Why You Should Travel With Child Even BEFORE They Will Remember
Last week, I wrote about how my seat mate on a recent Delta flight shared that he hadn’t yet traveled with his three children. Other than the cost of flying with five bodies, his main concern was that his children wouldn’t remember the trips until they’re older.
I countered that it didn’t matter if the kids remember, it matters that he and his wife remember. This was something he hadn’t thought of. Maybe you haven’t traveled for fear of “wasting” travel on a trip your kids wouldn’t remember. But why should you wait? Why should you save the place you’ve always wanted to visit until the kids are just a bit older? Traveling before children is a wonderful, positive way to make memories alone or with loved ones, why shouldn’t it be the same with children of any age?
I’ve been traveling with Baby ISO since he was about two months old, when we took a road trip through Lithuania. Even before I had Baby ISO, I knew I didn’t want to give up traveling—one of my major passions—so I made the effort to keep traveling. And I think anyone could continue traveling once they have a child, especially if the trips are nearby weekend getaways reachable by car or public transportation (at least to start out!).
6 Reasons To Travel With Kids Young Kids
It is fun for the parents
Traveling with kids (even before they’ll remember) is fun. Even though you still might have to get up numerous times throughout the night, deal with toddler jet lag, plan around naps, or struggle to find restaurants open early enough, it feels rejuvenating to be in a new destination and create new experiences. After having a child, your time is primarily taken up by all things baby and work. It is nice to share an experience with your partner doing something outside of your usual routine. I love putting my work away for a week (or going part-time) and having the chance to spend time with J in another country, town, or city.
Kids get to look at photos
When your kids get older, you’ll be able to show them photos of their little selves (probably sleeping) in cities all over the world. Take pictures during your trip, and print them when you get home so you can look at them together later.
Passes on the travel bug
Traveling with your child helps them to learn about the world and provides them with a taste of travel, even if they won’t ultimately remember. Though I know Baby ISO won’t remember his homes abroad or the trips we’ve gone on, he will remember the experiences of flying, riding on a train, and wandering through different cities.
It is likely that where you live doesn’t offer a comprehensive set of experiences for a child. But traveling to other places can allow a child to have rich experiences outside of the norm. This could be a simple as bringing kids to the sea if you live inland, going on a train ride, visiting a cold climate to see snow (this is what Baby ISO is begging for), going camping, seeing a big city, etc.
Now this can be a challenging one with a toddler—I know (I ate pasta every night last week)! But hear me out. If you give your kids the mindset early of trying new things (food, experiences, etc), they might have a more open mind towards trying new foods—or at least that is my plan. This is something we’re working hard on with Baby ISO, and I have to say that it was much easier when he was under 2.5 years old than it is now (at 3.5 years old). Any tips for expanding the palate would be appreciated!
Exposure to cultures
When visiting different cities and especially different countries, your children will get to experience different people, cultures, religions, languages, foods, and ways of life that they haven’t before. And this, even if they don’t remember, is the most important reason to travel with your kids. These rich experiences will teach them to be open minded, respectful, and kind. Here are some ideas to help you get started learning about cultures with children while traveling.
Why do you travel with your kids? Will you keep traveling if you have kids?