Travel doesn’t have to stop once you have kids. How traveling brings out the best in your family.
Many people think their traveling days are over or severely limited once they have kids. I have heard countless people say “I better get in a trip to ________ before we have kids.” Yes, a certain amount of that is definitely true depending on what you want to do there. If you are looking to do an entire trip that is very physically demanding that a child would not be able to handle or if you are looking to do a trip with a heavy night life aspect, it would be ideal to get that done before having kids to factor in (bringing along or leaving at home with a caregiver). But as I have found, most trips are possible as a family with planning and the right attitude. Kids are adaptable, it is us parents who are often stuck in our ways.
Even the trips involving local travel and a small budget can bring out some of the best experiences. We have taken on the mantra that you can always make more money but you can’t make more memories. Children are only young for so long and each phase can bring on more exciting opportunities for trips. I don’t ever want to look back and wish that we would have done more. Our travels so far have already done a lot to enhance our family.
- Taking a trip makes your family a priority for that duration. Escaping the distractions of everyday life allows you to enjoy more relaxed time together. Replacing the daily grind with a less regimented pace bring out an instant transformation in everyone. While there is no way everyone will be happy and get along the whole trip, just leaving home can bring a refreshed attitude in everyone.
- Exploring new places and new cultures expands your family’s views. This is most noticeable in international travel obviously, but the United States is a wealth of cultures and experiences as well. I love seeing other countries from my children eyes. What stands out to adults, can be completely oblivious to children. How they interact with the locals and experience the world is amazing to see and stands out in my mind as some of the best parts of trips we have taken.
- Having something to look forward to. It is so easy to get bogged down in the daily responsibilities and burn out in this country is so common. Having a trip, big or small, keeps us counting down and exciting. We try to plan several things to look forward to spread out between Labor Day and Memorial Day. This could be a small as an overnight to a water park or as big as a two week trip overseas.
- Expose your kids to travel as early as possible and they will adapt as they grow. Having taken both kids on two international trips involving multiple days of air travel, the build up was worse than the actual travel. It was long don’t get me wrong and multiple meltdowns ensued, but each time we go the kids are more use to what travel entails and we are better prepared in our planning. Some how all the hassles involved in traveling can be forgotten upon arriving at your destination.
- Your kids are capable of more than you think, with the right planning and realistic expectations. Websites that promote family tested itineraries are be coming popular and are a great resource to tailor your plans to your family’s wants and abilities. Want to do a ski trip with young kids? Find a resort with daycare services and you can enjoy adult and family skiing. Love hiking? Look for scenic locations with shorter, easier trails and lots of chances for breaks. Use backpack carriers if your kids are small enough. Building off each previous experiences helps you do more each time.
I have yet to return from a trip with regrets. I love seeing my family grow and adapt together with each experience. Our excitement for new adventures grow with each trip. There are so many excuses you can find not to travel. If you are questioning,
JUST TAKE THE TRIP!