Travel, no matter how well researched, is a leap into the unknown, and so is parenthood. Although travelling with babies and toddlers seems daunting (it’s not really, here are some of our top tips), there are many rewarding reasons to explore the world with young kids.
Here are ten reasons why, when you’ve got young kids, it’s the best time to travel the world.
1. Seeing the world from their perspective is like seeing everything for the first time again
Travelling with kids means parents often have to try to make sense of the world for their little ones. When you’re in a situation where everything is new to them, it will undoubtedly force you to see things in a new and exciting way, too, so you can help them understand their foreign surroundings.
2. It’s a chance to take advantage of your natural hiatus
If you’ve always wanted to get off life’s treadmill and travel, having a baby is the perfect time to do it.
It’s a recognized life transition period which comes with maternity, paternity, and parental leave in many countries. Employers expect you to be gone, so use the time off work to travel.
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3. It helps you avoid the rut of routine
Once you’ve mastered the first overwhelming round of sleeping and eating routines, you might feel reluctant to shake things up by travelling. But baby and toddler needs shift constantly, whether you stay put or hit the road, so don’t be discouraged.
If you’re brave enough to start travelling with your children as babies and toddlers, you’re more likely to keep adventuring and avoid the rut of routine.
4. You have to pack to go to the shops, so why not go somewhere better?
Small children require an arsenal of supplies: nappies, wipes, balms, creams, swaddles, hats, buggies, carriers, and more. You need to pack a nappy or changing bag every time you leave the house anyway, so why not travel somewhere exhilarating?
5. You break free from parenting trends – and it feels good
There’s a lot of pressure on parents to do things right – whatever that means. Parenting guidelines, however, seem to be trend-based, and fluctuate with the latest bestselling books.
Travel allows you break free from the tyranny of parenting literature and explore how other cultures do it. It provides an opportunity to glean global parenting wisdom in a far more interesting environment.
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6. You fast-track family bonding
Both travel and young children add the element of unpredictability to daily existence. When you embrace both at once, the highs, lows, and problem-solving in between will inevitably lead to learning more about one another. Stuck together on a trip, you have to learn how react as a team – something that’ll be handy when you later have to tackle the teenage years.
7. It helps you all become more adaptable
A child’s adaptability is likely to be a nature and nurture thing. Traveling enables parents and young kids to practice flexibility.
This doesn’t mean skipping naptime everyday or tossing all structure out of the window, but different environments, cuisines and the demands of transportation and accommodation schedules will force you and your kids to compromise and try new things.
8. You embrace minimalism – less stuff means more living
Parenting young children comes with an overload of stuff. Some of it, such as buggies and baby carriers, is necessity. But there comes a time when the heaps of toys, nursery decor and baby accessories become oppressive.
Travelling can help new parents get a grasp on the essentials in life; you’ll have to travel relatively light and therefore life is stripped back a little. This leaves room for the basic pleasures in life, like embracing the great outdoors.
9. It’s ed-venturous, as well as adventurous
Small children learn tons from the freedom of play and the experience of exploration, which sit at the heart of travelling. You’ll learn more about your family unit as you travel, and the world itself.
10. It doesn’t have to come at any extra cost
You don’t have to pay big bucks for flights until the kids are at least two, and many cultural attractions, from galleries and museums to parks and monuments, are free for young kids around the world.