Family travel is by far an experience we would recommend to anyone. Seeing the world through the innocent eyes of children is truly magical and I wouldn’t give up travelling with kids for anything. However, there are of course pros and cons of travelling with kids.
Before you embark on family travel, it’s a good idea to weigh up the best and worst parts of travelling with kids so you know it’s the right decision for you. In most cases, the pros outweigh the bad, but not always.
THE WORST PARTS OF TRAVELLING WITH KIDS
The actual travel part of travelling with kids is often the part most dread. The long distance travel, such as trying to entertain a child on a 10 hour plane flight, or dealing with potential motion sickness on a cross country bus trip. Unfortunately with travel comes the actual transport side of things and this is by far the worst part of travelling with kids. It’s bad enough for us adults to entertain ourselves while stuck in a chair or waiting in queues to board our next train or plane. It’s boring, long and tiring!
Travel is expensive but travelling with kids is a whole lot more expensive. They are cheaper than us adults most of the time, so at least you aren’t usually doubling your costs, but it certainly does add up. Plus they often need extra travel accessories to add to those costs.
It’s bad enough lugging your own suitcases and carry on luggage but if travelling with young kids, you will need to lug theirs too since they will be too small to do it themselves. Even worse if you have to carry them too. If you are travelling with toddlers or babies, get yourself a great baby carrier so you can be hands free.
While most travel experiences can be done with or without kids, there are certain things we may end up missing out on along the way. Unless you are happy to seek babysitting and childcare services for your child at your destination, anything adult only is not going to happen.
THE BEST PARTS OF TRAVELLING WITH KIDS
There is nothing that compares to the life experience and real life learning that comes with travel. Even very young kids can benefit from the travel experience. The things they have been bored with while learning at school are suddenly very real and right in front of them, which is super cool at any age.
Travelling with kids helps you bond as a family. Together you are seeing the world and having new experiences. There are memories being created and fun being had, in between the usual travel mishaps and amusements. A family that travels together is hopefully a happy family.
Even if you have been to a destination before, there is something about travelling with kids that helps you see that destination from a whole new perspective. Kids have a way of seeing things so differently to us and their observations can be so unique to ours, giving us a new way of looking at the world too. Nothing compares to witnessing their pure joy as they see or do something amazing for the first time. That alone makes travelling with kids so worth it!
While there are plenty of challenges of travelling with kids, there are perks too, like priority boarding on most airlines or special treatment in a lot of places around the world. Many foreign countries are known for their love of children so visiting these places can often come with those special parents and kids only perks that you would otherwise miss out on. Although one of our favourite perks was the extra legroom on planes by booking a bassinet for our daughter… Up until 2 this is a free charge option for most airlines in the bulkhead seats. Great for an over 6 foot tall husband.
Curing the Itch
Let’s face it… some of us are born to keep travelling and if you stop altogether after having kids, you will have a crazy travel itch that won’t go away. Chances are you will start to go a little loopy without acting on that wanderlust so family travel means the adventures don’t stop just because you have little people taking priority in your life. Instead you can start their love of travel early on.