“Daunting as it may sound, travelling with five children isn’t all that difficult.”
Roy and I have been driving to different parts of Malaysia for the past eight years as part of our travels. In May and June this year, we embarked on a 25-day road trip all the way up to Thailand – with all five of our children in tow!
We started planning for the trip two months in advance. We decided to drive up through Ipoh, Hat Yai, Koh Lanta, Khanom and Koh Samui, before returning via Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Penang, Petaling Jaya and Malacca, covering almost 3,400 km!
The entire trip ended up costing around $6,000 – we kept costs down by staying mostly in Airbnbs and cooking meals where possible. Also, because we drove our own car, transport costs were minimal.
Daunting as it may sound, travelling with five children isn’t all that difficult – it’s really just a matter of doing life on the road. We did the same things as we would have done back at home: reading, playing, talking. When the children disobeyed, we disciplined them like how we always did.
Admittedly, the children spent more time on gadgets because of the long drives, but typically, screen time is a rare treat for them at home. Also, we made sure that everyone got enough rest – we never spent more than six consecutive hours on the road.
Travelling as a family is a great way to build relationships and create memories. Of course, you will definitely need to plan more, and you will likely cover less ground. There will probably also be a lot less spontaneity, as things like meals and naptimes need to be pencilled into the itinerary.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult – you just need to be aware of what you can and cannot do, and manage your expectations accordingly. And at the end of the day, despite the limitations, it is always great to enjoy new experiences together as a family.