Written by: Brenda Pomponio
When we consider travel and family we often are concerned about certain elements that our children won’t be able to handle or enjoy. In the early days of travel with my children, I was ever surprised at their ability to adapt to new surroundings sometimes quicker than us adults!
We have always loved to explore a new destination by foot. There is something unique and dare I say “grounding” in the process of hitting the pavement and just wandering – or getting a map out and finding your next stop by walking.
A walking tour is becoming a service we now look out for more and more as we travel. Our children have become adept at walking and so long as there is a little careful planning and of course some water and snacks to sustain them we have racked up for the 10 km of city walking in one session. Not bad for little legs. My children are old enough to walk independently yet in the early days our travel stroller got a big work out (even if it was used to dump all the bags onto) and I see so many travel families investing in a good baby carrier. Walking tours are also varied in duration and walking time. We often seek out tours that can cover part of a town or city and allow for experiences too!
So let’s talk about why Walking Tours are so great for families
Get a local guide
I can’t stress this enough. I know there would be heaps of options out there, however, do your research and see what other family travellers recommend. A local will know where to take you and bonus points if they are passionate about family travellers.
We meet up with Claudia from The Roma Touring Co whose passion for teaching children the history of Rome was so exuberant we felt truly blessed to have her walk us around Rome.
The same when we visited Denmark and our guide from Fairy Tale Tours loved sharing snippets of fun facts with our children.
Walk the path of so many before you
There is something nostalgic about walking the same roads and paths of generations before. That grounding feeling I mentioned before cannot be replicated in a bus tour whipping around corners. If you are in a city or town that does have history we find this allows us even more of a conversation tool with our children to talk about how old the town is, what would have been around in that era and the types of customs and cultures.
I’ve often heard the quote that goes something like “When you travel leave nothing, take only photographs” and nowadays with sustainable travel being such a hot topic, walking seems like such a natural and less intrusive impact on our environment
See what takes your fancy
If it weren’t for some the walking tours we may not have found other things to do. Don’t be afraid to ask your guide for other places to visit, best dining experiences or a recommendation to fill a gap in your itinerary. Last year in Scotland we met up with Colin who took us on a walking tour of Glasgow. As he walked passed a restaurant he claimed how sensational it was, so we walked right in and booked it for that evening.
One for the kids
The travel industry is changing – services are clued into the fact that us families are seeking out unique experiences for us all to enjoy and that includes tours and experiences for our children. There are more and more children based walking tours operating that allow children to explore, be informed and guided by a local who has a passion for helping kids learn and enjoy their travels. We have experienced a few child-focused walking tours and honestly, us adults love them just as much as the kids.
Walking Tour Roundup!
Here are some AMAZING walking tours we have done during our travels
Rome Touring – History + Food Tour
You can read more about our tour here
Verona – Safari Children’s Walking Tour
Venice – Children’s Treasure Hunt (Read more about it here)
Glasgow – Walking Tour – See Colin’s IG – @excurisionscot
Copenhagen – Fairy Tales Walking Tour