Backpacking with a 10 year old(10 Posts)
Recommendations/tips/ideas for going backpacking with a 10 year old. Hopefully going for a month next summer and thinking about Cambodia, although we are open to suggestions/recommendations.
Has anyone done something similar? Did a bit of travelling before ds came along but haven't since, so a bit rusty.
I have been travelling with my 8 year old son since new year's day. We have done a few other Asian countries - Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and now we are in Vietnam. Are you planning on traveling during the summer school break? How many weeks do you have?
Yes, summer hols next year. Have 6 weeks but would probably only do 4. Where have you found the best for kids?
Thailand is a good gentle intro to Asia. The heat in Bangkok is insane though so giving yourself a few days once you arrive to acclimatize your bodies help. If I am honest, Thailand isn't my favorite country but its still a great country and the temples, beaches and activities in Krabi, pretty good. They have been in the tourism industry for years and it shows.
On the other hand I love Vietnam a LOT but its marmite. Some people come and hate it but I am in the love camp. Its crazy and insane but authentic and a country with immense history, culture and landscapes. Vietnam will assault each and every one of your sense at first. The constant honking, people touching your son's hair, your photo's being taken without anybody asking etc but you'll be deeply rewarded too.
My son loved Halong Bay a LOT because of the kayaking along the bay. We are in Da nang now, a coastal city 20km from Hoi An. Hoi An, itself is a nice little place but more a place that adults enjoy. We do have a theme park, games areas, skating etc that my son loves. If you have 6 weeks, you will find sometimes kids wont have the same enthusiasm for that charming village, another war museum etc so we mix the cultural stuff with regular stuff. Cinemas are a big thing here and we normally get releases weeks ahead of UK, something my son like boasting about.
If you decide you might want to add Vietnam, send me a PM. I can send you detailed information on what we do and even enjoy the 5 start resorts here as day guest and pricing. Your money will go far here, your flight will be the main cost. Eating out and things like massage, manicure and pedicure etc are pretty reasonable. All the best in your planning.
Thanks. I've been to Vietnam and it's my favourite place ever, although it was almost 15 years ago. I'd love to go back but dh thinks we should try somewhere new! After hearing you eulogise, I'm going to try to persuade him to go back.
I did a month around South America when dd was 12 so a little older.
Some practical tips are: make sure that you get him a good, comfortable backpack that fits well and that he will happily carry. Dd had a 35 litre and we used it for bulky but light items eg clothes and towels.
Check out vaccination requirements and decide what you are willing to let him have. We would have needed rabies and malaria just for 24 hours in the rain forest so we adjusted the plan to go to the cloud forest instead to save having both. She was already having 5 or 6 jabs and I was worried about the side effects.
We didn't move on every day, but had around a week in each place and built in chilling out days so it wasn't too exhausting. I also decided to fly rather than use any bus over about four hours. We used hostels and followed the backpacker trail but I drew the line at shared dorms.
It was the holiday of a lifetime!
Hope you have an amazing time
Just thought of another one!
When I travelled pre-children I thought nothing of setting off on a plane and figuring it all out when I got there.
With DD I planned it like a military operation. It worked much better.
With the internet, TripAdvisor, Google Street view etc it's much easier than it was. I spent hours all winter figuring out where to stay, what to do, even where to eat in some cases. It meant that we didn't have to worry about being stranded anywhere and it felt safer and easier. It might not suit you. I didn't think it would suit me but I'm glad I did it.
A blog well worth reading
This article sums up that age, but the whole blog is fascinating
Cambodia is a good choice, we are heading there in a month. Most of SE Asia is very easy to travel along the main backpacking route and there is no need to pre-book much in advance. I rarely book more than 2 days at a time because I can move on if the hotel isn't nice. That will give you more flexibility to move faster or stay longer if you need to with your son. If you find Cambodia boring, you can easily hop to Thailand or Vietnam. We have not had any extra immunization or malaria unless you are going in the mountains with malaria. There are mosquitoes sometimes and a repelant is usually good enough to stop the bites.
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