Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Tuesday Travel Tips: Sightseeing 101

While on vacation, sightseeing may be a large part of your trip, possibly the reason you are going to a new place.  And when planning, we may get overly zealous in our itineraries, especially if we are traveling with children.   That's why it is a good idea to look for spots your children will like, rest frequently, and reserve time for spontaneous plans.

And keep a few of these in mind:

* It's really important not to deflate the things your children find exciting and wonderful.  Go with it!  They may not be as fascinated as you are that the Gateway Arch took 2 1/2 years to build, they just want to look out the windows in pure delight.  Go with it!!  Revel in THEIR excitement.

* Children are fascinated by the obvious differences between the lives they are seeing and life back home - point out the differences and talk to them about it - the houses people live in, the forms of transportation, the way people dress, the local customs, the foods they eat.  My kids asked us so many questions about the "L" in Chicago.  Here in Texas, there is not much need for an elevated train in the suburbs!

* Parents are sometimes astonished at personality changes on their trips.  Normally outgoing, friendly kids can become shy and dependent around strangers, especially when they are out of their comfort zone.  Don't worry about it or force them to act differently - they are learning how to react to different environments & surroundings.  Continue to be an encourager.

* Bring along brochures, maps, and books that you have used to research the area.  Take the time to learn about what you are seeing and ask questions - it will enhance the trip for everyone!

* If something catches you or your child's eye, but it wasn't on the itinerary, abandon the schedule and go for it!  Some of the best memories have come from moments like this.  Just this past summer, we happened upon a man telling stories of Abraham Lincoln.  It was fascinating and my kids loved every minute of it.  It wasn't on our schedule and it delayed us by an hour, but it was completely worth it.

* Shopping the gift shops typically follow any day of sightseeing.  Make a plan before you head in there and you won't spend as much.  My kids take their "earned money" when we sightsee shop.  They become much more frugal and start to really think before they spend.  Who says you can't teach an 8 year old about money??

* When the kids seem cranky or begin to dawdle, it's time to stop sightseeing.  Kids can only absorb so much information.  When they are "full", it's time to relax and play.  This is a great opportunity to go back tot he hotel and swim.  Or grab a spot in the shade an cool down with an ice cream.  Either way, take it easy and don't drag your kids along.  That just makes for an unpleasant day.

Sightseeing is one of the reasons we go on vacation. There is SO much to see of the great big world out there. Just remember to allow time for relaxation.  An unhurried vacation is a successful one.


Jessica said...

Great tips!

Connie said...

I was just telling my BIL that being able to change the itinerary is a MUST on vacation with kids.

Great tips!

Date Girl said...

I love not having a set itinerary on a trip. I can't wait to have kiddos to take on adventures!

Impulsive Addict said...

You are always so good with your tips of traveling. I want to sightsee more of Austin. You in?

clayts said...
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