This month, it is with great pleasure that I interview Nicci, fellow family travel blogger and creator of ‘Travels with boys’. I have followed Nicci’s blog since the very beginning and find the idea behind her creation very interesting: how does the gender of your kids impact your travels – do you seek out different activities if you have just boys or just girls in the family?
Having a boy and a girl I am not able to answer this question and I often wonder if the differences between my two kids are down to personality or gender ( i presume a bit of both) so I am delighted to introduce you to Nicci, travels with boys expert and inspirational family traveller!
Hi Nicci, you are very welcome with us, let’s start with a short introduction about you and your blog:
Your name: Nicci O’Mara
Your blog name and link: Travels with Boys
What is your blog about, give us a short description
Travels with Boys is all about inspiring families of boys to get out of the house and explore their town, region, country and the world. On the blog, you’ll find expert tips to make family travel easier and more affordable, stories and reviews on places to visit, and resources to get families going.
Tell us about your family: how many of you and how old are your children?
We are a family of four from Australia. The boys, aged 6 and 8, go to school while we go to work. For us, discovering amazing places close to home on day trips and weekends, is just as important as travel to far off countries for weeks at a time.
Where is home and where are you right now?
Home is a small beautiful city called Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia. With the school year just about to end, we are currently at home getting ready for some adventures over the long summer holidays.
How did you come up with the idea of a travel blog and when did you start writing?
I never set out to be a blogger but I soon realised it would enable me to combine my three greatest passions: travel, writing and my boys. So in December 2015, I launched Travels with Boys.
I have always loved travelling, but when I had kids I found it hard to find specific advice about travelling with boys.
What’s so different about travelling with boys? Quite a lot actually. The way boys learn, communicate, play and even eat are all different to girls. For those families with all boys, you will find they seek out different activities, lots of room to move, and balls often become an essential part of life. Every boy is unique. But whether they are into sport, music, art or cars there are still many similarities as to what makes them travel well.
What is your favourite kind of travel: independent, all-inclusive resort, cruise, a mix of all? What do you like about it?
We love nothing better than to pack our bags and head off on an adventure on our own. This gives us the freedom to choose every little thing about our holiday and to have the flexibility to change things if we want to.
Living with boys is loud and busy, so when it’s time to lie on the beach and relax, a small resort or a beach house is the way to go.
However, there are times when we feel it is safer to go on small group tours such as travelling through Kenya and Tanzania. That way we get experienced local guides who know where to go and give us access to the best experiences.
How do you decide on a destination? If you have older kids: have you ever had an epic fight over where to go?
I’m the one who decides where and when we are going. I love researching destinations, planning out our itineraries and finding great places to stay. The hours I spend searching the Internet are huge but totally worth it. For now, the boys are happy for me to choose most things but that will no doubt change, as they get older.
You visited many countries: do you have a favourite so far? And your kids?
A piece of my heart will always belong to Kenya and much of East Africa. We can’t wait to take the boys there but are waiting another year or so until our youngest is less likely to want to pat the lions.
The boy’s favourite is the happy and very family friendly country of Denmark. All of their attractions are developed with kids in mind. A visit to a castle sees them dressing as Kings and watching plays. A trip to a geological site has them using amazing technology to see how the world was built and then off to climb tall trees. And did I mention LEGOLAND?
Do you have a dream destination you haven’t managed to go to yet?
I want to relax on the deck of an overwater bungalow in the Maldives, explore Thula Thula Game Reserve in South Africa and discover the magic of Tibet.
Many people are afraid of travelling with children: safety concerns, fear of the holiday being a lot like hard work. What is your best advice to make a family holiday a success?
Fear of the unknown can often make things seem worse that what they really are. My advice for tackling the unknown is to scour the Internet for family travel bloggers who have already been to the place you want to visit. You’ll get some great tips to help make your holiday a success and quell any fears you may have. If you have a concern they haven’t addressed then it’s good to ask. There are many family travel blogs out there with advice on what to pack, how to make travel easier with kids and even how not to lose them. You’re sure to find a blogger out there that you can relate to.
What kind of packer are you: carry-on only or everything but the kitchen sink? Is there one item you never leave home, no matter where you go or how long for?
When it comes to packing, we sit somewhere in the middle. I have never been able to do carry-on only, but also never take more than can be carried up a flight or two of steps. My rule is if you can’t haul it up the stairs then you shouldn’t take it. Lucky I’m strong and the boys can now carry their own stuff most of the time!
The one thing we never leave home without is super strength Band-aids, otherwise known as Elastoplasts depending on where you’re from. With so much running, jumping, wrestling and swinging there is sure to be some sort of blood injury!
I am sure you have some great stories from your travels: share one with us!
One of our favourite places to visit is Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point on the coast of Queensland in Australia.