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Candice Romo explains why taking her kids to places that aren't kid-friendly is important

Raechal Leone Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Candice and Tony Romo have a date night … sans kids. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for DirecTV)

Candice Romo, entrepreneur and wife of CBS Sports football analyst Tony Romo, knows all about traveling with kids. The Romos and their three sons — Hawk, 6; Rivers, 4; and Jones, who turns 1 next month — are already frequent fliers.

So Romo understands the perils of little ones being cooped up for too long or being away from their routine, but she frequently travels with them anyway. It’s sometimes necessary, of course, but it’s also something that’s important to her, she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

“You want to be respectful to the other guests. So, if it’s, like, this really intimate couple place, I just wouldn’t want my kids to go and ruin the trip for the other people that are probably there to get away from their kids,” the 31-year-old says with a laugh. “But, you know, I also believe that if you take your kids to places that aren’t super-kid-friendly, it prepares them and teaches them how to be respectful and honor the adults they have to be around, so I do think there’s a mix that you can do.”

Romo says that when her family travels, as they have this summer — with her former NFL star husband playing in golf tournaments and pursuing his “next passion in life” — she relies on a few strategies that work for her to keep everything running smoothly.

“I always bring my kids lots of snacks, which I think a lot of moms would agree with. And then making sure you bring a lot of things that you have to surprise them with up your sleeve,” Romo explains. “So I do let them travel with their iPads, [and] they know that, but then I always buy, like, a coloring book, or something new that they haven’t seen yet. And when I feel like things are getting to where I need to bust it out, I say, ‘Ooh, look at this new thing I have.’ It keeps them entertained and it keeps them kind of guessing.”

She emphasizes that the surprises are small.

“I’m thinking, like, dollar store stuff,” she says. “Like, one time, I brought them Slinkys, and you’d have thought that was the best gift ever — little things like that that you can just entertain them with.”

Romo often plays a game of Simon Says with the kids in the airport, knowing that they’re about to be confined to a small space for a while.

As far as destinations go, Romo prefers places where everyone traveling with her family can relax and have fun. And she does mean everyone, because Tony prefers to travel in “a huge clan,” with extended family as well. This summer, Candice is working with Kalahari Resorts, where she says there’s something for all ages to do, to promote National Waterpark Day on July 28.

A key member of her extended family is her older brother, Chace Crawford, the actor best known for his role on Gossip Girl.

 

“I can’t brag about him enough as an uncle. [The kids] love uncle Chace,” Romo says. “When he’s at our house, our kids wake him up super-early. He’ll go play with them so long that I’ll be like, ‘Guys, I think it’s time we give Uncle Chace a break. He’s so nice. He would never tell them no. So he’ll just play, play, play, play, and I sometimes have to come in and give him a break, because he’s just so sweet with them. They have their little inside jokes.”

She adds, “Chace is going to be a really great dad when it’s his turn to have kids.”

Just days after Jones was born last summer, Tony said he would welcome the chance to have another little one. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback said his wife might need a little coaxing, or at least some time. Candice says now that Tony always wants a bigger crowd.

“Whether it’s vacations, or dinners, or kids, he likes lots of people,” Candice says. “The more the merrier … is always his rule, but, you know, our youngest is just about to turn 1, so it’s hard for me to think past the baby right now. But who knows? You never say never. I feel that we might be done. We’re just enjoying our little baby right now, so we haven’t thought much about it.”

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