Have you ever been in an airport, checking in for your flight, and come across some people who are travelling with two or three kids under the age of 10 and wonder ‘why in the world would anyone do that?’ Maybe that’s been you and you have your reasons, but you probably have to admit, it’s not the most ideal situation to find yourself in. Whether it’s better than a long car ride is debatable, but particularly if it’s their first time travelling it can be a lot to take in and very overwhelming.
Kids like what they know and travelling is the definition of taking in something new. You don’t want your kids to grow up always doing the same thing and playing it entirely safe, because what kind of a childhood is that, but also because how else will they learn? The funny thing about kids is that they can have a great time just going on a weekend trip to the grocery store or camping in the backyard. People feel the need to take their kids on all these outrageous adventures and spend a ton of money doing so but when it all comes down to it, it’s not necessary.
Some people have to travel with their kids because they live far away from their family and otherwise, they would grow up without that benefit. A few times a year perhaps, you grab the kids and pack their bags and hope to whatever deity above that they behave and that the change in altitude doesn’t mess with their ears. It’s nice if they sleep for some of it but you can forget about you having a relaxing time on the flight – you’re just focused on keeping the kids in line! And in the end, is it worth it just to go home at Christmas time? Probably to a degree, but it would definitely be nice to skip if possible.
If you’ve never travelled with kids before, be prepared to learn a whole new way of sightseeing. The things that may be really high on your priority list to see may not be an option depending on how old your kids are. There’s no more eating whenever you squeeze it in or walking everywhere until your feet ache; count out wandering around almost anywhere just taking it all in. The tranquillity you may have enjoyed from travelling solo and experiences prime for reflection simply aren’t appreciated by kids and you may be wondering why you spent all the money.
But this doesn’t mean you should never take your kids anywhere.
You never really know what event or activity will resonate with your kids but you can be sure that depriving them of these meaningful experiences isn’t the best idea either. You can’t have them growing up as spoiled brats who don’t understand how fortunate they are to get to do these great things, but you also don’t want them to shun travel or difference because they’ve never been exposed to it.
You can show your kids the world when you think they are ready, but maybe just choose to do so after they get out of diapers – for your sake and for theirs.