In this episode we highlight 7 of the best places to travel with kids. This isn’t and exclusive list, but some of our favorites where we have enjoyed adventuring with our girls and would recommend to you as family friendly stops. If you are planning a trip, or just dreaming up your next one, give this episode a listen!
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C: And welcome to Did you pack Snacks?, a family travel podcast where we talk all things high, all the lows and all the long miles in between of traveling with kids. My name is Colin and this beautiful lady is..
M: My name’s Meg. Hi.
C: Happily married. That’s right. Even to this day. Okay. Today we’re going to talk about seven countries. That is the best countries that we found in personal experience to travel with kids for various reasons. And we’re going to hit that list in this podcast. But before all that, the very important question, how are you, Meghan?
M: You’ve got stuff in your teeth. I’m doing really well. I’m feeling a little sore if I’m being honest. Oh, gosh. Colin has a love hate relationship with my gym membership.
C: I don’t know. I only love it. I just like I. It gets repetitive.
M: Okay. Some friends and I are sharing a personal trainer at the gym, so it’s just been a lot of fun.
C: Can we name him?
M: I don’t know. Sure. His name’s Brett. Look him up. So some friends and I are sharing a personal trainer at the gym, which if you’ve never done that, it just makes it a whole lot of fun.
It also means that you’re getting, like, a proper workout every time. A real one. A real one. Somebody is making a plan for you. I’ve done lots of fake ones. So Colin’s love hate relationship is he loves that I’m going. He loves that. I love it. But every time I come home, it’s like, does clockwork. He’s going to hear about it. He’s going to hear how awesome I am, how I lifted so much weight.
C: Any time, any time there’s a lull in the conversation on the way to work at home in the kitchen. Soon as it gets quiet. Oh, man. Today it was a busy day. Today was just. Man, Babe, babe, I can’t. I can’t sit here. I can’t.
M: Okay. Yeah, okay. I think they got it. Yeah, but I’m really loving that right now. It’s one of my favorite things that I’ve added to my week. I like it a lot. What about you? With something? How are you doing?
C: Well, today we’re filming this on a Tuesday. Okay. And the reason why that’s important? Because in two days.
Yeah, it’s Thursday night. Pickleball. Oh, okay. See, you have your thing too. Let’s.
M: Well, explain to people what this Thursday night pickleball routine has become.
C: Well, I’ve only ever played, like, maybe like, seven or eight times in my life. Okay? And by the first time, you’re hooked, and I don’t know if you play pickleball or not, it’s the fastest growing sport in the U.S. And, gosh, it is so much fun.
I’m trying to get Meghan trying to get some more friends out there. But every Thursday night, a group of guys that I know around town sometimes even strangers come. Sometimes there’s a new guy. I’m like, How did you find out about this pickleball night? And go, Oh, I’m the dad. This morning at Storytime at the Library.
M: And so there’s a very welcoming group of guys.
Absolutely. You know, newcomers, professionals, everyone’s they’re professional. Yeah, as professional as you can be in pickleball. Yeah, but it’s just fun. It’s just like, you know, every single week. It’s just nice to have a standing. What do you call that thing? A standing thing we like when I go my brain just I get to turn off my brain for two and a half hours.
Wow. And we play into the lights, go out at 1020 and yeah, two more days. So pickleball a standing thing. Yeah. Everybody needs one. Everybody needs one. I know Michael Bublé and his dad used to go to McDonald’s every morning and like, you know, who doesn’t? Who doesn’t like Michael? And look how he turned out.
M: You know, you should tell everybody I love your standing thing with our girls that you guys do every week.
C: You have a standing thing. We have waffle Wednesday. Yeah. Which, of course, we visit our local Waffle House that’s a mile away from our house. We stopped going to Waffle House, though, because it didn’t meet sanitary requirements. Let’s just say that invasion of flies.
M: Yeah, I would say you need to specify. It’s not that the place wasn’t clean, just their flies were a little.
C: I think. I think summer came in the flies thought like, you know, it’s their season to come out. Yeah. So we’ve transitioned to another local place called Eggs Up which do a great job. They come up with a mickey pancake and it’s it can actually be cheaper than Waffle House sometimes. There you have it. But here first. Yeah, but the girls have been begging to go back to Waffle House again.
And so we’ll see. We’ll get we’re going to give it a try going to give it a try and then all week. Every day.
M: What day of the week is it today? How many days until Wednesday? Yeah. So cute.
C: So maybe the next week’s podcast you can ask me if the waffle Houses flies or not. We’ll give an update because everybody wants to know.
Five Things we are Loving in Travel
M: I’m sure they want to know. They’re like, Why aren’t you writing the manager? Because Colin’s too nice, that’s why. Okay, so we’re going to take a minute. I wanted to do another segment. A minute or five maybe. You know how I love a good segment. Yeah, this one is. We’re just going to share our top five things that we’re loving that have to do in some way with travel.
So that’s pretty broad. But yeah, we came up with five things that we want to share.
C: Not my bath soap. No, no, because I have some good bath soap recommendations for your other podcast. Okay. Okay.
M: So yeah, let’s get started. Why don’t you go first? What’s one thing that you’re loving in the world of travel right now? Before I go into that, our room kind of smells like popcorn.
C + M: Popcorn? Oh, gosh. Oh, gosh. Oh, okay. Okay. She didn’t burn popcorn. Oh, she did it So like it. Oh, she did. She left one more popcorn that was warm, so she reheated it in the Tupperware. Oh, and that’s when she got crazy. Oh, that was so nice. Like a nice gesture. Yeah.
M: Okay, so top five toppings that we’re loving in the world of travel kick us off.
C: First things first. I get emails from them every day. Okay? Even today, even 30 minutes ago, I asked you why it’s not your mom. No, it’s not my mom. No, she whatsapps me. But Going formerly known as Scott’s cheap flights is how we get all our flight deals. I put in all the airports that I like, but I also put in like New York, Chicago and Dallas.
Even though they’re far away, they usually get more deals than Atlanta. Charlotte, all that kind of stuff. But even 30 minutes ago, I got a deal for $200 to from Atlanta to Banff National Park, which is something we’re talking about later, specifically Banff. So maybe will inspire you to book that ticket. Ooh, But yeah, like every now and then, I’ll ask Meghan-
Hey, do you want to go to Switzerland? $400 out of New York? No, no. And but, like, that’s a daily conversation, just like our gym conversation. Yeah, but this is more fun.
M: And the cool thing about going is we can leave their link in the show notes, but you can subscribe and get a membership that costs nothing. And then they have a premium membership that’s more exclusive deals that you have to pay for, but you can just get on that free membership and get some of these deals.
C: Yeah. And out and people always when I recommend this to people, I’m like, do you fly somewhere at least once or twice a year? And their answer is yes. Then I’m like, Then this pays for itself. The member The premium membership, right? Yeah. Yeah. It’s going. I love it.
M: Okay. My the first thing that I wanted to talk about was because we just did a road trip with our girls to the beach. And people are always asking me like, How do you keep your kids entertained on a flight in the car? And well, one of the things, just a disclaimer is we let our kids watch shows on long plane rides and long car rides because I want to watch a movie the past time. They want to watch a movie the past time.
We’re just down with it. It just helps make a long travel day a little bit easier. But a non screen time option that I’m really loving is this company called YOTO, and they have a little mini player that basically is the modern version of like a Walkman. Yeah. And it comes with these little cards and the cards have various stories.
Some of them have songs. Kidz BOP Kids shout out Kidz BOP Kids. Charlotte really likes those ones, but they’re all very kid friendly, age appropriate. They have like from preschool age up until like second or third grade and maybe even beyond that. I didn’t really pay attention. But either way, look up YOTO. I think it’s YOTO play will be failing again, but it is such a great tool to have with you for some non screen time entertainment for the kiddos.
Yeah, I’m loving it. I like it too.
C: I mean, there’s not much difference if you have a classic ipod or something and it still works nicely.
M: A friend of mine did ask me. She said, okay, so I have like an old school iPod. What’s the difference? And I said, Honestly, not that much. Yeah, this one’s pink and it’s cute and maybe a little bit more user friendly for a kid because there are less buttons and you literally just stick the card in.
But yeah, maybe not much different than an old school iPod, but still something worth looking into. Yeah, and it works with more recent charging cables. True. Yes. More updates a little more.
C: Maybe Apple should do that instead of their goggles thing that they just came out with. I mean, those look cool. Scary, scary, scary. Okay, what’s another one?
The Reluctant Traveler
C: A travel show is another one. It’s called The Reluctant Traveler. It’s on Apple TV with Eugene Levy, which is so fun, which if you love Schitt’s Creek and I don’t know if this is his his personality in real life or not, it seems like it might be. But that character is kind of like in this show as well.
M: Yeah. Even though he’s playing himself and we also watch somebody feeds Phil, which that is a really popular travel show. If you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out. But this one is very it’s totally different vibes. But I feel like if you like somebody feeds Phil, you would enjoy this too, right?
C: And even more so because Phil just does a lot of food, because it’s a food show that Eugene the premise of the show is like he does not want to travel, you know? And so in the show he goes to like the most luxurious hotels and that he’s totally okay with. So you’ll see like the nicest hotel in Tokyo, the most beautiful resort in the Maldives or like the crazy one in the safari in South Africa on the train or somewhere in Africa. That’s cool. But he stays in the nicest places, which is already fun to look at.
But then he said, you know, as part of the show, I do agree to leave my hotel room. And so he goes and meets people, tries new things. And I actually appreciated a lot because it shows him coming out of his shell.
Remember the Maldives episode? It was the only episode that I was like, wasn’t too keen about watching, but then because it was like, What are you going to do?
M: What’s interesting about Maldives, other than it’s beauty. Colin
C: Right, but that was the episode I thought that he came out most from his shell because he went and met local people from Maldives, and it changed his whole idea of happiness, success, Yes, all that. So I think it’s a neat show. That’s true. I like it too. You should definitely give it a try.
Hot Shot Onesie
M: Thanks, Eugene. Another thing that I’m loving, this is for all my ladies out there. My favorite thing to wear on a travel day. I feel like I’ve had really bad luck with travel days because I’m like, You always choose the wrong outfits. Until now, I always just feel like, why did I wear this? You know, I’m maybe thinking that I want to dress up.
Maybe I want to wear pajamas anyway. Cut to the chase. I got that trending free people, Hot shot, onesie, and I love it. It is like the perfect thing to wear on the airplane. It’s not too tight. It feels like pajamas, But you still look cute in case you just feel better. I just feel better. You should have worn that today.
I know that would have been so appropriate. Yeah, but I just felt like sharing because it really is. It’s an investment. Maybe you could find a dupe on Amazon, and that would work just as well. But I’ve really. I really like it. And it’s like my staple right now. If we’re getting on an airplane for a long time or road trip or on road trip. I love that thing.
C: Okay, so last thing, we have one more. We need five. Yeah. What do you got for the people before we get to our countries? My last thing, which is a I think it’s a more meeting. Yeah, because I always get flak for it, but I love lounge access at the airports, just like you go into the gym with Brett.
Let me talk about my lounges real quick.
M: this is a new thing in our life. Like we haven’t had lounge access until maybe about a year ago. How? Why is that changed? Tell me.
C: Because I got credit cards. Yeah. And that’s how really we get a lot of free travel through it by earning points and miles.
But some of my cards also allow for a lounge access. So like the Capital One venture card, we haven’t been to the Capital One lounge yet. There’s only one so far in Dallas, which is why are they want to go to Texas for a weird reason. But the Capital One also lets you in priority pass lounges, which is a network of lounges all over the world.
And we’ve been to a lot of them, haven’t we? We have.
M: And the reason why I say that with like a little bit of jest is because travel days are already so stressful. I feel like we should do an episode on just like the real, real behind getting kids to the airport, navigating the airport, getting everyone fed, getting snacks, getting on the plane, getting situated on the plane, keeping everyone chill on the plane.
It’s a whole thing. It’s a marathon. It’s a literal marathon. And so I have the feelings toward the I have the feelings towards the lounges because we’ll get through security. I feel like I’m sweating because we always have a million carry ons.
C: That’s the hardest part. We average nine bins at TSA. Yeah, on average on a good day.
M: Yeah. And then when we get through, it’s like Colin’s immediately like, okay, we’re at gate two. Great. The lounges at gate 113 and you just have to like, she’s not exaggerating. It’s like always so far anyway. Sometimes they’re worth it. And maybe we should deep dive lounges and airports and travel day some time. But I know why you love them, because they feel like a little luxurious, right?
C: Especially the ones overseas. The American ones. I can’t really speak for unless it’s like the centurion or whatever. But then they’re usually filled with, like, really snooty people.
M: Yeah. That are like looking at you like, please. They’re like, because you have children.
C: Why is there a crowd here? Oh, my gosh. But no, there’s something about seeing a busy airport and knowing that I have like, this is a nice semi quiet room that’s clean.
Yeah. Like you’re part of a club. Yeah. And I special things and I stock up like the girls get, like, buffets and, you know, once they take a few drinks to go right. And then. Yeah. Kids drinks. Yeah. Like apple juices. Okay people. Yeah. Oh you can’t walk out with alcohol. All right. But as soon as I get my free latte, I’m like, okay.
M: it was worth the 100 million steps it took to get here.
7 Places to Visit With Kids
C: Anyways, most of the time we like lounges. Okay. All right. Seven countries that we found that are great for families. You ready? I’m ready. Number one.
M: And this is I will say this is not an exclusive list. We could there are a lot of countries that aren’t on this list that would make a great family destination, but we just wanted to highlight seven of them.
C: Yeah. And you know what? Truth be told, before we record it, before we finalize this list. Yeah, I went on Chat GBT. It gave me I said, give me ten countries. And all these were on the list? No. Well, no. Half of them on the list. So me AI are like, same brain. Yeah, you got me. The human or us, the humans and I together present to you this list.
C: Okay, cool. So number one. Number one is someone say it together now. Okay. The really. No, I dunno. More fun that way. Oh, okay. Number one is Denmark.
M: See how I just moved my mouth.
C: We went to Denmark last Thanksgiving. Yeah. Because we wanted to experience Christmas markets. It started Thanksgiving because we still wanted to be home for Christmas.
Yeah, because I love Christmas. So we went there and. Oh, my gosh. First of all, everything is efficient and really clean. Really clean. So clean people were nice for kids. Yeah. And really in that first day, you can kind of tell how the locals interact with our kids as it is. I wouldn’t, you know, throw out a blanket statement.
But if they are kind to kids, it kind of sets the tone of the trip now.
M: Yeah, for sure. And I think that culture there is they are very family oriented and we kind of knew that going in. And the other part that made Denmark so awesome was in Copenhagen. They have the massive amusement park of Tivoli. Tivoli to say that, right?
They have a theme park called Tivoli. And it was basically what Walt Disney himself kind of was inspired to make the Disney parks after visiting this one. And we also had seen that we were like, Man, it would be so fun to take the kids there.
But we decided to go to Denmark during that time of year, intentionally for Tivoli, for the Christmas markets. And we just thought that it would be a charming time to go. And it really was right.
C: Everywhere we went, there were great kid food options. It was it’s a bikeable city. It’s a walking city. We did so much well, Europe in general, but I want to just highlight that one, that one of those nights when we ate out in Copenhagen.
Oh yeah. And everyone it was an it wasn’t a kid friendly restaurant. No, no. It was like beautiful dim lights. People were well, I think everyone just dresses really nice in Copenhagen. Well, it felt fancy, but you’re right. It was probably just in normal people, right? I mean, and normal people. Probably just a normal restaurant that people just dress nicer than we’re used to.
C: Yeah, but we went and I felt a little bit underdressed. I was wearing a hoodie, but as soon as we went in, everyone just like, was so kind. Yeah. Our waiter was like, Hey, if you guys eat all your food, I have a magic trick. And and he was like, And when the kids did eat all their food, he revealed, I saw him like, slid something under the napkin, but nobody knew and I didn’t bother to check.
But then after the meal, he, like, opened the napkin and there was two chocolates in there. And it had been there the whole time. Yeah. You know, and they’re quick to just they’re quick to just help families. Even then, even in airports, you know, they’re boarding and boarding a plane. You know, they’re always kind of a great experience.
Yeah, that’s right. And we need to probably explore Denmark a lot more. Yeah, but that’s the kind of if your capital city has that vibe, I would assume even in your countrysides, it would be the same. Yeah, me too. Yeah. And if you like Legos, they’re there to. Okay, number two, we’re going to take.
M: We’re going to take it to Mexico. Okay. And, you know, maybe this one could be a little like controversial, but this is why I would add it to the list. Okay?
Because if you’re looking for a beach vacation and you are in the States, really anywhere in the states, you can get an affordable flight to Mexico for a great price. Then once you’re there, you’ve got street food, you’ve got culture, you’ve got tacos, and there are some places, you know, maybe like Tulum that are very crowded, lots of people and maybe not the best vibe to go with kids, but there are it wasn’t.
Yeah, it wasn’t. It wasn’t. It wasn’t our favorite with kids. It’s definitely geared towards like people that are there to have a good time, young adults. But there were a lot of other places that we went to that were so much fun. Yeah, and I think that if you’re planning a beach vacation, you could even just pick a resort in Mexico.
You still get the views and the food if you want, kind of like a stress free laid back option. But yeah, we did have a road trip. We ended up in like all different parts of the Yucatan. Yeah. And I just felt like, wow, this is literally a three hour flight from where we live. Rich in culture, crazy kind people. And I just felt really thankful that we got to see some of it.
C: Yeah. It felt even though we were close, it felt like a really big adventure. Yeah. Because everything is in Spanish and you don’t speak Spanish? I don’t speak Spanish. We I took two classes in college, and there’s something about navigating it in Spanish. A lot of them speak English, of course, but I just think it’s cool when our kids see us communicating with with broken Spanish, that they see parents that are trying but can still, you know, buy the souvenir or order the food or get somewhere.
I think that’s neat for the kids to see. Yeah, but but yeah, going back to what you said, like a lot of the places are like party hotspots, but some of the places that we went to, for instance, by the way, we flew into Cancun, so we’re talking mostly about the Yucatan Peninsula.
We still have yet to make it out to Mexico City were Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, which is our Baja, and seems like everyone on Instagram at least loves it. They’re having a great time. Yeah, we had a great time too, in the Yucatan, and we went to towns like Bacalar, We did a road trip to Valladolid and then we saw a teacher nights and it was just like a chill vibe that always ended at a beach and evolved tacos. Charlotte, Learned how to love tacos.
Yeah. Yeah, it was.
M: It was great. And I think one of the other perks about going to Mexico, the Affordable flight, you can maybe splurge on like a resort and then you can just do like day trips. It’s so geared towards tourists. You really don’t have to invest a lot of energy in being like, What will I do once I get there? There are a lot of things to do.
C: Yeah, you know, Yeah. So if you like swimming, swimming ins and notice beaches and tacos, Mexico’s the place to go. All right, moving on to number three, we’re going to take you down. Under, Down, under. Yeah.
M: One of my bucket list. Places to go. Honestly, that when we landed there, it felt a little surreal.
C: Yeah. You want to do you want to set the scene of how we ended up there? But we haven’t even told people where it’s nice to go. No, it’s Australian. Okay, Australia. Okay, so number three is Australia. And what is the scene? I don’t think I remember we went there in the middle of an a weird time in the world two years ago.
M: We were one of the first like wave of tourists that were allowed in the country. Like we booked plane tickets there within two weeks of them opening the borders. Right.
C: And and we got there just in time for your birthday. Yeah. And for your birthday. We were in Melbourne and we drove in to a sanctuary and you got to hug and a koala.
It was so cool, that fun fact. Two years later, Michelle Obama posted a picture at the same sanctuary, hugging the same koala. I mean, it was the same. I’m sure it could have been the same if I’m not two degrees separated from her by this koala. Yeah, if it was Victor, the koala. Hey, Michelle Obama. If you hugged Victor, the koala. Leave a comment down below and let me know.
M: But yeah, we. Lots of wildlife koalas. The girl’s got to find. We like found a bunch of kangaroos around our neighborhood, they got to pet wallabies at this like zoo. And then that thing that well one thing I didn’t really think about in Australia there is a little bit of a challenge is it’s really big.
So we didn’t get to see a lot of the country. We spent a few days in Sydney. We did, we had our base in Melbourne, so we got to see a lot of Melbourne. We had friends there that kind of showed us around and then we did do a one week trip where we took a an RV around Tasmania and then we did the Great Ocean Road in a little van.
Yeah, so that’s kind of what we saw so in. But the things that I love about it were the wildlife. Yeah, I thought that it was crazy family friendly. It’s really easy to navigate because it’s, you know, we’re all speaking the same language. You can the signs, but there is a lot of natural beauty. It just felt like, I don’t know, I think it lived up to my expectations.
You know, when you have like a place on your list. Yeah. And you wonder if you get there, if you’re going to be disappointed. I wasn’t. I wasn’t. Yeah.
C: And I went into it as a big fan of Bluey, still am a fan of Bluey, and I just assume every dad there was Bandit. Yeah. And that once I got to Australia that like I can also become Bandit.
M: Right. And so that was like a little boost to like I’m a step up We did that we meet that guy the night that we saw all the penguins wasn’t he from the town where Blue is filmed, Do you remember? Kind of He was, yeah. I think he was near their new. I just remember that being in talking point, like where you live.
C: Okay, we need to tell the Penguins story.
M: Okay, Let’s take a quick break, then we got to circle back to why this is great for families to go. We were at this. What what would you call it? Like a visitor center that was essentially built to highlight these little penguins that come in from the ocean every night by the droves.
And they kind of like Nestle on the hillside by the droves, like, I mean, like thousands of. Yeah. And so this happened so regularly that they built this visitor center so that you could learn about the penguins. Anyway, we go, we get tickets. You have to wait until dusk. And they are very adamant, like, you can’t really have thought, you can’t take photos, you can’t take videos, you can’t eat food because you don’t want to disturb the penguins from doing the thing that they’re naturally going to do.
C: It’s quiet, it’s dark and cold. It was cold. Yeah.
M: And so our girls are wanting to eat something and of course we are professional snack packers. Yeah, we had snacks and we were like, You know what? It’s okay. Just eat this apple. You know, be quiet. Pull out an apple from my pocket. Yeah, but, like, that was against the rules.
They weren’t supposed to eat, but it was like we didn’t want to miss the penguins. We we’re like, I just eat this really quietly. So it’s like, close to 8:00 at night. It was late. They were hungry and tired. Yeah. So anyway, gave her the apple. And all of a sudden, a few minutes later, after a couple of bites, we see this apple leave her hands and go down into the path of the penguins.
C: Meghan you’re forgetting a huge detail. Oh, now, the penguins had been arriving. Yeah, everyone’s oohing. And I mean, yes, our girl is innocently eating an apple and you knocked it down.
M: Oh, yeah. Oh, I forgot. I knew that the apple flew. That’s true. I remember turning and I think my elbow knocked it out of her hands. But then it went down.
It landed right in front of the penguin. Everyone, like, audibly gasps. And then we. I made a call and go ask the volunteer, like, what did we do? Because we didn’t know what to do. She goes, You know, I don’t think she panicked. She panicked for a second. Yeah. And then she said, You know, I don’t think they like apples, so I don’t think that they’re going to interact with it.
We’re just going to leave it. So now, in the in the view, the beautiful view of the penguins coming to shore is a half eaten apple courtesy of the Mukris and my elbow that was there.
C: It was like we were just making our mark. Making our mark. Yeah, but back to Australia. Back to Australia though anybody mentioned they’re great food, great friendly people.
Yeah. And big roads we even took. If a country is good for our being, it’s good for kids. Yeah. Again, great stops every single, even like even the gas stations in the middle of nowhere will have espresso machines. So coffee culture is strong. Like one time we were driving somewhere and I went in and I was like, In America, this would be really rough.
But then it looked rough. Everyone came in was big Australian dudes that were all farmers. They walked up to this espresso machine and go, I’ll, I’ll take a flat white. And I was like, Wow, this is not what I expected you would be saying. But yeah, coffee culture is strong and I also love diversity. It was like people from everywhere were there.
And when I say people from everywhere, I mean even people with my home like I’m from Malaysia. And the way we speak Chinese and or the way we speak English is slightly different. And as soon as you hear, you can tell. And my homies were there too.
M: Yeah, I mean, we were in two very major cities, right? So that would have something to do with it. But overall, in general, keep Australia on your bucket list. Yeah, we loved it so much and know it’s a little far.
C: It’s kind of far, but once you get there, spend some time there, you’re going to love it.
M: Okay, Moving on to country number four. We’re going to go with Thailand. We love Thailand. Love Thailand. I’ve been there twice now.
Yeah, me a few more times than you. Oh, okay. Well, guess before we were married. I think times anyway.
But specifically, we’re talking about Bangkok. Yeah, we’ve also been up north Chiang Mai and down South Krabi.
Thanks for finishing my sentences. And so, yeah, the reasons that I would say that it’s great for kids if you’re looking to go to somewhere in Southeast Asia.
Yeah, exotic. I think that Bangkok is great for a couple of reasons. One, they have a great health care system. Ask me how I know because we’ve had to utilize that before when Char was babies. Majorly, majorly. But I will say it’s like a huge like peace of mind that if you’re traveling with kids and you’re nervous about something like that may be happening to your kids, and that’s part of your apprehension about going across the world.
Yeah, go to Bangkok because you’re going to have next level care should anything happen. I hope it doesn’t. Yeah, but that’s just a little peace of mind. Yeah. And then I would also say, like, because it’s such an internationally diverse city, there is it’s just accessible. Like, I felt like it was easy to get around. Yeah, there were so many things for the kids to do because it’s so hot in
C: the culture there is so friendly. It’s called The Land of Smiles. And so every local there that we meet, you know, they’re always welcoming, They’re always glad you’re there because tourism is a huge part of their economy. But I don’t have to say anything about food. Don’t even go there because everyone knows it’s really great, right? Even food at 7-Eleven is fun and exciting.
M: And I think the cool thing about Thailand is you get the big city experience, like go spend a few days in Bangkok, go on a food tour, go to the malls, like bring your kids just like do all the things, love the malls, and then you can get a really affordable flight up north, like Colin said, or down south to the beaches, just depending on what you’re looking for.
Yeah, And both of those experiences were incredible, too. Like, I loved getting to see a different part of the country and experience a different part of the Thai culture that was less busy. But across the board, people welcomed our kids wherever we went. Yeah, and they had a bunch of fun. It was one of their favorite places, I think, that we visited.
C: Okay. Number five on the list is a little country called Costa Rica. I loved it there, a haven in Central America. Everyone talks great things about it. So we finally decided to go. We went last year and I saw what the hype was. Yeah, they’ve got I mean, we saw turtles. I saw turtles. Turtles hatching. We saw a sloth, a moM.
M: Mommy, sloth moms love, love. Mum slapped Mom. Yeah, she had a baby. What else did we do? We went to the mountains.
C: We went to the mountains. We were surrounded by wild hummingbirds. We saw these animals. I was at our hotel in the pool, and all of a sudden I look up in the tree and there were a ton of coyotes.
I think it’s wet and called, and there were like ten of them just playing in the trees above us. So it’s like a nature lovers paradise. There’s volcanoes, there’s hot springs, beaches.
M: Charlotte learned to surf when we got down there. One of our favorite things to do is either Google a class or do an Airbnb experience. Maybe on Viator you can look for a tour.
And so we found a surfing class for kids. Yeah, we signed Charlotte up because she has always wanted to surf. It was like a day camp. It was a day camp. So we dropped her off and we just like, hung out, you know, 20 yards down the beach. But she learned to surf and she still talks about it. It was so much fun.
C: And it’s a great place to learn, even for adults, too, because the water is warm, you get a constant amount of good waves. And especially where we were, we were in Nosara in which is on the western side, which a lot of people go upper west where all the resorts are, which is also great surfing.
But yeah, the surf has like the way the instructor told me described it to me is that there are beginner waves and intermediate waves all along the coast. And so it’s just like a Surfers Paradise. Yeah. And I’m excited to learn how to surf in the future. I didn’t that time, no, but I really wanted to. I think it will be so much fun.
M: Being Costa Rica was a lot of fun. I get the hype and I’m really glad that we went. I think that if you’re wanting to plan a family vacation, then find a nice resort, find a nice hotel, and then let them coordinate your day trips to all the beautiful things or do a wildlife tour and you don’t have to navigate it on your own.
C: So I will do a vibe check, though, with Costa Rica. What was that? When I got there, a lot of the places where we saw animals and all these nature spots, you don’t see highrises, you don’t see buildings, condos like there’s not there’s nowhere that’s like overcrowded with tourists. And I think they’ve you know, they know that about Costa Rica and they want to keep it that way.
Yeah. And a lot of the ex-pats that we met that have chosen to live there are all people that, you know, live in L.A. half of the year. And when they say they want to unplug and reset, they go to Costa Rica. Right. So it’s the complete opposite. So I would just say when you go there and you want to experience this adventure where you’re like away from it all, Costa Rica sounds amazing.
M: Yeah, it was special. All right. What what’s next on the list?
C: Next stop is a country that’s very near and dear to me. Okay? Malaysia. No, it’s our as far more superior neighbors. Singapore. Oh, I didn’t. Oh, Singapore is so much fun. The elephant in the in the room between Malaysia and Singapore is there is this cold rivalry okay.
In the fifties Singapore was part of Malaysia and then about a few years later, in 1963, to be exact, September 16, they said, We’re fine without you, we’re fine Malaysia, We don’t have a fresh water source. We’re going to figure it out. And they did. And so everyone in Malaysia, you know, the running joke is that Singapore is 40 years ahead of us.
We can never beat Singapore’s football soccer team. We can be as smart as them, modernize them. Their currency is so much more valuable. But I will say we have the leg up on when it comes to food and culture. Okay, so you.
M: But we put them on the list for a reason.
C: I’m done bashing Singapore. I love it a lot because when I was 12 we went on our first big family vacation.
I live in a very small town and so we got a passport. We on a sleeper bus and we went from Kuala Lumpur down to Singapore. We got a hotel there and we just walked and walked and walked. And it was near Christmastime. And so the whole city’s decorated. They do decorations really well. But yeah, it’s just a place that I remember being a good place.
M: Okay. You want to know why I love it? Why? Well, first you land and you walk into the best airport that I’ve ever experienced. I think it’s the best airport in the world. I think it is. Or it should be classified as that, because they’ve got what they call the Jewel, which is this beautiful waterfall feature that’s. Yeah, in the middle of the airport, surrounded by like trees, like real like huge trees, trees and trains and the garden and Shake Shack and movie theaters and I mean, it’s a mall that surrounds this waterfall, a Pokemon store.
There’s a hotel in there. It’s there’s everything, right? I mean, it was incredible. And I think that that just kind of set the tone for our short time there. Yeah. And then it’s like you get to this city and it’s just immaculate and organized. And I was just like, I don’t know, sometimes you can get to a city and they feel a little bit like rugged.
That was not my experience in Singapore and it also helped that we have some friends there and so they were kind of our tour guides for the day. Yeah, and they took us to get food. Do you remember what we ate?
C: Well, we went to a food court, so like in Asia or in Malaysia, you know, Thailand, Singapore, where you go where which food court is the best?
Like that’s the debate. And so we went to probably one of the more like original local, more local, more famous food courts. But we had chicken rice. We had chicken rice. And these are Michelin starred dishes for like $3. It was incredible. Okay, maybe five, but still cheap. We had all kinds of noodle dishes, rice dishes. You can have Indian food, Chinese food, all these different types of food.
It’s all there.
M: Okay. But one thing that we did for the kids that was really awesome is we took them to the zoo. I think that there’s different like parts of the zoo. And we went to one that was called like the River Safari or River Cruise or something. Anyway, we saw a panda and we saw a baby panda.
Yes. Which was so cool. And I don’t know, I just that whole day, the girls loved it. We talked. We even bought them. Like, I get so sentimental about moments like that, seeing their first panda. It was our first panda. I know. I bought them a souvenir, remember? I just. And the panda slap bracelets. Yeah. You’re such a sucker for, like, marking something with a little trinket.
C: Yeah. Then we also had Panda Bao’s. Oh, yeah. For lunch. And, yeah, it’s fun. It was fun.
M: And then we were actually there over a holiday. And so there is a big festival that we got to really, I’m just telling you that Singapore would be such a great place to visit as a family. Lots of culture, great food. We loved it. Right. Stay in the airport your whole time and you still love it, right?
C: There’s also Universal Studios in Singapore. There’s Sentosa Island. So like theme parks are there, malls are there, food is there. It’s clean is easy to get around. You’ll just feel safe the whole time, too. And people are kind to thumbs up. Ten thumbs up If I had ten, cool going.
M: All right. Our last one, this is number seven. Number seven, We’re going to take it to Canada. And Canada’s big Canada’s big. We haven’t explored a lot of it. We haven’t. We might this year. Yeah, I know. We’d like to. Yeah, but we’re specifically talking about Alberta and even more specifically like Banff National Park. And we’ve been there twice.
C: We went there without kids, loved it, and then we said we want to come back with our kids. And seven years later we did and we first saw it online. Remember? Like when we first were dating or maybe we were already married. I like Meg, Meg, Meg… Look at this place, this lake. Look at that water from this lake.
We always knew. Okay, Lake Louise, I like. One day we’ll get there. And I think in one of our I think I don’t know if we said this before in previous podcast, but one time, like we like to find cheap flights and go camping. And so this is one of our camping ideas. You ready for this? This is not what not to do.
Finds to Seattle to drive 10 hours, maybe more, and then go to Canada and go camp there. Sounds easy. No, it doesn’t sound easy. It sounds hard. I know it sounds hard, but we had no kids. We had all the time in the world. And in reality, it sounds even harder. Yeah, but yeah, the last thing you want to do after driving 14 hours is to pitch a tent.
M: And as we’re like arriving to our destination, it’s pouring rain and I start crying. I’m not going to lie. I had a rough travel day. I shed some tears. I was like, How are we even going to set up this tent in the dark, in the rain? And Colin decided that he was going to march in to the Fairmont Chateau, which overlooks Lake Louise, and he was going to march in and ask them how much it was for a room. Could they give us a discount because his wife was crying.
C: We had been driving all day and it was storming and I had a grin on my face. I’m like, I’m going to get this hotel for a lot cheaper. And as soon as I walk in, the lady at the front desk goes, It starts at 600. And I said, Oh, that’s not too bad. I turned around, walked out of the hotel, never came back.
M: But I will say it stopped raining. Yeah, we pitched the tent. Everything was fine. We had a great experience and the reason that we wanted to bring our kids back was because it’s one of those places where there’s a million things to do outside. Yeah, you can canoe, you can hike, you can kayak, you can walk and ride horseback riding, you can walk on a glacier
You I mean, there’s it has the most charming downtown. Yes. Like that I’ve ever been to with, like, mountains in the background. Like it just if you love to be outside with your kids, you will absolutely love it there. And there will be no shortage of things for you to do. Right.
C: And when it comes to beauty, like the Canadian Rockies, it’s just I feel like it’s underestimated. Yeah, we have Rockies too, in the US and it’s it is beautiful. But once you get to the Canadian Rockies, even driving on the highway, even when you look to your left and you’re right, those rivers are glacial blue like you just, you know that you really up north, right? And so the water is beautiful. The mountains are just rugged and jagged and
M: just Google Lake Louise or Lake Moraine. Yeah. And you’re going to be convinced that you need to take a trip there. It’s great.
C: It’s a great RV trip. Flying to Calgary. Get your RV, which is what we did. And we just drove around. Great campgrounds, great food.
M: Yeah, I think it’s a great location for any price point. You know, you could camp there if that’s your thing. You can there are luxury cabins available if that’s your thing. Like it’s just it fits for everyone. Everyone can find somewhere to stay and a lot of things to do. Yeah, in Banff.
C: Meghan, Wow. Look at us. Go Look at us. Go. So those are your seven top destinations to travel with kids. You can find all these places in our experiences on our YouTube channel.
But I hope that this podcast kind of sold you on all these places because they are great. They are great.
M: And if you enjoyed listening to us chat, if you like tuning in, we’d love for you to leave a review and subscribe to the podcast because we have a lot more to share when it comes to all things travel.
C: I hope you have a good day Meg, and mums and dads don’t forget to pack snacks.