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Around the World in 48 Days

“So we beat the people in the movie?”
“What movie?”
“Around the World in 80 Days’”
“Yes. I suppose we did.”
“So, what’s the big deal with them, then?”
“No airplanes.”
“Oh, right.”

That’s how the conversation went when we figured out how many days it took us to travel around this great globe of ours. With two kids in tow, my husband and I set out across the Pacific with a plan to visit five countries on two continents in 48 days. And our adventure was grand – packed with tuk-tuk races, massive temples, orangutan chases, fire walkers, elephant encounters, castles, hawks and lots of dancing and laughing along the way. Read all about the different countries we visited in this six-part blog series – updates will be posted weekly, so keep checking back!

Or continue reading below for answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on how we planned and prepared for such a big trip!


monk at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Seamus with monk at Angkor Wat, Cambodia


Volunteering with elephants, Thailand

Volunteering with elephants, Thailand


orangutans, sumatra, indonesia

Spotting orangutan on trek in Gunung Leuser National Park on Sumatra in Indonesia

Sri Lanka

Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka

Washing rice pots on Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka


Cahernane House in Killarney, Ireland

Hanging at Cahernane House in Killarney, Ireland

How did you decide where to go?

We had two Travel With Kids Family Adventure Tours we were escorting this summer, one in Thailand and one in Ireland, so we knew we wanted to work around that. Each time we have gone to Asia we have had to skip Cambodia due to political unrest. This time, we were determined to make a go of it. So, we started there and moved overland by train to Thailand to meet our group. After Thailand, we wanted to share one of the most amazing experiences we’ve ever had with our kids…trekking amongst orangutans on the island of Sumatra. From there, we got a bit of help from our airline ticket consolidator (see below) who mentioned that we could have a free stopover in Sri Lanka…sold! And from there we kept heading west, via United Arab Emirates, to meet our group in Ireland.

One of favorite things to do at home, is to look at the world map and each of us pick a few places they want to go and we narrow it down that way too! Sometimes it’s like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle!

How did you find airfare to connect all the dots?

We worked with air travel consolidator called Air Treks. They specialize in multi-stop trips usually spanning multiple continents. Their site is really easy to use with their Trip Planner…you simply pick the places you want to visit on a map or from a city list  – and you can add in parts that you would prefer to travel overland instead of air – and they send you a quote. It’s that easy! It’s lots of fun to play around with for dreamers with itchy travel feet! And, they make suggestions on free stop-overs or cheaper routes.

Were you worried about safety?

My answer to this is always unequivocally no. I know that sounds strange, but there is danger and violence everywhere…including in our hometown, but I can’t let fear of that stop me from doing the things I want to do…whether locally or abroad. Of course, you need to keep your wits about you…don’t flash fancy jewelry or money around, always ask before walking through an area (especially at night), keep an eye on the news – or a good travel agent will update you to unfolding situations. RoamRight, our partner and the company from which we get our travel insurance, offers an app that updates on security situations as well.

How did you pack?

This is a difficult one as we were dealing with multiple climates – hot and humid in Thailand, cold and rainy in Ireland. My main suggestion is always light, layers. Unless you are talking snow and ice cold, light layers all piled on should keep you warm. I did end up buying a sweater in Ireland…but now I have a great souvenir! So, I packed a week’s worth of clothes for each of us knowing that we could do laundry along the way.

I always roll our clothes to save room and keep the wrinkles away. This year, I packed in travel cubes I found at Travel Smith, and now I am a huge fan! Not only did it keep our clothes organized – shirts and shorts/pants in one cube, socks, undies, swim suit and rain jacket in another – but I used different colored cubes for each member of the family. So, when we got to a hotel, each family member just pulled their cubes from the luggage and were ready to find their own clothes – especially useful for two boys so close in age who always seem to “confuse” each other’s clothes…or more likely put on the first shirt they see…to the hollers of the other one…LOL!

What if one of your kids get sick?

sick child, cambodia

Nathan in Cambodia

It has happened before and it will happen again. We found Travelan – a medicine that helps prevent stomach problems when traveling. That seemed to help a lot when we were traveling this summer with our group in Thailand. It’s an all natural digestive tract protection.

We always pack a first aid kit that can handle most minor illnesses. Most hotels will assist in anyway possible to make you comfortable and get any medicines you need. Nathan got sick in Cambodia this summer and the hotel brought him chicken noodle soup and chocolates when he was feeling a bit better. Most hotels also have contacts for English-speaking doctors. There are international medical clinics in most places we have been for what we can’t treat from our hotel room. Seamus broke his foot in Vietnam and it was x-rayed, cast and we were off again in a few hours. It is always good to get travel insurance in case an ear infection or other illness delays your trip and you have to re-arrange flighs and hotels.


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