During our visit to Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass., my kids were engrossed in living history. I watched them conversing with Native Americans about farming and canoe-building. I smiled as they asked questions of the Pilgrims. But all the while, I had an eye on the clock. I hated pulling them away from the Plantation, but we had tickets for a whale-watching cruise that afternoon.
While boarding the boat, free motion sickness pills were being given out. Rough seas ahead. My kids don’t normally suffer from motion sickness, but I eagerly took the pills. I silently berated myself for planning too much in one day, for pulling my kids away from tepees and pottery-making for a barf boat.
These are the lessons we learn through travel. The whale-watching cruise was a bust – no whales to be seen and plenty of sick bags given out. Disappointed and upset with myself, I didn’t handle the situation gracefully. Back home and reflecting on the day, I asked my fellow travel writers for their advice on what to do when things go wrong.
- Kirstie from The Family Adventure Project tells the story of a locked door between her and her laundry. “Resilience is a life skill; focus on what you can do and use difficulties to help teach your kids how to cope positively with the downs of life,” she says.
- Jodi from Family Rambling says, “Always find the good, even when things go bad. It’s there.”
- “It’s OK if everything goes wrong. It’s normal and natural,” says Keryn from WalkingOn Travels. “You just need to know that things will get better and your entire trip won’t be awful.”
- “Travel is about the big picture and journey. Being flexible in the little details will ensure success overall,” advises Elena from LiveDoGrow.
- Talon from 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure reminds us that “what may seem to be something gone sour now may end up in fact turning out to be a complete gem.”
- Kate from Wild Tales of… helps us learn from her mistakes when traveling with a baby.
- “Kids usually don’t see the bigger picture involving what is wrong like adults,” says Erin from Travel with Bender. “They will still find joy anywhere – something I am learning from them.”