Many of you know we have 3 energetic, loud, rowdy but sweet and awesome little sons.
Life with them is hilarious, intense, challenging, full of moments of self-doubt as parents (we have no idea what we are doing!?), amazing and full of love, tears, scraped knees, and laughter.
We also both love to travel. Mun and I got married relatively young and alhamdulillah were able to travel a lot together on a shoestring as students, before we had our first 2 sons. Once they arrived, within 1.5 years of each other, we still travelled as much as possible but more closer to home, but now with a LOT more luggage…no more just one small carry-on bag each!
I wasn’t prepared to do a long haul flight with 2 little ones until I was pregnant with our 3rd son and our eldest son was 5 and our second was 3.5 years old, when we decided to take them on a Europe trip – at that point the boys were very used to travelling and were super amazing on all of the long haul flights and long train rides so it was an awesome and fun experience for all of us.
The reality is however, as our family welcomed our littlest son and Mun and I were then outnumbered 3 to 2, we had a bit of a realisation that we probably wouldn’t be able to travel overseas as much so we focused on creating moments of wandering, adventure and more kid friendly travelling within our own country with a few planned trips to visit my relatives in Malaysia.
I feel that once you have kids, many people assume that you won’t or can’t travel anymore, and without a doubt, it’s definitely more of a challenge travelling with kids – the increased number of tickets you have to buy, accommodation + rental car costs, you’re constantly switched on during plane flights (no more in-flight movies), trying to ignore grumpy faces of those who think kids shouldn’t be on a plane.
And the very common mistake (at least, for us!) of forgetting to release the water pressure in your toddler’s sippy water bottle so that when you open it a huge stream of water sprays the face of the friendly traveller sitting next to you at the beginning of a 7 hour flight..
But really in fact it’s so important to foster this sense of wandering / travelling / adventure with kids, whether that is overseas, in your own country or in your own hometown, whether it’s luxurious resort travelling or throwing up a tent in a campsite an hour away from your house, or just in your backyard.
In a way it’s the best time to wander, for the kids to experience new things from a young age and to get ourselves and our kids more out of their comfort zone, and stretch ourselves physically and mentally..and perhaps take the opportunity as parents to learn a few relaxation and mindfulness techniques to deal with the inevitable meltdown stress moment of travelling with kids when things don’t go as planned lolll!
Also, fostering a sense of wandering will give the kids get more opportunities to learn how to become more patient, resilient and respectful travelers, not to mention the bonding experience as a family.
Unfortunately I’ve hardly seen much of Australia other than a few of the main cities, and I really want to see more of the natural beauty this country has to offer, so I’m looking forward to taking some time out to spend wandering about with my little family soon inshallah!
Anyone with more tips of travelling with kids, please let us know with a comment or an email, we love hearing from you 😀
– Marryam x