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Old 11-10-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
hockeygoofy
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Taking Young Kids on a ABD

The good news is my wife wants to go with the entire family on an ABD in 2010, ideally Italy, but she is open to any of them. The thing is, when I started to research it more it seems that you can have children ages 3 or 4, but they really recommend them be 5 or older. My daughter will be 6 and my Son will be 4. Do people recommend we wait a few more years, or are there any trips that people would recommend for younger kids.

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Old 11-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
glassslipper2004
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The trips all have recommended ages on them. I think 4 is young for the touring intensive trips, like Italy - but I loved the Italy trip so much, it is hard for me to say anything that would steer you away from it. There is a lot of walking, it is often very hot, and lots and lots of standing and listening to tour guides who will not capture a 4 year old's interest. And a good bit of waiting for other people to meet up, for the guides to get things ready, and meals on a adult schedule and pace. I think the recommended age for Italy might be 6, but I'm not sure.

There are probably lots of posters who went with younger kids than mine who could comment (my girls were 9 and 10 when we went to Italy). Good luck - let me know if you have particular questions.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
Bobo912
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I think it depends on the kids and which trip you choose. But if I were in your place, I would wait until they are older. For some of the trips there is a lot of walking. For some long bus rides and activities that have age restrictions. I haven't been on the Italy trip so I can't comment on that one in particular. I took my son on our first ABD trip to Costa Rica in the summer of 2008 when he had just turned 8 and that was a great age. We had a 4 year old on our Alaska trip this year and I think the bus rides and a lot of the activites were too much for her. She seemed to be unhappy or asleep a lot of the time. It's a lot of money to spend on a vacation and I would want to be as sure as I could be that my child would have a fantastic experience. If he's not having a good time, I know I'm won't be having a good time either. But you know your kids and are the best judge of how they would handle it. I don't want to discourage you. The trips are great.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #4
kristilew
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It depends on your kid, ultimately. These are not in any way stroller-friendly trips, so can he keep up with the crowd all day long without losing it?

I'm sure your child is a perfect angel. I will say that there was a 5 y.o. boy on our trip this summer who made us miserable enough that we will never do another tour that includes children that young. On the other hand, the year before, there was a six y.o. girl on our Peru trip who was as easy to have around as any adult.

The bottom line is, you know your kids, and I assume you would police them in a manner as to not negatively impact anyone else's trip.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
clarabelle
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On our Ireland trips there was a younger child of around 5. She was precious and well behaved.
I am not sure she really enjoyed it though. I think she was content enough -but
she rarely seemed excited or awed -I think it just went over her head.
I personally would wait a few years -especially for the Europe trips.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:27 AM   #6
marcemch
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I think I am going to have to weigh in on the "wait" side as well. I took my daughter to Germany when she was 8 and that was a great age for that type of tour. For our Alaska trip this summer, she was 9, and I think she was too young for that trip in many ways, as it there was alot of more sedate activities, fewer magical touches, and she didn't care much about scenery or waiting for wildlife.
I think you have to think a little selfishly as to not only how the child will enjoy the trip, but how YOU will enjoy the trip if you have to placate a child who can't keep up with the tour or with the older kids.
Our guides would often sit at the kids table while the adults had a nice adult meal just a table away. As a single parent, I greatly appreciated this! But had my daughter not been old enough to take care of herself at mealtime without adult help, I would have probably been off to the side sitting with her or sitting at the kids table, which definitely would have reduced my enjoyment of the trip.
The other thing to think about is that there likely won't be other kids that young on the tour for yours to play with.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
jjb52
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The two five year olds on my Germany trip did pretty good. The time change was hard on them and the parents Dad's) carried them alot. The food upset one of them-the Mom missed an afternoon of activities. One of the families was late for a couple of meeting times and came carrying their sleeping child which affects the whole group getting started for the day. I work with kids and in general would not recommend these trips for the 5 and under but each parent knows their child's limits. These were well behaved, charming little girls but too young in my opinion.
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