Family Travel Stories with Natalie Anderson
We caught up with Natalie Anderson of The Capsule to do a Q&A about her favourite family travel stories from their holidays together. She§ was kind enough to interview Richard, our CEO/Founder of two point four on a piece named Is Adventure Part Of Your Family DNA?
As you can see from her answers below, Natalie and her family love trying new things, trying new foods and visiting new places and truly believe in the benefits of travelling with their children.
My family and I have been lucky enough to travel to lots of different places. We’ve been to the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe and the Indian Ocean. I absolutely love travelling and vowed that when we had children I would get them travelling as much as I could. For me travelling and learning about other places and cultures is just as vital as any academic education.
We absolutely love Dubai…I know for some people they wouldn’t necessarily class that as travelling and would see it as more of a holiday destination and to be honest it is. We’ve been going for 12 years and have had some of the best times of our lives there. We go back to the same hotel pretty much every year..again not your quintessential ‘travel’ holiday…but we love it and always receive excellent customer service and value for our money. I love the mix of old Arabia meets the future. Particularly in the architecture. It’s like a land of promise and opportunity…where anything is possible. I imagine that’s how people felt visiting New York in the early 20th century. It’s also very family friendly…the older our son gets the more there is for him to do there too, so we tick all of the boxes.
“I think it’s really important to travel with young children”
One of my fondest moments was going to the Maldives with our son when he was just a baby. It was my mums 50th and so she came along on the trip, which was amazing because he was only 10 months old and so to have the reassurance of my mum being there when we were so far away from home was brilliant. We really did have the best holiday as the staff and resort we stayed at (Kurumba Maldives) couldn’t have been anymore helpful. I had everything i needed including a baby stroller for the whole duration of the holiday and my sons meals/milk were completely prioritised which as a new mum was wonderful for me. Most people associate the maldives with honeymoons and couples but we’ve honestly had the most incredible times there with our son. Im so glad we took the plunge and ventured so far with him so early on as its lead us to visit lots of other far flung places.
I think the biggest challenge when you’re travelling with children is a) food and b) illness. Ive had experiences where both of these aspects have been difficult and its pretty much ruined our trip. The worst was our son contracting a virus from a hotel swimming pool along with about 6 other children in Tenerife. He was about 2 years old and was consistently vomiting which was terrifying for us. The hotel were great and got us a doctor but trying to get medication overseas can be a bit of a minefield. From that day onwards I’ve never gone anywhere with him without my first aid/medication kit. I have something for almost all illness and eventualities just in case we are ever in a similar situation.
I think it’s really important to travel with young children, not just for the benefit of the child but for you as a parent and as a family. If you scare yourself into thinking you can’t travel with children you can end up limiting your experiences purely out of worry. Of course its wonderful for young children to experience new places and cultures from an early age, as it opens their eyes to the world from infancy, however travelling with children also has huge plusses as a parent. You’re able to enjoy adventures together as a family, that way its a joint experience and not just something for the kids. Personally for me, knowing that I had taken my son half way around the world when he was very young gave me the confidence as a mum to try new places and to not limit our choices of family holidays and thankfully we’ve had some incredible experiences because of it.
“I definitely think travel has impacted us as a family.”
I definitely think travel has impacted us as a family. My son loves to see new places. He’s made many friends of all different nationalities and its lovely that he’s so open to people. As i said before, I believe travel can be just as beneficial to a child as academic studies. If you can communicate with all different kinds of people and be accepting of different cultures then hopefully you will be a much more compassionate and thoughtful person. This is extremely important in todays world where so much business happens outside of the country you live in.
My biggest tips for travelling with children is make sure you do your research. Find out from the airlines what you’re entitled to…bassinets, seats together etc. Check that the hotel has all of the facilities you need for your children and what other extra’s they might be able to offer. Lots of hotels offer prams/strollers….cots, kettles for formula/sterilising…some may even get you the things you need in from the country you’re visiting. I was able to request baby formula and nappies to be in our room on arrival…and then laundered all of our sons clothing free of charge. Also as before make sure you prepare/plan for all eventualities of sickness and have the right medication with you. Following our incident in Tenerife where we had to wait a good few hours for the doctor and then go and get medication before we were able to treat our son, i now always have something with me so we can give him what he needs and help him to recover quicker. This helps me relax as i know ive got everything should he need it.
“It will allow us to make new memories as a family.”
Next on our bucket list would be New York! Our son loves the Home Alone and Marvel movies and so much of the action takes place in New York. My husband and I have been a few times but i think next year we’re hoping to take our son around Christmas time as its a pretty amazing time to go and it will allow us to make new memories as a family.
We’ve had so many amazing meals! I think the best one had to be last year in Dubai where we had everything from Sushi & Sashimi to steak to Mac & Cheese. As a family we were all very happy! My husband and I also had an amazing bbq on our honeymoon in the Maldives…mainly because we’d caught the fish that day. It was very simple…just fish & rice but done in Maldivian spices and it was super fresh. I’ll remember that bbq forever….it was very special as we ate on the beach.
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