Packing Up the Week: London, Teen Travel Benefits, Mother’s Day

London with Teens
Packing Up the Week

With the kids back in school, we all resumed our normal teen/high school routine, throwing in swim two mornings a week. That means everyone needs to be up and out the door very early. Leaving little time for doing any kind of traveling, but the planning and researching continues.

I just finished up a horribly sad book about the war in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. A friend of mine and her family will be traveling to Southeast Asia this summer, and she was looking for book recommendations. This memoir, First They Killed My Father, from Loung Ung who was only five at the time her family was forced to flee Phnom Penh, was both a page turner and terrifying at the same time. It made me realize how little I knew about this period of history from the mid to late 1970s. Similar to reading a very vivid account of the Holocaust and concentration camps, it’s one that I would recommend if you’re making a trip to Cambodia.

Eiffel Tower with Teens

Wrapping up Paris with Teens

I spent the week writing up our Paris adventures. You can read the review of the Le Bon Paris Macaron tour, tips of navigating the Louvre, and now a full post on Versailles (should you go or not), which includes input from another TravelTeening mom. She happened to be there the very same weekend! I hope to have the full recap completed by mid-next week. A few people reached out to me asking for the tips as they are planning their summer vacation soon.

On the Horizon: London Birthday Trip

My son and I are taking a very quick trip to London later this month. As he’s a huge fan of the musical Hamilton, we gave him tickets to see the show in London for his 15th birthday. I decided to extend the trip for a day so we had some time to take the train out to Oxford for a quick college visit. It’s hard to believe we’re already thinking about university, but I hated to miss the opportunity to visit since we’re nearby.

Oxford University Visit

We have a short time in the city, though, so I’m trying to decide what to see. Our family did a London vacation in 2016 when the kids were a little younger, and they still remember most of it.

This post from Kids Are a Trip about What Not to Miss in London with Teens has been helpful to jog my memory of all the great things to do in London. We have done most of them (I’m a pushy traveler), but it may be worth going back to places like the British Museum or visiting the British Library. I may just need to let him choose.

Do you have ideas for things that might be off the beaten path?

What Not to Miss in London with Teens

More on Traveling with Teens

Early this week, one of my Facebook groups posted a link with an article from Travel + Leisure about how traveling with your kids makes them better in school. A few interesting points from the article/study.

  • 74 percent of educators believed that travel has “a very positive impact on students’ personal development.”
  • 56 percent believe that travel’s positive impact can extend to a student’s education and career.
  • 42 percent of teachers thought that a well-traveled kid looked more attractive to college admissions recruiters.
  • Kids who traveled were more likely to have higher independence, self-esteem, confidence, adaptability and sensitivity. They were also more likely to be more outgoing and have better self-expression than kids who stayed at home.

I finished up another post for Cool Mom Picks this week on a similar topic, which should publish soon. In the meantime, their latest podcast talks about Traveling with Teens. They gave me a nice little shout out at the beginning, which was fun to hear. (If you missed my last post with them, it’s here.)

And Mother’s Day

I grew up a traveling kid. It wasn’t until I recently read the book Third Culture Kid that I understood what living abroad does for you and to you. Finally, an explanation why I never felt at home in the U.S. My parents traveled and moved around a lot. My mother lived in Germany as a child, then we lived in Germany in elementary school, and then they did a repeat of Germany when I graduated from high school. Germany is in my blood.

This week is not only Mother’s Day, but my mom’s birthday. She passed away several years ago from cancer, and I know she would have loved to visit us in Germany again, especially since we’re so close to where they lived.  This is not a post about grief, but one to remind myself (and anyone reading) that life is short. It’s important to go, see, and do things while you can.  And most of all, have a blast doing them. Bringing the kids along is bonus.


Main Photo by Eva Dang on Unsplash

Oxford Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

London with Teens Photo by Kirsten Maxwell and Kids Are A Trip, Inc. 

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