Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Traveling With a Six-Year-Old: Survival Gear Edition

Traveling with MM these days is a whole different kettle of fish from traveling with him even a few months ago. A few months ago, I would have brought a complete extra set of clothes and many, many more activities for him to do on the train. Here's what I brought this time:

  • We were going for one overnight, so I packed each of us one change of clothes and one set of jammies. Next time, I'll pack a bathing suit for him, just in case.
  • I brought a travel set of markers (a Hanukkah present from my sister 2 years ago), an art pad (high quality paper, a birthday gift this year), 5 little pirate dudes (not played with AT ALL this trip), Usborne's Big Book of Puzzle Adventures (I don't really recommend this one, the picture puzzles are often misleading and go for more complex answers than strictly necessary), a Yes & Know book, a Leapster with some games, a couple of toy cars, and some snacks. And, of course, The Saturdays (as I said yesterday).

Everything we brought fit into my school backpack and MM's little blue backpack. Yes, he carried his own toys and didn't moan about it once.

I carried the art pad and the books (they were too large for his small bag), he carried all the other activities and some of the snacks.

Next time, I'll bring fewer snacks. Even though the cafe car is expensive, it's worth it to go just to get out of our seats for a while. Also, fewer small fiddly toys would have been better. And why I ever thought toy cars would be a good idea, I'll never know. He loved playing with them, but they rolled off the seat-back tray 15 more times than was good for my molars.

So, to sum up: Yes & Know + markers + art pad + Leapster + The Saturdays = Gold Stars; toy cars = Bronze starts (fun for him, annoying for me); Usborne puzzle book = meh.


kathy a. said...

traveling with backpacks is excellent! sounds like you packed well, too. i remember my kids being so excited when they could carry their own, and choose and pack their own stuff.

Mummy/Crit said...

That is cool! I've been meaning to do a trip to Sydney with D'Arcy (only we don't know so many people there to stay with anymore) on the train. I love train travel. I took the train from DC to NYC and loved it. The cafe car is great. I discovered the best pickles on that train trip.

I've been thinking about how easy it is to travel with an older child recently, as I contemplate going back to square 1 with a new baby and all the crap you have to carry with you...