in your hands. You feel more free than ever because you escape routine. It really takes travelling to a whole other level that I had not expected.

Best tip(s) to travel with children: Leave as long as you can ! The first week and even the 2nd one are often more difficult because everyone is adapting. I know that it’s usually what people can afford in terms of their vacation, but in any case take it slow at the beginning.

Also, leave as soon as you have them. A lot of people are scared to travel with a baby although it’s the easiest. I have much more trouble travelling with my pre-teenagers now than I did with my babies. Couples I know tend to skip the first year because they want to adapt to their new life with baby, but when both parents have time off and when all the baby wants is to be in you arms and/or in movement….can’t think of a better time (you know those stories “my baby only sleeps in the stroller when I go for a walk” or “the only way to make him fall asleep is to go for a car ride”….well, I say let’s make those walks and car rides worth it for everyone !!!! And the longer you wait, the more it seems like a big challenge…
Favourite destination for kids: India was surprisingly amazing. Train travel is perfect with kids. There was so much colours everywhere and I can’t think of anything better than to visit castles and forts with happy kids running around! Thailand was also fantastic, safe, combining culture and beach vacation…and such lovely people. But my all time favorite remains Mexico. I will always have memories of my babies in the arms of waiters, cooks at restaurants, shop owners. Family is valued in Mexico and children (especially tiny babies) are the best passport to people’s kindness.
Place you wouldn’t take your kids to: War zones obviously. In general, places I wouldn’t go to myself. I don’t make a distinction between me and them. If I can go, they can go !

Favourite Unesco World Heritage site visited: There is no way I can pick just one ! The Taj Mahal early morning, before it fills up, was magical. Salvador de Bahia in Brazil a few days before Carnaval, with all the bands and parades rehearsing in this enchanting city was also unique ! And playing explorers in the jungle and ruins of Tikal is something none of us will forget.

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