Traveling with kids…
This is a huge barrier to travel, and as we explore this more, we think it’s important to set some expectations.
1) Yes, travel will change with children.
That Tahitian vacation you dreamed about while single or newly married? Probably not going to have the same effect with a 3 and 6 year old. Maybe, but probably not.
But ya know what? We think that’s actually ok!
So much of how we experience travel stems from our perspective. If we approach travel with new eyes while we have kids, we can appreciate it authentically and realistically.
Will your kids cry on the plane? Probably.
Will you have to adjust the amount of museums you go to because your kids don’t care? Probably.
Will you have to ensure your uber has a car seat? Yup.
Will you have to pack more to accommodate the extra needs? Perhaps, although you can also find examples of people who don’t do this and travel with one small carry-on per child (Blog it… it’s pretty incredible!)
Will your budget change with more mouths to feed? Yup! But you can also plan and take that into account…most kids like PB&J sandwiches for lunch anyway. 😉
Will you have to adjust for kids who need a nap? Of course.
Will you have to balance the things you want to experience with what your family can handle? Yep. Perhaps it’s less cultural experiences in a new town or less laying on the beach.
Will you relax? Probably not very much!
Perhaps you aren’t ok with things. That’s fine! But if you are interested in traveling with kids, understanding that there will be a lot beyond your control is a helpful first step.
2) Travel is incredibly beneficial for kids!
Parents spend countless hours helping our kids prepare their homework. Parents choose schools we think will give them the best opportunities in life. And parents seek to help them become as knowledgeable as possible to expand their horizons.
Many parents we have talked to insist that the practice of traveling, either for educational or relaxation purposes at younger ages creates better travelers. For many, they found that when kids traveled younger, they needed to “teach” less about how to be a good traveler in adolescence or young adulthood.
3) It creates memories.
Traveling with others can create lasting bonds and vivid memories! Some of our best memories were traveling on road trips or cheap camping trips as children when money was tight. It allowed us to all be together, get out of our routine, and experience the world in a new way. As parents raise their children, travel can be a gift of experience and memories that kids will remember.
Learning from other Parents
We believe that sometimes, we can learn from others examples in ways we could never learn on our own.
For example, We loved the book “At Home In The World” by Tsh Oxenrider (again…not paid). If you haven’t read it and are interested in traveling with children, this is an amazing read. This family moves their young family of 5 to a variety of locations around the world for 9 months, determined to experience adventure, memories & growth-opportunities for their family. Perhaps it’s not a situation you would ever do, but it broadens the horizons to see the honest pros and cons of such an adventure!
We posed the question in an International Travel-related Social Media Group about a few years ago…
How has Travel changed with kids? Is it still something you pursue?
The answers were vast and varied.
- A European mother said her children had been to 15 countries, and she only found value from introducing travel to her young children. To her, the life lessons and abilities to introduce children to a world beyond their own was invaluable.
- Another mom said that she was able to travel a lot with her first child, but the temperament of her second limits her ability to fly for long flights. Instead, she chooses to travel on road trips for this stage, allowing her children to still experience life beyond themselves but also control (a bit more) some of the trip’s unknowns.
- Another American mom has had her kids in a number of countries and states.
On a flight once, we posed this question to a new Mom:
How long was your travel limited when you had children?
Her answer: 6 weeks!
(Honestly, we were floored by this! But it forever changed our perspective!)
We are a US-based blog, but in our travels overseas, we have noticed huge shifts in how people travel with children. People engage in the act of travel more and seem to make “kid-friendly” accommodations less. They simply adjust to the difficulties of traveling with kids and seem to just accept it. It amazes us, but teaches us every time we see a young mom with a stroller touring a new city! It may not be everyone’s thing or situation, but it is amazing to see how normal that perspective is overseas.
It may not be for you. Perhaps the stress of traveling with kids isn’t worth it. That’s ok. But if you have been wondering if it’s possible, sometimes all it takes is some inspiration to figure out how it will work for you!
Have tips? Include them below!