10 Things Kids Hate About Travel

My kids are big now. Bigger than me. Young people with minds and opinions of their own. I think it’s time to ask them, honestly, what they hated about travel and travelling for 6 full years as a digital nomad family. There must be something, surely? All those long hours on planes, vomit-inducing bus rides, dodgy food, and cheap guest houses, what did they really hate? We have many posts on travel with kids, teens, and as a family. We have one on the problems of travelling with kids too. This our first post on what the kids didn’t enjoy, and it’s honest.

We travelled full-time from 2013 until COVID grounded us. The kids were just 6 and 8 years old when they left home. They visited 50 or so countries, most of them many times. We were backpacker-type travellers, rather than slow travellers, but we did put in some long stints in London, Romania and Vietnam. We actually rented homes in all of those places, using them as bases more than full-time residences. Most of the time we stayed in hotels, some expensive, some budget. The boys were homeschooled, or “worldschooled” throughout these years and for a few years prior to departure. I am a travel blogger. Blogging is very lucrative if you know how. Our first year of travel was ultra-budget as we tried to stretch our saving as long as possible. Once the blog took off we got more wealthy year by year, but we were never luxury travellers, we like to spend our money on the things we love to do and that usually means trekking, skiing, or a scuba trip. We rarely splurge on fancy hotels.

After interviewing and probing my kids extensively, it seems that, if anything, this is what kids hate about travel. The top 10 things they dislike are below.

1. Dirty accommodation
2. Being hot
3. Having to look around for accommodation – lack of certainty
4. Bad wi-fi
5. Bad food
6. Bad bathrooms
7. Long journeys but only if there were multiple connections – stress.
8. Minibusses or vehicles causing car-sickness
9. Dirty trains, buses, and planes
10. Shared bathrooms in cheaper hotels and hostels