Friday, November 2, 2018

Children allowed: enhance your travel by including a lively bright child

Ready for Legoland: springing into fun are Penelope Margaret and James Brian Ganner, Cookie's great-niece and nephew.

Amarylla Ganner, left, with Cookie and
Amarylla's children Peny and James.



WHENEVER WE have a chance to spend a couple days with select, smart little people, we're never sorry.
At left, Bruce Keller, Rick Cosgriffe, Cookie and Elliana
Broscious take in the geysers in Yellowstone Park.
Traveling with a bright child enhances your world, opens new doors, gives balance and perspective.
Our mother took us out of school for concerts, plays and trips, so I'm carrying on that tradition with my family -- my siblings and their children.  Now their kids -- the next tier -- are part of the fun -- my great nieces and nephews.
So here are a few tips to encourage you to take a kid along.  I recommend it -- so if you don't have one, borrow one.
  •  When traveling with kids, get an early start. If you're flying, book tickets for as early in the day as possible. It's your best chance to avoid delays at takeoff and landing. If you're driving, get out on the road early, too.
    Thumbs up for chocolate chip pancakes before Legoland.
  • When dressing little people for the road -- plane, train or car -- do layers and skip laces. Avoid buttons and use pull-ups for the littles.  
  • * Minimize baggage and equipment. If your little people are still in the stroller or car-seat stage, consider renting or borrowing as light as possible. My San Francisco niece and I confer before they fly and I borrow car seats. Saves her lugging bulky stuff on the plane. 
At Tippet Rise near Fishtail, Montana, world-class musicians
teach youngsters instrument basics, here the cello.
    * On a plane, make sure kids are seated on the windows, not the aisles. They love to look out the window and have fewer distractions.
    * Beware of germs. I use disinfectant wipes and teach the kids, too.
  • Bring surprises. Healthy treats are fun. Puzzles and a colorful book.
  • * Keep your composure. It's your best chance to avoid delays whether driving or flying. Young attention spans are best served by being airborne or on the road early in the day. In cars, sing songs.

 Cookie and grandson Rowan Jones at the Musical
Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona a few
years ago.  Rowan became an accomplished drummer. 

      * We took my niece and her husband and their three kids to a snow lodge last winter near Truckee, Calif. It was so much fun.  
    * Multi-generation travel can advance brain development in children while stimulating adults. It's true. We had three generations on this family holiday and it was delightful -- fixing meals together, making snow angels, playing chess, building fires, taking in a historic home decorated for the holidays.
  • Did you know that on a family holiday you are exercising two genetically ingrained systems deep in the brain’s limbic area, which can all too easily be “unexercised” in the home. Since my parents believed in education outside the traditional classroom,  I've seen my own brain and my siblings' exercised by concerts and plays in New York City, trips to the ocean in Massachusetts and California, even lounging and reading poolside.
    Elliana zeroes in on scenery in Yellowstone Park.
  • The brain's "play" system is exercised every time you bury a child’s feet in the sand, tickle him on the pool lounger, or take them for a ride on your back, as my brother Rick has long done with his kids and now grandkids.
    Involve a child in your day-to-day
    activity on the road.  Here, Peny
    helps Keller with his meds.

  • The brain’s "seeking" system is exercised each time you go exploring together: the forest, the beach, a hidden gem of a village, a new park or museum.
  •  * Involve kids in your life -- let them help you choose a concert,  play, hotel, park, zoo, outing or camping spot. 

The Star of India will again be in full sail Nov. 16 and 17. 
UP NEXT: The world's oldest active sailing ship, The Star Of India, has sailed the world and had many roles before her retirement as the star of San Diego's Maritime Museum, where you'll also see a Russian submarine and many other vessels that make this southern California port city such a welcoming place for sailors and sailing.  The 1863 vessel will be sailing for two fund-raising days later this month, and you can book passage.  Meanwhile, remember to enjoy, learn and live.


  1. Fun piece and good tips! Thinks from this adoring auntie. Taking my nieces to Rome next year!

  2. Granada GrandparentsNovember 3, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    Wonderful to experience travel through the eyes of another generation.....eye-popping and fun.

  3. Tivoli Travelers with TykesNovember 3, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    So much joy, so much love in your hearts!

  4. Very much enjoy the way you weave your travels into useful nougat. This one especially made me smile.

  5. Great suggestions!