Do you enjoy family travel? Does the thought of taking your kids on a big trip leave you excited or terrified?
I recently was sent a book called Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids by Bill Richards and Ashley Steel. The authors have traveled through North America, Europe, and Asia with their two daughters, and offer hundreds of ideas to make your trip run smoother and help your family turn their travels into rewarding, enriching adventures. Even though I consider myself a well-traveled mom, comfortable taking my kids on trips abroad and domestic (even traveling alone!)- I still have so much to learn and had a lot fun reading this book! I turned down the corners of more than half of the pages, and scribbled notes in the margins, noting concrete tips for families who travel:
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This book is intended for well-seasoned travelers and newbies alike who enjoy being with their children, want to enrich their education, and are excited to discover, as a family, the vast and unique experiences this world has to offer.
The Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club is now reading Family on the Loose, and then members’ blogs are posting weekly discussions of chapters and sharing travel stories. To wrap it up, author Ashley Steel answers questions about the book and traveling with her family.
Today we’ll have a look at Chapter 9!
Finding the World in Your Own Backyard
You don’t need to travel around the globe to have an exciting adventure! In this chapter, the authors suggest families take “mini-trips-” all on public transport- around your nearest city that expose kids to another culture. There are so many examples listed: grocery store adventures, visiting different religious services, festivals and celebrations at local community centers, cross-cultural camps- one of my favorite new ideas was hosting a travel-themed birthday party. Finally, something we’ve definitely enjoyed at our house, they discuss hosting an exchange student. The conclusion at the end of the chapter is exactly what my web site is all about:)-
There are an amazing number of ways to bring cross-cultural education into your home… Finding multicultural opportunities near home can enrich your family’s appreciation for where you live and can expose you to all the other cultures that are transplanted into your own backyard. Opportunities for global education are everywhere! (pg 187)
Family on the Loose Discussion Guide:
Don’t miss the previous chapter discussions on family travel:
Chapter 1 and 2: Dads the Way I Like It – Jan. 9
Chapter 3: Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes – Jan. 16
Chapter 4: Kids Yoga Stories – Jan. 23
Chapter 5: MarocMama – Jan. 30
Chapter 6: Spanglish House – Feb. 6
Chapter 7: Spanish Playground – Feb.13
Chapter 8: The European Mama – Feb. 20
Chapter 9: Kid World Citizen – Feb. 27
Q & A with Ashley Steel: Chasing the Donkey – March 6
If you are interested in learning more about the authors and their book, check out their web site for Family on the Loose! Multicultural Kid Blogs are dedicated to raising world citizens, through arts, activities, crafts, food, language, and love. You can follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. You can also subscribe to a feed of all of posts from the Facebook pages of all member blogs.
Giselle - Kids Yoga Stories says
So true, Becky! Now that I have a family, I can’t travel as much as I used to, but instead we look for ways to bring the world into our home. What a great, well-rounded look at traveling the world with families – such a fabulous book. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for offering families resources to teach global education every day.
Jennifer Brunk says
I thought this was a fun chapter too. We don’t live close to any big cities, so when we visit Chicago or Minneapolis there is that setting along with many opportunities to explore different cultures.
We hosted and exchange student too, and we loved it! I have to say though, that it was more work than I expected, just because I really wanted her to be happy. I think I would be more relaxed and better at it the second time around.
Thanks for sharing this chapter!
I agree! I love the different neighborhoods in Chicago (an Minneapolis!)- how fun it is to check out cultural community centers and participate in different festivals or celebrations, go for lunch, browse the shops, and then stop by a bakery to take some goodies home.
We were better hosts the 2nd time around too:)- and really encouraged her to find a group of friends so she could have fun with friends her age and learn about American culture from teenagers (to balance out what we were showing her:).
Family on the Loose (@FamilyonLoose) says
Thanks Becky – I’m so glad you picked this chapter! I love your website and always see so many connections. We absolutely have gotten better at exchange students over time. As the kids get older and busier, it’s almost harder because there’s so much scheduling to juggle. But, our kids also take on more of the entertainment responsibilities and develop real friendships. Now I find them on their phones (of course) talking with Spain and Hungary – sharing stories etc. I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to give it a try (maybe with a low commitment short-stay) even with young kids.