Be respectful of the culture, be kind and generous to those you interact with and you will have a great adventure. That is our family’s mantra.
Hi, my name is Yao Yao. I am 12 years old and in middle school. I am probably just like a lot of your kids. I like to read, swim, play with our dog Jack, listen to music, and spend time with my friends. I like to spend time with my mom and dad and I love to travel. I like the new adventures and though sometimes I get bored or don’t like what we are doing, most of the time we have great experiences and I get to try things I could never do at home. I always get to see or experience something new like river rafting in Patagonia, swimming with jellyfish in Egypt (they don’t sting) or going on safari in South Africa. I always meet new people, learn interesting things and get to eat really good food. Though my mom will include travel tips on each trip, here are some of the things I think you should do no matter where you go!
- Pack you backpack (if you are little, let your mom or dad help) Make sure not to bring too much heavy games. I like to draw so I bring a sketch pad and it doubles as something we can play hangman or other games. I always bring more than one pencil and gel pens so I can play a game with my parents. I am older now so I can bring my nook and use my mom’s iPAD so I can read or watch movies.
- Make sure you bring anything you need to sleep with or that you cannot live without on the airplane. If your favorite toy, blanket or book is in your luggage and it gets lost then there is nothing you can do. My mom packs anything super important in our carry-on so even if our suitcases get lost or delayed we can still have a great time.
- Don’t assume there are movies for you on the airplane. Make sure you bring something you know you want to watch- just in case there is nothing on the plane that your parents will let you watch.
- Bring an extra set of clothes in case you throw up or someone drips something on you. I hate wearing clothes with stuff on them.
- Bring books or a nook/kindle/ipad. You do not want to run out of books to read and sometimes you can’t find books in English and then there is nothing you can do.
- Bring a cozy blanket for the plane because sometimes it gets cold on the plane and the blankets the airline give you are scratchy.
- Parents need to remember that is very hard for kids, especially little kids, to sit for many hours. Walk with them up the aisle after they use the restroom. Don’t make them go right back to their seats. A little walking around really helps.
- Bring shoes that are easy to get on and off because if you are visiting beaches or religious places you will have to take off and on your shoes and it gets really tiring. Sometimes if we are on a long flight, I like to take my shoes off so I bring fuzzy socks so I don’t have to touch the icky floor. I ALWAYS put my shoes back on when I use the bathroom on the plane. They get pretty disgusting.
- This is an important tip, especially if you are traveling on a long flight to Asia or Africa- bring snack food you like. Sometimes we eat everything we brought with us and sometimes we barely touch it. I am always happy to know there is something for me to eat.
- If you are a picky eater or have allergies, have your mom or dad order a special meal when you make reservations to travel.
- Have your parents give you small packs of kleenex. They are good if you spill something, have a bloody nose or there isn’t any toilet paper.
- Have your parents give you a small bottle of purell. It helps with the awful smell on the plane and it’s good to have if you visit places that aren’t really clean.
- Have the flight attendant fill your water bottle on the plane. That way you don’t have to worry about spills and you always have water with you.
- Unless you are really young, bring your own carry on you can put under your seat. This way when your parents are sleeping or reading you can get your own toys or books without bothering them.
- If you are young you should have your parents pack no tears shampoo because you can’t find it everywhere.
- Get a carry on or backpack with wheels because if you have to change planes you might have to walk a long, long way and wheels really help you keep up!
- Use the bathroom before you land. You will have to wait in immigration or customs lines and in some countries they don’t let you use the bathroom.
I usually get stuck in the middle because my parents often get three seats across. If we fly business then I get a window. Both my parents like aisles. One trick my mom does is she makes reservations for a window and aisle and then the other aisle seat across. This way we can all sit together and I get a window and not the middle seat. If you are little the middle seat isn’t bad but once you are 7 years old or so, it’s not great. Business class or First class seats are much, much better but my parents decide if we are flying coach or business class. 🙁
Remember you are very lucky. You get to go on a trip somewhere new and different with your family. Pretty cool.v