Ideas needed for mother daughter trip

Old Jan 25, 17, 10:00 am
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Ideas needed for mother daughter trip

Hi folks, looking for some ideas on travel for me and my daughter. She's about to be three and I would like to start exposing her to different cultures through travel. I was thinking of starting with a visit to Scotland to meet my host family from when I studied abroad. I'd love to do something like visiting my college roommate in Ghana but hubby would not be ok with that as a first trip. I'm looking for ideas on where to go, what to do, how to expose her to cultural differences, and who to talk to when I'm there to find things like parks where she might meet other children. Need for flights to be good value and reasonable priced safe accommodations to be available. Would like to go somewhere I could easily survive without a car seat or stroller so I'm not lugging them around but could do one or the other. I'm open to going almost anywhere. TIA!
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:37 am
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The UK is great with small kids and easy to navigate. 3 is not the easiest though so maybe stay closer to home (Cuba?) and wait a year or 2 for intercontinental?
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Old Jan 25, 17, 2:20 pm
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Such a fantastic idea! I started doing to same with my son when he was 3. The one on one time you get while experiencing new things together is really great.

I'd second erik123's suggestion to maybe stay closer to home if this is your first trip together. For our first father-son trip we went to Seattle and then we've done longer trips every 6 months or so. In a few months the two of us will be going backpacking together in New Zealand. I'm glad we built up to it so I could see how he does on his own and what his interests are.

Since you're based in Cleveland, if you want to visit a new culture, I'd suggest Montreal as an easy first destination. You'll have a great time dining on the streets there, going along the waterfront, and the exchange rate makes it a great value. As Erik mentioned, the caribbean is also worth looking into as most kids love the beach.

Its great you're planning on doing this now, whatever you end up deciding, I'm sure you'll have some great memories.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by 3furballs View Post
Hi folks, looking for some ideas on travel for me and my daughter. She's about to be three and I would like to start exposing her to different cultures through travel. I was thinking of starting with a visit to Scotland to meet my host family from when I studied abroad. I'd love to do something like visiting my college roommate in Ghana but hubby would not be ok with that as a first trip. I'm looking for ideas on where to go, what to do, how to expose her to cultural differences, and who to talk to when I'm there to find things like parks where she might meet other children. Need for flights to be good value and reasonable priced safe accommodations to be available. Would like to go somewhere I could easily survive without a car seat or stroller so I'm not lugging them around but could do one or the other. I'm open to going almost anywhere. TIA!
You don't have to fly to start exposing your child to different cultures, especially if you live in a good sized city. Museums have classes for kids, libraries have programs, ethnic neighborhoods have festivals, etc. and all of those can be done with minimal cost or travel.

And exactly how much of a cultural nuance are you expecting a 3 yo to notice? If you want to travel for the sake going somewhere, that's fine, but expecting your child to pick up a whole lot isn't realistic. At that age their perception of normal isn't fine-tuned yet, so most kids (unless they have sensory difficulties) are pretty adaptable and just accept what is around them.

I'm all for traveling with kids - mine has had a passport since he 4 months old - but I think it's important to realistic expectations for what a kid will get out of the experience. My kid was almost 3 when he made his first trip to Europe. The highlight of the trip for him, the thing he talked about for months afterward, was petting the street cats in Amsterdam.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 5:02 pm
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Sorry maybe I should have given fuller info. She's been traveling extensively in the US since she was six months and we're looking for a good first trip outside the US. Part of it is wanting to expose her to non-US places and part of it is my own wanderlust (too many empty pages in my passport).
What cultural nuances do I expect her to see? None, actually the opposite, I want her to see that people are all similar so that when she's older she can appreciate the cultural nuances.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by 3furballs View Post
Sorry maybe I should have given fuller info. She's been traveling extensively in the US since she was six months and we're looking for a good first trip outside the US. Part of it is wanting to expose her to non-US places and part of it is my own wanderlust (too many empty pages in my passport).
What cultural nuances do I expect her to see? None, actually the opposite, I want her to see that people are all similar so that when she's older she can appreciate the cultural nuances.
Then I would say go somewhere where you can rent an apartment and connect with the locals at the market, the playground, etc. Staying in a hotel nicely insulates you from real life. AirBnB or the like would be one way to connect with people.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 8:23 pm
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asia (including india if you stick to cities with connecting airports)
only bhutan is more expensive, not sure re budget

europe has quite a lot of variation, might avoid turkey at the moment

for cities, south america might include buenos aires
could check prices in San Miguel de Allende in mexico

CDTraveler, very easy to not be insulated at hotel/etc
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Old Jan 25, 17, 8:40 pm
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You might they googling for children's museums, toy museums, science museums (many of which have programs for kid's).

For the cultural differences aspect, depending on what the kid has been experienced so far, I'd be tempted to look for places where there would be play group type activities with kids who look very different, dress differently, or speak different languages. Perhaps hotels with activities for children would work if their primarily clientele is local. Even resorts with play spaces for kids, playgrounds, kid's pools, etc. could work if kids from other cultures are the primary users of the facilities.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
CDTraveler, very easy to not be insulated at hotel/etc
I strongly disagree. I've traveled on 4 continents and hotels are pretty much hotels. Guests are taken care of to greater or lesser degrees, they're not out shopping in the local markets seeing what local cuisine, and hygiene, and social customs are really like. They're not experiencing the same inconveniences as the locals - spent time in the Philippines a while back: locals had to deal with daily shut downs of the electrical grid, but hotels with their generators insulated guests from that experience. Try cooking for the family with random power outages, or keeping food fresh.

Local family centered culture in hotels? Again, it's limited. You're not going to learn local playground etiquette there. How many other mothers of small children will you meet?

Then there's language barriers. You suggested "asia" "india" "bhutan" "europe" "south america" and "mexico" - what languages does the OP speak in addition to English? How well do you connect with local culture if you don't speak the language? I speak 2 languages in addition to English and can struggle along in 2 more, but I still don't claim expertise on those cultures. I can look in the window of them, but am still not of them.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 12:03 am
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where one sleeps has zero to do with what one does

"hotel" does not cover all the possibilities

language barriers can be transcended

these days, can connect directly with locals in advance
(can also do so through various 3rd party suppliers)

Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
I strongly disagree. I've traveled on 4 continents and hotels are pretty much hotels. Guests are taken care of to greater or lesser degrees, they're not out shopping in the local markets seeing what local cuisine, and hygiene, and social customs are really like. They're not experiencing the same inconveniences as the locals - spent time in the Philippines a while back: locals had to deal with daily shut downs of the electrical grid, but hotels with their generators insulated guests from that experience. Try cooking for the family with random power outages, or keeping food fresh.

Local family centered culture in hotels? Again, it's limited. You're not going to learn local playground etiquette there. How many other mothers of small children will you meet?

Then there's language barriers. You suggested "asia" "india" "bhutan" "europe" "south america" and "mexico" - what languages does the OP speak in addition to English? How well do you connect with local culture if you don't speak the language? I speak 2 languages in addition to English and can struggle along in 2 more, but I still don't claim expertise on those cultures. I can look in the window of them, but am still not of them.
Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
AirBnB or the like would be one way to connect with people.
couchsurfing.com and others remain focused on that, vs goals of airbnb corporate owners/investors

vast majority of hotels (elsewhere) do not target american/european/western. guests do not have to be local (but can be common on weekends/holidays) but instead be guests from the region or another region besides west. expat communities also vary.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 26, 17 at 12:14 am
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Old Jan 26, 17, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by 3furballs View Post
Sorry maybe I should have given fuller info. She's been traveling extensively in the US since she was six months and we're looking for a good first trip outside the US. Part of it is wanting to expose her to non-US places and part of it is my own wanderlust (too many empty pages in my passport).
What cultural nuances do I expect her to see? None, actually the opposite, I want her to see that people are all similar so that when she's older she can appreciate the cultural nuances.
Perhaps Mexico City? You avoid the TATL flight while getting to experience a very unique and interesting culture. We brought our 4 and 1 year old there last year and had an enjoyable time. I'd recommend staying at the JW Marriott near el Bosque de Chapultapec. This is a great area to interact with other kids, visit the zoo, and tour the renowned Anthopology Museum. Alternatively, you could stay in the Centro Historico and visit the National Cathedral, National Palace, and the ruins of the ancient Templo Mayor, all within walking distance.
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