We love travelling with other people's kids

by Leverne Mountany

This story is part of our 'Travelling with Kids' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition.

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Parents Traveling With Children are a species that we envy. You have no qualms about booking in with excess luggage and have no fears of being declared: OVER WEIGHT - just blame it on the little ones. You routinely, without fail, worldwide, on every airline get to board first (no frequent fryer program can guarantee that!), with that hogging all the overhead luggage space with the strollers and teddy. Where am I to put my newly acquired, nearly life-sized, wooden giraffe, I so diligently haggled for? The spacious emergency seats are without fail yours to claim, and you get all the free stuff on the airplane. I also wanted a cute fluffy camel hand puppet when I recently returned from Dubai.

Parents Traveling With Children we salute you though. Thank you for exposing young minds to the joys of travel and different cultures. The 3 year old girl insisting that she wanted camembert and not brie on her baguette at the train station kiosk in Lyon was precious. The 7 year old boy ordering salmon sashimi and then discreetly telling his mom that it does not seem as good a quality as the ones they get at home, gets my vote! Low and behold I would also cry like a 5 year old if I did not get the blue cheese sauce I ordered with my snails - who cares if it is a Michelin star restaurant.

Traveling children we enjoy your laughter and carefree spirits. You made my husband’s day on a cruise to Madagascar when the whole troop shouted “Bonjour Superman!” recognizing him as the guy who wore a superman T- shirt the day before. You crossed all language barriers, when in Trevisio, we could not understand a word of Italian, but you were prepared to share you soccer game with us at the bus station. Eventually after many attempts you understood where we came from with “Bafana Bafana” and Soccer World Cup 2010 clinching it. We hope that the teenage boy traveling on the bus with us from Kusadasi to Izmir passed the exam he was so nervous about. Your English was excellent and our Turkish appalling but we would like to believe that the pep talk helped.

Lastly to the little blond girl crying bitterly on the Champs-Elysées, because she forgot her pink bag at home, I have sympathy, but let auntie tell you a secret, forgetting things at home is an excellent reason to buy that forgotten item on your travels. I love my new pair of black boots…. We have no children of our own, but without a doubt, we love traveling with kids.

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