I love the idea behind the blog Travel with Meraki. Meraki, is of Greek origin and I have discovered means to do something with soul and I love the idea that a family can travel with soul. So without further ado find about more about how you can travel with Meraki.
What is your family travel? Full-time, part-time, digital nomads etc.
At the moment we plan one big trip every year and try to fit in a few smaller ones too. We would love to eventually travel for longer periods of time.
How has your travel style changed since becoming a family?
We used to be a lot more laid back with our travel plans such as not booking accommodation or planing things last minute. Finding out you may have to sleep at the airport etc is not much fun with kids though so we plan and book ahead now.
We have also slowed down a lot. It used to be a case of full days walking, sight seeing and exploring. Now we take our time and make sure we have lots of breaks to give the children some run around time. It’s actually made us better travellers as now we notice all the small and magic things about a place rather than rushing on through.
What was your baby(ie)’s first trip? Why did you chose to go there? What were the highlights/lowlights etc?
Our eldest’s first adventure was at 7 months old. We travelled from Australia to Slovakia for a close friends wedding then went on to England to let him meet all my family over there. He was never much of a day sleeper so the 24 hour travel time to Europe was hard work but once there he was so easy to travel with as he was happy to be carried around in a pouch and watch the world go by.
What is your favourite family travel gadget and why?
My Camera…I actually count it as my fourth baby ;). I love taking photographs but I also love having all these precious memories that we look back on together as a family. We often talk over a trip while looking back at a photo book and laugh at all the funny moments we have had.
What is your favourite family travel destination and why?
So far Samoa has been our favourite. Apart from the sheer natural beauty of the islands, the stunning sunsets and beautiful beaches, we loved the people. They were so friendly and absolutely adored our three children. Always taking the time to make them laugh or help us out.
What is the most family friendly accommodation you have ever visited?
The Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort. The kids club was amazing and everything was so family orientated.
Family travel bloggers can be guilty of showing only the good stuff – what is your worst family ravel experience?
Our whole family became violently ill on one trip which was not fun at all. At one stage I was thinking we would have to take my youngest to hospital which would have been a daunting experience in a foreign country. My children were also all quiet young so would just stand and vomit where they were which was quiet mortifying.
What are your top three tips for other families who wish to travel?
Throw your usual rules out of the window. Bedtimes, dessert before dinner, iPad time on long flights. They’re all part of the magic the children will remember about your trip.
Pick activities for the whole family. One adult activity, then one the children will love is a great way to teach patience and understanding in children. I’ve also been known to bribe my children in places like the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. It’s not my usual practise but I knew they would have little interest in the things we wanted to see. I think it cost me 3 Euros all up and we had people complementing us on how beautiful our children were behaved 😉
Make sure you allow for downtime. Find a park and eat a picnic lunch with local produce, or have a day by the pool/beach. Tired and over stimulated children can make the day long and very unenjoyable.
What do you wish you had known or done before starting family travel?
I don’t think I have any regrets or things I wish I had known. I have learnt so much about myself and my family through the journey and adventures we have had. I wouldn’t change that for anything.
What are your future family travel plans?
We are heading to Iceland, Scotland, England and Singapore for 5 weeks soon. I think motor homing around Iceland will be the highlight.