Travelling together as a family

Travelling together as a family

If you put travelling together as a family on hold for all the years that it is a bit difficult, then you’re probably missing out on a lot.  Have you ever had one of these thoughts that have kept you at home?

  • But you just need so much stuff with a newborn!
  • My child(ren) sleep so much better at home.
  • There’s no way we can afford to be away with our budget.
  • Preschoolers are hard to keep track of in familiar places, let alone unfamiliar.
  • My teenagers don’t even want to be seen with me in public – spending a lot of money on a holiday when they’ll just do their best to avoid us seems a little extravagant…

Yes – there is always a reason why it would be easier not to travel together.  But what about all the reasons to make it happen? Sometimes it feels like those visiting from overseas get to experience more of our nation than we do, even though it’s on our doorstep! How can you see more of this great nation as a family? Is international travel a possibility for you?

What are you missing out on?

Research

You’ll never know how possible it could be until you really look into some travel plans. What is it that gets your family really excited about travelling together?

Start with researching what you would love to do, and involve the whole family. Keep track of potential costs in a spreadsheet as you research, and then you’ll have an idea of how much you might need to budget for to make your family travel dreams a reality. It might take a year or two (or more) – but with a plan you’re much more likely to step out and do it than if it’s just a dream in the back of your mind. Don’t get caught up in the fact that you perhaps can’t make it happen right now. Part of the fun is the dreaming together; the planning, the possibilities.

  • Maybe your family is very outdoorsy, and tucked away in the back of your mind is to find a way to get everyone and their bikes to the Central Otago Rail Trail.
  • Perhaps you’re thrill-seekers and you’re keen on trying the Stratosfear at Rainbow’s End.
  • Over time, you may like to see every ecosanctuary or wildlife park New Zealand offers.
  • Your dream could be to show your kids Christchurch, and see how things are tracking post-earthquake.

No doubt the internet will provide endless ideas to help you develop your travel plans.  There are also some great books available for inspiration.  Try 1001 Best Things to See and Do in New Zealand By Peter Janssen  or the Kiwi Kids Road Atlas & Holiday Activity Book.

Start small

It can be incredibly easy to get overwhelmed when planning a family holiday.  This is especially true in our amazing country with seemingly endless options competing for your time and money.  Remember that anything you do will be an opportunity to create memories and a holiday is what you make of it.  You don’t have to do everything, and you certainly don’t have to do it all at once!

Maybe your family could manage a weekend trip once or twice a year; travelling by car and staying with people you know which can help to keep costs down. Cheap domestic flights can help make your dreams a reality. Keep an eye on great flight deals – you may well be surprised by how affordable they are. If you know when you have a block of time you could travel (for example, in school holidays) then check out this farefinder tool for the cheapest places you could go in your timeframe.

Travelling with kids

It won’t be as quick and easy to travel with kids as it can be without them.  But the memories you build, what you will learn from and about each other and the amount you will learn about your country will make up for the difficulties in spades!  There are many things you can do to make travel with kids easier.

International Travel

While you’re dreaming and planning, don’t discount the possibility of travelling overseas together.  You may be pleasantly surprised at how possible this is!  You might want to think about Australia or further afield.

  • Catch some sun in the Pacific Islands.  They’re close and becoming more and more affordable.
  • Many cruises depart from Auckland and are a surprisingly affordable all-key-expenses-paid holiday option.
  • Hong Kong has many kid-friendly activities.

Ways to save money on international travel are plentiful – change hotels partway through your holiday so you can stay in two different locations and not have to travel so far to see all the sights; research bus services from airport to hotels and use a mixture of transport options rather than just accepting you’ll have to hire a car and pay for parking. Mix and match flights from various airlines to get the best overall deals. Sometimes though – especially with younger children – it’s worth paying that bit extra for a little comfort and ease of getting from A to B!

If you always let the difficulties of travel dictate your decision to go or not go – you’ll never go.  But then you’ll be missing out!  So if you can, try travelling together as a family and give your kids those memories they’ll treasure forever. Why not start a plan now?

This post was sponsored by House of Travel. 

Sally Mangai

Sally is the Community Manager here at Kiwi Families. She fills her time with her handsome, busy boys and her handsome, busy husband; trying out new recipes and researching and writing about family life in Aotearoa.

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