I am an entertainment journalist and travel writer. My kids – two girls ages 6 and 10 – are old enough now to complain that I leave on “fun trips” without them and don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to come along. (Despite the fact that they occasionally do, but apparently that’s not enough!)
On a recent assignment to St. Kitts, my daughter handed me her stuffed bunny while seeing me off at the airport. Once I landed, I got the idea to make Bunny part of my travels (a la Flat Stanley) and took some pics of Bunny around the hotel. I texted my daughter photos throughout the trip to make her feel like she was part of it through Bunny’s eyes. Bunny enjoyed his hotel view, his time at the casino, hanging with the hotel staff and had no problems dealing with the airport check-ins and going through security. Everyone at the hotel and airport was game to do this.
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me all these years to do something like this sooner for my kids. I guess it took my daughter handing me her bunny on this St. Kitts trip to make that lightbulb go off. I think other parents who travel – even if it’s just for a weekend – might find this a useful tool to make their child part of their travels and make the separation more bearable. The photos become great opportunities to talk to children about the places and locations.