Travel: How Your Kids Can Enjoy the Simple Things In Life

traveltips for traveling with children

It is 12:46am and my kids are sleeping. We are on vacation and I felt compelled to write. As they lay next to me, I type out these words that I mean so much.

Like I said, we are on a vacation, but we aren't in a hotel. A friend has put us up in a spare room for the next few nights. We drove here; we didn’t fly and my kids are thrilled.

How to Create Lasting Memories On Family Vacations

Our dinner consisted of sandwiches pre-bought with a coupon, packed and stored in a cooler on the way here. It was delicious and the kids said so as well. We ate pre-made brownies for dessert, rented a 3.99 movie off of iTunes and after our day of travel we called it a night, preparing for the day that awaited us.

My kids are not in any way deprived of 1st class vacations. Last year, around this time, we spent over a week in the hotel of hotels in Disney World. There was concierge service and a bellhop to come get our bags.

Tomorrow morning, we won’t order room service for breakfast. Instead we will eat Rice Crispies ® out of solo cups with plastic spoons. Our days will not be filled with rollercoaster rides, a day in the sun or a ship excursion.  Tomorrow, we will visit a National landmark and make a souvenir instead of buying one.  Tomorrow, we will be entertained by learning and expanding the mind, not just by experiencing a thrill.

I tell you all of this because there is nothing wrong with the Crown Plaza, red carpet events, and inviting our kids to enjoy the finer things in life. There is also nothing wrong with the just the "fine" things in life, because those little fine things can build something sweet.

Remember those days when the box your toy came in was just as exciting as the toy itself? I do.  So be it a pirate ship, a cottage in the woods, or a castle on a hill ... darn, those boxes can be fun if you let them!

I had forgotten that more expense does not always mean more value when it comes to memories.  We often hear that memories are priceless, yet we spend thousands to make them. I never want my kids to be raised to be used to high-end restaurants or the finest of accommodations. One day they may not be able to afford them as they struggle to live out their dreams of being the next famous artist or ball player. They won’t always have the money and neither will I.  It’s okay to order room service every now and then, but I bet they will remember giggling over solo cups filled with cereal more. I want them to recognize the small things that build value. I want them to appreciate those things. I want them to never forget the potential fun of the cardboard box.

What are some simple ways you've created memories with your kids?

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.
Elizabeth Norton is a home educator and and traveler.  Road trips inspire her and she delights in the car conversations she has with her boys.  Elizabeth Norton is a home educating mom of 2 boys. All three love to learn and adventure. You can follow their journey on! Elizabeth Norton truly believes "Life is a lesson as much as it is a story! Live it. Learn from it. Share your findings."
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