Part 1: Factors to consider before your trip

The Art of Traveling Lightly

Doug Dyment of One Bag, shares another pearl of travel wisdom:

"One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a lifetime of exciting journeys. And the best way to do so is to pass on a way of thinking about travel that has been written about for thousands of years, but has somehow eluded almost everyone you see at today's airports: the art of traveling lightly."

"Travel is supposed to be about the destination, not how much of your own life you can bring along with you. It's possible to travel indefinitely, and comfortably, for business or pleasure, with no more than you can carry in a single, small bag, one that doesn't resemble a trailer."

"So ... learn how to do it yourself: it's not particularly difficult, but consists of *many* small things, done well. And then, when your child is past the toddler stage (it's hard to manage when diapers are still in the equation), and able to carry a small backpack, pass on the secrets of carrying everything that's needed, and immersing oneself in a world beyond one's doorstep."

Give the Children More Responsibility

Monique Rubin of Examiner, reminds us that traveling as a single parent can be a challenge.

"When traveling without a partner give children more responsibility. This will not only lighten your load but lets the children become more involved in the trip. Here are some ideas for single parent travelers:

  • 1. Consent from non-traveling parent.
  • When traveling as a single parent it is important to have a notarized letter of consent from the non-traveling parent. This is especially true if you are crossing borders.
  • 2. Assign children travel-related tasks.
  • Assign children travel-related tasks such as locating safety exits on planes, trains and in hotels and doing the final check of these places to ensure nothing is forgotten.
  • 3. Give children important information.
  • Give child the cover of the matchbook from hotel (not the matches) with all of the hotel�s information. Also make sure your child has a card with your information in case you are separated.
  • 4. Give children a map and let them navigate.
  • Maps provided by hotels are a good option because they often have pictures of monuments, museums and landmarks.
  • 5. Be well rested.
  • A tired, stressed parent will fail to see the humor in anything. The better rested you are, the more enjoyable the journey will be."

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