Janeen Christoff is the L.A. Travel Mom. She is a writer, editor and blogger covering adventure travel, family travel, family issues, lifestyle, parenting, health and wellness and more. She enjoys social media and exploring the world with her children.
One of the things that we have loved in our travels is touring with a private guide. Our obsession started in Paris, when on a tour with a group, the guide payed such great attention to my kids that I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we had this guide all to ourselves? I vowed to do it on our next adventure and got the chance in Bangkok.
Having Dew as our private guide, which we arranged through travel app Viator, was amazing. We used all forms of local transportation to get around, including songthaews, which are like shared ride pickup trucks, and city buses. She had a vast knowledge of each and every temple and tailored her talks to things my two daughters would find interesting.
Dew taught them about Buddhism, blessings and good fortune and we even did some yoga poses before heading to Adam peng market. It was a spectacular day that we wrapped up at Easae Coffee Shop in Chakrrawat for Thai iced tea and iced chocolate for the kids.
It was the perfect end to the day.
I can’t say enough about the advantages of having your own guide if you are with a family group. Kids can ask questions at any time and the day can be tailored to exactly what you want to do, such as stops for ice cream and lunch at a restaurant that will have food for your picky eater. You can also stop and take breaks whenever you would like or leave somewhere that isn’t as appealing. Ideal for groups mixed with older and younger travelers. I can’t wait to do it again.
After a little more than a month here in Auckland, New Zealand, we are gearing up for our round-the-world adventure.
I must admit, I am torn between planning every minute of every day of the trip so that I know where and when to be everywhere — never throwing caution to the wind. But I have stopped myself and only planned the first three-and-a-half weeks, having a loose idea of what we are doing after that, but leaving us open to suggestion.
The fun thing about traveling to new places is that you have new things to discover. I want to leave our itinerary open to be able to explore places and things I didn’t know about from my research but, traveling with children means that I want to make sure we are safe and sound, learning and having enormous amounts of fun, too.
Follow along as well throw caution to the wind and make our way back home to the other side of the world — and feel free to weigh in with suggestions along the way! First stop is Australia’s Gold Coast, followed by Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City and a river cruise with AmaWaterways and then — who knows. Stay Tuned at #LATMRTW
It wasn’t as pretty as usual in Auckland today, so we headed below the deck to the fabulous and interactive Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium.
Identifying all the different fish was fun, but making them come to life was the highlight of the day.
First, you color a sea creature.
Then you scan them and they come to life in the digital aquarium. There are about four coloring stations, each with its own aquarium.
Then your sea creature joins the rest of the fish in an aquarium of all of the digitized drawings. Kids catch on quickly and make sure to put their names on each creature so they can track their progress on the screen.
This was truly an ingenious idea and fun for all ages. There were definitely a few grownup fish swimming around in there.