Start with one baby. Add a two-year old and a pre-teen boy. Two teenage girls. Last, mom and dad. Bake that for 7 months, 7 states, 3 countries, and 2,500 miles worth of travel distance and you get the Fourie Family.
Anyone can relate to the amount of preparation and effort the Fourie Fam puts into their trips, journey after journey. It’s all worth it though as mom and dad, Louise and Claude Fourie, have always believed in the benefits of exploration. “There is no better education than sharing this vast and beautiful world and all it has to offer with our children,” says Louise.
When Babierge caught wind of the Fourie Family’s epic travels we had to connect and see if we could come along for the ride. Just our luck, the family obliged and we hooked them up on their recent 4 month journey from Orlando to Arizona with strollers, car seats, toys, and much more.
“Last year we spent 5 months in the States traveling from Florida to Colorado. For that journey we needed a huge car to take all our stuff and our youngest baby wasn’t even born yet. When I think of how easy this journey has been and how we simply could not have managed without Babierge it makes me feel quite silly that we didn’t think of Babierge much sooner in our travel adventures! Plus, it was so fun getting to meet Babierge Trusted Partners who were very friendly and quite helpful with tips and travel hints for each area. ”
Showing the Fourie Fam how Babierge takes the stress out of family vacations was a pleasure, as partners in Orlando and San Antonio met the Family at the airport and other accommodations with car seats, strollers, toys, and other vital gear. We were happy to catch Louise on her return home in late January to hear about the latest trip, and collect some special family travel tips from these veteran travelers.
- Has the Fam really been on the road for 7 months?
We travelled for 5 months in 2016 and then embarked on our Going West Road Trip in December 2017 starting off in Orlando, Florida, driving across the southern States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally ending up in Las Vegas, Nevada. All in all we travelled over 2500 miles. We’re a travelling family so we spend a fair amount of time in the air or on the road.
- What was your favorite stop?
It’s been hard for us all to agree on a favorite destination. We’ve been travelling with the kids’ grandparents (Claude’s parents) and Claude’s dad is obsessed with cowboys and so naturally he loved the cowboy town of Tombstone, Arizona. My bucket-list destination was my favorite – the Grand Canyon. Claude loved a personalized wine tour in Sedona. Most of our kids love Orlando and all the kiddie entertainment and parks there.
- Funniest experience?
Late one night we decided to go take a dip in the hot tub at our resort in Orlando. When we got there we were disappointed to see two ladies already in the tub. But a few seconds later we saw a furry creature emerge from the bushes behind the tub and walk right up to the women. When the two ladies turned and saw it they shrieked, shot up, and bolted out of the tub screaming! After thanking the raccoon for his services we enjoyed the hot tub all to ourselves.
- Coolest experience?
Probably one of the coolest experiences we enjoyed this trip was racing sports cars in Las Vegas. We got to Drift Race in uber fast cars with a company called Dream Racing on a proper Racetrack – it has got to be one of the coolest experiences I ever had!
- What do the kids miss most about home?
Our kids are quite used to being away from home as we travel a lot, but if there’s one thing they miss the most about home it’s probably their own toys and games. It’s hard traveling with Xboxes, bicycles and skateboards but luckily they haven’t missed their toys too much as Babierge has supplied us with fun toys and games along our journey.
- Where is the Fourie Fam heading next?
After the States we head back to Italy for a spell and then hit the road again in a few months! We have a few European destinations and then we’ll be back in the USA to explore more of your beautiful country.
- Any thoughts about what else a family like theirs might need to rent (beyond baby gear, or gear we aren’t renting)? What do you wish you also had on your journey?
Babierge really did supply everything we needed to make this journey stress free and easy! I know our teenage kids would have loved some Video Games. We like the kids to fully experience the destinations we visit but quite often there’s nothing to do on a rainy day and some video games would go down really well with them – like an Xbox or Playstation.
- What types of things are their kids learning on these trips?
Our kids are well travelled. In fact our oldest daughter learnt to walk at an airport in Namibia. JP our 2 year old learnt to walk before flying out of Las Vegas. Besides learning to walk, our kids have discovered amazing things and learnt life skills that they would not have picked up in school or from the tv. Travelling is very much experiential learning which tends to cement certain facts and information a lot more permanently in the mind than some books do.
We believe strongly in learning from other cultures, we try to immerse ourselves as much as possible in every experience. On a recent trip to South Africa our children got to spend a day with traditional Zulu people. We ate Mopani worms and ground Maze into flour. Pierre learned to stick fight and Bali carried pots on her head. We learnt how we live is not how everyone else lives. It opens your eyes to how beautiful, different and sometimes difficult other people’s lives are.
- Are your children homeschooled?
When we’re on the road our kids participate in an American Home Schooling program that keeps them up to date with international studies. They also continue with their Italian schooling online with the help of their teachers back home who understand our lifestyle. Our children are bilingual and we hope to further increase their language skills.
- What was their favorite Babierge item during the trip?
Although the strollers were probably used the most I’ve got to say the kids probably enjoyed the toy packs the most as these kept them entertained the entire time. A new toy pack in every new destination? Just like Christmas!