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Here’s The One Reason Why Iya And Drew Arellano Bother To Travel With All Their Four Kids
  • Iya and Drew know exactly how crazy it can get to travel with many young kids, but they still do it anyway. Why? Because the Arellanos believe it’s not just a vacation the kids are getting. There’s a lot more to it.

    “I think these trips will be etched in their minds. And it will be so valuable and so priceless na it will just overshadow the most expensive toy that you will give to your kid,” Drew said.

    “Or even the hardships that you will go through in these trips," Iya said. "Traveling is the best education," Drew said.

    “Because every time we come back from a trip, napapansin natin na there’s something about them. We see how they’ve matured in that short span that they were on this trip. And it’s amazing,” she added.

    Drew is quick to answer that commenters often point out to them that traveling is only for the rich, because the Arellanos “have the budget”. But he says traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a big international trip, it could be local, it could be somewhere you can drive to.


    The one thing the Arellanos won’t do however, based also on their own experience, is to travel with a baby or toddler to a destination with a major time difference and for just a short stay. They said they once took 10-month-old Primo to the US and they were only staying for over a week. 

    RELATED: Drew Arellano Wants His Kids To Travel Because It's The Best Form Of Education

    Helping a young child adjust to the timezone was too much trouble—but as Drew says, Iya still managed to go Black Friday outlet shopping despite their challenges.

    Below are Iya and Drew’s tips for traveling with young kids:

    Drew and Iya's 6 tips to traveling with young kids

    1. Have a snack bag ready.

    “Importante ‘to guys” Iya said in their podcast Life with the Arellanos episode ‘How to travel with a lot of kids!’. It’s not just for making sure they don’t get hungry, which is step one in avoiding meltdowns.

    “Not just to fill the belly, but also for the pressure [in their ears],” Drew said. For kids or babies who might feel uncomfortable due to the pressure during take-off and landing, chewing and swallowing can help.

    Fortunately it’s not a problem for the Arellanos, according to Iya. “But it’s also to keep their mouth shut so that they’re not crying,” she said with a laugh.

    2. Use screens and gadgets without guilt, and make sure all devices are ready.

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    “This is probably the best time to whip out the gadgets,” Drew said. Waiting in lines, going from one end of an airport to another, or maybe even long car rides are when kids grow impatient. Iya says especially when it’s their first time traveling and they don’t understand the process, it’s natural that they have no patience for it.

    The Arellanos advice making sure devices are fully charged, to have extra battery packs, plus all the cables necessary within reach when in transit.

    RELATED: Traveling Is Good for Your Child's Brain and Can Make Her Better in School: Educators

    Choose games and shows that don’t require internet connection and ensure that you’ve downloaded everything before you travel, so you don’t get caught in a situation that could add frustration to your child because they’re not able to play or watch what you suggested.

    Drew’s expert tip: Some games require a minimum fee and as a dad, he chooses to pay for it because the free version sometimes has pop-up ads that are not kid friendly. “Minsan mas sulit na ‘eh. Ako, nagkaka-altapresyon ‘pag nakikita ko yung mga ads na nagpo-pop up sa free games eh.”

    3. Plan your entire trip in advance to avoid stress.

    Think about where you’re staying, where you’re going, what you’re doing, and where you’re eating. For the Arellanos, this is usually Drew’s task as the ‘biyahero’. But during a recent trip to Australia, Iya’s hometown, she took on the role of planning.


    “When you plan a trip well, it saves you from future stress. So it really pays to plan,” said Iya. She made sure to choose hotels that were close to the train stations and supermarkets.

    “Importante ang supermarkets because that’s where you’re going to get food and it saves you from having to buy food from the hotel that would be more expensive.

    The Arellanos buy bread, spreads, cereal, and water so their budget can go a longer way. And probably also tip number 1–to replenish on those snacks and drinks when you’re already on vacation.

    4. Include the mode of transport when you’re planning and always consider the local rules.

    Renting a car or taking the buses and trains? For the Arellanos, pubic transport was easier than renting a car because they wouldn’t all fit in one car. Plus Iya didn’t want the trouble of transferring kids in and out of strollers and car seats. (Always check the car seat law if you’re traveling internationally!)


    Iya says strollers are perfect for places that are PWD-friendly because you can be sure there are paths for your stroller, ramps, and elevators anywhere.

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    5. Do not underestimate the help of Lola.

    “Malaking bagay that Lola was there,” Drew said. Iya’s mom has vacationed with her daughter and her family and for Iya, it helped them be reminded of their kids’ little needs that they as parents can sometimes miss out on. “Having a Lola means an extra brain that reminds us of things that comfort the kids,” Iya said.

    6. Work together as a team.

    “Hindi na uso ngayon yung read between the lines,” Drew said. “Communicate. Tell each other what you need.”

    For Iya and Drew, that’s looked like taking turns with the kids so the other one could squeeze in a quick workout: one sleeps in while the other wakes up early to run. Later on he or she might take care of bathing the kids so the other parent can exercise.

    Read more about traveling with toddlers here.

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