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I got a comment on a recent post that intrigued me. The reader wrote:
You headline begs the question, have you ever even taken taken your kids to a foreign country?
I was really interested in your blog initially but after reading only one plane trip and one train trip that you took your kids on, you’ve really convinced more than ever that travel with a ton of kids is a total whip and really hard to accomplish. Your blog is not much distinguished from many others because you don’t travel very much with your brood. Unless of course, you count being super cheap as a distinction 🙂
Travel Babbo is unique because 99% of his travel is with his kids.
I will say that since you have shown me that traveling with lots of kids is really hard I’ve decided to stop at 2 kids.
Thanks for the birth control!
Besides the LOL at the “thanks for the birth control”, I was interested by the comment – I think that some self-introspection is always good so I thought I’d ponder on the question for a bit
Am I traveling “enough”?
So am I traveling “enough”? Besides the fact that the amount any one person travels is totally up to them,
So I’m not trying to “defend” myself, or somehow prove to someone? (anyone?) that I’m traveling “enough”, but like I said, I do like to ponder about things. I definitely feel like we as a family are traveling more since I started getting into travel hacking. After all, the reason I started this whole thing was trying to get to a family reunion in Lake Tahoe that we might not have otherwise been able to attend. 170,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points later, we had a great time!
Now it is true that some of our 2015 travel involved just my wife and I, and the logistics of taking our whole family of 8 anywhere for an extended period of time does get a bit tricky, probably even more so than the cost. Everyone’s in school, and activities and all the trapping of your “typical” middle-class suburban life…
A few things we do have going for us is that we are starting to homeschool some of our kids (which increases flexibility), and the career I have (computer programmer) does lend itself to the potential of working remotely. But we’ve decided as a family that we don’t want to make drastic changes to our lives (like selling everything to travel around the world full-time).
Some plans for 2016
Even though it’s only January, we’ve already started making plans for 2016. Here are a few of the places that we’re looking at going
- Family trip down to North Carolina to visit family. We’re driving down and we booked our last Club Carlson Bonus nights before that benefit went away
- Train trip to Seattle and flying back on Delta (READ: The worst usage of 100,000 Skymiles EVER?).
- We’re still trying to figure out a way to get in an around the world trip in first class – just the 2 of us
- I also have work training in Seattle (if I had known that, we might have booked our train trip somewhere else!)
- We’ll be attending 2 family reunions – one in Missouri and one with location TBD.
- We do have another secret family destination that will remain nameless until we know if it’s a “go”
One thing that we are doing in our family for 2016 is the addition of having regular “dates” with our kids. This is something that we’ve done off and on before (spending individual time with each of our kids), but now we are trying to formalize the plan, so that each kid gets at least one “date” each month with either mom or dad. These don’t have to be anything huge – some of the ones we’ve done have been just hanging out at the library, or go to a local HS basketball game, or stop by Wendy’s for some Frostys and hanging out. So far it’s working well for us!
The other thing that we’re trying in 2016 is to do a “large travel date” with each kid – one on one with a parent. We’ve started working on talking where the kids want to go – here are my son’s travel bucket list (including glamorous Lincoln, Nebraska) and my daughter’s bucket list (pictured right).
My son and I already did one late last year when the 2 of us went to Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and (many!) places in between
(SEE ALSO: 3 tricks to visit Hoover Dam for free)
So what are your tricks for traveling with kids / family? Let us know in the comments!