Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Monday, 5 April 2010

Painless travel with a four year-old

I just traveled from Madrid to Oxford with my wife and four-year-old son. This involved a twenty-minute taxi ride, two hours waiting at the airport (where I photographed a cop playing solitaire), a two-hour flight, an hour bus ride and another short taxi ride.

Doing this with a four-year-old? Piece of cake.

My son loves travel. Perhaps it's genetic, but more likely it's because he's enchanted with cars, planes, boats, buses, basically anything with a motor. Plus we make sure of three things when we're traveling:

1. He has enough to eat. A hungry kid is a grumpy kid.

2. He's comfortable. Not too hot, not too cold, and that he gets enough sleep.

3. He's entertained. We always bring coloring materials and some books, as well as a surprise. Usually it's a big glossy magazine about trains or cars. This time around it was a scuba diving magazine. We've been watching Jacques Cousteau together and I've promised him that we'll do scuba lessons for his 16th birthday. Flipping through pictures of sharks and coral reefs burned up more than an hour of flight time.

If you follow these three simple steps you can be pretty sure your kid will have an enjoyable travel experience and you won't want to kill them before landing. My son has traveled a fair amount and we've had no major blowups. Of course, we didn't take him on our road trip in Ethiopia. We'll have to wait until he's at least six for that.

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