Before children, my husband and I were avid travelers. We were both fortunate to work in industries that had us on the road quite a bit, giving us the opportunity to see much of the world.
All of those lovely perks that come with traveling frequently aren’t as fun as they once were.
Airport lounges are no longer a place to relax with a glass of champagne, but a chance to do full outfit/diaper changes while stuffing your pockets with snacks.
Priority boarding doesn’t mean anything since you’re already at the front of the line with the 7000 bags every child needs to make it through the flight.
And let’s just not even discuss the cost.
So, why do it?
When Googling “travel benefits for kids”, there are 659 million results – with many arguing kids need stability and consistency instead of travel. There is probably a grain of truth in every single hit, both pro and con of traveling, so how do you know what is right for you and your family?
Full disclaimer: you know your kids better than ANYONE out there. So, no matter what article you read, how many podcasts you listen to, or what your neighbour Karen’s sister’s sister-in-law did, you’ll know when your kids are thriving and when they aren’t.Of all the many reasons out there, here’s what I know:
- Kids take their cues from their parents. Listen, stuff happens when you travel: canceled flights, lost reservations, flat tires, stolen passports, etc. Showing your child how to respond in a positive, constructive, and level-headed manner when things go wrong is such an important life lesson that they are never too young to start learning.
- Our way isn’t always the best way. I LOVE to be right. It’s one of my favourite things…but, how arrogant is it to think I have all of the answers, specially in situations I didn’t even know existed?
- Kids are so adaptable. I am always amazed at how quickly kids can immediately start playing with each other, even when there is no common language, toys, or culture. Who needs a written set of rules when jumping in with both feet and learning as you go will do just fine.
- YOU are your child’s stability. Whether you are traveling with two parents, as a single parent, with extended family, or friends you call family, you are what creates the stability and consistency for your child. My two-year-old has been to four continents – as long as he has me, he’s home.
- Seeing life through their eyes. Traveling with kids isn’t always about the nice hotels, nice restaurants, and wine tours – though they ARE nice when it works out – sometimes, it’s about camping in a country you have only dreamed of visiting or keeping your fingers crossed that the vegetables they ate the night before will make up for the three meals of fish and chips we’ve had today. Hint: it did. We survived the great Fish and Chips streak of 2018.
This is, obviously, not a comprehensive list, it’s just what I have witnessed in my family. What benefits have you seen with your kids?