How to prepare you and your kids for a vacation…. a special cruise calendar to count the days until our next trip

The ruins of Ancient Carthage in Tunis – August 2011

Vacation time is the best and we are always looking forward to spend an amazing time in a different country, learning about new cultures and just being with family (not that you cannot have a great time in your own country:) ) Our trips are most of the time to Europe to combine time with extended family members and travel from there to different countries and new adventures. As I mentioned before, last year we went to a wedding in Germany, visited family in Italy and went on an amazing trip to Spain, Tunisia and France. Here we were in the back of a bus in Mallorca:

We always travel with the kids and Luca has been already on some big trips with long flights or even longer car trips like a  road trip from Germany through Switzerland to Italy, another road trip from North Italy to South Italy and his first flight was with 5 weeks… still I enjoy taking the kids and show them different parts of the world. It is the best thing for me to travel with my family. My parents did the same thing with my sister and me and I think they are the reason why we love traveling today… It can be stressful, yes, but much less with lots of preparation. I thought, I share some tips how we got through long flights, but more important I wanted to share our cruise calendar to get the kids as excited as we are for our next vacation to the Caribbean….

Yes, we are going on a cruise all together with my husband, the kids, my parents and my sister. I am sooooooooooooo excited. I love cruising….And we are prepared, get ready for some cool cruise and nautical props…. yeahhhh

To bring the vacation closer, I made Luca and Giorgio a cruise calendar to count the days until the cruise. Both the kids have been on cruises before with us, but Luca being 4 1/2 years old, understands much more and I love to see him getting excited too. It’s a lot of fun to watch the big cruise ships exit the port of Miami and we love to waive to the passengers. From this I got the idea of painting a big ship with windows for the days until the cruise. Instead of crossing the days off, Luca draws a face inside the window for each day. The calendar turned out huge and is standing in front of the fireplace for everybody to see it, meaning we are constantly reminded that we are going on vacation soon. Yeah…. The first thing after he wakes up in the morning is to run to the calendar, paint a little face and we count the days left together. Because of that, the cruise is usually the topic over breakfast. We go on with the day and the next morning he is all over excited to mark the calendar. I think this is a great way to prepare the kids for a vacation and also makes me feel like a kid counting the days down. Can you feel how excited I am????? But let me show you how the calendar looks:

For the vacation I will prepare an entertainment bag for the boys, which will include crayons, activity book, stickers, coloring pages, little surprises wrapped in tissue paper and secured with a little tape for unwrapping, glue sticks, bandages (they are great for opening and sticking them all over a plane) , extra paper, a light book, paper bag animals etc.  I had a package like this in the plane last summer and it kept Luca occupied in the plane, a train ride from Germany to Italy and in between other stops). Stickers are perfect. The coolest thing was the activity set which requires some preparation. He had to glue different fish on an ocean page, salami and olives on a pizza page, legs on a spider page, put different parts of a face and body together and so on… I had to pre cut these things, because we couldn’t take scissors on the plane, but it was totally worth it. Because he is older this year, I think I will make it more about math, but I am not sure yet what it will be. My Mom bought two mini chalk boards which can be used at the dinner table. I don’t need to prepare a lot, because we don’t have a long flight and there is plenty to do at a cruise, but it is always good to have a little care package.

Another thing I have learned through our trips is to relax . I was really nervous flying with my baby in the beginning and he felt my tension. Children mirror the parents and if we are unhappy, they will be too and show it… Even if I don’t like a place, I would never show my children, instead I would still try to make it cool for them.

I hope, if you are reading this, you will also go on a vacation soon…. Have fun! Soon we will too….

Categories: children, crafting, DIY | Leave a comment

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