With the right planning, traveling the world with your family CAN be fun, relaxing, stress-free. Helping our kids become global citizens through travel is one of the best gifts we can give them. We are increasingly aware that in today’s reality of the Internet and global economy, our children’s success depends on understanding different cultures and how to collaborate with people from different backgrounds.
Luxury family travel around the world from the youngest age has many benefits for their futures:
- It helps them take their first steps out of their comfort zone.
- It educates, encourages, nurtures critical thinking, breeds cultural tolerance and inspires social responsibility.
- It expands their borders. Through interactive travel they’ll see that a country is not just a place on a map. It’s made up of people with feelings, problems and different ways of doing things.
Start travel planning when your kids are young and build up to larger trips over time. Click To Tweet
Here are some suggestions for traveling the world with your family.
10 Quick Tips on How to Travel the World with Your Family
#1 Start When They Are Young
- If you or your child are unpracticed in the art of traveling, start with a local trip.
- Go on a road trip or fly to a different part of the United States or Canada.
- Explore a new place that is still easy to reach because the culture is similar and there are no language obstacles to overcome.
Not only is this a fantastic opportunity to create memories, it is great practice to learn art of packing light.
Here you can make mistakes, because it is easy to stop and buy what you forgot.
It is easy to learn that you CAN do laundry on the road. And you learn what you can do without for next trip. That’s right: one carry-on size suitcase and a back pack.
Less it more – more mobility, less whining, more freedom of movement.
#2 Next Step Up: A Cruise with Private Tours
- The pros for ease of movement are boundless.
- Think of it as having one hotel and unpacking once.
- Your floating hotel takes you to an area of the world that you can explore broadly with a few privately arranged experiences curated to your family’s interests and can be geared towards the kids.
- If you are not into a hotel with 3,000 others, consider a river cruise that is geared towards family travel for kids 8 and above.
- Smaller luxury ships may be a good fit for you as well.
- Talk to a travel expert to lay out all your options to choose what is best for your family.
#3 Go Abroad on Your Own Luxury Travel Plan
Take into account what your children are learning about in school, what their personal interests are.
Some examples for when traveling with a multi generation family:
- Do you have a budding engineer who loves to see how things work, what makes them “tick”? Then if you are in Paris, you might want an insider’s tour of the inner workings of the Eiffel Tower.
- Does your child love animals? A safari to see them in their natural habitat and to visit and help out in an animal sanctuary could be life-changing.
- Have an artist? Exploring the Masters in Europe, the street artists in South America, the local craftspeople in Asia provides a well-rounded view.
Plan to make each luxury family trip tactile as well.
The best connections come with seeing, but also tasting, smelling, touching, DOING.
Build things into your itinerary you and they would love to try.
#4 Don’t “Wing” It All the Time
It makes the kids anxious – and places more burden on you to make it perfect all the time.
You want to enjoy the vacation as well!
- Build some structure and book ahead those things you know you’d like to do: a biking excursion in the Loire Valley, a cooking class, a wooden boat sailing on the Turkish Coast.
- Work with someone who can lay all kinds of options out for you to know about and choose from, particularly if you want things curated to the likes of each family member.
- And take some adventurous challenges together for great memory-makers.
“It took us way too long to learn to have scheduled for us private walking tours wherever we go. We spent many aimless days with our kids in European cities early on. Kid-oriented walking tours make the destinations and the history come alive for the kids in a way that sightseeing on our own never did. The VALUE was well worth the cost.”
#5 Pacing is Key
The perfect family vacation traveling the world is neither over-scheduled (this causes burnout) nor under scheduled (this is where mistakes and missed opportunities happen.)
- The well-planned family trip keeps everyone relaxed and happy.
- Avoid meltdowns and the extra stress on you.
- A perfect balance between active and down-time maintains everyone’s emotional equilibrium.
#6 Book Private Tours and Special Activities for the Kids
Where you know you will be learning about a new city, special location, or a particularly strong interest, nothing beats great immersion as a guide who connects with your kids, and them to the location!
- BONUS: It takes the pressure off you to be head cat herder!
- An adventure vacation can connect kids to the places they visit, creating deep impressions and lasting memories.
#7 Allow Room in the Schedule of “Down” Time
Unscheduled time to wander does create serendipitous moments and lets everyone take a break and play.
#8 Choose the Right Accommodations
- Not all time has to be filled: You can enjoy quiet time just relaxing at your accommodations – which stresses the importance of the RIGHT accommodations that allow you to do so!
- Is it summer? Make sure there is a pool at the property or nearby.
- Are there areas to sit to read a book? If you are immersing in an area for a while, there are apartments to rent through good sources. Or villas large and luxurious or small and with local flavor, depending on your level of acceptance that things aren’t going to be as “American” as you are used to.
- Make sure you work with an experienced travel advisor so you can understand and manage everyone’s expectations. Where they sleep is always going to matter.
#9 Bring Things to Entertain the Kids
There is going to be some transition time from one pace to another on the plane, train, or any other mode of transportation.
- Cards are always great for easily accessed games on the go (or during unscheduled wait times).
- iPads are lightweight powerhouses for books, movies, music, and games – and also for good journaling and scrapbooking throughout the trip.
#10 Use a Travel Advisor
- The travel advisor who has a specialization in family travel can of course lay out all your options, but also can make suggestions based upon what your kids are learning at school, or have an interest in.
- Think of your Travel Advisor as the subject matter expert in your corner.
- A travel advisor smooths your way for you before and during your trip.
- A good travel advisor with a specialization in experiential travel can open hidden doors for you and connect you with un-Google-able opportunities.
- One of the best aspects of using a travel expert is the maximization of your trip.
Having a good plan that makes sense in terms of the effective layout of the trip, the proper amount of time to designate to each place, the activities you can do that you may not even imagine you could do will elevate your trip from ordinary to ENLIGHTENED.
Despite best-laid plans, you will miss flights and run up against things beyond your control.
“Broadening perspectives, enriching classroom education, creating broader context, and creating memories for a lifetime are the greatest lasting gifts we can bestow.” ~Theresa Jackson
Don’t underestimate the beauty of seeing and doing things together.
It is the legacy parents and grandparents can give their families.
“Thank you!!! Our trip to Peru was an outstanding and amazing experience, we could not be happier about the way it unfolded. As my son said while we were there, following our time with the children in the village school, “Mom, this trip is life changing”. It is exactly what we wanted!“
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning, I’d love to help!
You can stay informed and inspired in planning your travel in 2018 by reading more of my blogs. You can also follow me on Facebook. Twitter @enlitndjrntrvl, and Instagram @enlightenedjourneystravel. Sign up to receive the blogs and a newsletter filled with more insights and offers so you don’t miss a thing.