Jennifer and the Boys in Paris

Taking the Kids to See Your Ancestral Grounds

Traveling abroad with your family is about exploring far off destinations and meeting interesting people. It can also be a great time to visit your ancestral grounds and visit family members who your children may have never met. However, planning a trip to discover your heritage can take careful planning. The following tips will help ease the stress and friction that can often accompany a trip to Europe.

Implement a Plan

Spending time overseas with children can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the most patient of parents. It can also elicit eye rolls and moaning from your teens if you don’t have a thorough agenda. However, the roots of a family are very important and allowing your children to meet distant relatives and explore schools once inhabited by grandparents can be meaningful for everyone involved. You can make the process easier by implementing a plan from flights and hotels to transportation and activities. Packing appropriately can also save you a lot of headaches and grief when traveling with teens.

Getting Around

Transportation and getting around Europe can be especially difficult with a family, especially if you don’t know where you’re going. Shuttle services can allow you an inexpensive option for exploring the sights, sounds and history of a city, while keeping everyone calm and happy. It also alleviates the stress and anxiety caused by getting lost. You can search online sites like Shuttle Direct to get more information on finding and booking shuttle services abroad.

Restaurants and Eateries

Your children may not have as adventurous a palate as your own, so you need to prepare wisely. You can involve them in the process by allowing them to pick out various restaurants or eateries that they would like to explore and try. If you’re meeting relatives and friends, you’re sure to be introduced to foods that are important to the region.

Children are honest about their likes and dislikes. You should teach them the proper etiquette for disliking a specific item they may not be used to, so they don’t offend your hosts or the culture. While people from the European region enjoy dining late, your children may not be used to a later meal time. You can vary the times to accommodate both your children and relatives. This will also prevent tired and cranky moods.


Europe is rich in history, monuments, sculptures and paintings. Witnessing the famous displays from a history book is far different than seeing the actual famous works of art in person. Spend time beforehand discussing the areas you’ll be traveling to. This is also the ideal time to talk about your ancestors and how you’ll be visiting places where they may have grown up, lived and gone to school. You can include your children in the process by allowing them to pick areas of interest that are most special to them.

In order to ease the friction that typically occurs when traveling with children, you’ll want to ensure that everyone has the right mindset. You’ll also want to be ready with a thorough plan, and the right gear. Giving children the opportunity to see where their family roots lie and meet ancestors from foreign lands is a valuable experience they’re sure to take with them forever.

Journalist Nadine Swayne has travel abroad and understands well the challenges facing parents traveling with children. However, she says, never pass up the opportunity to explore your family’s history with your children. There are travel resources available to make your trip enjoyable including visiting sites like Shuttle Direct for travel solutions. 

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Taking The Kids To See Your Ancestral Grounds