Names: River (6, pictured) and Wilder (9 months)
Location: Cumbria, England
Favorite Family-Friendly Place To See or Thing To Do Here: We traveled to France and England this year with our 6-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son. After a couple of busy weeks in Paris and London, we splurged and stayed 2 nights in a castle hotel in the north of England (in the picture) where our daughter enjoyed having run of the lush grounds, towers and turrets. (continued below)
There were other kids with whom to explore while we enjoyed drinks and conversation with other parents. My daughter made an "email friend" with a 7 year old from Manchester. We wanted to stay much longer.
Best Tip for Traveling with Kids: Give kids an ongoing task. We gave our 6 year old a leather-bound sketchbook and the job of drawing everything she saw that interested her. And although she drew many pages worth of chocolate cake and hotel swimming pools, she also drew many interesting perspectives on the sights of France and England.
Favorite Way to Make it Feel Like Home: We didn't want it to feel like home - we wanted adventure! We encouraged our daughter to speak French and try new foods but promised ourselves not to feel guilty for the number of meals we ate at hotels just because it was all we could manage after a day of traveling around on the Metro or Tube. For our 9 month old, we did bring a suitcase worth of food, diapers, toys, books and comfort objects. And once we had somewhat recovered from jet lag, we tried best we could to adhere to the kids' bedtime routines.
An Item you MUST Take With You While Traveling: An umbrella stroller that reclines so your infant/toddler can nap while out and about. We left the Bugaboo at home and brought a secondhand Maclaren purchased on Craigslist. And thank goodness because we wouldn't have managed to navigate all the turnstiles and stairs in the Metro or Tube with anything more cumbersome.
Thanks Tracey and Chris!