Monet and James Hambrick are full-time working parents and world travelers, who along with their two young children, have visited more than 20 countries together.
Their early adventures of traveling with their oldest child when she was just six weeks, and then their youngest child when she was just 10 weeks, is what inspired them to document their experiences and start “The Traveling Child” blog.
“The idea was actually my friend’s idea,” Monet explains to Because of Them We Can. “I had started a blog when we had our first daughter and it was called ‘M&J’ and I thought it was so stupid so I didn’t consider it. Then, when we had our second child we went to Colombia when she was 10 weeks and my friend said you should really start posting that and documenting it.”
Despite having a bit of hesitation, Monet took her friend’s advice and in July 2016, she launched “The Traveling Child” website where she shares travel tips and mistakes about what has and hasn’t worked for her family. The site also serves as a one-stop destination where people can get itineraries from past trips the Hambrick family has taken and get advice on how they can recreate the trip for themselves.
While traveling as full-time working professionals with two young kids may sound impossible, Monet and James say the purpose of their platform is to show that traveling with a family can be both convenient and affordable.
“We plan a lot of our travel around holidays,” says Monet. “For instance, we went to Colorado for our daughter’s birthday. Her birthday falls on President’s Day and so we just took Friday off and had a four-day weekend.”
To catch the best deals on their traveling adventures, Monet explains how the family uses Sky Scanner to see which airlines are offering the cheapest tickets for the dates they want to travel.
“Sky Scanner kind of dictates where we will go,” says James. “We have a bucket list of places and we see if those deals are on the list and then we just check them off.”
In addition to sharing traveling tips and deals for parents who want to travel with their kids, Monet says she also makes a point to share advice for people who are looking to travel alone, with their friends or with their significant other.
“We are people outside of being parents,” she says. “So we go on trips with our friends because we are adults and normal people. And then sometimes we go on trips with our significant other. We want to show that aspect too for our audience who has kids and those who don’t.”
Currently, Monet and her family have an audience of more than 45,000 followers on Instagram. While her platform overall has received positive feedback from people who didn’t know that traveling could be so affordable, Monet admits that she has received some criticism about her and her husband’s decision to travel with their kids.
“We have heard feedback that is like, ‘Why do you travel with your kids so young? They are going to forget it so that is stupid,’” she explains. “And it’s like kids remember everything and life is short and so I don’t want to wait.”
Monet adds that “it’s about creating those memories and creating those experiences and just showing them that there are cultures outside of their neighborhoods and there are good people all over the world. We are ultimately just raising global citizens.”