First, Read This: Lonely Planet's Family Travel Handbook

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Whether you're new to family travel or an old hand, there is much to learn—each kid (and family) is different! Where to go for the best advice? We wholeheartedly recommend the latest guide from Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet's Family Travel Handbook. It is packed FULL of goodness, and is written by Imogen Hall, who, as a family traveler AND a writer, knows her stuff.

The book includes sections on planning, transportation, on the ground, exploring the outdoors, adventure, inspiration (!!), and a destination-specific parent Q&A by family travel writers. 

First, Read This: Lonely Planet's Family Travel Handbook

It's the perfect guide for any family traveler, because it is honest, intuitive, and full of great advice. We were lucky enough to catch up with Imogen, and ask her about the book, family travel background, writing, and more. Here's what she had to say...

First, Read This: Lonely Planet's Family Travel Handbook

Please tell us about the new Family Travel Handbook...
Lonely Planet's handbook series is designed to help travellers with a specific interest when they travel, so we cover everything from travelling solo to cruises, vegetarian travel and honeymoons, and now family travel. The main aim of the book is to empower families to take their kids out exploring the world so there are loads of ideas, advice and tips covering all aspects of travelling with kids from deciding on where to go, how to survive a long-haul flight with a toddler, health concerns, and much much more.

First, Read This: Lonely Planet's Family Travel Handbook

What is your background in family travel...and how did it inspire the book?
My husband and I have both worked for Lonely Planet for over 20 years, so independent travel is very much in our DNA. When we started our family, we knew that we wanted to keep travelling, and we took our eldest on the first Eurostar train out of St Pancras International to Paris when he was just two months old. Child number two had his first overseas trip to Istanbul, and our youngest came with me to see friends in Hong Kong when she was just three months, so you can say that they all started young! Since then we've been to Namibia, visited a lot of Europe, and also explored many different places in our home country of Britain. But it's not all been easy...and that was the main inspiration behind the book - I wanted to show other parents and carers that although it can be challenging, with a bit of planning and the right mindset, family travel is hugely rewarding!

What were the most challenging - and rewarding - sections to write?
Well, we've never been cruising so I definitely found that part a bit more challenging to write. Luckily I have some great contacts in the travel industry who were happy to discuss their experiences - and Lonely Planet already had an article on tips for cruising with kids which we could include, too! I really loved writing the sections with ideas for things to do with your kids and also the themed lists of ideas for destinations, as they totally fed my wanderlust. Mostly though, I just really enjoyed writing about how something I really love to do is actually really accessible, and fun, and makes you feel like you and your family are making the most of life!

What might family travelers be surprised to learn, in the book?
I really hope that some family travellers will pick up the book and be surprised to learn that with a little bit of planning and the right mindset anything is possible when it comes to travelling with your kids. Some of the destination spotlights at the back are so inspiring. They really remind you that anything is possible and that the whole family will all grow from the experience.

First, Read This: Lonely Planet's Family Travel Handbook

I absolutely love the section on getting the kids involved (!!!), as experiential education is a fantastic way to travel and live. How do you suggest families ease into experiential learning before their trip?
Thanks, I really like those sections as well! I just wish I actually did more of my own suggestions with our kids! I think anything that parents and carers can do to get their children involved in the preparation for a trip is a really worthwhile investment - whether it is getting older children to plan an itinerary or work out the budget, learning some of the language with younger kids, or even starting to cook up some of the food you might find there.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think it's important to remember that travel is a force for good as we learn about other people and it teaches us to be more tolerant, more flexible and kinder. But you don't have to travel the world to experience the benefits of travel. You can do loads with your kids within the confines of your own home and out on the doorstep in your own neighbourhood.


Read excerpts from the book here on Wandering Educators, to get inspired:

Lonely Planet’s Family Travel Handbook: Expert Tips for Multigenerational Trips
Lonely Planet’s Family Travel Handbook: Expert Tips for Multigenerational Trips


Lonely Planet's Family Travel Tips: Top 5 Destinations for Multigenerational Travel
Family Travel Tips: Top 5 Destinations for Multigenerational Travel