Over the course of our family’s year in Central America, we had a base in Monteverde, Costa Rica, but we also did quite a bit of traveling. Our first month was spent in Guatemala around Lake Atitlan; we also explored the Pacific and Caribbean beaches and other inland northern regions of Costa Rica, including Arenal and Rio Celeste; and, to top it all off, we made four different trips to Nicaragua. In retrospect that list sounds exhausting, and yet we enjoyed each of our trips, perhaps because Tim and I learned to remind ourselves that, first and foremost, we were traveling with our children. This didn’t mean caving to endless hours of screen time, unlimited sodas, or kid-themed tours. We did, however, learn to slow down, to cook meals in (rather than eating lots of meals in restaurants when we were on the road), to structure travel around day trips, and to frame our explorations as games, instead of educational opportunities.

I recently published an article in the Los Angeles Times detailing some of the tricks we developed for making the most of traveling with children. The article is set to the backdrop of Granada, Nicaragua. I hope you enjoy reading it.

What tricks have you learned to allow all members of your family to enjoy traveling together? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.