Many adults are overwhelmed when planning a vacation two hours away, let alone heading to a country half way across the world. Imagine how a child feels when then are told they will be traveling to a foreign country. Children thrive on routine, so imagine the anxiety when they are told they will be leaving the comforts of home to visit a new place where people don’t speak their language, and live a lifestyle different from their own. There are many ways to prepare your children for what they will experience, hopefully alaying their fears well before heading to the airport. Continue reading
In our family, there is meal time, and there is snack time, and it often feels more importance is given to the latter. We have found that nothing satisfies a child (or adult) on the verge of a meltdown more than a quality snack. Here are some of our favorite choices for snacks on the go. Some of these work best if you have a cooler and don’t have to deal with TSA, others work well with any mode of transportation. Hopefully, even the pickiest of eaters and most food allergy sufferers will find something to satisfy them on this list.
One of the reasons parents hesitate to take long plane journeys with their children has to do with not only the plane ride (and the cost), but also dealing with the unknown when it comes to adjusting to jet lag. Over the years, we have learned many tricks to make the adjustment easier for everyone in the family. We feel it is much easier to fly from east to west, when the only significant change we make is keeping the kids up to their typical bed time on the local clock. When you fly from west to east, things can get more complicated, so here are some quick tips to help prevent jet lag (and potential meltdowns) on your next adventure.
A summer road trip is a right of passage for many American families. It is a time for families to spend hours on end enjoying one another’s company, playing games, seeing new sights, and creating memories. Some people might see it this way, but for me, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. It is an endless journey of complaining, hungry, tired children, who expect me to perform miracles of making the car drive faster and entertain them with every trick I know. Honestly, this is not how I want to travel. My husband however, loves road trips. We usually end up making at least one road trip each year and have learned many things along the way. The longest car ride was from Chicago to San Antonio, and I have sworn I will never, ever, travel that far in a car with three children again. I am sure the kids enjoyed the vacation, but it was a LONG trip and I certainly needed my own vacation once we returned. Continue reading
When I think back on my first trip abroad, I am amazed I even survived. There were no cell phones (we used calling cards), no e-mail (snail mail had to suffice), no fancy translators (I had to use phrasebooks and fancy hand signals to communicate), and I had to read paper maps! Travel today is delightful compared to twenty years ago, but we have become more dependent on technology as we travel the globe. I hate to think what would happen if we ever lost our phones on vacation, but I know the apps we have found help us on every step of our journey, and we would truly be lost without them!
We have always questioned, when is the “right” time to take our children to the nation’s capitol? When will they take away the most from the experience? Will they be able to enjoy all of the museums and understand the history or will it just be a wasted effort? We did wait until the kids were older, but found we didn’t need to since there is so much for kids to enjoy in D.C. regardless of their age. One of the most attractive things about this city is that many sights are free, so if you kid throws a major tantrum or complains of boredom, you won’t feel guilty leaving and returning later (or saving it for another time).
Washington, D.C. is fairly simple to navigate due to the numerous recognizable monuments located throughout the city. It is very helpful to use them as navigation points if you are ever lost. Most of the Smithsonian museums and major monuments are centrally located along “The Mall” which heads west away from the Capitol Building. You can walk to the sights, take a tour bus, ride a boat, use the metro, or even borrow a bike. However you get there is up to you, but know that getting there is half the fun. Just be sure to bring your comfortable walking shoes.
10 Things to See and Do in Washington, D.C. with Kids
When you travel as a family there is a lot of planning involved, along with a lot of gear. However, when you travel frequently, you learn to scale down and bring only the necessities in your bag. Over the years we have come up with a set list of essentials we never leave home without. I’m not talking about the usual toiletries, medicine, and clothes, but those items that always travel with us. The next time you get ready to head out the door, you might want to throw these in for good measure.