So, you want to travel internationally with your kids??!!

So, you want to travel internationally with your kids??!!  Some may think you are crazy – I say just dream, plan and go!!  After many years of vacations in DisneyWorld, Scottsdale and Hawaii we decided it was time to start seeing the world.  Our first international trip was when our daughter was twelve and our son was nine.  A lot of questions went through my mind – Would the kids be able to make the transition from sleeping in and boogie boarding all day to getting up early, lots of walking and seeing the sites? Would we regret not resting on the beach??  Would they eat the food?  Would they enjoy the museums?  Could they handle the long plane ride?  We decided to just give it a go and see what happened – it worked for us and we have been traveling ever since!

A few important things to do for a kid/teen friendly trip:

  • Limit the number of museums you see in each city.   We did not see the Borghese on our first trip to Rome, saved it for the next trip.
  • Always plan stops for a treat – gelato in Rome, crepes in Paris.
  • Many European cities have fabulous parks – plan an afternoon there.
  • Be flexible – I always had an itinerary of what we would see each day, but was also flexible if we needed to divert from the plan.
  • Often tried to do one “adventurous” excursion on each trip – riding camels in Sahara, riding elephants in Thailand, trekking ice glaciers in Patagonia
  • Prepare them for the trip by having them read books or watch movies about where you are going (this works for adults too)
  • Let them be part of choosing your destination
  • Let them pick one thing they want to see in each city, or depending on their age, let them plan out an entire day
  • Consider a city trip to a North American city such as New York, Washington DC or San Francisco before you tackle overseas. See how they do there with restaurants, museums, walking, etc.

Most importantly, you know your kids best.  If you think they might be ready to handle it, well they probably are.  They may just surprise you as to what they will find on your travels that they love!!  And they will be anxious to throw those coins in the Trevi Fountain so they can be sure and return.


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12 responses to “Top Ten Tips for Traveling with Grandparents”

  1. Shirley Casperson says:

    Judy, What fun to read your blog. Your suggestions for traveling with Grandparents were excellent. I know your folks always enjoy the travels. How fortunate that you have been able to explore the world.

  2. Kate says:

    Good tips, Judy. Being that I have traveled with your parents and will again this summer, we’ll put some of your tips to use. I agree that your parents are very easy to travel with.

  3. Dave Seidman says:

    Fabulous tips for traveling with any extended family members! I’d love to borrow the grandparents you’re describing and travel some time. I think you’ve been spoiled – and that’s evident from your wonderful writing!

  4. Great advice.
    What is important is similar interests as well.
    I have a relative young family with 20 years separating each generation so all of us kids are now over 21 and grandpa loves to gamble so we’ve made many trips to Las Vegas together where we can all indulge our interests and even part ways after dinner when we want to go to shows – grandma wants to go to Celine Dion and we want to go to Cirque du Soleil for example.

    This year, however, is Hawaii. I am looking forward to what kind of blog posts that trip will generate next December.

  5. Michael says:

    Great tips! This post will definitely be a good reference for travellers who have the whole family with them. Some of the tips are also applicable to duos like us especially the points on considering everyone’s preferences on travel styles and deciding who gets to do the booking, researching and even tracking the expenses. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  6. Freya says:

    We have done this many times when the kids were younger and always had a fabulous time, all of us. Great tips & post.

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