Another Spanish travel family, they are from Madrid: Mari Carmen, Gustavo and Iris. The parents met in 2006 and Iris arrived in 2013, since then they’ve travelled together around Europe, Asia and America refuting the myth that you can’t travel with kids, and furthermore, that you can’t enjoy the trip if you go with kids! Beyond their tales they also create useful city guides to travel with the little ones and although they are not backpackers they are low budget travellers. These are their answers to our list of questions.
How was your first trip as a family?
Our first trip as a family was to Barcelona from Madrid, in our car. Our daughter was 3 months old. It was a 5 days trip. In our luggage there was plenty of cloths for her and lots of diapers… To be honest we didn’t have to take those many diapers as we could have easily bought them in Barcelona. We also took our travelling crib, and then realised that the hotel had some, so there was no need to carry with it. We also took the stroller, but the sling turned out to be the most useful utensil we took as it was more comfortable to tour the city.
We didn’t think of a plan B if something went wrong. But as it was in Spain, if the baby turned sick, going to the doctors’ wouldn’t have been a problem, and we could always turned back home in our own car.
What did you think could be the worst and turned not to be so bad? And the other way around?
Our main concern was that she got sick. But there was no problem. But we were travelling in Catalunya, so we could have gone to the doctors’. In retrospect we realised that it was silly to worry about that.
What is always in your luggage? What did you used to take and now you don’t?
Some toy for the kid. It is always useful to get her entertained. We thought that since we liked travelling, a travelling crib would be a must, but in most accommodation have them, and if not we just co-sleep, we shared the bed with her.
What are the tricks you use to survive until you get to your final destination?
We always take toys, crayons and colouring books, some sweets… We take lots of things for her to get busy… although most times she just falls sleep, hehehehe.
What are your tips to save in these trips as a family?
It’s important to organise your own trip looking for the cheapest option. We look in different accommodation websites. We try to get a city pass that includes what we want to visit, as it tends to be cheaper too. As for transportation, we search in skyscanner.
How do you organise your family trips?
Our decision making is a bit unusual, we tend to be flexible with the destination and we choose depending on the ticket prices. It is also true that for instance, this year we’ve been to Disneyland Paris a few times and we have done it because we know it is something she likes. For now, Iris is not involved in the decision making, but we look for activities that she’ll like.
Share an anecdote with us.
In these past 5 years of travelling with Iris there are plenty of them, but let’s stick with this one. In Japan, they are not very used to seeing families travelling with little kids. So when we travelled there with Iris, who was 21 months at the time, she became a celebrity. They wanted to take pictures of her and with her.
Which destination would you recommend as a family must? Which would you avoid at all cost?
Japan is a wonderful destination to travel as a family. Also anywhere in Europe.
I would avoid those with poorly sanitary conditions.
Where are you going next?
For now, we have planned another trip to Disneyland Paris. It would be the third time we visit it since July. We are going back because we took the anual pass and because Iris loves Disney world and we wanted to take advantage of the pass.
What advice would you give (us) any family that wants to start travelling as such?
First of all, I would say that you can travel with kids if you really want it to. It is often said that you can’t go with kids anywhere, that they are not going to understand it… But even if they don’t understand it, those trips would sink in. And they’ll get used to it.
During the trips, you’ll have to keep certain routines with them, lower your pace of visits compare to when you were travelling by yourself or as a couple.
There is no place you can’t go, except those with hygiene.
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