Postscript to Our 2005 Vacation: Travel with Children

Travelling with an 8-year old is fine. Adi is independent enough and can even help out with some chores during travel. He carries his own things with his knapsack and listens to instructions. He can be asked to push the trolley at the airport and can watch his 3-year old sister, Ali as you attend to things.

Ali is another story altogether. Being a 3-year old, she is the one who is truly on vacation. No chores, no nothing. When she is asleep, your plans are put on hold. Then again, I don't think a vacation without the two of them would be half as fun. More restful perhaps but less interesting too.

Throughout our 6 straight days of bonding as a family, there are some things which I noted which may be of help to me (or to you) when planning future trips with kids, particularly those who are below 5 years old. Here goes:

1. Plan on just seeing one main attraction per day - Do not try to cram your day with too much. I know staying longer in one place means more expenses but you also would not want to run yourself down just to save some dollars. Young children cannot be rushed. If you try to do too much, they will end up tired and cranky and so will you, as parent.

2. Whatever time you think is needed for you to travel as an adult, multiply the time by two or three when travelling with kids - Before you embark on a trip, am sure you have some idea as to how long you can afford to be out, in terms of time and money. Well, if you think that 5 days is good for a certain place for adult travellers, make that 10 days when travelling with young children.

3. Be ready for anything - Keep an open mind and keep your sense of humor too. Ali, for example, always times her trip to the bathroom on the plane right when the plane is landing or when food is being served.

4. Room service is the way to go - when the kids are tired or asleep, you can always order food in your room and have a relaxed meal. The variety in terms of food may not be as much and of course, since you are in the hotel, food is more pricey -- but at least you can rest as you eat.

That ends our 2005 vacation series. Till the next trip in 2006. We plan to go to a place here in our beautiful country, the Philippines, so stay tuned. Just 10 months to a year to go!

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, May 25, 2005]


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