We asked some of our favourite travel and family bloggers to tell us how they use maps to record their adventures, and stay connected with faraway family…
Maps are the ultimate companion for travel-mad families. Whether you’re working your way through your family bucket-list, teaching little ones about the world around them, or looking for a totally unique way to plan, remember, and display your family travel story in your home, there’s a map for that!
In honour of all the adventurous Dads out there, we’re asked some of our Maps International Blogger friends to share how they use maps to stay close as a family.
Daredevil travel blogger, Arianwen Morris, has regular meet-ups with her Dad to compare their latest adventures…
“I still remember spinning a globe in our house when I was a little girl and wondering if I’d ever have the chance to visit any of the exotic-sounding places my finger landed on. A few decades on and I’m now the proud owner of four maps. The one above my bed at my childhood house has colour-coded pins to show which countries I visited each year. Then there’s my dive map—a beautiful hand-drawn world map containing information on over 500 of the best scuba diving sites and underwater features. One of my favourite maps uses text art to show each country’s name in the shape of the country’s geographical area. It’s a great conversation starter and a brilliant way to teach children the basics. Finally, I use my scratch map as a fun way to record where I’ve been. My dad has one too, and when we get together we sometimes use them to re-tally our country totals. This always has us reminiscing about family holidays and sharing recommendations from trips we took separately. In my opinion, every house needs at least one map, but the more the better!”
Ari was once awarded the title of ‘Most Fearless Travel Blogger’ – Keep up to date with all of her adventures over at beyondblighty.com
Family travel blogger, Cathy Winston, has travelling with a family in tow down to an art, and loves using maps to relive their travel memories together…
“There’s nothing like a map for giving me wanderlust – I grew up poring over atlases and my daughter has had map stickers on her bedroom walls since she was a baby. Now she’s older, we also have several other maps to record our travels including one to mark with our travel plans and previous visits, and a scratch off map which we ceremoniously scrub away whenever we return from a new country.
I love the fact that every time we look at it, it reminds us of all the places we’ve been to – and we can look at each country playing ‘do you remember’ together, tracing a finger down a coast to remind ourselves of the pristine white beach and clear sea we splashed in, plotting the course that our little plane took as we explored a country, discovering just how remote those ancient jungle temples were from the city. Photos might capture the moment, but there’s nothing like a map to conjure up the memories stored of family travel, to transport you straight back to that wonderful trip – and to inspire you to visit all those countries you still haven’t seen yet.”
Cathy’s blog has all the info you need to travel the world as a family. You can follow their journey at mummytravels.com
Family blogger, Emma Dowey, is helping her little ones keep up with their Dad, using interactive map-themed activities…
“It’s no secret. I am a complete map geek. I absolutely love them. If you look around my home you will find maps on the walls, map lamps, map prints… I’ve been sharing my map love with my boy, age 4, and we love looking at maps together. They are really great to explore with little ones when anyone is on holiday or travelling. My husband was recently travelling to the States for work and it was great showing our son where Daddy was located for the week – Florida. Lucky Daddy! I love showing my son where I’ve travelled to in the past, telling him a bit about Europe, America and Asia. Maps are great for inspiring little ones to learn about the world around them. I find maps are great for adding context too any travel-related conversation or photo memories. Recently a friend visited from South Africa and it was great to show my son exactly how far away it is from us! He was fascinated with hearing tales of lions and great whites.”
We love how Emma is passing her love of maps on to her family from a young age. You can learn along with them over at meandbmaketea.com
Another blogger who is no stranger to exploring the world with her husband and little ones is Helena Blakemore. She’s a huge fan of using our Scratch the World® map print to get her kids excited about family travel…
“Maps are so wonderful for reliving family travels. We love to talk about where we’ve visited, and we look at the map on the boys’ bedroom wall to point to where we were. This evening, we were talking about India while we ate dahl for tea, and checked, when we’d finished, where India is! We traced our fingers on the map in the areas we visited. The wall map has a picture of some of the famous sights we’ve seen too, like the Taj Mahal, and we spent a while reminiscing about the monkeys, the colours, and the sounds of our trip to incredible India. When we look at photos together, they can prompt discussions about specific things captured in the photo, but the map is an open-ended aide-mémoire.”
You can find Helena’s blog over at babyfoote.com
We’ve been making colourful and detailed wall maps, and map-themed activities for families of all ages and interests for over 20 years, and we love seeing how our creations are being used and enjoyed in homes all over the world. Many of our maps are available with a personal touch for a gift that is truly unique and special to you.
You can browse our full collection of Map Gifts for Him over at www.mapsinternational.co.uk