Kid-Friendly Travel — by Cyma
Vacation week. It’s taken me a while to catch on, but I’m now getting more and more clever.
Psssst. Get closer. I’ll let you in on my secret: IT’S MUCH EASIER TO TAKE CHILDREN OVERSEAS THAN IT IS TO TRAVEL WITHIN THIS COUNTRY.
Now, I know you’re laughing, or probably scrunching up your face, but consider this: last year we vacationed in North Carolina – nearly 800 miles away from our home in Connecticut. It took us TWO FULL days to get there; it was scorching hot; we heard nothing but belly-aching; we had to stop G-d knows how many times to empty someone’s bladder; were stuck in endless traffic jams, and by the time we got there, we were beyond pooped.
I spent days packing, at least one day unpacking, and literally just moved one week’s worth of toys, clothes, food, linens, etc. from Point A to Point B. Seven days later, I repeated this exercise in reverse.
This may have been somewhat of a vacation for my husband and children, but by the time we arrived home, I had lost years off my life and truly needed days to recouperate. Now, I needed a vacation.
When we fly overseas, we pack (yes, we take food, toys and clothing); drive to the airport; fly; drive from the airport to a destination a few hours away and stay put. From there we take simple day-trips; see things we’ve never seen; eat food we’ve never eaten and my children are usually very, very quiet. (Watch a 5 yr. old trying to understand or read Italian or French. They’re quiet and reserved; heck, they CAN”T FIGURE IT OUT!!)
So notwithstanding money issues, and a few preplanned future trips to Disneyland, Grand Canyon and San Francisco, I’m happy with this arrangement. More importantly, my children not only get to see the world, but realize that getting anywhere in the world isn’t fraught with dilemmas – it’s only a plane-ride away.
I dare you to try it.
Note: Cyma left with her family (her children are 5 & 7) for Belgium, France and Holland on 4/15. They have already been to Russia, Italy and Ireland.