Saturday, May 25, 2013

BRU: Staying Healthy when Traveling with Kids

     When traveling with our kids, nausea is always a problem so we carry an airplane sickness bag even when not in airplane.  We don't sleep well on the plane, so we have ear plugs, socks, eye cover & usually a comfy sweatshirt to wear.  We always try to sleep on the plane going East to Europe, because generally the plane arrives in the destination city in the morning and there are places to go and people to see.  There is no time for jet lag, we just push through it until we drop.  
     This past trip to Brussels, there was a strategic siesta & we sleep well, but not until the second day.  The first day, we found our apart-hotel (most European rooms don't accommodate 5 people so we use apartment type places as hotels), dropped our bags and headed back to the train station for Brain a'llued, which was near the Battle of Waterloo site where Napoleon met his defeat.  More about the field trip later, but this travel on a sunny day with light sweat shirts and hats kept us moving and in fresh air for the remainder of the first day (the one where we just got off the plane).  The second day was planned for an exploration of Brussels which allowed for easier access to the hotel room, a nap (siesta) and an evening of Grand Place Brussels with the proper lighting.  The third day was a short trip to Brugge and walking/fresh air, so it meant everyone slept hard that night.  We then left on the next morning and stayed up on the plane to watch movies (we don't have cable tv) and take short naps on the West-bound plane.
     When traveling like this, we try to take advantage of every minute to see things we may not ever see again. This is not a vacation.  We do take time to wash hands often & drink plenty of water, then check with each child daily if their urine was yellow, indicating a need to drink more water.  I am a true mom and always asked to know if there were daily visits to keep their system regular or if they need a laxative soon.  It's ok to get anti-nausea meds in another language, and the same goes for diarrhea meds.  Also, we keep track of what we eat in order to protect ourselves -we don't want to get to a once in a lifetime place or site & spend the majority of our trip with food poisoning.  Staying healthy on the trip means we will be healthy when we return to home also.
     And finally, we walked for miles and saw so much, used public transport sparingly--and only then when we really needed to avoid using expensive taxis or injury.  We meet amazing people on trains, trams, buses and boats.  That's what our trips are about, getting out to see the country and meet people, not just relaxing by the pool or in front of the ski lodge fireplace.