Get some ideas for how you can improve your traveling by using books. This week we are joined by One Page at a Time co-host, Amanda Fristrom! Amanda is probably among one of the more well-traveled people out there, having visited 6 continents, 63 countries and 49 of the 50 United States. She has many talents, such as possessing a vast knowledge of spices and the ability to design a whole line of handmade toys centered around camels. She chatted with us about the role books have played in her travels all over the world, both for herself as well as her kiddos.
In this episode we talk about:
1. We dive on in with Amanda’s tips for using books in the prep and lead-up to travels. They have a book of all the world flags that they use to show their kids the flags of the countries they are visiting. They can then use this knowledge to help kids connect with the place they are visiting, as they find flags while they are out and about. Bonus: finding flags can also be used as a distraction for antsy kids!
2. Books can also be used to introduce kids to a new language or landmarks they will be exposed to when they are in the new location. There are plenty of books with these things geared towards kids; Amanda shared the ones her family uses.
3. One more tip for the lead-up to trips, Amanda has her kids go on a “screen freeze” for up to two weeks before leaving for a trip, to get everyone ready and excited for screen time while travelling.
4. During the actual traveling to the new destination, Amanda has Kindle Fire’s for her kids that she loads with books that can be read off-line and a couple reading apps (details below). Kindle has versions of books that are interactive; the books are read to them, the kids can turn the pages and interact with elements on the pages. Amanda has learned through experience that e-books work best for the actual travel time, although she does pack some “emergency” books in a carry-on to use if needed (low battery on devices, long delays, etc).
5. For herself, Amanda likes to have a physical book, so she has found a genre that works well for her for travelling (autobiographies). Everyone’s travel books will be different depending on your tastes and needs, but when travelling with kids you will most likely need a type of book that you enjoy, but isn’t too engrossing, so won’t mind getting interrupted while reading it (kids needing things, pausing to enjoy scenery, etc.).
6. Book Crossing is a fun website that lets you leave a book in a location with a code printed from the website and then you can track if someone finds and takes your book to a new place!
7. Eventually you will make it to your destination and books can still play a part! Amanda has found that keeping her kids’ bedtime routine as close to what they do at home makes a huge difference in their travels. Books play a big part in their bedtime routine, so she keeps that up while travelling. She either uses the books she brought in her “emergency” supply, borrows from people if visiting family or friends, or sometimes finds new books in stores while travelling.
8. Travelling can be scary and stressful to kids, with an overload of new places and experience. Reading to them is one way to calm them and bring them back to a comfortable and familiar thing. The same can apply to you, as well- taking some time to read your own book can help you fight jet lag, decompress and settle down.
9. If travelling to visit family, reading together- even older kids reading to the younger ones- will give family members that your children may not get to see as often that bonding time and is a wonderful way to bring the family together.
Amanda left us with a great idea of how to get started on putting these great ideas into practice this week. She invited us to write down a quick plan of how we are going to use books in whatever travel is coming up in our lives. Books can play a powerful role in our travels and they shouldn’t be overlooked in our travel prep!
We are so grateful to Amanda for taking the time to talk with us and giving us so many great ideas and books to go look up (details below)!
Resources we talk about in this episode:
Book Crossing – track your books as they travel (like geocaching for books)
Amazon Kindle Fire
The Flag Book by Lonely Planet
Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities by Jonathan Litton
Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World (Where’s waldo-esque elephant book)
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne
Michelle Obama’s Becoming
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Kindle interactive books
(look by author on your Kindle Fire)
Little Critter books by Mercer Meyer
Sandra Boynton (author)