Traveling with kids-Yay or Nay?

Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:59 PM
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Gia-topped for you...
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Old Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:58 AM
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Thank you Italybound! I love it. I feel so encouraged. Am emailing it to DH now. Thanks again!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:36 AM
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Hate to mention this, but lots of us live here with them, and just have to put up with it.
Seriously, when they we small, we limited ourselves a bit [tho' we did take first one to US with us for 3 weeks when she was 1 year old, and didn't find that she was too much of a nuisance]. Generally we stuck to the UK, though I vaguely remember Malta with 4 & 1 year old, and Mallorca with them when they were 7 & 3, but these wre very much "bucket and spade" hols, where we didn't travel round at all.
THe first touring we did with them was to Florida - disney, Fort Myers and the Keys, which worked well when they were 6 & 10. Then we got more ambitious, and went to France, just touring - no reservations at all, which got a bit hairy at times. Lately, we have tended to rent a gite for a week and tour there and back.
They seem to enjoy the different food, the sights, [not too many museums of gardens] the excitement of seeing new places. THey do not enjoy lots of long car journies, and moving on every night or so. or vinyards.
Until this year, We managed to arrange things so that wherever we went, there was a trip to a "theme park" - eg Parc asterix, Gardaland, Holiday park [in germany]. Then I was allowed my gardens and museums. This year we reckoned that Rome was one large theme park so at 18 & 15, they had to manage without.
My main tip would be not to be too ambitious, and to consider a holiday on one place, rather than touring around. One of the italian lakes would suit you all, IMO.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:27 AM
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My mom and grandmother took my sister and I (I was 11, my sister was 8) to London for the first time in 1988. I think by then, she knew we were good kids who would behave and weren't whiny brats
We had a fabulous time, and although my sister doesn't remember much of the trip, I remember quite a bit. And of course I appreciated it! I'm sure it started both my sister's and my love of travel.
My husband and I are set to go on our third trip to Europe in a couple of months (it will be my sixth) and my sister has traveled to quite a few places around the world, and currently lives in Ethiopia!
Travel made us independent thinkers, and I'm grateful that my parents, and especially my mom, made it part of our growing up experience.
I can't imagine going anywhere with a baby, but it seems others have done it!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Good point -jenandstephen - my parents took me to France and Germany on independent tours from when I was about 11-16; this gave me the confidence to travel by myself when I was a student, and to take my children later on. I hope that my kids will carry this on as they get older.
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Old Aug 24th, 2006, 10:46 PM
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Very interesting thread! We took our kids to Europe when they were 8, 10 and 14. We spent 6 nights in London and then a week driving up to Edinburgh and back. The kids enjoyed Hampton Court and loved Warwick Castle. Later when we said we were going to a castle, they asked, "Is this a real castle or a 'castle' with painted ceilings?" Later on we saw Neuschwanstein (sp?) and Versailles.

My mother-in-law also went with us (her reward for being a great, non-interfering m-i-l). In hotels we divided up three and three (usually "boys" and "girls&quot or four and two. This was in 1985--pre-internet, and it didn't occur to me to ask any of them what they wanted to see. Having them do research and help make decisions is a great idea.

Leaving England, we went to Belgium, took a short cruise down the Rhine (St. Goar to Bingen, just the right length). Dad and the 14-year-old went in the car. We stayed in Wengen and did the expensive Jungfrau train trip. Then we drove to Paris, where we spent four days before we flew home. As you can see, we were on the go, with many one-night stops. My husband and I always want to see as much as possible, and later I wished we'd spent a little more time in two to three places and left out another few places. However, this served as a good introduction for our kids. When our oldest went to Europe 8-10 years later with a college friend, he couldn't wait to show him the Bernese Oberland area, where they camped and hiked.

The kids were good travelling in the car (vans, actually, as we had six people), probably because we were constantly stopping to get snacks, wade in a lake, or visit some site. Our stop at Mad King Ludwig's castle was one such stop.

Two disconcerting notes: When I asked my daughter some months later (she was the 8-year-old) what she had liked best in Europe, she said, "Feeding the pigeons." Hmmm, for THAT we spent 3 1/2 weeks in Europe? And our 14-year-old commented after we got home that it would have been a great trip if he had gone with some friends instead of with his family. That is one of the main reasons the OP is advised not to wait too long!
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 12:16 AM
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 01:27 AM
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On our first international trip the children were 2 and 7. We spent almost two weeks in Paris and London, mostly seeing highlights and whetting our appetite for future travel. I did my research well, renting apartments instead of hotels, and leaving part of each afternoon for playtime. Some of our favorite photos from this trip are of the children playing in the Tuileries.

The whole vacation itself went well, I would say-we're a family that can travel well together. Even when our return flight was canceled and we spent a day at CDG (yuk!) trying to be rebooked, we all kept our heads about us.

Did the children appreciate it? Our then 7 year old loved Normandy, loved the small Matchbox-style cars we bought him at a Paris department store, and loved seeing the Tower of London. He also took a blank journal book with him to record his experience. The only memory our then 2 year old recalls is riding barefoot in her buggy through the Musee D'Orsay! Go figure.

Since then we've been stranded in NYC during a blizzard, and our oldest had to miss the first day of school when our Disney cruise ship was rerouted in that 4-hurricane year of 2004, and these adventures all add to their story-telling repertoire!

We just made our airline and apartment reservations for Rome in April, and the children (now 5 and 10) are so excited that I think they've forgotten about Christmas!

Make travel plans with the children.






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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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Unless your children are 14 years and over, forget it. They have other interests. Go to Florida and Disney World and they will enjoy it.
Europe is too beautiful to waste your time with children who have no interests in the arts, the architecture, the language and the culture.
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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I absolutely vote for taking your kids WHEREVER you want to go! Just recognize that the highlights for them may come from unexpected places. For example, our first overseas trip (apart from Canada) was to London, and my 11 yr. old daughter was in love with the square where they have the big lions and the fountains (see, I can't remember the name of the square, but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the trip!!) so we had to keep returning there!

When we went to Quebec City when they were younger (can't remember their ages), the highlight was seeing themselves on the security camera at the funicular! At first, I was getting upset that they weren't appreciating the sights as I was, but then I just relaxed, enjoyed the sights myself, and realized that they were enjoying the experience on their own terms (and there was alot for them to enjoy besides just being on camera!)

Believe it or not, it will not be long before you realize that your kids will be leaving home! And that they may want to do other things with their vacations (school-sponsored trips, camps, etc.).

While they were little, we returned yearly to the same vacation spots because it was so comfortable and enjoyable, but we made a determined effort to try something new every year at some point so we could bring many different experiences to them.



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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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You had a choice between a third kid and a Porsche and you picked the kid?

Sorry, don't think I can help.
 
Old Nov 19th, 2006, 06:02 AM
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I find the fact that any parent even asks this question rather disturbing. Your kids should be part of your everyday life. How about asking THEM if they wanna go?
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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I think it all depends on the kid, only you know if your child can handle the stress of travel or if they'll even be interested. I have one son and we took him to Italy when he was 12. Unfortunately, he waited to have his worst year of teenage attitude when he was 12 but we worked through it and he was even stoped in his tracks a few times with awe...
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