As you can see from the photo above, we tend to travel with family members. Making things more complex, Nicole and Olivia are in their twenties and Noah is 10. So, we are always trying to accommodate differing needs, interests, patience levels, feeding schedules, etc. We do this by trying to create balance. Here’s how:
- Have everyone participate in the planning process. Using books, maps, and the internet, show everyone where you will be going, explain why you’re going there, learn about what they can do once they get there. Older kids can use available home and school resources to hone their research skills and learn about activities, events, and venues. Have them make lists of “must see” and “must do” places and activities.
- Cross reference the lists to come up with a master plan. Doing so will keep family members involved and excited. It’s also a good way to help them learn about collaboration, cooperation, and compromise.
- If appropriate, allow time for splitting into groups that can explore similar interests. For example, Balboa Park in San Diego has many museums. After eating together, the girls and I went to the Natural History Museum and Japanese Gardens. Bob and Noah headed off to the Sports, Automotive, and Aerospace museums. Then, everyone got back together for ice cream, swimming, and dinner.
- Allow time for teenagers and young adults to explore on their own. Giving them time off from the little ones builds confidence, independence, and a sense of responsibility.
Masthead Photo: The Family at Broglio Castle in Tuscany, 2007 – Nicole, Olivia, Paige, and Noah (Bob)