Family Traveler Spotlight is the section of our publication where we profile families who love taking their children along on their travel adventures. In this edition, we meet the Smith family from Smiths Holiday Road. They share with us why the Trans Siberian from Beijing to Moscow is on their bucket list, why their kids love the Crown Towers in Melbourne and how families with kids and a disability can still see the world.
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Tell us about your family.
We are a family of 5 comprising of Bron (Mum) 40, Andrew (Dad) 38 , Cooper (M) 11, Pepper (F) 8 and Woody (M) 4.
Where do you live when you’re not traveling?
We live in suburban Melbourne by the beach.
What type of work do you and your partner do?
Andrew is an arborist. Bron is a stay at home Mum.
Tell us about Smiths Holiday Road.
I started our travel blog/site about 18 months ago. I really wanted to share our travels with friends and family initially and now I am part of an amazingly supportive online travel community. Our travels are a bit different to most as we travel with my eldest son who uses a wheelchair. We also like to push and challenge ourselves so we explore lots of different places.
Why do you believe in traveling the world with your children?
Travel for us is very different to our normal routine in Australia. I am a strong believer in taking my kids into different situations and experiences and encouraging them to challenge themselves and learn. I love showing people that with kids and a disability we can still see the world and that disability can happen in any country.
Luxury means different things to different people. How do you define luxury when it comes to traveling with your family?
Luxury to us means a bed each and room service! We love balancing our travels with a variety of accommodation and experiences and we love those treats of staying in a luxury hotel.
What’s the best travel experience your family has ever had?
Our most recent adventure was to Sri Lanka and it was amazing. It had something for everyone with such a wide variety of landscapes. We travelled 9 hours on a local train from the East to West and met so many lovely people it was such a highlight of our trip.
What’s your favorite family-friendly luxury hotel?
My kids all love Crown Towers in Melbourne! We stay there each year as a Christmas present ( instead of a material gift) . The indoor pool is amazing and the breakfast at the conservatory is a favourite.
What three items do you never travel without?
My camera. Vomit bags (my younger two get travel sickness). Passports.
What’s your favorite online travel resource?
For flights I love Skyscanner and being signed up to each airlines website. I like reading TripAdvisor for general information and using Airbnb for accommodation. The blog I love is Mumpacktravel.com
What’s the worst mistake you see other parents making when traveling?
Bringing things “just in case” and overpacking! We are very keen light travellers. I figure we can get most things at the other end if we need and as long as we can wash every second day we will be fine! I often think as long as we have the kids, passports and an ATM card we will be fine!
Which destinations have you found to be most wheelchair-accessible?
From the places we have explored we found Tokyo, Penang and London the easiest to travel with a wheelchair user.
What would you say to other families who are hesitant to travel because of their child’s disability?
When traveling with a child who has a disability it takes more planning and of course, travel insurance is on the top of our list before we go. Every child is different and depending on the disability, it will impact your travel plans in different ways. If you are hesitant, start local with a day trip, then a night away and build up from there. It doesn’t have to be somewhere exotic on a ten hour flight. Adventure can be discovered just five minutes from home.
What’s on your travel bucket list?
I have a trip on the Trans Siberian from Beijing to Moscow in my sights. Adding onto that a visit to the Blue Lagoon and a chance to see the Northern Lights.
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