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Are You A Tourist Or A Traveller?

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Keel Beach, Achill Island, Ireland
Looking down on Keel from the top of Croaghaun

I’ve never heard anybody say if they had the choice, they’d spend their whole life within their own four walls. Almost everyone wants to travel.

At the most basic level, I love travelling for the immense sensual pleasure it provides. There are new tastes, touches and smells – the burst of a fresh fig on the tip of the tongue; the surprising softness of a porcupine’s quills; something as simple as the wave of heat that hits you at the top of the aircraft steps. Even the unfamiliar lilt of a foreign language isn’t lost on my very youngest child.

Being a modern family means being able to leave behind what we are for a fortnight and try out being something else, somewhere else. It doesn’t have to be ambitious. I became, fleetingly, a cook in an Italian farmhouse, baking a daily loaf of bread for my family. Returning home, I reverted to buying two loaves of white sliced from the supermarket. But, for a moment, our family became a little bit different, and so did I. Away from home, we can all live out our gentle fantasies without the danger of becoming trapped in them.

Here is a few places where we have done just that.

Ireland, America and Thailand.

We enjoyed all of these. But what’s the best form of travel for families? See,8922,1188997,00.html

And here’s what some of you think,8922,1312020,00.html

What do you think makes a great family holiday? Do you have any good experiences (or bad), or hints and tips? Please do share them with other families on my Travelling with Kids Forum.

However you travel, are you a tourist or a traveller?
Are You A Tourist Or A Traveller?

My weekly Guardian column Travelling with Kids has opened many debates, and led to the founding of the Kids in Museums Campaign. All of my Travelling with Kids columns can be found on the Guardian website

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