Are you considering in doing the Camino with your children? The good news is the Way to Santiago is kids friendly as long as you plan your journey in advance and of course find the adequate accommodations.
Walking the Camino de Santiago with family during the holidays is healthy, fun and a very educational choice. But to ensure a pleasant and safe journey, it is important that you take into consideration some rules.
The level of hardness and difficulty during the journey can be adapted to each person. The main thing you should consider when planning the route is to adapt the difficulty to the skills and resistance of the children.
Most specialists recommend not to take children younger than 3 years old to do the Camino, and it is advisable to carry a mountain stroller if your child is less than 6 years old. It will be of great help when the child is tired or sleepy.
Regarding the length of the stages, they could be longer or shorter depending on the age of the children, but they should never exceed 9 miles.
For children between 6 and 12 years old:
- You should walk short stages, specially the first days of the journey, and you must stop for 5 minutes every hour to rest and get hydrated.
- It is better to do your daily walks only during the morning time; this is to avoid the sun on the hottest hours of the day.
- The French way is the most appropriate route for children, due to the abundance of facilities and shelters available.
- One good option is to do the last 100 kilometers of the French Way. You will qualify to get the Compostela, and the distance is a fairly short journey. This tour from Sarria to Santiago is ideal for enjoying with children.
As the adults, children also have to prepare in advance to walk the Camino. Some advices are:
- At least two months before the trip, you should start doing short walks and hiking routes. Beginning with short tours and, little by little, increasing the length.
- Children should adapt to their shoes before starting the Camino. This way they will avoid blisters during the journey. It is highly advisable to buy the boots or shoes well in advance so that the children can get used to them.
- If the child is going to carry his / her own backpack, it is important that he / she carry it on the previous training.
If you do not have the time, or do not know the Camino de Santiago very well, a great option is to choose a company to organize your journey. There are many agencies that offer this type of service, especially for families who want to walk the famous Camino the Santiago.
“Your Way to Santiago” is at your service to plan your journey.