Kids bring joy to our lives, their innocence, their sense of wonder and their playful attitude towards life. However traveling with kids is a big headache. Taking all their stuff with you, needing to be more vigilant in a new place and having to cut some days short because of illness or tiredness makes it even harder to travel with them. Today I am going to write about a memory of a holiday way back to when I was about 8 years old. Today I realize that I was a nightmare on that day and I want to thank my parents for being patient with me and not leaving me behind (no that they would do that).
A Day in Venice
18 years ago, I went abroad for the first time in my life. For an 8 year old, it was a very exciting prospect (not that it is not exciting now as well)…going on a plane, being somewhere new where people looked and sounded different, being so far away from home (in hind sight, Italy is not that far away from home but anyways). I remember packing my favorite outfits and my favorite shoes, feeling excited because I was going to Italy. We had a whole week planned (thanks to my father) to visit different cities. We were most excited to go to Gardaland, a fun park with a lot of rides and a child’s dream (next to a Disney park). The next day we went to Venice.
What a beautiful city Venice is. The canals, the architecture, the sights, the gondolas! But all of these were lost on two young children who only wanted to play. My brother and I, 6 and 8 respectively, spent almost a whole day in a bad mood, getting on my parents’ nerves. I remember seeing the Duomo Di San Marco and the square in front of it. I remember giving seeds to the pigeons in the middle of the square and walking around the narrow streets of Venice. Looking back, I wish I appreciated more where I was and what I was doing, but a hard-headed 8 year old me decided not to enjoy it. We had lunch under the Rialto bridge with gondolas passing next to us. The 28-year-old me appreciates how magical that must have been. Our mood lightened only after my parents bought us two Toy Story dolls from the Disney store but then it was nearly time to go back to the hotel.
Children might not remember everything about a trip but rest assured that they will appreciate travelling when they are older. I think that traveling when very young instills in the child a desire to wander as well as giving them courage to follow other opportunities away from home. Yes it might be some hassle to travel with young children but they will learn that the world is a much bigger place than their home.
Saving money on trips with children is a bit harder than when traveling alone. Some tips for lowering the price and having a more relaxing holiday with kids:
- Looking for family tickets for attractions you might be visiting
- If the children are fussy eaters, look for something they like and avoid fancy restaurants as you might end up wasting a whole meal
- If budget is really tight, try sleeping in one bed
- Big parks are expensive but they will have family tickets
- Pack light to avoid paying for extra luggage (stuff you can find abroad and might take a lot of space in your luggage, buy them from there)
- Do take with you a favorite toy so that the child can share the experience with their prized possession
- If the child is fussy on the plane because of the pressure, either use a decongestant spray during the flight or ask the flight attendant for a glass of warm water and make the child breathe into it
Until next time, stay safe, relax and plan a trip with your child to show them the world.