A couple on a 6-month trip around the world shares their ‘tried and tested tips’ for traveling with toddlers
In January, Pedro Pla and his wife Grace Cheng embarked on a six-month journey around the world with their two sons, 4-year-old Ramses and 2-year-old Ranefer.
The couple, who are the cofounders of credit-card comparison site Get.com, hit 1 million airline miles after a year of racking up credit card rewards points, which they used to purchase four business class Round-the-World tickets, worth a total of $54,000 (though they had to cover taxes and fees).
The family of four is traveling to five continents and at least 15 countries, including Kenya, Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia, and South Korea. That’s a lot of constant movement for anyone, but add two toddlers into the mix and the journey becomes a bit more challenging.
Along the way, Pla says they’ve discovered a few “tried and tested tips” for traveling with toddlers. Check them out below:
1. Pack more of their stuff and less of yours
“As we are traveling to five continents on this six-month round-the-world trip, we have the additional consideration of packing for both warm and cold climates as we traverse from the Southern to Northern hemisphere, and then down to South and then up North again, and so on. We made sure to prepare sufficient winter and summer clothing for them in advance to avoid having to hunt for them in times of need.”
2. Set aside free time in between sight seeing
“Ramses and Ranefer are still toddlers, so they have toddler-specific needs, such as needing rest time and play time. As we are traveling on our own, we have the freedom to plan how and where we want to spend each day. We try to stretch out our visits in a particular destination over several days so that we can explore the different places at a leisurely pace and have time to rest and relax. Our two boys have napped everywhere, be it in a pool cabana, safari jeep, plane, taxi, museum, restaurant, or national park.
“We also try to strike a balance of setting aside time to let them run in the park and also having time to check out art galleries and museums, which have proven to be quite intriguing to their young minds.”
3. Engage them in stories about their experiences
“Whenever we take on new places or activities, our focus is to let them soak in the atmosphere. For example, when we visit museums and galleries, we would tell them stories of what they were looking at – be it portraits of historical kings, Egyptian mummies, or dinosaur fossils. Stories capture their imagination and make them feel a connection to what they are seeing.”