Travel Tip: Give Each Child Their Own Backpack
Many people come to look back on their family vacations, as children, as the most memorable times of their childhood. This being the case, it’s obvious that, as a parent, you want to make the experience as rewarding and enjoyable as possible. You want to make your child feel like an active participant in the adventure, rather as just another piece of luggage along for the ride. And one way to do this is to allow them to pack, and carry, their own backpack.
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In this photo you see that I only get half the suitcase as I share the other half with my daughter as we pack for our 13 day European trip.
Your child is often the best judge of what is important to them. Let them judge what things can be left at home, and what they will need to feel comfortable on their vacation, and enjoy this time away from home. Let them decide, to a large degree, what they will pack in their own bag. Encourage them to bring their electronic devices or games, something to help them pass the time during the inevitable lull in vacation activities. Perhaps some healthy snacks, or even unhealthy ones. But please, curb their enthusiasm. Explain that the family turtle is best left at home, as much as he would enjoy the Costa Rican rainforest.
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And you can also take this as an opportunity to teach a bit of responsibility, as well. Put them in charge of carrying, and keeping track of, their own belongings. The carrying part may be made a bit easier by supplying them with a backpack with wheels. This will make it so much easier to navigate crowded airports and urban terrain. And emphasize that this item is to be considered their carry-on luggage, subject to all airline regulations. Explain to them what these regulations are. This will provide them with a firm basis to become responsible travelers in their adult adventures. Travelers behind them in airport security lines will thank you!