What Professor Robert Kelly Can Teach Us about Traveling with Kids

When you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling to a foreign place you’ve never been before, you may experience some stress. While vacations are supposed to be relaxing, it can be hard to reach that point of Zen on a plane, getting settled into your accommodations, and when things don’t go according to plan.

Add traveling with kids or a large family, and the challenges continue to add up. We suggest approaching the situation like Profession Robert Kelly and his family might have.

You’ve probably already seen the video that made this man famous, but if you haven’t, here’s a recap:

Professor Kelly is an expert on Asia, and was delivering an analysis to a BBC reporter about Southeast Asian politics from his home office when his toddler-aged daughter danced into the room to see him. She utterly distracts the reporter while her father attempts to keep a straight face and continue the interview with the same level of professionalism and seriousness. Unfortunately, he finds that rather difficult.

And that’s when his younger child, a baby, scoots into the room on his little walker to say hello to the nation as well. Luckily, his Mrs. Kelly swoops in to handle things. Her attempts at covertly coaxing the children out of the room fail as well, however, and parents at home watch her painfully and comically escort the children finally from the room.

While this video made for some great laughs, it also has some great lessons for parents.

Things Don’t Always Go as Planned

As parents, you’ve probably already figured out that today will not going to go quite as you envisioned. Tomorrow either. Kids change everything, and much of your day will be governed by their behavior. Professor Kelly certainly wasn’t planning on his children joining in on that interview!

While anticipating your children’s needs and planning for many possibilities can help you cope with the unexpected calmly and gracefully, you simply can’t plan for every contingency.

Many of our guests at Costa Rica Star Villas discover that it’s the same with travel. While having your own personal concierge, flexible amenities, and plenty of privacy can certainly help minimize the stress of the unexpected, you simply can’t plan for it all.

Simply accepting that going in and being flexible with your plans can save you a lot of grief. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up discovering a great restaurant because you forgot to pack snacks on a day trip to Puntarenas.

Do Your Best with What You Have

Your toothbrush. A pair of nail clippers. The diapers. Inevitably, kids forget things. And often, so do parents. But that doesn’t mean it has to be then end of your vacation. For starters, there are often ways to get the items you left at home. A quick call to your personal Costa Rica Star Villas concierge could gain you advice about how to replace the missing item, or even lead to it showing up on your doorstep with a smiling service person who is happy to help.

Second, you may be able to make do without it. Didn’t bring your daughter’s favorite flip flops? Perhaps a new pair would make a good souvenir to help her remember the trip. Forget your white noise machine? Try enjoying the sounds of the rainforest or crashing ocean waves as you fall asleep instead.

When Mrs. Kelly discovered her children had disappeared into her husband’s office at the worst moment, she could have lamented the fact that she didn’t have her daughter’s favorite treat in hand to coax her out, or an extra pair of hands to carry both children away at the same time (while gracefully shutting the door behind her). Instead, she got the little ones out of the room as best she could with two hands and deft movements – the only tools she had available at the time.

Have a Sense of Humor About It

After becoming overnight YouTube sensations, the Kellys have given numerous interviews discussing exactly what when wrong that day. While they were embarrassed about it at the time, these later interviews show them much more relaxed, with the whole family taking part. And they laugh. Instead of feeling shameful about the unveiling of their family life, they’ve embraced it. They joke about it.

And that’s important for your vacation, too. You and your family are much more likely to enjoy your trip if you can laugh about the surprises that pop up. Just try to roll with it.

A Few Bad Moments Don’t Have to Ruin the Whole Trip

While Professor Kelly’s children distracted the nation from a serious topic for a minute or two, overall Professor Kelly still gave a great interview. He made some valid, respectable points about Southeast Asia. Despite being afraid he’d ruined his relationship with the BBC, Professor Kelly and his family gave several interviews afterward and inspired conversations about what it’s like to be a working parent and having to separate those two parts of life to be taken seriously.

The truth is, most people in the world wouldn’t have given Professor Kelly a second thought – perhaps never would have seen his interview at all – if it weren’t for the unexpected appearance of the rest of his family. While not every disaster can be averted, not every disaster is actually a disaster.

Don’t let a temper tantrum or a teen with an attitude ruin your outlook for the whole trip. With options like childcare, local cuisine prepared right in your villa, and other services, you don’t have to let the mood of one family member spoil it for everyone else.

Have a Backup Plan

While Plan A might not pan out as expected, it’s always good to have a Plan B or C. Of course, having a few locals on your side when traveling to a foreign place is a huge help, too.

Now matter what challenges our guests face during their stay, the staff at Costa Rica Star Villas are here to help. We’re proactive about reducing the possibility of life’s little surprises by helping you plan all the details of your trip. Your local, personal concierge team is also available onsite to help you manage any surprises that come with being a parent. Contact us today to get started preparing Plans A through…whatever!

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