The most important thing to remember about traveling and making memories with your kids is this: Even though your younger kids might not remember the specific sights and exotic destinations you have visited, there is something tangible about being together as a family without the stresses of everyday life, that will stay with them forever. That feeling of belonging, and togetherness, of family bonding and security, wherever you are in the world. That is something real.
So, whenever someone asks me what the best age to travel with the family is, I tell them every age! Don’t wait for the perfect time. The time is now! Take the trip. Life is short but family is forever.
We have sold everything to make these travel memories happen with our young kids and are currently slow travelling through Southeast Asia. You can see our amazing family travels unfold on Instagram and Facebook.
We asked some family travel bloggers, experts in their field what they think is the best way to preserve their family memories of their trips. And we got some great responses! This has been a 9-week series where we have explored all aspects of planning and booking your family holiday. We have learnt so much from each other, and I hope you have too. If you want to go back and check out the other topics, click on these links below:
- Deciding on a Destination
- How to Save Money on Transportation
- Choosing Family Friendly Accommodation
- Sightseeing with Kids
- Packing Tips for Family
- Eating for Cheap While Travelling
- Enjoying Road Trips
- International Travel Tips
Yamy Hartsough is the creator and main blogger of Gofamgo.com, a multi-generational family travel blog where she chronicles her family’s adventures and shares guides and tips that she learns along the way. With her background in healthcare as a registered nurse, she also writes articles from the perspective of traveling with young children and a terminally ill elderly member of the family. When she is not traveling and has a break from taking care of the kids, she dabbles with photography and freelance design.
Yamy’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“With today’s technology, you don’t need to be carrying around a large camcorder or a camera to memorialize your travel memories. A smartphone, which most people have, can be sufficient.
There are several social media outlets that let you share your photos and videos to family and friends. You have Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, to mention some. However, there’s always something about having a physical book or album that you have in your family room at home.
Sites like Shutterfly, Walgreens or even Costco, have available templates for photo books. All you need to do is upload your pictures and they’d format the layout for you. You can also choose your favorite pictures to put in frames or a more traditional photo album. A magnetic, self-adhesive photo album allows you to include trip souvenirs like admission tickets or passes like a scrapbook.
While it’s fun to snap moments with our cameras, we should be mindful and be present in the moment itself. The best memories I have when traveling are usually the ones that I don’t have a camera snapping or rolling. The best memories I could remember are just from being there and spending time together with my family.”
Sarah is a full-time RV traveler that has been traveling the US with her husband and three children, ages 11, 9, and 6, for the past 2.5 years. She loves sharing awesome, family friendly, and budget wise destinations on her website https://statebystate.net/. Sarah also enjoys sharing tips on traveling full-time with kids and money saving ideas too. When not traveling or exploring new locations and making incredible memories together, their family loves playing board games, building forts, and hanging out around the campfire.
Sarah’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“We travel to make memories. That is the best part about traveling together as a family. It is impossible to travel and not make a memory. Even a bad travel experience can turn into a funny memory later.
We once ate at a horrible restaurant, at the time it was extremely disappointing and frustrating. Spending money on food we could hardly eat was not the experience we wanted to have. Looking back on it now we always laugh. Every time we want to eat somewhere we say “it can’t be as bad as (fill in bad restaurant name here).”
Traveling all over the US as a family has been an incredible experience and one we wouldn’t change for anything. It hasn’t always been fun. We have been sick, had our car break, and stayed in some less than amazing places. We love every memory both good and bad. This is something we will all remember forever!”
Hi! I’m Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels. I started my blog 6 months ago in hopes of inspiring other parents to get out and travel with their children. I have 2 wonderful travel companions! My sons are 5 and 1.5 years old. We love to go on “adventures”. Our mission is to provide reviews, guidance, and helpful tips to traveling parents through first hand experiences.
“Family vacations and adventures are things that you can give your kids that they will never outgrow. There are many benefits to traveling with your kids. It teaches them flexibility, patients, and a sense of adventure. It builds family bonds that will last beyond the time that children have grown up and move out of the house.
This is a tradition that will be able to be passed from generation to generation. We like to ensure that we have family involvement and input at every step of a vacation. Start by picking a location from your family bucket list. Plan your vacation and adventure as a family to start building your memories from the very beginning together.
Lastly, enjoy your time together. These are moments that will pass all too quickly and you’ll never regret that you took the time to enjoy your loved ones.”
Deborah is the mom of 2 inquisitive homeschool kids, an environmental educator and writer of the family travel blog worldwisekid.com. Our goal is to encourage global understanding and perspective through contemplating, comparing, calculating, speculating, and discussion inspired by travel destinations. Each post poses 3 open-ended questions for great dinnertime conversation and learning! Follow our travels this year through Thailand, Italy, Greece, France and Spain. When Deborah isn’t framing the next learning experiences, she can be found on the California coast tidepooling, sea kayaking and playing beach volleyball.
Deborah’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“Our family has a variety of ways we keep our travel memories alive:
Photos – We take lots of photos and video on our smartphones. While many we delete, a few amazing photos will be lifelong treasurers. The best images appear in our annual calendar and in photo books we order through Shutterfly. Some, we enlarge and frame.
Maps – For each region where we travel, we collect a paper map and draw our route in marker. This map gets tucked into the photobook and shared alongside the images. We also have a world map on the wall at home which continues to document where we have been, and where our next trip might take us.
Stories – The more we talk about our travels, the more the stories are embedded in our long-term memory. We encourage the kids to share their impressions with other travelers, and with friends once we return home. My son enjoys recording an audio clip of some of our silly moments. He then puts them it to a digital animation video.
Journals – My daughter and I love to write descriptions of places we go. We will describe the inside of a train station or coffee shop, or the feeling of sitting on a beach with the sunset and sweet breeze. We often read our journal content out loud to solidify the memories.
Blog – Many of our travel memories are put into blog posts to encourage others to worldschool and discuss academic experiences.
Magnets – Our home refrigerator is covered with magnets of places we love. One small, well-placed reminder, can bring back wonderful memories and ignite sharing of stories in our kitchen – where so much engaging conversation occurs!”
Melissa Temple is a disabled wife and mother of one brave and gorgeous daughter from the U.S.A. She is the creator and lead author of Disabled Disney A blogging adventure she started with her husband of 19 years, David Temple. Melissa specializes in disability travel with kids and as an adult couple. Melissa loves to go to Disneyland with her husband, daughter and any other friends and family that want to tag along. She also likes to explore her home state of Arizona. When she’s not planning or going to Disneyland, she loves to read and do crafts.
Melissa’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“Vacations are the perfect opportunity to make memories with your family! There are so many things you can do to make and keep your memories.
I make a vacation book with photos and mementos from the trip. Scrapbooking can be very expensive so I buy a 3 ring binder and loose photo paper to save everything! You can also get buy a shadowbox and make vacation shadowboxes.
One way to get some interesting pictures is to give your kids a camera! If you are concerned about them losing or damaging one then buy a disposable for each of your kids and they can take personalized pics! If you do scrapbook make sure you save items from your vacation to aid in your scrapbook. Even things like napkins, maps and programs can be perfect keepsakes to aid in your post-vacation memory saving projects!”
Regina Kay is a full-time world explorer, wife, and mother of five awesome travel kids. Regina is the creator and author of fulltimefieldtrip.com, a family travel blog. She is a travel writer specializing in budget travel, family travel, and parenting. Life-long travel experience combined with a passion for connecting people to information, Regina brings you in-depth, thorough, real-world tips to make traveling with kids easier for you. When she’s not a packing ninja or travel planning guru, she’s learning how to take better pictures or playing house rules Uno with her family.
Regina’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“We use travel to deepen our family connections. Doing new things in different places helps us grow as individuals and together as a family unit. We try to reduce tangible collectibles and focus on creating memories through these family connections.
While we try to live by the motto take only pictures, leave only footprints, young kids treasure a small keepsake of their travels and it helps them retain the memories of the trip.
- Keep It Simple.
If we do collect something tangible, we like things like pressed pennies, foreign coins, and found objects like shells and small rocks. Small things that transport easily and the kids can keep in their treasure boxes once home.
- Keep the Trip Going At Home.
This might be making art and drawing pictures of our trip. It could be reading and learning more about the things we were introduced to on the trip. Once we bought some flowers and planted them at home.
- Revisit The Memories.
As the kids get older we like playing ‘high and low of the day’ to keep things in our mind. This is a great dinner time or bedtime activity. Just take turns stating your high of the day and low of the day. Once home, we’ll do high and low of the trip. Then we love to look at the pictures and see if we captured any highs and lows.
- Take A Moment.
As we started our full-time travel journey, we implemented something we call ‘take a moment.’ When we’re in some amazing historical place or at a beautiful natural wonder someone says “take a moment.” We all pause for about 5-10 seconds and try to soak it all in. Trying to take in all the sights, sounds, smells and drop them into our long term memory. It sounds like a beautiful moment of reflection in theory. But mostly someone giggles or farts and we all crack up laughing. It’s not the soul touching experience I was hoping for but it still makes for some great memories.”
Hi, I’m Annette Belnap and I blog at Tips From a Typical Mom. I am a wife and mother to 5 kids and I love to share things that make mom’s life easier! I share family friendly recipes, family travel tips, parenting tips, cleaning tips and product reviews. Annette lives in Utah with her family and loves to go hiking in the mountains.
Annette’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“The most important thing about traveling with the family is the memories we make.
Pictures are very important to me, but I also need to remind myself to not focus on getting the perfect picture and live in the moment. Take a few snapshots at each new place, then just put the camera away and really be there.
I think because I’m not a millennial, it’s a little easier for me to put the camera down. Everyone doesn’t need to know what you are doing every moment of the day. It’s much more important to be in the moment making real memories and engaging with the family.
When we get home I take all the pictures we took and create a slideshow. My kids love to watch these slideshows all the time. We also make photobooks (we like Chatbooks to do this). These memories are much more valuable than the money you spent on the vacation.”
Shannan is a passionate traveler & homeschooling mom. She enjoys learning on location all over Europe with her 3 favorite travel buddies. Shannan shares her inspiration at CaptivatingCompass.com, a family travel & digital homeschool blog. She blogs about affordable family travel and digital homeschooling while traveling with kids. She has 20+ years of travel experience along with a passion to connect family travel destinations with educational resources, Shannan brings you inspirational family travel and digital homeschool resources to help you learn on location throughout Europe. When she’s not planning the next learn on location travel adventure, you’ll find her walking country paths in Scotland.
Shannan’s Advice on Family Travel:
“One of my favorite ways to help our family make fun family memories when we travel is to let the kids pick their favorite activity for our destination.
Early in the planning process, I’ll throw out a list of ideas and activities. We will all talk about them and everyone gets to list the activity that they would enjoy the most. Then, when we are on vacation, that activity is super special to that person because they got to choose it. Everyone gets to be involved and enjoy each other’s company.
Sometimes the activity may not be one that everyone enjoys, but, it is a great opportunity to learn to think of others. Sometimes everyone is surprised that they all enjoyed the same thing!
Another way to make special memories while traveling is to ‘divide and conquer’. Splitting the group up to do a couple of different things and then meet up later in the day allows everyone to enjoy themselves. The kids enjoy a bit of quality time with mom or dad doing something they enjoy together makes it super special and memorable.”
Kirsty is a British family travel blogger currently living in sunny Malaysia. She has travelled to over 100 countries including 25 with her young children. Her family travel blog “World for a Girl” takes a unique look at travelling the world in a more inclusive way. With a passion for unusual family travel destinations, Kirsty has visited countries as diverse as Kosovo, Iceland and Myanmar with her children. She aims to provide an honest account of the challenges and joys of travelling as a family. Her posts blend family travel tips and itineraries with a lesser-explored world of inspirational female explorers, women’s history and global feminist issues.
Kirsty’s Advice on Family Travel Memories:
“For us, keeping our travel memories alive is an essential part of the travel experience ( especially as I have an awful memory!) We use six different approaches to make sure that we have lots of objects and pictures around the house and in our lives that remind us constantly of the awesome experiences we’ve had together.
- I love to have photos everywhere in the house. We choose our best ones and frame them.
- We have globes and maps as decor throughout the house which provide great conversation prompts with the kids about our travels.
- In the past, we’ve made and printed gorgeous hardback photo books of two of our main family trips. Both of our children have a copy that they can treasure forever.
- Every country we visit we buy a postcard for our children and write a short message on it about that trip. Both children have a small box with the postcards in that they love looking through and talking about.
- We buy children’s books from the places we visit that we then read as bedtime stories for years afterwards.
- My partner and I like to buy each other creative gifts based on our adventures. For example, I bought him a bespoke print of a globe containing the stamps of all the countries we’ve visited together and he bought me handpainted copies of our favourite photographs.”
The End of the Series
So, however you store your own family’s travel memories, the take-home message is clear: getting out there and making the memories in the first place is the best start!
We have just spent a month in Bali, Indonesia and documented everything on our online blog, here. To find out what we have been up to click on the link below.
Read this now: Bali Travel Guide