Learn with Big Fish how to travel and where...
While Mama Fish (Nikol) writes about travel experiences, feelings, and places that steal our hearts, I (Big Fish) will focus on the “practical” parts of our family trips and share these with you.
If you’re looking for a deep explanation about a specific location, Nikol will probably give you a better taste for the place in her articles and keep be found in our archived articles or under the tabs on our landing page of this blog. If you can’t find what you are looking for, you are always welcome to send us an email questions or concerns. Where we can help, with pleasure we will. However, if you are looking for a concise explanation with all the details you need to know for you upcoming travel plans (planes, trains, automobiles, hotels, etc), you will probably find these in my posts. As stated in our “Meet our shoal” I am the perfectionist. I am the one who remembers all the strange names of places we have been and how we got there. Nikol, well she flies by the seat of her pants and basks in the moment. She only holds memories of the essence of the place and the true experience we had there.
From my travel experience, backpacking is the most real experience where you can take advantage of authenticity of the place. For my family, backpacking does not mean staying in the cheapest hotel or traveling by using the worst available transport. For us, backpacking is just an easy way to pack all our belongings into two packs, move from one accommodation to another, and maintain a low profile while on the road. Don’t get me wrong, from time to time, we splurk and stay in a more posh hotel. We enjoy a good dinner or lunch in a nice restaurant, and we love the buffet breakfasts these hotels often offer in the morning. With our western craving filled,we get back onto our adventure family vacation and onto our next planned or unplanned adventure.
For those unknown magical moments, we have tucked away in the corner of our backpacks pair of nice shoes, pants (dress for Nikol), shirt, and some “nice clothes” for the children. Nothing is worse than not having anything fancy to dress up in when you are invited to a party or a special date at a local families house while you are traveling with your backpack. Wrinkle free and some good rolling skills will keeps these clothes ready for when you need them.
Often people are confused by the terms: backpacking and family vacations. These do not have to be completely different concepts. Just because we have two kids doesn’t mean we have to throw in the towel on adventure. The only difference is it takes a bit longer to prepare things and when considering one destination from another, we naturally base priority on activities and safety first. When we search for a destination or a new country to visit, the safety of our children is obviously our priority. Risk of kidnapping or unnecessary exposure to danger will eliminate such desire to visit said country. In saying this, the Philippines state kidnapping as an issue. However, after much research we found it is only in a specific area. There are 5000 island whom don;t carry the same risk. Do your homework and research well or you might miss a true gem, like the Philippines. When on the road, we (more myself, than Nikol) increase our precaution radars a bit more compared to when we used to travel alone. In saying this, we know we have done all the necessary research and such to not go to crazy and stress ourselves out during our whole trip. Kind of would defeat the purpose, right? There are always situations which may occur outside of our control. We don’t ignore these situation, though we except we have decided to travel with our children and maintain the highest precaution we are capable of to reduce such risk.
Logistically speaking, yes it is a bit more complicated to travel with children. And yes, even more when one of the kids is a baby or under two years old. Fortunately for us, we do not carry a lot of stuff like some crazy parents we know. Though, even with a minimalistic baggage passing through the security control at the airport can be a little stressful. Give each child a responsibility and make a game out of keeping that laptop, reflex camera, Go Pro, two backpacks, and whatever else under control. Apparently, there is a new law coming out March 2015 which may complicate this process even more – all equipment with batteries will need to be separately placed apart from everything else while passing security. This makes me laugh thinking about it. An adventure waiting to happen. We’ll have a post for you when we cross this bridge in the next couple months.
Time to get started, get up and start planning your next adventure family trip. Sometimes an all included resort can be a bit too “in the box.” Get off the beaten path and show your kids an authentic experience of culture, people, and lifestyle. Eat some crazy street food, dine with a local family or wonder through ancient churches. Sometime a bit of wonder will take you a long way. Not only your children will grow from the experience, but you too may learn something new about yourself. Get packing, the world is waiting for your adventure family vacation. Let us know where you’re going in the world below in our comments and what you liked most about your experience.