Traveling with young children may seem daunting. Often, families may say “Oh we will wait until they are older. They won’t remember it!” Well, there are plenty of reasons that you should still take the trip if you want to. Plus, there are strategies to help you if you are ready to make those memories!
They Won’t Remember
Depending on the age of the child, this is true. They may not remember that first visit to the beach or hugging Mickey Mouse. They may not remember exploring the Irish countryside or kissing that dolphin in Mexico. However, I promise that you will! I promise that you will look back on those pictures and smile, or maybe get a tear in your eye.
You have memories that you will surely cherish with your children, regardless of their age. Plus, it’s fun to tell them about the experience if they don’t remember. Make a memory book and share your favorite moments with them. It’s a way to bond with them and it gives you a reason to go on another trip when they are older! Plus, if you’re ready to travel with your child, no age is too young to feed that wanderlust!
Benefits of Travel
Taking the trip, regardless of your child’s age, definitely has benefits for you as the parent or caregiver. Traveling often allows you to slow down, be together as a family, and be mindful. It allows you to make those memories and do something that you enjoy. Life can be stressful and parenting is hard. However, having time together is bound to bring a smile to your face and remind you what it’s all for!
In addition, there are countless benefits for your child!
Helps Teach Adaptability & Flexibility
When you travel, things don’t always go as planned. There may be flight delays, the hotel may not be what you expected, the ship might not stop in the expected port, etc. It doesn’t have to ruin your vacation and when things change, it’s an opportunity to teach resilience and problem-solving skills. Sometimes, the journey is as much fun as the destination!
For example, let’s say you arrive at your hotel room on vacation and it does not meet expectations. You’re tired from traveling and maybe a bit cranky but you know you need to solve the problem. So, first, you call your Key to the World Travel Advisor to let them know. Then, you go and speak with the hotel staff to explain the issue. As you do this, you’re modeling for your child and solving the problem. You didn’t get to the pool or the beach as quickly as you’d hoped, but you gave your child a valuable life experience. You showed how to handle a situation you’re not happy with in a respectful way.
When you travel, you see the world differently. Whether you are traveling internationally or just to a different part of the country, people are different. There are different languages, different traditions, and different values. Diversity is something to be celebrated and when your children see the differences, it’s a way to talk about this.
Encourages Appropriate Risk Taking and a Sense of Adventure
Traveling is often about going somewhere new and trying new things. Whether you go internationally or are just a few hours away, it’s always an adventure! You might do things that you typically wouldn’t do and it’s a good time to encourage your child to do so the same.
Encourages Curiosity and Imagination
A big part of a vacation is planning. This is a great way to get the kids involved and curious about your trip. Watch videos, look at maps, and learn about the destination to get them excited! Your Key to the World Travel advisor may even have some suggestions to help you reveal the trip!
Once you’ve arrived at the destination, the learning continues! One of the very best ways to learn something is to do it! Traveling allows your child to explore new environments and be curious. Going to different destinations encourages children to explore and try new things. You might encourage them to taste new food, ride a new rollercoaster at a theme park, or go on a tour to learn about the destination.
You’re ready to travel with your children! Now what? Here are some tips to help you have the best vacation experience possible!
Talk about the Destination and the Journey
Get your kids prepared for the journey and the destination by talking about it. Look at maps, watch videos, and read about it together. Depending on their age, this will help build excitement and encourage curiosity once you’ve arrived.
Pack Busy Bags
At any age, busy bags are a wonderful thing on long plane rides! You might opt for technology such as a tablet and headphones too. In your busy bag, include items that your child is familiar with as well as new items that they haven’t seen before.
Downtime is important when you travel. Whether you are heading to a theme park, sailing on a cruise, or exploring Europe, it’s important to make time to relax and recharge. This is especially the case if you are dealing with jet lag or a change in time zones.
Making plans and scheduling amazing experiences during your trip is wonderful! However, sometimes the best-laid plans just don’t work out. Be flexible and know that you don’t have to do everything. Take cues from your child. Enjoy the little moments along the way and take it all in.
Always Pack Extra
If you are traveling with young children, it’s especially important to always pack extra! Make sure you have one more diaper than you think you might need. Pack extra snacks, an extra outfit, etc. Being prepared with extra is always a good thing and will go a long way in your vacation experience.
Any Age is the Right Age
Are you ready to travel with your child? That is the biggest factor to think about as you decide on your next vacation. If you are ready and eager to take them with you, then any age is the right age! Take the trip and make memories because they are only little for a short time!
Are you considering a trip? Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands.