Do you love to travel? How about with your kiddos? It takes a slightly different turn when they’re along for the ride (or flight, as the case may be). Anticipating the every need or desire of children as you travel can be a packing nightmare. Don’t you dare forget their lovey!
For my husband and me, travel is an essential part of who we are. We love escaping the routine, taking in new scenery, experiencing different cultures, and food. Food, food, food… ok, and the wine and beer ;). Sharing the adventure with our kids is amazing. Stressful, but amazing. When you surrender yourself to life of traveling with kids, there is a lot out of your control, but the adventure is grand (from multiple perspectives).
5 Reasons to Take Your Kiddos Along
They will see you in a different light. Your communication with your spouse shifts a bit as you are navigating a new area whether that’s in the mountains in your home state or abroad in a country that speaks a different language. They also get to see you interact with people, and believe me, they’re watching and listening. Your smile, tone of voice, patience level, and willingness to try to speak someone’s language, they’re picking up on all that.
Every trip will provide experiences that they aren’t used to on a daily basis. Sure, maybe they have been camping before, but this time they’re sleeping beside a stream or you’ve cooked something different over the campfire. These nuances are exciting and they matter. Every new experience builds the brain and confidence, providing places for your kiddos to connect to when they’re reading a book or learning at school. These experiences often provide new vocabulary too, which is fantastic for that brain growth too.
Seeing different types of people and hearing their accents or native language is amazing for your children’s brains. This is really huge. The brains of little ones capture language quickly. There’s a reason research says the earlier before age 8 kids can start a language, the more likely they are to become fluent. Culture exposure is really important too. After all, we don’t want our children believing everyone looks like them, has what they have, values what they value, etc. This exposure helps kiddos to see that differences build a beautiful world.
Taking children (and adults) out of their comfort zone provides for a focus and learning. As the family relies less on entertainment of devices, it opens up the opportunity to more fully connect. You’re in it together, figuring out how to start a fire, or using a map, or figuring out a menu in a foreign language. A little discomfort naturally draws us towards one another in a way and that can be magical.
You know, you could decide to just not take your kids along. And frankly, it’s important to spend time with your partner alone sometimes. However, think of how much a babysitter would cost every time you have wanderlust?! The value of bonding over the experience is WAY more valuable than any dollar amount.
In a few weeks, I will have more ideas to share I’m sure. We are soon to embark on an 8 day trip abroad with both our 4.5 year old and our 2 year old. I can’t wait to see the whole experience through their eyes. Even though our oldest has been on a plane a few times, as they grow, learn, and experience things, their perspectives change… Now, doesn’t that sound familiar? I’m pretty sure ours do too and that travel is an integral component. What a beautiful thing!
Where would you like to travel with your family? What is your #1 tip for traveling with kids?