Don’t Let These 9 Obstacles Stand in Your Way to an International Family Vacation

Don’t Let These 9 Obstacles Stand in Your Way to an International Family Vacation

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The author, with her family in Manarola, Italy

Guest Post by Nicci O’Mara, FTA Member and Founder of

Many parents believe you need a bucketload of cash, a flexible job, and kids of a certain age to be able to head off on an amazing vacation abroad.

What I’ve discovered over the years, is this simply isn’t true. You CAN take incredible international vacations with your kids but first you need to know what obstacles are standing in your way and what steps you need to take to achieve your travel goals.

So what are the biggest obstacles lying in the way of families being able to travel the world?

  1. I don’t have enough money.

Are you assuming that travel has to be expensive? There are so many ways you can travel on a small budget.

You can stay in hostels, cabins and Airbnbs, or you can housesit for free. You can fly on low-cost carriers or join a frequent flyer program and earn free or discounted flights. You can visit cheaper countries through parts of Southeast Asia, or Central and South America where you’ll spend less per day than you would at home.

And when it comes to saving money, there are so many ways you can make little changes to your daily life that will move you closer to your goal. Things like changing to cheaper brands of the things that don’t matter, and cooking meals in bulk so you’ve got food in the freezer instead of buying takeaway.

You just need to make a plan and start now with what you’ve got. (More about how to do that at the end)

  1. I’m too busy

I’ve got to ask you the question… are you busy because you want to be busy, or you have no choice? I can honestly say there have be many times in my life where I unintentionally chose to be too busy at work or with the kids to fit in my other priorities.

What can you do to give you more time for the things you enjoy? Put in place a system to get your kids and partner to do more around the house. Schedule time in the family calendar for vacations and family day trips. And most importantly put in place a plan to make it happen.

  1. Work

How many times have you said…“I’ve got too much work on so we can’t go on a family vacation”, or “I don’t want the boss to think I’m lazy by taking a vacation”.

Have you also considered that you’re more likely to perform better at work if you take leave and get away from the everyday?

Here are a few home truths. When your kids have left home and you realise you’re not getting any younger, are you going to look back at your life and remember all of the incredible memories you made with your family, or will you fondly remember that campaign you worked on, or sales target you met.

I’m not saying you should quit your job and become a nomad. But instead find some balance. Make room in your schedule for family vacations. Work out what your priorities are and how you’re going to make them happen.

  1. I’m self-employed

So many parents are self-employed these days, including me, which can mean taking time off work for family vacations can be so much harder but easier all at the same time. You’ve got to remember who’s boss. It’s you!

The best way to make vacations happen is to plan them well ahead of time. Work out when is your quietest time of year? Then book your vacation with lots of lead time and give your clients/suppliers notice.

  1. One of my family members has a disability, chronic illness, or severe allergy.

This does make it more challenging to travel but for most families, this is an obstacle that can be overcome with knowledge and planning. The good news is that there are plenty of other families who have gone before you with similar health issues that can help, plus there’s a slowly growing number of resources out there.

  1. The kids will miss school.

Travel provides an incredible education, and it’s often education in the things that can’t be taught in schools: the real life immersion in history, language, culture, and environment, plus the benefit of building family relationships and social skills. You’ll be surprised to find that schools in many countries embrace their students travelling, but you need to check, as some fine parents and others require formal request letters for taking them out of school to travel.

  1. Fear

For many, there’s this invisible line at the border they’re afraid to cross. Is it safe, will they have food we like, will we enjoy it, what happens if…

There are so many questions but with them come plenty of answers. Not always correct answers if you spend your time in public chat forums, which only fuels the fear.

But the thing is it’s just like crossing the state line. Yes things are done differently, they may speak a different language, and look a little different. But what travel has shown us is no matter how far you travel, there are more similarities than there are differences. And the differences, well that’s what we travel to experience.

When it comes to fear, knowledge is power. Write down what you’re afraid of, then look for ways to overcome them. Talking to other parents who have travelled is often a great help.

  1. Overwhelm

Don’t get caught up on how many things you need to do to make an international family vacation happen. Make a plan of what you need to do, and how you’re going to do it, then break it down into steps to make it easier to take action. Each small task you complete will take you one step closer to your end goal.

  1. A person is stopping you

How do you overcome having your mother, partner, teenager or friend not wanting you to travel abroad?

The first thing to do is listen carefully to them to find out why they don’t want you to go and what facts (not opinions) are behind what they’re saying. Make up your own mind, with all the facts in front of you, as to what’s important to you. Ask yourself is what they’re saying true and does it matter to you?

The great thing is that the vast majority of obstacles can be overcome so that you can take amazing international trips with your kids. But you need a plan to start moving towards your goal.

This is why I developed my free mini course, 4 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Travel Goals. These are the four steps you need to take, to get you on the road to taking amazing family vacations abroad.

These are the simple steps that will make the biggest difference to being able to travel more with your kids, so you can stop dreaming about your bucket list, and start travelling.

Here we dive deeper into how to overcome your biggest obstacles to travel, how to make travel a priority in your life, plus I’ll give you the exact blueprint you need to start planning incredible international trips.

Sign up for the free mini-course here so you can start reaching your travel goals.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Nicci O’Mara, founder of Trip Chiefs, and creator of Family Trips Made Easy academy, teaches parents how to make it easier to take their family trips to the next level and travel abroad. She’s recently developed a free mini course especially for parents, called 4 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Travel Goals.

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