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Backpacking with children: How to (hopefully) succeed

Backpacking with children

Soon the time has come - three weeks island hopping on the greek islands with our two kids! How a backpacker holiday can be fun for the whole family and how I learned from mistakes ...

This maybe just a little story, how not to do it:

At the beginning of 2014 we ventured a spontaneous trip with our son Singapore! Already the flight was a first challenge: 14h with transfer connection in Frankfurt. Luckily, our 1,5 year old boy slept almost all the time. Finally arrived we had to first from the airport with the ferry to an offshore island, where we spent the first two nights. All in all a very long and exhausting journey. Unfortunately we could not really recover from the hardships. Our son made the first time (thanks 8h time difference) the night to day, which one could not blame him. As a former flight attendant, I can only guess that flights to the west are usually better tolerated.

So far so good. After that it was time to find a connecting accommodation on the Indonesian island for our further stay, just how to get on? Rental cars are not common in Asia, so we took a taxi. The driver drove us once to a shop that led baby items such as diapers, etc. Phew. We continued along the coast and we rattled off five to six hotel complexes, which lasted the whole day. At the end we were lucky and found a really great bungalow with sea views. The way there was definitely rocky.

After four days rest on the beach, it went into the next round. This time I had a nice place on the internet Tioman Island Reserved in Malaysia in advance.

Problem 1: how to get there? The Reisestrapazen went so again from scratch. By bus to the ferry, then continue by ferry to the capital of Malaysia. There we booked a taxi, which drove us to the 2h distant starting town for Tioman Iceland. There it was again waiting for the ferry to Tioman. And why easy, if complicated: there we had to get another 4WD taxi to get to the other side of the island. At some point at night we came completely exhausted in my FAVORITE SPOT on Tioman Island

Problem 2: the accommodation was initially only bookable for four nights, but better than nothing ... After that it was unfortunately but pack again. We had already made on site smart and had to move only four houses. After all. However, this accommodation was only available for an additional four nights, so we took a half day boat ride to find another beautiful location. None. In the end, we landed completely unnerved on the other side of the island and hoped for a miracle! Luckily we were heard and found for another three nights a nice beach bungalow in the main town. In the end, something was released in the first location and we moved one last time. Does not that sound like recovery and pure relaxation?

The last challenge was the return to Singapore. We rented another taxi, which drove us to the border. It did not go further. The border crossing we had to do with the bus. A very time-consuming ordeal. Singapore with child was again super relaxed and the return flight was more or less easy. Despite obstacles, it was still a great and exciting holiday, I would not miss!

Conclusion: I think, in principle, nothing speaks against long-distance travel and especially backpacking with young children. But you definitely have to prepare better:

Choose your destination:

Actually the most important decision at all, that stands and falls the success of the complete mission. Therefore, take a little more time with it and carefully weigh the now and then again. You should take these factors into account in any case:

  • Flight: duration, connection, time difference
  • correct travel time, if possible not main travel time
  • (Travel) conditions on site with children

I like this book very much: Travel guide for families *


Basic questions to be answered: stroller, travel buggy, Kraxe or stretcher? Travel bag, trolley or backpack?

In Singapore we had a big backpack and the Kraxe with a small child, which turned out to be really handy. We did not need more. This time we will take our Doona (see below under Tools), the stretcher, a big backpack and a big trolley suitcase for all of us. That should be enough, I'm curious!

Before you know whether you can get the most important food / milk and drugstore items as well as medicines for your children or not. Diapers, for example, are in short supply in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Incidentally, you'll find great packing lists here:

Planning vs. Spontaneity:

Spontaneity is always such a thing with children. But sometimes you want to experience a bit of adventure again. Me, at least. As in Asia, so completely without a plan, I would not do it again, that's for sure. That's why I opted for the golden mean for Greece:

The first four nights are booked, a rental car also. I have prepared a rough route across the islands with the right ferry connections, but I do not know if we can and want to comply with them. The idea is to decide on the spot where (and how long) to go next. Thanks to modern technology and such great portals as Airbnb and booking.com We want to know at least one night before, where we will sleep the next day ... So far the plan. Of course I will report on LIEBLINGSSPOT!


Of course, because of professional reasons I have higher demands and always want to find a new favorite spot! This does not have to be a luxury, but should that have something special or its own charm! It should be exceptional or typical of the country with a great location or a great view! Therefore, I am always very meticulous during the research and then very picky when choosing ...

Of course everyone here has their own preferences. It is clear, you need space and best of all, your own small kitchen. Therefore, studios or apartments are best or so-called family rooms in the hotel. A pool is definitely nice to have, but I do not find it a must (especially not if you're by the sea ...). I repeat myself, but be sure to check it out Airbnb, there are great accommodations! Otherwise, I also like to go to others for inspiration Blog pages or to specialist tour operators.

My tip especially for Greece: Attica travel

Generally I find the building blocks of Rickshaw Travel really great!

Useful travel tools:

Pop-up baby travel bed * by Deryan with mattress and sleeping bag. This was really worth gold for our Asian trip and we had it on other trips. It's best to have it tested beforehand.

Travel perch * from Roba. Of course there are different models. I always found this one handy, as it can be mounted almost anywhere. Practically I found the use as a shoulder bag with additional storage space.

I love mine Bondolino * - you do not have to say anything more :)

Avent Bottle warmer * on the go. I really like the invention! Above all you can also use the vessel for cooling or for heating porridge!

doona * as an alternative to the travel buggy / stroller / Kraxe. Advantage: you do not have a huge frame and it is also a very comfortable car seat. So far the purchase has been worthwhile for us!

This article contains unpaid advertising!

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