Family holiday destinations that involve sun, sand, beach and lots of laughs are the best, says Josie Burke (11). She regularly travels three or four times a year to places such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, sometimes with her siblings Chloe (9) and Hugo (6) and sometimes independently on school trips. She gives suitcases&strollers her candid opinion on the best (and worst) bits of family travel with kids.
What do you like about travelling?
Seeing new places and discovering new cultures.
What don't you like about travelling?
Car sickness! Especially on the bumpy roads in Siem Reap.
[For more travel tips on dealing with kids travel sickness on road trips with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here.]
Where has been your favourite family holiday destination?
Rawa in Malaysia because of the beautiful beach, the slides into the water from the jetty and because you can jump off the jetty into the ocean.
[To read more travel tips on Rawa Island and other all inclusive family holiday resorts in Malaysia for kids, see the suitcases&strollers story Family Weekend Getaways: Beaches Near Singapore]
Are there any family holidays that you've been on that you didn't like?
None so far.
Is there somewhere you regularly go on family holidays to?
We have always travelled from Singapore to Australia each year until we moved to Brisbane three months ago. The beaches in Australia are great.
Theyare always hot and sunny (in summer) and the waves are massive, which makes it really fun to boogie board. My brother and sister usually fall off, so that’s really funny to watch. My favorite beach is Burleigh beach, at the Gold Coast, because I know I’ll always be able to swim and play around in the waves.
[For family beach safety tips, see the suitcases&strollers interview with the team from Bondi Rescue]
What is the best thing you've ever seen or done on family holidays?
Quad biking in Cambodia because it was so fun and my brother fell off.
What is the worst thing you've ever seen on family holidays?
The local markets in Siem Reap, Cambodia because there was lots of raw, smelly meat covered in flies.
Did that change what kinds of food you ate in Siem Reap?
Not really, there were lots of foods I liked more than others, and some foods I liked less. All of the local food that I tried was really yummy, and most of it I had seconds of.
You have been on some school trips without family. Which was your favourite?
My favorite school trip was in grade 6 when we went to Sarawak in Borneo for a week. We got to ride in traditional longboats, to visit longhouses as old as 30 years. We stayed there for the night and woke up to the sound of chickens and wild pigs.
Do you like traveling without your family?
Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. I like having independence and being with all my friends, but most of the time I like to go overseas with family.
What are some things you learn or experience when traveling without your family and how is it different to your normal family holidays?
When I travel with school we have an itinery so we can prepare the things we need the night before. But when I travel with family, we usually decide what we are doing on the day. I learn to be more independent on school trips because, when we leave, I have to make sure that I havent lost or forgotten anything. Throughout the week I also have the responsibility to be in certain places at a certain time which can sometimes be tricky, whereas on family holidays, Mum and Dad usually do most of it for us.
Where is the one place in the world you haven't been to that you would like to go?
Switzerland to see snow because a few of my friends have skiied there and all of them have said it’s really beautiful and they would love to go again. Also because my grandparents would like to take us skiing so that would be really fun.
If you could plan the perfect holiday for you, where would it be and what would you do?
It would be in Rawa and I would play on the beach and go on slides and water trampolines.
What do you think you get out of travelling that you don't get when you stay at home?
You get to discover new places and see new things.
What are the three best things that make a great holiday for kids?
Beach, friends and family.