There’s absolutely no doubt in the world that travelling with kids is tough, but there’s something about the way that Evie Farrell does it that makes it seem so effortless. Evie and daughter Emily are a savvy world-travelling pair, currently exploring the endless jewels and gems of Asia and writing about it all on their enchanting Mumpack Travel blog.
Pour yourself a nice cuppa, sit back, and prepare to get lost in Evie and Emily’s adventures, and take a quick moment to read our recent interview with Evie about how she makes it all happen!
What is the hardest part about travel?
I think the hardest part about travel is having the courage to do it and taking the leap, especially if it’s your first holiday with children or you’re embarking on a big adventure. Often travelling with kids can seem daunting but I’ve found that the most challenging parts for me are the same ones I face at home – mealtimes, manners and bedtimes – we’re just in a different country. Careful planning and preparation can help with worries like flying with children or what to do if they are sick overseas – as long as you plan, you’ll be able to manage whatever comes up with confidence. If you’re nervous about travelling with your children, it’s a good idea to take a short holiday somewhere you will feel supported and can build your confidence – try a city break, travel to a resort or rent a nice car and drive somewhere out of town. After six months of travel, the challenges I have and things I focus on change quite frequently. At the moment my biggest concern is making sure Emily is connected to kids her age and is spending time with them and having lots of kid-fun.
Why is it so important to travel with your kids?
The most important thing for me was for Emily and I to have time together. I couldn’t afford to quit my job or reduce my hours if we stayed in Australia, but I could if we travelled through Asia, so it’s given us time together that I never would have had otherwise. I think travel also opens children up to new experiences, it shows them different ways of living, different cultures, religions and ways of life. I’ve seen Emily’s confidence grow so much, and her ability to interact with people and her openness to exploring new experiences grow. She is also very comfortable in different situations and of course, she has had to experience the good and the bad of travel so she is seeing the world through her own lens, not that of the television or through the eyes of others.
What is the destination your daughter has loved most?
Emily will always say anywhere with waterslides, and we’ve been lucky enough to stay at some fabulous resorts along the way like the Shangri-La in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo which has four kids’ waterslides, an awesome pool and fabulous water play area. We’ve also had a few trips to Disneyland while on the road, including the opening of Shanghai Disneyland in China. But in terms experiences, bathing rescued elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand, spending time with Bajau Laut sea gypsy children in Borneo, camping the Great Wall of China and cycling together around Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan have been amazing fun and opened her eyes to the world around her and given her an appreciation of people, culture and the importance of protecting wild animals and their habitats.
How do you recommend parents keep kids happy in the car?
Since we are all so busy all of the time, car trips are such a great chance for families to play games and spend time together before arriving at your destination where often everyone scatters! We love singing when we are on road trips – I teach Emily songs I love, she sings her favourites and we just enjoy belting our tunes together. We also play a lot of ‘I spy’, ‘Who am I’ and other games where we can interact and enjoy each other’s company. On long trips, movies are great for downtime, and we always pack a pillow and blanket, snacks and water and toilet paper for unscheduled stops along the way.
If you could visit anywhere on earth right now, where would you go and why?
I am currently obsessing about summertime in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, particularly Lake Moraine. It just looks spectacular, with bright blue water and towering snow capped mountains. I would love to visit and swim, canoe, hike and enjoy nature for a couple of weeks. It looks like a great place to slow down and enjoy the world – I’m hoping we will make it there next year if we have any money left. Fingers crossed.