Our family, well, we love a holiday! LOVE! Whether it be camping, or exploring little towns, or walking through a big city. Always learning, always walking, always photographing and always relaxing. So today on the blog is travel day. A time when I can recall where we’ve been, dream about where we want to go, and maybe even hand out a bit of advice that I have learnt from the epic failures we have had on our no-so-perfect family holidays.
Let me give you some background on our latest adventure:
A few months ago Husband and I packed up our MissEight and MrFive and we went on our first big overseas holiday together.
Husband and I had both travelled pretty well as twenty-somethings. He had been to Japan and I had been to the UK and a fair whack of Europe. Plus, both of us have travelled nationally (within Australia) pretty comprehensively; the only place neither of us have been is the northern tip of Western Australia. We have even travelled Australia pretty well with the kids, having taken them to South Eastern Queensland, right through rural New South Wales and Victoria. We have also travelled most of the coast and some of the outback of South Australia (where we live). We are also avid campers too, so we get away to a close by, but lesser known locations at least three times a year.
Having stayed pretty close to home in the last three or four years, we had both been itching to get some overseas travel under our belt. We semi-planned a trip to Germany with my Dad before he got ill, which inevitably wasn’t to be, and we had even discussed on a couple of occasions whether it was feasible to pack up and go to England for a year or two.
Last year, we decided the time was right. MrFive was starting school in 2015 and MissEight was going to be in year four at school, so we felt 2014 was a good time.
We searched around, and again, semi-planned about six trips to various locations. We had about three weeks of wiggle room with Husbands vacation time and a fairly strict budget. We thought that it would be better to go to an English speaking/Western cultured country for our first trip abroad as a family. With kids who have high energy levels, need a lot of stimulation and very strong and emotional personalities, we thought it was best to go somewhere that they could be themselves and we wouldn’t feel restricted in our parenting. We don’t feel they are quite ready to restrict their behaviour to observe cultural customs – we are working on this. Plus we didn’t want to go anywhere too risky. Does that make sense? We have quite a strong desire to get off the beaten path (particularly into Eastern Europe and some of the Middle East) at some point, but this just wasn’t the right time.
So we checked DFAT and followed our own criteria and that left us pretty much with America, England, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Canada. Four of the quintuplet I had no desire to go to.
“So it’s settled! England it is” I said, having presumed the destination, given how much we have talked of going back there.
“Well I was thinking maybe we could go somewhere neither of us have been?” Husband questioned tentatively.
We went on a mad flight-price-research bender. SkyScanner is THE BEST website for this. I have the app on my phone. Quite frequently you will find me dreaming into my phone screen while searching flights to weird and wonderful places.
To our surprise, travelling to the United States was the most reasonable for the time frame we had. The one place neither of us had ever wanted to go. The one place neither of us felt any excitement about. The one place… well you get the picture.
So the decision was reluctantly and hesitantly made. Flights were bought and we were booked in.
And you know what?? Well I will tell you the details later, but it was AWESOME! Like when you go to see a movie and you think it is going to be garbage… and then it’s amazing but you are never quite sure if it is because of the totally low expectations or whether it was just purely amazing?? THAT was our holiday to America!
Where do you venture with your kiddos? How do you plan your holiday and your budget? Send us a message and let me know where your next holiday is.
I am going to fill you in more on our US holiday next week – including my top 10 things you must absolutely, definitely pack when going overseas with primary aged kids.