In 2008 and 2009, we frolicked down to Mexico for two shorter trips, to find out what we didn’t know we didn’t know, and make sure we loved traveling together.
Before we set off, we all got passports (the first for me and my son, Jake) and Hep A (food borne hepatitis) shots. We researched and bought travel medical insurance. The best site I found was insuremytrip.com, and we went with Atlas International. It was the cheapest and best for our needs. Then we read everything we could get our hands on about the parts of Mexico we’d visit.
I get wildly motion sick. You know the ONE girl on the bus getting ill? That’s me. So I was ecstatic to learn about meclizine. It’s the same ingredient in non-drowsy Dramamine, but when you buy it in generic form, you get 100 for the price of 25 name brand pills. It’s notapproved for kids under 12, so we also brought chewable Dramamine.
Jake was five when we headed out, so when kindergarten started, I notified his teacher that we’d be gone for a month. She was supportive, as travel can be a great learning tool, and the school had a system for travel absences, where they coordinated with the teacher and gave us a packet to keep him up to speed with the class, and a travel journaling assignment. When we got back, he and I did a little presentation for his class about our trip.
His first grade experience was as terrible as his kindergarten had been wonderful. The combination of a teacher who should have retired, plus a classroom bully allowed to run rampant, led us to home-schooling.
Thankfully, our school district had an amazing home-school program. Once a week, we’d meet with the home-school teacher, who supplied us with books and study materials, and checked Jake’s progress. He excelled, and this system worked beautifully with our travels. We were able to photograph Jake’s schoolwork and email it to his adviser once a week while we were out of the country. Easy-peasy.