Why It’s Important To Travel With Your Kids

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 Travel With Kids

We’ve never hesitated to tote our kids around the world. Our son made his first flight overseas before the age of one and our daughter before the age of two. We broke them in at an early age.

I remember one time, several years ago, my husband and I were sitting at P.F. Chang’s in Austin, TX. We were on a little kid-free getaway. Somehow, we started talking with the manager about some of the work we’ve done in Africa with orphans. He left our table and came back later. You could tell he had been pondering the conversation. He said, “I’d love to travel like that, but we have kids.” I countered him and said, “We have two little ones.” He was so blown away that he comped our meal.

Kids don’t have to keep you from traveling.

In fact, I think it’s important to travel with your kids. Let me tell you why…

1.  It’s educational. Kid’s minds are like a sponge. They learn an incredible amount of knowledge in their childhood. How awesome would it be to not only read about the Rosetta Stone but to see it with your own eyes? Last Fall we were in London and took our kids to The British Museum, home to the Rosetta Stone. What is contained in that building is enough school history to last at least a year. Amazing.

2.  It makes them well-rounded. I’m American, but people here’s a reality check. Most of the world does not live like us. I love that my kids have seen that and know that.

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

3.  It lets you see the world through their eyes. Kids notice things that we, as adults, miss. I love seeing the world through their eyes. It’s so easy to miss things as we rush through life, but kids seem to find wonder in the most unexpected places.

Travel With Kids

4.  It instills a confidence in them. Honestly I don’t know exactly how this happens, but even as I asked my 11 year old son recently why he thought it’s been good that he’s traveled at a young age, the one thing he mentioned was confidence. Maybe going on a long journey makes them feel like they can accomplish anything?

Look, I know traveling is not cheap and when you factor kids into the equation, numbers rise, but here’s the deal. Don’t let the fact that you simply have kids keep you from traveling. Don’t say, “Well, when the kids are out of the house, then we’ll travel.” You’d be cheating your kids and yourself and missing out on some great memories. I find that kids are more adaptable than we give them credit for, and there’s nothing like a grand adventure to get them excited. Maybe it’s time to start planning that trip that’s been on the back burner, even if it’s only to a neighboring state. Your kids will love it and some sweet family memories will be made in the process.

Happy trails to you!

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Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

16 Comments

  1. Carrie Schwab :

    Jen, I so agree! My grandparents first took us abroad when I was 11, and I’ve never looked at the world the same way since! I think your point that the rest of the world doesn’t live the way we do is so important for anyone, of any age, to experience. A broad worldview makes for such a well-rounded person. (found your blog via Brooklyn Limestone!)

    • Jen Price :

      Carrie, that’s so awesome that your grandparents took you abroad at such a young age! What a great experience to have! Yes, I love that traveling helps you see the world so differently.

  2. Stéphanie B. :

    That was such a nice article! I never thought to look at this this way, always thought to travel and then make kids. This made me really realize that once you have kids, you shouldn’t stop traveling at all. :D

    • Jen Price :

      Stephanie, amen! It’s such a great experience for kids!

  3. Autumn Duke :

    I love this! My husband doesn’t want to travel with kids… At least until they are older. But I would love to see the magic in my baby girl’s eyes at say… Disneyland while she’s still young enough to find it magical. I think his biggest thing is flying with a young one. Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby/toddler?

    • Jen Price :

      Autumn, we took our kids to Disneyland several years ago (they were 5 and 7 at the time). They STILL talk about it! It was the best family vacation we’ve ever done. And yes, seeing that magic in their eyes was amazing. I will be writing a post on tips for traveling with kids in the near future!

  4. Christina :

    I’m an MK, so I grew up travelling (even internationally!). I guess it never occurred to me to not travel with out kids. We haven’t taken them out of the country, but we do indulge in camping and road trips. 12 hours of driving? No big deal. I mean, it takes some extra planning, but I can’t imagine it any other way!

    • Jen Price :

      Christina, we’ve worked as missionaries for 18 years now and have never hesitated to take our kids everywhere! I love that you think the same way!

  5. Mrs Limestone :

    Just wanted to add my total agreement.

    Ultimately there are just a lot of people who don’t enjoy traveling enough to make it a priority AND/OR travel only for relaxation. I don’t fall into either of those groups so traveling with my daughter is on the agenda for sure.

    • Jen Price :

      Mrs. Limestone, traveling with your kids is so great! So glad it’s on your agenda.

  6. Michelle :

    We first traveled internationally with our son when he was 4, and honestly he was at times a better traveller than the adults. Most of my travel fears were unfounded and he did great! Best part? He is starting to view himself as a citizen of not just the US, but of the world, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

    • Jen Price :

      So interesting, Michelle. Yes, I find kids to be more adaptable than most adults. That is so awesome he sees himself as a citizen of the world!

  7. Jelli :

    We travelled to Italy for 3 months when my daughter was a baby. She made the trans-Atlantic voyage very well and we had so much fun. It’s still amazing to think that her first ocean experience happened there rather than here in our home of Costa Rica, where the sea is only a short drive away.

    • Jen :

      That’s so awesome, Jelli! Yes, kids usually do so much better than we think they will. It’s so fun to travel and have experiences like that as a family.

  8. AmeliesBookshelf :

    Agree on all points- we’re currently in Amsterdam with our two (3 and 6). No reason to stay put when you have kids, I’ve found them to be amazingly resilient little travelers.

    • Jen Price :

      So true! And it’s such a great experience for them!