The Route as it currently looks – 734 days to go

I wanted to share with everyone a current snapshot of what the route is looking like right now. Some legs of the trips are further along than others so expect changes. I have gone ahead and shared a somewhat detailed route for the North American component of the trip. Here is that route. Not going to lie, the 11,000km plus of driving seems daunting. There will be some big travel days required.

For a glimpse of the current status of the whole trip including the Europe and Asian components of the trip, please click here. Might be too ambitious, might not be ambitious enough. But it is fun plotting the destinations on a map even if they are just placeholders. 50,000km sure feels like an ambitious undertaking.

Route around the world demarcated on a google map

As an aside, some of my friends had been teasing me about the gaps between my posts. I agree wholeheartedly with that critique. The good news is next week we cross the “2 years to go mark”. I am going to have to start buckling down!

Three goals for the trip – 765 days to go

Two young girls holding a fresh starfish

While working at Walmart I adopted the practice of committing to only three things at any time. I found that spreading myself across many initiatives resulted in little progress against any of them. That practice from my work life has transferred well to our family vacations. For the most part, we try to keep our vacations focused on a couple key objectives. Our recent trips have been centred around escaping the grind, spending time with the kids and reliving our youth.

This brings me to an important part of goal setting for a family trip. It is important to establish the goals of your trip before you depart. It is equally important to share them with your family members AHEAD of time.

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Europe & Schengen Visa – First Change of Plans – 852 days to go

Today I learned something. The Schengen Visa that we would have taken advantage of due to our Canadian nationality, is a short stay Visa. It allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen area for stays up to 90 days in a 180 day period. I do not know why I did not pick up on this sooner but I always had this idea that people backpacked around Europe for months at a time when I was younger.

What does this mean for our plans? At a high level we had planned on staying from September to the beginning of January in the countries along the Mediterranean. That would have been something closer to 120 days which does not fit into the parameters of the Visa. We have a few options but two seem most likely.

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Tips and Tricks Part 2 – 956 days to go

Just wanted to share a couple more tips that we incorporate into our family travels.

Sleeping on the floor is a possibility
Sometimes you just miscalculate and think you have enough room for the family. We have found ourselves in this situation when camping and instead of everyone having an uncomfortable sleep on a twin air mattress, I have just slept on the floor. Same thing in a couple european hotels. To give everyone (myself included) a better sleep, just throw a blanket down and sleep on the floor.

Return from your trip a day early
We used to maximize every day of our vacation. We would come back late Sunday night and be at work first thing Monday morning. Now we always give ourselves a day at home before we begin our normal lives. It gets the kids settled into things and ensures you won’t spend an entire week playing catch up with laundry, school work or adult work

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Family Travel Tips and Tricks – 965 days to go

We wanted to go ahead and share some travel learnings we have acquired the last couple years with our kids. We had scribbled these as reminders to ourselves for future travels. We still have some more to pull together but this is a good starting point.

Plan ahead
Last minute can be done but your margin of error is smaller. Planning does make it go smoother .

Schedule a bathroom visit before boarding the plane
It can be a long time from the boarding queue to when the pilot turns off the seat belt sign.

Keep an extra pair of clothes close by for EVERYONE who is traveling
Whether it be a plane, bus or ferry, children can get sick or have accidents. In such tight confines your clothes are bound to get something on them.

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