Welcome to another edition of our Traveler Interview Series. Today we are featuring Family Travel Blogger Nicole Fiorante of The Passport Kids. I am so excited to feature a family who sold everything to go On Travel Mode around the world. After their one year trip, they have settled in British Columbia, Canada. As you can imagine Nicole has lots of family travel tips to share. Check out her story below.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. NAMES, CHILDREN’S AGES, OCCUPATION/S. WHERE IS HOME?
We are The Passport Kids family and made up of Nicole (that’s me – mom) who is the person behind our blog and also works full-time as Project Manager. Dad, Jamie, owns a small business who runs it remotely. Our children are Luca (9 years old) and Sofia (7 years old) who complete this family crew. Where is home? What a great question as we are still trying to settle into a new hometown/home base in Kelowna, British Columbia nestled in the Canadain mountains. After we returned back to Canada from our 1-year trip around the world we decided to pull our small trailer full of essentials from Saskatchewan to further out west to explore other parts of Canada. So we are still trying to figure out where home really is, but so far we are loving it here in British Columbia Canada!
WHEN DID YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL BEGIN?
My passion for travel began when I was a very small child. Being a military brat, I had the privilege of living in Germany (West Germany at the time) for 6 years with my family. My parents would take us on trips to new spots and explore all the time; I was checking off countries when I was 4 years old. It’s ingrained in me to keep moving and exploring new places. Never seeming to settle and always looking for a new adventure.
WHAT IS THE FIRST TRIP YOU REMEMBER TAKING BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A FAMILY?
The first trip I can remember was when I was 5 years old and went to Europa Park in Germany. Some great memories of this theme park as a child. Our first trip as a family of 4 was to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to soak up the sun and escape the cold Canadian winter.
HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED THUS FAR?
I have been to 35, Jamie 29, Luca 28 and Sofia 27. So here is the list of the 27 countries all 4 of us have been to with each other:
North America– Canada, USA, Cuba, Mexico, and Jamaica
Europe– United Kingdom, France, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Vatican City, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Malta, and Bulgaria
Asia– United Arab of Emirates, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia
Africa– South Africa
Oceania– Australia, Vanuatu, and New Zealand
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION YOU HAVE BEEN TO SO FAR? WHY?
So tough to choose just one, but if I had to right now it would be South Africa. I think it was just so different and so surprisingly amazing. I wasn’t sure if it would fulfill my expectations, as it was a lifelong dream to go, but so cool that I was able to take my kids. Seeing the Big 5 with my kids in Kruger National Park tops my list of best moments in my life.
LET’S TALK FOOD. ANY MEMORABLE DINING EXPERIENCES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE?
Pretty much any of the food in Vietnam. I would go back to Vietnam honestly for the food… so divine! Pho, Bun Cha, and Banh Mi sandwiches in Hanoi!
Some of our best dining experiences as a family when we travel are when we are picnicking as a family. Packing a lunch, grabbing some street food and finding a spot with a great view generally are the best ones – we keep it simple. We get to soak up being amongst the locals and feel like a family who lives there versus a family visiting a new place.
ANY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES OR CHALLENGES DURING YOUR TRAVELS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
A couple of challenging times during our travels. First one, was when I didn’t have the long copy of 1 kid’s birth certificate, which was needed to get through customs in South Africa. I realized it 5 days before our flight when we were in Dubai on route to South Africa. I had to have my family express Fedex our papers halfway across the globe just in time!
Another unique experience, a challenge I guess, would have been when the kids and I got lice on Phi Phi Island in Thailand. Only a small local pharmacy had the medicine to help (which was expired), and handling lice in a hotel room without a washing machine was super interesting! Oh the joys of traveling!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BLOG? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED BLOGGING? WHY DID YOU START A BLOG?
Our blog is, www.thepassportkids.com, where I highlight our travels and hopefully help to inspire other families to travel. We focus on itineraries, best things to do places and sharing any tips or lessons we have learned. I am still working on writing most of the content from our 1-year of travel, as I took the time to truly enjoy the moment with my family on that once-in-a-lifetime experience. Lots more to come on the blog!
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TRAVEL?
Things don’t always go as planned, they actually rarely go as planned. So we have learned to accept those things you have no control over, roll with the punches and expect anything to happen. Although we try to plan for many outcomes, we can’t always predict it.
Enjoy the moments while you travel, these build up your stack of lifetime memories so be sure to be in the moment and not just taking the photo of the moment.
Most importantly, bring SNACKS and water always!
CAN YOU GIVE FAMILIES A FEW TIPS, TRICKS, AND HACKS WHEN TRAVELING?
Keep your wardrobe neutral and always have all your bottoms and tops mix and match.
Don’t overpack – you can buy almost everything anywhere in the world. Trust me, I’ve bought everything everywhere!
When travelling with a family of 4 sometimes pre-ordering a car service or taking a taxi can actually be cheaper than buses or trains. We usually always pre-order a car service after long flights and then we have someone waiting for us at arrivals and can easily get to our accommodations without having to think when we land.
Two of our favourite packing items are:
● Packing cubes – to keep each of our family members stuff organized in our bags.
● BUBM electronics organizers to keep everything together.
Ziplining or bungee jumping? Ziplining
Tea or Coffee? Coffee for sure!
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far? My husband
Disney World or the real world? Real World – we still have not gone to Disney, our family and friends think it is hilarious that we still have never gone while most of them have been.
What’s been the best street food you’ve had? Vietnam Pho in Ho Chi Man City or Mango sticky rice in Bangkok
Please tell our readers how they can follow your family travels on social media.
Thank You, Nicole, for taking time out to share some of your travel experiences and valuable family travel tips.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the Passport Kids as much as we did, and that you’ve been inspired to go On Travel Mode more often!
If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for one of our future editions, please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if you have any questions you’d like us to pose to future interviewees we’d love to read them!