It’s Time to Answer the Naysayers…
Here’s Why You Should Travel When the Kids Are Little
Whenever I talk about traveling with babies (which is a lot), for the most part I come across like-minded parents who have concerns but love the idea of traveling with their young family.
Occasionally, however, I’m met with a look of horror, or – at the very least – disbelief. The concept of a family vacation does not appeal to them, often for the same reasons. Because I hear and refute these ‘reasons’ now and again, I’ve decided to do it in print once and for all…
“They won’t remember it…”
I’ve never fully understood this reason, since your baby won’t remember anything before the age of two. But, just because they won’t remember it, doesn’t mean you don’t cuddle and read to and sing to your baby. Plus, who cares if they won’t remember it? You’ll never forget that time together as a family, and new places, faces, and foods are good for everyone – including baby.
“They’ll be bored. They’d rather be with Grandma…”
This may be true with older kids if you haven’t given them a say in the itinerary. But, for the most part, kids want to be with their parents. I know the time will come soon enough when our kids won’t be able to stand me, so we’re saving romantic getaways for later. Plus, with our busy life, we’re lucky to see each other a few hours each day. Weekends are always filled with activities and chores and errands. I want to be with my family when I’m not working–my entire family–and fully enjoy this quality family time.
“It’s not really a vacation…”
True – it’s different. You’re up early and have routines to maintain, diapers to change, and meals to think about. But you have to do all that stuff anyway, so you might as well be somewhere nice! Plus, sticking to a routine means you all know what to expect, and gives you a basis to plan a few outings. And not having household chores means you actually CAN sleep when the baby does.
“It’s not safe…”
If you’re traveling with kids, you’re likely not going to plan a getaway to a war zone. And even if you weren’t taking them with you, I’d hope that as a parent you’d choose a safe destination as well. Even the most accomplished worrywart (me) can do a bit of research to figure out hospitals, health insurance, vaccinations, and preventative measures. If you take the same health and safety precautions that you would at home, there is no risk in traveling with infants and toddlers.
“If they act up, we’ll bother people…”
Kids act up. If you’re so afraid of annoying someone, how do you ever leave the house? You’ve spent good money, you’ve come prepared, and, in spite of all your best efforts, if your crying/fussing/whining baby bothers someone, there’s really nothing you can do. Just as there’s nothing you can do if a loud/smelly/drunk/offensive person is bothering you. In the long run, the journey is the shortest bit of the big picture and, fortunately, the most quickly forgotten.
So, please, if you love the idea of getting away on a family vacation, don’t let any naysayers dissuade you. A new parent is under a lot of pressure to begin with. Something like travel gives you the chance to escape together. And repeated travel at a young age creates a great young traveler. At not-quite-three, our daughter knew getting on a plane means going somewhere fun… but most of all meant Mummy and Daddy get to stay with her for a whole week.
I love that she loved that the most.