Traveling with Kids Part I: So you have a million reasons why not to...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Okay. I'd like to preface this series of posts with saying that I know I am absolutely no expert on this subject. However, I've lost count of how many flights and road trips my kids have been on, and I think I feel fairly confident in my packing abilities and preparing for any type of travel. We've done short flights, flights across that Atlantic, and flights that are just too long it's absurd with the kids. We've done short road trips and road trips across the country. Several times. I'd say our kids are pros.

Also, I've been approached numerous times about any travel tips I may have, so I've decided it's about time I sat and started writing them down. Here we go!

Traveling with Kids  Part I: Just Do It!


I've heard people list off reasons why they choose not to travel with kids. Let's set aside the blatant reason that hello! It's expensive to fly/travel with kids!!! Because that's an incredibly valid reason! I'm sure SO many people want to travel more, especially with their children, but right now it is just not financially feasible. I can't stress enough- that's 100% valid. Please don't go into debt just for a trip because that's absolutely silly. In fact, a lot of our trips are ones that we couldn't have made in a million years if it weren't for them just falling in our laps.

Now that we've set that aside.

OTHER reasons I've heard people say they're not traveling with their kids...

"They're too young. They won't remember."
I get this. You're right about one thing. Your six month old won't remember strolling through the Victoria & Albert Museum, and your two-year old probably won't remember the breathtaking views of the Midwest. BUT, they can get used to traveling at a very early age. I think the reason our kids are on the whole so well behaved while traveling and excited to go to new places is because we've been doing it for a long time. Road trips and plane rides have been part of their lives since they were babies. Also. You know who WILL remember? You. And I promise you you'll cherish those memories.

"They won't appreciate it yet."
Then help them appreciate it. Make going to see a new place down the street exciting! Have talks about the things you saw. Say, "Hey, remember that time we saw those really cool Buddhist temples? Remember how we had to take our shoes off before we walked in? That was a good thing to do because we wanted to be respectful, huh?" One thing we've done is started a postcard collection for each of the kids. We let them pick out one postcard every time we visit a new country/state. This is such a simple and cheap thing to do, but they LOVE it!

"It's hard."
Yeah, it is. And exhausting. And frankly, duh, NOT easy. But, have you never done a hard thing? What happens when you do hard things? You learn from them and then you feel like Superman for having kicked that hard thing in the butt.

"I'm too nervous/scared."
Oh, goodness. I've been there! Sixteen hours on a plane SHOULD scare you! I know I was before every flight! But, again, the more you do things, the easier they get and the more confident you feel. I remember when S was two days old and we had to take her to her pediatrician. It's insane how much I packed for the seven minute ride. I was nervous about surviving a seven hour road trip with her when she was a few months old. We were pretty scared when we were preparing to fly to Europe with a six and eighteen month old. I'm still nervous about any potential flights to Asia! Let's just take a deep breath.

"It won't be as much fun with the kids."

I don't know how to address this one because I think it's really a manner of a opinion. We traveled to England and the Isle of Man with our kids, and then again to Europe without the kids a year later. Both were extremely memorable. C and I just happen to agree that a huge part of what makes any trip (near or far) especially enjoyable is simply seeing our kids experience it. Driving forty-five minutes to pick apples in a really pretty part of Pennsylvania we hadn't been before: Awesome. Seeing the kids "ooh" and "aah" at the trees and run up and down the rows: Priceless.

Well, now that I've addressed the main reasons why maybe some are choosing not to travel with kids, I'll start addressing the actual traveling part. Next up: (I think...I'm kind of just flying by the seat of my pants) what to pack for the kids for the flight/car.

1 comment:

Sharon Smith said...

I travel with my kids -- Travel is educational. I think they deserve a "vacation" from the norm just as much as an adult. My parents always took us along and I cherish every memory. I enjoy watching my kids discover new places and see new things. I think it's worth the expense. This blog is so helpful for travel exceptional tips ! Thanks !

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