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.
Once upon a time, you used to travel together. Romantic
weekend getaways, relaxing summer vacations. Then you started a family, and
ran out of time to do absolutely nothing. “One day, when the kids are older,”
you say, thinking about when you can travel again. To that, we say, “Go now!”
We loved to travel, too, and when Aarav was born, we made the decision
to keep on traveling while he was young. He’s traveled as an infant on
long-haul flights. He’s seen 41 countries before he turned 4. While we learned
a lot about traveling with a young child (read: What We Learned
on Our Sabbatical (And What it Means for Your Vacation)), we also discovered there are perks adults get to enjoy
when traveling with young children.
When you take a vacation, it can be easy to overindulge and put on a few pounds. Cruises are notorious for all-you-can-eat buffets and lots of fruity alcoholic drinks, with passengers gaining an average of 5 to 10 pounds during the duration of one cruise. To take a 9-month trip around the world, however, we knew we couldn’t eat our way around the globe — although we definitely wanted to sample the local foods. We made a commitment before we embarked on our journey to do it in a healthy way. We promised ourselves we wouldn’t come back from our trip in worse shape than when we left. And we didn’t!
We know it’s tough to maintain your health on the road, so we’re sharing our tips on how we stayed healthy.
The best way to get your bearings in a new city is to join a walking tour. In practically every city we traveled, we took a walking tour to learn our way around and get insights from a local. But even more than suggesting everyone take a walking tour in a new place, we suggest a free walking tour. Yes, we understand the obvious reason, but there are many more!
One of the most often questions we are asked is about taking a gap year with our son. To travel 9 months together meant leaving our jobs and putting our home life on hold. We had to plan a budget, save for the trip, make tough decisions, and have a plan for life at home once we returned. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but was it worth it? Absolutely!
This is EXCLUSIVE content from our book, How To Travel With Kids (Without Losing Your Mind)
It took us a few months during our 9-month trip around the world with our 2-year-old son to brave a walking tour with him. We had been too nervous to try a walking tour, but after taking our first tour – and surviving – we discovered we had been missing out. From that moment on, at practically every new city we visited, from Buenos Aires to Rome to Lima to Barcelona, we signed up for walking tours with our son.
People often ask us to tell them about the vacation we took in 2017—and we often offer a gentle correction: When you’re traveling for eight and a half months, that’s not a vacation. It’s a sabbatical. And the difference is more than just semantic. It represents a totally different state of mind.
This is every parents’ nightmare when traveling with children – their sleep routine will be disrupted, no one will get any sleep, and everyone will be miserable. This rings true especially when you know you’ll be crossing time zones. But, from experience, we can tell you that children are very adaptable, and worrying about their sleep schedule shouldn’t keep you from traveling. Yes, you may have some trying times, but overall, things will likely go more smoothly than you thought. We’ve compiled a few tips that we’ve learned along the way and that can help you feel more confident when traveling with young kids.