So there are a ton of questions we get asked on a regular basis regarding travel and especially traveling with small children. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.
How do you have so much time to travel?
My schedule is such that I work 26 weeks a year. Kendall started homeschooling Zack this year so we don’t have to worry about missing school. We use the other 26 weeks to explore the world.
Why do you travel with kids at such a young age?
The short response is because we love to travel and want to expose them to as many experiences and cultures as possible. The longer much better written response by Kendall is here.
What is the point in traveling with young kids if they can’t remember anything?
Parents do a lot of things for their kids that they can’t remember in those early childhood years. We throw them birthdays parties. We discipline them. We praise them. We hug them. We love them. Just because they may not remember something doesn’t necessarily mean it does not shape who they become, otherwise, why bother doing anything for them at all in those first several years of life.
Doesn’t it get exhausting traveling with two small kids?
YES! It is definitely exhausting at times. Thankfully our oldest is now 7 and he requires a little less maintenance these days, but is still not quite on autopilot. Our 3 year old requires quite a bit of upkeep, but after 7 years of traveling with young kids we’ve learned some tricks along the way to make our life easier. We will be writing a bunch of articles to hopefully give you some tips and tricks to make your life easier as well.
Do you bring a car seat?
For the most part, yes. For one if you are on a road trip you obviously need a car seat. For trips that require airplanes, dragging that car seat onto the airplane is well worth it in most situations. Having the ability to strap your child in rather than hold on to them on a long haul flight is invaluable. Nothing is more exhausting than holding an infant for 13 straight hours and try and eat, sleep, etc. Furthermore, when you get to your destination, if you are renting a car, a car seat rental is typically $10/day. If you are not renting a car, local laws may require you to have a car seat for a taxi or other local transportation. Not having a car seat available definitely can limit your transportation options.
We typically investigate local car seat laws for each country and state to make sure we are always in compliance.
Do you bring a pack and play?
Not anymore! Our youngest no longer sleeps in a pack and play, but typically it depends on the accommodations. While hotels typically have pack and plays, they can and will run out so more often than not we would bring one as a back up. We have learned this the hard way. We have made make shift baby cribs before using the floor, tables, walls, and drawers when one was not available.
How do you survive long flights with a baby/toddler/young child?
We have found that stickers work wonders. Also cheap dollar store or McDonald’s toys that you pull out for the first time on a plane help tremendously. When they are old enough to use an iPad, that definitely makes things significantly easier as an iPad can keep most kids entertained indefinitely. We also try and schedule red-eye flights so that the kids will sleep through most of the flight. Red-eyes are by far the best bet, albeit if they don’t fall asleep it can be very painful. Not that that has ever happened before… It’s not the easiest thing, but some good prep before hand can make in pretty manageable.
How do you survive long car rides with kids?
Well, children accept the reality that they are presented with. Zack and Lucy have both been riding in cars for longer than 13 hours within the first week of their lives and they have never stopped since. Both of our families live 13.5 hours away and if we ever want to see them, we have to hit the road. While no one enjoys sitting in a car for hours on end, that’s what they have known their whole lives and as such are well adjusted to long haul car rides. They do ask the standard “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” pretty often but for the most part they do pretty well in the car. Now with Zack homeschooling Kendall uses that time to get some school done.
What is your favorite place to bring your kids?
While this is a pretty cliche response, Disney World is by far the place that we enjoy taking them the most. While we love to travel overseas and visit foreign countries, the joy our children have at Disney knows no end. It is a truly magical seeing the expression on their eyes as they meet their favorite characters and ride all the attractions. There is a reason people come from all over the world to Disney World and it’s not for the glorious heat and humidity of Orlando.
How do you find such great deals?
Persistence! I have subscribed to a number of deal newsletters such as Travelzoo, Prestige Cruises, Trip Masters and Vacation Express. I also love to peruse Groupon and Living Social. I also am always just checking prices on Google flights and Sky Scanner just to get a gauge on what the prices are running and sometimes you find a random price outlier. I also check all the low cost carriers such as Allegiant, Frontier, WOW, Spirit, and Norwegian airlines on a semi regular basis when I have downtime. it is actually very rare for me to book the deals I find in the newsletters. I typically find my own deals through endless searching. Ultimately, it’s just extreme persistence and price watching.
How is the homeschooling going?
It has actually been going better than expected. Kendall is an amazing mom and teacher and Zack has taken to the new routine pretty well. Like anything we have had to work out some kinks but we are definitely developing a good routine at this point.
How do the kids do when you travel?
Zack is truly wired for travel. His endless energy and outgoing nature makes you want to bring him everywhere as he is always so excited to see and experience everything.
Lucy while very outgoing and energetic cannot match Zack’s energy level, although few people can. She does require a little more structure when we travel, but, overall she does very well as long as you keep her fed and watered.
Are you still training for American Ninja Warrior while you are traveling?
I sure am. I try to visit ninja gyms in every city we visit if possible. I most recently visited Camp Rhino in Las Vegas and NinjaFit Gym in Orlando. I also try to make sure that every hotel we stay at has a gym of some kind. If there is no gym, you can always go outside and run, or find something to do pull ups on.
How long do you plan on doing this?
No clue!! We will reeevaluate at the end of every year to see if the travel and homeschooling continue to be a good fit for us.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this FAQ. Stay tuned for future FAQs.