A recent article in the Wall St. Journal by Travel Editor Scott McCartney was the first in a long time that nailed the experience of traveling with children without an underlying tone of negativity towards it. Of course the comments made my head want to explode, but it was refreshing to read a large piece in the mainstream media that told it like it is. Traveling with kids is tough. The addition of extra fees and removals of “privileges” makes it tougher. Putting the onus on parents instead of airlines to confirm they’re seated with their toddlers is silly. And the requisite hostile comments about “entitled parents” and their “screaming brats” displayed the current North American your-kids-must-be-perfectly-behaved-in-public-without-ever-going-out-in-public attitude that prevails towards parents who deign to take their babies on airplanes, their toddlers to restaurants, and their pre-schoolers to coffee shops.
I created Have Baby Will Travel to inspire, motivate, and help parents travel with their babies, toddlers, and young children. To inspire, by showing beautiful places in the world to share with your baby. To motivate, by sharing stories and tips from parents who’ve been there. To help, by giving family friendly destinations and travel products and services the opportunity to connect with family travelers.
Going on Fox & Friends Weekend is an opportunity to spread the word about how my first-hand experiences traveling with children have been wonderful. Strangers have been friendly and supportive. Flight attendants have been helpful and kind. In the combined over 30 flights my kids have been on, I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been shot dirty looks, or had someone be overtly rude. Maybe there have been more, but in the few times my kids have had “moments” I’m so busy looking after them that I have no idea if we’re getting the stink eye.
One of the biggest arguments against traveling with kids is that they won’t remember it. To that I say “who cares?” My children won’t remember lots of things i do with them while they’re small, but it all helps shape them into the curious and creative people I hope they will become. Travel expands the mind and exposure to new cultures helps develop tolerance and acceptance.
Don’t let anonymous bullies behind keyboards put you off seeing the world and sharing it with your little ones. And kudos to Scott McCartney for penning a fair article on flying with kids that tells it like it really is. Flying to get there is only a tiny percentage of the travel experience, and it’s worth it.
It’s totally totally worth it.