Taking Someone Else’s Kid on a Trip – Travelling with my Nephew
Since I don’t have kids of my own, I often play babysitter for my nephew. He has spent a lot of nights sleeping at my house, ever since he was a baby. A couple of times I’ve taken him on short overnight trips. Here are some considerations to keep in mind if you also would like to expose a nephew or niece to travel.
– Check into the local regulations if you plan to take them on a flight or crossing a border! My trips have been car trips that are close to home so flying isn’t an issue I’ve tackled. You’ll likely need some type of letter signed by both parents, as well as the child’s passport, if you’ll be crossing international borders.
– Make sure the child is very familiar and comfortable with you first, and that they want to go on the trip!
– Start really small, ideally with something that doesn’t involve an overnight. Your nephew may be fine playing at your house, but how do they react when you take them out of familiar environments?
– If you do tackle an overnight camping trip, just do one night to start with, and not a full 24 hour period. For example, go in the afternoon and come home when you wake up the next morning.
– Pack plenty of familiar foods and snacks.
– If you’re going on an extended family trip, your nephew might like to travel with you in your car. This is a great way to spend some time together and give his parents a break.
– Understand that the highlights for the child will probably be things like getting to push elevator buttons, and not seeing the Mona Lisa.
– Expect unpredictable reactions. For example, you take your nephew to a theatre show aimed at children. You expect him to love it but he’s grumpy or falls asleep. Bear in mind that some kids are sensitive to too much stimulation, like too many lights and noise, or just too much going on. Therefore you can’t always predict what they’re going to be into or their moods.
– Avoid eating in restaurants. It’s so much hassle with small children. If you’re asking them to wait and be patient at other times, why add to this any more than you have too. When you travel with a kid, you’ll be doing a lot of asking them to be patient because there will be a lot more queues etc that they need to deal with.
– Don’t sweat the small stuff. For example, if the kid just wants to eat their familiar snacks e.g., the dry cereal you brought with you, you might just need to roll with that!
– Respect the parents eating rules. For example, don’t give the kid sugar if they are not used to it and you wouldn’t do that at home.