I have spent most of my life traveling. I traveled with my family when I was young, I backpacked across Asia in my twenties, I have been camping every year since I can remember, it’s a big part of my life! I have learned a lot in my travels but it took a lot of help to get there. I remember looking at forums for advice, asking my more experienced friends and getting tips from locals and I couldn’t have done it without all of this help.
And I still need help now – my husband and I are thinking about getting a teardrop camper and have been looking on sites like campingfunzone.com to decide whether or not we should go for it. I have owned a caravan before so I know how to tow them, how to keep them well maintained and, most importantly, the best places to go while camping. I only got rid of the caravan because I moved house and even still have equipment like a leisure battery charger and portable camping toilets! So, I do think we’d make good use of the teardrop camper but we’re not sure if the kids would actually enjoy it. Obviously, if you do decide to go caravanning, it can be one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to explore the world. You have the convenience of a kitchen and bed wherever you go, and you don’t have to worry about cramming your luggage into the back of the car. Remember to keep a set of Quality Trailer Parts handy though, you don’t want to be stuck on the side of a motorway with a broken tow instead of lying on the beach! Anyway, I digress. Considering all the traveling I’ve done and all the help I have received, I didn’t see why I should stop traveling just because I have a family now – or why you should feel you need to stop traveling if you’ve started a family too!
When I started my site over five years ago, I did so because I met so many fellow parents who, when I told them about the traveling I did with my then very young children, would shake their heads and say, “I don’t know how you do it. I feel like we never go anywhere now that we have kids.” Since the earliest days of my blog, I’ve wanted nothing more than to show other parents not just that they can travel with their kids but that family travel is one of the best ways to enjoy purposeful, uninterrupted family time. It’s the best way to teach children about the world. In fact, I think it’s a great way to parent.
I believe these things so much that I’ve written an entire book about them.
A new definition of family travel
Some adults get locked into the idea that there is one way to travel because kids are involved – they think they can’t go backpacking, check out art museums, dine in restaurants, or visit other continents because those are activities reserved for adults or because it will be too challenging.
Like I have on my site, my book redefines family travel by showing parents that with planning and flexibility they can do almost anything they did before they had children. It encourages them to use day trips and weekend getaways as practice runs and to consider outdoor adventure travel and extended travel as viable options for family travel. You could read more on how to integrate adventure into your family vacations on blog pages of websites like Smoky Mountain Ziplines or other similar sites.
Whether you’re setting out on your first family camping trip or looking for tips on getting through that long flight, you’ll find what you need.
What sets my book apart?
Like the posts on The Mother of all Trips, my book is a mix of narrative and advice, tips and stories. You’ll get the information you need to plan a trip, create an itinerary, choose where to stay, live like a local, visit museums and cultural attractions, and keep your child safe and healthy on the road. Much of what you’ll find in the book is here in the nearly 800 posts I’ve written since June of 2008. What the book does is tidy up all that information and offer it all in one place.
I was lucky enough to get the creative contribution of many other family travelers when I was working on my book, and it also is full of their wisdom and insight. My goal is that when you read it that you feel like you’ve just sat down over coffee with a dozen well-traveled friends who give you the kind of spot-on advice parents really need before they venture out with their kids.
And do I need to remind you that the holidays are coming soon? This book makes a great gift for anyone planning a winter or spring break family vacation. Or maybe it’s just what the new parent in your life needs to inspire them to get out the door.
Along with a return to a more regular posting schedule (getting the book ready has meant some pretty prolonged absences from The Mother of all Trips during the past four months) during the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some insights from the book that will highlight the kind of information you’ll find in it.
To learn a bit more about the book, please visit my page on The Traveler’s Handbook Series site. And while you’re there, be sure to check out some of the other titles as well – there are seven other equally inspiring and informative books on a whole range of travel topics written by passionate travel experts.
Win a signed copy of The Family Traveler’s Handbook
Buy print copies of The Family Traveler’s Handbook on Amazon; you can also purchase it for your Kindle. The book is also available on the Barnes and Noble website. You can buy it for your tablet on iTunes and it’s available internationally on sites like Amazon.co.uk.
I’ll soon be setting up a link on this site where you can order signed copies of the book but from now until next Wednesday I’m offering a chance to win one of five signed copies.
Finally, I want to thank all of my readers and online friends for coming back and sharing in this family travel adventure of mine. I’ve been so grateful for your companionship during the past five years and I can’t wait to see where the road will take us next.