My 12-year-old daughter is by no means a “world traveler” but by most American standards for children who travel, she’s seen her fair share of the world, especially the United States. She’s been to all but 9 states in the United States and outside the US to 9 countries on 4 continents. Her first flight was when she was about a year and a half and by the time she turned two years old she had flown to three states including from the east coast to Hawaii . While there are of course American children who flew at an earlier age and have flown further and to more countries, it’s fair to say she’s a pretty well-seasoned traveled for her age.
When she first mentioned to me that I should interview her for my blog, I dismissed it. But then I started thinking about it and realized it could be really useful, especially for parents with young children who might be on the fence about traveling with their children. This is actually my second time interviewing her; the first interview was about her experience with Girls on the Run, which you can find here.
Q1. What are some of your favorite places you’ve been and why did you like them?
A1. Niagara Falls because it was so amazing to see falls that went over two countries, and I really liked when they were lit up at night. I liked Greece because the culture was so different and it was interesting to see the ruins and try their food. New Zealand was cool going to the Hobbiton movie set plus so much more there. I also liked Arizona because of Antelope Canyon.
Q2. What are some places you’re dying to go to?
A2. I want to go to France, Italy, and the Caribbean.
Q3. What are some things you’ve done because of traveling that you otherwise would have never done?
A3. I probably wouldn’t have tried some of the foods I had in Greece if I hadn’t gone there. I also got a camera because of all of the traveling I’ve done. Now I like that I can take my own pictures.
Q4. What are some places you’ve been to that you didn’t care for?
A4. None that I can remember.
Q5. What are some ways you’ve learned to occupy yourself during long flights, car rides, etc.?
A5. By listening to music, doing puzzles and games on paper and on my tablet or phone, playing games, audio books.
Q6. What are some travel tips for kids you’d like to share?
A6. If you’re in a foreign country, give the food a chance. It may not be what you’re used to, but it’s usually pretty good. Bring things to occupy yourself. Pack for the weather, so bring pants if it’s going to be cold where you’re going. I only brought shorts once and froze even though I was told before the trip to pack pants.
Q7. Is there a place you think is more special to go to as a child versus if an adult were to go for the first time?
A7. Disney because the rides are more meant for kids and they can meet the characters like Mickey Mouse, which wouldn’t be as special for adults.
Q8. Are there any life lessons travel has taught you?
A8. Give everything a chance because a lot of times it can end up being worth it.
Q9. What would you say to parents who say their child is too young to appreciate a place?
A9. That’s not true. Even if they don’t remember it later, they’ll still enjoy it in their own way when they visit it.
Q10. Do you think you’ll still travel as much as an adult as what you do now?
A10. If I have the money to, yes. If I can get a job that pays enough I could make traveling my life.
That’s it, for the interview. It looks like we have a world traveler in the making!
How do you all feel about traveling with kids? As a parent, I’d say it’s much easier in many ways to just leave them behind with a trusted family member or sitter but the experiences they gain from travel is priceless. I realize not everyone can afford to travel with their children, especially people with 3 or 4 children, but I encourage you to consider it if it’s feasible, even if it’s only for every other vacation you take.
I’ve seen how traveling as a family has brought my family together. We’ve seen and done things that have permanently bonded us, in ways that every day life would never have done.