start travelling with kids?

Old Nov 23rd, 2000, 05:30 PM
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start travelling with kids?

My daughter is 6 months old and I recently came back from a trip visiting family about 5 hours away (by air). It worked out fine but my kid was ballistic on the flight in and the trip was overall very tring for me and I hardly ever left the house, except for an evening stroll. I was glad that I didn't plan any holdiay- type trips with her yet! Howver, I have been planning a trip when she will be about a year and a half to Tuscany, renting a villa.I know there have been discussions on the subject, but when do you think is a good time to start travelling for holidays with kid/s?
Old Nov 23rd, 2000, 10:17 PM
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Our son is sixteen-months old and we have travelled extensively with him since he was just seven weeks old. I think it is never too early to start. By now he has already been to eight countries on three continents. You are right that it is VERY tiring. We no longer sleep in on holidays. We've also learned that naps are SACRED. The times we've tried to skip a nap in order to rush to more place site have been disastrous. And we find that we need much more down time and much, much more luggage! On the other hand, we love traveling with him -- especially internationally. It gives us a chance to have many more interactions with local people than we usually would have.

We were in Tuscany just before we had our son and I think it would be a good place to go with children. You'd have a base so you wouldn't be changing hotels every day and you could get into a good routine (i.e. regular naps) with your daughter. Good luck and let me know if you ever want to exchange tips!
Old Nov 24th, 2000, 07:20 AM
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The consensus of Fodorites is that kids are old enough for demanding international travel when (1) they are old enough to handle their own luggage, or (2) when their parents are committed to putting in the extra effort to make sure the kids don't ever disturb others, no matter how inconvenient this job is for the parents.

Now, if we apply those rules to you, it is clear that a trip to Italy with an 18-month old will be far more than you can handle. Six months old is a breeze compared to 18 months. Skip the villa and pick a great vacation spot closer to home.

Be responsible, please. That's all we ask.
Old Nov 24th, 2000, 08:29 AM
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My own experiance was when my son was 9 months old we took him camping with us in a motorhome. As he got older we went camping in tents, tent trailser etc. When he was 6 we drove around the country in a modified van. We managed to see 47 states, parts of Canada and Mexico as he grew up. As he hit college he was to engrosed to travel much. Now that he is in grad school with a scolership I've started traveling in Europe again and I'm taking him with me to the British Isles in 2 years. There are so many beautiful and interesting areas to visit in the US and he remembers most of them and it enriched all of us. The short version is that we arrainged the length of our trips to match his ability to enjoy them. Remember that if your child goes ballistic on an airplane, you may be spoining trips for many others.
Old Nov 24th, 2000, 09:20 AM
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It's never too early. I've been traveling internationally with my son since he was a year old. At seven, he now helps pack his own bags, practices foreign phrase, and generally is a pleasure to travel with.
Italy is a good choice when traveling with children, and a villa is an excellent idea. Get your daughter on a schedule, and you'll be able to go signtseeing when she's in a good mood, and return to the villa for a nap before her patience runs out.
The big issue you need to address is: Why is your daughter unhappy on the airplane? Does she want to move around more? Do her ears hurt? Is she suffering from motion sickness? To remedy the first, pack plenty of books and toys so you can keep her amused in her seat. A book of hand-games (like patty-cake) that you can teach her while on the plane may also help. For the second two, consult your pediatrician. You can get good prescription antinauseants for young children, and recomendations on how to alleviate ear pain.
Also, talking about the trip in advance can help alleviate a child's anxiety, which improves behavior no end. Get pictures of the villa and any places you want to go, so you can talk to her about what will happen on vacation. Look at pictures of airplanes, and get story books about children who take trips. You can start this about a month before you plan to travel.
Old Nov 24th, 2000, 10:07 AM
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We have been travelling both domestically and internationally with our daughter since age 6 mos. The best training for long plane flights is long car rides. Rule of thumb: if you and she can't do 6 hours in a car HAPPILY, you can't do 6 on a plane. Ours could at 18 mos. but she was a placid and ahppy car traveller,too. The really good news, in June we are joining our daughter, who is a school in Italy and now fluently Italian, and SHE will show US her Rome as we once shared "our' London, Salzburg, and NYC. The investment of patient training in being a good and responsible trqaveller today will earn rewards in your childs life and your own in the future.
Old Nov 24th, 2000, 11:50 AM
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When my son was an infant I took him a lot of places because he was a really good baby. Since he was my first I didn't want to leave him with a sitter. So we took him the theaters, restuarants, etc. He was always well behaved and didn't disturb others. Four years later My daughter was born who cried and screamed from the time she was born until she was about 18 months old. So I rarely took her anywhere. Now that the kids are 12 and 16 my son likes to go out and loves to travel. My daughter is very much of a homebody. So My message is take your baby out a lot while you are home to get her used to being in public places and around a lot of people. Take her to restaurants, theaters, malls, etc.

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