Ok, if you saw my previous post 5 Reasons to Travel as a Couple BEFORE Having Kids, then you might be wondering, “doesn’t she write about how great it is to travel WITH KIDS?” Yes. I. Do.
Just in case you thought I had fallen off the wagon about traveling as a family…go read my previous post (after you read this one). Because that is not at all my view!
There are some huge reasons why I recommend couples travel together BEFORE little ones come into the picture. Fact of the matter is…some things are just harder (or impossible) to do with kids.
BUT for the vast majority of trips you can take, I am ALL ABOUT TRAVEL WITH KIDS!!!!
When we had Austin, we were determined to KEEP TRAVELING! Not only is it possible to travel with kids, it’s actually a total blast! At times, even more fun than traveling as 2! Traveling together as a family has become one of our absolute favorite things in life!
Why travel with kids
Treasured Memory Making
Some of my favorite family memories as a little girl revolve around moments we had on family trips. I can vividly remember walking backwards all around Walt Disney World while facing my family because I was acting like their tour guide or travel guru. (See…my desire to share my travel knowledge started from a young age.)
When you travel with kids, it generates genuine memories that will leave a lasting impression on your children far into the future. I am a first-hand example! There is something sacred and special about that quality time spent with your loved ones.
Traveling gives us a chance to unplug from both the hectic and mundane life patterns we hold. It allows us to fully engage with our kids for an extended period of time. That precious time together is irreplaceable.
Too much of life can get swept away in the hustle or bustle of “normal life.” Instead of letting that rhythm carry you away until your children are leaving for college, press pause and be intentional.
Choose to travel with your kids. Slow down and savor each memory-making moment on every trip you take together. And take as many as you can…while you can.
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Adventures are the Best Way to Learn
The learning possibilities are ENDLESS when you travel. Travel with kids, so they (and you) can learn through adventure!
Traveling will widen their perspective of people, cultures, places, lifestyles, relationships, etc. They will learn first hand how to love others and the world we live in by watching how other people do life around the globe.
To me, this is the most valuable lesson that I could ever offer my children! This is why I will choose to travel with kids as much as possible. Some of life’s greatest lessons will be learned while exploring the planet!
Real love can be observed in other cultures and lifestyles around the world. Children can see first hand the beauty of diversity among people from different countries, cultures, races, and backgrounds. And in turn, learn how to love them all equally and value our differences!
Beyond this core life value, traveling with your children gives them the opportunity for hands-on learning experiences. While formal education is wonderful–nothing beats hands-on learning! (And this comes from someone with a Master’s of Education.)
Go on a hike with your family and let your littles learn in the great outdoors! They can learn about animals, rock formations, landscape, weather, physics, plants, perseverance, determination, and the list goes on. Austin has learned his fair share about exploration and stamina on family hiking trips.
Travel with kids to another city or country and observe the way life flows there. It is a great opportunity for kids to learn about family, friendship, nature, history, art, technology, harmony, and the list goes on.
Learning is a life-long process that should never stop. And it should not be limited to a book. Take your kids on trips to enhance their learning first-hand in a deeper and richer way. Have adventures that teach them an abundance of information and life skills! It’s the perfect pairing!
Life is Short
You only have 18 summers to spend with your child–spend them wisely! Time with our children flies by in the blink of an eye (so I’m told). I’m only a few years into my first child’s life, but I can already feel it vanishing faster than I thought possible.
Pro Tip: If you’re a mom-to-be, actually listen to half of those “cheesy” things you hear A LOT of parents say. Turns out…half the time they’re right!
We have to seize the moments we have with our children and make the most of them. Don’t keep putting off your family trip. What are you waiting for?
- “When our kids can walk, we will travel with kids.” There are actually some big perks to traveling with a baby who is always attached to you in a wrap and not able to walk.
- “When our kids are in school, we will travel with kids.” Why not let them start learning now? What is so special about “school age”? It’s not necessarily easier once they are in school because their schedule starts to fill up with more excuses not to leave town.
- “When our kids are older and can appreciate it more, we will travel with kids.” There is so much they can appreciate NOW! At their current age (whatever it is), there are many aspects of traveling that they will love and enjoy.
It’s always easy to come up with excuses. Sadly, it’s not that hard because they have become so commonplace.
Let’s smash those excuses and focus on what an amazing experience it is to travel with kids! Life is too short to keep putting it off until tomorrow.
Don’t just try to get through each day of your child’s life as it goes by. Instead, decide that you are going to have a life that is thriving not surviving!
Do not fear travel with kids
Kids Learn to Adapt…and You Can Too!
One of the main fears people have when they travel with kids is how stressful all the logistics of traveling will be along the way. I have come to find that the fear-based narrative we keep telling ourselves, is far worse than the reality of what will happen.
Sure, there will be some hiccups along the way. Yes, there will be times that cause a bit of stress (have you raised kids at all?). BUT…you might end up being rather surprised at how well kids adapt.
Austin was not amused with our outdoor winter activities on a trip to Minnesota. But after we continued to play and make it fun, he eventually adapted to the change in the climate. He ended up having a blast in the snow!
Travel with kids may not (strike that–WILL NOT) be as stressful as you imagine. Let go of your fears and just jump in!
The more you keep traveling with your kids, the easier it will become. They will find it a normal part of life to roll along with, and you will discover how wonderful it is.
Do you know what humans strive for more than anything else? In my opinion, its comfort.
Going to a place you have never been, eating food you have never heard of before, and not knowing how your kids will respond to it all is uncomfortable. However, we strive to seek adventure over comfort in life.
Comfort is not necessarily a bad thing, it has its place. Take my bed for example–I have no problem sinking into my king size memory foam bed covered by a fluffy duvet that epitomizes literal comfort.
However, if comfort stops us from living a full life, I don’t want it! I don’t want my life to be familiar. I don’t want my life to be mundane. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and feel like I had countless missed opportunities because I was too afraid to take a risk and get a little uncomfortable.
No more giving in to fear. No more prioritizing comfort. Seize every opportunity for your own little adventures and bring your little ones along for the ride! It will be totally worth it!
Extra Equipment is Not Required
There are posts upon posts out there that are all telling you about the 5,218 items you need to buy in order to be prepared to travel with kids. Well, I’m here to tell you that you do not need all of that extra stuff. Actually, you hardly need any of it.
Companies market items as ideal for travel with kids, but they are simply not necessary. Our continued life mantra remains–less is more.
Do you currently own things that your babies or kids use in everyday life? Then you’re all set! Sure, there are a couple of items that might consolidate some space or create maximum entertainment for minimal effort, but none of them are required.
Decide if there are a few items that you feel are essential. Invest in those (or ask for them as a birthday gift). Start traveling with your family. It’s that simple.
Don’t convince yourself that you need fancy gadgets and tools in order to travel successfully. You are raising your kids daily, and travel is simply doing that in another city or country. You are equipped with all the tools you need. You got this!
Manage the Cost of Travel
Yes, money is always a factor. I understand that traveling with kids can be more expensive (extra people, more food, bigger rooms, etc). With a little planning ahead of time, you can still take trips that don’t make your bill skyrocket.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of traveling while your child is under the age of two. Airfare is still free for most airlines and many other travel companies do not start counting your child as an additional person until they turn two.
Maybe 15-day long international trips with three kids would be a little too costly for your family. Then choose to take a trip within driving distance or fly to a destination with significantly cheaper airfare.
Family trips do not have to be all or nothing. Just adjust your plans and expectations to align with your budget. Focus on making incredible memories as a family, learning through adventures, and taking advantage of the time you have to travel with your kids.
Through all the trips we have taken as a family, we have loved every last one. The good always outweighs any bad that creeps up, making it totally worth it. You too will come to find that travel with kids is truly Worth Every Trip!