Our traveling circus is hitting the road again, and this time we’re headed to Nepal, Bhutan and India. I’m often asked why we travel to developing countries with kids, and I always think that’s an interesting question. I mean doesn’t everyone want to visit everywhere in the world in no particular order?!? Turns out that no they don’t.
Sitting on the plane flying to Kathmandu with hubby and our two boys (12 and 15), we all had different thoughts on how the next two and a half weeks would play out.
First let me backup a little… why do we choose these places and doesn’t it cost a ton of money to take these trips??? Well it’s pretty simple. Our family prioritizes spending money on travel and experience. We work hard all year and forgo unnecessary dinners, Jamba juice, Starbucks etc. to help make this happen. I’m also the queen of combining hotel points and air mile programs to get the best deals possible (hubby usually calls me for large purchases to see what credit card I want him to use!) One of the credit cards we use is the Capital One Venture Miles card since the travel redemption process is easy and you get 1 point worth 1 cent per mile when you redeem rewards for travel. You can read more about that here.
Hubby and I also realize that outside of our privileged life, there’s far more to experience than shiny Los Angeles. We feel it’s important to travel to developing countries with kids so they can experience different cultures for themselves. We hold family meetings and all bring our list of places we’d like to visit in no particular order. Visiting all 7 Wonders of the World is at the top of our list, and we’re trying to work our way through in no particular order.
At a recent family meeting, we realized since we only have two summers left with our eldest before he heads to college. Our time for extended vacations as a family was coming to an end (Sniff sniff…. I’m not crying you’re crying). We decided to travel to India, Nepal and Bhutan, and once we settled on the locations, I kicked into gear. This is what I live for. I pored over flights, hotels, cities and things to explore, and began to piece thimgs together. We decided to fly into Kathmandu, spend time exploring the hustle of Nepal’s largest city, drive to Chitwan to explore dense forest and grassy plains, and end in Pokhara which is known as the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit, a popular trail in the Himalayas.
Bhutan was more tricky and I soon discovered the government requires a minimum tourist tariff of $250 per person per day (say what?!?!?!). I also learned there’s only two airlines cleared to fly in and out of Bhutan from only nine cities in the world. It also turns out that Paro, the International airport in Bhutan, is listed as one of the scariest airport in the world for take off and landing. (gulp!). When researching flights from Kathmandu, I discovered we could fly from Paro via Delhi, back home, so we decided to add a quick stop over in India.
The fabulous Taj Mahal is on Julian’s list, and he is still bitter that we left him with grandparents in England 10 yrs ago (he was two, what can I say!?!). Hot hubby and I simply love India, so it seemed like a no-brainer to stop in Delhi and Agra for a few days en route back to Los Angeles.
So that’s pretty much how things go down in our house. No travel agents or glossy brochures, our trips evolve organically until they are just right!
I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.