Not many people take a five-year-old boy on a transatlantic flight. Now I know why. Going to Europe with young kids is like having the proverbial root canal without lidocaine. Maybe your family deals with jet lag better than mine (if so, props to you), but my kids start to act like hooligans when confronted with jet lag. And yes, our parental patience is shorter when we’re sleep deprived (why’d we become doctors again then?) 😉
3 weeks is a long time to travel with a 5 and 7 year old. We used this trip (which was a home exchange) to “test and scale” for a bigger trip down the road. Originally we had been thinking about doing a “gap year” next year to travel extensively. After a lot of thought, we decided no. Sure, a gap travel year sounds awesome on paper, but the actual day to day of it isn’t something we’re interested in doing right now. So we decided to do something else instead (stay tuned for future news about these plans—they’re big. Well, at least for us.)
Am I glad we took the kids to southern Spain, etc. for 3 weeks this past summer? Yes. It was incredible, unbelievable, surreal—and amazing memories were made. But it was also a very difficult journey that stretched us to our limits (I know: first world problems. Sorry). Lucky you though: I took notes during that trip so I could share my scar tissue with you. Read on to avoid my mistakes.