I want to tell you probably the longest holiday story on my blog so far from the lovely stylist, book author Agnė Gilytė and her family, - husband Kristoforas and two sons: Hubertas(5) & Teodoras(2). "Every winter we try to run away somewhere nice & warm for at least a month" - says Agnė. This time their holiday in Thailand lasted for 1.5months and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.
Winter escapes started when it was just the two of them, laterwhile Agnė was pregnant, then with one child, with a child and second pregnancy and now with two kids. In other words, traveling is in their blood - they cannot live without it. Without kids holidays are usually shorter, but with kids they tend to go on longer vacation.
You might wonder how it is possible to leave work for so long, but we all know that Agnė is an employer to herself (if you do not know Agnė, check her website) and her husband also works for himself. Besides, Agnė did some work there, for an hour or two, while boys were enjoying the beach. Of course, she did not style or dressed her clients, but managed all other collaborations, texts and even started writing her new book. However, if you have a strict 8 to 5 work schedule, there are not many gaps there. But still, some people do not take holidays for the whole year in order to save 4 weeks at the end of the year.
Why Asia this time? Well, it is a second time in Thailand for Agne and her husband. They were considering a place where it would be most comfortable and safe to travel with kids. Last year, for the same reasons they went to Tenerife, however, it was not up to their taste. They are usually looking for freedom, good food, beaches where its only you and your family and distant countries. Agnė calls herself and her family as "punks, who are spoiled when it comes to traveling & are constantly looking for more".
During this holiday, they visited 3 islands and changed 5 accommodations. From Bangkok to Krabi island, later to Koh-Lanta island and then to an island named Koh-Lipe and finally – Koh Phangan, which is a very diverse island with a variety of party beaches to peaceful yoga and meditation corners with amazing views and foods. Koh-Lipe is also known as the Maldives of Thailand, and they had the best time there. This island is quite complicated to get to, therefore it is not packed with tourists, rather otherwise and they loved this fact. "We found everything what we were looking for in this island - divine beaches, calmness, great food & postcard in front of your eyes", - said Agnė.
How about the traveling itself, when you travel with 2 kids, luggage & have to change many different transports as well as survive a long flight? Well, this is the part where you have to be totally focused on your kids, according to Agnė. Play, read, dance, walk, eat, sleep and repeat. As a last resort (Agnė tries to avoid it as much as possible) watch cartoons. The sleep part is valid only for the kids, for parents there is not much sleep, because you have to sit long hours holding your sleeping children. Agnė was more concerned about the connecting transport, rather than a long flight, since not every time it looked very trustworthy.
"Traveling is the best that you can give to your child, everything is like a huge adventure to them", - says Agnė to those who are holding back when it comes to long trips.
With regards to planning in advance, the 1st part of the trip is usually reserved and thought through from home. Later, when they get there, settle in and search around - the next part of the accommodation is reserved. There is always a chance that they might stay longer if they really like the place, or shorten the stay if they prefer to move on. For that reason, the four members of the family travel with one luggage, so that you can grab it & go, whenever you decide to do so. Agnė remembers one time, when there was a mountain, which had to be crossed by foot in order to reach their next accommodation, they packed everything into one backpack. Just a regular backpack, which you take to the gym and lived from it for a whole week! I must say that is quite an achievement, especially knowing that Agnė is a stylist :)
When booking accommodation, they usually use Airbnb and in some cases Booking.com, when they want to book a hotel. However, for most of the time family prefers to live in bungalows or villas, rather than hotels.
How about the sleeping part with 2 children? Do you book separate rooms, or require a baby bed? I suppose not every accommodation can offer it, especially when you are in the middle of nowhere, - I asked. Agnė just laughed and responded that they are very relaxed about that. If there is one bed in a room, four of them sleep together, if they stay in the hotel, they ask for a mattress or connect armchairs to make a bed. No need to complicate things!
When it comes to food and cooking - usually breakfast only was prepared on site. Lunch & dinner plans were made somewhere else. Agnė & her family loves good food, even children were trying different cuisines and one of the best memories they have from the trip is a lot of food & fresh fruit!
Other great memories from the trip are the adventures on the scooter together with the kids, divine beaches and food of course. She especially recommended to try not only local cuisine, but other food like Ayurvedic dishes, Italian masterpieces, Persian delicacies or Ethiopian specialities. You do need some break from rice & curry, especially when it comes to kids.
Agnė definitely recommends Thailand for your next trip with kids, however she suggests making good planning homework in advance. Last but not least, she suggests to take it easy most of the time and do not stress if something is not totally clean or tidy. Thailand is a country, where you will find extremely nice people and probably the best cuisine in the world. If you do not worry about other small things, you will have the holiday of your life.
I am so happy that Agnė was so much willing to share her recent travel story with us, I especially loved her words at the end that I am doing a great job, by writing this blog about traveling with kids.
"If everyone starts going on holidays other than package holidays, we will have a very cosmopolite new generation in the future", - says Agnė.
Photo credit: Agnė's personal archive