The TraveLynn Family is mum Jenny, dad Jason and boys Arthur (four) and Ezra (two). They travel around the world, truly embracing a global sense of wanderlust and living abroad. We caught up with Jenny who told us about the misunderstood safety of travelling with young children, planning school around travel and working with PRs and brands.
What makes your blog unique?
I write about adventure family travel with young kids. My boys are just two and four years old and already they have been hiking in the Nepalese Himalaya, meditated with monks in Thailand, slept on overnight trains in India, and walked alongside giraffes in Malawi. As parents, my husband and I try to push the boundaries of family travel and are on a mission to dispel the myth that adventure travel needs to wait until the kids are older.
Before the kids came along, my husband and I were avid intrepid travellers and we soon realised that we only had to adjust are travel style slightly to continue our passion. In fact, I am currently writing this from the shores of Lake Malawi! We’re six weeks into a four month overland trip through Africa in a Land Rover Defender with roof tents. We started in Johannesburg and are making our way through Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana. Before this, we were living in India and called Bangalore our home for a year. We moved for my husband’s work and took advantage of all the new travel adventures possible on our doorstep; including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and as much of India as possible.
How does ‘regular’ family life fit around travelling?
We still have a bedtime routine, battle tantrums, and negotiate the never-ending demands from our kids. We are still very much a regular family. Travel just creates a different backdrop to the challenges of parenting life, and offers different sensory playgrounds and novelties as we investigate new places together. Where we are perhaps different from your regular family is that we prioritise travel and take every available opportunity possible for adventure.
How are/will the kids be schooled?
My kids are not yet of schooling age, so thankfully we don’t yet have to negotiate term dates. As we’ve been living in India and now on a long-term travel adventure, they haven’t really experienced the nursery/pre-school system that so many kids have in the UK. However, we have playdates whenever and wherever possible, always stop for a playground, and I also have a bag of crafts, LEGO and magazines that comes everywhere with us. We find that our boys learn so much on the road from all the different experiences and social interactions. Plus, with all the quality family time together while travelling, we find they blossom.
However, come September, our eldest will be starting school. It will then be an interesting ball game managing our love of adventure family travel around the restrictions of term time. We’re still just working all that out.
What’s your best advice for people thinking about going travelling with families?
Don’t wait. These early years flash by so quickly in a sleep-deprived blur. Do something amazing that will create everlasting memories. Just travel slow, always have snacks handy, and take lots of photos.
What’s the best thing/place/experience you’ve had as a family while travelling?
This is a tough one as we really have so many amazing experiences to choose from. I could say it is reaching the summit of Poon Hill at 3,120m in Nepal, watching the sun rise over the Taj Mahal, or witnessing a herd of elephants bathing in the wilderness of South Africa. However, the best ‘thing’ about family travel for us is time. It’s the time to be on our own schedule, time not distracted by other commitments, time to just simply share day by day experiences together. Some of my fondest memories of this current trip in Africa is watching the boys put on a ‘show’ in the evenings by the fire, races into the sea after a long day on the road, or just snuggled in our tent together reading a book. It’s the time to actually stop and appreciate the little things.
Is the world a scary place with such young children?
Not at all. We find that travelling with young kids breaks down those barriers with strangers. People are often inquisitive of the boys and want to chat to us; even the hardest haggler in India cracks a smile with the boys around. It’s truly wonderful seeing the world through their eyes. Things can go wrong when travelling and the boys are completely oblivious to them. If anything, they normalise stressful situations.
Where haven’t you been that you still want to visit?
Oh, so many places! We are yet to explore much of the Americas. There’s still so much of Europe; Scandinavia and Greece have been on my list for far too long. And Antarctica – the ultimate adventure destination.
What should PRs and brands know about you?
I keep it real and push the boundaries. Adventure travel with kids so young of course has its challenges, but I want to inspire my readers to take on those challenges and reap the rewards.
What’s the best collaboration you’ve work on?
I’ve recently been collaborating with Malawi Tourism to demonstrate Malawi as a safe and wonderful destination to travel with young kids.
What do you call yourselves (bloggers/content creators/influencers etc)?
I prefer travel blogger or travel writer.
What other blogs do you read?
I’ve made some wonderful friends through my blogging journey so far. It really is a such a supportive network. Other family travel bloggers I follow from the UK include: Wandermust Family, Globetotting, Go Live Young, Mini Travellers, Mummy Travels, Tin Box Traveller, Travel Mad Mum – there are so many to mention!
The TraveLynn Family is listed on the Vuelio Influencer Database along with thousands of other bloggers, vloggers, journalists, editors and opportunities.