6 Reasons To Travel With Young Kids
BY VICTORIA SCHNEIDER
I laugh now at the majority of the hypothetical “I will” or “I will never when I have kids” statements I used to make, the one that we have chosen to stick to is “I will travel with my kids.” When it comes to our budget, we’ve chosen to value travel above a lot of other things. As a young couple, before having kids, travel dramatically shaped our view of the world, our view of our “home”, and made us grow closer together as we experienced those things together.
When we welcomed our first baby boy into the world, we knew it would be difficult to travel, but we made it a point to not only continue traveling, but to travel together as a family the majority of the time. While we haven’t been able to take as many trips as we’d like, we still travel a few times every year, near and far. With that being said, here are a few of the reasons we chose to bring our two boys with us on trips and why we think it’s important for anyone with small children to at least give it a shot.
1. The experiences outside of what they’re used to changes them.
I read this quote from Rachel Denning a few years ago and it’s something I wrote down and clung to. “Deciding not to travel with your children while they are young ‘because they won’t remember’ the trips you take is a little like saying you’re not going to read to your children while they are young because they won’t remember the books you read. You read to your small children because of sounds they will hear, the words they will see, the skills they will acquire, and the habits you hope they will form. Traveling with young children is very much the same.” When we bring our kids anywhere with us, they experience things in a different lens than they do at home. They see things like the vastness of the ocean or the texture of the sand between their toes. They hear the busy sounds of the subway or quietness of the forest. All of those things help with their brain development and the shaping of their worldview.
2. The experiences outside of what you’re used to changes you.
I can still remember taking our son, Cove, to Crystal Cove beach for the first time. He may not have a distinct memory of that experience, besides rolling around in the sand, but I will never forget how my heart felt in that moment. I had so much joy and fullness getting to watch the sunset with him there. Additionally, experiencing the Canadian Rockies again with our little guy in tow, totally transformed the way I looked at the mountains. It’s kind of like Christmas with your kids. Everything is more fun to live it through the eyes of a child.
3. It helps them become adaptable (and you too).
When kids travel young, you’re somewhat forced to fall asleep just about anywhere. To try new foods, eat with their hands, eat with chopsticks, etc. Routines are great, and we certainly live by a schedule the best we can, but it helps your whole family learn to be flexible and go with the flow. Traveling with kids has also helped me relax and lower my expectations quite a bit, which I am grateful for. It’s in no way without challenges, but we would have different types of challenges even when we are home. As you do it more, you learn to let go of some of the expectations you have and laugh in those moments. You plan for the hiccups and let go of the picture perfect idea you had in your head (My tears have turned to laughter because it’s all I could do with a screaming baby on a five hour flight, ha). In the end, you end up with lots of good stories and a much better attitude.
4. It gives everyone a chance to unplug and be together as a family.
One of the things I love about traveling as a family, whether its a relaxing trip or one where we try to see everything we possibly can, is that it’s un-devoted time together as a family, where we don’t have the same responsibilities we do at home. This can be great for kids as well as adults. You set things like work, cleaning, and projects aside to fully experience quality time together and somewhere different.
5. You and your children will now have “mile markers” when you look back and remember things in the past.
My husband and I talk about this pre and post trip every time, but when we look back on all the traveling we’ve done, we never really remember the specific meltdowns, late check outs, hurt feet from walking all day, etc. What we do remember are the special moments of peace, looking up at the mountains, or the crawling baby bulldozer going up and down the beach, moving the sand every which way. Having these trips to look back on, helps us remember the past better and in a more positive and powerful way. We’ve found our outlook on life is even more positive because of all the fun and memorable experiences we had together as a family.
6. It’s a gift your kids will never outgrow.
As a young girl, I don’t think I realized what a gift my parents had given me when we were traveling. But now, as an adult, I am so grateful for those experiences and what they taught me. I experienced history, cultures, and places that I had only read about. Those things helped encourage my curiosity for life. Unlike tangible toys and presents, travel is a gift that your kids will never outgrow, even if they aren’t old enough to realize it yet.
In the end, whether it’s an hour drive to a city nearby or flying halfway across the world, I truly believe traveling with your kids is something that’s exciting, tiring and completely worth it.
Hi there! I’m Victoria Schneider and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. I married my best friend and heartthrob, Ian, and we have two little boys named Cove and Jettson.
I cry a lot (95 percent of the time it’s happy tears). I’m a drink hoarder, Chick-fil-a fanatic and my treat of choice is always dark chocolate. My hobbies include frequenting bagel and coffee shops with my boys, watching sunsets and traveling as much as possible.
My boys are my heart and my joy. Being a homemaker is truly a gift. When I’m not taking care of/or with them, I enjoy documenting and writing about life, faith, fashion and styling on my blog, The Southern Trunk. Blogging is something I’ve found so much joy in over the past few years. I have loved being able to connect with so many people and having the opportunity to document this life we’ve been given. Even though it’s considered a job, I see it as more of a passion project.
Visit our contributor section for posts on beauty, family and more.
10 Beautiful Nature Books for Children
We LOVE books in our home. One of my favorite things to do is hunt down new children’s books for my daughter and I to enjoy together. Now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner, I have been collecting nature books that teach her all about the world around her. Teaching kids about nature has many developmental benefits and increases their concern for the environment.