Driving through scenic routes, checking out eerie buildings, walking through a lava tube, watching whales of the great pacific, taking an open jeep safari into a wildlife sanctury, trekking more than a couple of miles to see elephant seals at their breeding station, looking down from swooning heights, strolling through crowded markets... the list could go on. We've been there, done that. What's more -- all that with a tot in tow.
Travelling with a kid or twoWe've been parents for close to half a dozen years now and the travelling hasn't slowed down one bit. In fact most of it has happened since then. In the 60-odd months of travel we managed to do, we've been checking off all kinds of points on our travel to-do lists. Luckily for us, we have a little one who is fascinated by almost everything he sees. His curiosity for just about anything under the sun makes it easier to try different destinations every time we get 'the itch.'
The Challenges and the Beauty of it
Travelling with kids is not as easy as travelling with just a partner or as as carefree as solo travel. But it has its beauty -- of travelling as a family, strengthening bonds and more than anything else sharing the experience of a new place and learning some lessons together. A few months back the little big brother asked me when we were going to Hawaii again and I said, "I'm game for it, any time. Ask your dad." Soon I heard daddy ask, "We've been there already, haven't we?" Pat came his explanation, "But my sister hasn't been there."
Just what could you say to that? :)
Apart from that, I've found travelling with kids to be more enriching. The things they notice! The beauty they see in the simple things of life often brings out the hidden child in us. And the questions they ask make us look into things deeper and understand them on another level.
Something for everybody and something special for you-know-whoThe husband and I do like travelling. Thank Goodness! However there are the differences in interests but we've made them work; sometimes with little effort, sometimes a few arguments later. Now that we've got little travel companions, their interests too have to be incorporated in the larger scheme of things.
Even though the boy is interested in most of the things we agree to do, we try to sprinkle our itineraries with things small kids like to do; like carousel rides, joyrides in toy trains and trams, a happy-meal from time to time, picking up souvenirs just for him, posing with silly cartoon characters or sticking our faces into animal cut outs and all. Even ice cream and cookies go a long way.
Bringing up a traveller(some tips and tricks that worked for us)
- I genuinely believe that lots of Travel is one of the best things we can give to our little ones. So much learning happens in the places and people and food that we come across during our family trips. They will always treasure the memories and maybe even grow into sensible travellers.
- I have the habit of picking up travel guides/brochures and all kinds of travel pamphlets that tell me more about a destination or a particular attraction we will be visiting. I sometimes pick up an extra copy for my little traveller to go through and he feels uber-important. And guess what -- now, browsing through those booklets comes naturally to him. I have to add that he loves to pore over maps. I'm not kidding, there.
- Looking at pictures together after the trip is a very satisfying experience. There's nothing quite like junior recollecting the little details of the adventure and often saying certain sights were 'so cool.' Or saying that that was a really good holiday. Looks like he is also beginning to get tipsy from the trips.
- Getting kids their own travel accessories seems to be very rewarding. The eagerness to use them and excitement of pretending to do it all like mommy or daddy is priceless. I love how sunny boy lifts up his sunglasses and places it on his forehead just like daddy does when he poses for a picture or how he 'clicks' away like mommy does. I say photographs are the best souvenirs you can take back from a trip and I swell with pride when the little one gets into photographer mode. One of the best gifts we have given our little traveller is a V-tech digital camera (for kids) that he can take pictures with and actually transfer them into a computer. I believe it has made him a more conscious traveller.
I take my sunglasses off to Club Mahindra for coming up with Teddy Travelogues. What a great idea it is to come up with a collection of travelogues by kids for kids. I would love to see my little ones get into travel writing in the future. This looks like a great way to get them started. Thank you Club Mahindra for opening up that avenue for tomorrow's travel writers, travel bloggers and travel enthusiasts.