This world-traveling family shares their tips and tricks for making memories that last.
The packing, the flights, the delays … no matter the destination, travel plans always seem to be a hassle. Try throwing kids into the mix, and you’ve got your hands twice as full.
But Jessica and Garrett Gee, more affectionately known as the The Bucket List Family, try to find all the positives in travel. Just a little over two years ago, the couple sold almost all of their belongings, packed up what remained, and set forth on what was originally going to be a five month trip. When their travel blogging took off and they realized they could trot the globe for a living, the pair decided to continue their expedition alongside their two adorable kids, Dorothy, 4, and Manilla, 3.
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After 26 months of successive travel, the two have found the perfect formula for traveling with pint-sized companions (with another little world traveler on the way!).
“My number one advice for traveling with kids is just how much they feed off of your energy,” said Jessica. “That’s really with anything you do as a parent. If you’re stressed out and nervous, then the kids are, too. If you are calm and happy, the kids will be the same.”
She also cites bedtime stories as one of her favorite ways to create a more enriching travel experience for her kiddos. The night before they take off for a new place, Jessica and Garrett educate the kids about their newest destination by making it into a magical story that would have any Frommer’s guide beat. Their goal is to make the traveling process an adventure, rather than just getting from point A to point B.
With a minimalist approach to packing, the Gee family makes what they do bring worth the weight. Jessica counts the Thule Subterra collection as their go-to luggage for a nonstop lifestyle, and the pair totes around the brand’s camera bags as well. Knowing that shoes can make or break an outfit, the two opt for ultra comfy slides from Teva.
Even the younger Gees are pro packers. Jessica and Garrett allow their kids to bring whatever toys they want, on one condition: Dorothy and Manilla have to be able to carry them all in their backpacks.
In addition to a humble packing code, the two also push for their kids to take advantage of any new experience they can.
“Our mantra is: you don’t have to like it, but you have to try it,” she explained.
The best part of their constant adventure?
“I’ve learned what brings joy and happiness to people around the world,” said Jessica.
That's a sentiment we could all certainly learn a little more from.