Two years ago, Dan our 5 kids and I travelled to Bali for a 2 week holiday. It was a fantastic getaway, eventful, fun, manageable, and the kids have not stopped talking about it since.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that we began planning our next escapade straight away. We chose Vietnam, after
I have to admit that I took one look at the stunning beaches and resorts and was sold. Give me warm destinations any day, I hate the cold!
The one thing I regretted about our Bali travels is not capturing everything we experienced in my usual story writing fashion. So for your entertainment, and our memories, I plan to write about our upcoming family trip to Vietnam.
No holds barred, an honest insight into the reality of travelling with children. You may find it useful, or just plain funny. In any case, I’m glad to be of service.
1 Year Before Departure
We call a family meeting and inform the kids of our plans. Squeals of delight are met with disbelief when they discover the catch….they have to earn half their tickets and ALL of their spending money, by doing jobs at $3 an hour, these jobs are over and above their normal household chores, which they don’t get paid for. We keep track of their goals with the Rooster money App
2 Weeks before departure
I send all of our passports away to the Vietnam embassy in Wellington for a Visa. I sent them the evening before Dan was supposed to fly to Sydney for the weekend….., we managed to intercept the courier package at Auckland airport just in time.
1 1/2 Weeks before departure
We could line up for visas on arrival in Vietnam but doing so after a 12-hour flight and having to fill out forms for 7 people sounds like torture to me.
It’s dawning on the kids that didn’t put in the hard yards doing jobs, that they’ll have no spending money, there are tears, bribes and deals being made. Over the weekend Selina puts in 15 solid hours of work.
Diary Entry 2 Days Before Departure
This morning I hauled the dusty suitcases out, you would think it would make me excited about our trip but right now I just can’t picture us going.
I feel irrationally angry.
The words ‘This is unbelievable’ keep replaying in my mind, but really, it’s not unbelievable, it’s typical, that’s what it is.
The kids are all sick, all 5 of them, and not just colds and snot. We are talking typical Glasgow children sick. Croup, continuous coughing fits, blood noses and sore throats.
It’s not their fault they’re sick, but every time I hear a cough I want to scream at the kid to shut up! Probably because I feel anxious.
I’m envisioning our nights to come disturbed by coughing and fevers and picturing normal passengers on the plane hating us.
I can’t even summon the energy to think about shaving my legs.
I’m hoping warmer weather will bring a miraculous cure for my disease magnet children…we just have to get to our destination first and stay alive while we are there.
Dan and I are close to pulling the pin on the whole thing, we feel like parents with nothing left to give, we’ve been beaten down.
Only the visualisation of stunning beaches, good food, culture, history, oh and dropping the kids off at kids club while we sip cocktails at happy hour is keeping us going.
All I’ve been able to do in preparation is put together a first aid travel kit, which appears more like a mini pharmacy.
So for your education, I’ll detail my first aid kit.
THE LARGE FAMILY, ALWAYS FUCKING SICK TRAVEL FIRST AID KIT
1 Day Before Departure
I notice the dog suspiciously scratching her bum, I think she may have worms. Pearl announces at breakfast that she also has an itchy arse. I give the dog a worm and flea treatment as well as everybody else including myself. I think the only thing I haven’t planned for is headlice….the kids probably have them. I’d better add nit treatment to the kit.
Somehow I’m still not excited…