Over the next several Saturdays this holiday season, I intend to highlight some things I’ve found make travel more convenient, fun, or interesting for individuals or families. I’m not looking to publish a complete gift guide per se, but rather highlight a few things here and there that one miles-and-points blogger thinks could be good gifts if you’re looking for something for the traveler in your life. In some cases, I’ll highlight how you can stack a great deal with credit cards and rewards, but in others these posts will be less miles-and-points related and more travel product-related, so feel free to skip over this post if that doesn’t interest you.
One of the things that brought my wife and I together was our desire to see the world. Long before we knew anything about the world of miles and points, we decided we wanted to have an Aladdin and Jasmine-like adventure and try to see as much of this giant blue planet as possible. And adventure we have had. We have stayed in $5-a-night hostels, demanded off a crazy bus ride in a rainstorm (with an even crazier driver) only to find ourselves alone in the middle of the Ecuadorian rainforest (we hitchhiked 2 hours back into Quito and felt safer riding in the back of a pickup than in the tin can muscling its way around the muddy and impossibly steep banks of the forest). We have stayed on the couches of strangers who became friends and been treated like celebrities while moped-ing through small cities in India (one woman tossed her newborn baby into my wife’s hands and demanded a picture. I’m not sure who was more uncomfortable – my wife or the baby :-).
Since stumbling into this “hobby”, our method of travel and destinations have changed quite drastically. While I appreciate this new level of comfort and “luxury” most of the time, my inner sense of adventure is still very much alive and like the dying embers of a fire, begs to be stoked back to life from time to time. This is a quality that we very much hope to instill in our son, who turned our family of two into three back in January. It has also once again forced us to change and evolve the way we travel, at least for now.
While visiting Saratoga, New York this summer, we wandered into a bookstore called Northshire Books (worth a stop if you’re ever in the area). They had a very cute and well-designed kids’ section that we ended up spending way too much
money time in. While there, we came across the most fitting book, a gem called “P is for Passport”.
While technically a children’s book, I can definitely say that my wife and I enjoyed it more than our son did (though hopefully not necessarily more than he will eventually). Each page dedicates a letter to a place, landmark or event associated with the world and travel in general. The rhymes are smart and catchy, and the content assures that a young child will be able to grow into and learn from the book for years to come. Here are a couple of quick pages to give you an idea of what it’s like:
From the book cover:
“Celebrating the diversity in our world while cherishing our similarities, P is for Passport takes readers on a whirlwind tour of all the delights of the globe. From the everyday concerns of people everywhere for such things as bread and currency, to the wonders of our world such as deserts and volcanoes, Passport offers a fascinating variety of topics and ideas to explore. Author and journalist Devin Scillian was born into a traveling family. With a career Army officer for a father, Devin grew up all over the United States and all over the world. His career as a television journalist added even more stamps in his passport and he continues to cherish each and every one.”
As a new parent, one of the things I’m interested in writing about in the future is kids’ products that make travel more convenient and/or build a love of adventure in a child’s soul. If you have kids or know a travel-loving couple who plan to add a member to the family, I think this would be a unique and fun gift to send them.
The author has several other books. We have also picked up “A is for America” which is a solid read as well. Check it out – you might just want to add this to your [child’s] library.
Are there any travel-related books or products that have excited you and your children? Hopefully, I’ll find some other books and tips that will help build a sense of Wanderlust — and I’ll be sure to report back when I do.