Pros and cons of #travel with #kids via christineknight.me

As we’ve done a lot of travel with Cheese since she was only 3 months old, this is something I get asked a lot. We travelled for necessity – from New York back to Australia and Hawaii to see family, and to Canada to get our visas renewed. If we hadn’t needed to travel so much we would have probably been too scared to do so, as Cheese was a really tough baby, toddler, and, let’s face it, a tough preschooler. Being forced to travel was actually great because it made us get out and experience the world and create wonderful memories instead of staying home and just keeping to local, easy experiences. I wanted to share a few pros and cons of travelling with little kids.

PROS:

You still get to travel
My husband and I love travelling passionately. It’s an integral part of who we are. We were determined that when we had a kid that our travel would resume as soon as possible. We didn’t expect parenthood to be as hard as it was, but we are getting on with the difficulties while still seeing the world. We don’t want to wait until Cheese grows up to see everything we want to see – we want to experience as much as we can while we are also still young and fit enough to enjoy it. As I write this, we are in Barcelona, about to head out for tapas lunch. Travelling with a little kid is obviously a lot different than pre-kid (goodbye lazy mornings and romantic nights fueled by sangria!) but it is still incredibly enjoyable. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t do it. Adapt to the changes and travel is still wonderful, with kids of any age.

Your kid grows up a world citizen
Cheese is an American and Australian citizen. As well as significant travel in these two countries, she’s also been to Canada, Mexico, Spain and soon London. And she’s only 3. She already adapts to different cultures easily and speaks handfuls of Italian and Spanish. She understands what different languages mean and is able to confidently interact with people no matter what they look like or what language they speak. She is already a world citizen.

The memories are priceless
The years we spent in New York are among the best in my life. Each trip we have taken has been challenging, but has created memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Cheese at 1.5 yrs stroking a dolphin in Hawaii. At 2.5 yrs dashing down a beach in Mexico. At 3.5 yrs dancing in a rainbow inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Young kids are cheap
The younger your kid is, the cheaper it is to travel with them. Babies are free for everything, and kids up to a certain age get free transport/entry/hotel pull out beds. This trip to Barcelona, we’ve only had to pay for Cheese’s flight and food.

CONS:

It’s exhausting
I won’t lie, it’s really hard work travelling with a little kid. Jetlag is a killer – the first few mornings in Barcelona we were all up at 4am. Having a little kid means there is no such thing as a relaxing time either, it’s constantly go go go to keep them entertained.

You see and do less
Travel with a little kid means changing your expectations of what you’re going to see and do in any location. Less galleries and historical walking tours and more playgrounds and kid-friendly outings like castles.

All in all, it’s worth it to us to travel while Cheese is still young. We have such itchy feet that we can’t seem to live any other way.

What about you? Do you travel a lot with young kids?

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!
  • I’m glad your pros list is far bigger than your cons list. It’s not secret that I am all for travel with kids! I think your last con – you see and do less is sort of true. I think because travel with kids is slower that you actually notice more and not necessarily do less, but do different things.

    • Very true Malinda – just different things. 🙂 We are currently in London, which I have been to previously as an adult a bunch of times, but I am really enjoying seeing with a child for the first time. Such a different perspective.

  • So beautiful! I admire you for managing and enjoying the travel that you do. When kids came along I was so exhausted and in need of a break from them that the type of travel I was attracted to completely changed. So it’s been resorts and kids clubs so far! Travel is such a joy and I love that different people do it in different ways. Absolutely loving following your Barcelona pics x

    • Thank you Kirralee! I do sometimes think I should be doing the kids clubs instead – it would be muuuuuuuch easier!!!

  • Hi We are a traveller family. My daughter started to take the plane when she was 9 months. And my boy was only 20months when we made our big travel to western canada. It was such a lovely moment. We travel with home exchanging and it suits perfectly for kids. Just enjoy your tapas! xx cathy

    • Hi Cathy! The home exchanging is a great idea, thanks for that, I will look into it! We are subletting in NYC this week and I’m already loving the space – muuuuuuch easier with a little one.

  • I agree with the exhausting and taking a lot longer or seeing less. We’ve only done trips were we have had a residence and then hired a car to explore at a very slow rate and in small area. We’re challenging it this year with a trip to Florida trying to fit in the parks but also see some of the nature reserves further south for a couple of days.

    • Oh what a great idea Cerys with your Florida trip – sounds like something you can do at a slower pace and not have things you feel like you need to squeeze in.