My husband and I are world travellers. We’ve travelled together across France, Germany, Austria, Scotland, Italy, the Czech Republic and more, and we’ve loved every second. But with kids? I thought it would be a nightmare. What if the time change screwed up my daughter’s already screwed up sleeping patterns? What if they hated getting dragged here and there to the sights and we ended up stuck with two bored, miserable children and unable to see anything?
Then a few years ago my parents offered to take the entire family to Spain, all-expenses paid. How on earth can you say no to that? We said yes, and for my then two-year-old daughter’s very first trip on an airplane, she flew from Atlanta to Barcelona. It was there that I was relieved to learn my children love to travel as much as I do. All of it. The restaurants, the museums, the cathedrals – they’re game for anything and they behave like champs.
This is why I am fully confident that this June, when the four of us head to Paris, it will be the family trip of a lifetime.
For a family of four to travel anywhere is an enormous expense. We wouldn’t be going if my husband didn’t travel like an astronaut for work, thus allowing us to use his frequent flyer miles to secure four free tickets to Paris. (Thank you Delta!) Even with the free flights, it’s still expensive. Since we won’t be taking trips like these a lot, I’m trying to wrangle as much memorable experience out of the trip as possible, including the months leading up to it.
This is why I created a multimedia plan to get ready for our trip. From movies, to books, to puzzles and French 101, we’re having a blast these next few months teaching the kids a little about France and enjoying some French culture. I figured, why let the trip last for only ten days when we can create excitement leading up to it for weeks?
I thought you might like to take a peek at what we’ve been up to, since it may inspire you to do something similar the next time you take a trip.
Have you done something similar for one of your family vacations? If so, share your ideas! I’d love to get even more things for us to do before June.
Katherine Stone writes here at Babble as well as at her own blog on postpartum depression, called Postpartum Progress. You can also follow her on Twitter as she tweets inane things about her day, or learn more about her here.
Photo credits: Katherine Stone