As an adult, I have been blessed to travel a bit about this country of ours. I have seen cities and towns from one cost to the other. I have traveled alone and with Brian, but nothing compares to the stress and joy of traveling with your young children. Seeing the world through their eyes is a joy and stress all it’s own. And having just returned from New York City, I thought I would take a moment to share some insights about that glorious city from the mind and mouths of my ten and eight year old daughters.
1: They decided that traffic laws are more of a suggestion in New York. They came to this conclusion after several taxi rides where we rode on the right hand shoulder at over 55 mph, drove between two cars on the dotted line, constantly stayed on the horn, and drove with the gas and brake at the same time. When we got out after one particularly bad trip, Brie was muttering under her breath, and I ask what she was doing, and she replied, “thanking God.”
2: Trash is apparently meant to go on sidewalks and cities smell worse than pig farms. (Now, please remember, these are travel recommendations from my children – all views should be taken as such). But, I did find it funny to have to keep reminding them not to relate the odor of the city to that of a hog farm while we were there.
3: Hotel rooms are not supposed to be the size of their closets. (I think I heard that every day we were there).
4: The federal government is mean and awful to little kids for closing the Statue of Liberty – please don’t get me started on that one. I had already bought them tickets. (So, we went to the American Natural History Museum instead – and I was voted coolest Mom ever.)
5: People in New York live way to close to each other and need to get out and see the stars and it was very sad for them that the only green grass they had was in parks.
So, the other stressful issues – we dealt with: why do the people get to search my luggage, why do I have to go through security? Why are there people sleeping on the street? Can’t we just give them a job?
Yes, even with all these issues – I did have fun with my kids in New York, even if I did not have all the answers for their travel questions.
The best advise I can give as a Mom traveling with small children is don’t try to do to much. Overcrowding the agenda always leads to misery – kids are kids and need down time to relax and play. Nothing makes a trip worse than over planning every minute of the day. Leave some time for fun and rest. Your kids are in a strange new place and won’t react the same way as they do at home. Build in a little give and take for that. Believe me, it took several miserable trips for this OCD doctor to learn that. Kids really just want time with you whether you are at home or traveling – and honestly, they probably need you more when traveling.