I thought this would be a great time to share something about me you probably don’t know! I love to travel. We were fortunate to live overseas for 5 years. We tried our hardest to use this time to its fullest and visited 21 different countries! We were always on the go! We did thousands of miles of traveling with a toddler and elementary child in tow.
Traveling with kids is often daunting. Making sure everything is packed and keeping kids entertained in an unfamiliar environment can be a monumental task, but the rewards are tremendous and well worth the effort! I love that my children see the world as small, nothing is out of their reach!
We carried a special bag in our back pack with a few very small toys and activities that we traded out frequently. The only time we used this was at dinner time. We quickly found that many countries have a much slower paced meal time that was difficult for small children. This little bag of tricks kept them entertained so we could savor the meal.
I also can’t say enough for children having their own pocket sketch book! Even a toddler can be encouraged to”sketch” their experiences!
We learned the more open minded we as parents were and how eagerly we met new experiences the better our children reacted to new situations.
Preserving our travel memories
From the first step off the plane we saw that the “need” for souvenirs would be great! We decided to choose one thing for each of us to collect. This was probably the best travel decision we ever made!
One son collected ink pens. Usually the kind filled with water and moving objects. These at the time were readily available all over the world. The only requirement for the pen was that it said the place we were visiting. My brother has built my son the most amazing display case to show off all of the pens. It is fun to see this collection grow and grow.
My other son, whom was a toddler at the time, started a postcard collection. We were worried that he would not remember most of these experiences, so for each place we visited we wrote a little about the day and mailed it home to ourselves. This was a simple way to keep a journal, with a built in picture and time stamp! As he got older we would have him write about the day, something we have continued into his teen years.
For my husband and myself, we collected beautifully decorated ceramic plates. Our wall of plates is now a focal point in our home. A simple walk through the room and a glance at the plates triggers a flood of wonderful memories!
Do you have special tricks and tips about family travel? Please do share in the comments!
Your kids might enjoy these fun games!