For the longest time, I never knew that people actually traveled with young children. In fact, for most of my life, I thought that it was something that everyone avoided.
But then I started traveling as a young adult and I saw all of these people traveling with their young children and I started asking questions. I started thinking that someday, I might have children and someday, I might want to travel with them.
Which is exactly what we did. So after traveling with our little ones for a year and a half, I have compiled my top ten list of why you should also travel with your young’uns
1) To show yourself that you can.
I’m not going to lie and say that it is easy, but it is something that you can and should do. Before we traveled with our young children, I would lie in bed at night and think of all the reasons that we shouldn’t. What if the boys fuss? What if they don’t sleep? What if we don’t sleep? What if our car breaks down? Things can and do happen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel. You survived sleeping on the airport floor. You children got through three days of not-so-appetizing food. You realize that you can do just about anything.
2) To get out of your routine
In pretty much every other post I write, I talk about routine and how important it is. That is still true. But traveling gets you out of your routine and in a good way. If you are stuck eating sugary snacks every day, traveling can get you out of that routine. If you are in a routine of late bedtimes, it’s possible that traveling will get you out of that routine. Either way, you are changing stuff up.
It is so tempting to bring along technology and screens to entertain the young ones, but traveling with young children is a great way to instill and teach mindfulness. Once you are out and about in the world and you see young children sitting on buses for hours on end, you realize that this is possible and yes, your child can do it. It requires more work up front talking to your child about all the things around them (“Oh wow, those trees look different than all the rest.” “Whoa! I just saw another white bird!”) but the payoff is huge once they are doing it themselves.
4) To get along with less stuff
When you travel, you can’t bring it all with you so you really have to pare down. That means not as many toys, not as many gadgets and not as much stuff. After a short bit, you realize that you didn’t need it in the first place. And when you children start playing with dirt, sticks, string and rocks, you realize that the best toys are the ones you don’t need to buy.
5) To try new things
If you are like me, you don’t always jump into things head first. So trying new things doesn’t always come easily. But when you have no choice; you just do it. It builds character and it builds your child’s character as well.
6) No school issue
Once kids are in school, planning gets a little bit more difficult. Some schools don’t mind if you miss a lot of school to travel and some schools won’t allow it at all. To avoid the headache completely, travel while they are young.
7) To build brain pathways
I remember my uncle asking me why we were traveling when the boys were 3 and 4 years old. “They won’t remember any of it”, he said. He’s right in a way, but the travel will make an imprint. The new languages, the new people, the new experiences. They will affect how they grow and how they experience life even if they don’t remember it.
8) To deal with the “I-want-this-this-way” in a real way
Young children will throw tantrums for the smallest things. “I want the red cup! No! I want the blue cup!” Well, guess what, when we are traveling, we have whatever cup is available and no other options. We don’t have the specific bread that they like and nope, we can’t do that one thing that they want to do because it is on the other side of the world. Children are more resilient than we think and traveling puts that into perspective.
9) To see how other families live
Perspective is really everything (in raising children and in life). When you travel and see how simply some people live, you begin to appreciate the small things more. When you see how other children eat, play and communicate, you get more insight into your own children and parenting.
10) To enjoy your family
Kids grow up so fast. We hear that everyday and it seems like it is taking forever, but it is really gone in a second. When you travel while your kids are young, you are really spending time with them. Once they are older, they will be off doing their own thing. We only have one go at this, so book your ticket and create some great family memories.