When you travel with kids it’s not just about the destination. It doesn’t matter whether you are flying, road tripping or even heading out for the day with kids (in your home town or on holiday) there is more to it than just finding a family friendly destination. It’s also about making the journey entertaining.
Let me show you an example from a recent day trip.
The other week my partner decided he needed to purchase an item that was only available at the markets. So we thought let’s make a day of it.
We live in Perth so we were aiming for the Fremantle Markets; but every city has its famous markets eg Melbourne – the Queen Victoria, Sydney – Paddy’s Markets, you’ll know your city’s.
Our plan for this day trip was to use public transport. My son loves catching the train or bus when we travel it’s a huge adventure for him as it doesn’t happen that often at home.
I read the Transperth website and prepared our journey. Every public transport system now has a website making it simple to plan and budget your trip. Some systems offer some exceptional deals to encourage you to get out and use public transport eg. when we were in Sydney we discovered the Family Funday Sunday pass for $2.50 per person. In Perth a Family Pass (7 people) for $11.00 all day. Both of these passes are for train, bus and ferry.
The plan: walk to the train station, buy a family day pass and board the train to Freo, on arrival catch the free CAT bus to the markets.
That morning I pack for the day trip: a drink, some snacks and camera into my oversized handbag. This would be one of our first day trips without the pram. Oh how I have loved the pram. It not only carry’s a tired child but also the paraphernalia that you seem to take when heading out with kids for the day. Prams are also really easy to use with public transport.
At about 9:30am we trot off to the train station with one very excited 5-year-old. We buy the tickets, another exciting thing to do – “put money into a slot and out comes a piece of paper” 😉 (I know that was said with sarcasm but kids just love doing this stuff.) Finally we can hear the train approaching, we remind our son to stand back and then we are on. He rushes to locate seats for us, and then bounces about as the train stops at each station asking, “where are we on the map?” and “where is everyone going?”
Once we arrive into Fremantle my partner wants to walk straight down the street to the markets however our young son knows a bus ride is still to be had. So much to my partners frustration we board the bus. My son is so excited running to the back and claiming the long bench seat for his father and him. We ride the 2 stops and disembark in front of the markets.
We stroll past the street entertainers and into the markets. We quickly find the stall we require, make our purchase and are then free to wander. It doesn’t take long and little legs tire, a shoulder ride is required while we browse at the variety of different stalls selling all sorts of art, craft, clothing and bric-a-brac.
We roam through to the fresh food produce section and our stomachs grumble as we see the large pans of freshly made paella, gozleme, pizza, burgers and sandwiches. Then before we even finish our lunch our son is asking to get back on the train.
He really is not interested in looking at the creative knickknacks available or the colourful characters performing in the streets.
The excitement is reserved for the return train home.
Do you kids love public transport or get excited about travel on planes and road trips?