|Paris, November 2011|
We only have a few more months left in Europe and in the midst of planning our final adventures, I have been thinking about how traveling with kids has changed as they have gotten older (here's our travel list from when our kids were preschoolers). Overall, it really is so much easier, especially in the gear department. No more lugging of car seats (although I have to admit to sometimes missing the strollers...they sure are handy for hauling all sorts of things in addition to kids), no more diapers, and no more dental floss (although pipe cleaners continue to come in very handy). We have streamlined our packing so that we are now able to walk onto just about any European plane with two small suitcases and two back packs. We rarely check in bags any more and our carry on needs are really pretty minimal.
Here's our packing list for two school age kids (ages 9 and 6):
- clothing (three mix and match outfits: one for traveling and two in the suitcase)
- one pair of comfortable shoes that they will wear the entire trip
- a few paperback books
- a pack of cards
- little toys (a bag of mixed lego pieces, beyblades, etc)
- little bag of markers and 2 small sketch books
- the very important bunny
- an ipod loaded up with new audio books
- a small digital camera
The camera really has become an important part of the travel gear and I am not talking about my camera. The kids have their own digital camera. We used to buy disposable cameras for them with every trip, but as they have gotten older we realized that they are responsible enough for their own. They share it, but Noah seems to take most of the pics. It's always so interesting to see what he chooses to document on our trips. From Mona Lisa to aliens and all sorts of details I rarely notice until he stops to photograph them. We haven't tried this yet, but I keep thinking it might be fun to do some sort of photo scavenger hunt on our next trip....give them a list of things to hunt and document over the course of a trip. I'll let you know how that works.