Each month, we invite a parent to share his / her best tips for an enjoyable trip with kids. In October, Daria Reingewirtz, co-founder of Tresor & co, talks to us about getting toddlers to like what you love doing (including sitting in cafés for hours), discovering new ways to travel, and crafting family memories.
1. Do what you love (or die trying)
There are so many things that are more difficult with kids. Like, everything. But it’s only difficult the first (X) times you do it! If you love something, stick to your guns. We are café people. We’d stop at a café every 2 hours, have a coffee, talk and do people watching. I’m a music geek – I always have a list of concerts on hand. We have brought our daughter to open-air & church concerts since she was 20 days old, and she actually loves them. Set your expectations low and, at first, be prepared to leave after the first 30 minutes! For cafés, bring whatever keeps your kid busy that you can fit in your purse. Or do with what you have: for two years, my daughter’s favorite café toy was my wallet (cards! coins!). Other people do 12km hikes with 3-year-olds! I have no idea how they pull this off. I’m pretty sure they think the same about me and classical music concerts!
2. Get your kids excited about the destination
I find that preparation before the trip is so crucial, at any age. I always try finding books about the country we’re going to, and other ways to get my daughter excited about the trip! We’re currently planning a trip to Portugal – we’re going to a Portuguese café, preparing a suitcase with our daughter’s name on it, looking for fun travel-related stickers… We don’t leave for another month, but she has been sighing “I love Portugal!” for several weeks already.
3. What to do once you’re there
For older kids, I always scout activities for kids – in Italy (like in Venice, Florence or Rome), there are tons of them, both in English and other languages, but you often have to book in advance. Our niece loved the workshop at the Costume Museum in Venice!
I often prepare some version of a treasure hunt – right now, I’m reading through tons of books on Florence and the Renaissance! I’ll let you know how it goes!
4. The simplest trick
I’m not even sure it’s a trick. But, for younger kids, it can be challenging to walk for hours… unless you turn it into a game. When I have nothing prepared, I look around for anything peculiar on buildings or statues around me (like lions. Lions are EVERYWHERE in Europe!), and we play I spy. If nothing catches my eye, I try to gamify walking (I know…) – I’d offer to either walk, jump, or do an alternate of reeeaaaaalllly big steps and teeny tiny steps. So much more fun for kids than hearing “just stop whining and walk” for the one-hundredth time. We usually jump.
5. Help them remember the trip!
For younger kids, I always print out about 30 pictures from the trip, on actual paper. This way, they remember a trip, AND you get to keep down screen time! Starting from 3 years old, they can make own their pictures (we use this camera).
For older children, keeping a journal or a scrapbook is a genius idea. I still have mine from when I visited Switzerland as a 10-year-old!
Thanks, Daria ! What are your favorite things to do on a trip as a family? Let us know in the comments!