traveling is broadly associated with folks in their 20’s, people that are somewhere in or just out of their education, young people, free people, folks that are not having a family yet. But in fact, there is (almost) no reason for excluding longterm travels or journeys on rather unbeaten paths from your globetrotting possibilities once you’ve started a family.
In my series Traveling Families I am interviewing families that did not drop their traveling plans and neither ground down their wanderlust but decided to continue their journey together with their kids.
Today I am happy to introduce you to Janelle. She is living with her family in Southern California and they are exploring North America whenever they can. For the 3rd edition of this Traveling Families Series she is sharing her experiences and gives wonderful insights on their personal travel memories:
I am a travel blogger that specializes in helping the average family travel to places they never thought possible. We are a one income family of four that travels every chance we get. We don’t spend much when we travel and we go to some fantastic places. Read my posts to get budget friendly travel tips, advice on traveling with young children, and detailed travelogues of places we have been. Put on your vacation pants and take a trip anywhere!!!
Name: The Vecchio Family – My Vacation Pants Blog
Home Base: We are an American family that resides in Southern California. We count ourselves very lucky to live
in and to have grown up in an area that so many people choose to travel to.
Tell us about your family: I have always described our parenting style as hippy-nerd- intellectual. You might say we dabble in many interests, and we always include our children in our adventures. I think they are the intelligent humans they are because we expose them to so many different experiences and conversations that normally parents shy away from.
What’s your preferred travelling style? We are definitely budget travelers. Yes, we love camping. Yes, we love staying in hotels. If we can get a 5 star resort for under $200 a night, then yes we like staying in 5 star resorts. I am a teacher and my husband is a small buisness owner and stay-at- home dad. I get 3 paid months off a year, so whenever I am off, we are traveling.
How are your kids schooled? We have a really unique situation because I teach at a different school than my children attend. Because of this we have different schedules, but they are enrolled in a charter school that started with a home schooling premise. They only go to school until 1:00 each day, and after school they are able to take very interesting classes like medical school, guitar, Lego class, engineering class. They also get 20 days of independent study a year, so if our breaks do not overlap, I take them out of school and we educate them on the road.
Tell us about your dearest family travel memory. My most precious family memory happened when my daughter was 2 and my son was only 6 months old. It was our first family vacation and we used our tax return money to plan a trip to Oregon to stay in a tree house hotel. I remember holding my daughter’s little hand and my husband was wearing my son in the baby carrier as we made our way up a spiral staircase and across rope bridges to our treehouse room 50 feet above the ground. I had this realization that we really were doing this, something many people don’t do; we did not let having children stop us from traveling, and in fact, it was just more special that we were sharing this together as a family.
Which countries/regions did you explore with your kids so far? We are Americans and there is so much to see and do here in the United States, so we have mostly traveled domestically at this point. We have also traveled to Mexico and Canada as well as some islands around the Carribean. This summer we are traveling around Europe for a month, so that will be our first long term international trip with our family.
Thinking back to your past travels, which on was the best and why? It is hard to pick just one, but one really special trip was when we found some crazy cheap airfare to Washington D.C. and we traveled around our nation’s capital and through the mid east coast area. There was so much history and beauty, and since it was off season and cold, we had the entire capitol practically to ourselves. I think about that special trip often.
What do you think you could discover thanks to travelling with your kids that you would have not done/seen without them? I would have never realized how much their young little minds could take in and learn if I didn’t take them on these fantastic trips. They have so much they can now connect to what they are learning in their education and they can take in so much more than I ever imagined a child could take in.
Do you have any advice for traveling with kids? It is super important to start traveling when your children are young. It is hard to do at first, I know it is, but it paves the way for traveling in the future. Our children at 8 and 6 are such experienced travelers now. They have no problems being flexible and that is because we went on our first big trips when they were infants.
What is – for you – the biggest challenge when travelling as a family? The only huge problem is getting all of us through security at airports. I hate it and it is the most stressful part of traveling. Once that part is over it is smooth sailing.
Traveling is always as well a learning path; what did you learn from your family travels? I have learned that traveling is about spending quality time together. Compromising on your plans, and being flexible, is the key to success in traveling with your family.
Why are you travelling? We travel simply put because we love it. I love every aspect of it. I love planning, I love going, and I love writing about our experiences to help others to get out there and do it too. It changes your life for the better.
What do you think is the best benefit for your children from your journeys? I think they are learning life’s lessons when they travel. They are learning about other cultures and how different and unique the world is. They are learning how to be flexible and roll with what life gives you. They are expanding their knowledge and getting a hands on approach to learning. It is hard to put my finger on the exact reason why, but honestly traveling with my children is preparing them to be better people.
Thank you, Janelle!