The idea for Travel With Kids came from the many questions we got about traveling with our kids. A trip to Spain, Morocco & Ireland when Nathan was 11 months old. A trip to NYC when they were 3 and 1. Several trips to Mexico.
“How do you get baby food. Do they have diapers?” “How do you know where to go, how to get around?”
Other countries have babies too. And they have baby food and diapers, just like we do. Same brands. Unlike the USA, other countries primary source of income is tourism, so every street corner has a bus, taxi, travel agent, train. You can get where ever you want to go, when ever you want. Down the street, or to another country.
With backgrounds in TV production and marketing, we decided to make a video in Puerto Rico showing how to do this (Travel With Kids Caribbean.) 7 years later, here we are.
Our shows do not replace the traditional guidebook, but rather show parents and kids it is possible, and amazing to go. Go to Peru. Go to Costa Rica. Go to Vietnam. Go off the beaten path, out of the resort. Take local busses and trains. Stay in small guesthouses. This brings us to our next topic; costs.
THE MONEY QUESTION
This is our main question after “aren’t you scared to travel” or “whats the worst thing that happened to you”
In 1998 (no kids) we quit our jobs, put our junk in storage and left with a backpack and a few thousand dollars saved up. We had a one way ticket to China. We crossed the border on foot 8 months later at the Nogales Arizona/Mexico border crossing. The journey was an adventure of a lifetime, life changing and taught us everything we know.
Guesthouses are cheap. Local transport is cheap. Local food is cheap. Small traditional villages are cheap. Finding a local guide and local rickshaw taxi is cheap. One week at a chain resort = a month of real travels.
We do not have a trust fund. We are not bankrolled by a big company. We have an average un-remodled house and two used cars. We just travel cheap. Airfare is always the main expense, but after that there are ways to travel without major costs, and the best part is you will have incredible amazing authentic travel experiences.
Thailand; beautiful beachfront bamboo hut with electric and shower: $5 US a day.Tons of other travelers, kids, a restaurant and cold drinks. Snorkeling & Diving.
Indonesia: Riverfront jungle lodge with Orangutans in the trees: $5 US a day.
Virgin Islands local ferry: $2 US dollars
Morocco 4 star hotel $50 USD
Dinner for 4 in Saigon $12 USD After full day tour of the Mekong River and Cu Chi tunnes $50 USD
Saigon French colonial guesthouse on a bustling street full of families from all over the world $5 USD
Ferry in Costa Rica to remote Montezuma full of Monkeys, beaches and a two road town $10
We do spend time in nice resorts and do go out for nice meals on our travels, but we are really about true travel experiences, that natually come when you are traveling (cheap) like a local (to quote Rick Steves) surrounded by locals. Kids playing street soccer with other kids while we have .50 cent tacos near the beach at sunset. Riding an elephant in the jungle and stopping to buy a bag of fresh fruit off the trees while the locals prepare a traditional dinner by candelight. Rent a car and drive the coast stopping at Mayan Pyramids and pure beaches.
Places like Europe & London are expensive, but if you are able to have a basic roof over your head in a good area of town, pack the kids some sandwiches and have some meals from street carts, even travel in the off-season, it is possible.