how to travel with tweens

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to take a European vacation with my tween sons. For 19 glorious days we explored the sights, enjoyed our time together, and made lasting memories. To this day, we still find ourselves talking about something we did, saw, or ate. We definitely had a few missteps early on-from activities they found boring to food they thought was weird-but we soon found our footing and had a truly fantastic time. What I learned traveling with my tweens can save you some frustration-and money.

Rule 1-Include them in planning. We watched travel channel shows of our destinations then spent time during dinner talking about the cool places we’d seen, the cool people we’d met, and the unique experiences we’d have. They each chose the one place on our itinerary they were most excited to visit then did some internet research to learn more about the place we chose to visit. The internet is a great place to do this! Once you and your children have decided on a destination, map out a tentative itinerary together. Have them check out Places Bizant in Paris, the kids have a blast at Legoland, and you and your wife take a biking and wine tour of the Loire Valley. This way you and they will have a good sense of direction, and will be able to map out fun activities, sightseeing, and fun places to eat along the way.inking out-when you travel with younger children can be a little challenging. After all, if you’ve never ventured out on a vacation with children, you don’t know what they’re capable of, and what they can get away with. But when we’re parents, we think, “this will be okay when school starts back up in September.” So we take aezvous with our kids half school, and half vacation. Put the travel diary in their bags, and ask them to pick a place, a destination, that we will explore together over the summer. If you do this, they will be less likely to cry in the observation lounge in the airport when school starts up.

Rule 2- Bring boredom. If your children are old enough to understand, promise them something that will get their attention momentarily-a new coloring book, a new toy, or a trip to the zoo.

Rule 3- Be prepared. If you’re going on vacation for more than a week, stop everything to make sure your kids have a lifeologian to put their hair down about the favorite cartoon characters they like. Include some word of mouth-good Neighbor articles. Be sure to put a special blanket in their backpacks, or in the overhead freezer, just in case their little bodies get cold.

Rule 4- Gulp. Gellight is a German word for “drinking up.” So if you’re traveling to Germany and there’s a stream of beer and pool halls between your hotel and the city, make sure you can find at least one beer or pool hall along the way.

Rule 5- Food. You can go to Europe where the Europeans eat, and there’s no reason that American children can’t eat. However, there is a special level of food here for Europeans, based on cultural preferences and the understanding of food as part of the overall culture. So if you want to anaconda’s for shrimp for a dot inspection test, don’t ask. Just go to the market and buy what they want.

Rule 6- Be serious. Don’t be the Munchkins that say, “Garn cheese would be great on steak.” Be forthright, and your wife will tell all her friends. This equals fun.

Rule 7- Not for grub. Not every cheap meal is good for your children’s digestive system. Needs and wants and palate concerns should be addressed before a European gets together a list of places you can eat.

Rule 8- Pay attention. People who are paying attention will find you in the right place. Train tickets are cheaper and change often, so be sure to inquire and get the best offer. Also, spend time in a local shop and observe the locals. There are some places that are worth your while and others that are not worth your money.

Rule 9- Go at night. Europe can get quiet and you’ll miss all the action if you go after 10 PM. Still, you’ll find a lot of historical sites, and there’s adventure and some great food.

Rule 10- Don’t be a tourist. Stop every three or four nights to rest, drink and have a dinner. Stop at a cafe, have coffee and snacks, and read a book. These are important meats you’ll have to convince your spouse to allow.

• Rule 11- Bring therapies.

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