Travel is one of life’s great eye-openers, teaching us about other cultures and many often unexpected things about ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to travel often as children, providing us with this insight at an early age. Others worry that, once a baby is on the way, that’s the end of their ability to travel often and enjoy themselves. As neither of your Talk Travel Asia co-hosts has children of their own, we’ve invited an expert to share her years on the road, traveling with children in Asia.
Trevor: I was lucky to travel a lot as a kid. We would take off to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Hawaii, Venezuela –anywhere with a nice beach where we could forget about Vermont winters for a week or so. I can’t even remember a fraction of all those experiences but I know that it made a huge impression on me. I was exposed to so many different cultures and languages and foods, by the time I was an adult and jumped on a plane to Asia for my first time, I didn’t find such experiences as daunting because I did it so often as a kid.
Scott: Similar to you, I remember traveling my entire life. It was mostly within Canada, not very far from where we lived for the first long while, but we did visit Disney World in Florida when I was about 3-4. Also did lots of camping in summer and went to the Costa del Sol in Spain when I was about 9 or 10. Then there was the family trip to LA and beyond that, I don’t think we really went international, but the value of travel impressed me.
Trevor: Many years ago I wanted to develop travel guidebooks for children, like pocket guides that would come bundled with your normal guidebook that was written in kid-friendly language, had activities and information about destinations for kids, etc. I’ve always wanted to have kids so I thought this would be a great resource. Clearly too far ahead of the curve once again as the big travel publications ignored me and I’m still single with no kids! Nonetheless, I imagine such a resource would still be helpful, such as a website like the one our guest today has developed.
Scott: My Dad traveled much of Europe when he was in the Air Force as a tuba player, so I heard of travel, my Mom went over there with him a number of times, and for some reason, my parents encouraged me to save up and travel for a year when I was 20-21. Not sure why they suggested that but that really, truly changed my life. And when I said I was going to move here to start a travel company they didn’t bat an eye. They are super cool and more worldly than their actual travels at the time.
Guest intro: Along with her husband and sons, Alyson Long is the main voice of the World Travel Family blog. Alyson is a travel blogger and published writer, including a popular book about why she loves homeschooling and is therefore also well known in alternative education circles. After gaining her degree in zoology and comparative physiology she went on to become a chief medical scientist in London hospitals before switching to blog creation, full-time motherhood and the combination of the two culminating in World Travel Family blog. There she shares her experiences traveling or backpacking with kids for over six years, mostly in South and Southeast Asia but has also written about travel to northern Asia, China, Tibet, Mongolia, and the Indian subcontinent. She joins us today from her home in Queensland, Australia.
Questions for Alyson:
- Please share a bit of background: where are you from, where are you now, and what was your first travel experience in Asia?
- When did you first travel with your children, where did you go, and what was that first experience like?
- What are the main benefits and drawbacks of traveling as a family?
- What are some main differences between traveling with your children and traveling alone, as adults?
- How about the difference between traveling with teens, tweens, toddlers, or babies?
- How does traveling benefit a child?
- What travel styles work best with kids?
- What are some of the ideal countries in Asia to start traveling with your kids?
- If we didn’t already mention it: how about some packing tips for kids?
- What should one look for when choosing the best accommodation for a family?
- How do you deal with finicky kids and foreign foods?
- What are some ways to keep costs down while traveling with a family?
- What are some top tips for keeping children happy while traveling?
- What kind of travel gear helps make traveling with children better?
- What are some of the dangers of traveling with your children and how can some of these be avoided? Maybe here’s an opportunity to talk about vaccines, health while traveling, and teaching your kids to be smart.
- How can you handle schoolwork while traveling for long periods of time?
- What are some other top tips for traveling with your kids?
- What were some of your most memorable trips together as a family?
- Tell us how World Travel Family got started and what you offer visitors on the site.
- World Travel Family Blog
- Alyson’s book: Why I love Homeschooling.
- Follow Alyson on Facebook,
- Follow Alyson on Pinterest
- Follow Alyson on Instagram
- #145: High-Value Half- and Full-Day Experiences
- #127 – Share the Wonder with Ameer Virani: How Tourism can help Children in Asia.
- Learn more about Scott and Trevor
- Trevor’s Blog
- Scott’s Blog
- Trevor’s book: National Geographic Cambodia
- Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottcoates73
- Follow Talk Travel Asia on Twitter
- Follow us on Facebook
- Follow us on Instagram
Theme Music by Jamie Ruben