Wednesday, May 12

{ Prague } Pounding the Pavement

Park in Prague
Our trip to Prague was a pounding the pavement trip. At least that is what I call it and how I think about it in my mind. A pounding the pavement trip involves a visit to a large, crowded city with lots of tourists. The purpose of this type of trip is to see a lot of stuff, not to relax. In fact, chances are you'll all come home needing a vacation. But, hey you've seen a bunch of cool stuff so who cares? Basically, it is the complete opposite of this type of trip. Get the picture?

These types of trips can be the hardest for the little ones. It's not the city aspect that makes it difficult, it is the crowds and all the walking. It is also the fact that little kids just aren't as thrilled as we adults are to see all the stuff. Usually there is one monument or site that the kids really get into, but the rest of it is truly just stuff.

I'm no expert, but Bryce and I have done this type of trip a few times now and have discovered some ways to make pavement pounding more enjoyable for all of us, i.e., if the children are happy we are happy, i.e, we get to see more stuff.

Park in Prague

1) We bring a stroller with us. Yes, I know my girls (3.5 and 6 years old) are old enough to walk. BUT, there is a lot of walking involved with pavement pounding. If they get tired or whiny, they just take a ride for a while. We have an old junky umbrella stroller that we collapse and wheel along, only opening it when needed. In Prague the girls discovered that they could both sit in the stroller together. Heavy to push, but they were happy and we got to continue seeing the sites.

2) We have a rough plan. There is a delicate balance between having a plan and being flexible. As you all know the importance of flexibility of any outing with kids. But before we set out we figure out where we're going and how we're going to get there (tram, metro, bus) You don't want to waste any steps with the kiddos. We usually think of our day in 3 parts - morning (1 main site), lunch, afternoon (1 site.)

3) We buy tickets in advance. This isn't always possible, but you'd be surprised how much you can do online. Buying tickets online greatly reduces the amount of time you have to spend in lines.

4) I keep candy in my purse. You'd be amazed at what a few jelly beans can do. The kids are tired, they're doing a great job, it's a special occasion, give 'em a sweet. A burst of energy, something they don't get very often, hopes of more, it works.

Park in Prague

5) We find parks. Bryce excells in this department. I think he has a sixth sense for city parks. This energizes the kids. They don't have to be careful, quiet or wait patiently. The get to do something physical and something for them. And it's free. And you get to sit down too. This is good because you're so tired too. You'll be amazed at what an hour at the park can do.

6) We divide and conquer. Okay, don't know about the conquer part but sometimes we'll split up for a bit. Usually, I'll hang out with the girls while Bryce buys tickets, checks something, or feeds the parking meter. It seems like a little thing, but it all adds up.

7) We indulge. We stop for gelato or let them share a fanta, or have a go on the carosel. This is supposed to be fun!! The promise of stopping for ice cream gives the kids something to look forward to, assuming they're not as gung-ho to see the gothic cathedral with baroque details as you are.

8) We take rides. Boat rides. Horse carriage rides. Gondola rides. Ferris wheel rides. This is fun for all of us. And the kids get to take a little break from walking.

These photos were taken in Prague in a park Bryce sniffed out, behind the large metronome sculpture on the hill.

If you have any tips or experiences to share, please leave a comment!


se7en said...

Oh your post so reminds me of traveling!!! We haven't been overseas for a couple of years... the last time we traveled we had five kids with us and we had the best time seeing sites from their perspective!!! And yes we had heaps of picnics in parks and always a couple of sweeties in our pockets... and yes they walked that extra block for a gelato!!!! Love this post!!!

Mama Llama said...

I'm sure you already do this, but it deserves repeating: before we leave for the trip, I always borrow books about our destination to look through with my son. It gets him excited, and he always finds places he is looking forward to seeing. And he's always thrilled when he recognizes something in real life that he saw in a book and it makes his experience even more special.

likeschocolate said...

Sounds like how we do it!

Dana said...

I've had my share of pavement pounding as well. We have slowed down a bit since adding my daughter to the mix. That's the best advice anyone ever gave me -- slow down, it's okay. Plan to accomplish half of what you did before children. That's pretty much true. The other things I've learned over the years. For me, the park is the most important part -- along with the bag full of tricks, uhh.. candy.

She's nearly six and I wish I could say it's getting easier. Quite the contrary. . .
HAve a great day!

Emily said...

Is Audrey wearing that cute shirt that you made?

PS I don't know how you do it, all these trips with the little ones. You are a very patient and organized mother!

Road Trippers said...

we just found an enormous beanbag thing in Belvedere Palace in Vienna. People from all parts of the world were just sprawled on it, staring at the gorgeous mural on the ceiling. We collapsed as well and actually fell asleep for about 20 minutes. It was AWESOME and we were revived to see more Klimt! Such a sweet surprise while "seeing stuff".

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...