When can I start taking my kids overseas and actually enjoy the trip? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 43 Old 04-11-2010, 07:42 PM
 
gcgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
There's no reason why you can't do Europe or Asia with kids.

My parents never stopped taking interesting vacations after they had kids. They simply changed how they did it.

We'd go to Europe and they'd rent a condo for a week in each place. It was normally the same price as a similar hotel room, but it would have 2 bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. It was a great place to have downtime and cook our own food.
This is our plan of action as well. Plus we plan to build stopovers into our travel itinerary so most long flights can be cut into manageable chunks. For example, we're on the west coast, so for a trip to Europe, say, we'd stay a few days in NYC or wherever before moving on.
gcgirl is offline  
#32 of 43 Old 04-11-2010, 08:43 PM
 
leighi123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indialantic, FL
Posts: 1,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My parents took me traveling from 6 weeks old (I grew up overseas and have traveled everywhere!).
I think you can take the kids any where at any age, its just a matter of choosing activites that everyone can enjoy and allowing for things like naps and whatever needs your kids have (like my ds has a ton of food allergies so we have to find food he can actually eat!)

My ds gets his passport in a few weeks and we are going to go somewhere, hopefully back to england or hong kong
leighi123 is offline  
#33 of 43 Old 04-11-2010, 11:39 PM
 
Girlprof's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by txbikegrrl View Post
I'm so envious! How is everyone affording all this travel?!? The time to get to Europe is one thing but the price for 3 and in two years 4 tickets is more than we can afford yet alone a place to stay while both LOs need ft care

We are visiting family in OC this summer but can only afford it because we have miles to use...
For me, it's for work. I have to go to Europe to do research. I try to get a big enough grant to cover as much as possible of the trip. Last time I could cover my airplane ticket plus housing. We'll see this time around.
Girlprof is offline  
#34 of 43 Old 04-12-2010, 10:04 AM
 
aussiemum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: neither here nor there
Posts: 3,413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A positive aspect of travelling with little ones is that airfares are only 20% of the adult fare up to the age of two. Ages 2-12 are usually 75% on most international flights. I have to admit, it's a bit painful paying 75% for a three year old who spends most of an 8 hour flight on your lap. My DD turns 12 this year whist we are overseas, so we will pay full adult fare for all of her flights on this entire trip.

Aussiemumhippie.gif (40), DH caffix.gif (39), DD reading.gif (13), & DS 2whistle.gif(11).

aussiemum is offline  
#35 of 43 Old 04-12-2010, 11:32 AM
 
Caneel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Small town in a rural area
Posts: 3,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyshoppinghabit View Post
Wow, after all that input, I think we might go after all! But I'm still hesitant about a few things. Let's take the NYC trip as an example. I hadn't planned out the day too much in my head except that I knew I was going to take the kids to FAO Shwarz and the Times Square Toys R US. What I thought went wrong was that I wasn't sure if FAO and TRU would be fun for them, I just assumed it would be. It turns out they didn't find FAO fun at all (the store is set up only with no almost no demo toys) and they found TRU only slightly more engaging. And I had no idea where we were gonna eat but had brought along some fruit and thin-sliced chicken. But since we were in the middle of Manhattan, DH and I weren't satisfied eating cold-cuts out of a tote bag. So we wasted a lot of time looking for a place to eat that didn't have a long wait for a table or for food, but that turned up only the most casual places where the kids ate nothing but french fries. So long story short, with kids, especially younger ones, I feel like you have to really find out beforehand what kinds of activities there are and two either from having been there before or from a person that can give you the scoop, and you have to plan out what/where you're gonna eat. This isn't so hard if you're going to a resort and stayin put there (which is why I guess a lot of families opt for this) but what if you are going to an urban environment where you can't just stay put in one place all day?
As soon as the letters F A O caught my eye, I just knew what you were going to say. That store is just the worst place to take kids. (and adults in my opinion) Everyone thinks it is going to be like the movie Big.

A friend of ours has a big, extended family and friends who all have lots of kids. He organizes trips to NYC several times a year, taking in family and friends, and he flat out refuses to go near FAO.

I understand where you are coming from, especially the part about the cold cuts My DH would riot!

Philly can be fun with kids. There are several museums geared specifically towards children and the city is walkable and there is a good tourist-focused bus called Philly Phlash that covers all the areas.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
Caneel is offline  
#36 of 43 Old 04-12-2010, 04:12 PM
 
Alathia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we live on the west coast, whereas most of my family lives in Asia or Europe. we took DS1 on his first international flight (london and france for two weeks) when he was 22 months, and he still talks about it. We plan on taking both kids (who will be 5 and 2) next holiday over to asia. DS1 still talks about the trip and looks at pictures and says things like "remember when you got sick here? remember when I ate the really big roll here?" I don't think it's ever too early to travel with kids.

DS1 04/2005; DS2 08/2008
Alathia is offline  
#37 of 43 Old 04-13-2010, 08:38 AM
 
Skippy918's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mommyshoppinghabitBrooklyn might have more things to do. Coney Island, Prospect Park zoo, Brooklyn Children's museum and the transit museum come to mind. I'll be going in a couple of weeks. My family lives up there, but my mom is hoping to take DS around to some of these places.

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
Skippy918 is offline  
#38 of 43 Old 04-13-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Jessy1019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Flemington, NJ
Posts: 3,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The only trips I postpone now are trips that I plan to only do once (or think I can only afford to do once) in a lifetime -- those I want my children to be able to remember, when we actually do them. We're saving a several week long journey to Europe, for instance, til they're pre-teens/teens.

We've done lots of vacations with our kids, though, and if money wasn't an issue, I'd take them on a European tour or an Alaskan cruise or whatever right now, and then again when they were older. I never found traveling with the kids difficult, though . . . we've done cruises as well as big touristy type things (and the kids love NYC, as do I, but we've only done one overnight there -- it's close enough to be a day trip and not worth the expense of a hotel). Navigating the city with them has always been easy, and lots of fun (and they both LOVE FAO, ).

If you have the money to do it, DO IT. You'll regret it if you don't.

Proud Anti-Adoption, Atheist, Reproductive-Freedom Fighter Mama
Rylie is 7, Ronin is 3.5
Jessy1019 is offline  
#39 of 43 Old 04-21-2010, 11:27 PM
 
Jane456's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We live in China with our two kids (1.5 and 3.5) and I would definitely argue you should come to Shanghai! We have found living & travelling in China to be extremely kid-friendly. Some suggestions:

1. Try to get them used to Chinese food before you get here. You will save a lot of time searching for appropriate things to eat if you can get them keen on jiaozi (dumplings), baozi (steamed pork buns) miantiao (noodles) and chaofan (fried rice) before you get here. Those things can be found on every street corner for a very cheap price, and are extremely good. Teach them the Chinese names, let them play with Chopsticks, make it all seem exotic and exciting to eat these things and they'll hoepfully be thrilled when they see them served for lunch in China!

2. Bring baby carriers. China is notoriously NON-stroller friendly. The Expo site may be better, but we end up carrying both kids in Becos during the majority of our travel.

3. Travel during naps / nighttime if at all possible. 14 hr flights are not fun, I agree - we do them roughly every 3-4 months back and forth to North America. Our biggest mistake was booking a 9 hr flight once that departed at 9am... The kids only napped for 1 hr during that entire time and the other 8 hrs were pure misery. Play-doh is always a plane favourite for us, and despite the huge mess it makes flight attendants always seem happier to have quiet kids than a clean plane! Other tips are to wrap a ton of little toys/games as presents (even snacks get wrapped like presents!) and to stagger them for key milsetones in the flight, i.e. after you sleep, after the halfway mark, etc. Gives the kids something to look forward to and some mini-goals throughout the flight. We also rely on videos and computer games, but even those get old after 10-15 minutes.

4. Prepare your kids (and you) for lots of attention. Shanghai is pretty international, but any travel even to less-developed parts of the city you'll run into crowds of onlookers and photo-takers and baby-holders... Our kids found it pretty terrifying at first, but have gotten used to it. I make a point of sheilding our son, the oldest, from people and pictures whenever I can and he has a "safe" word - when he says "Mommy - Fooey!" I made a promise to get him out of there no matter what happens. I have had to run into people with our stroller, and push cameras out of the way, but I promised to get him to safety if he feels threatened and I think that makes a difference.

5. As many others have mentioned go for a mix of kid-friendly and parent friendly activities. Be ready to split up some days so each of you parents can see what is really important to you, and the other can make the kids happy. Chinese "parks" almost always have a kiddy amusement ride center, which is terrifying for parents from a safety standpoint, but the lights and loud music draws in all kids. Expo will have a number of parks and activities for kids, plus the "passport" element is always fun - I don't know a preschooler who doesn't love getting stamps! Taking the subway to/from expo can be the highlight of a kids' day!

Good luck, it's a big decision (and definitely a lot of money) but I think it's so worth it to have our kids travelling. My 3 yr old saw the news on TV last week and said "That's Hong Kong Harbour, I went to the park there!"... really an incredible feeling to see him know the world, in a way I never did at his age.
Jane456 is offline  
#40 of 43 Old 04-25-2010, 02:24 AM
 
mamadebug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can have fun now! It is just a matter of altering your expectations.

We have been traveling internationally with our son since he was 4 months old. He is 5 years old now, and we just got back from a week in Paris. We had a wonderful time.

Traveling with a baby or child is totally different from pre-kid travel - you have to have a total shift in what you are going to do and see. But, traveling and seeing the world through the eyes of my child has been amazing. I feel I have gotten a glimpse into different cultures that I could only get as a parent with a baby/child with me. I love that my child has experienced different cultures, and has enjoyed it.

It is exhausting - but so worth it. Long flights aren't fun, but also worth it.

Some practical tips -

I totally agree with the posters who have said not to plan too much for one day and that it helps to have more of a "home base" than just a single hotel room - a kitchen makes a huge difference!

Skip museums for the most part and nice restaurants - that doesn't mean you have to skip good food, though.

Research before you go. Include your child in the research - easy to do online. You can google "whatever city with kids" and usually come up with tons of info.

Give your kids a camera and/or a special journal. I was amazed at what my son drew pictures of - some of the stuff that caught his eye was stuff I didn't even notice.

For our recent trip to Paris, we read stories that were set in Paris before we went, got a book called something like "Paris with kids" and read it together. DS chose some things to see/activities that he wanted to do and was really excited about them - the Eiffel Tower was first on his list and we did it the first day - he learned so much, took tons of photos, drew pictures, walked up all of the steps himself. We went to lots of parks, and often got food from bakeries and ate in the park. Doing things like riding the metro (figuring out the maps and all of the discussions about how not all people drive cars everywhere were a big part of this trip!) and figuring out the culture of local playgrounds were such learning experiences for DS.

So, I would say, go to China! Plan ahead and realize it is going to be a very different kind of trip than you would take if it was an all adult trip. Skip the stuff like toy stores (or at least don't make it the focus of the day) and find the activities/places unique to the place you are visiting. Make time for the kids to have down time/naps. Have fun!
mamadebug is offline  
#41 of 43 Old 04-25-2010, 10:01 PM
 
graceshappymum's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: london, ontario
Posts: 310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You know. We have travelled extensively in Europe with dd since she has been 6 months old and have never bad any problems. Now that she is four I really enjoyed this last trip she was loving every minute of all the buildings and family time. I must admit that we only have the one child and that we have lots of family there. I would say do it. Your kids are more resilient than you think and they get tons out of travel. I have great memories of going to Europe as a very young child! t
Posted via Mobile Device
graceshappymum is offline  
#42 of 43 Old 04-29-2010, 07:05 PM
 
snozzberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 2,039
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
Some practical tips -

I totally agree with the posters who have said not to plan too much for one day and that it helps to have more of a "home base" than just a single hotel room - a kitchen makes a huge difference!

Skip museums for the most part and nice restaurants - that doesn't mean you have to skip good food, though.

Research before you go. Include your child in the research - easy to do online. You can google "whatever city with kids" and usually come up with tons of info.

Give your kids a camera and/or a special journal. I was amazed at what my son drew pictures of - some of the stuff that caught his eye was stuff I didn't even notice.

For our recent trip to Paris, we read stories that were set in Paris before we went, got a book called something like "Paris with kids" and read it together. DS chose some things to see/activities that he wanted to do and was really excited about them - the Eiffel Tower was first on his list and we did it the first day - he learned so much, took tons of photos, drew pictures, walked up all of the steps himself. We went to lots of parks, and often got food from bakeries and ate in the park. Doing things like riding the metro (figuring out the maps and all of the discussions about how not all people drive cars everywhere were a big part of this trip!) and figuring out the culture of local playgrounds were such learning experiences for DS.
I'm loving this thread.

DH and I were trying to decide whether to take 2yo DD to San Francisco this summer, and we were hesitant but this thread has convinced me to go for it.

In addition to the tips here, I think before our next trip after we research restaurants, activities, etc ahead of time, I will pop over to the Tribal Areas section of MDC to run our "itinerary" by the locals for that area. (I say "itinerary" in quotes because it seems way too loose for that word but I couldn't think of one word that means places-we-would-like-to-go-but-won't-stress-out-about-missing-if-it-doesn't-work-out. )

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

0***4***8***12***16***20***baby.gif***28***32***36***40

snozzberry is offline  
#43 of 43 Old 04-30-2010, 12:11 AM
 
noobmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,053
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
I concur - if I am going to spend the $$$ and time to travel to another country, I am going to want to see and do stuff while I am there - not just visit parks, shops, playgrounds, etc for a few hours each day. We can do that at home! Or at least domestically. We're another family that is waiting until upper elementary/middle school for international travel. We'll stick to domestic stuff until then. Don't get me wrong - we travel lots - DD has been to Seattle twice, on a cruise, to Florida countless times, Texas, Virginia, Upstate NY, etc. But Europe, Asia and Australia will all have to wait for us.
We've taken DS to Paris twice, when he was 2 yo and 3 yo. Both trip were great and totally different.

The first time time, the weather was unseasonable warm and just beautiful. We spent most of our time at parks and gardens (the gardens in Paris are completely different than going to the neighborhood playground) or just strolling around the city, eating ice cream. We went to several sights that could be viewed from outside and didn't require standing in line, like the Eiffel Tower. It was different than the way we would normally visit a city, but we had a wonderful time.

The second time, DS was a little older so we decided to try visit the Louvre. It rained most of the time also, so it worked out well to be indoors. We went on free admission day so it wouldn't be a big deal if we had to leave. We got to see quite a few things before we all decided we had enough. This trip we also went all the way up the Eiffel Tower and did more "touristy" things overall.

I don't necessarily think it's that much more to travel international, at least not from the East Coast to Europe. I've paid less for my tickets to Paris than for a trip home to Texas! I think traveling, in some ways, is easier when the kids are younger. You don't have to worry about school schedules, so you can travel at non-peak times. That right there will save you a ton of money--at least half the cost of your trip, if not more.
noobmom is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off