I’ve started a small interview series because there has been a surge of people having babies at the moment. I guess I am at the age where friends and family are going to be thinking about adding the extra numbers to their little gangs. It’s delightful, because parenthood does make one happy (so I can observe) but I have found most see having children an end to travelling.
As you would have read in the previous interview with Nila Tanzil Petersen, this is not the case!
Now, I am not a parent, I know. I have had the conscious decision not to have children, but that doesn’t stop me from observing my fellow travellers, those who are as passionate about the world as me and those who doesn’t let parenthood stop them in their tracks. So I decided to interview three of them in the next coming days to show you that travelling with children is possible!
To continue the mini series about travelling with children, I interview the couple from Travelingcanucks to find out how having children have changed (if at all) their travelling life.
Cam and Nicole Wears have been travelling together for 10 years, and in 2008 they traded their jobs with a backpack and hit the road. Recently they’ve added two new additions to their travelling family – with two young sons in tow, and they are still making travelling their priority. They have been sharing tips and advice for parents wanting to travel with babies, so I asked them three questions about their experience travelling as parents to young children.
1. How have your own perception on travelling changed before and after babies?
We view travel pretty much the same as before having babies, but we’ve learned to slow down and not try to do too much. Before babies, we would fill our days with sightseeing and activities, jumping from one thing to the next. We didn’t have to worry about nap times or eating schedules. We just went with the flow. We now have to plan our trips with a lot more detail, so I suppose some of the spontaneity has been lost since having babies. We now plan for the most direct route on travel days and we’re happy to pay more for convenience and simplicity.
2. Has anything surprised you about travelling with children, now that you are parents?
I think the biggest surprise we had was when we shared a hotel room with our baby for the first time. When it was time for him to go bed we had to turn off the lights and sit in the dark room. We couldn’t watch television and we had to be very quite, which isn’t a lot of fun when it’s 7:30PM on a Saturday night. Needless to say, it was an unexpected shock to the system. We’ve since learned to sleep when our boys sleep because their sleeping patterns constantly change when we travel, especially if we’re changing time zones or dealing with jet lag.
3. What advice do you have for parents travelling with children?
The most important piece of advice we have for newbie parents is to slow down and reset your travel expectations. You can’t travel the way you use to, so it’s important to adapt to your new lifestyle. That means early mornings and early bedtimes. We do most activities and sightseeing in the morning, when everyone is fresh, and we return to our hotel/apartment by mid-day so that everyone can relax and have a nap. We try to keep our afternoons and evenings wide open so that we can adapt to our boys moods. This way we don’t feel disappointed if we have to skip certain activities because of a cranky baby. Travel is supposed to be fun, so keep things light and try not to overload your days.
Visit Cam and Nicole Wears at: Travelingcanucks.com