Traveling with young ones can be a real adventure… or is it torture? I don’t have children, so it’s difficult for me to perceive or advise what to do when we want to go out with the little ones. So who better than The Best Father in the World to talk about his travel experiences?
I invited Márcio Nogueira, Portuguese blogger and author of The Best Father in the World, to tell you how he has been traveling with his son, the difficulties he usually faces and the best tips for those who are starting now parenthood.
— What do you look for when you are choosing a family travel destination?
I usually look for an excellent place to re-energize, but without high hopes that this is going to happen. On holidays it’s playtime from dawn to dusk. Punctually, we travel through cities we don’t know, whether in Portugal or abroad. There we seek culture, Mother and son are super curious about the history of the places we visit, I’m more for architecture and way of life.
— What cannot be missing in the suitcase?
A ball and a map. The ball, you know why, right? As for the map, is a must whenever we go to a place we don’t know. I’m the antithesis of GPS, even the kid is better than me. One another habit I have is to put together a list of places if we need anything related to health.
Travel tip The Best Father In The World: “Stop before you even need it, either to rest or to have lunch or dinner”
— What are the main difficulties you encounter in traveling with a child?
When the children are smaller, the tendency (more of the Mother) is to make a kind of copy/paste from the clothes drawers directly to the suitcase. When we became parents, we changed cars for one with a bigger trunk, but it wasn’t enough, I had to buy those suitcases for the car roof. Other concerns are diet and routines. Here we don’t risk it, we try to create the smallest possible impact so that the trip is pleasant for all. As adults adapt quickly, children need more time and usually travel has to be shorter. Ideally, stop before you even need it, either to rest or to have lunch or dinner.
— For what countries have you had the opportunity to travel with your child? What do you think he liked the most?
For now to very close ones. We like traveling within Portugal, from North to South. Outside, we have already been to Spain and France. He marvels at people speaking a different language and realizing that kids do too :). I think he thought we all spoke Portuguese all over the world. As I said, he loves culture, visiting museums and monuments, goes out to the Mother.
Travel tip The Best Father In The World: “Try to create the smallest possible impact in normal routines”
— Which countries or cities would you love to show your son?
I have no choice, no list. We have some curiosity to visit Nordic countries, to realize the cultural differences, above all. Maybe Stockholm would be where we’d start. Then we’re curious about Brazil, perhaps Rio de Janeiro, and the United States, probably New York.
— Do you have any travel advice for new parents who are now traveling with children?
The first advice is don’t stop traveling. Since they are parents and life has changed since then, it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to travel as a family. There are concerns, of course, but we can’t let them hold us. Next, plan the days, where they’ll rest, where they’ll have lunch, etc. Finally, when choosing where to stay, keep in mind the beds where the children will sleep. Sleeping well lets them regain their energy and enjoy more the trip; otherwise, it will be a torture for everyone.
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