Our 3 Kids V the World
Having a larger family can be a deterrent for some to travel the world but not for Sally and her family of five. Sally with her husband Craig, and children Alannah 14, Keira 12 and Caelan 10 from Our 3 Kids V the World fill us in on their incredible adventures and their best tips and tis to travel with kids.
What are the three favourite destinations your family has visited?
This is a very difficult question because I have loved everywhere we have been for different reasons, Vietnam holds a special place in our hearts. Craig and I honeymooned there and we have taken the kids back and we will be returning again next year to visit the north of the country and my most favourite place, Halong Bay.
Next up would be Myanmar, we visited the land of the happy people with the biggest smiles and friendliest welcome! Bagan in particular was a highlight for me and we had so much fun exploring the amazing temples on our hired e-bikes. While we didn’t get the spectacular sunrises and sunsets I would have liked, it was still an amazing experience. Inle Lake was the kids favourite, often dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’ it definitely lived up to it name.
I can’t not include the Maldives, it was where I learnt to scuba dive and opened up a whole new world! I haven’t done it since but I know I definitely will and I want to get certified in Asia as well. The amazing beaches and luxurious accommodation really can’t be matched. Craig and I had a lovely week in the Maldives and while I missed the kids it was nice to have some “us time”.
These are really just a few of many experiences, nothing can match sunrise at the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, meeting our sponsor child in Siem Reap and seeing how our monthly contribution is making a better life for someone else, understanding the devastation at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City or swimming in Cenotes in Mexico. How could I forget our white Christmas in Boston where we got snow at 8am on Christmas morning, a dream come true! They have all been wonderful experiences shared with my babies. But these are only a few and many more to come.
Why is travel important to you and your family?
Travel is important as it’s something we can share, we all lead busy life’s and when we travel we are all fully engaged and spending time together. I’ve always been a traveller and its were I’m happiest. Seeing things I’ve only dreamt about or seen on TV really resonates with me and I hope that I have passed that sense of adventure on to the kids. I love seeing my kids eating local food and immersing themselves in the local culture. All their teachers have told me that it definitely shows in the classroom with them showing more confidence and drawing on a huge amount of general knowledge gained through their experiences. It challenges them and makes them experience things outside their comfort zone and will hopefully make them better global citizens.
What do you love most about your family trips?
Most of all I love the time we get to spend together, exploring new places and experiencing new things and foods. My kids are pretty good eaters and will give most things a go. It’s wonderful to be able to see the world through a kids eye again. They definitely notice different things to us and its amazing the things they remember when they get home.
What’s the hardest thing about planning a family trip?
Managing my desire to pack a lot in, versus what’s practical to see with kids in tow. I often bite off more than I can chew and end up coming home needing a holiday from my holiday! The kids manage quite well but sometimes I have to remember its not all about what I want to see. I now factor in afternoon pool time if travelling to Asia and the kids are good knowing they can have some free time in the afternoon. They really are very good when we travel, so I’m very lucky that they tend to love exploring as well.
What’s the hardest thing about travelling with kids?
Nothing really, I suppose I always worry that something will happen to them, whether they get injured or sick. We never leave home without travel insurance but I worry that if something bad happens I might not ever forgive myself.
Our kids are at a great age now. I give them a list to pack and they pack their own backpacks, they even carry their own gear now as well.
What tip(s) do you wish someone had told you before you started travelling?
Pack less! You think you need all that stuff but really you don’t. I’m the packing nazi now and have started to travel carry-on only and it is so much easier. I tell people to put out what they think they need, halve it and take that. I promise you wont need all of it. We often have our washing done at a local laundry when travelling, you’ll find them online or ask someone at the hotel. They are generally easy to find and if you do it on the last day, you can come home with all clean clothes for only a few dollars.
What do your children think of travelling with you?
Our kids love travelling and it shows as they are so easy, they are great flyers even on long-haul flights, you hardly know they are there. They are easy going and happy to talk to anyone. I was a little concerned about having three overnight bus trips in Myanmar last year, I thought it would be a stretch for them and they would struggle, but I was wrong and they handled it better than me!
Do they help you plan it?
No they don’t really help us plan, they will ask about what we have on but I always organise a good amount of things that I know they will love, whether it be visiting a theme park, ziplining, water parks, snorkelling, swimming or cultural shows. There is always something that they will love and I always book hotels with pools if we are going somewhere warm.
Where are you going on your next family trip?
Keira and I are off to Hawaii in October for a girls trip and then the next full family trip is in April 2020 and we will return to Vietnam. We will visit Halong Bay and do a 2 day hike to Sapa. I have five days at the end of the trip and I’m not sure whether we will head to Hoi An or maybe back to Siem Reap to see our sponsor child.
Where can people connect with you?
You can find lots of itineraries, experiences, and tips from our travels, mainly across Africa, Asia, and Europe on our website. Follow our travels as they happen on Facebook, and Instagram. And now and again I’ll pop up on Twitter too.