One of the main arguments that parents give for not traveling with their kids is that they won’t remember it or that they won’t enjoy it as much as some time in the future when kids enjoy things more. Of course, to each their own, but we’ve chosen to travel with our daughter basically since she was born (she took her first flight from Bangkok to Phuket in Thailand when she was 2 months old). Traveling with a baby and now a toddler isn’t always easy, but here are the reasons we’ve chosen to do it anyway.
She may not remember, but I will
When I look back on my life I hope to look back on a wealth of amazing experiences and as I travel I am filing my memory “bank” up with great memories. Sure, my daughter won’t remember visiting Angkor Wat when she was nine months old, but I will have the memory of it for the rest of my life. It also allows me to make memories with my husband and build our relationship, which brings me to the next point.
It makes my marriage stronger
Traveling requires planning and coordination and caring for the child(ren) in a different setting than we are used to. There have been times that this has been trying on our marriage, but since we have gotten into a rhythm with travel, it has been one of the best ways that Joel and I have learned about each other and about how to work together as a team.
Watching kids experience things makes them 100 times better
Remember Christmas as a kid and how great it was, and then once you were a parent seeing your kids open the gifts was so much better?! That’s how I feel about travel. Traveling to new places was an amazing experience when it was just me, and it has truly shaped who I am. But, my 2-year old approaches the world with such awe that it causes me to stop in my tracks. Seeing her experience new things and learn about the world is the very best thing about traveling with kids. She is excited and amazed by things that wouldn’t stand out at all to me if I were traveling alone. Her excitement is contagious and makes all of our trips better!
My daughter is really cool
Okay, so she may not remember going to 6 countries before she was 2. However, she has an opportunity to experience so much more of the world than I did. There’s nothing wrong with choosing not to travel with your kids, but man, she’s a cool kid.
She is learning to love people
My daughter loves people. She loves way more than me and way better than me. She is such a little extrovert that if I don’t get her out of the house (because Mommy is an introvert), she gets absolutely crazy by the end of the day. She just needs the chance to interact with others. We’ve gotten to meet so many people that I wouldn’t have taken the chance to meet if I were traveling alone. And, best of all, she doesn’t care about skin color, socio-economic status, clothes, age, disability… et al. She loves everyone the same. Sure, that will change in the years to come, but right now I can continue to bask in these lovely toddler years.
It can be budget friendly
Traveling with under twos means kids can fly as a lap child, and young children stay for free in most hotels making the “littles” years some of the cheapest times to travel with your kids. Plus, they eat less and entrance fees into attractions are also often free or cheaper. Sure, you may be more restricted with what sorts of things you can do, but traveling now is much more affordable than in the teenage years.
They aren’t in school
My daughter is still two years away from going to formal school which means we have a very flexible schedule. If we want to fly down to Indonesia to visit a friend or if we need to fly back to America to spend time with family (both of which were realities recently), we have flexibility to do this without interrupting her schooling.
One day they will start remembering
My daughter is almost three. I have little to no memory of being three, but my husband does. We aren’t so far away from the years where memories are made. I want those memories to be filed with adventure, love of others and time together.
Have you chosen to travel with kids? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!