need much advice on travel with 2 children

Jan 16th, 2006, 06:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
need much advice on travel with 2 children

I am taking my 6yo and 12yo to South Africa in February. We will be seeing Capetown,Jo'burg, Pilanesburg, etc. I am trying to work out the logistics in my head of handling the luggage, cameras, etc on my own. My 12yo has a mild intellectual delay, so I cant really give him the responsibility or free roam of an average 12yo.
1.I really need a good camera that is lightweight but able to capture great still and some movies.

2.Should I pack snacks from home (eg fruit rollups,juice boxes) since they can both be picky eaters?

I would appreciate any advice as this is the first "big" trip I am taking them on. Neither has been out of the US before.


cypmama is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 01:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,089
The food issue - when we went to Egypt we had great concern about that our picky eater 16 year old son would starve to death. (Just another mother paranoia thing). He brought nutritious packable foods - a jar of peanut butter, crackers, trail mix. We never touched them.

While I can't speak directly about SA, even in Egypt we found there was always something he would eat - for example, the bread was wonderful everywhere. The last day we bartered our leftover foodstuffs for junky trinkets on the street.

A realistic concern is food in transit - while overseas airlines still feed passengers, your kids may not like that food. Airport connections, time changes, tarmac delays, etc. in my opinion necessitate everyone traveling these days with some sort of food with them - and a hungry kid on a long flight would ruin the trip for all concerned.

Luggage - make sure they each have a wheeled suitcase that they can handle themselves. Even the 6 year old should be able to wheel a smaller one. Tie identical ribbons/scarves on each piece. Kids don't care if they wear the same clothes multiple days, so pack as light as possible.

Give the kids disposable cameras and let them have some fun with them - can't give you advice about camera for you, but make sure you bring a back-up, even if it is only a few more disposable ones.
gail is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Juice boxes are available in every grocery store and cafe (which is the SA word for convenience store, and is pronounced caffey, not like the French cafe) in South Africa. So is peanut butter. I don't know about things like fruit roll-ups. Restaurant food is not very different from US restaurants, except that the Pizza Hut has a wine list. Some US fast food chains have SA branches, but you can also get good and different take-away items like samozas - a sort of spicy ground meat thing wrapped in a dough triangle. I don't think the food will be too weird for them.

I agree that you should take food for when in transit.

Have a wonderful time!

Celia is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
I travel with a six year old and a nine year old. Trans -Atlantic is a challenge, waiting in the airport a night mare. I suggest colouring pens and a scrap book. Loads of snacks, don't know about your kids tastes, but mine can pig out on gold fish...

then for the flight, a huge dose of sleeping pills (for me that is!!) No really I chatted with my family physician and give the kids a dose of some mild medication, works wonders for the long haul flight.

In country..this shouldn't be too much of a challenge, SA has has great grocery stores and you can pick up stuff as needed: This could be great time to introduce your kids to SA's favourite snack meat, biltong and droewors.

Luggage, porters will be at the airports if needed and unlike most international airports SA provides plenty free trolleys.
mkhonzo is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 148
I don't want to sound too harsh, but part of the value of travel is experiencing the country--including the food. Which in SA is a pleasure and not a problem. Forget bringing food, juice, snacks, etc. Perhaps it's time to get beyond the "picky eaters" thing. Look, if they don't want to eat, they probably don't NEED to eat.

I hope you have a great trip! Having your kids experience a trip to Africa at such a young age is wonderful. Do take them on one of the (organized) tours of Soweto or the Cape Flats. I think it does children good for the rest of their lives to see how other children in the world live.
ddgattina is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 83
I totally understand your concerns. I am going on my third trip to Africa in September, however, this will be my first trip with my 9 year old son. He, too, is a picky eater. I'm trying not to worry about the food issue -- he'll at least eat the bakery items at the safari lodges (not exactly healthy, but will satisfy him in a crunch). I'm more concerned about the beverage issue -- he's a big milk drinker and not in to juices or water.

As far as the camera issue, we just bought a Canon Power Shot 550. It's very small, but takes great stills and short movies. We bought it at Hope this helps!
travelwmn is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Travelwmn, milk is normally sold in boxes on the shelf, not refrigerated, in SA stores. It's treated like juice, so it doesn't need to be kept cold until after it's opened. If you're traveling on your own, you can have a couple of boxes in the car and open as needed. If you're in a lodge in the boonies, they'll have plenty of milk, I'm sure.

Celia is offline  

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