JourneyWomen Elizabeth Young and Alba Arboleda, writers for
Travel for Kids, are two women with families of their own,
who have travelled extensively around the world. We asked
these experts to offer their advice regarding keeping kids
interested while on the road. The following tips are their
contribution to Journeywoman.com. We thank them and suggest
you visit their website www.travelforkids.com
for many more interesting fun and funky ideas.
you're like most families, when you travel you take lots of
pictures. That's one of the ways we keep memories of our trips
� snapshots and videos, maybe a T-shirt or a nice sweater.
are lots of other ways to make the memory stay alive, ways
that can be unique for each member of the family. For example,
you could get a child interested in a low-cost collection,
a reminder of places visited.
a "rock hound" can be as simple as looking for a special
pebble to collect on a beach, by a river, on a hike
� or it can be more formal, searching for specific minerals
and gems, and going to gem collector shops in the towns
and cities you visit. Almost all of these shops have
local, polished stones that can be bought very inexpensively,
some for under a dollar. (Bring along small plastic
bags to label and organize your rocks.)
loves getting a letter or postcard in the mail. Help
your kids gather up the addresses of people special
to them (school friends, soccer or Girl Scout buddies,
cousins, piano teacher?) At special places along the
trip, let them pick out a postcard or two to mail home.
If you're visiting 10 places and there are 20 people
on a child's list, suggest mailing two from each location.
Writing a note to a friend back home will cause child
think about the trip as they go. When you get home,
ask if you can make a copy of the postcards for a child's
Have children mail themselves postcards along the way,
as a kind of journal. When
they get home, they'll have a stack waiting for them,
reminding them of their experiences!
your itinerary (hotel addresses) to special friends
� and suggest they send cards well in advance of your
arrival. It's very exciting for a child to find a letter
or card from a friend back home when they check into
a strange town.
collecting and key chains...
time a child sends a postcard home, a stamp or two has
to be bought. Why not keep duplicates? Take along a
few stamp collecting sheets and let the kids save a
stamp for each one sent home.
love to decorate their backpacks for school with key
chains. Any country has a wonderful selection of goodies
on key chains, so stock up. We have a whole collection
of Mayan pyramids, Finnish moose, Dutch wooden shoes,
English crowns, Guatemalan carved animals, Scottish
Nessies, Russian eggs etc. What a fun way to remember
your kitchen is like ours, refrigerator magnets decorate
magnetic boards or fridge doors. Collect refrigerator
magnets on your trip. Back home, the magnets become
a collage of images and textures, each one a unique
reminder for your child of something special from your
may be traveling in summer, but look for holiday ornaments
while shopping for souvenirs. In London, at the gift
shop in St. Paul's cathedral, we found embroidered cloth
ornaments � a black London taxi, a red telephone booth,
a golden tower of London. In Ecuador, there's so many
bread dough Christmas ornaments to choose from (just
pack them carefully). In December, when you decorate
the tree, your ornaments from far places will shine
Finally, if a child
already has a collection of model horses, cars, or dolls,
tea cups, etc. you can continue the collection while
Those long haul
flights are grueling, and being stuck in the back seat
of the family car on a road trip isn't much better.
Well, things are about to get better. NineBlue's Kids'
Travel Kit has puzzles, dot-to-dots, coloring and more,
and best of all it's free. Just scroll down to the bottom
and download, print, and pack. Don't forget to bring
along some crayons and pencils.
(Source: Travel for Kids, � 2003 Globetracks, Inc.)