How Do You Get To...?

Eliza Clark
July 15, 2009

Just a week ago, we embarked on a virtual world tour with our kiddos, and what a week it’s been! We’ve been zooming around the globe with them on Google Earth, touching down for extended stays in Paris, Japan and wherever else fancy has taken us. Books, movies, food and various cultural artifacts (hello, Hello Kitty!) have made us feel far, far away without so much as leaving home.

But as much as they adore the flights of imagination that virtual travel can almost instantaneously serve up, our kids still have a few basic questions. Like…how do you get there, really? Yes, these little ones can be wild fabulists one moment and relentless realists the next – isn’t that part of their charm?

With enough road trips or even just jaunts across town under their belts, preschoolers begin to understand that most of us don’t travel as that ubiquitous explorer, Dora does on her World Adventure, and that a hot air balloon isn’t quite as practical as an airliner jet.  Kids this age develop a sense of time and distance by interesting themselves in means of transportation and time in transit (“How long until we get there?” really is more than just whining, that maddening tone of voice notwithstanding!).

So as you are flitting here and there across your living room globe, whether it’s the virtual or old-fashioned spinning kind, don’t neglect to provide your curious travel companions with the nitty-gritty on what it actually takes to travel from point A to point B, “for real.”

For starters, taking New York City as our starting point….

To get to Buckingham Palace (where a real queen lives!):

  • 7 hours on a plane from NY to London
  • Half-an-hour on the Underground to Victoria Station
  • 5 minute walk to see the Changing Guard and other wonders

To get to Machu Picchu, “The Lost City of the Incas”:

  • 8 hours by plane from NY to Lima, Peru: 8 hours by plane,
  • 1 hour by plane from Lima to Cusco
  • 3 and a half hours by train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes
  • 20 minutes by bus up a windy mountain road to Machu Picchu

To get to the Giza Sphinx, a 187 foot long creature rising out of the desert with the body of lion and the head of a king:

  • 11 hours and 25 minutes by plane from NY to Cairo, Egypt
  • Short bus ride to Giza
  • Camel ride (optional!)

To get to the Great Wall of China, the longest man-made structure on earth (it’s so big it can be seen from space!):

  • 13 hours 40 minutes by plane from NY to Beijing
  • 1 hour bus ride
  • Long climb up steep stairs

To get to the Taj Mahal, a monument to love:

  • 17 hours and 30 minutes by plane from NY to Delhi (via London)
  • 4 hour car trip to Agra
Won't your kids be more impressed with you than ever when you can reel off all those far-flung itineraries at a moment's notice....

From the Parents

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