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traveling with a 10 year old

Hello fellow travelers. I have another question I'm hoping for advice on. my husband and I will be traveling to Spain with our 10 year old daughter next year. I just got my PacSafe bag and got to thinking about my daughter's passport. Do I carry it for her? or is she old enough to carry it herself? what do you recommend?

thanks much!!

Posted by
8293 posts

She's old enough to carry it and young enough to be irresponsible. Keep it safe for her. Or arm yourselves with the addresses of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and U.S. consulates elsewhere in Spain.

Posted by
189 posts

good deal. thanks so much! kinda figured I should carry it, thanks for the confirm :)

Posted by
80 posts

Would you let her carry yours?

i didn't think so.

Save her the pressure and take the responsibility

Posted by
3580 posts

I would have her carry her passport ID card, the one that has just name and passport number on it. She can carry the ID card, the business card from where she is staying, the names of her parents (maybe including their cell phone #), and enough money for a taxi all in a neck pouch. If she gets separated from you she will have what she needs to get back to the hotel, and will have adequate ID so that others will know who she is and where she belongs. Stuff happens.

Posted by
818 posts

Have fun! I keep all the passports together - I am in charge of passports and allow nobody else to hold them! Is this your daughter's first trip to Europe? I have a 10 year old son and we are off to Portugal for April break ... 5 and a half months away but already so excited.

Posted by
12172 posts

My kids carried their own in a neck pouch with a little money from about eight years old. They weren't as careful with them as I would have prefered.

We were rarely in tourist crowds, however, so there wasn't a lot of risk. If we were in more crowded areas during heavy tourist season, I would have been less willing for them to keep theirs. Instead I would have substituted a photocopy of their passport with some emergency numbers in their neck pouch.

Posted by
189 posts

yep, it's my daughter's first trip to Europe. and our trip isn't until May but I'm excited too!!

thanks for all the great advice. I'm going to carry hers but perhaps give her a copy of it and get her a neck pouch or maybe even a small PacSafe bag for her as well. she wants to bring her MP3 player (it's a very cheap one but she'd be heartbroken if it was stolen) and I'm still hashing over whether I want to bother with bring her Nintendo DS....so many choices!

anyway, appreciate all the replies once again. I love this forum!

Posted by
818 posts

I would worry less about MP3 being stolen and more about her simply losing it! My son enjoys listening to books on tape on his iPod - this seems more civilized than playing his DS. We haven't had great luck with the DS in Europe - our first DS was fine, charger worked with the adapter - fine. Next trip all he wants is a PSP - whatever - the night before we leave I go and buy one ... they don't hold as much charge as the DS, PSP ran out of juice and I had forgotten to pack the charger. Next trip - now he has the DSi. Played it the whole flight over. DOA when we arrive in Prague. Remembered the charger but it didn't work with the adapter.

Posted by
3428 posts

Agree that you carry the passport. She would probably like having the MP3 player. Just back up her playlist at home in case something happens. I'd discourage the games. Not worth the charging hassles. We started taking our kids to Europe at her age and they LOVED it!

Posted by
189 posts

I have to laugh at the comment about her losing her MP3 player. she loses stuff all the time! we're still looking for a Tinker Bell watch that went missing several months ago. it's here somewhere....

I had already told her I didn't want to deal with charging her DS so at least she's not expecting that. I think we'll likely leave it home. she can find other things to entertain herself on airplanes and trains methinks.

Posted by
1358 posts

On our trip over this summer, the planes had touchscreens in the back of the headrests, so the kids could choose their movies. We just relaxed the rules about how much TV we usually let them watch, we read a couple of books in between, and it was a great flight.

Posted by
12172 posts

A neck pouch wouldn't be a bad place for an MP3 player. It's much more secure, when tucked inside your shirt, than putting it in a pocket or daypack. It would be especially good to have the video kind and put a few movies on it for her to watch when you are on a train or driving.

Posted by
8 posts

We have been travelling throughout Europe this year with a 9 and 11 (now 12) year old. The i-pods have been great. We download audiobooks before long journeys, Rick's podcasts, and travel related stories if we can find them. They also take their DS if there are going to be long travel stretches. As someone mentioned they are not necessary for long international flights, but cheap flights within Europe don't often have movies and we have had long waits at airports and some long driving trips where they have been quite useful. The kids also get tired from lots of sightseeing and just like to play at the end of the day. I am not usually in favour of electronic toys, but they are much more compact to pack then a bunch of toys and loads of books! When we are leaving cars, trains, hotels etc. I always double check the kids have the electronics with them. BTW - I always carry everyone's passports. Would be too much hassle if they lost them.

I recommend searching the net to find books, audiobooks and such for kids about the area you are visiting. She can read those in advance, or read/listen as you travel. Can't think of much for Spain - there is a Melanie Martin book which I thnk is good; a children's version of Don Quixote; today I saw a book on Madrid for Children, but it was in spanish...... We are living in Spain this year and I haven't found too many great books for kids about Spain. We have Tales of the Alhambra for Children, and children's books on the Prado, Picasso, and other art books.

Have fun here!

Posted by
818 posts

Toby - even though she's 10 and maybe past "playground" age ... search out playgrounds. We have a lot of fun searching out playgrounds and other children. We also make a habit of visiting McDonalds in every country we visit - we get a Happy Meal and check out the foreign happy meal toy and the menu. Also, the best part about traveling for our son is KinderEggs - chocolate eggs with toys inside (can't buy them in the US - supposed chocking hazard).

Posted by
73 posts

My husband carried everyone's passports in his sweaty, itchy money belt (heh heh heh). My 12 year old son did bring his iPod touch and his Nintendo DS and carried them both with no problems in the various pockets of his cargo pants.

I would think twice about a purse for your daughter unless she's used to carrying one. Even a light PacSafe bag might be too much for a child who is used to running around without carrying anything.

Posted by
189 posts

more great advice! thanks so much everyone. once again :)

Posted by
205 posts

Hi,
We went to Spain this last summer with our daughter who's the same age. Between layovers, long train rides, even long waits at admissions to exhibits the DS and ipod was good to bring. I don't believe it detracted from her experience and it may have enhanced ours on a few 6 hour train rides. There's only so much scenery my 10 year old can stare at. She brought a backpack on wheels to carry all her books, maps, teddy bear etc. with DS and ipod stuck way in the bottom but we were in charge of her passport.
Hope this helps.

Posted by
189 posts

thanks Lisa! yes, any and all advice helps greatly. I appreciate it!