#1. My kids couldn’t possibly sit still for 10 hours in a car (or a plane or a train or a minivan or whatever). Here’s why it’s a bad idea to wait. If they don’t learn to road trip as children they will only hate it more as teenagers. Teach them young and they will get used to driving long distances; wait until they are older and they will probably hate it forever. Your kids will be better travelers at 5, 12, 16 and 40 if they get used to it at age 2.
#2. They won’t even remember the trip. I’ve heard it over and over, “we just want to wait to take them to (fill in travel destination here) until they are old enough to remember and enjoy it”. Well, with that logic you may as well not take them to the park or the zoo until they are 10. With kids you have to live in moment. They can learn things from traveling now. Their senses will get to explore new sights and sounds. They may not remember the details but they will learn new things and love the experience.
And…Let’s say that the average person can begin recalling memories from about age 5. Then say you have 4 kids, spaced about 2 years apart. By the time your youngest “can remember” the trip, you’ve been waiting 11 years to take it! That’s 11 years too long. Bring a camera. You can remember it enough for the both of you.
#3. We don’t want to pay to bring them along. We’re not saying that you have to take your children to every movie night and weekend get away. It’s true that paying for your kids can double, triple, and quadruple the cost and it’s ok to have some alone time. The point is, family time is important too and they want to be with you. Look for cheap tickets and travel spots with family discounts. There are plenty of ways to travel on pinched pennies. Sneak them in if you have to; lie about their age… I’m kidding (sort of). You can rearrange some funds in the budget to pay for it. Skip out on a present here or there; clip a coupon. As they get older you can even help them save up some of their own money to contribute.
#4 We can see it when they get older. Correction, you can see SOME of it when they get older. There is a precious and small window of time when you have your children around. Before you know it they will be 17-year-old versions of yourself. I’ll take my chances with the 3-year-old, thanks. But seriously, if you really want to see the world you have no time to waste. There is a lot of exploring to be done. You don’t want to look back in 30 years and realize that you missed it.
#5. It’s just too hard. There is too much planning, too much headache. It’s not worth it. Oh, contraire my friends. It’s true that traveling with children may require the skills of a small ninja and the patience of a Jedi Knight. But it IS worth it! Exploring the world with children makes it a whole different experience. The locals are more friendly and barriers come down when you have kids around. They will open doors and opportunities to you that you could have never experienced alone. So, cowboy up and get going. Start planning. You can do it! We’ll help you.
One thought on “* 5 reasons why parents don’t travel with kids and why they’re wrong”
I love this! Great writing, and VERY wise advice. I’m excited to for future articles!