On long trips with the kids, organizational skills are crucial. I’m the caretaker of important documents, vouchers, schedules, contact numbers, etc. Between the documents that the travel agent gives us and the ones I’ve assembled in our research units, I decided to assemble them in a spiral bound booklet, like the one the travel agent gives you, but even handier–-I shrunk it at the copy place so that it was purse-size for easy access. I travel with a larger tote on the plane, but once I arrive to the destination, I switch to a cross body smaller bag which is conducive to lots of walking, etc. So the booklet has to fit in the smaller bag.
I also have the booklet laminated so that it’s more durable. It helps to have an extra copy in case you lose any bags, temporarily. I also leave an itinerary with a relative back home and I think this is very important to do.
When the trip is over, I almost immediately make a photo album / photo book while everything is fresh in my mind and before the travel journals fall apart. My sons re-read these books all the time and it’s what has solidified their memories. It’s the metacognitive component for kids’ traveling. Metamemory and mneumonic skills are a big part of metacognition. In a less technical way, I consider the photo albums a way of metacognitively remembering the trips. People think young kids are too young for traveling because “they won’t remember anything.” But the truth of it is, if you show the photo albums often—they won’t forget the trips and the details. I know most of you readers have done photo books on the computer and they are wonderful tools!—but for any of you who haven’t done them, they are easy and fun. IPhoto, Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc……there are several available.
Other pages I include in my travel itinerary booklets are:
- travel insurance card and contact info
- flight tickets
- inflight menus
- tourist dress code articles
- contact numbers for people I’m visiting