Traveling with kids & what it teaches me

If you are a follower of ours on Facebook, you are probably aware that we just got back from a trip to the land down under. We travel with our kids quite a lot, it is an absolute priority of ours to show our kids the world and therefore teach them to be worldly people.  However, as I travel with my kids, I have been taught some things that are universal, no matter where you are, but are extra important when travelling.

Be patient: After we had arrived at our final destination, some 30 hours of plane and taxi rides later, the kids were a bit squirrely. Not surprising; and on that day, it was easy to be patient with them. But it was something I kept reminding myself. The self talk went something like this “you have just dragged the girl 1/2 the way around the world, and she is only 4. Deep breaths, and give her some time”.  We are always in such a hurry, to go here, go there, finish this, do that, but traveling gives us, as a family, time to move more slowly. Other than catching a plane at a certain time, there really is no reason to rush, so why worry about it?

Pack Snacks:  This seems like a no brainer, but there were definitely a few times we got caught without snacks, and 2 kids with crashing sugar levels. My ah-ha moment on this trip was to always keep some candies in my purse. Not that I ever have any intention of loading the kids up on candy, but a little shot of sugar allowed us to get out of a few impending meltdowns and therefore to a place where we could get real food. I was also starting to think that my 7 year old could do without me carrying snacks around for him. Nope! after a few hours of sun, sand and surf, food on hand was a necessity!

Take an umbrella & coat: My husband and I have a running joke that we always travel to rainy places, and never pack an umbrella! Sydney was no exception. On day 2, we had to buy a couple of umbrellas or we would not have been able to continue on with our plans for the day. Like snacks, you can never go wrong with a coat and umbrella. If you don’t need them, you can tie a coat around your waist and put the umbrella in a bag, but if you don’t have them, it can ruin your whole day.

Be curious: My son constantly teaches me this lesson. He is a very inquisitive person, and he’s not asking to be a pain, he genuinely wants to know how things work and why things happen the way they happen. Watching him absorb as much marine biology from the reef walk guide as he possibly could prompted me to ask my own questions, and so I learned new things as well!  So that weird bug or plant the kids are poking at? Bring it home, look it up on Google and foster that curiosity.

Have fun: We found an amazing park in Sydney, huge slide, giant swing, massive rope climbing course. Because we had taken the time on the holiday to slow down, we stopped at the park and simply played, just for the fun of it. When you let yourself be a kid again, you remember just how fun slides and swings and racing across the park, just because, can be. You are surrounded all day by the best teachers there are for having fun. Learn from them :)

What lessons do kids teach you? Share in our comments section, or like us and comment on our Facebook wall

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