I’ve been following various travel blogs for a few months now, and realized that while we travel with our kids, ours is not really a family travel blog. Is it?
First of all, our name is wrong.
It looks like most “family blogs” include the word “kid,” “mom,” or “family” somewhere in the title.
We’re simply “Casual Travelers.”
Also, most family travel blogs (though not all) tend to post articles about planning beach vacations, best ways to entertain kids on the airplane, or list most kid-friendly restaurants in a given city.
In other words, most family travel blogs are, in general, very kid-centric.
We don’t do that either.
Looking at my recent and featured posts, I realized that it isn’t exactly obvious that we travel with kids – an eight- and a thirteen-year-old – mostly because we post very few photos of them.
We simply tend to write about the places and things we’ve seen.
Likewise, while we do have posts about more typical family vacation destinations such as the SeaWorld, or the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, we also write about museums or places where our kids kept asking “ARE WE DONE YET?!”
And while we generally mention how our kids reacted to a place we’d visited, overall we seem to focus just as much, if not more, on our reaction to what we’ve seen.
That is rather atypical for family blogs as well.
Is that wrong, though? Are we missing or misleading a huge chunk of our intended audience – families who travel with kids – by making our blog less kid-centric, and by giving more depth and adding history to our posts?
I don’t think so.
People ask us sometimes
“Do your kids actually like traveling and going to all those museums and sightseeing?”
At that point we usually laugh, and answer
“No, but they don’t have a choice.”
Our kids have learned that this is what we do on vacation – we travel, and we sightsee, which usually involves stopping in random places to admire the landscape, or visiting some sort of at least mildly educational attraction like a historical place or museum.
Then, when we go back to the hotel or our rental, we relax and either go to the pool or the beach, or just hang out. They kids get to have some fun, but we (the grownups) get to do some things we want to do as well.
The funny thing is, sometimes they get surprised by how much they like a place even though they weren’t expecting it.
My daughter loves castles, so she was very happy to see the Castelo dos Mouros in Sintra, Portugal, but my son didn’t want to go there. However, once he climbed up to the highest point he was awe struck by the magnificent view stretching out below.
Similarly, I wasn’t sure about taking the kids to the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain, especially the day after we saw the Museo Nacional del Prado, where they whined pretty much THE. WHOLE. TIME.
But to our surprise, it turned out both kids liked modern art much more than the classics of the Prado, and my daughter got fascinated by pointillistic paintings, spending quite a bit of time (for a seven-year-old) examining “the dots” and how they compose together into a scene.
That’s what I like about traveling with our kids – sometimes we see places that stretch their comfort zone, and it’s incredibly exciting and rewarding to see their smiles or the look of fascination on their faces as they examine either the view, the painting, or the information about the place they didn’t expect to like.
That’s why I keep writing, even though our blog may not be exactly what a family looking for ideas for next typical family vacation would expect – because I believe there are families out there who are like us.
I believe, and hope, there are families who travel with kids, because … well, because they have kids so the kids go wherever the parents go, but their vacations and their voyages are not about the children and what they want to see.
So if you’re looking for posts along the lines of “Five best things to see in x with your kids,” you might want to look elsewhere.
But if you simply like reading about places you’ve been to or want to see, whether you travel with or without kids, I hope you’ll like our blog, and keep reading.
We promise we’ll be honest and as thorough in our descriptions as possible, to help you make up your mind whether you would like to go there, or to give you a good idea of what it’s like, even if you’ll never visit that place.
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By the way, that photo at the beginning of the post? That was taken at the end of our week-long vacation to the U.K., which was after we’d already spent a week at a ski resort in Poland. As you can see, our kids have clearly had enough of sightseeing by then, and seeing the famous London Bridge elicited merely a shoulder shrug. If you’re traveling with kids, you might get a similar reaction toward the end of your trip.
On the other hand, both kids did love the Warner Bros. Studio Tour “The Making of Harry Potter.” We had been traveling for over a week by then, but they love Harry Potter so much, we spent hours at that place.
It’s a give and take every time.
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