Friday, July 15, 2011

tips to remember :: travelling with kids


this trip rolled out and along beautifully. the girls seem to be at a perfect age for international travel (so adventurous and excited about everything - and can carry their own bags!)

to do again:

:: erin's packing list template. brilliant.

:: consolidated packing. we took one large and one small suitcase with us. and each had one carry-on. (backpacks for the girls.) with London as our base we left the large one there - and took only the small to Kendal and Paris. perfect. that said, on leaving London we had to do a lot of shifting around to have all our bags within the accepted weight range. an extra bag would have made this easier. trade-off for less to carry.

:: house-sitting and apartment rental (through this site) both saved us money and put us into wonderful residential* neighborhoods. i think this added so much to the girls' experience.

:: lots of outdoor activities. fresh air and sunshine alleviated the worst of the time-difference issues.

:: shifting our day. we are usually up at 6 am and to bed at 830 pm peeps. most days this trip we slept a little later (9 am wake-up) and could be found eating dinner at 10 pm. this seemed to work well for all. and was thrilling for the girls to be walking around Paris at midnight! (alongside so many Parisians.)

:: lots of walking and lots of public transportation.

:: good walking shoes.

:: trains. train stations and rides are just as much an occasion for the girls as the other sites we took in.


i so believe that these experiences hold such value for all of us. more than any stuff we could ever own. while i have been dreaming of a new car i am returning happy to drive my old (fully paid for) one knowing that our dollars went to this trip instead.

one of the best books I've read "Hold On to Your Kids" talks a lot about the family vacation and its importance in building bonds. so great to see bonds strengthened between sisters and us as a foursome.

that - alongside the feeling that we are helping shape lifelong travellers ready to explore foreign countries makes me so very happy.

can't wait for our next advenuture.


*not completely residential per se, but not in hotel/tourist districts


Leslie said...

Couldn't agree more!! I value travel so much for all the same reasons!!! My car is 11 years old and paid for too so I put that "car payment" money in the trip fund. I have been working on a Rome trip for next summer and the research has been thrilling. I love to involve the girls in the planning too. Thanks for this wonderful look into your trip!!! That farm looks amazing and Paris is high on our list too!!

lisa s said...

yup. with you on the travel.
i can't wait for the little to be a bit older and carry her own bag !

trip looks like it was AMAZING. hurrah

Tracy said...

Hi Leslie :) Are you really going to Kendal in September? I'll email you our deets from our time there. Stayed at a great (family friendly!) B&B. And I love the idea of our "car payment $" going into a trip fund. Brilliant! xo
Lisa - she will be carrying her own bag before you know it :) xo

leslie said...

I will be in London with my mom this September and we are planning day trips out of the city so i will put Kendal on the list. I'd love any info you have on your trip, I am thinking that the next time we go to London with the girls that farm sounds amazing!! and i love the eurostar to paris idea too. i can't believe the first time i went from london to paris we had to take the train to the hoovercraft (sp??) to a train, took like 8 hours or something!!

house on hill road said...

did you really use the packing list? that makes me so happy!
and i know our girls are close to the same age...i agree that is a fantastic age for traveling! we've done nyc and london and i'd like to think france is next on the list, but it might be d.c. or a western u.s. road trip. i think leslie's car payment idea is brilliant - i only have 3 months left to pay on mine!!! ok, i could go on and glad you guys had a wonderful time!

Tracy said...

We did use it with the girls Erin! It makes a huge difference. In fact next trip I am going to use it for me too :)

Jennie said...

Could you send me some details on the place you rented in Paris? How was that website to use? We are looking at something like that over a hotel for the days we'll be there in Sept. Can't wait to see you guys!

Tracy said...

I'll email you. I would even recommend the same spot. xo