The 3 things that guide how to choose where to travel as a family

3 main principles guide our family destination decisions

So many factors can influence where people choose to travel, especially when they travel with kids. Our family travel is no different, and we had to figure out how to choose where to travel as a family. It’s a big world, and we know we can’t see it all.

And honestly? We don’t try to.

We like to be pretty tactical about where we go. After all, we only have but so much time and money to travel. Plus, we have not only our own interests and well-being to consider, but that of our kids as well. So as we travel the world, here are the 3 main principles that guide our family destination decisions, whether at home in the US or anywhere else:

1. Family friendly culture

@learnersandmakers Our family of four is traveling the world! ❓ Who are we? We are the Learners and Makers, otherwise known as the St. Clair Family. 👋  Jodie = Mama, video editor, photographer, queen of social 👋  Anthony = Daddy, writer, negotiator, GoPro and be there 👋  Connor = Son, chief photobomber 👋  Aster = Daughter, in charge of capturing pretty much every photo of Jodie and Anthony kissing ❓ What do we do? We seek out ways to learn and make every day, everywhere, and every way we can. We worldschool Aster and Connor, and we parents are digital nomads who run our own business. ❓ Our biggest goal as parents? Instill in our kids the same curiosity and lifelong love of learning that fuels our passion for life, each other, the world around us, tasty food and drink, and everything we do. ❓ What are our travel plans? After years of planning and some intense months of preparing, in August 2022 we left our adopted home in the US Pacific Northwest. Building on our own international travels, we wanted to show the kids some of the world, while they are still kids. We figure we’re traveling for at least a year. But we have no set return date. ❓ What questions do you have for our world schooling, globetrotting, digital nomading family? #familytravel #digitalnomadlife #digitalnomadfamily #experienceoverthings #worldschool ♬ Northern Attitude – Noah Kahan

We prioritize visiting places where, frankly, the people like kids. In our experience, this also helps us choose places that are family friendly. Typically, it’s easy for us to get around, find a range of food, and stick to our budget.

It’s more than that, though. When we go to places where children bring people a lot of joy, we find that Aster and Connor not only feel more welcome; we find people are more open to talking with us. We can have more encounters and conversations, or get better tips about where we are.

Traveling through family friendly cultures, we find our travels easier, safer, and more enjoyable.

2. Vibrant urban and natural spaces

Cities are incredible. We can easily snag transportation, have access to an array of cuisines, base in whatever part of town looks like a good fit for our family, and can get around easily to a range of attractions and activities. 

That said, while we prioritize urban areas, we don’t just visit the Bangkoks or Hanois of the world. We also take time for small towns or small cities. The compact size can make it easy to get around. Plus, we can simply take in the day, the people, the scene, at a slow pace.

However, we thrive on access to nature, too. Hiking trails, beaches, islands, forests: Wherever locality we are based in, we also seek green spaces. This recharges us and shows us different flora and fauna around the world.

So, wherever we visit, we look for places that are usually at least somewhat urban, but that give us relatively easy access to nature and green spaces.

3. Reverence for good food and drink

Throughout our travels in the US and abroad, you might have noticed that food is a recurring theme. We travel to enjoy different cuisines, and to give the kids an opportunity to expand their palates.

Whether moles in Oaxaca or cooking classes in Chiang Mai, we strive to be open-minded about what we eat and drink. In our experience too, cultures that take pride in their food and beverage match our personalities and interests too. Food gives us a great entry point into any culture we encounter. Besides, we eat multiple times a day, so our meals become their own memorable travel experiences!

Knowing why you travel helps you figure out how to choose where to travel as a family

Our three principles help us narrow down where we travel as a family. It doesn’t mean we’d refuse to go somewhere if we had the chance, mind. But it helps us prioritize where we are going to invest our limited time and resources to visit. Especially traveling with our kids, we find that when we go to places that resonate with what matters to us as a family, we all have a better time, are glad we went, and sometimes, we also can’t wait to go back.

About the author
Learners and Makers
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.

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