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Old 08-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
Marthasor
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ABD - is almost 6 too young?

WDW veteran here chomping at the bit to try ABD. My DS4 is a seasoned traveler and I would love to try ABD. I have read through many of the ABD itineraries and see in some cases they recommend the children be at least 6 years old (in some cases 8 or older). I'm just wondering, would two or three months shy of 6 years old be ok? I know it probably depends on the child. I'm just wondering if anyone else has done ABD with a younger child and how it went? Are there particular itineraries that might work better? Some that are completely out?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Marthasor View Post
WDW veteran here chomping at the bit to try ABD. My DS4 is a seasoned traveler and I would love to try ABD. I have read through many of the ABD itineraries and see in some cases they recommend the children be at least 6 years old (in some cases 8 or older). I'm just wondering, would two or three months shy of 6 years old be ok? I know it probably depends on the child. I'm just wondering if anyone else has done ABD with a younger child and how it went? Are there particular itineraries that might work better? Some that are completely out?

Thanks for your thoughts!
I don't have any kids, but we had a 4-year-old on the Med cruise add-on I did in 2010. She was a seasoned traveler, and did well on the days she went. However, they did leave her on the ship the days we did Rome and Florence. They were really long days that involved a lot of walking. Obviously, that's not an option on a regular ABD, unless someone stays behind with your son.

Honestly, I'd talk to the folks at ABD. I'm sure they can give you a better idea of which itineraries would work for your son & which wouldn't. Because it really does depend on the child!

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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In our Knights and Lights ABD, we had a 4-year old with us who did really, really well. London and Paris have more paved roads where we went and the parents brought a stroller with them when we do the walks. Not all the time but there were occasions they used it. And really, it depends on your child and you are the best judge on what he will be able to do.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
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We just did Quest for the West with my 5 1/2 year old and he did just fine. The recommended age is 6. We have travelled a lot and he is the youngest of 5. There's a current trip report that I have added a few posts to. My first post ran through the age breakdown. I had the three youngest kids on the trip and they all did fine! That said, it was nice that there weren't other 5 year olds running around but having one was just fine. The guides were great and the older kids seemed to have fun with him.

As far as pace and endurance he was just fine on this trip. He was big enough to go rafting even though he was underage (they actually use weight, not age) and he could go horseback riding on the ranch only which was fine. On this particular trip, there is a child coordinator at Brooks Lake Lodge (the last two nights) who will watch your young ones so you can enjoy the activities. We used her twice - once so we could go riding and once when my husband fished with the older ones and I had a massage!!

We did this trip because we had other family going, but after doing an ABD trip, I would do it again, even with my 5 year old
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 3mmm View Post
We just did Quest for the West with my 5 1/2 year old and he did just fine. The recommended age is 6. We have travelled a lot and he is the youngest of 5. There's a current trip report that I have added a few posts to. My first post ran through the age breakdown. I had the three youngest kids on the trip and they all did fine! That said, it was nice that there weren't other 5 year olds running around but having one was just fine. The guides were great and the older kids seemed to have fun with him.

As far as pace and endurance he was just fine on this trip. He was big enough to go rafting even though he was underage (they actually use weight, not age) and he could go horseback riding on the ranch only which was fine. On this particular trip, there is a child coordinator at Brooks Lake Lodge (the last two nights) who will watch your young ones so you can enjoy the activities. We used her twice - once so we could go riding and once when my husband fished with the older ones and I had a massage!!

We did this trip because we had other family going, but after doing an ABD trip, I would do it again, even with my 5 year old
Wow! This is awesome! Yes, I was thinking of doing one of the US based ones to start and moving on to other countries in subsequent years. Thank you all for responding. I think this is doable. My son is big for his age, so it sounds like he could do the rafting and having a child coordinator at the Lodge is a great perk!

Thank you so much! I am going to start looking at dates and will call ABD to get some more info.

I really appreciate you all sharing your experiences with me!
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
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We did the Alaska cruise ABD add on last summer with our three children (then 8, 6 and 4.5) and we did the Lights and Knights (London and Paris) this summer (now 9, 7 and 5.5).
Our youngest was a trooper both times. We didn't use a stroller on either trip and she participated in every activity with gusto. They even had training wheels for the Versailles bike ride and she kept going in the rain when many an adult had given up.
In both trips there was at least one other child within six months of her, and they all seemed to do well. On the cruise the other young child stayed on the ship one day, but on Kinghts and Lights the other young children participated in everything too.
The hardest part for my daughter and my middle child were the long days on both trips (often 7am until 10pm), so they would often fall asleep during the bus rides but always woke at the destinations ready to go.
Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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We had a couple young Adventurers on our Viva Italia trip and they did quite well, but there were several days that they were wore out and went back to the hotel with parents, so they all wound up missing part of the trip. We were lucky in that several of the teen girls did a great job of helping out with the youngsters, but you can't count on that happening.

You have to figure the combination of heat, crowds, and a LOT of walking/standing will run even the best travelers out of gas. Also, ABD does a great job of making things kid-friendly, but there are still museums, cathedrals, etc. that you just don't appreciate until you're older.

You also have to consider with group travel, you don't want to be the ones holding a group back or monopolizing the attention of the guides. Even though a "mini-meltdown" wouldn't seem so bad to me, it might not be endearing to all my fellow travelers.

We purposefully waiting until our youngest was a few years older than the minimum age so that:
  1. She'd remember everything,
  2. appreciate the cultural aspects,
  3. be able to keep up with group,
  4. have the palate to experience the variety of food.

You know your kids best, but you want them to enjoy it as much as you. The Colliseum has been there for thousands of years and it will still be there in couple of years!

Last edited by mapsd; 08-10-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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