Our family has been going on a lot of trips in the last two years. We have been told that we travel too much and that we should be saving money instead of wasting it on our trips. But, what others say will not stop us from going on more adventures! Traveling is definitely not a waste of time, nor a waste of money.
WHY WE TRAVEL
#1 Traveling gives us a chance to relax and recharge our mind and body.
Traveling is a chance to take ourselves out of our routine and into a new setting away from the bustling and fast-paced city life. Although I go on workations, a trip still helps me regroup and recharge. Simply being in a new place can rejuvenate our minds and body!
#2 Traveling allows us to world school our children.
Although our children go to school, we also make it a point to be home-partners of their schools and do our part in schooling our children. We world school them: we show them the places they discuss in history books; we interact with animals they learn about in science class; and we let them experience culture first-hand. This is an amazing way to complement the education they get in school!
#3 Traveling is our family’s chance to bond.
We drop our gadgets and forget ’em during our trips. This opens an opportunity to reconnect with each other and share an experience that we all enjoy. This allows us to create meaningful memories that we know our kids will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Of course, we can still create memories even when we are not traveling. But, traveling just feels so special and is more memorable!
HOW WE MAKE IT WORK
#1 We refrain from buying unnecessary things and save the money in our travel fund instead.
The biggest struggle when traveling is the budget. We are paying off mortgages for our house and car. We are also spending a bulk of our income on the kids’ education. So, how do we fund our trips?
Part of our budget is sent to our Fun Jar. We go to this jar whenever we want to see a movie or eat out. When the kids want a new toy, this is where we get the budget from. When my husband and I want a new gadget, this is where we get the budget from as well. We put a set amount in this jar every pay day. Now, it is up to us whether we will spend the money in the Fun Jar or save it for something bigger–like a family trip.
More often than not, our whole family chooses a family trip. Yes! Even the kids! We taught them the wisdom behind delayed gratification early on so they know how to reflect before they buy. We honestly do not fear dropping by a toy store because we know they will not ask for anything they do not need. Usually, they just go around, look at all the toys, then go out–no angry fits, no nagging. They just leave and move on.
By practicing delayed gratification, our family is able to save enough funds for our trips!
#2 We take every opportunity we get to travel.
My husband is a firefighter and his schedule is crazy. Since he is an officer, he has to be in the office during office hours to review and sign paperwork. But since he also leads the Operations Section, he stays at the station even after office hours, and sometimes even on weekends.
Holidays are a no-go for us. Holidays = HEIGHTENED ALERT. This means no one is allowed to go on leave and everyone is required to be on duty at the station. So while everyone is on holiday, our whole family is hanging out at the station or accompanying my husband in deployments. Still fun!
So, when he is able to go on leave, we take that opportunity to travel. It is helpful to have a travel fund in our Fun Jar ready whenever the window of opportunity opens. At least we do not miss a single opportunity to go on a family adventure!
#3 We started early with the kids.
Another issue about traveling with kids is, well, traveling with kids. Traveling with little ones is truly a challenge. But, it will get easier if you start them young. Our kids’ first plane ride was when we went on a vacation in Bohol. Our eldest was two years old, our youngest was just months old! The plane ride was a tough one, but the more they went on plane rides, the less fussy they were.
The same goes with long car rides. If you do not want to get stressed during a long trip, get your child used to sitting in a car seat. Not only will this be less stressful for you, it is safer.
Yes, your child will protest the seat. Our advice is to go on practice rides. Short trips first, then level up to longer ones. We took our kids on 20-minute practice rides at first. Then we went on longer rides going to the mall. We then went on even longer rides to another town. Now, they are able to go on 18-hour car rides IN their car seat without any protests!
HOW TRAVELING CHANGED MY LIFE & THE LIVES OF MY HUSBAND AND TWO KIDS
Traveling changed my life. And it changed my husband’s life as well as our kids’ lives. Traveling has brought us (and continues to bring us) together as a family; it taught us to be purposeful and present at all times. It also pushed us to be citizens of the world, to open our minds and hearts to people–whatever their race or beliefs are–because at the end of the day, we are all human beings that just need to understand each other more, help each other more.
Will we ever stop traveling? No way! Traveling changed our family for the better and we hope that through traveling, we can also encourage others to go through the same beautiful change we went through.
This post is my entry to Traveloka’s How Travel Changed My Life Blogger Contest. #TravelokaPH #WhyITravel #TravelokaStories [UPDATE: This post was chosen as the 6th Weekly Winner and GRAND PRIZE Winner!!!]