Traveling with children – Heaven or Hell?
I’m sure you’ve all experienced this scene during one of your vacations…
…Parents shouting at their children, pulling them by their arm, children screaming , crying – everybody is unhappy.
It’s called a family vacation.
It’s a scene we’ve become so used to that we believe it is normal!
I’ve been traveling with my son, who now is 8 years old, ever since he was 2!
I love traveling with him and he’s a great travel companion to have around – he’s simply a joy and every trip has been an amazing adventure.
You might say; “It’s easy for you to say, you only have to take care of one. Try 2 or 3.”
Last year I was put to the ultimate test by taking 2 vacations, not only with my son, but I took two of his very best little friends along. One of those trips was a 7 day RV trip through California, Nevada and Arizona – just me and the 3 little guys who were 6, 7 and 8 years old then. The other vacation was during their summer break, also last year, and again, it was just me and the 3 boys. We spent 10 wonderful days on the island of Hawaii!
One of the most important things I learned: It’s their vacation too! We grown ups so often want it our way. I know I did.
Yes, there are some things I needed to plan, things that needed to be done, a schedule we had to follow etc. I discovered that sometimes I needed to put all that aside and I learned to listen to them. Often I was ready to go back to the RV or Vacation home and they were not. I could have asserted myself and created a drama, but I decided not to.
Instead, each time one of the little guys made a request I asked myself: Is it really necessary to do it my way right now in this moment? Most of the time I realized that it wasn’t, I just wanted to go back because I wanted to go back and the boys just wanted to have fun and enjoy themselves, after all it is their vacation too.
I’ve learned that children often have much better ideas for fun than adults who can be more rigid do! At the end of the day we all felt: This was a great day! By my respecting them throughout the day, they respected me when it came time to go to bed, when we needed to pack for our departure or get ready for our excursions.
Children have an amazing sense of simplicity. I’m in awe at the happiness that my son and his little friends experience by the pool all day, playing with their toys, jumping in the water, walking through the streets, picking up ice cream and just enjoying being together.
So here’s my traveling with children list:
- Be open to your children’s suggestions
- Include them in deciding what to do that day
- Do your best to detach from your “it has to be this way” rules
Try it on your next journey and let me know how it went! Post your feelings below!