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Old 11-08-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
austinHodge
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Peru with or without immature boys?

I've been lurking here for some time, but this is my first post. My wife and I have decided that we want to go to Peru in 2012. The ABD Peru trip sounds wonderful, and we're also considering some other tour operators as well. We are having a tough time deciding whether we should bring our then 8 and 11 year old boys along with us. They are both fairly immature, and we're not even sure if they would enjoy the trip. I think it would be a great experience for them, but I'm concerned that it would come at the expense of my wife and my enjoyment. They both prefer to be indoors, and we have to constantly pull them away from their video games to make them go outside. I tell you this in the hopes that you may have similar kids, or have been around similar kids, on a trip such as this. Can you provide some guidance, either way, on whether or not we should include them on this adventure? If we decide not to bring our kids along, should we stick with the Adult-only ABD trip or go with another tour operator completely? Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:33 AM   #2
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First thing, you don't mention that you've discussed this trip with your sons.
I think before you do any further planning that that should be your first step.
In addition to letting them read about the trip on the ABD site, I would look for some books at your public library about Peru and discuss the trip in depth with them.
These trips cost a lot of money and I personally wouldn't consider a trip of this nature without a lot of talk with the boys.

Secondly, I can personally vouch for the Adults Only trips. They're wonderful.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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My son was 12 years old when we went on our ABD trip. Normally, if I took him on a trip in those years, I would hear a lot of "I'm bored". "I miss my video games." Not on the ABD. He wasn't exactly jumping up and down each morning, but he was ready and willing to go. I think the experience actually helped him to grow up a little.

The guides are great in keeping the kids entertained. If you do decide to take the kids on a Peru trip, I would definitely choose Disney. I think they are the best at the entertainment aspect.

My 2 nephews sound a lot like your 2 boys, with the video game obsession + immaturity. IMHO, an experience like ABD would help in getting them to look at the world around them, and help them to mature a little.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:59 AM   #4
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Agree with abdmom--the other kids and your two will probably end up playing and running around and doing things with the guides, allowing you time to unwind and relax! The only downside to the Peru trip is that they split the group into two smaller buses, so you don't have the "back of the bus" kid area like on other ABD trips--but I did note that the guides tried to put the similarly aged kids together on one bus.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
wish*i*was*in*the*vi
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Not that the Caribbean is Peru, but my son is 12 and a total video game addict, and I would say immature in many regards. My daughter just turned 9 in October. So I can relate to having kids that age. We always take them on vacation with us. We normally go to the Caribbean to the islands of St Thomas and St John. Never do we hear from him "I'm bored I want to play video games", theres so many new and interesting things for a week or longer. Beaches, swimming, etc.
But nothing would be worse than listening to a kid whine for a week and wanting to wring his neck. I can completely understand where your coming from. As a PP said, maybe you could guage their interest. I can also totally understand wanting to include your sons in the trip so that they can have been able to experience going to Peru. I think of all the places that I would like to go with just my husband and then I think how I would also like my kids to experience those same places.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
austinHodge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corky441 View Post
First thing, you don't mention that you've discussed this trip with your sons. I think before you do any further planning that that should be your first step.
This was great advice, and we spent our dinner talking about the trip. We then looked up some pictures and discussed the activities. It was very interesting to see their response. The 11 year told us emphatically that he would rather spend the time at grandma's house. The 8 year old had the opposite reaction and was very excited about going. My wife and I had previously joked about this being a potential outcome. It would seem very strange to just take one of our sons on the trip, so we're still undecided about what to do. Thanks to everyone for your input so far.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:24 AM   #7
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I'd take them both, including the 11 year old who is not that interested. As parents raising kids in an age where it's so easy for them to be sucked in to all the modern technology and comforts of home, I think we have a responsibility when we are able to remove them from those things and show them the rest of the world. It's excellent that you have the means to do so. At 11 I wouldn't give him the choice between sitting at grandma's with the tv and video games at his disposal (what he knows and is comfortable with), or having a life-changing experience with his family. He can't make that decision. He doesn't know what he's passing up. Pull those kids away from their modern technology and give them a life experience! I really think as parents you have a responsibility to do that.
You're worried about you and your wife not having as enjoyable a time as you might without your kids. To that I would say first, that your kids are going to be grown and out of the house before you know it, and you and your wife will have all the time in the world to have your own experiences. When you chose to have kids, you chose to spend these years of your life having family-type experiences. Enjoy your kids while you still can, and give them an experience that they will remember even when they're 50.
The up-side is that if you go with ABD, you are sure to have guides who will make things engaging and enjoyable for the kids, and I can pretty much guarantee they'll enjoy their time, and you'll enjoy yours as well.
I know I've over-stepped my bounds here. I just really reacted to your post. If you are not willing to give your kids these experiences, who will? It's your job.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
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O.K...as someone who's done this trip I think I'll chime in. First off, the Peru ABD is a wonderful, wonderful trip - our favourite of the 3 we've done. My husband and I did this, without our 3 kids, in October of 2008 - the trip is heavy on history and it is a fairly physical trip with a lot of climbing, hiking and standing around at historical sites listening to the tour guides - all of which is extremely interesting if that's what you're in to. There are some kid friendly activities, such as the white-water rafting. llamas and pizza making but not a huge amount. There is also a fair amount of travel on mini-buses to and from the destinations. I really think this trip is geared towards older children and would be hesitant to bring an 8 yr. old, although some that age are interested in history and scenery so only you would know if it would be suitable for your child. Another thing to keep in mind is the long flights required to get there - have your children flown much and are they likely to go stir-crazy on the flight?

If you think that you and your husband would enjoy the trip without the children, by all means go alone and leave the kids with Grandma - that precious time together is great for both Grandma and grandkids and can be just as valuable as travel -before you know it they will be grown and maybe a stay with Grandma won't be so appealing. There is no need to feel obligated to take your children on every trip that you and your husband take - the quality time that you and your DH have on a "mom and dad" only vacation" is invaluable and teaches the kids that Mom and Dad value each other and are a separate entity from the "family unit" - an important and healthy aspect of any family dynamic. Our kids always enjoyed greatly the time spent with their grandparents and definitely the grandparents enjoyed the kids.

When our children were younger, we enjoyed many family vacations with them at places we knew they would enjoy, like Disneyworld, etc. As they have become older, we now are able to take them places, i.e. Europe that they will not only enjoy, but be able to comprehend the history and appreciate what they are seeing.

We enjoyed the Peru trip so much that we will be doing this trip again in June 2012 - this time with the kids who will be 17 and 18 and we are all so excited about going!

Good luck with your decision - go with your gut and not guilt - don't hesitate to ask any trip-specific questions and I will be more than happy to answer them to the best of my recollection.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:46 PM   #9
austinHodge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjd469 View Post
O.K...as someone who's done this trip I think I'll chime in.
Thanks so much kjd! Everything you said really hit home with me. This forum is such an awesome resource!
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:39 AM   #10
kjd469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinHodge View Post
Thanks so much kjd! Everything you said really hit home with me. This forum is such an awesome resource!
They really are a great resource - welcome
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinHodge View Post
Thanks so much kjd! Everything you said really hit home with me. This forum is such an awesome resource!
Yay! They really are! The folks on this forum are the best. Make sure you let us know what you decide, and then tell us all about your trip when you get back!

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Old 11-15-2011, 06:56 PM   #12
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You might consider taking your kids on a long weekend trip, somewhere in the US not too far from home, with similar activities - maybe an afternoon of touring something historical - and see how they do. While it's important to give your kids good experiences other than video games, it doesn't have to involve international flights to do it, and it doesn't have to come at the expense of you and your spouse enjoying time together occasionally. That said, the Disney guides do a fabulous job of entertaining the kids. However, there is only so much they can do when there is a lot of standing around going on. My girls came with us to Italy a few years ago, but they are pretty good at standing around when necessary (!) and enjoyed themselves despite the parts that were challenging for kids. It was wonderful to have them there with us - I'm so glad we took them - but I never had any doubt that they would enjoy it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:50 PM   #13
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If you think your boys are too immature for a Peru trip than doing an adults only would certainly be the way to go. And if you are considering bringing them along you'd want to make sure that they want to be there. Otherwise not only would they making your trip unpleasant but also the other people on the trip. The guides are great with children but they can only do so much magic. If they like being with other kids their own age it would be good to see if the trip you pick has kids their age on it. But in the end you know your kids and whether they would enjoy themselves or not. It's a great trip but you want to make sure that everyone has a chance to enjoy it and that includes everyone on the trip. There's are only a few things worse than kids on a trip who don't want to be there. I'm not sure what they are though. It boils down to if they're not happy you're not happy and your fellow travelers are not happy either.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:56 PM   #14
morrowmike
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Our experience in Peru with kids

Sorry for the late post, but wanted to chime in that we took our 6 and 8 year-old daughters on the ABD Peru trip a couple of years ago. We're from Colorado and like to hike, so the kids had no trouble with the altitude or the climbing (they handled the physical portions better than most adults). And two years later, this trip remains one of their favorite memories. Everyone in the family had an absolutely fantastic time.

My girls are by no means exceptionally mature for their age, nor do they have perfect manners (try as we may to instill them). However, the guides were wonderfully diverting, the other children extremely accepting, and the activities so engaging that we never regretted bringing our girls along.

Now, having said this, one very nice grandmother brought her 9 year-old granddaughter on this same trip with her. The granddaughter had evidently chosen this trip from all possible locations in the world as her gift from grandma. Unfortunately, the granddaughter proceeded to complain most of the time about almost everything. So, as other reviewers have indicated, ABD cannot turn pumpkins into coaches or whiners into perfect children. (BTW - the guides and other adults helped "rein" this young lady in, and nobody's trip was really lessened in any way.)

We are planning another ABD this summer - either Italy or Germany. But before we book, we plan on creating a contract with our children setting out expectations. These include that they try new foods, put a smile on their face even when they may feel a little tired or bored, make some polite conversation with adults, etc. We realize kids will be kids, but we also expect them to try to be good group members and make everyone else's trip more enjoyable.

PS despite the long flight, one of the nice things about Peru is that you don't need to cross a lot of time zones - cuts down on the jet lag a bit
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:04 PM   #15
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Definitely ask them first, and then research what kind of activities that are offered for their age groups. Bringing kids can always be fun, but you and the missus might appreciate the time alone in a beautiful location too!
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