Our favorite thing about traveling with an infant is we could go practically anywhere with our son and he’d sleep. Dining out? A piece of cake as he would fall asleep in his car seat en route and then could sleep through the noise of a restaurant with the greatest of ease. And, when it comes to staying in a hotel, there is no need for an extra bed. All you need is a bassinet.
Before companies catered to babies, older travelers, so we have been told, would remove a drawer from the hotel dresser, pad it with a blanket and use it as a bassinet. Today, we have lots of travel bassinets that are safe, comfortable, and easy to carry.
We may have traveled to over 50 countries each (and over 40 with our child) but that has not cured our insatiable wanderlust. We knew our 9 months of nonstop travel would have to end, yet even while on the road, we were always planning for our next big adventure, saving our list of places we wanted to visit onto our phones. Our list has grown since we have returned home. Some would call it a Bucket List.
I remember the day I developed a fear of flying. I was taking a 20-minute flight to Washington, D.C. from Charlottesville, Virginia. We flew over the mountain ridge and there was a lot of turbulence, and from that moment on, I have hated to fly and experience full-on panic attacks even a week before leaving!
Everyone has fears about what could go wrong. Before we traveled, we worried about how we would communicate in countries where English wasn’t common, about having enough money, about what would happen if Aarav got sick. Even after our worldwide tour, there are always worries, yet we don’t let any of them stop us. Still, we are asked often if we experienced any scares on our travels.
Most travel bloggers will have you believe it’s all roses, all of the time. We tell the truth about traveling with kids. Yes, we had a couple of scares. They do happen!
As parents who have traveled with our toddler for 9 months straight, taking 39 different flights around the world, we can’t help but notice when there are parents attempting travel for the first time. It’s easy to spot the newbies: there is a sense of panic before boarding, their children are hungry, and they are not not working as a team.
Don’t get us wrong — Aarav has had his tantrums and we have certainly had our moments. But with all of the trips we have taken, we now know what to do, and what not to do when flying.
It can be extremely daunting to leave a child with a babysitter we just met in a different country. While traveling as a family for 9 straight months, we decided a babysitter was necessary every now and then — we needed and wanted to have dates on our travels. It’s not for everyone to make such a decision; we get it. However, we used a babysitter in Bali, Rome, Lima, Peru, and Santiago, Chile, so we learned a few things. If you are wondering how to use a babysitter during your next trip, our tips may help you feel more at ease.
Travel is wonderful for all of the experiences it provides
you and your family, but long after a trip is over, the best part of travel
are the memories you make. Your family will always have the special bond that
comes from making it through a journey together, laughing about travel mishaps
and fondly recalling meeting a local family that you still may be connected to
via social media. To keep those memories vivid, you’ll also want to take lots
of photographs and videos, and both are irreplaceable if lost.
We hate when we read travel websites that do nothing but rave about how wonderful every destination is. It’s misleading. We want to be honest about our experiences, and we honestly don’t recommend families visit Macau. It is a nice enough place, super new and super clean, and one of the only places in China you can gamble. Unlike Las Vegas, however, it just doesn’t have the same energy and things to do with kids. Unless you want to visit to gamble and play games in the casinos, which are nice and super expensive (more expensive than Las Vegas!), it’s just not on our list of cities to visit with kids.
We knew we wanted to take an around-the-world trip as a family. It would be the trip of a lifetime and we couldn’t be more excited to plan and take our 9-month adventure. But, like all good things, the trip had to come to an end and we had to return to Charlotte, North Carolina, and settle back in.
After living out of a suitcase, moving every few days, spending days at leisure, and seeing brand new things at every turn, we discovered coming back home was harder than leaving! If you’re considering taking a sabbatical with your family, here’s how we dealt with the return — hopefully we can help make it easier for you.
One of the biggest fears that prevents people from traveling is the fear of not being able to communicate. Visiting a country where English is not widely spoken can definitely be nerve-wracking: How will you find your way? How will you purchase tickets or order a meal? So many “what ifs” may run through your mind, but having visited numerous countries where we couldn’t speak the language, we discovered it’s much easier than you think.