6 moms who show us travel with kids is possible

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

These moms prove that travel with kids can be done.

While I’d like to consider myself a travel aficionado, there’s one area of travel I plead complete ignorance on: travel with kids.

Sure, I’ve worked in secondary education for 10 years and have taken groups of tweens and adolescents on international field trips to places like Paris, Beijing, and Phnom Penh.  But I myself don’t have any children of my own, and acting in loco parentis on short, relatively infrequent sojourns just doesn’t compare to globetrotting on a consistent basis with your own brood.

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I thus find myself ill-equipped to answer the frequent questions I get about the intricacies of travel with kids: questions running the gamut from strategies for travelling with infants, to affording travel as a family, to which destinations and activities are kid-friendly.

And if I’m completely honest, as Liebling and I think about adding at least one new member to #TeamGermanada, I have some of the same queries.

But here’s the thing: there’s a pervasive line of thinking that says that a woman’s life of travel and discovery ends– or is, at the very least, curtailed– when motherhood begins. The questions I get often imply that travel with kids is extremely onerous, expensive, impossible. There is also the idea that travelling with kids and subjecting them to environments outside of their comfort zone is selfish, irresponsible, or cruel. While I don’t believe that for one minute, I myself don’t have the knowledge or experience to assert the contrary or provide advice. Where to turn?

Enter the travel mom squad

Luckily I know a group of women who not only travel with their children frequently, but also chronicle their adventures online.  These women run travel businesses and provide anecdotes, tips, and inspiration to mothers who aspire to travel with kids, proving wrong those who don’t believe it’s possible in the process. Since I frequently refer people to their sites, I figured I would put all their details in this post.

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Why black moms specifically?

You may notice that my selections are from a particular segment of the population. The *ahem* “melanin-blessed” segment of the population.  Well, if you think women who travel with their children lack representation in mainstream travel media, mothers of African descent who globetrot with the kiddies in tow are even fewer and farther between. In an industry that paints the quintessential traveller as Caucasian, carefree, and childless, the black mom who travels with her Mini-Me(s) is a bit of an anomaly. As a black person myself I am invested in highlighting the travel stories and achievements of those who look like me and live like me.

Here are the black moms who show us travelling with kids is possible.

Cherae Robinson

“When I had my son, I’m sure there were people who thought I’d pivot from my very global ambitions, but it was the opposite – he bolsters me and got me to be more serious about doing the work it takes to live the way I want to live.” — Cherae, as told to Bella Naija

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Cherae’s role as founder and CEO of Tastemakers Africa, a travel start-up, means that she is more likely to be found in a plane, train, or automobile than behind a desk.  The company’s mobile app allows travellers to find and book culturally immersive experiences within the African continent, so Cherae, as the person in charge, is often on location ensuring everything runs smoothly.  As a result, her 8 year old son Trace, is no stranger to international travel: mom’s business has taken him places as far afield as Ghana, and her former career in international development meant that Trace had a taste of the expat life when she did a stint in Mexico City.   

Libryia Jones

“Being married or having children should never be a roadblock to living out a dream.”  –Libryia, as told to The Huffington Post

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After resolving for years to fulfill her dream of living abroad with her daughter, Libryia finally took the plunge by relocating to Prague, Czech Republic with Zian.  But here’s the catch: they moved there with over 30 other people, and after four months, the whole group will uproot themselves and move to Chiang Mai, Thailand, followed by stints in Cape Town, South Africa and Medellin, Colombia. Confused? Libryia is the CEO of My Wander Year, a community of digital nomads who will spend a year living and working abroad.  Tired of similar programs that did not welcome or cater to the specific needs of travellers with children, Libryia decided to create a kid-friendly group of her own. While Libryia always travelled with Zian, living in Prague has allowed them to take their travel game to the next level by country-hopping nearly every weekend.

Tanai Benard

“One day I made a deal with myself that I would make an honest effort to ensure my children would get a fair opportunity to immerse themselves in those things that many only read about or watch on television. I don’t want them to have to depend on textbooks or the media to educate them about other cultures, religions and countries.” — Tanai, as told to The Huffington Post


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The summer of 2013 was the dawning of a new era for Tanai and her three children, known affectionately as “4 Deep”.  It was when Tanai, a newly divorced educator longing for a fresh start, singlehandedly relocated her family to Abu Dhabi, where she had secured a job teaching Emirati girls. Since that time, they haven’t looked back.  The move sparked a journey that would see her and her children voyage to exotic locales such as Sri Lanka and Bali, as well as deeply engage with Middle Eastern culture in their new home.  While the family’s story has graced the pages of major media outlets like the Washington Post, they share their tips and tricks for travelling on their blog and Youtube channel. 

Lola Akinmade Åkerström

“I want my children to know that I didn’t lose myself. I get tired of women who say, ‘I gave up my entire life for my children.’ Children can sense when their parents are not living out their passions. It is important for children to know and sense their mother’s drive and also know the things she is good at and loves to do.” –Lola, as told to Mater Mea

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Illustrious travel writer and photojournalist Lola doesn’t have a problem bringing her two children along on assignments (her eldest’s passport stamps are in the double digits), but concedes that balance and planning are of paramount importance when trying to marry motherhood and a career she’s passionate about. Alongside her vivid narratives are practical tips and tricks for travelling with an infant— various posts chronicle her picks for what to pack and how to manage your baby’s sleeping and eating schedules when on the road.

Monique Y. White

“I’ve always found travel doable with children, even when they where much younger.  It just required some tweaks and adjustments.”  –Monique, via Mo Travels 

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Monique and her daughters Miss P and Miss V are OGs of travel who have never let the perceived difficulty of travel with kids stand in their way of international domination through exploration.  As American expats based in the Netherlands, they’ve travelled together all over Europe, and possess a healthy number of passport stamps from countries around the world. Monique, a freelance writer, blogs extensively about her travel experiences with her girls at Mo Travels and shares more words of travel wisdom on An Unstoppable Journey.

Shauna Jones

“We are a group that provides support and resources for women who are interested in traveling the world or living abroad with children in tow.” — Description for travel community Wandering Moms

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Shauna’s background may be in banking, but she has a passion for travel and has worked hard to expose her son Jordan to it from a very young age. Her efforts seem to be working: at the tender age of 12, Jordan counts a trip to Brazil during the 2016 Olympics and a visit to the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand amongst his varied and extensive travel experiences. Shauna is the co-founder of a Wandering Moms (along with Tanai and her cousin Libryia), a community of women who, according to their bio, “want to literally give their children the world”, and endeavours to encourage and educate other mothers to do the same.

Do you know of moms (of any race) who travel with kids? Let me know in the comments!

**All images used with permission of the owners.

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87 Comments

  • Backpacked with my nine-yr old daughter this past summer through Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. We.had.a.blast…I’m trying to schedule my future travels at the same time as her school breaks…it’s lovely to show her the world, she’s having loads of history and geography lessons as we go along, attend tours together, try new foods..plus she’s quite nifty with the camera..as heavy as a Nikon D7000 is..she takes kickass pics with it…so she had a job description this summer…*photographer* and she got paid!!! She’s also handy when it comes to packing and cleaning up before check-out..I now dread any solo travel without her..I wish she came in doubles..she sure is entertaining as well.!

    Reply
  • My teen son and I have been traveling for a few years together. He has visited 15 countries and has a goal to visit 20 before age 20. Black women and children do travel!

    Reply
  • Hi,
    I’m black, and I travel with my kids. I live in NJ, am a school principal with a doctorate in education, and don’t have a problem taking my girls (9 and 10) out of school to travel abroad. Over the past 1 and 1/2 years we’ve been to Dubai, Switzerland, Italy and China. In April, we’re heading to Bali (layover in Philippines). I’d love to tell you more about my travels!

    Reply
  • I love seeing families travel! I am really impressed with the business these ladies created – what an amazing idea!! Thank you for sharing this

    Anne

    Reply
  • Great post Oneika!

    Do I know of mums who travel with their children? Yep! Quite a few.

    I don’t tend to follow them if their children are really young as it no longer interests me lol, but there’s loads of them:

    Alyson from World Travel Family – A British digital nomadic family with two young boys. Bought a house in Romania. Husband is a chef.

    Carol Cain from Girl gone travel – A top-class American/Puerto-Rican photographic / writer blogger with three boys. Recently bought a house in New Jersey.

    Jenny from And three To Go – A young American couple with a toddler daughter. Lives in Thailand.

    Nicole Standley from The Jet Set Family – An American couple with a young daughter. Lives in California.

    Christina and Kevin from the Wandering Wagars – An American couple with two young children. They live in America.

    Sharon from Where’s Sharon – An Australian couple with 2 young children and a baby. They were digital nomads until this year. They live in Australia.

    Rachel from Rachel’s Rumination’s – An American teacher with 2 older children. She lives in Holland.

    Chris and Rob (techincally not women, but I’m adding them anyway!) from 2TravelDads – An American gay couple with two young boys. They live in Seattle.

    And of course, ME! – Victoria Ade-Genschow from The British Berliner – A British / German couple with one teenage boy who has been travelling since he was 5 months old! By 5 years old, he had already been to 32 countries. He’s 14 now, so do the maths!

    Travelling with a child is extremely easy as children are flexible and more adaptable than you think. As a baby, I breastfed my son anyway so food wasn’t an issue. When travellng with children, the world opens it’s arms to you because of them. And quite frankly, once they have enough to eat, a clean bed, something to read or play with, a parent or parents near by, they’re good to go. It doesn’t matter how they travel or what they eat. They’re ready and can adapt to the “challenges.”

    Reply
  • This is just awesome! I started travelling with my girl A few years back, I believe if anyone has to show my girl the world it should be me! We have great adventures and amazing experiences. Yes you can read about it in books but nothing beats experiencing it and just being there! Great post! You have just motivated me even more

    Reply
  • I grew up travelling in a VW camping van and had been to over 30 countries before I left home. I continued to travel extensively in between university studies and with friends and family. My husband and I continued our travels after university inbetween working as full time teachers. We now have two sons, age 5 and 7 who we have travelled with since they were weeks old. They have been to over 25 countries already and have friends around the world just like we do. Travel comes naturally to us and we love it and won’t be stopping any time soon.

    Reply
  • This is great! I follow all of them and I am in Shauna and Tanai’s Group. Although I am not a single mom, I often travel with my 6 yo daughter. You can find me on IG: Beautyandthebump

    Reply
  • Me 🙂
    My 4yr old and I have been to 17 countries. Travel is our life. I also run a organization called black kids do travel and a FB group with over 9k parents/families (www.blackkidsdotravel.com) to inspire other parents of color to travel with their kids.

    Reply
  • I want to start travelling with my three kids all under the age of 7. If anyone has experience of this and ways to do it cost effectively please leave a comment.

    Reply
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  • Travelling with kids is not an easy task. I booked a limo from Boston. Limousine service is a kind of service where there is someone who will wait for you, ready to pick up your bags and help you get inside the vehicle in comfort. It’s all about luxury but in an economic way. Visit: http://blackliverycar.com

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  • Hi Oneika, I just discovered your blog, and I’m actually black American teen who lives with her family in Thailand. I was wondering do you have any tips for starting a blog targeted towards black children who travel to share their experiences? My family has lived in 3 different countries, and it’s been hard to connect with black children our age since we’ve been in Thailand and left the US. I thought starting a blog would be a good idea to share my experiences with others.

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  • Love seeing other families who do it – it really is possible! I would love to find more large families though, we’ve found many people will travel overseas with 1-3 children but rarely more.
    We spent over 3 years travelling in Australia with our five children, and finally took the plunge and came to Europe in 2018. 6 months on and we’re still in Europe, we’ve visited 8 countries so far, and have no intention of stopping any time soon. It’s a wonderful lifestyle.

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