Preparing the Kids for Our Trip to Paris

A previous trip with our toddler Ada showed us that traveling with children, while challenging, could still be fun and we were eager to do it again. Then I got pregnant with twin boys. While overwhelmed raising a toddler and two demanding babies, I believed my days of international travel were over.

As they grew older, life got a little easier and my dreams of travel seemed possible again. Now that Ada was 6 years old and Ethan and Chase were almost 4 years old, we decided to take the plunge and booked five tickets for a ten day vacation in Paris.

While excited, I was also cautious about sharing our travel plans with family and friends, or even on online forums. I wasn’t sure how to respond to potential negative comments. Because I wasn’t so sure it was a great idea either. I still had moments of pure panic, wondering how we would manage herding three children through a bustling, international city.

But the tickets were booked, we put a deposit on an apartment, and — despite my anxiety attacks — there was no backing out.  I spent months searching the internet for tips on traveling with kids to Paris. I also made frequent trips to the library, borrowing kids books based in Paris to give the kids an idea of where we were going and what we’d see — to make those monumental sites like Notre Dame or Sacre Coure, more kid-friendly.

As the kids’ excitement grew, so did mine. They asked if crocodiles lived in the Seine River (umm…no), if we’d get to climb to the top of the Eiffel tower (yes!) and if we could go to the museums and see gigantic pictures of naked ladies (sure, why not?).  To practice for their flight, they dragged our luggage through the house pretending they were at the airport, taking off their shoes to go through security, and boarding the couch for their flight to Paris.

My kids’ enthusiasm was infectious and my old confidence returned. When I finally told people where we were going, I answered their incredulous looks with a chuckle and a simple statement: it doesn’t make sense, does it? I guess we’re just crazy like that.

I finally felt ready to take my family into the world, there was only one question: was the world ready for my family?

*To learn more about how I prepared for this trip, check out my guest post How to Prepare Kids for First-time Travel on one of my favorite travel blogs Wired2theworld.com