Junior Traveler: A Guide Book for Young Explorers

When I think about what draws me to traveling, I can’t help but notice how much the planning process captivates me. I love collecting resources to do my research, and taking notes to come up with a tentative itinerary. I also love capturing moments of travel; whether that is through a photograph, sketch, journal entry, or other momento. As we begin to introduce Edwin to travel, I want him to be able to feel that same excitement and wanderlust that takes me over.

This summer, we are planning three possible long weekend getaways. Although Edwin is still very young, I’d like to be able to share part of the planning and record-keeping responsibility with him. This inspired me to create a guide book for young travelers. My goal is to create one of these travel journals/field guides for each trip we take in the future. I want to include sites to see with fun facts, things to do that our family might enjoy, and interactive opportunities for Edwin to make personal connections on the trip. Using Canva, I have started creating several books that we can have made and share with Edwin during our travels. To be honest, I see him getting much more use out of this when he is 5+, but I’d love to start the tradition now.

Here are some snippets of what I’ve created and how I’m hoping to use it.


Introduction Pages

Sample Page Layouts

I hope these are projects that can help Edwin feel invested in the travel we do and make it meaningful for him. I’m so eager to have more experiences with him. There is a world out there waiting for the Majewski clan to explore!

Preparing for Your Trip

A Monk Tourist at Notre DameAccommodations have been arranged.  Transportation has been taken care of.  Now it is time to get ready.  Planning, and the anticipation building up before the trip can almost be as exciting as actually traveling.  Get your escape from the everyday by researching before your trip.

1. Check out the Library

Guidebooks, fiction, nonfiction, they’ve got it all.  When I first decide where I’m going, I raid the shelves.  I typically check out 20 or more books to start the investigation.  What do I want to see?  What do I want to do?  Who can I live through vicariously until my own departure date?

Beyond researching through nonfiction, you may also want to consider browsing the fiction section.  Reading a story about the setting you will be visiting can spark an interest in something you may not have considered.  I loved the novel, Sarah’s Key.  Although it is historical fiction, it made me wonder what kind of deportation memorials exist in Paris.

2. Pop Some Popcorn and Watch a Movie

Watching a movie is a little escape.  Why not visit your destination in a movie?  Midnight in Paris is a great example of a movie I watch, and feel as though I am there.   Don’t count out the visual as a way to learn and see what is out there.

3. Hover Over Forums

Most likely, others have traveled to where you want to go, and are sharing their experiences.  TripAdvisor, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, and Rick Steves have great discussion boards ready for comments and questions.

4. Follow Blogs

I have learned about markets, events, and other happenings through the news on other bloDoisneaugs.  There are so many resources.  I love following expat blogs.  They typically have a similar perspective to mine, but are living where I am visiting.  As you know, wordpress has some great blogs.

5. Take a Class

I would be a professional student if I could, so I’m a little impartial to taking classes.  Community education courses can be an affordable way to learn more without going back to the loan days.  I’ve taken writing and photography classes before traveling.   I also see value in language and art history classes.  The more you know about a place before you visit, the more you can comprehend.

6. Call your Credit Card Company

It would be quite a bummer to finally reach your destination, go to a restaurant to grab some dinner, and after trying to pay with your credit card, realize that it has been blocked.  Even if you are traveling in your own country, I would recommend calling to notify about travel dates.  The more you can prepare ahead of time, the smoother your journey will go.

7. Contact you Cell Phone Provider

This is very similar to the cell phone.  I had a friend who traveled to Indiana and her cell phone went kaput.  I’ve also had issues with going abroad and it not working right away.  Talk to your cell phone company to see what your phone is capable of.  Warning: data charges can be outrageous.  Make sure you are clear about all charges when traveling.

8. Consider your AttireFeet in the Med

Shoes are probably the most important item to evaluate for your trip.  Sore feet are no good.  I take at least two types are wear them before I go.  This is an area that I spend a little more on since it greatly impacts my ability to explore.

Besides your kicks, also think about your clothing.  I check out the climate to have an idea what to expect, but also bring clothing that is warmer and cooler than necessary.  Think about foldability and flexibility.  Will it wrinkle like crazy?  Can you wear it in more than one way?  Worse case scenario: you have to go do a little shopping.