Toddler Travels: How This Mum Did It!
Many of us only see what is on the surface and posted in social media; success in life, confidence in travel or fun in living abroad. People often tell me “your life looks like so much fun” “how do you afford all your adventures?” “how do you dare to do that mountain stuff?”
This confidence and fun is not always as easy as it seems and this post aims to help you remove the “I can’t” from adventure.
It takes time to become confident and have fun when travelling, especially with a toddler…
Lindsay Parkin originally grew up around the corner from my childhood home in Ferryhill. Lindsay offered to give us an insight into traveling and living abroad with her Son, Oliver. Oliver is 3 at the time of writing this post and has already seen a lot of the world.
Lindsay moved to Germany in 2013 and then to South Korea with Oliver in 2016. They have both had lots of adventures around Asia, Australia and New Zealand!
Would you like to know some insider tips on travelling and living abroad with a toddler? Then read on! Lets face it, we all like a story from a local lass 🙂
– What encouraged you to travel? –
I’ve always loved traveling. I think I took my first holiday alone (with friends) when I was 16 and I’ve tried to go somewhere different every year since. I love how different every country and culture is, I’ve always just wanted to see and experience it all.
– Growing up, did you ever feel a barrier to international travel? –
I’ve never felt a barrier. I was quite blessed growing up, my parents took me on international holidays so it’s something that I’ve always been used to.
Although I am terrified of flying (I used to cry and feel physically sick every time we took off), but my desire to see the world meant that I just pushed myself through.
Since having my son, I make a great effort not to appear scared so that it doesn’t rub off on him . I’m not hugely religious, but I still say a little please lord let us be safe every single time I get on an plane!
– Do you make any compromises to enable travel? –
I do compromise to allow me to travel.
- I don’t eat out at restaurants that often.
- I very rarely party at clubs anymore lol: I prefer to put my money aside to save up and explore.
- I look for coupons and deals to save money not just on everyday things, but on vacations as well.
- When I do travel you’ll very rarely catch me at a 5 star resort. I’ll pick cheaper accommodation options.
- I spend a lot of time looking for alternate routes to make travel cheaper (e.g. I flew to Australia via Osaka because it makes the flight a few hundred dollars cheaper).
I don’t miss out on everything, but I do try and make a good balance.
– What is your favourite location? –
I’ve never been anywhere I didn’t like. Everywhere is somewhere special.
Right now I think Uluru and South New Zealand (around Mount Cook) are my favourites (I’m still on the high after just being there lol). This is followed closely by Cambodia and Italy.
– What secrets do you have to travelling on a budget? –
I read reviews of hostels so you can stay in decent accommodation at a cheap price. If you have kids, most hostels allow you to stay in private rooms, some locations have cheap glamping pods and beach huts.
Skyscanner is great to find flights, but it doesn’t always have all budget airlines on there I don’t think Ryan air is on there in Europe.
If you’re flexible with dates that’s great too. Google for coupon codes and check business facebook pages. For example, I saved 15% on my car rental in NZ because I got a discount code off their Facebook page
Cook food yourself rather than eating out overnight while you’re on holiday.
Speaking of cooking yourself, Touching the Summit’s Sarah even took 20kg of food to Norway. You can read more about Norway on A Budget here.
– What are your favourite activities while travelling? –
My favourite activities depend where I’m at. I love nature and cultural activities. I’d rather see a country’s natural beauty than head into a city shopping. I do however travel with a toddler so I usually have to hit up several playgrounds when I travel and make compromises on some things I’d like to do. For example in NZ I wanted to do a 19km hike over a volcano but it had a steep incline and it would not have been safe for a 3 year old 😦
– What has moving away from the North East of the UK taught you? –
Moving away from the north east has actually made me appreciate how beautiful England is when I go back! It’s made me think outside of the box too – I started my own business instead of having a regular 9-5. It’s definitely helped me to grow as a person.
If you’d like to know more about Lindsay’s business, visit the page Just My Cup of Tea Creations.
– What do you miss the most? –
I miss my friends and family the most – I’m across the world so it’s difficult to get home much 😦
– Do you have any advice to people with ex-pat aspirations? –
My advice would be stop thinking about it and just do it! If it doesn’t work for you can always move back home!
– Do you have any advice for people with travel aspirations? –
Just do it… If you have fears start with somewhere more local or a shorter trip. For my first trip with my toddler (then baby) I was scared to go alone. Therefore, I booked a short 4 day trip. I did stay in a regular hotel instead of a hostel.
I live in South Korea, so although Cambodia may seem far to some people, it’s actually only a few hours for me.
I stuck to tours and hotel booked transport so I felt safe.
After that trip I realized it wasn’t so scary and built up from there.
I just got back from 2 months in Australia and NZ with my toddler alone. I stayed in mainly hostels and holiday parks. We did self guided hiking and driving.
Confidence will come in time, but you need to push yourself to the edge of your own comfort zone 🙂
Lindsay really demonstrates that it is possible to travel after you have a family and that it doesn’t matter how daunting it is, you can take little steps to succeed.
Are there any boundaries that stop you from travelling?
We would love to hear from you.