When daydreaming of family holiday destinations, it is rarely the temples of Angkor Wat, the luxury of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands or the crowds of India’s Pink City that first spring to mind. Planning a kid-friendly getaway often means side-lining bucket list journeys and leaving the globe’s most vibrant, challenging holiday hotspots to back-packers in their twenties.
But not for Sally and Craig Lucas and their intrepid brood, creators of blog Our 3 Kids v The World. Ticking New Zealand, Japan, the United States, much of South-East Asia and now central India off the map, this family of five from Melbourne won’t let obstacles or naysayers cloud their ambition for adventure.
“You only live this life once so live it well,” says Sally. “When I’m travelling I’m at my happiest and we bond more as a family. You don’t get this time back with your kids so use it wisely!”
Alannah (13), Keira (10) and Caelan Lucas (8) have already ziplined in Siem Reap, enjoyed breakfast with orangutans in Singapore Zoo and most recently veered even further off the beaten path on a sponsored tour of Jaipur. They were hosted by budget airline Scoot as part of a campaign urging families to seek new experiences in unexpected places.
A Passage to India
The ‘Scootitude’ way of life means spontaneity and discovery away from the trappings of the everyday. Sally considers the Scoot airline itself to be one of the best she’s experienced despite its budget status.
“It’s a lovely quiet plane,” she says, of Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners. “It felt very spacious.” Sally and her family flew with a package that included meals and luggage, available for purchase as a FlyBagEat airfare and meaning they could travel stress-free once on board.
The Lucas’ were accompanied in Jaipur by a film crew and Scoot staff who captured their experiences and became part of the family. “I can’t speak more highly of the crew that worked with us, or of Scoot,” says Sally.
When it comes to the destination, she admits she didn’t know much about Jaipur before the arrival, but would return in a flash to the “special city.” “There is actually quite a bit to see in Jaipur and it’s relatively kid-friendly,” she says.
Highlights for the Lucas’ include the Amber Fort, the hillside site of sandstone and marble that once housed the Indian royal family and was the first sightseeing stop for the family. They enjoyed the older parts of the Pink City, including the City Palace and the Hawa Mahal, whose red and pink sandstone earned the city its nickname. Sally also recommends the Jantar Mantar observatory monument. “It’s how the royal family would tell the time and the zodiac of newborns, long before Google!”
Another stand-out for the travellers was the food. Big fans of Butter Chicken, Alannah, Keira and Caelan were grateful to the crew who made sure it was an option for every meal break. “We jokingly named the trip ‘The Butter Chicken Tour of India,’” laughs Sally.
The family also made a pitstop at the Taj Mahal, which had long been on their bucket-list. “I was so overwhelmed I burst into tears for no apparent reason!” confesses Sally, who was stoked to see her kids excited about the beautiful monument. “All of us were blown away and I was so grateful to Scoot for allowing us to take the extra couple of days to do that as a side trip.”
Why travel with kids?
Many would think Sally and Craig were insane for taking the plunge. In fact, friends and family have asked Sally before why she bothers showing her kids amazing parts of the world when they’ll be too young to remember them.
The growth in understanding and confidence in their kids is what makes it worthwhile for Sally and Craig. Their holidays have provided an education in culture, history and geography like no other and as a result Alannah, Keira and Caelan all have great general knowledge and cultural sensitivity. Challenging trips are also a really special way to spend time as a family.
“We love sharing ‘firsts’ together,” says Sally, “and getting to experience new things and try new foods. The kids seem to take it all in their stride! I know one day they will understand how lucky they are.”
You can peek at Sally’s blog for more tips, tricks and stories.