If you are going to developing countries or foreign speaking places, I suggest you buy a few books before you leave for your family travel. It is just the same as finding reputable luxury travel experts who will guide you as you begin your journey. Early preparation actually makes a single parent travel stress-free and more fun.
Buy online: scour bookshops and the secondhand treasure troves, as well as Rotary, have great book clearances. Another good option for books is Op Shops.
You can swap them with other tourists when done. This is especially important in children’s books. You don’t want to be paying full price for a book they can read in a night. They can then donate them to school libraries.
You can always find bargain books and send them on. If you are looking for a great book to read, I recommend ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. Thanks, Jane for recommending this great read!
Allow your child a passion to read. Encourage them throughout the journey – even in the hotel room to read guides, menus and whatever comes your way. It will help them be involved in your trip too.
You may want to take a Bible with your spiritual growth if you are a Christian and often use it. But you might prefer to download an App?
Glean Op Shops, eBay etc for 2nd hand Guidebooks.
Buy Guidebooks for the first 5-6 countries if you are traveling through many places. I know they are heavy.
If you only need sections, get out the kitchen knife and cut them apart and tape together the region you are visiting. A handy hint emailed to me by David Stanley the author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific.
David kindly sent me several emails and freely shared his knowledge, and for that, I am very thankful.
If need be, you can buy some that incorporate a region, but try to get those that are as detailed as possible. Up to 5 to 10 years ago as a publication is usually ok.
You can buy David’s Guide Books at South Pacific Travel
Remember, there are often few changes that are made within short durations. However, in the USA and major countries, you will get an up to date Guidebook.
You can sell these for a few $$ to an incoming tourist when you are about to leave. This lightens your load, You might discover that you can trade it off along the way too.
A concise and large detailed map will beat anything you can find online when planning your trip. I had to order two, in order to find the best one that gives the details I needed since we were island hopping.
A cheaper alternative is Op Shop for a large Atlas in A3 size as they come in hardcover. Cut the cover off: The maps are great and you can remove and take just what you need.
We got a great one for $4, where each map I was buying online was $15 to $20.
Town maps and area maps can be used on your phone just like GPS. My wonderful traveling mentor, David Stanley, also recommends you purchase Maps at Map South Pacific http://www.mapsouthpacific.com
If you plan on driving, I firmly suggest buying detailed Road Maps online first.
You will need this as soon as you arrive and therefore it is best to have it in advance.
You can download MAPS as an App on your phone or iPod too.
Read “The Last Bed On Earth” by Teri Louise Kelly. Funny in a twisted way, but gives you some ideas of things to watch out for when backpacking. I have this for sale on eBay at the moment if anyone would like to buy it!
A great space saving idea for travel. I find them tiring on the eyes after a while. I also find that a book is quite safe to leave on your towel by the pool, or on your table while you go off to refill your coffee, but a Kindle is less likely to be there on your return.
Novels and Paperbacks
Nothing beats a book. It just has that right feel to it. It has some sort of relaxation power. It is perfect for popping down on your sunlounger and it probably won’t get stolen, but it might start a conversation. And, when finished, you can swap it in many hotels, resorts, and hostels in their guest area.
Questions and comments
How do you keep yourself involved while on a trip?
Do you believe in reading books while traveling?
What other practices do you apply to keep your child involved in trips?