In my opinion, travel is a gift. It’s a gift you give yourself and your kids. Because when you travel with kids, you all take a break from regularly scheduled life, gaining so many things: a mental break, a physical break, an opportunity expand your mind, and an opportunity to learn something new. And when you include your kids, the reward is amplified by a million.
Travel with Kids
The First Big Trip: NYC
The first time I took my kids on a special trip, we went to NYC the week before Christmas. Neither of them had been to NYC, and I was ecstatic to share one of my favorite cities with them! They both had very specific requests, including the Statue of Liberty, and I shared with you tips for touring in this post, The Rockefeller Christmas Tree, which I wrote about in this post, and….a cannoli in Little Italy. OK…that’s pretty specific.
But each request shed so much light on their blossoming personalities. My son is a lot like me: he wants to have a packed schedule every minute and see ALL the things. My daughter loves history, but also loves authentic experiences, thus the cannoli. I learned a great deal about them during those four days. We had a ball!
The Second Big Trip: London
On another tip, I took my kids to London between Christmas and New Year’s. The day we landed, my son and I were fighting the full-blown flu, and the overseas flight left us all pretty rung out. Once we checked into our apartment, which is how I like to stay abroad, as you know from this post, my son wanted to take some meds and go to sleep, but my daughter was so excited to see London. So, I gathered all my Super Mommy Strength, and we set off to enjoy High Tea in London. I encouraged her to learn to use the Tube, and also read our map to find the way, and she was so proud to take the lead!
We enjoyed a couple of hours at The Wallace Collection together, and this was her first time to be up close to real suits of armor, as well as her first High Tea experience, which I discussed in more detail in this post. On our way home, it was sprinkling, and we huddled together beneath the one umbrella we had between us, and giggled the entire time. Feeling better, my son assumed responsibility for mapping out our Tube travels for the remainder of our time in London. He also insisted we watch multiple episodes of Top Gear every night back at the apartment. I wouldn’t trade that experience for a zillion dollars! Travel with Kids is a Blessing!
The Third Big Trip: Paris
On another trip, I took my son and daughter to Paris. They were a little older, and this was their second time overseas. Again, they each had specific requests: The Mona Lisa, The Eiffel Tower….toy soldiers. Again, pretty specific. But not to worry! I knew of a wonderful toy soldier shop just outside the Palais Royale, and we spent almost two hours inside this tiny shop, as my son deliberated on which soldiers to select. The shop owner keeps an index card with the name of every single person who has EVER bought a soldier at his shop, with the exact description of the type of soldiers purchased. For the rest of my son’s life, he has his purchases “on file” so that he can add to his collection, well-informed.
The Most Recent Trip: Rome
More recently, I took my daughter to Rome. Sadly, my son was not able to go because of an important summer internship…and adulting, so he missed out. But my daughter and her step-brothers were able to go, and we had the best best best time! Having just finished her senior year of high school, which included a year of AP European History, which she LOVED, I thoroughly enjoyed watching her see with her own eyes, many of the sites she had previously only read about in books. Our wonderful guide, with whom I closely work and highly recommend and described in this post, commented on how interesting and thoughtful her questions were. Also, she has become my trusted Blogging Advisor, and assisted me and advised me on almost every aspect of our trip.
My step-sons were a ton of fun as well, and I appreciated their laser-focus on finding the perfect Italian pizza. Hey…a quest is a quest!
Yes, the pace is slower when you travel with kids. And yes, you might be making different dining or site seeing decisions when you bring the kids along, but watching them learn, and grow, and broaden their minds is worth it to me….and, perhaps….they taught me a thing or two also.
If you have not caught the theme of this post by now I’ll say it one last time. Travel With Kids!
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