Before you take a trip, sharpen your powers of prediction:
- When your kids are stuck in the back seat of a car for any length of time, you’ve got a problem. Boredom creates chaos on short trips. So how can you tolerate a long, worldwide trip?
Prepare: And may I add, prepare, prepare. Do intensive map, cultural and historical studies about places you plan to visit. We made the kids an important part of the discussion. Pre-departure, each child researched 12 countries(in 12 weeks) each and presented them ‘Toast Masters style’ in front of the family via a ‘speech’ or ‘power point.’ It was a great fun to hear and see what each child found interesting about that country and really hit home when we arrived at ‘their’ country.
En route, when the kids were tired of studying, Ron and I engaged them more. There will be times when your kids are sick of looking at ‘another museum,’ ‘another temple,’ or ‘another dumpling.’ Arm yourself with ideas; Trivia details and word games-our fav. is the Alphabet country or capital Game- are fun and interactive and keep their attention. When we had no more to offer, we grabbed one of the books we brought in the Family pack.
- Backpack contents swell during travel. No law of physics supports this; but it’s true, even if you don’t collect things! I don’t know how this happens but it’s like the socks-in-the-dryer thing: Put two in only one comes out.
Prepare: Plan what you are going to bring on your trip, down to the number of socks. Don’t stick with ‘pairs’. Pack the ‘traveler’s pair’ – which is three. At least you’ll have one foot clean at a time.
3. Pack your backpack a month before you travel, and try living out of it. You will know what you need, what you don’t. Pack and re-pack.
Prepare: Leave non-survival stuff at home. But never, ever forget the blanket. The first gift you were given at birth was a blanket, and there was a reason. It’s a great comfort, can become a changing room, a shade from the sun, a place to hide or fake-sleep when you want privacy. It converts to a pillow, a warm wrap or a back support.
- Set down “Do’s and Don’t’s,” but let them run ahead and play.
Prepare: Bring a ball.
Powers of prediction. You’ve got them. Use them.
Talk Friday! Dawn