Tag Archives: Traveling with Kids

Today’s post is by my dear friend Angela. She’s guest-blogged for me once before, and since then, she’s had a kid, started freelancing, launched her own site, and hopped around the globe a bit just for good measure (I suspect she spends her free time trying to crack the secrets of massive nutrinos).

Fortunately, Angela has decided to share some of her wisdom with the rest of us slackers. Here are her tips for any traveler who wants to see the world with their little one along for the ride. (And yes, she manages to make it all look easy. She has a sickening knack for that sort of thing.)

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Hear ye, hear ye, all brave parents venturing into the great unknown with offspring in tow! I’ve been there and back … and lived to tell the tale. Here are the convictions I brought home as souvenirs. If you’re a fellow jet-set mom or dad, I humbly offer them up to you.

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I know nothing about children. I’ve made this claim numerous times, but I feel the need to reiterate it, just so we’re clear: if you handed me an eggplant and a baby, I would obviously be able to tell them apart, because I’m not a moron. But if you asked me what to do with the egglplant and the baby, that’s where problems would arise. I would know exactly what to do with the former, and no clue of what to do with the latter (presumably, babies should not be salted to remove bitterness).

While reading through Christine’s tips for traveling to theme parks with children, and Deanna’s advice on how to survive trips with a little one, I realized something: they are effing brilliant. Because they’re so far beyond the “what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-this-baby” that they’re actually able to dispense some seriously helpful advice to those of you who may have little ones.

But I can’t do that. So I’d like to speak to those of you who don’t have children. Those of you who, like me, have no idea what to do with children whatsoever. Who are absolutely mystified by them. This post is for you. Because a few weeks back, we went down to Florida to visit my cousin and his wife, and their three children, and the entire week was a revelation. And I’d like to share some information that will be worthwhile to those of you who are as clueless as I am about kids.

Below are my ten tips for childless couples visiting children. Those of you who are parents, be warned: you will probably quietly shake your head in embarrassment at my ignorance.

  1. Children are scared of stuff.
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    Well, duh, right? As a child, I was afraid that there was something living in the toilet, and if I didn’t hop off it immediately after going, it would bite me in the ass. This is not what I would call a “logical fear” (wrote the woman who insists on having at least half a tank of gas in her car at all times in case of a zombie apocalypse. No, I’m not kidding). So I figured my cousin’s kids, who are kind of brilliant, would not be scared of silly fictional stuff. WRONG. We went on a ride at DisneyWorld that included real (but controlled) flames. They freaked. I found this shocking.
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    These are the flames which caused the little ones to go apeshit. Fortunately, Rand was there.

    These are the flames which caused the little ones to go apeshit. Fortunately, Rand was there.

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Though the extensive cloud-cover, rain, and 50-degree weather suggests otherwise, it’s nearly summertime here in Seattle. I’m quite excited, because it means that those of us who live here can emerge out of our Snuggie cocoons and venture outside, squinting, somewhat horrified, at the sun.

It also means that quite a few folks will be heading up to Seattle from various locales in search of fun and interesting things to do. Any many of them insist on bringing their children, because apparently you can’t leave a four-year old in a hotel room alone, and leaving them alone at home is an even bigger no-no (I’m speculating here).

So, after nagging my friends who are parents (yet again) and searching the recesses of my brain for any suppressed childhood memories about Seattle tourist attractions (which only resulted in me uncovering a memory about how I was afraid of Shilshole beach because I thought mutant starfish lived there), I’ve come up with my Top Ten Seattle Attractions for Kids. Remember: I have no children. And I’m kind of afraid of them, anyway. So if this post is totally off, remember that you’re the one taking advice from a childless blogger who swears like a sailor. (more…)

This week’s guest post comes from Deanna, the brilliant blogatrix behind Traveling Monkeys. Since she’s far, far too modest to include a bio herself, I’ve included one for her. Here it is: Deanna has a wicked sense of humor. If you met her in person, you might pass out from the sheer awesomeness of it all. She’s mom to Ninja-baby, whose cuteness warms the brittle lump of coal that is my heart (quote, from Rand: “That child should be in commercials.”) Deanna’s traveled extensively with her little one, and today she’s been kind enough to share her knowledge with us poor schlubs, while even including a few Mad Men and Muppets references. In short? She might just be cooler than me. But don’t get used to this high caliber of writing, kids. Because tomorrow? I’m back.

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This is my daughter Maggie, aka Ninja Baby.

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Maggie was born in Honolulu, our families are in Maine and Florida and our closest friends are in Washington, DC.  By the end of 2010, she will have been to nine states and four countries.  You might say she’s traveled a bit, and I might reply “Bork bork bork Swedish Chef?  Blah blah blah Ginger?” because I have logged those miles right beside her and consequently, my brain is squishy and addled.

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I am extremely excited, and honored, to introduce my very first guest blogger, Christine! Despite a very busy schedule, she look some time to write a post about an important subject (of which I know absolutely nothing): taking your little one to a theme park for the very first time.
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I still remember my first trip to a theme park. My parents took my brother, sister and me to the Magic Kingdom. My aunt, uncle and two cousins came along too. It was a great day. Sunny, lots of ice cream, Disney characters, fun rides.

Now, twenty-four years later, I’m the proud mother of a two-year-old boy, Jackson.
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Isnt he cute?  Im biased, but I think hes gorgeous.

Isn't he cute? I'm biased, but I think he's gorgeous.

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A couple of weeks ago, my fiancé, Jason, and I were able to take Friday afternoon off; we decided to make the most of it and bring Jackson to Orlando for his first theme park experience. We stayed with my brother, and he came along. All four of us had a ball, and I learned that bringing a child to a theme park requires planning and proper expectations in order to have a good time.

Below are some of my tips for success with small children at theme parks, based on years of personal experience as a child, and my new parental perspective:

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