I know most people think people who travel with kids are nuts. And maybe we are…a little, but I think there is some sanity in our insanity. I do realize that at the ages my kids are, 4 and 9 months, they will not remember any of these trips, and that’s okay. The reason we do it, is not for them, its for us. We NEED the trips, well I can only speak for myself, I need them. So here we go….
1. Travel for me is like therapy (even if bringing the kids along creates an extra level of difficulty). I crave new experiences, a change in scenery, and I cling to these memories, on some days they keep me going and having a trip to look forward to is motivation. When I was growing up, we did not take trips at all. We struggled quite a bit financially and the priority was simply surviving and making ends meet. I did not take my first trip until I was 18 and it was to LA to see my favorite cousins. (Correction: My mom did say I flew on the plane a few times when I was super small.) After the LA trip, that was when my wander lust started. I vowed that I would see the world before it’s my time to go and that’s exactly what I am doing. The trip choices we make are based on what we want. I think the kids are too young to plan a trip solely for them. When we went to Disneyland, it was because my husband wanted to celebrate his birthday there, and my son was simply just reaping the benefits of his decision. We do try to incorporate kid friendly activities for the kiddos, but again, that is partially for us too because we are both big kids at heart.
2. We do not have someone to watch our kiddos for an extended period. This is a big one! We could pay someone, but that gets very expensive. For the people who have loads of support, God has truly blessed you. Keep on traveling kid-less lol. But for people in my boat, it’s possible to still enjoy travel and bring your kids along. That is one of the main reasons why I wanted to start this blog, to show people that you can take trips and still have fun, even if the kiddos are coming along. We do still try to take at least 1 trip without the kids, and that is usually around our anniversary. We welcome the break from the kiddos and as they get older I am sure they will welcome a break from us. Plus, like dating, the time spent with just each other helps to keep our marriage in good health. We are guilty of spending a large chunk of the time talking about our kids and how much we miss them though.
3. Traveling with kiddos under 2 is basically FREE. Most airfare tickets are free, there is no extra person fee for hotels, most of the entries to places are free at this age, and they do not even require a lavish meal. It’s the best time financially to take a family trip! You do kind of pay for it in other ways due to all the stuff that comes along with traveling with a kid under 2, but that is just a minor detail. It’s also worth mentioning that before school age, you can take trips during non-peak times, which is another way to save money. In case you have not noticed, airfare and cruises, in particular, have fare spikes during spring break, Holy week, the holidays, and the summer. Non-peak times also means less crowds, more time to enjoy the place you are traveling to.
4. Train up a child! We are training our kids how to be great travel companions. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. My 4-year-old has it down packed and he has been traveling since he was 8 months. He understands the security process, the boarding process, how to behave on the plane, and he even enjoys the shuttle from the off-airport parking to the airport. He knows what to expect and what we expect. It also helps our kids become more adaptable and flexible. Routines are great, and we are all for them, but let’s face it, things come up so its great skill to be able to be flexible and adapt when needed.
5. It creates memories - the good ones we smile about and the bad ones that we later laugh about. Even though my kids may not remember all the trips we take, we still have pictures to show them and stories to tell. Memories are the only thing we can take with us until the very end. My husband and I often find ourselves reminiscing on past trips we took and looking fondly through old photos. The more experiences kids have, the better chance they succeed. I read an interesting article, check it out here.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! I’d love to hear your experiences and perspective on traveling with kids, especially with small ones.