Here’s the unedited translated text of the original post in Polish “Samochodem przez Europę z małymi dziećmi. Szaleństwo, czy przygoda?... (which has pictures), using GOOGLE TRANSLATOR–savior of these semi-nomadic travelers. You can also use the Google button at the bottom of each post to translate from English to your language of choice.
How to organize affordable family holidays that will satisfy both your children and you? Is it possible to satisfy your soul of the traveler, while providing the power of attractions for your children? Yes, it can be! For us, such a solution turned out to be a family traveling car journey around Europe. Sounds crazy? Does it hurt to think about a long ride with children who are snoring impatiently in their car seats? I am in a hurry to tell you that it does not have to be that way!! You do not have to give up the opportunity to see many interesting places during one vacation just for fear of your kids’ dissatisfaction! Children simply love the adventure and believe us, they can persevere to experience it!
48 days. 7 thousand km … .. on the road with a three-year-old and a six-year-old, that is a family road trip
Yes, dozens, or actually countless hours spent in the car … yes, real madness! At least it seemed to me at first. At the time I was even convinced that my younger child is allergic to a car seat, that this is an incurable condition, because even the teat and candy bags did not help as we got into the car. Beksa was right away. So, when my husband came up with the idea of traveling by car from our cozy Spanish outlet to Poland and back, my first reflex is knock on the forehead .. the second reflex, is to make sure we have enough good earplugs to avoid decibels that Kaja gets out of the hole as she sits in the car. I still had to digest the fact that due to the limited budget we will sleep mainly in the tent! Hmm .. and this is the first time together with children! In the end, however, the curiosity of the world and the soul of the traveler won. Such an opportunity may not be repeated! I was supposed to practice being positive, so this is the moment. We drive!
Excitement is hanging in the air. You do not see yet, but you already feel.
Karolek, our older son, was so overwhelmed by the prospect of sleeping in a tent and using flashlights, that he did not think at all about the fact that he would have to stay in the car almost every day to find a place in this camp. Driving into the unknown, being as close to nature as possible (with our abilities) and the prospect of swimming made him happy at once. It can not be concealed that, although reluctantly, he understood the mother’s logic, which explained to him that it is worth to withstand the pain of the tail bone from time to time caused by sitting in the car to experience the adventure.
We are moving to conquer Europe!
The first day. We leave later than we expected, but at least there is a chance that our toddler will fall asleep and the first day on the trip will be painless. Yes, I remember to think positively! You know what, I think I enchanted a child because that’s how it was! Kaj slept most of the time, and when he woke up, a smile appeared on the face … Hmm .. something is not playing here … nothing, I do not call a wolf out of the woods.
Magic fled the next day, and the farther into the forest, there were crises and the car sometimes shook from the child’s screams. However, we were all so excited about the next impressions that somehow it was possible to survive, and sometimes even convince the child that the attractions waiting for him are worth sacrifice. It also turned out to be helpful to sing songs, tell non-story stories by using pictures outside the window, as well as portable DVDs. It may sound too straightforward, but it really got better every day. The children understood that they did not have much choice, so instinct told them to adapt.
Children’s flexibility and ease of adaptation
This is the most important thought. Children can adapt to new conditions relatively quickly. I will venture a statement that faster than we adults. This is evident from the example of worms breaking into our tent – until recently, the fearful Karol was able to eliminate the “threat” himself, while I jumped like a rabbit with every close contact. It is important to present the situation in the most interesting way, even when the rain is pouring from the sky and the tent has to be spread. Six often told stories about ancient Romans who slept in tents on the battlefield and traveled a lot; or about ninja (our children are impressed by these good ninja) who had to keep discipline, train and be able to survive difficult conditions or inconvenience. It impressed them and often calmed down during the crisis. After a week on the road, there was no more discussion about going on.
Tents. Zero problem. Seriously, not once in the 48 days on the way children did not complain about sleeping in tents. Something amazing. I needed 15 minutes to warm up the old bones and get up in the morning from the tent, and the kids just woke up laughing. If there was a swimming pool at the campsite, they did not need anything more. The joy of children compensated for any discomfort. I do not say this only from a good mother’s heart, but from a simple relationship: if the children do not complain, then the parents are happy. As simple as that 🙂
In a word, we are very proud of our kids, that with a minimal amount of hysterics and crying, and generally with smiles on their faces, they survived such a long and somewhat crazy journey. We are also proud because children have learned more about themselves and their abilities. They also learned how to wash the dishes themselves by flashing, doing hand washing and hanging them, cutting vegetables for a salad; and what’s important, do it all with visible pleasure. I think their future wives will thank us for that one day.
The conclusion arises alone, if our Kajus and Karolek managed, other children can also! Happy camping!