Interview with Traveling Parents: Renee
Today, in our series “Interviews with Traveling Parents” we present Renee, who will share with us her favorite family destinations and travel tips. She is American but currently lives with her family in Brussels, Belgium. Renee has two children, a 9-year-old son and 8-going-on-20 years old daughter. She rocks at home as a stay at home mom but she is also a rock star. She loves to sing and does it really beautifully.
How old were your kids when you started to travel with them?
Because we lived halfway across the country from my in-laws, the children have been traveling within the U.S. since they were infants, and began traveling internationally at 2 and 3.5.
What countries did you visit with your kids?
England, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Dubai, Jamaica, Italy, The Netherlands, Finland, and Australia.
What is your most favorite country you’ve visited so far with your family and why?
South Africa – it was wonderful to go on safari for the first time, and to learn so much about one of our heroes, Nelson Mandela.
What is your favorite kid-friendly place/attraction you visited so far? What did you like about it?
We love the waterparks at the Atlantis resorts. We have been to the ones in the Bahamas and in Dubai. The resorts are big, clean and beautiful, and the waterparks are fun for the whole family.
What was your most challenging family trip and why?
Dubai. My husband was working and therefore, I had to do most of the activities alone with the kids. While visiting a souk, some of the vendors grabbed the children, which was frightening.
What are your tips for keeping all of your family members interested and happy during a family trip?
Ensuring to have lots of snacks, iPads (and chargers), books, and anything else (like a stuffed animal or beloved toy) that will make the kids comfortable. Also, planning activities that the whole family will enjoy.
What are your tips for making a family travel easier, more enjoyable?
Plan, but leave room for spontaneity and rest, too.
What are the biggest travel mistakes you’ve learned from?
Forgetting to pack spare clothes and medicine in my carryon bag. Overscheduling activities so that we never get a chance to truly relax. Not checking whether a lovely AirBnB condo in South Africa had air conditioning.
What do you think your kids gain from traveling?
An appreciation and respect for the world and the various, beautiful people and cultures in it. An adventuresome spirit and confidence. Exposure to new things.
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