When recently asked, “Why do you travel with kids?” I realized my list was long…and pretty selfish. Having kids has definitely changed how I travel but it has not stopped me from traveling. On the contrary, now that I have kids I find myself traveling with kids more. Why…
- I WANT TO go places. Life is short and I’m two little people aren’t going to slow me down – they have to keep up!
- I WANT TO see the world and sometimes seeing it through their eyes is more amazing than seeing it through mine.
- I WANT TO show them new places while they’ll let me.
- I WANT TO teach them the world is as big as you make it.
- I WANT TO hold their hand as we walk through the airport because I know one day I won’t be on their flight…
That’s why I’m traveling with kids, because I WANT TO. I know that may come across as being selfish and I’m good with that. Perhaps my Princesses won’t remember going to Puerto Rico, Mexico or Disney but I will. I hope to create
good grand memories for my kids, especially when we travel. But when it comes down to it, when we’re traveling I’m creating memories I will treasure. I only get my kids for 18 years – less for Princess Two since she didn’t join our family until she was nearly three – and I want those memories to be more than making lunches, math homework, piano practice and ballet recitals. While those are great memories I know I’ll also treasure, watching my kids play with children who don’t look like them or speak their language and having them tell me, “that was the best day ever” is not only a wonderful feeling but a life lesson – no matter where people are from, we’re not that different. I’m hopeful my selfishness gives them more life lessons. Ones that open their eyes as travel has done for me… So that’s my reason for traveling kids what’s yours?
I was able to get a few more of my fellow travel writers to share their reasons for traveling with kids. I got back some excellent and inspiring reasons. We’d love to hear your reasons for traveling kids in the comments.
Why are you traveling with kids?
Keryn Means, Walking On Travels: After over four years of traveling with my boys I can’t imagine not traveling now. Together we have explored the world in ways I never would have thought possible. I see more of the places we are visiting, not less, because I actually slow down thanks to my kids and look around me. They notice things that I would have missed because I am not at their level and I would think it wasn’t worth looking at. Kids find fascination in common place things that we as adults really need to look at again to remember just how extraordinary they can be. (Make sure to read Keryn’s more in-depth post on why she travels with kids. Her honesty made me laugh, and feel better in the fact that I wasn’t the only selfish one.)
Jennifer Close, Two Kids and a Map: Last year, we were able to see how the benefits of travel manifested in our children when we moved them from Florida to Colorado with very little adjustment needed. All the traveling with kids we have done has planted a seed in them one that has helped teach my children to embrace change. (Make sure to see her more in-depth post about their move and why she thinks traveling affected the way her children adjusted to the idea of moving across the country.)
Shelly Rivoli, Travels With Baby: The gift of traveling has given Shelly’s family more than any wrapped birthday or holiday gift has. From teaching patience, to rethinking what is “normal”, to forcing kids (and her) to try new things and showing her children career opportunities fueled by examples of the work and success of others who they have met along the way. Travel is a gift that keeps on giving… (Make sure to see her more in-depth post, Five Reasons Travel Trumps the Other Gifts I’ve Given my Children)
Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki MarcoMama.com: I firmly believe that by traveling with your children they very well could help solve world problems one day. Do my kids remember their first trips? No of course not, but they are veteran flyers, and a road trip of several days is not a big deal for them. They easily adapt to new places, new faces, and experiences. I have to credit that to an early exposure to new places, foods, and traditions. Children who travel are not wrapped up in identifying differences, especially if done at a young age. The media reports they see as older adolescents or young adults will have a different meaning. If something happens somewhere, say Germany, and they’ve been there the issue is more real. The people are real. There is no disconnect between here and there, us and them. This is why they become superheroes AND this is why these traveling little people will someday make the world a better place. Traveling with children, no matter what their age, gives them wisdom and insight that cannot be found somewhere else, nor can it ever be taken from them. I will continue to take them wherever in the world our future holds because I know this is a treasure. One day they might be in an encounter where their travel experiences really pay off, and who knows that side trip we took to visit ancient pyramids might help one of them negotiate with big business who wants to destroy them for a new development. (Make sure to see her more in-depth post, Why Traveling with Kids Can Save the World.)
Dr. Jessica Voigts, Wandering Educators: We play, we laugh, we have a sense of wonder about the world. We see things, and meet people we never would have, without our daughter. We love traveling as a family, and exploring the world together. I can’t wait to see what’s next. (Make sure to see her more in-depth post, Why We Love Traveling with our Daughter.)
Karon Warren, All Things Lifestyle: I love to travel with my kids, because I like giving them the opportunity to see new places and people. Also, I like experiencing a destination through their eyes because they always point out something I never noticed before.
And so now I ask you – why are traveling with kids? Or maybe, why aren’t you?
Elaine N. Schoch
Elaine Schoch (pronounced the German way – Shock) is the editor and founder of Carpe Travel as well as an award-winning travel writer, wine judge, certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 and certified American Wine Expert. She is married to The Husband and has two kids, Princess One and Two – who’s interest and knowledge in wine is quite extensive. Not to mention the stamps in their passports.
What fantastic tips from so many family travelers – thank you for including – and inspiring – us!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts for this piece!
Great article, Elaine! My kids are in their teens and it is worse travelling with them now than when they were little – they are much more expensive and still can’t “hold it” until the next rest stop!
I can’t always hold it to the next stop either. 😉
Great list of reasons! I travel with my kids because I can’t find anyone to look after them if I go on a trip. At least, that’s what I tell them, ha ha. I also want them to have an understanding of the incredible diversity in the world — landscapes, cultures, architecture, and economies. I want them to realize the struggles that other people face and that challenges can be overcome. I want to make foreign places familiar to them and something beyond just what they see on a screen or read on a page. I want them to understand how incredibly lucky they are and how they need to pay it forward to help those who are less fortunate.
When mine were little, I loved the look on their faces when they experienced something new. Seeing the ocean for the first time, the first time on a plane, seeing cows on a farm. As they got older it became more important that they learn about cultural differences, so they didn’t think that the whole world was just like America. Because it’s not.
I love travelling with the children and always have done. It makes every trip that bit more special. And as they get older, I love their company, discussing the holidays with them, learning from and with them and knowing that they will always have the memories to look back on, as I have some wonderful memories of trips with my parents. It’s fantastic.
#2 and #5 ring true for me. It’s astonishing, eye-opening and sometimes funny to see the world through our kids’ eyes. They find happiness in the smallest of things – like the smell of towels in the hotel room, a baby crab walking across the sand, learning how to say ‘hello’ in different languages and experiencing foods from around the world. I see and appreciate so much more when I am traveling with them.
Thanks for sharing others’ stories and tips.
So true! Kids definitely help us appreciate more of the little things. Thanks for sharing.
Love this post, Elaine! Thanks so much for including me. Definitely a subject close to my heart. 😉
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