. Celebrating Father's Day! An interview with traveling dads : Budget Travel Adventures

Celebrating Father’s Day! An interview with traveling dads

Are you a traveling dad?  Did your dad ever take you on vacation?  Did you get dragged on a trip to go camping for the weekend when you could have been hanging out with your friends?  Are you a world traveler now because of the inspiration and support of your dad?  Then here’s the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is a special day to celebrate dads.  Dads are remembered on this day for the contributions they made in our lives.  Although many people may have grown up without a dad, all of us can celebrate a male figure in our lives who made a difference in us.

A Father’s Day interview with traveling dads

While dads are the ones that took us fishing, played ball in the backyard, took us camping, and would even play dolls and have tea (with daughters of course), traveling dads are unique among the family travel community.

What makes a dad who travels so unique?  How has traveling with kids changed their lives?  What advice can these traveling dads give to other dads?

Talon is a single dad who headed out on the road with his 9 year old in a round the trip in May 2011.  Many know him better as @1Dad1Kid on Twitter with his blog 1 Dad 1 Kid

Michael Schuermann is better known as easyhiker and co-blogger of ParisWalks.  He first traveled with his son when he was 12 and knows the ups and downs of traveling with a teenager.

Craig Makepeace has spent many years traveling and living in various places around the world.  Known as part of the ytravelblog tandem, he knows the ins and out of traveling with a child – from baby to young child.  Now has another one on the way.

Peter Carey is best known as an expert photographer (he might not agree but I’m saying her is anyways and many agree with me) who enjoys time traveling as a single dad as well.  Check out his photography and travels at The Carey Adventures.

Here’s to dads everywhere as we wish them a ‘Happy Father’s Day!’ as we celebrate travel in this interview with some traveling dads.

Father's Day interview traveling dads orphaned baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife TrustBudget Travel Adventures: When did you first start traveling with your kids? Where did you go?

1Dad1Kid: We’ve always done some traveling, but usually just local or short ones. This is our 1st time traveling internationally as a whole family. So far we’ve spent over a month in Mexico with a side trip to Cuba (shh!)

Michael: I first took our son along on a weekend assignment when he was twelve.  I was working as a sports commentator then and went to Munich quite frequently, about twice a month, and we went to see the town, Lake Starnberg and the Alps on consecutive trips.

Craig: Well, currently I only have one child, a daughter named ‘Kalyra’, and our first big trip was to Fiji for 10 days back in 2008. It coincided with my best friend’s wedding and it was amazing. Kalyra was only 10 months old at the time, but you could tell she was going to fit nicely into our travel lifestyle. She had a lot of fun, and the local Fijian people loved her and were very accommodating.

Since then we have lived and traveled within the United States, visiting places such as North Carolina, Savannah Georgia, Charleston South Carolina, New Orleans, and California.  We have also traveled up and down east coast of Australia between Sydney and the Gold Coast in Queeensland, with many other shorter trips in between to places like Melbourne.

Peter: I first started traveling with my daughter when she was 3 months old. It was her first airplane flight (having just been on her first hike three weeks earlier) from Seattle to Pennsylvania. They’re so easy when you can hold them in one place although I don’t miss changing diapers in turbulence.

BTA: What is so unique about being a traveling dad?

1Dad1Kid: People often don’t know how to react. When a mother travels with their child
you’ll seldom hear her asked “Where’s their dad?” But as a dad I’m asked that constantly. People also tend to want to . . . help out my parenting. It seems as though much of society still thinks dads can’t parent as well as moms.  Especially because my approach is more “free range” child. I let my son climb, roll around in the dirt, etc., and the traveling and local moms almost have panic attacks and think I’m clueless to what he’s doing and so feel the need to jump in and mother him.  Sometimes I don’t mind, though, since they will take him to do things or give him treats which frees up some me time.

Michael: Mom’s not around: that changes the entire dynamic in the relationship between father and child. That can, quite literally, work wonders. It’s certainly the easiest way of getting to know your child better.

Craig: I guess most fathers are focused on a career and aquiring materialistic possessions. Whereas I’m a believer that life is all about creating life long memories and spending as much time as possible with the ones you love.

So the most unique part would probably be the fact that my daughter gets to have me around a lot more than most other kids do with their own dads. And we are firmly focused on increasing that travel time and bond as much as possible.

Peter: For me, being a single traveling dad, I actually get more attention, but it’s a mixed bag. Most often it is a bit of curiosity because there just aren’t many dad’s that travel with their kids, alone.

Father's Day interview traveling dads Michael Schuermann easyhiker Grand CanyonBTA:  What advice would you give to other dads who may like to travel but are afraid to?

1Dad1Kid: There’s nothing to be afraid of. Really. In some ways it’s easier than being at home, and you have so many more memories and bonding experiences that you share together. It is truly a special time for both you and your child(ren).

Michael: If you want to get the best out of such a trip, your kid should not be too young – twelve is probably the lower limit. I have no experience travelling with two kids or more – we have only managed to produce the one – but I suspect that the presence of a sibling will make it harder to question and overcome family role stereotypes on both sides, so that probably would work less well.

There are many other things to say on this subject, and as it happens, I have written a piece that deals with this issue in greater detail (A Father and Son Thing).

Craig: Keep it simple to start with, even if it means sticking within your own country. Take a road trip, or a camping trip, and just go explore, have fun, and create great memories. If you do venture abroad, maybe choose a place that speaks the same language as yourself and a culture that appears similar to yours. Then you should have a fairly easy time of it logistically.

The idea is to just get your feet wet, get out of your comfort zone, and then you can branch out from there. There really is nothing to fear. If traveling with your children is what you really want to do, just know that kids adapt easily to most situations and the exposure and traveling experience will stay with them.

There really is no better education in life you can give your child than exploring the world and the planet in which we live, and learning about the inhabitants that dwell there.

Peter: I’d tell other dad’s considering traveling with their kids, but who hold back for lack of fear, to remember they are their kids’ best role model. If they have confidence while traveling alone, sharing that with their kid does them huge favors.

Also, start small and work up to it if you need to. Go on a car camping weekend or overnight with just you and your kids. Then maybe a three day weekend. For dads who don’t normally do a lot of solo caregiving, it’s usually the confidence boost you need. If you can manage to bring your kids back in one piece from a weekend camping, you can fly them to Europe with you.

BTA: Tell me about a special moment you had with your child that really sticks out to you.  Why?

1Dad1Kid: We’ve had several, but recently we went swimming with the whale sharks off Isla Mujeres in Mexico. My son was all over the boat having a blast, and then we have the shared time in the water and the incredible experience of seeing these huge creatures together. As we returned the captain of the boat said to me “He’s a VERY happy kid!”  No better compliment or praise, and it made feel incredibly good to hear it from a stranger and unbiased observer.

Michael: Teenage boys have their own ways of shielding their vulnerable selves from the outside world and their fathers in particular. They are, however, not very skilled defenders and cannot manage to keep this up for long periods at a time.  Rediscover the sweet little boy you thought you had lost forever.  Sorry for not being any more specific than that, but I am not good at sharing personal moments.

Craig: Probably the road trip we did down south in America through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. We had been living in the States for the past 2 years and hadn’t seen our family in that time. Caz’s parents were over from Australia visiting, and Kalyra was so excited to spend time with nanny and poppy.

It was such a fun and memorable trip exploring those regions, and being able to spend several weeks with kalyra on the road with no work commitments was priceless.

The other time would have been taking her to Australia’s number 1 theme park called Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She had a great time going on all the kiddie rides and meeting the characters and it was awesome to see her smiling and having fun all day.

Peter: Hands down it would be safari in Tanzania. Seeing her get excited about seeing actual, real live animals was awesome. She never grew tired of spotting elephants and giraffes and her favorite, the dik-dik.

Father's Day interview traveling dads Talon 1Dad1KidBTA: What impact has traveling had on the lives of your kids?  Have you seen it shape the way they live?

1Dad1Kid: He has a thirst for knowledge and has better geography skills than most adults.  He is more adaptable and flexible and has less fear of things. He has an anxiety disorder that I’ve also seen decrease as we’ve continued to travel. He is more interested in what goes on in the world and has learned from other cultures.

Michael: I do not believe that travelling as such broadens the mind. Or that much of what you experience on your holidays is immediately relevant – in an “impact on your life” sort of way – to your non-holiday existence.

Holidays can, however, teach you lessons about holidays – what you did and what you did not enjoy, what to do and what to avoid the next time around – and that, considering the time and money we spend on our holidays, is of no little importance.

The only lesson that I think is important enough to convey to your kids is this: that a good holiday should always have an element of adventure, the excitement of not knowing what comes next. If my son has learned nothing else from our common trips, I feel he has already learned a great deal.

Craig: Kalyra has definitely come out of her shell a lot from her traveling experiences. She is so much more confident around strange people and is incredibly friendly and outgoing with everyone. She also has created fun memories that she regularly talks about, and just loves to go exploring outdoors and is not reliant on toys and TV and is very creative and able to entertainment herself.

Peter: My daughter still complains about long trips but not as much as other kids. “Remember when we traveled for 40 hours to get home from Africa?” helps put things in perspective. She’s still a kid, but she’s also a kid who mentions wanting to go to Peru even though she knows it’s a long flight or two. I also hope she is forever tolerant of other cultures after seeing there is more than the USA out there.

It’s hard for me to say if I’ve seen it shape the way she lives because, right now, I think it is little things. My hope is that is has laid a solid foundation for her to understand the world a bit better and to make her permanently curious about how other people live.

Father's Day interview traveling dads Craig Makepeace plays dad with barbiesBTA: How has traveling as a dad changed you?

1Dad1Kid: It has also made me more flexible and forced me to slow down. Usually when I travel I try to absorb everything possible, so I’m all over the place and trying to cram everything in. With my child I am forced to slow down, spend some time resting in a hammock or floating in the water. It’s also made me better at budgeting and living within that budget, something that previously was a much greater challenge.

Michael: Travelling as a Dad has taught me three things. a.) That I am no longer the “captain of my ship” but a slightly disoriented passenger. b.) How to find joy in the joy of someone else, because that is pretty much the only joy on offer when you travel with kids. And c.) that, all things considered, it’s not a bad deal you’re getting.

Craig: First of all it’s made me appreciate the personal time I have with my daughter, away from any work commitments. Having each and every day together on the road or on vacation at a resort is such precious time.

It’s also made me realize that I want to expose Kalyra to as many thoughts, people, and environments as possible. Because I know traveling has made me a much more tolerant and caring person, and I want her to develop the same qualities.

Traveling and experiencing moments by yourself is memorable. But doing it and sharing the moments and memories with your children and whole family is amazing, and moments to cherish for ever.

Peter: Traveling as a dad has made me slow down more. It started with hikes and making sure we didn’t do anything over 2 miles at one point. And then road trips required more stops. International trips aren’t the whirlwind I often schedule for myself. When she’s along I see more and slow down to her pace. She also shows me more of the world as she sees it, which is a wonderful perspective in my eyes.

Inspiring dads to travel with their kids

So what is it we can take away from these traveling dads?  All of them have a lot of experience traveling with kids of various ages.  All it takes is that willingness to overcome fear and just get out and do it.  You don’t have to go far to travel.  And while it isn’t always easy, the benefits far outweigh the frustrations and costs – for both dads and kids.

Father's Day interview traveling dads Talon 1Dad1KidTalon (1Dad 1 Kid) is a single parent, hospice chaplain, Zen monk, ultra runner, snowshoer, endurance cyclist, certified endurance running coach, photographer, and lover of travelling, languages, and cultures.  He is embarking on a round-the-world trip with my 9-year-old son (aka Tigger) followed by a move to Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Father's Day interview traveling dads Michael Schuermann easyhiker Grand CanyonMichael Schuermann aka Easy Hiker is a German born journalist who started travelling from age 7 but discovered hiking only in his late 40s. An itinerant walker, he‘s walked all of Paris (his adopted city) in search of famous Hollywood movie sites to then  write the guide book „Paris Movie Walks-10 Guided Walking Tours in the City of Lights! Camera!Action“ published by Intrepid Travel.


Father's Day interview traveling dads Craig Makepeace ytravelblogCraig Makepeace is a thirty-something Australian lover of life and world travel is something he totally lives for and plans to do for the rest of his life.  A former Rugby player, Craig joins his wife, daughter, and another soon-to-be bundle of joy as he is looking for the next big adventure and the physical and mental challenges it brings.


Father's Day interview traveling dads Peter Carey photographerPeter Carey is a former systems administrator who left his job behind to pursue his passion of photography and travel.  He focuses on what he’s most passionate about which includes personal family travel journalling, photography, technology and travel in general.

Happy Father’s Day to traveling dads and all the fathers out there!

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  1. Michael says:

    Enlightening interviews. (Thanks for having me). This gives me a great perspective on how fathers relate to their kids when it comes to travelling. One thing we all have in common though – we believe travelling can expand our kids’ horizon – intellectually and emotionally.

    • Thanks Michael. Reading all of your stories and answers to these questions encouraged and inspired me. I love the idea of starting small, just doing it, and building stronger families as a result. I think that was a theme that ran through everyone’s answers. I think both dads and kids are stretched and challenged and helps them grow as people.

      Thanks so much for being a part of this and Happy Father’s Day to you!

  2. What a great post! :)
    My dad took me traveling when I was younger, we even lived in Denmark for a year and backpacked all over Europe. Definitely my inspiration for traveling and being able to live the life of an expat today.

    • That’s awesome! What a great influence your dad was and what a great opportunity you had in Denmark! It’s great to see dads play a part in their kids’ lives and encourage them to travel.

  3. Awesome post idea for Father’s Day. These are inspiring travelers and it’s cool that they are even learning from their kids as they travel.

    • I think it is good advice. I think there are so many moms out there who travel and blog getting a dad’s perspective on travel is a great idea. I think there is so much dads can do to share and inspire other fathers to travel. Do you have any special memories of traveling with your dad?

  4. Great idea to highlight traveling dads. I definitely have to thank my dad for three big things that have influenced my life.

    1) Funding my first trip to Europe with my high school (probably where my love of travel first started)

    2) Being a traveler himself when I was a kid (I always thought it was so cool that my dad had been to destinations are varied as Rome and Honduras)

    3) Being supportive when I told him I was quitting my job to go travel in Latin America for a year alone (after the initial freak out of course)

    • Your dad seemed to give you the best of both worlds – support and traveling himself! What was your best trip traveling with your dad? Did that memory inspire you to travel?

  5. Thanks Jeremy for the opportunity to contribute. Really enjoyed reading the other responses. And would love to know your answers to your own questions :)

    • I look at your guys as the experts. I am a novice when it comes to this stuff and just learning the ropes of it myself. It will be a huge learning process for me and I was so glad to have these interviews and have all of you as a part of it to inspire and encourage me! I face some of these same fears and questions and am encouraged by all of your experiences!

      I do think it is much easier to travel with one than two. I can definitely see that!

  6. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute. Some great advice from the other dad’s. Would love to hear YOUR answers to your own questions :)

  7. Gray says:

    What a brilliant, brilliant idea for a post, Jeremy! I loved it. And it made me realize what I missed out on not being able to travel with my dad when I was a kid.

    • I think it shows that inspiration to travel can come from many places. There are many lessons in life that we learn as a kid. Not all of them come from our parents.

      When I was young, I did family vacations with family. It was fun but not really inspirational. I didn’t find that inspiration or even have a passport until college.

      Did you do any family vacations or road trips with your dad?

  8. Jenna says:

    Reading these nice stories made me think of my husband, who doesn’t get much attention on my site but is a true traveling dad, and my own dad, who laid the foundation for my love of travel. My dad took me on my first 3 trips abroad, just the two of us. Later we did a cruise to Alaska, I spent almost 2 months at his place in London, and we did many other exciting things together. He is very adventurous and has done lots of things I might never be brave enough to do, but that has set a great example for me.

    • He should have much more of a voice in your blog! :) That’s awesome how much of an influence your dad has had on you with travel! Many would love to have those experiences and what an encouragement he must be. For me, I did family vacations but never went outside of the country until I was in college. Never looked at traveling with family as inspiring and even skipped a couple of trips to play baseball. My inspiration came from other things – mainly that trip to Estonia.

      What are some more of the adventurous things he had done that you wouldn’t do?

  9. What a great idea for a Father’s Day post! My dad wasn’t a world traveler, but he did take us on lots of US road trips. More important, he taught my sister and I to have curiosity and the independence to pursue what we wanted in life.

    I’m happy to say that Dad is still one of my best friends and now I get the chance to give him great experiences – I’m taking him to the Indy 500 Racing Experience next month!

    • We did the same with my family. We did trips around the US but that is about it. It was fun but wasn’t inspirational. Great to see how your dad encouraged you though. I think that is one of the best things parents can give their kids – support and encouragement.

      What was your favorite trip with your dad? Any particular memory stick out?

  10. Awww, what a fabulous post. Yes, I remember my dad taking me on those camping weekends. Camping in cold, wet Wales in a borrowed tent! :) We’re big rugby league fans too so I used to do a lot of travelling with my dad to watch our beloved Wigan Warriors play across the UK and France. Dads are definitely under-rated! Some great dads in your post, today.
    Julia

    • Thanks Julia! I never did camping when I was a kid. As a matter of fact, never slept in a tent until I was in my 20s! I enjoyed time with my dad watching football games. Not sure I would have loved it as much without those memories. As for traveling, we did the family trips but didn’t really mean that much to me at the time. My love for travel came much later.

      Do you have a favorite trip with your dad?

  11. Grace says:

    This is a good one Jeremy. I’m extremely grateful that my dad would somehow scrounge up the money to take us to trips abroad when I was young. It really helped to start this passion for traveling. Like Peter I’m planning a Safari trip- which is his dream trip. It’s actually going to be a surprise for my dad once I complete the funds =) Happy Father’s Day!

  12. RON says:

    Happy Father’s day Jeremy, your boys are lucky to have such cool and loving dad!
    Happy Father’s day to other wanderlust dads as well!

    • Thanks Ron! I hope I am an inspiration to my kids when they are older. I am not a perfect father by any means but I hope that I have a connection and bond with them and that we have a loving relationship so that they know they can count on me and talk to me about anything. I hope I am encouraging and loving and am able to teach them about the things that really matter in life!

  13. eva hamori says:

    My dad built us a camper trailer. It smelled funny after a few years, and totally decked out in 70’s decor. But man do I remember those vacations up the coast of Vancouver Island.
    Happy Father’s day to all the great travelling dad out there!
    That’s Hamori’s
    eva

    • Yikes! Building a camper trailer?! That’s incredibly talented or your dad to do that (or incredibly crazy)! I am sure you had a lot of fun memories. Great to be able to look back on memories like that as we celebrate Father’s Day!

  14. Renee says:

    It’s so nice to get this perspective from dads….usually we hear mom’s point of view….good to see how the dads feel about exposing their children to different cultures and experiences.

    • Thanks Renee. That’s exactly why I put this together. I had this idea a few weeks ago and grateful to the dads who participated. After spending time at TBEX this summer, I realized how much moms dominate family travel and traveling with kids so happy to give dads a voice in this area. Seemed like a perfect post for Father’s Day!

  15. Happy Father’s Day Jeremy and to all Dads reading this article and interviewed in this article.

  16. Lisa says:

    I love this! What a great post for Father’s Day and an opportunity to showcase some great dads sharing unusual experiences with their kids.

  17. Jim says:

    Fantastic to see so many travelling Dads. That’s sure going to rub off on their kids. And hey, it doesn’t have to be international travel. With 3 kids under 7 we were travelling up and down NZ in an old caravan. Today our kids , all in their 30’s, still talk about those times. And yes, they have all been around this world.

    • Thanks Jim! The more I have thought about this, the more I have discovered what it is I want as a traveling dad. I think I agree with you about doing local travel for a while. It doesn’t have to be a huge international trip to be fun for kids.

      Do you think it was those trips that inspired your kids to travel? Do you have a favorite trip as a traveling dad?

  18. Andrea says:

    Awww – totally heartwarming piece. I owe much of my own wanderlust to my father, who has lived all over the world because of his work and took me on my first trip out of the country when I was 19. While my mother also loved travel, my first overseas travel memories are with my dad.

    • Thanks Andrea. It’s great to see how your dad has inspired and encouraged you. I think there is something really important to note in these interviews and reflected in your comments as well as others – it is not so much the places that we go but the bonds that we build that makes these experiences so memorable. That is true for parents and kids!

  19. What a fantastic idea for a Father’s Day blog. Great to read what these guys have to say. Been following 1dad1kid on his adventures.

  20. jeremy, i’m so madly in love with this post it’s impossible to describe it for you here!!! this is the best father’s day post ever!!! a fantastic salute to some great dads who aren’t afraid to go it alone if need be. i didn’t have such a great experience with my dad. we’re better now, but it’s still extra touching for me to see better models. beautiful! and happy father’s day to all of you :)

    • Wow, such high praise for this! Thanks Lorna! I have to admit I am very excited about this post and hope that many people – especially dads – will have the same kind of reaction as you! I love my dad but don’t have a lot of memories with him. However, I respect and admire him a lot. I think I am inspired to be the best dad and parent I can be. Hopefully, as these guys alluded to in this interview, that travel can be a huge part of that – for myself and other dads!

  21. The Dropout says:

    My darling husband leaves today for a 10-day visit to Vietnam with our 19-month-old daughter. So I guess he’s now a traveling dad too. I am a very worried and lonely non-traveling Mum though.

    • I’ll say this – BRAVO to your husband! A lot of guys would never even attempt a trip like this so that’s awesome that he is willing to do this. Hopefully you won’t have anything to worry about and hope they have a great time together!

  22. What great fathers! Travelling with kids is definatelly the best way of getting to know each other really well. There are so many “working the whole day and evening” dads out there not spending too much time with their children. Lovely post on Father’s day!

  23. I think you have a great idea. Keep rolling with it. There aren’t too many dads. Might have a bigger audience and interest than what you’re up to now. Seize the moment!

  24. Great article, Jeremy. And what a great way to share all of these unique perspectives on Father’s Day! Two summers ago my dad took me on a father-son trip to Portugal where I actually got to see the house he grew up in. He hadn’t been there since he came to America when he was eleven. The forest actually took it over–the house looked like something out of Indiana Jones. It was the most awesome, best trip ever!

    • What a great trip with your dad! I don’t have any experiences like that with my dad traveling but I am sure the bonding time with him was just as memorable as Portugal itself!

  25. Suzy says:

    Great idea for an interview. I had never thought of how single dad must feel traveling with their kids. Being one of five, I know my mom used to hate hearing, “Are they all yours?”. You always consider the mom’s side of things, but it is interesting to hear how single dads make it work. I love the question about how travel has changed the children of these traveling dads. I know my adventures at a young age traveling with my Dad have certainly shaped me into who I am today.

  26. Aw, so sweet! What lucky kids to grow up traveling with these caring dads.

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