I was on Instagram recently, following a fellow Cape Cod mama (well, more like stalking because I admire her & DANG her outfits are on point!), and something in the comments on one of her posts struck me. Strangers on the internet were questioning why she would travel with her young daughter who “might not even remember” these trips. This stopped me in my tracks. Not travel with your kids because they are too young? This feels like utter nonsense to me, but apparently there ate those who believe differently.
The Arguments Against Travel With Little Kids
Based on what I read, the arguments against traveling with kids are:
- financial – why spend travel costs on them if they aren’t experiencing any of the benefits?
- convenience – they require SO many things!
- logic – they won’t remember these trips anyway!
Our Experience Traveling
My husband and I have always been travel bugs. While we did halt some of our international travel when our daughter was born in 2015, we haven’t stopped exploring domestically. When Caleigh was six months old, we took a family road trip to St. Simons Island in Georgia, a multi-day car ride.
Will Caleigh (or my sweet tiny niece Zoey) remember this trip? Nope. Absolutely not! But we experienced many firsts on this special vacation. Caleigh dipped her tiny toes in the ocean, she sat in a swing, and really enjoyed her pool mornings.
And selfishly, I cherish these memories with Caleigh, Marc, and our family. So while it may not directly benefit her, this first family vacation will forever be special in my heart.
Since then, we’ve traveled to Walt Disney World (twice and an upcoming trip in April!), New Hampshire, Maine, and more. We’re planning a Disneyland & Hawaii vacation this August, which will be the longest plane ride Caleigh has taken!
Why You Should Travel With Kids
While I can’t argue with the financial aspect (kids are expensive – period), I will say that if you have babies and children under 3, MOST places admit them for free (yes, even Disney!). They can often ride as lap babies on planes, too, saving your family the cost of airfare. These aren’t reasons to go, but I think they help! We prioritize vacations with their own pre-funded bank accounts, so by the time we’re ready to take off, we’ve accounted for what it’ll cost for ALL of us to stay, eat, shop, explore, etc. This has helped us HUGELY because we’ve been able to take trips consistently.
Traveling with kids, especially little ones, helps shape their worlds. They are seeing different people, landmarks, trying new foods, and possibly hearing new languages. These are imprinted in the people they become; this type of culture becomes a part of their core memories even if they can’t be recalled verbally. It expands their literal horizons. Home is lovely, but it’s not the only place.
It also helps them adapt to new situations. Have you ever noticed how second babies can sleep anywhere and tend to be more relaxed? It’s because they have to be. They adapt to the schedule of that first kiddo. They nap in strollers, cars, and arms. The are more patient when you’re in the grocery store. Travel can do this, too! It can be nerve wracking to put your little one on a plane, fingers crossed they don’t scream the whole time. But, if you prepare, take some deep breaths, and step aboard the flight, chances are it’s going to be fine AND your baby will only get better at it the more you expose them!
Lastly, these experiences and memories? They’re for you, too. You travel because YOU love it which means your children are more likely to love it as well. Go because you want to make memories as a family. Go because it’s something YOU want to do. Go because how YOU feel matters. And when you come home, lighter in the wallet, tanner from the sun, and maybe a little heavier from the delicious meals (and wine), you will have hundreds of new memories and photos for your family to relive and enjoy.
I hope this has encouraged you to book something when you can – a staycation, AirBnB, or even that trip you’ve been dying to take! If you want to follow our Disney & Hawaii trip preparation, follow along here!