Family Travel : Always Pack a Camera

March 26, 2012

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
- gum
- 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.
likeschocolate said...

I am at that point to buy my children a camera too! They love taking pictures, but using my camera freeks me out just a little since if they drop it is not cheap. We have a few more years before traveling gets easier. Love the aliens photo!

online loans said...

Doesn't get any weirder than that.

Anonymous said...

For the audiobooks, any tips on free downloads for great books? I need to learn my library's ebooks system, but I already know that the selection is limited. For example, Magic Tree House books are not available as free downloads.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I should clarify. The library's downloadable books system seems to have plenty of ebooks (for kindle or ipad) but not the audiobooks that I'd like (for ipod or mp3). When I said "ebooks system," I was referring to all downloads, but then I realized that the term was confusing. Thank you!

Theresa said...

Lucky you!!!

Lisa said...

Love the photo! Both of my girls like to take pictures and it always amazes me what catches their eye because it's generally not the same thing that I've noticed.

Steve said...

Love the picture, although it does make me wonder what's behind you in the picture he's taking.
Love the point when the kids are old enough to take care of their own packing. Unfortunately, my daughter seems to think that nothing less than her entire wardrobe needs to come with us everywhere we go. We got away with carry-ons for a few years, but now we're back to checking a bag or two most of the time.

Sonja said...

Aren't we so lucky digital cameras were invented? My parents used to have to pay to develop all my rolls of film from vacations where probably 23 out of a 24 exposure roll were blurry. So much easier now!

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