Many people will be traveling in the summer. The beach, mountains, forests, historic sites, and all the beautiful places to vacation locally or around the world will be filled with laughter. But tears and drama might also be present. Children who aren’t used to traveling might get upset when away from home, and the trip can be difficult for every one. To prevent a disastrous trip, I want to share these simple tips for moms, traveling alone with their children for the first time. I’m traveling with my pre-teen daughter!
Travel By Plane
Movies and television frequently show horrible scenes of plane crashes. It’s logical that children are afraid of flying. However, the possibility of a plane crash or being killed on a plane crash is minimal and we should communicate that to our children. According to PlaneCrashInformation.com, which tracked data from 1993 to 2012, flying on one of the world’s major airlines on any single flight, an individual has a 1 in 4.7 million chance of being killed. This figure may not mean a lot to children, but if we’re informed we’ll feel calmer and able to transmit that message with ease.
Home Sweet Home
Traveling away from home can generate a bit of anxiety. Children will not sleep in their own beds, see their friends, dads or other members of the family. Fortunately, sadness will only last a short time. When children notice that traveling is fun, they will be willing to go everywhere with mom. (Or at least it’s what I hope). It’s better to start exploring slowly so they don’t get exhausted with endless visits to museums and historic sites. (Mea culpa. I love museums!). Children feel happier and comfortable if they have the opportunity to meet other people or do activities at their own pace. Something that works all the time is making friends with people who have children the same age so all can visit places together.
If your daughter is like mine, probably she still needs a teddy bear or stuffed animal to comfort her at bedtime. (It was easier to get rid of the pacifier!). Rather than asking her to leave her precious fluffy bunny at home, I’ll bring along everything I can think of that makes her feel safe and comfortable. Even if it takes much space in the suitcase! Psychologists say that these are objects of transition between the inner and outer world of the child and they take the place of the mother-child bond. I hope that this journey together is just what she needs to accept and adapt to the outside world and let her teddy bear go.
Technology: Friend or Enemy?
Besides her favorite stuffed animal, my daughter may want to bring her smartphone, tablet, iPad, iPod… What to do? I’ll let her bring her devices to avoid fights. I’m planning on giving her also an inexpensive digital camera so she can take her own photos. I hope she gets busy documenting the trip. She might feel motivated to send or post photos to share her unique experience with friends and family. If I can make her read, write and document the daily adventures, I’ll have accomplished something great: to continue in the field what she’s learned in school. She might find the new knowledge more meaningful. Teachers will be grateful when she returns to school. Hooray!
Quality vs. Quantity
The come and go of daily life doesn’t allow us to give our children all the quality time we want. This trip will be a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen the bond between mother and children. I hope my daughter takes the opportunity to see me with new eyes and appreciate me as a woman and not just as a mom. I also hope that she will remember this trip with joy so that she could do the same with her own children some day. I know I will be happy and satisfied of having been able to start a travel tradition that could last for generations.
Have you traveled alone with your children? Do you have any recommendations?