Network of the Week: Traveling Families!
We all know that Tripping is about providing the local experience for travelers - to support the off-the-beaten-track approach to traveling and encourage cultural exchange. Earlier this year, Tripping launched Networks - providing an even easier way to obtain these local experiences and further connect with Trippers through common interests and affiliations. Tripping's newest Network is Traveling Families! Not a member yet? Here's why you should be:
This Network is obviously great for families on the road a number of reasons.
When traveling as a group, you are less likely to develop relationships with locals and fully immerse yourself in a culture than you are traveling solo. While with your family, you always have someone to talk to, eat with, take your photo, help plan the next activity, etc. Of course, this makes family travel convenient. In turn, all your photos and memories are most likely shared with only these few other people. This may not be a bad thing of course, but think about how much richer it could be had you experienced at least some of these memories with your family and a family who spoke the language, knew the best places to eat, and could share unique parts of their culture.
Speaking of rich, family travel is EXPENSIVE. This is no secret. We've all burned holes in our wallets for guided tours that limit our time, are overly rehearsed, less personal, and most likely consist of stops we can find in our guidebooks. Imagine meeting up with locals in Rome who can give you a free tour of their favorite neighborhood spots. Now imagine being invited to these locals' house for a dinner party with their friends and family, having their grandmother's famous carbonara and homemade limoncello. Who knows, maybe they have a spare bedroom or two for you and your kids to spend a few nights. Think about the money you'd save, and the experiences you'd gain.
This Network is also beneficial for families off the road.
It is common for parents to teach their kids about cultural awareness by hosting foreign exchange students. Similar to this, by hosting a foreign family, your children are able to interact with kids from around the world and you, Mom and Dad, get to connect with parents as well. Whether you host them for homestays or for playdates, you are exposing your family to many cultures, while continuing to expand your social network.
Just because you aren't traveling now, doesn't mean you won't be at some point. Planning a family vacation is a lot of work. Think about how much time and money can be saved if you've already made these connections while in your own town. Genuine hospitality is not something that is easily forgotten and chances are you will keep in contact with families you host, making it more likely for them to return the hospitality should you ever visit their neck of the woods.
This Network is a resource.
Even if you're not actively looking for a host or to be a host, the Traveling Families Network is a space for travelers to share their tips, photos, and stories. It is a place to ask questions about the best destinations for teenagers or learn the secrets to single parent travel, or simply to reminisce about travel times when your kids were young travel tots. This is even applicable for Trippers like me - mid twenties with no kids. I'm still very much a part of a traveling family - one that searches for the most authentic experience on the road.
You get the point. This Network applies to you and thus, you should join! Just like all the other Networks, it's free to join and the more the merrier. The more members there are, the stronger the community, and the better our world!