Many of us have been Travelettes in our hearts from an early age thanks to being born with a need to roam or because we had parents with a similar sense of adventure. However, I recently started to think about how differently I travel now compared to when I was a child. For me, back then my parents took me on camping holidays in France, cold and wet weekends in the Yorkshire Dales and when I first boarded a plane to Spain aged 11 – it was easily the most excited I have ever been! Nowadays, although I live to travel and regularly explore new places, I’m often too preoccupied thinking about logistics, packing and money to fully enjoy the experience.

Have I lost the same sense of excitement, exploration and adventure that I had as a child? Well, I’m hoping this list will help recapture it for me:

1. Go exploring. Children are the original, truly innocent explorers; with no preconceived ideas they arrive at a new destination eager to check out their surroundings and investigate the lay of the land as soon as they can. And what are they looking for? As much fun as possible, of course! Is there really a better reason to go travelling?

2. Be led. Sometimes travel becomes hard work; planning, researching, language barriers. Travel shouldn’t be a constant test of your wit and stress levels and one of the best ways to avoid this is to be led, like a child is by their parents on holiday. Join a travel group or an organized tour and let someone else do the hard work for a day or two or more.

3. Let yourself get bored. One of the things my parents tell me they dreaded about family holidays were the choruses of “I’m bored. What are we doing next?” that my brothers and I would incessantly repeat. All they wanted from a holiday was to do nothing and relax and now I’m all grown up I understand this. Adulthood has a habit of making so many demands on our time that being bored is a true luxury. If you find yourself moaning about being bored while travelling or on holiday, you’ve done something right so enjoy it!

4. Eat ice cream, messily. Have you forgotten how much fun it is to eat ice cream when you don’t care about the mess you make? Make sure you remind yourself and soon!

5. Try new things and don’t worry if you don’t like them. You know when a kid tries a food they don’t like, they will spit it out and moan about it. Well, spitting aside, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t like the local food, a popular sight or a “must-do” guidebook activity; the main thing is that you tried something new. Travel is more about trying everything than it is enjoying everything.

6. Wear what your Mum would dress you in. As much as we advocate backpacking in heels all over the world, even we admit that there are times and places in the world when a pair of practical flats, sensible length shorts and a sun hat a-la-5-year-old-boy chic is more appropriate attire.

7. Build sandcastles. Think back to the hours that you spent on the beach as a child building elaborate sandcastles with turrets and moats and princesses only to watch them all crumble down when the waves came in or when an annoying younger sibling jumped all over your masterpiece. Why would you deprive yourself that kind of perverse entertainment just because now you’re an adult!?

And P.S. Stop worrying about what you look like in your swimsuit… you didn’t do that as a child and I’m sure you probably had more fun that way!

8. Tell everyone you’re going on holiday. Looking forward to going away is half the joy of travel, so go on indulge yourself, boast a little bit and start crossing off the days on a calendar as you countdown.

9. Tell everyone you’ve been on holiday. Why is it that children have free reign to go on and on about what they did on their holidays and people will respond with lots of “oohs” and “wows” and yet all too often our friends and colleagues glaze over when we start telling them our “travel stories”. Well, stuff them I say. Revel in your travel memories and enjoy sharing holiday photos with anyone who shows an inkling of interest.

10. Jump in as many swimming pools as you can. You may risk popping out of your bikini or emptying the pool of water now you’re a grown up but it’s still as much fun as when you were a kid!

Photos: Frankie and Katja


This post was written by Frankie Thompson who was a Travelette from 2012 – 2015. Originally from London, UK, Frankie was nomadic for several years before settling in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she lives with her Australian partner and baby boy. She spends her time buying vintage dresses, riding a rusty old bike around the canals and writing books inspired by her travels. Frankie blogs about travel, writing and motherhood at As the Bird flies blog.