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How & Why We Travel as a Family | Thrifty Family Travels

To inspire your 2018, we’ve asked 6 Australian families who ‘prioritise travelling’ to tell us how and why they travel with kids. Melissa and her family from Thrifty Family Travels is our third family.

Tell us a bit about your family

We are Melissa (me), my partner Andy and our 7-year-old daughter Myla.  We are all crazy about travelling.  Myla and I love checking out new places and new cultures, whilst Andy is crazy about the food!

Tell us where you are right now

Right now we are home in Brisbane, where Andy and I work and Myla is in grade 2.

Where have you travelled to as a family?

Thrifty Family Travels

Together we have travelled around Australia in South East Queensland, we did an awesome camping road trip from Darwin to Uluru, as well as short trips to Adelaide and Melbourne.  Overseas we have travelled mostly around South East Asia through Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia as well as New Zealand, Hawaii and Vanuatu.

Why have you made travelling a priority?

I just love the feeling of being somewhere new and getting out and exploring – I just can’t explain what I rush I get from waking up somewhere different.  I also love the quality time we get to spend as a family and creating such wonderful memories together.  Lastly, I love showing my daughter the different cultures around the world, I think it teaches her how different we all are and how we should embrace it.

How do you afford to travel?

When we are not travelling we are working.  Andy runs a construction company and I work as a destination marketer / freelance writer.  Saving for travel is a priority for us all, so we are happy to go without some things to travel as much as we can.

Where is your favourite family holiday and why?

We really loved our camping road trip throughout the Northern Territory.  It was wonderful to see this part of Australia and camping under the stars in swags around a camp fire most nights were such a wonderful bonding experience.  Also, our 3 week backpacking trip through Vietnam was pretty awesome experience too.

When travelling, no parent should be without…

An ipad!!  Or any similar device / toy that will keep your little one occupied during the down times. There is a lot of waiting around when you travel, hanging around in airports, delayed flights etc and often when everyone is super tired and cranky

If you could inspire another family to travel, what would you say?

Thrifty Family Travels

Give your children the gift of learning about different cultures and instead of learning about history in text books, take them to where it really happened.  You will create amazing memories to last a lifetime.

We are always looking for cheap holidays for families. What’s your hot tip for our readers?

Look out for cheap flights and travel to South East Asia it is so cheap.  I also recommend just taking carry on only luggage, this way you can save on checked luggage fees.  Plus its way easier travelling with less with kids.

You can find Melissa and her family at:


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This article featured in Issue 28 of our printed magazine, published June 2018.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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