traveling during the holidays, with tips from tim and kesh coulson

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the holidays tend to be a big time for travel as many take off to visit loved ones and home this time of year.  since we’re expecting a baby within a few weeks, our families are traveling to us this year. (score!) although in general, our little family tends to stay more put during the holiday season (and usually visit our families in the early spring.)
i’ve blogged a bit about airplane travel with little ones HERE and traveling internationally with them HERE, but thought this might be a great time to hear from our australian friends tim and kesh coulson, who have spent the majority of this past year traveling the world together with their little boy, roo.  i don’t know anyone else that makes it looks as effortless, inspiring or beautiful than the two of them.  below they share a few thoughts on travel that might come in handy if anyone is looking for a few good suggestions for traveling this season.
 kesh says:
“My husband and our two year old little boy sold our home earlier this year to travel the world. Our son Roo has been on more than 150 flights! Most of the time it’s the best thing ever. Here are some things we’ve learnt along the way, that might be especially helpful with your travels this holiday season.”
1. Take time everyday to do something for your kiddies. Especially when travelling, it can be hard as schedules and routines are out the window. Right now is such a busy time of year. Everyday fun can be replaced with trips to the store, hours in transit, phone calls, party organization, gift buying, meal preparing etc. Try to have time everyday to do something that is just for your kids, go to the park, look at the Christmas lights, visit Santa, go for a walk, play in the snow/ go to the beach! Pick something they really love to do and get outdoors.

2. Enlist the help of family! If family is nearby on your travels, let someone your child loves watch them for a couple of hours so you can get things done – go for it. It will be better for you and your kids. Timmy and I were travelling in Morocco earlier this year and met my parents there. My Mum and Dad loved to have some time alone with Roo while Tim and I went for walks around the Medina and took an hour out of the day to trip plan in a cafè. Roo absolutely loved the time playing with them too.

3. As we travel a lot! I do all my gift buying online once Roo is in bed at night. I don’t mind a bit of online shopping :) this way we can avoid long lines and cranky toddlers.
4. We stay in apartments over hotels 90% of the time. Especially around the holiday period it is really nice to be in someone’s home over a hotel room. We have had great experiences using apartment rental and sharing sites over the last few years.

5. Try and not get too caught up on sleep and schedules – kids are much more adjustable then we give them credit for. Chances are there will be some late nights and early mornings, naps cut short or maybe no naps at all. The snow ball fight or family dinner might not have to end early for sleep every time. Take comfort in knowing once things have settled down after the holiday season schedules and sleep will slip back to normal all too quickly. Some of the best memories are made when things don’t go as planned.”
thank you again, tim and kesh, for sharing! all photos courtesy of the couple as well.
  1. kiely

    i have found that not worrying too much about a schedule is great advice! no one wants to follow a schedule on vacation, that’s why it’s vacation :)

    xoxo, kiely

  2. Chelsea

    Oh my goodness! Can I be them just for a little while. Traveling the world with your littles is my dream, sounds amazing and they seem to have it down- thanks for sharing!

  3. gosh if everyone was that practical there would be ZERO stress at the holidays! I like the idea of going to visit family on non-holidays like you guys. then you get to spend the holiday as a little family with no worries instead of heading to the rat race of flying (or driving) across the country for a silly holiday. seeing family is seeing family, it doesn’t matter if it’s ON the holiday or not!! (now I just need to convince our parents to think the same way :/)

  4. arielle

    whoa! 150 flights and roo is only two! that is incredible. what a fun life they lead. I love what they said about letting the littles something everyday for them and don’t get hung up on schedule. definitely something I want to keep in mind when raising my own (future) children!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  5. Jackie

    On Monday we’re flying from England to Australia with our 2.5 year old. Eeeek! I just hope he’ll sleep. If only we could fly in the same class as your friends above… that first shot definitely ain’t economy! Or if it is, I want to know the airline!! But good on them for having an adventure and bringing their little guy along for the ride.

  6. Jen

    (Sorry, I think this didn’t go through earlier, trying again)
    There are some great tips in this post, but I have to say…I really miss how you used to blog. It seems like you’re trying to shift your content to more ‘magazine’ style, with minimal personal posts & more advice/how-to type posts. I’m wondering if this is just temporary, with everything you have going on getting ready for baby #3/the holidays, or if you’ll be going back to real posts about you/your family after the new year? I know I’m just one reader out of many, but personally I find myself less interested in your blog the past few months, and I think it’s because what drew me to it in the first place is fading away, without any explanation. Sorry for this comment being on the critical side- like I said, I’ve enjoyed your blog for years. It’s just recently that I’ve been feeling like I’m reading a blog that is no longer familiar.

  7. Carly

    Wonderful tips! I am so impressed this little family has done so much traveling…what a great bonding experience.
    The Doctor Diva

  8. Trisha F

    My biggest struggle with all the holiday parties and traveling is the wreckage of my 2 year old’s routine. So it’s nice to hear from other parents that kids can survive a few weeks of the routine kinda not being followed! :)

  9. Rachel

    Ahhh! Where was that top pic taken? I need to be there ASAP:) happy holidays!

  10. Lauren

    I haven’t been on nearly 150 flights yet and I’m 22, ha! Tim & Kesh… You guys are some pretty awesome and inspiring parents to do what you’re doing with your family.

  11. Jennifer

    It is so wonderful to read all of these traveling tips! When I was on maternity leave my family and I went on a road trip around the USA and it was wonderful. We are planning a trip to visit my family in Montana so I am wondering how well she will do on a plane ride!

  12. Victoria

    Thanks for the post! Friendly FYI, you can make an accent aigu (as in café) on a mac by hitting option-e-e and on a pc by hitting ctrl apostrophe e. No need to copy-paste!

  13. Hannah

    I’m not a mom and I’m nowhere near being one. But I love seeing posts that can help people make travel smoother for their kids. I try to be as kind as possible whenever I see a family with young children flying. Although I’ve never experienced it, I would like to know that there are people out there who support me instead of getting annoyed.

    I saw a comment a little earlier about how you’ve shifted the topic of your posts. I like what you’re doing but I do miss the everyday living posts. The ones that depict your life. I’m so excited for baby #3 to arrive. I can’t wait to see how your family adjusts to 5. Thanks for sharing your lives with us


  14. Jessica

    What a stunning photo of Lake Louise! I’m glad your friends made Alberta one of their stops :)

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  16. Brian

    Great advice in regards to loosening your requirements and allowing the trip to be more flexible. Thanks for sharing.

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