My family and I are planning a trip to France! And, yes, that does include my six year old daughter and thirteen year old son.
My husband and I are very excited, but we’re trying to go with our eyes open: It’s not going to be easy! Traveling with young ones is always a challenge, and the current low value of the dollar makes the financial burden that much greater.
Here’s a few of the thoughts we’ve had and resources we’ve discovered as we prepare.
Baby Jetsetter is a wonderful blog about traveling with kids. It’s focused on babies, so my kids are a bit old for some of the tips, but if you’re planning a trip with the diaper and pacifier set, you should definitely check it out. For instance, the latest post gives great recommendations on what to pack and what not to pack in your carry-on bag for the plane.
The falling value of the US dollar is making traveling more expensive for Americans. Just this morning the New York Times posted an article on some coping strategies. I particularly like the suggestion of one commenter to forgo expensive Parisian restaurants and, instead, plan some picnics of baguettes and wheels of Brie or Camembert. (And maybe some grapes or apples on the side. I can’t completely ignore my diet!) What could be more genuinely Parisian?
I can get by in French, and my son is studying it in school. But my husband and daughter don’t know a word. I’m trying to prepare them by injecting some phrases into our conversation where I can. A few bonjour’s and s’il vous plait’s may not seem like much, but they’re a start.
And then, of course, there are the books!
I’m planning on picking up Ludwig Bemelmans classic Madeline to help acquaint my daughter with images of Paris in a way she can relate to.
There’s only so much wandering around museums we can expect a six year old and thirteen year old to tolerate, so we picked up Fodor’s Around Paris with Kids. It’s filled with kid friendly parks, boat rides and amusement parks that will, hopefully, make the city of lights come alive for our kids.
And finally, my husband is an inveterate reader and a history buff. He refuses to leave the house without studying two thousand years of the history of any place he goes. So he picked up La Belle France, A Short History by Alistair Horne. When we finally arrive, he may not be able to speak a word, but we’ll have to struggle to cut him off from lecturing us for hours about the historical background of every monument and Roman ruin we visit.
It’s taking a lot of preparation and it’s going to cost us a bit, but I think traveling is very important for both kids and adults. And, despite all the anticipated problems, it should be a huge amount of fun!
This article was posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 at 2:27 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, France, France, French, Languages, Languages, Languages, Learning, Mama Lisa, Parenting, Parenting Sites, Paris, Recommendations, Teaching, Travel Sites, Traveling, Traveling with Kids, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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