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Are These 7 Fears Stopping You From Traveling with Children?

July 2, 2019

Are These 7 Fears Stopping You From Traveling?

It’s easy to come up with real , real-to-you, or imagined reasons why you can’t travel with your children. But wait. Are these ‘reasons’ simply excuses or fears in disguise? Read on to see if these 7 fears are stopping you from traveling with children.

1. Money! I just can’t afford to travel.

It may come as a surprise, but you don’t need a lot of money to travel. If you want to travel, there are cheap ways to do it, especially if you are willing to be creative. For example, if you are traveling with a family, you can sometimes save a bundle by buying one way airline tickets – one outbound itinerary, one return itinerary. I recently was able to travel, 4 kids + moi, to Europe from New York for about $120 one way per person. Once in Europe, I was able to fly to different locations with my crew using low-cost airlines, such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air; I took one flight between London and France that was £ 4.99 per person/one way (that’s about $6.00 USD)!

There are a number of discount travel sites out there. You just have to look for them! There are also ways to stay cheaply abroad, from home exchanges, hostels, to couch surfing, to long stay AirBnB rentals, to family volunteer abroad opportunities that give you free accommodation in exchange for your time. Some families even rent out their home while they travel to earn extra cash. Also, depending on your destination, you may discover that some places are soooo much cheaper for a family to live in than home…you might actually save money being away from home!

There are many ways to make money online while you travel, too. I previously wrote this post about 21 side hustles, which might give you ideas. There are also job opportunities abroad, such as teaching English as a foreign language. If you already have a work-from-home job or one that allows flexibility, this may make it even easier financially to travel.

You can always start small too. You don’t need to book a six month trip to Europe to enjoy the benefits and experience of travel. Staycations, weekend trips, or overnight adventures close to home are also ways to soak up the travel lifestyle. One of my favorite travel destinations is only a few hours away from my home, and it’s always a fun, easy adventure to pack the kids in the car, fill up the gas tank, and go.

Yes, traveling costs money, but if you really want to travel, there are ways to do it affordably, cheaply, and sometimes free. With a bit of creativity, you really can’t hide behind this excuse.

2. They are too young to travel. They won’t remember any of it.

Recently I was talking with my children about tabula rasa. This is the concept that children are born as a blank slate, waiting to be shaped and molded. Somehow a child learns to walk and run, but they don’t necessarily remember learning it, yet it stays with them. The experience of travel is sort of like that too. Children are like sponges. They absorb, study, and soak up everything around them. You may not see the impact immediately, but somewhere the experience is stored and shaping them.

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Hiking New Hampshire’s 4000 Footers with Children

June 30, 2019
Stopping briefly on the trail to Mount Pierce, one of New Hampshire’s forty-eight 4,000 footers, in the White Mountains.

Hiking New Hampshire’s Forty-Eight 4000 Footers is a tall challenge, and for some the perfect short or long-term adventure.

In the tiny little state of New Hampshire, you can find forty-eight (48) 4,000 ft high mountains. Locals and avid hikers call them the 4,000 footers. The majority of them are found within ‘the Whites’ (White Mountains), including Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft.

The idea of hiking all 48 peaks is fascinating to many people who love to hike and also to those looking for a short or long-term challenge. I have several friends who love hiking in the White’s, some of them make peak bagging in the Whites a regular outdoor activity.

People come from all over the US and world to hike in New Hampshire. People who hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000 Footers can earn a respectable NH48 patch.

If you’re looking for a new life goal or short-term project, hiking in New Hampshire might make a good adventure. It should be said, however, don’t be fooled by the precautions and preparations you must make to hike in the Whites. The 4,000 footers may be smaller than say mountains in the Alps, but the conditions, geography, and isolation of the mountains can make hiking unprepared or hiking without smarts, simply dangerous. Mount Washington alone is known for its unpredictable weather and warning signs inform hikers that it is one of the deadliest mountains. Even in summer, one can find snow, freak storms, and other dangers, such as rockfall.

A few years ago, the kids and I attempted a hike in the Whites in mid June and turned back after several hours of hiking due to the snow and ice we encountered.

Early this month, we lucked out with early summer weather and had the opportunity to hike two of the forty-eight footers, Mount Pierce and Mount Eisenhower. The bugs, however, below treeline were horrendous–and I accidentally left the bug spray in the car!

Peak Bagging in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Hiking 4,000 Footers with Children

While my list of 4,000 footers in New Hampshire with my children is short, we have extensive hiking experience, as I have previously blogged about, including our recent 100K St. Cuthbert’s Way Hike in Scotland, The Camino de Santiago, and The Tour du Mont Blanc. I have previously followed a family of three on Instagram who recently finished hiking the forty-eight, and I recall seeing a blog one of a woman who was attempting to hike them with her two young daughters.

I certainly believe that many things are possible with children. This adventure may certainly be one of them, provided you do some independent research on the peaks before you set out so you know what you are getting yourself and group into, including ensuring that you are prepared, know the weather, have some prior hiking with kids (or outside) experience, are adequately packed with the right gear, have a map and know how to use it, and have a backup/change of plan strategy. Keeping in mind its imperative to consider the age, fitness, abilities, and unique personality of your child, and know that this adventure is not for everyone, not only so you don’t bite off too much to chew too soon, but to ensure that everyone has a good, positive experience.

Some people complete all 48 quickly; some in less than a year, others over a span of many years. Whether you’re hiking with children, solo, with a friend, or in a group, with plans to do one, several, or all 48 peaks, you’re sure to create an experience you’ll remember. And, if you can’t make it to New Hampshire, look for trails closer to home and create your own challenge! Happy hiking!

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Fake and Real Aspects of the Travel Lifestyle on Social Media: What You See Isn’t the Complete Picture

June 27, 2019
Julie, Wandermom, in Nantes, France. The travel lifestyle often looks shiny, but it’s not always easy. You don’t see homesickness, long distance relationships, tears on pillows on Instagram–you don’t feel what a heavy heart feels like when you’re across the ocean from someone you love.

The travel lifestyle often looks shiny, but it’s not always easy. You don’t see homesickness, long distance relationships, tears on pillows on Instagram–you don’t feel what a heavy heart feels like when you’re across the ocean from someone you love. – Julie, Wanderschool.com

Not pictured above: Dirty Laundry: The agony, struggle, heartbreak, sadness, frustration, the buckets of tears, and ups & downs of a difficult month of slow travel.

The travel lifestyle often looks shiny and irresistibly tempting on Instagram (or anywhere on social media, for that matter),

An addictive rush,

New places, new people–

New everything whenever or wherever the mood or opportunity strike,

A chance to be who you are without preconceptions or limitations,

But the truth is,

It doesn’t matter where you go,

Or where you are now,

Or how popping your insta page is,

Everyday is a new day to–

Recreate,

Reinvent,

Redefine,

Reshape,

Recommit to

Who you are,

Who you aren’t,

What you need

What you want–or don’t

Where you ultimately want to go,

Everyday is a new day

To do your laundry–

To clean up,

To shine brighter than anything that could ever possibly be contained or displayed in square boxes.

To make this life yours.

To do you.

-Julie, Wanderschool

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