Updated: Feb 19, 2020
It is not popular to have new years resolutions … I know.
But we make them at the end of each year, whilst we are travelling. And this year is no different. I like to outline the upcoming adventures and look forward to exciting trips.
In the early days of January, we were staying in the beautiful Addo Park in South Africa. We sat down for dinner on the terrace overlooking the dark landscape, where lions were probably waking up to find their own dinner.
Notebook to hand, we talked about our travel wishes, what we did wrong - travel wise - in 2019 and how we can have the best trips in 2020.
We can all benefit from spending more time in nature, breathing fresh air. We are naturally city people and love spending time in a megalopolis, exploring restaurants, walking around museums and losing ourselves in neighbourhoods. But our kids are at an age where cities are not interesting.
We have just spent 3 weeks in South Africa mostly in remote places. There were no toys, no screens, no friends. But somehow, the kids found ways to entertain themselves with nothing and let their imagination do the job. They developed their sense of adventure and the word ‘exploring’ was discovered.
It also gave all us freedom. Little limits, little danger, little running behind them. As long as we could see them, it was all fine. I got to read my book during the day, Hurray!
So this year, no family city breaks and more time outdoors in nature.
The big topic in tourism: sustainability. In 2019 it became everyone’s problem. I don’t think it is realistic to pledge not to fly in 2020. But we can all try and make informed choices.
To be honest I would love to avoid air travel. It is far from glamorous. There is no space, the food is rubbish, it is not clean, the service is most of the time appalling, other passengers give my children the side-eye, and I cannot take a bloody bottle of water!
Trains are spacious and quiet. You can walk around without hitting someone in the head. You can look around at beautiful landscapes. You are connected and can entertain the kids. You can take a full picnic, what else do you need?
So when possible, we will take the slower travel option. Maybe we will make decisions based on the mode of transport. I really hope the train network will improve (and prices will go down!) to allow us to travel far away, in comfort, without taking a flight.
This might seem crazy and it might sound like we are always travelling somewhere. But last year, we actually didn’t do as much as we wanted. After a 6 weeks trip around South East Asia, we were travel fatigued and had to focus on real-life, lots of work and routine.
So for 2020, we place marked a few week-long trips and weekends away. We have, amongst other destinations Austria, Sweden and Greece to look forward to.
Last year we stopped staying in large hotel chains that are not clearly caring for the local community and environment. We mostly (when we could) stayed in small local boutique hotels and in Airbnb’s managed by real people. This year, we will keep doing this and will push further by spending time with our hosts and understanding more about local cultures, challenges and people.
Oh and a last resolution … try and take better family pictures!
What are your family travel resolutions?