Don’t Be Afraid to Travel with Children

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Don’t be afraid to travel with children! It can be a wonderful experience for the whole family. Use these tips to make it fun.

Don't Be Afraid to Travel with Children | Life as Mom

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The following is written by Amy Gross of Mom’s Toolbox:

You will probably experience a diaper blowout at some point in your life as mom. Babies cry. Kids whine. And things get lost.

And you know what… those things happen at home as well as on fantastic vacations. So why not take the show on the road and explore the world, visit family, or unwind for a weekend in a different setting sometimes?

Parenting can be a tricky job, and it’s not a job you get to vacation from all too often… but you can take a vacation with your kids, regardless of their ages. Don’t be afraid to travel with children!

Don't Be Afraid to Travel with Children | Life as Mom

You are right, your baby will not remember the flight to France snuggled in the airplane bassinet and all of the beautiful sites you explored together. But you will, and you’ll also have more fun than you would have had sitting at home!

Sure, you’ll have to lug around a diaper bag and baby stuff… but don’t you do that at home anyway? And stuffing a bunch of diapers in a suitcase means there will be extra room to pack souvenirs at the end of the trip!

Plus, if your kids are like mine, they will be tickled when you show them the photos later.

Don’t Be Afraid to Travel with Children!

My husband and I enjoyed world travel before we had children, and we enjoy world and closer-to-home travel with our children, too.

Together with our three children, we have been on a desert safari in Dubai, taken in some fantastic children’s theater (in a variety of languages), spent the night in castles, explored three Legoland parks (Denmark, England and USA), and three Disney parks (France, California, Florida), cruised, toured gorgeous sites in Spain, and also roadtripped throughout the US in our minivan.

Don't Be Afraid to Travel with Children | Life as Mom

Remember the fun.

These are adventures we have all enjoyed and these are adventures I hope never to forget. But do my kids remember?

No, they don’t remember the details and, yes, many of the trips are completely forgotten by them… but they do remember the fun. And they do remember much more than I expected them to remember. The time and the money were both well-spent in my book.

As my children are getting older — they are currently 5, 8 and 10 years of age* — I am taking into account their interests more now than I did when they were younger. This summer I spent 4 days with them exploring Boston. Guess whose kids are going to rock their American History tests?

I can’t wait to add more historical and geographically significant spots to our list! We love the beaches of Florida… but don’t mind the ones closer to home in Texas, either.

Explore the world.

Traveling with your children encourages them to explore new things, get hands-on experience and ask more questions. It also shows them that everyone else in the world is not just like them… even if you are only two hours from home or 20 hours by plane.

Don't Be Afraid to Travel with Children | Life as Mom

Life happens — everywhere.

Worried about your kids irritating other travelers? Just do your best to calm an upset baby. Plan ahead, try your hardest in the moment, and keep in mind that most likely: you will never see anyone on that plane, train or bus ever again.

As your kids grow, teach them about travel etiquette such as not kicking seats or poking strangers. In the meantime, just do your best and smile. A lot.

Pack some fun things to do on the plane and plan ahead to have the best experience you can flying.

–> Need more plane tips? Check out Janel’s, Tips for Flying with Kids

Don't Be Afraid to Travel with Children | Life as Mom

Traveling has its bumps and bruises:

  • Luggage gets delayed (ask your airline for a toiletry kit if it does).
  • Flights get delayed (pack extra snacks, books, and movies to be prepared).
  • Road trips can be tedious (but they can also offer the chance for silly games, out of the way stops, and road trip food).

Taking the chance to take a trip and travel with your children is priceless, regardless of your children’s ages.

Don’t let “life as mom” mean life without travel. Take the chance to add even more to your own life as well as to your children’s lives and explore whatever part of the world you can.

Don't Be Afraid to Travel with Children | Life as Mom

Amy is the Mom behind Mom’s Toolbox and the mompreneur of the Wine4Me app. She is a world traveler — in heart, body, and prayer. A mother of three young children, Amy writes to equip moms with tools for success whether at home or abroad.

Are you ready to travel with children?

*This post was originally published on September 28, 2011. Those kiddos are now 10, 12, and 14 — and they LOVE to travel.

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  1. Very timely! We are heading to Chicago at the end of the month and debating on wether or not to leave our three year old with Gma for FIVE days or take him with us. I can’t imagine five days without him but I am also terrified of getting around such a large, unfamiliar town and I’m a wee bit concerned that my big boys won’t get to enjoy all the museums and sights bc of normal toddler issues (tired, walking slowly, attention span, etc). My husband is heading up for business so cutting the trip shorter isn’t an option.

    1. We’ve always taken all our kids with us, so I am not sure I’ll give you the advice you want. 😉

      I think you’re capable of more than you think you are. Pack snacks and toys and operate as you would at home. Instead of going grocery shopping, you’re going to the museum or the park or wherever. The earlier you teach him to travel, the better travel you will all have.

  2. I am scared to take my kids on a trip with me that involves a plane, i have two kids ages six and seven. i just don’t think they will behave and i don’t want to lose my temper in a the middle of an airport lol, it’s supposed to be a vacation! haha. i am thinking of taking them somewhere in the car local and seeing how that goes and if they behave well maybe we can upgrade to vacations that involves an airport and planes…..

    1. We did a lot of practicing before we went on the big trip. And really, your kids need to obey you no matter where they are. Going on a fun trip is worth the effort of the hard parenting work right there. 🙂

  3. I would love to travel with my girls..
    But my oldest (2 this month)gets carsick so we don’t go places very often. If we are on the car for more than 15-20 minutes she gets sick. We have a trip we have to make on about 6 months and can’t afford to fly but how can I make her drive 12 hours? Hopefully she outgrows it and my youngest doesn’t develop it.

    1. Have you tried Sea Bands? We got those for my 5yo and they really help.

    2. My son is extremely carsickable and we found that kids Dramamine works great! He’s 5.5 now and has been using it since 2. We give him the weight-based dose about 20 minutes before we start the trip and it usually lasts 4 to 5 hours. We drive 2.5 to 5 hour trips every couple of months. The tablets are chewable and grape flavored, and my son says they taste great, like candy (he normally hates medicine tastes). They are also non-drowsy so he’ll watch a show or play a video game while we’re driving.I haven’t been able to find the kids Dramamine in all pharmacies but normally buy it at Target, and have bought it at Walmart once or twice. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  4. Oh, I totally agree! Our kids have both been traveling (flying)since they were 3 months old; the first time when my father suffered a stroke and was in serious condition and the second time for a family wedding.

    Once they turned 2 and we had to pay for their tickets we enrolled them in airline frequent flier programs. Now ages 5 and 3, my older child is well on her way to a free ticket! And they both love trips. Great post!

  5. I have always traveled with my children, the other options did not appeal to me. We are a go light sort of family so there was not a lot of baby equipment to bring. But I would always bring extra snacks, because delays do happen.

  6. I want this tradition that when my kids turn around 12 or so I will take them on a trip somewhere in the continental US of their choosing. As a kid I was always interested in Tennesse/Kentucky area–Smoky Mountains. I would have LOVED to go on a trip there with my mom. I guess I should start saving the money now. 🙂

  7. I love traveling with our toddler, but so far we haven’t been able to go very far. The primary reason is because we simply can’t afford it! We live on one modest income now because I choose to stay home with the kids (soon to be two), we traveled the world when we had two incomes before kids. I certainly want to expose them to those experiences, especially when they are older. But right now it looks like it isn’t happening anytime soon, we barely get by to pay the bills.

  8. We traveled Australia for a month when our kids were 1, 3, 5, and 10. It was an amazing trip! The kids get used to long trips. They are troopers and we can now drive 2,100 miles cross-country in 3 days with no problems.

  9. I’m so glad to see this opinion posted! So many of my friends say that they are waiting to take their kids somewhere (usually its Disney World) until they are old enough to “remember”. I took my daughter when she was 6 months old, 2 years old, 4 years old, and 5 years old (she’ll be six in about month)! She may not remember the earlier trips, but I have wonderful memories (and photos) of my time there with her.

    Of course, sometimes a family can’t afford multiple trips. In that case, I can understand why you’d want to wait until the child is old enough to remember 🙂

  10. When my girls were 1 and 3 we (just the 3 of us) moved from OH to SC. In a minivan. It was not a difficult trip by any means – and my minivan was PACKED with stuff we’d need while our furniture was still in storage. If you try to prepare, with only the BASICS, it goes smoothly. I had 2 changes of clothes packed for each girl, food in a small cooler along with plastic utensils and napkins (today I would use “real” utensils and cloth napkins), they had movies to watch, we stopped as frequently as we needed to for bathroom breaks, eating (out of the cooler) and stretching. I also left at 4am so they’d spend most of the 1st 1/2 of the trip asleep. It worked out very well. Yes, they got cranky towards the end, but so did it.

  11. What a timely post, as we’re heading across a couple states this weekend for a wedding. I will confess, though, that the prospect of spending 20+ hours in the car with my one and three year olds still does not fill me with joy!

    1. To be honest, a DVD player has been a lifesaver in some of those instances.

  12. Now this post wats meant for Me!!! Okay, so maybe not totally. I have been not really up to traveling with littles 3 & 15mon, due to not really knowing how to plan trips with littles. I would one day love to travel beyond my normal shopping day out 🙂 Thanks for the tips! P.s. I love reading your blog, keep on writing! 🙂