Not ANOTHER toy! 5 OTHER ways to capture the travel moment.

When it comes to wanting to give our kids the very best – we’re all a little bit guilty. Our favourite theme parks and attractions have this sussed and are ready for us….usually at the end of the long fun day when the only way out for weary parents is through an impressively decked out souvenir shop.  It’s marketing 101 and good business.  It’s also a wonderland of possibilities for kids…and a possible nightmare for parents!

So how can you make it to the safe haven of your car without spending the kids college money or worse buying yet another toy that’s going to be forgotten about in a few short hours? Firstly, preparation is the key – prepare the kids for the reality of what you’re willing to spend that day and on what -then stick to it. And if that fails, baton down the hatches and make a run for it 😉 #Usetheforce!

With regards to the what to buy, I’m always on the look out for items that will build on the travel memory.   Some of these things include:

1. Books –  A book that relates to a location or experience is great. It can be revisited for years to come. My children now read a book that my parents bought at Disneyland California for me when I was 12! Another nice thing to do is to jot down in the inside cover the date the book was purchased (or duration of the holiday), location and a little travel memory.

2. Coins –  Opark pennyur children are fascinated with coins…. their colours, the numbers on them, the varying sizes, shapes, weights and of course pictures. Coins from other countries are a great opportunity to educate but also help them to recall a travel memory.  When you travel, donate a few of your coins of course to the charities at the airport but if you can spare some, keep a few for the children to play with at home.  It will build their collection and give them something fun to do while you’re unpacking and getting the house back to normal 🙂 Some theme parks and attractions also have their own branded coins that you can buy. Link and Photo credit: http://www.parkpennies.com/

3. Location specific trinkets:  These don’t have to be expensive and some of my favourites include shells (Ahem: From the store of course never from the beach…thanks customs!) and keyrings.  When I met my husband, we discovered we had a love of food and a love of keyrings. Together we have over 250 keyrings from different places we have visited.

4. Items for the journal –  We collect everything from postcards, ticket stubs, boarding passes, drink coasters, even a packet of Disney Ketchup and stick it in the journal.  This is an amazing memory maker and something older children can do themselves. I have journals from my early travels around the US, HK and Europe still! Some of it is embarrassing to read now as an adult but on the flip side I’ll never forget those travels and the wonderful time that I had.   In recent years, I’ve started scanning and including these items in our printed photo books.   Which brings me to my next point…

5. Photos…If you go somewhere and there is a professional photographer taking the cheesy branded photo on the cheesy generic backdrop.  Do it! These are the photos that you’ll look back on.  How else are you going to reproduce that photo of your entire family screaming for their dear life on Space Mountain? 🙂  Such precious memories.  The catch… you’ve probably got to collect that photo from the lovely inviting gift shop on exit!

Side note: Articles of clothing like T-shirts are also up there in our ways to capture the travel moment. The problem with buying these for children as we all know is that they dont last long – either through wear and tear or just because they’ve grown out of them.   I saw a cute idea on Paging Fun Mum’s site recently that suggested you could turn these into wall art 🙂 Not a bad idea. Like everything here, take a look and do what works for you and your family. 🙂

http://pagingfunmums.com/2013/07/06/diy-canvas-wall-art-using-old-kids-t-shirts/

xx Jetsetting Kids

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