Travel: How to Create a Love of Adventure in your Kids

Helen and her kids at Blackpool pleasure beach
Live a life of adventure!

Live Life Adventurously

“Owwwoww!” groaned my eldest as she staggered out of bed that first morning. “It hurts so much! Hurry up! I want to do it all again!” We were on our first ski trip as a family, and she hadn’t wanted to stop, racing her dad to the last lift of the day, tumbling down breathless and giggly into the snow, as the light waned. We declared it a success.

When you have young children, it’s easy to imagine that your life as a world traveller has come to an end. Apart from anything else, the sheer volume of luggage you need to pack for a toddler is enough to steer you towards a volvo estate and a lifelong pass for Butlins! (And I’m not knocking Butlins – it’s an awesome week of fun, but it’s not pushing the frontiers, is it?) Adventurous travellers could be forgiven for trying to curb their bucket list when they start a family, but actually, with a bit of planning it’s totally doable, and might just end up being the holiday of a lifetime.

We’re adventurers, me and Jason. We’ve skied in a dozen countries, taken road trips along glorious coastlines in America and South Africa, backpacked Thailand and the Australian outback, climbed mountains, and dived shipwrecks. We’ve taken rickety buses down forsaken lanes in pursuit of real dwellers, and the most amazing food. We’ve travelled in tiny aeroplanes, shared living space with monkeys, and watched lions tear apart buffalo just metres from our faces. It’s been exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure. Our travel adventures have been the most important part of our lives. Who doesn’t want that for their kids?

Adventure is good for you. So how do you do it? How do you forge ahead and create children as hungry for travel adventure as you are? Well, it may sound flippant, but you just do.  As Monica from The Travel Hack declares, “Life doesn’t stop when you have a baby,” and if you were adventurers before, then toning down your wanderlust is just going to make for frustrated parents. Here’s how we’ve created adventurous children:


Lessons for Living Adventurously


Ok so it’s boring, but this is what’s going to make it all work. All parents know that kids don’t do well when they don’t have what they need. All it takes though, is a bit of planning. Our motto has long been plan to be spontaneous. We think ahead, we do our research, we choose our trips after thorough review, and we pack for all eventualities. Then whatever the day throws at us is something we can embrace. Even two hours on a toboggan run when the fog came down didn’t phase these two – because I knew where the best hot chocolate was at the end!

Part of your planning might include car hire. We recommend Discover Cars for sensible car hire at sensible prices. (Affiliate link)

Tips for surviving the Luge toboggan run in Val Thorens
Hurtle down mountains!

Say Yes

Face your fears, and your kids will too. Take challenges, push yourself, try new things. I learned a long time ago that saying no is often easier, and safer, but it limits life. Say yes, and even if it’s not for you, you’ve learned something, met someone, or found a new passion. My daughter embraces every new opportunity. Some of it she doesn’t like. Most of it, she loves. Her life is full of experience, sensations, emotions. It’s wonderful to see, and I never want her to stop.

Say yes more often than no, if you can - it teaches kids how to be adventurous
Say yes to new experiences


Wherever you go, ask what you can do there, and what you can make of it. Make bucket lists. Be curious, and explore. Sometimes it’s a den, others it’s a memory. Just occasionally, it’s a defining moment.

Grow children who are curious, and creative, and you will have natural adventurers
Be creative

Be Brave

Pushing your limits is the only way to discover what you can do – what you’re good at, what you love, and who you are. I tell my kids to try, especially my son, who is a thinker, who worries a little bit more. I hold his hand, and we do it together. The look on his face when he realises he’s done it is a highlight of being his mum. Adults should do that too. Take deep breaths, step into to the unknown, look down, really look, at everything. Learn, everywhere you go. You will surprise yourself more often than not. In a good way.

Great places to visit in England: The view from Tower Bridge is spectacular - if you dare to take it in!
Be brave, and look down!

Eat Local

Wherever we go, we try the food. We are a mixed bunch in our family. We have traditional eaters and we have gourmets, but all of us love to see what other people are eating. It’s this inquisitiveness around food that has expanded my daughter’s taste buds to love spice, and led the Bug to eat lobster, sushi, and even grasshoppers! Don’t be afraid of a country for its food. There will always be bread, or rice if you’re stuck. But more often than not, you’ll be left with a plate of rice to eat, whilst your six year old devours your ginger chicken stir fry!

Ethiopian Street Food #TasteofTravel
Food from our travels


Enjoy the moment. Whatever it is you’re doing, do it fully. Engage with it, taste it, feel it. You planned this, and you organised it. Now relax and go with it.

Expressions - simple pleasures

Climb Trees

It’s easy to worry when you have kids, but you know what? They will tell you when they’re too scared to go further. When my daughter climbs, my husband has learned to keep quiet about how high up she is. He catches his breath, and he stands underneath, to catch her if she falls. She never does. And he’s learning to enjoy trees himself.

Be bold, and climb trees - how to create a love of adventure in your kids
Climb high

Spin Fast!

Never let fear stop you giving something a go. Do your research, pick the people with the good reviews to help you plan it, then strap on the safety equipment and throw yourself headlong into the fun.

Live a life of adventure!
Don’t slow down!

Work Hard

Sometimes the harder route takes you to the most wonderful discoveries. Like the ramshackle bus to nowhere that gave me the greatest meal of my life; and the struggle to swim against the current, that yielded this stunning sand dollar for my eight year old to marvel over. Family, just like travel, is often hard work. But the prizes are so worth it.

Discovering a sand dollar on an adventure that was hard fought made a scary swim into an amazing memory
It’s all in the detail

Make Wishes

Where we’ve been inspires our future plans. As we learn to ski better, we dream of bigger challenges; the memory of crystal waters make us yearn for more beautiful coral reefs. We make big dreams for our travel bucket list. We may never achieve them, but if we never conceive them, we’ll never even step down the path towards them. And who knows what we might find along the way.

How to freeze the movement in your photos, and make magic!
Make a wish

Create Stories

Wherever we go, we wonder about who has been before us, or what will come next. Like the time we found this lost bear on a beach in Somerset, and the day we were dive bombed by a hungry seagull. Things often don’t go to plan in life, but we always have a good story to tell when we come home.

A little bear left to what fate? Tell the stories of your travels with your kids to encourage a love of adventure
What’s his story?

Make Friends

A trick I learned from my husband: it’s easier to stick to the people you know, but it’s way more fun to meet new people. Once again, the harder option is usually the most rewarding. You learn so much from talking to the people of another place, whether it’s how to make the best French toast, or where to find the turtles today. People are what makes a life, and the more you step into their world, the greater the discovery.

Beaches Resort Negril really does feel like one big happy family
Make friends wherever you go


The best holidays – in fact, the best Sunday afternoons! – are those where the Wifi isn’t working. It’s far too easy to get distracted by telling the world about your perfect lunch, and forget to savour it. Sip the wine, steal a chip, relive the day’s adventures with your family. The memories will be all the more vivid for it when connectivity resumes.


Lie Down in the Long Grass

Take time to see things. Be outdoors whenever you can. Notice the light, the colours, the smells and textures of your world. I know that sounds hippy, and it is, but it came from somewhere, and it makes such a difference to your experiences. When you travel, your senses are alert to everything new. Do that every day with your kids, and they will wonder at the world.

Where to see bluebells in Hertfordshire

Eat Outside

Because food just tastes better outdoors, cooked over a fire.

You don't need grand trips for a family adventure. A tent in a field, with friends, is enough to create adventurous kids
Fields of adventure

Turn the Furthest Corner

Because you never know what you might find…

#SecretSomerset: some hidden gems in Somerset and Exmoor.
Discover secrets

Strive to Learn

For me, if I’m not learning, I’m going nowhere. It’s hard work to learn, to continuously push your boundaries. So much easier to rest on your laurels, satisfied. But that doesn’t last long, and boredom sets in. Keep looking for things to learn. Give your children a hunger to know more, to achieve more, and they will know a journey that will last a lifetime.

Roller rink at the Albert Dock, Liverpool
Learning together

Do it with Love

Whatever you do, wherever you travel, do it with people who get you, who make you laugh, and love life. Adventures make memories. Share wonders and new discoveries with your family, and you’ll take home more than just a tan. We talk about our favourite holidays together for years after we’ve returned home, reliving special moments. It’s what makes us a family.

Siblings bicker, but then, just occasionally, there are moments of harmony

Do it Together

Because any adventure worth having, is worth sharing…

Family adventure - simply making memories together is enough to create a love of adventure in your kids
Make memories together

Were you big travellers before you started a family? Click through to see tips on making sure your kids are as up for it as you are! We worried that our travelling days would be much more subdued once we had children, but it's been far from the truth. Here's how we've made adventurous kids, and how you can too!

49 thoughts on “Travel: How to Create a Love of Adventure in your Kids”

  1. What a brilliant post so much motivation and love in it; reading this has just made me want to go on a world adventure! Looks like you’ve already had some amazing trips and you’ll have plenty more to come. x

    • Thanks Alice – I am loving exploring the world with my kids. I feel a need to pack so much in before they start wandering the world without me!

  2. I love going away with y family, it’s not been as easy for us to just up and leave given my OH’s job but when we get the opportunity we do. Seeing the world with my son by my side is actually more exhilarating, he brings a different side to travelling that I didn’t have before he arrived.

    • That’s exactly it! Travelling with children may be a little less simple, but it’s so rewarding in such a different way. I’ve seen so many things I might not have spotted before by travelling with my kids. They have a fresh take on the world and its people that is hard to beat!

  3. I really loved reading this post , so positive and so true.
    I cant wait to go and have a read of the rest of your blog.

    I am a first time Mum, although seasoned traveler and i have installed the same qualities in my Daughter. She is four now and very laid back when traveling. Our only obstacle now is school!

  4. I love this post and you can tell that you are passionate about embracing life and all its challenges, and instilling this value in your kids too. I too have the motto ‘plan to be spontaneous’ – when you are generally organised, you can find those pockets of ‘what if’ in a busy life. I hope you do well with your entry. Good luck!

  5. You guys really know how to have fun and enjoy every minute! My husband and my eldest are adventurous like you. My youngest and I not so much….We are too afraid of heights and scary experiences but despite that we love to travel. Maybe when my youngest will be older we will get to do more adventurous things

    • Yes! Put it on your list for the future. There’s always time. I’ll tell you a secret – I’m totally scared of heights. That’s where the research and planning comes in. As soon as I know it’s safe, I just jump!

  6. My children are more adventourous than me and I love it! I love that you are riasing children that are passiomate about life and adventure.

  7. What an amazing post Helen, you really are teaching your kids to reach out, be bold and do something different. They are very lucky indeed. Mich x

  8. You are such an amazing mother and i have seen it first hand 🙂 I love this post. They are going to have the best memories x

  9. So jealous of all your family travels and adventures…you’ve seen and explored so much of the world together. Best of luck with your entry xx

  10. I’m an adventurer too, have been to so many places and experienced so much. So it does make me sad that it’s not so possible right now… but I live in hope that my girls can have some of that fun I had. Hopefully when they’re older. Great photos here, especially the one in my hometown 🙂

    • You’re from Blackpool?! 😉 I’m sure they will have many adventures Steph. With you as their mum they will have a good life full of lovely experiences x

  11. Helen this makes my heart sing, what fab pics! You make so much happen for your family and around diabetes too. You know I often wonder, whether our lives would be simpler without so much travel, especially as one of my kids really likes to push every boundary imaginable and it’s really not easy sometimes, sometimes I think maybe I should be making our life less complicated, as I am sure you do with diabetes. But this wonderful post reminds me just how many skills my kids pick up along the way when we travel and how all that boundary pushing and exploration is creating two fearless and open kids. Your have two of those and it shines through here!

    • Yes! There’s no doubt that travel with kids is more tiring than without. And yet, it’s also more exhilarating, if that’s possible, given how much fresh-eyed joy they have for the world. It’s so worth the extra effort, isn’t it? And goodness what an awesome outlook on the world it will give them.

    • Keep working, there’s always time. I really wasn’t an adventurer as a young person. A gap year in Australia really woke me up to what the world was all about. With my kids’ travelling agenda, I’m dying to see what they’re doing by the time they’re my age!

    • Luckily I’m a stickler for detail and organisation. My other half is the opposite, so I’ve learned to prepare for anything. He puts the spontaneity into our lives, and I make it happen!

  12. Oh I love this! We’ve been having more local adventures recently but I want to start going abroad with the kids again soon. (Though staying in a yurt nearby was awesome, I’d happily do that every week!)

  13. I really like this one “Sometimes the harder route takes you to the most wonderful discoveries”, how wise you are. This is definitely a brilliant post.

    • Isn’t it true?! It would be so easy – and sometimes more relaxing! – to just take the easy option (and don’t get me wrong, sometimes that’s exactly the right thing to do – we all need down time!). But every now and then you wonder why you’re going to the hassle of doing something when you could be beach prone with a cocktail in your hand. Then you turn a corner, and you see why. Those are the greatest moments!

  14. What an amazing and inspirational post! You’re so right, life doesn’t stop when you have a baby and you can still have huge adventures and travel the world with kids 🙂 x

  15. Beautiful post! I for one is all for disconnecting or unplugging from social media once in a vacation. YOu won’t fully enjoy the whole experience if you won’t disconnect.

  16. Such a fabulous post. We share the same sentiments and I have my own little bunch of adventurers who are mostly willing to turn there hand to anything. Cannot wait to show them more of the world

  17. Such a wonderful post Helen, great to see everyone out enjoying themselves. We’re adventurers too so I’m thrilled the small one is of the same ilk, we’d be in trouble otherwise! We’re not very good at lolling by a pool, fun as that is. There’s certainly something to be said about seeing the world through a child’s eyes too and I love her excitement in the little things X


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