Today at the blog we are starting out an interview series and checking out a few families here in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world who have embraced the travelling lifestyle, even with small kids around.
Before I get into interviewing the more experienced families, we decided to do the first round of questioning on ourselves first. Oh, and I decided to ask le partner the questions, too, but this was while he was playing with the daughter thus the very short answers.
1. Give us a short background of your family.
Me: My name is Pam and I have a partner (not yet married to him) and a now 2-year-old daughter. We love making short local budget trips but we hope to go abroad soon as well. We hope our adventure stories as a family also encourage parents to explore the outdoors with their kids.
Le Partner: We are a fun-loving adventurous family.
2. Do you travel full time or part time? When did you start and why?
Me: We travel part time for now but hope to extend that to a full-time, open-ended one in the future. We started out travelling when the daughter was around 3 months, to go to my maternal grandmother’s place. The first time we travelled on our own (although we were with our friends) was in a beautiful but secluded island in the Philippines when our daughter was around six months old. Later on, we went to Palawan and Davao and a few months after that, to local mountains and beaches – we wanted to visit new places every time and want our daughter to experience nature closely thus our travels have unintentionally (at the start) become a regular weekend gig.
Le Partner: To explore new places.
3. How do you afford to travel as a family? Do you also work on the road?
Me: Our travels revolve around promo airfares thus cutting costs drastically. We invested in a rather technical tent which has saved us a lot on accommodations – we camp wherever possible! Then again, there really aren’t hotels up mountains, right? In the future, we hope to work on the road or have a passive income of some sort in order to fund our travels. Perhaps our investments today will pay off in a few years’ time.
Le Partner: No. We just constantly plan our trips and save up for them.
4. How do you plan out your trips (and for full time travelers, are you always out or do you have days where you just stay in)? Do you particularly choose those “family-friendly” or “kid-friendly” destinations or are you flexible and just simply adapt to the place?
Me: When we started out climbing mountains, I was actually a little hesitant because safety is always a big issue. The partner was confident enough to take on the challenge and so we said yes and that was the start of it all. We aren’t reckless parents but recently, we go to places not based on its family/kid friendliness but on our ability to safeguard ourselves and our daughter. So far, so good. It’s a great exercise in pushing yourself to the limits. And, I’d also like to add – you never really know how easy or difficult it is to get to a destination until you try it; so, might as well give it a shot, right?
As for itinerary planning, I do that most of the time but only to a certain point. Picturing our trip in my head gives me mini heart-attacks especially at the thought of getting lost when going from point A to point B. We make no advanced hotel bookings and walk or commute to a certain place (although we try to get determine estimate expenses, for budgeting purposes). We also love asking around – we don’t have any mobile internet to rely on! But we love the sense of adventure and the flexibility that this kind of planning offers us.
Le Partner: Safety first among others since we have a baby with us but it is not the final factor when deciding where to travel next.
5. What is that one item you can never travel without when you are with kids?
Me: It’s hard to pinpoint one thing when you have an infant/toddler around. We haven’t gotten around to weaning and potty training our daughter so we constantly rely on bottles of formula (drank as many times as you eat meals in a day + snacks) and diapers and wipes. Don’t be surprised to see us preparing milk or changing soiled diapers on the go – it has become pretty normal for us, we can do it standing up, in the dark!
Le Partner: Diapers!
6. There are varied opinions when it comes to learning while traveling VS. formal schooling. What is your stand on this? Does travelling really give an advantage to your kid’s education, based on experience?
Me: We are definitely aiming to homeschool/travel school/maybe unschool(?) our daughter in the future but that may still change – we’ll see how things go.
So far, we have seen the benefits of getting a child used to travel and the outdoors. We see how fit she is (she walked uphill about 30 minutes at a time in our past two trips to the mountains!), how flexible and adaptable to new environment and how she appreciates nature with a big but slightly whispered “Wow”. Have you ever had a child get excited at the sight of mountains or trees or ants or even letters and numbers on a billboard along the highway? Books alone could not give out that reaction (we love reading though) so each experience is priceless.
Le Partner: Yes! Kids can interact first hand with the things that they can only read in books or see on TV.
7. What advice would you give to families who want to start out a travelling lifestyle?
Me: Just give it a go. It’s definitely scary and intimidating but then, you will never know if you can do things until you actually do it. For that, I would like to give a big hug and thank you to le partner for saying yes to our first trip to the mountains. He is a very supportive one and I thank him for being the type of person who constantly agrees with my plans – at least in terms of where we go next.
Le Partner: Plan ahead. And always consider your child’s safety above everything else. And…patience is a virtue. You will need lots of it when you travel with kids.
That’s it. Don’t forget to stay tuned for more of our budget family adventures here on the blog. Aside from all things travel (destinations, tips and tricks, reviews), we also talk about parenting and homeschooling, DIY and craft projects, blogging and finance here.
Thanks for dropping by!
#FamiliesOutside is an interview series to help encourage families to go out and explore places, near or far. Bi-monthly, we feature families who love travelling – full-time or part-time – or who simply love including the outdoors in their daily activities.