Travelling with kids: the reality and some tips

Your little 3-year old girl is the cutest one in the world. She is not one of the always-want-something kids, she is not crying so much (lately) and you notice some little things that show you how quickly she is growing up – she is not a little baby any more. And you have always dreamed about a trip to Paris, or Barcelona or New York, and you tell yourself that she is old enough. For God sake, even for a second you do not think about leaving without your little one. Ok, you are all done, obviously you are more than brave, as well, or just too delude: the time will show. After packing for hours, taking at least two suitcases for a long weekend in Paris, you are about to go to the airport. For now, everyone is calm, threateningly calm maybe. Well, the little kids are always really excited and somehow interested and amazed of flying. They do not really understand the whole concept of this activity and even less they understand the whole check-in and security check procedure. However, you are at the gate now, and your child out of nowhere becomes one of them, of those always-want-something-kids. She wants this toy from the duty free, she wants some candy and a juice, she wants to be in the plane, or out of it, she wants to fly and land, she wants to go home, she doesn’t want to wait in the queue, she doesn’t want to get the luggage, she wants to be home. Hm. The nightmare is just about to start. You somehow are going out of the airport and you are happy (or some mad kind of masochistic happiness) that you have spent your little one’s first flight ever together. You somehow are getting to the hotel, and then hopefully you fall asleep. This, however, is the most unproblematic scenario. You spend the following days with a lot of “Come here!”, “Don’t go on the streets/grass/bench/fence/other people’s feet”, “Don’t touch this/and that”, “Don’t scream, be silent” directions and you are then dreaming for one simple thing – being back home. You then talk about this trip, you remember the museum where she touched the precious painting and you were asked to leave or the church where she screamed so much that she made other kids cry. You remember enough things, to overthink the next trip, or to postpone it for some time.

Some tips:

  • Prepare millions of toys for the trip and always offer something different the moment you notice that your kids are getting bored, otherwise they will find something fun for them that is unfortunately frightening for you;
  •  Take your time and do not hurry. When you are with kids, you will always be late, so try not to arrange some appointments, or if you already have one always try to go earlier.
  • Leave them at home. It may sound mean, but in the reality there’s a chance that they are going to be happier in this situation.