We recently discovered @eminthemoment on Instagram, the family relocated to Spain from the US and we loved hearing their tips for Spain living as a local. They share the ups and downs to moving abroad on their blog and social media and here we've ask the family whats on their travel list and how they have found moving to a new country.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
Hi there. We are the Richards – Todd, Emily, Parker (11), Emmett (8) and Ben (5). We moved to Madrid, Spain almost two years ago for Todd’s work. We always wanted to live in a foreign country and when the opportunity came up to move here we jumped at the chance. Todd is bilingual so being able to have our kids learn the Spanish language, and experience another culture and of course travel has been one of the best experiences of our lives.
What 3 words best describe your holiday style?
Flexible, explore, find.
What makes the perfect getaway for your family?
The ideal getaway for us is somewhere far away from crowds and surrounded by nature.If water is nearby even better. Our boys love to hunt for creatures like fish, lizards, frogs, and snakes (yes, snakes). We spent a few days on an island off the coast of Croatia. We were in a remote part of the island and had our own private spot on the water, it was the most ideal place we’d ever experienced far away from distractions. It felt like a whole other world.
How has your family adjusted to living in Spain?
Overall, I think we’ve adjusted well. It’s not easy living in a country that is not your own and Spain is no exception. Our kids especially have acclimated and are fully integrated in their Spanish school. It took a solid year, but after a lot of hard work (and mandatory conversations with their dad in Spanish) they’ve been able to learn the language. This is probably what we’re most proud of our time here. Some days are harder than others like when the holidays roll around and you’re far from family but visiting Christmas markets in Germany and France instead, makes it easier. We’ve been very lucky to have family visit us regularly and bring things from home. There’s nothing quite like getting a bag full of American cereal, goldfish, brownie mixes and Easter candy to hold you over.
Do you have any child friendly destination recommendations?
Of all our travels, Spain still remains the most family friendly. Children are adored here and welcome just about anywhere. We especially love the north of Spain called the Asturias. It’s full of remote beaches, the water is a littler warmer than Portugal (although I highly recommend the Algarve region of Portugal too), and everything is very relaxed. There are no set parking lots or neatly arranged beach chairs, it’s perfectly natural, raw and virtually untouched by non-Spanish tourism. Croatia and Switzerland are also high on our list of family friendly places. You just can’t beat being so close to natural beauty.
Whats on your destination bucket list?
Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia (we are spending three weeks here in July!), New Zealand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Peru to name a few.
What are the boy’s favourite thing to do while you are away?
They love to look for wildlife, whether it’s fish when we’re staying by the ocean or lizards and frogs when we’re in the mountains. They can stay busy for hours just being little boys. We stayed in an Airbnb tucked away in the Tuscany region last summer and they spent the whole day catching lizards and building forts. Nothing makes me happier than to see my boys playing outside and exploring what’s around them.
Beach bag essentials?
Fishing nets, a bucket, and some kind of fishing line. Croatia had the best hand fishing lines for kids, we probably went through 15. I wish we bought extra to bring home.
Do you have any tips for keeping the family entertained on flights?
When it comes to flights just about anything goes. It is the only time we allow our boys to play video games and they take full advantage. Lots of snacks are a must. I also like to get them a couple of “Weird, But True” books before each trip and an activity book or two full of puzzles and word searches. When they were little I would pack a small box of things like post-it notes, stickers, stamps, play dough, and bubbles.
Any tips for Spain?
The Spanish schedule is famous for a reason.They truly live it. If you’re visiting Spain, we recommend doing what the Spanish do and make lunch your main meal of the day. Many of the smaller shops also close in the afternoon so this is a good time to rest up and get ready for the more active evening hours when Spaniards emerge from their Siesta. Most restaurants close from 5-9pm so if you’re children need to go to bed make sure to plan ahead and grab some take away dinner. But again, you can also do what the Spanish do and stay up well past midnight enjoying tapas, the parks, and gelato. It is not uncommon to see kids out very late at night, especially in the summer time. Our boys often scold us for making them leave the park at 11pm in the summer because none of the other kids are leaving yet. Go figure.