Posts Tagged ‘family’

Favorite Blogs: Travels with Children
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Traveling long-term on a career break with children can seem very daunting, but the Vogel Family (Family on Bikes) and the Hoffmeister Family (4Suitcases) have shown what an incredible experience it can be.

And even short-term travel with children can be overwhelming. But here are a few sites that offer some great insight into making it a fun and rewarding experience.

[singlepic=1728,275,,,right]Debbie Dubrow’s blog, Delicious Baby, offers advice on “Making Travel with Kids Fun”. Her blog details her own experiences traveling in the US and internationally with young children as well as product reviews, city guides and travel tips like “Ten Tips for Keeping a Toddler Busy on a Plane”  and “Breeze Through Airport Security with Kids”.

Perhaps my favorite tips include the ones listed under “Why Travel?”

Everyone knows that travel with children is unpredictable, difficult, and definitely not at the same pace or with the same freedoms that pre-child travel afforded, so why do it at all?

  • Through our children’s eyes, we see the world in a new way.
  • You get to immerse yourself in the local culture. Traveling with children forces you to do as locals do… shop in the grocery stores, bakeries, and pharmacies, not just tourist shops. You get to connect with locals in a way that’s difficult to do as adults traveling alone. People love kids. They’ll go out of their way to connect with you and see you as a family rather than just tourists, and you’ll gain insights into what it’s like to live in a different place.
  • The kids love getting out of their everyday routine, and being in new situations helps everyone to reconnect. Whenever we travel, we find that there’s a special brand of giggly, silly fun that happens after a long day of travel that we just don’t seem to have at home.
  • The kids learn new things. For young kids it isn’t so much that they’ll learn world history as that they are exposed to new experiences, sights, sounds and smells. With a little thought, you can bring those experiences home to make your everyday life a little richer too.
  • For school age kids it’s much more engaging and fun to learn history by doing than by reading.

[singlepic=1729,300,,,right]Michelle Duffy’s blog, WanderMom, offers insight and resources for independent family travel. As she says “The goal of this website is to share my experiences as a traveling parent with you and through that to encourage and inspire you to take your children to interesting places far and wide, inside and outside your home country.”

Other blogs that focus on traveling as a family and with children include:

On the Road: Traveling with Kids
Monday, March 15th, 2010

Family on Bikes recently shared with us how they homeschool their sons while biking the Pan-America Highway.

[singlepic=1727,300,,,right]The Hoffmeister Family (4Suitcases) had a similar experience homeschooling their daughters while on their 9-month world adventure. They embraced the idea of homeschooling so much that they continue to homeschool their daughters now that they have returned home. They share with us what that experience was like.

What made you decide to travel with your children?
Well, it just didn’t seem like a good idea to leave them behind! Seriously, one of our main goals was to spend more time together as a family, instead of always being off in our separate worlds of school & work. Besides, we think all the benefits of taking a break and traveling apply to kids every bit as much as they apply to adults.

Did you look at this as an educational experience first and foremost? If so, why?
It’s funny – both before and after our trip people kept telling us what a tremendous education we were giving the kids, but we didn’t really think of it that way when we started out. Our main goal was just to have a bunch of new and interesting experiences. The education that went along with that was sort of a bonus – for all of us.

Were your children homeschooled before your trip? How was the transition to homeschooling?
No, we had been considering it, but let the trip force us to take the plunge. We were re-thinking our entire way of life and learning to look at education differently was just another part of that process. It was probably harder for us than for the kids. All those traditional ideas about school were much more ingrained in our minds than theirs, you know?


Family on Bikes: Homeschooling on the Road
Saturday, February 13th, 2010

[singlepic=1691,250,,,right]John Vogel and Nancy Sathre-Vogel were both long-time teachers with over 20 years of experience each. So what made them decide to quit their jobs? Time. “They say time is the greatest gift one can give their children. Time is why we made the decision to quit our teaching jobs and join the ever-burgeoning ranks of homeschoolers; we were tired of spending more time with other parents’ kids than with our own.”

They are now using that time and combining it with their passion for biking to cycle the Pan-America Highway (Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina) with their sons, Daryl and Davy. Along the way they are using the world as their classroom. You can follow along on their adventures on their site, Family on Bikes.

We asked them to share their experiences homeschooling their sons on the road.

[singlepic=1692,250,,,left]What made you decide to travel with your children?
Time. My husband and I came to the conclusion that we would never be able to put time in a bottle. We can not go back to regain precious lost moments. We can only live for today. Our boys will never be this age again and, if we don’t take advantage of their childhood now, the opportunity will be lost forever.

My husband and I had traveled extensively before the boys were born (and while they were young) and we knew it is the best education there is. When we decided to take time now for the boys, it was a given that we would take off and travel with them. They’ve learned way more in their years on the road than they ever could have learned in the classroom!


Next Steps: Turning a Passion into a Business
Monday, December 21st, 2009

We have shared many inspiring stories of Americans who have taken a career break to travel. But then we were contacted by Jorrit and Nicky Jorritsma, a couple who reside in the Lake District of Great Britain with their 11-year-old daughter Kiah. They are self-proclaimed “Briefcase to Backpackers” and wanted to share their story of how they turned their passion for traveling into a business. We found their story to be incredibly inspiring and felt you would as well.

[singlepic=1611,300,,,right]Hi, we’re Jorrit and Nicky. Today we produce and sell classic, sustainable travel bags and outdoor gear but it was a long journey to get here. Here’s our story of how we went from backpack to briefcase, then back to travelling, and finally re-designed our lives to bring our work and our love of adventure together.

We hope that our story will inspire you to take some time out to travel – and to draw on your travels to reinvigorate your life on returning to the workplace. Having married and later set up our own business as a result of travelling, we passionately believe in mixing the worlds of work and adventure!


Jorrit – In Europe, many teenagers go travelling in a Gap Year between school and university. However, despite the fact that we’re both European, that actually wasn’t our story. After our school studies, neither of us took the option of a traditional Gap Year. Instead, we headed to university and, on completing our degrees, immediately entered the world via work and military service. Nicky joined the management programme of United Distillers, part of the Guinness Group, while I did military service in Holland (my homeland) as an officer in the Strategy Department. And it was for very different reasons that we each ended up travelling after that.

Nicky – For me, I came to a point where I felt that I needed to review my career plans. I’d been working for United Distillers for a couple of years. But, within a short space of time, my Grandfather died, my Dad fell ill, a four-year relationship ended, and I found myself in two car crashes. Chatting with a girlfriend at work, I decided to plan to head to South America for a year and see where to go from there. My key motivations were:

  • Realising that life can be short and alter quickly – it’s important to grab chances while we can.
  • To feel the freedom of making my own choices day by day.
  • To experience the excitement of exploring unknown countries.
  • To test my ability to deal with whatever happened while travelling and hopefully grow in confidence.


4Suitcases – One Family on a World Adventure
Monday, July 6th, 2009

[singlepic=1487,250,,,right]In June of 2009, Marc and Danielle Hoffmeister completed a 9-month trip through the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and Asia with their daughters Hannah (11) and Olivia (8) – which they chronicled on their travel blog: 4Suitcases. They took the time from readjusting to life back in Texas to answer some of our questions about their experience.

What made you decide to take a career break and travel with your family?
Danielle: There wasn’t any one thing in particular, it was more of a gradual realization that our secure and stable life wasn’t completely fulfilling.

Marc: Yeah, we were definitely stuck in a rut. I realized I was spending way too much of my time driving in traffic or staring at a computer screen and not enough with my family. The kids were in a rut, too – spending too much time at school doing mindless busy work or preparing for tests and not enough time really learning and growing. I decided something drastic had to be done!

What was your travel experience like prior to your break?
Just occasional week-long vacations (mostly cruises) that never seemed to last long enough. Before this trip, the longest we’d been away from home was 8 days.


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