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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8 responses to “Traveling Abroad for Christmas”

  1. Some great tips 😉
    We now always go away for Christmas and New Year. We started to feel that we were expected to do the same things every year with friends and family – and so started to travel. Always escaping a cold, grey and wintery London for some sun, beach or pool. As you say, the key is to go with the flow and agree some small bits that you do to make the day Christmas – but see the trip as the present! Nothing can beat that 😉

  2. One year we went to Hawaii. Shane was 2 so we just had Christmas two days early. He didn’t know. Conor was 9 and old enough to play along. Once we got there we did NOTHING related to Christmas, even on Christmas day! Usually we stay home though!

  3. Fairlie says:

    We’re travelling to Vietnam this December and will be in Hoi An for Christmas. I’ve found your posts very helpful for ideas of what to do etc! (I found them by googling ‘Christmas in Hoi An’. The Church that you mentioned that had a Christmas pageant (I think that was in one of your other posts)…do you remember what it was called or where it was?

    Your post is excellent about the logistics of travelling at Christmas. We’re Australian and spent Christmas four years ago in New York. It was a fantastic experience!

    (I thought I’d left this comment a few days ago…but it doesn’t seem to have appeared)

    • Judy Gambee says:

      Sorry for the delay, we were out of town for a few days. The church is called the Hoi An Cathedral. It is located on the corner of Nguyen Truong To and Le Hong Phong north of the town center, but not too far to walk from the main part of downtown. Glad you enjoyed the post. Have a fabulous time in Vietnam this Christmas!! Christmas in New York must have been amazing as well!!

  4. Fairlie says:

    Hi! Me again…albeit on a different website. Just letting you know that I’m currently writing a blog post about spending Christmas abroad and I’ll be including a link to this post as it was so helpful in our planning for Christmas in Hoi An! Have a lovely Christmas 2014!

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