Traveling with others is always a bit of give-and-take. So it went when we flew to Amsterdam with our two pre-teen grandchildren. We put aside our usual travel style for one that would accommodate them. Not everything worked, but when it did, we got some nice pay-back in return.
It may help you to know a few things we learned from a trip traveling with children. Strangely, we think most of what we learned would apply to companions of any age who would be joining you on your adventures.
Be prepared to stop and enjoy
The children had never been to the Netherlands, and there was a lot to see. We enjoyed watching them observe their surroundings.
Try to agree on activities everyone will enjoy
We polled the kids before the trip and everyone wanted to go to museums. We visited both the Van Gogh Museum and…
The owner had a small boat holding no more than a dozen passengers, and we quietly glided down the canals, often passing raucous and large parties on bigger boats. We all enjoyed the informative tour.
Enlist everyone in the planning
We asked Ainsley and Luke to look online and select three restaurants not far from our hotel where we could possibly dine in the evenings. They chose restaurants with French, Indian, Indonesian, Dutch, and Asian cuisines.
Our favorite rmeal of the trip was at Mayur Indian Restaurant, selected by Ainsley in her research before the trip. The atmosphere was lovely and the food was perfect. For us, all the meals were the highlight of the trip. Luke and Ainsley were good conversationalists, and we enjoyed their company very much as accompaniment to the fine dining.
Expect to do things you wouldn’t normally do
Well, we don’t normally shop in souvenir shops or sporting goods stores, and, with a few rare exceptions (mostly in Asia), don’t do much more than window-shopping. It was especially important to the kids to bring back just the right presents for their families.
By the last day, Luke still had a few items to purchase, and Ainsley graciously agreed that we should all go to help Luke find what he needed. In the end, Luke was successful, and they were both thrilled to find the perfect souvenir to take back home for themselves:
When they were happy, we were happy.