After many years in the rat race, Natasha and AJ decided to take an eight-month sabbatical from the corporate rat race and travel the world with their 18-month old son. Since then they have visited 44 countries, taken four cruises, embarked on over 70 flights, and explored over a hundred unique destinations with their son (now four years old). Recently they launched The 2 Idiots Travel Blog and wrote their first book How To Travel With Kids (Without Losing Your Mind) with the purpose of sharing their insights and inspiring families around the world to travel more with their kids. We had the opportunity to pick their brains and are excited to share some of their brilliant travel tips here.
1. Please tell us a little about yourselves and your family and where you’ve traveled together as a family.
We are AJ and Natasha, originally from India, but now live in Charlotte, NC. After many years of climbing the corporate ladder, we decided to take a break and travel. We have now traveled to 6 continents, 44 countries and 115 destinations as a family, including an incredible 8-month trip across the world when our son was almost 2-years old.
2. How has traveling changed the most since you became parents?
Traveling as parents is very different. We used to be able to pack everything in a carry-on but now I have to pack a lot more. Also, the pace is slower, you need to bake in time for toddler tantrums, snack breaks and toilet runs.
3. Babies seem to need a lot of stuff at home. Do you have any packing tips for traveling with a baby or toddler, including any essential items or items you wish you had just left at home?
Babies and toddlers do need a lot but strollers and car seats have come a long way. Also, people tend to overpack; you can in most places buy diapers and baby food. Depending on your destination try to take only the essentials: travel stroller, travel car seat (our foldable one is our favorite), travel bassinet (you can get these at hotels and AirBnbs also, check ahead), some food (formula or favorite snacks), a few toys and clothes.
4. Which countries or cities have you found to be particularly family friendly?
Spain is our favorite country for family travel; they have parks everywhere and the restaurants are so chill about having little kids running around. But in general, we've found most countries around the world to be pretty accommodating for kids and families.
5. What was your family’s most relaxing vacation together and what made it so?
We ended our 8 month trip with a resort vacation at Panama City and it was beautiful. Beach vacations with the family are the most relaxing with family especially little kids since the beach and the pool are such great activities.
6. What was your family’s most challenging adventure or mishap?
You can't travel with kids or in general and not have a small mishap; however, our most challenging adventure as a family was definitely Galapagos. These islands off of Ecuador are definitely not child-friendly and they are hard to travel to. We had a lot of luggage since it was part of our 8 month trip and going from one island to another in those little boats was not fun. We definitely managed and it is one of our favorite places but definitely don't recommend it with little kids.
7. What resources do you use to research and plan your trips?
Google flights for finding destinations, Tripadvisor for planning a trip. At the destination, we love talking to the hosts at Airbnbs and going on a free walking tour to figure out what to do and talk to the local guides.
8. What type of lodging has worked well (or not so well) for your family when you are on the road (hotel, AirBnB, apartment-hotel, camping, motorhome, etc?)
We love staying in AirBnbs, it is definitely our favorite, especially with kids. You can get more space and it is home away from home. You can live in the center of any destination for a cheaper price and the hosts are a great resource to get to know the local flavor of the city.
9. When you first arrive in a new place what are you most excited to do the first day?
First day is to settle in and to get situated. As mentioned above, we are generally most excited to look up local walking tours to get a first glimpse of the new place. We also find the free walking tours because it's free and we've found the guides are generally better.
10. Where would you next like to go and why?
There is still so much we want to see. One of the places we most want to see is Brazil; we have been to South America but have missed on this gem and definitely want to visit. We want to revisit South East Asia since those countries so have so much depth and culture. The more places we visit, the more we want to see.
For more great tips from Natasha and AJ check out their website The 2 Idiots Travel Blog and new book How To Travel With Kids (Without Losing Your Mind) athttps://www.2idiotstravel.com/how-to-travel-with-kids-book/
Photo Credits: www.2idotstravel.com
Disclosure: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. The opinions expressed in this interview do not reflect those of the products or companies mentioned. No compensation was received by GoKidTrips.com for this post. All rights reserved to GoKidTrips.com (c) 2019.
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