Calling two countries as home can be hard. I had to juggle traveling between the U.S. and the Philippines to be with my loved ones on special occasions. But gone are the days when I can easily go wherever I want. I had to consider—my three children.
I love my children a lot. When I was a new mother just the thought of leaving my child for work aches my heart. But with my current setup of living abroad, bringing my kids over to the states is a dilemma. One is hard enough—try having three.
Kids will always be kids. Their innocence and curiosity get the better of them. They would explore around and ask non-stop questions that are sure to give every parent a headache.Now I know what my parents felt like when we have to go out of town when I was young. But with our constant traveling, I have picked a few pointers and tricks that keep me sane during a trip.
Plan and Pack Lightly
I have read a lot of parenting books and websites to help in dealing with such problems. They always tell you to—plan ahead. But when did the best laid plan ever succeed?
What I do is create a list of where I want to take my children. I would also ask my kids if they would like to go somewhere. This way they are involved with the planning. They would know what to expect and will be less giddy during the trip. I would then mix the two lists to come up with a tentative itinerary of our trip. Since it’s just a tentative plan anything can happen. We can spend as much time as we would like to in any place we go.
I also pack lightly. I bring the right amount of clothes and basic necessities based on the number of days of the trip. This way I don’t have to carry a lot of bags and create a scene at the airport.
Keep Them Occupied
During my single traveling days, I remember getting annoyed at crying and super hyper kids as embarrassed parents try their best to control them. Once I’ve become a parent, I told myself that I would never be one of them.
I found out that that is a hard task. Kids have a short attention span so one of the keys to having a less headache trip is preventing boredom to strike. By bringing toys, books, and gadgets, I kept them entertained and occupied during long hours on the road.Though it may not keep them occupied during the whole ride, it provides a great relief on my part to have a few hours of silence during a trip.
Turn A Stressful Opportunity to Gold
Sometimes it’s those stuck in a traffic moment that will forever stay in our minds. I remember my husband sharing a story of his vacations at his province where he gets to climb trees, catch fish, and play games under the light of the moon. My kids were all ears and couldn’t help asking for more childhood stories from him.
Before I know it, we braved a two-hour traffic without the kids getting bored or throwing a tantrum. Instead, we had a lot of fun sharing stories.
Empowered with this knowledge, I didn’t see traveling with my three children as a problem. What I saw is an opportunity for me to catch-up and bond with them.
Years have passed since I had to travel with 3 young kids in tow. Now they are all grown-up and successful in their respective careers. But every now and then I would reminisce of the fun times we shared during our travel. Wondering when can I do those things again. Maybe I can do it again with my grandkids someday.