A podcast dedicated to families that travel. We'll cover gadgets, travel apps, Disney, Universal....everything that matters to family travel.
Special Report-Ferndale, CA
There are so many reasons to go on a vacation. One great reason is to visit the city where your favorite movie was filmed. Danny visits Ferndale, CA the site of the filming of the movie, Salem's Lot
Rob and Danny were excited to welcome Shirley Rourke from GoWay Travel to talk about Australia!
Shirley Rourke surely is a passionate travel industry veteran, has specialized in the South Pacific for over 25 years.
After working in several sectors of the industry that includes education, inbound, retail and wholesale, Shirley found her home and go away for the past 17 years. Shirley's traveled extensively internationally and has enjoyed many trips to the South pacific for both business and for pleasure. Her role as vice president allows her to fully embrace her passion for all things South pacific. Surely welcome to the show. Thank you. We are glad to have you. So let's talk about Australia. So for families that are wanting to visit Australia for maybe the first time and they're intent on tackling the entire country at one time, which is ambitious.
I know, but what strategy would you suggest maybe like hub in spoke or going city to city? What's the best strategy to try to tackle the entire country on one visit? Okay, first of all, I would suggest that they really think about what their interests are, what activities they enjoy and really try to make sure that they incorporate all those things and those activities into their trip so that it can be completely customized to their particular interests and needs and wants. So it's good to say, oh we want to see this, this and this, but try and incorporate those activities and interests in so that they can truly make their trip to Australia really there's sure.
And we talked a little bit beforehand about some clients of mine that went to see went to New Zealand and they based their entire trip on a visit to the Wellington Zoo. So it can be any number of things that I would imagine to what you said, make the trip their own. Absolutely. And if you want to try to learn how to surf, put that in and we'll put it in along the way. As far as choosing where to start. It does depend on how long you have.
But at minimum what people will always want to do is see the highlight of Sydney and of course the great barrier reef. So those are two of the main things that they want to see. And then from there start to add in the extra activities that they want to see. The other areas that they want to see once they tell us the areas that they want to see and experience is that they want to do experts like go away. We'll put it together based on what airfare makes the most sense.
And we'll also talk about what makes sense according to weather. And we'll talk about whether a little bit later on. So it really looking at an itinerary that makes the most sense based on geography and airfares because there will be some flying involved. Well that brings us to the length of stay. If you're trying to tackle the entire country on one visit. What's the minimum amount of days that you would imagine coming from the U. S. Or Canada someplace around that area? What's the minimum amount of days that you would suggest?
Well my very first trip to Australia, I spent 13 months there and there are still bits of the country that I missed. So 13 months might be a little ambitious but who knows? Maybe not. So what I would suggest is the length of state really all depends. We see the U. S. Market tends to stay a little bit shorter, 2 to 3 weeks. If you can squeeze a little bit longer that's better the Canadian market. They usually start at three. They stretch it out maybe to about six weeks. So the longer you can stretch it out the more you can see.
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The Mighty 5
So let's, let's start off talking about hiking with the family just in general. So how old were your kids when you first started taking them on hiking trips? Well, we lived in the Rocky Mountains about 15 miles to the nearest town. So hiking is kind of a lifestyle and not, not in that cheesy. Oh, It's a lifestyle kind of way, but more along the lines of like we didn't have sidewalks.
So if you're taking the baby for a walk, you know, you can't use a stroller, you're going to put them in a little front carrier or in a backpack and you're going to walk in the woods with them. So, um, so for us, hiking started when they were born and we carried them, but then as soon as they could, you know, like preschool age, um, we started doing really easy hikes and Up to when they were about five years old, they were doing substantial hikes and seven years old.
They were doing like 14 years um which are 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado. So um that's just because of where we live and what kids do for fun around here. So uh that's, I know that's not normal for most parts of the country, but, but yeah, so they started really young. I've, you know, I've always said if they can, if they can walk, they can hike and if they can hike, they can even snowshoes. So um so I definitely don't think age would should impact at what age people are taking their kids hiking.
Sure, that's awesome. So it says we're talking about kids. What are some tips that you'd give families on hiking trips in general with younger kids? Well, it has to be fun for them. It should not feel like a death march for these little ones. So the first thing is just to set realistic expectations. Know your kids limits. If they've never been hiking, they should be doing something super easy. Um If they, you know, they, you got to be prepared to turn around to shorten the day two or maybe you're not going to shorten the hike, but it might take you twice as long as you thought it was going to take.
So really it's just about setting realistic expectations. I also think it's helpful to pick a cool hike that's interesting or has a really neat destination, like a waterfall or a creek or a cool viewpoint um just so that there's something to look forward to for them and then they're gonna earn it. So I think it's helpful to get them some, some form of gear that is their hiking gear. When my, yeah, when my kids turned for their aunt bought them camelbacks, like hydration bladder backpacks and um they were teeny tiny, I think they carried maybe a half a liter of water, but the kids love them, they wore them to play in, I mean they were the most hydrated kids you've ever seen.....Listen in to the episode for the rest of this episode!
Special Report: Velocicoaster
Friends of the program, Scott and Kristen Carpenter join the program to talk about their experience on the Velocicoaster. This awesome coaster is new to Universal Studios Orlando!
If your family has just gone to some amazing travel destination and you'd like to come on the show to talk about it, reach out to email@example.com.
Letting the Kids Plan the Family Vacation
Garrett and Mandy live in Utah with their two sons who love to join them on their adventures and have even planned a few of their own and that's what we're gonna be talking with him about letting the kids planned the family vacation. Garrett Mandy, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having us on. We're excited to be here. We're glad to have you.
So what made you guys decide that you're going to turn over and what my mom would say is what possessed you to let your kids take over the planning of the family vacation?
Well, you know, they say in life that most of the decisions we make are all about pain avoidance. And really it didn't come about us intending to let the kids start planning our trips or at least have a much bigger input. It was more just kind of the opposite. We were avoiding some things that weren't working. So We don't know what year was it, 2016, I think we figured out we had planned a kind of elaborate trick to san Diego take the kids and we were doing everything that they would want to do.
So like San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, just everything fun for kids. Yeah, I mean we obviously wanted to do all those things too, but we figured that they would be over the moon excited and we didn't really tell them anything. Even after we got in the car, we never really told them where we were going, driving down to San Diego and made him, you know, guess where we were going and see what things that could pick out. Not only were they at a loss, like I have no idea where we're going, but they also weren't all that excited about the trip once they finally got clued into what was going on, so you know, the trip went well and as we did the things that we were supposed to do, things went well and we had a great time, but we swore we would just never do that to them again because we realized, you know, most of what's really fun about a vacation is the anticipation of it, the hope and looking forward to it.
And so we just decided then and there, like we're never doing that again. We're never surprising the kids with a trip because when we kind of robbed them of that excitement of looking forward to it. Our oldest is a Lego fanatic and he definitely got that from his mother, but we, you know, we love lego and we show up at Legoland and he's just kind of like, well, cool, okay, great, you know, and I had envisioned this because my expectations were probably way beyond what they should have been, but I had envisioned him just squealing and running around and being so excited and he just kind of wandered through and cool, this is cool.
And he was at the age, he was a prime age for being there and so there really wasn't any other excuse for his lack of enthusiasm then, just that we hadn't given him enough time to look forward to it and that's kind of sad, you know, we didn't give him that opportunity to have the hope for it. So yeah, so really going back to your question, the idea to really start to clue them in came from just us not wanting to leave them out, you know, that's what really got it started.
How old were your kids when they planned the family vacation for the first time?
So they were about five and eight when we went to San Diego. And so it was the very next trip after that where we said we're not doing that again, you know, at five and eight, they were old enough that they deserved to say in what we were going to do. So that's about that age is when we changed the way we planned our trips.
Okay, so exactly how did this work set it up for us, how much of the vacation did they end up planning?
Yeah. So it really varies on where we're going and how old they are, but the thing we realized, you know, is that the kids, kids are humans too and they have things they want to do and things they like to do and things they don't like to do and you know, if we're going on like a couples trip, we give them that s
The beauty of Hawaii. Show notes coming later today.
Great insight to family vacations
I love this podcast! The guys give great info not only on destinations, must do’s and traveling advice. They also share tips for surviving Forced Family Fun. I highly recommend to anyone whose family likes to travel!