Monday, November 30, 2009

Traveling With Kids When Alone

Many of my friends say, "What???? You are taking all three of your kids and going where...???" It's true. I am not afraid to travel with the kids, but let's just say that I have figured out what seems to work best. I am going to provide you with my list of thoughts on this. Trust me, I learned a lot of these the hard way.

1. Cruises are the easiest. There is free daycare and kids programs so that as the adult you can have some time to yourself.

2. Soda is not free on the ships even though the food is. I tell my kids that they can't have pop on the cruise. I occasionally buy them one when we are on land.

3. The food is mediocre. I have been on 3 different cruise lines, and none of them are very good. It's not so bad that you shouldn't go, but just know you will be eating at the eqivalent of the Hometown Buffet for your vacation.

4. The spas and gyms are nice on the ships. The rooms are quite small and have bunkbeds.

5. Don't sign up for the excursions on the ship, buy your own when you get off.

6. Don't take your kids somewhere where you are going to struggle with wanting to do your own thing. This happened to me once in Hawaii when I wanted to drink a glass of wine with my friend and watch the sun set. My daughter Lily decided she wanted to swim. Guess how relaxing that sunset was?????

7. Buy your kids a book to read while traveling so that they have something to do when you are riding on public transportation.

8. Don't take your child who doesn't like to walk a lot to a place where there is a lot of walking. (Go ahead and laugh, but this can really cause stress)

9. Give your kids a set amount of money so that they can decide what they want to buy and when their money is gone, they are done buying. I give my kids $20. each. This will buy them snacks and small things I won't buy at the time.

10. Airlines are charging for suitcases now, so pack accordingly. If I am going to check in a suitcase I make sure it's a big one so that I have room to buy things.

11. Read about the place you are going with your kids ahead of time so that they know where they are going and its significance.

12. Don't travel again until your credit card is paid off from the first one.

13. Look at the deals Costco has on trips. A friend of mine got a great deal for Hawaii.

14. Make sure you show your kids a variety of things. Check out historical things, natural beauty, cities, and rural areas. Don't just go to the beach. Take a good look around and help them foster an appreciation for the different places and people of the world.