I’m a big fan of the Wanderlust and Lipstick website and I recently have been lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Wanderlust and Lipstick: Traveling With Kids by Leslie Forsberg and Michelle Duffy (who blogs as WanderMom). This guidebook is a companion to the other books published as part of the Wanderlust and Lipstick series (which includes The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo and For Women Traveling to India). It is a great family-travel primer, brimming with stories and good advice.
I really can’t praise Traveling With Kids enough. Here are just a few of the things I especially like:
- The fact that the book covers everything from weekend books to round-the-world travel, treating both with equal weight and respect
- The stories from dozens of traveling moms offering insight and suggestions.
- The numerous and specific suggestions about what to pack – and the fact that the book gently encourages parents of babies and toddlers to rethink bringing all that gear.
- Helpful Hot Tips, which scattered throughout the text. Some of them are things I’ve already done, but certainly not all. A favorite: “Write down the time and duration of naps your child takes as well as any nighttime wakefulness. You will then have a record of cumulative sleep and can be more confident that your child is adjusting to the new time zone.” I wish I’d thought of that the first time we took Tommy to Europe!
- The chapter about flying with children, one of the most practical, detailed, and realistic selections I’ve read about this topic
- The long list of websites at the end. I thought I knew the online travel world, but I’ve already gone in and bookmarked a bunch of new resources that I know are going to come in very handy.
Most of all, I like the tone of the book – understanding, wise, generous, and inspirational. Reading it is like talking to a friend who knows you well, has been everywhere, and has all kinds of practical, realistic, and nonjudgmental advice to offer. Like the fact that it’s OK and possibly necessary to occasionally purchase fast food even in exotic locales (which made me feel a whole lot better about the fact that I gave Tommy McDonald’s French fries in the train station in Florence, Italy). The premise of the book, outlined beautifully in the first chapter, is that traveling with our children in any capacity is an important way to shape them as global citizens and to encourage their curiosity and wonder. Every suggestion the book contains is made with this in mind and it is therefore full of thoughtful suggestions for making family travel more meaningful. For example, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book about traveling with kids that talked about how to help children integrate their experience into their lives once the trip is over, but this book has an entire chapter dedicated to returning home. Returning home and travelling to the chosen destination can be difficult if you are caring for a child with an impairment, however it can be made so easy if you invest into an electrical device such as a wheelchair or scooter, these devices will help your child enjoy their life to the max! I found a great resource here where you can check out some of these good-quality wheelchairs and scooters, making travel easier and accessible to all of those who need to go on an adventure, an adventure of a lifetime that will change their lives as they will be able to explore a completely different culture and different way of living.
This book should be considered an essential purchase for anyone who is considering traveling with their children and has never done so. It would also make a fantastic shower gift for a traveling mom-to-be (one of the sections deals with traveling while pregnant and there are loads practical tips about traveling with babies and toddlers). And it’s a great refresher course for those of us who have traveled with new information for even the most experienced travelers. While many of us are so used to traveling with kids we could probably write our own book on it and finish it off with book binding machine, there are still lots of tips in this book which blew my mind. I lost track of how often I found myself exclaiming “now why haven’t I tried that?” while I read it. This book could also be beneficial for any families that are planning to move abroad. I know one of my friends is planning to Relocate to Andorra soon with her family, so this would be good for them as there are some great travel tips in this book. Maybe more people should consider traveling over to Andorra. It’s a country in Europe and it would probably be a great place to visit.
You can purchase the book at Amazon, but I also have an extra copy to give away! To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below saying why you want the book and what you might use it for. And I’ll give anyone who mentions the drawing on Twitter an extra entry for each tweet. The contest closes at midnight EST on Tuesday, May 12th.