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Adam and I love to travel! In our first five years of marriage, we had traveled to New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Rome, San Antonio, Atlanta, New Orleans… we LOVED every minute of it!
(I was actually pregnant when we were in Paris)
So when we became parents… we had to decide should we still travel??? (or could we???)
We didn’t have a lot of vacation days to work with, and we didn’t have a lot of disposable income either. But it really was something that we wanted to do more of and experience with our girls, it was a question of how we could do that.
The “how” turned out to be starting our own home based business that we could run from anywhere. Our business gave us the financial and time freedom to be able to travel like we always desired.
So now that we could, The only real question left was, should we try traveling a lot as a family while our girls were still so young (both under 5 years old)
Here is why we think you should travel with young kids.
1. Kids Learn through Experience
When I was in graduate school for speech therapy, we focused on how kids learn. What I discovered was that while you can learn by reading about something… it has WAY more value if you experience it for yourself!
Kids can of course read about history and things from our past…
But when kids can also visit these historical places, see, touch, listen, smell where the story took place… then when they read about that same story from the past, they have so much more knowledge to pull from – and the learning experience is completely transformed!
We can drive across the states and learn about how each one looks different and has its own culture. We can listen to different dialects and learn that while we may sound different, but we all have a message. We can taste different foods and learn that it is okay to try new things.
I want our kids to experience travel.
2. Kids develop a bigger world view.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine often think the world revolves around them. When you can travel and experience other cultures (even in different states), it can help shape their world view and realize that they are a small part of a bigger and grander picture.
We lived pretty far away from our family for about 4 years. We moved to Virginia for Adam’s job and most of our family was still in Louisiana. Not that I loved being away from our family, but it forced us to travel.
It allowed our kids to see how big even our state was to drive across (Virginia is wider than ever imagined!).
It allowed them to know there is so much more out there then our little house.
3. Kids learn to be flexible.
I don’t know about you…. but with my first baby, I was that mom.
We had a schedule… and that was the law 😛
But when you are on vacation… you have to be okay with veering off your schedule and learning to adapt.
I think kids who are second and third and beyond have to be flexible from day one… and this is a good life skill.
When we travel, we can bring a familiar toy and blanket… but we have to sleep in a new place and be on a different nap/eating schedule… and that’s okay!
Celebrate the new experience. Learn how to be okay with trying new things, eating new foods, and being in new places.
4. Travel is family therapy.
If you really want to get to know your family…. spend 24 hours in a car together. #truestory
I feel like we know each other better because we travel… because we experience new things together.
Great relationships are built through shared Adventures.
Traveling as a family binds us together on a deeper level. We have stories that we share.
“Remember when we…”
“Remember that time when…”
When we travel, we have more time to sit and talk together. When they are young, you want them to know you have time for them – and you want to listen to what they have to say.
This period of their lives doesn’t last long, enjoying adventures together helps us make the most out of the time we have!
5. Kids are cheaper.
When you travel with young kids, you can usually save money. Not that money is the most important thing when you travel… but when you travel with younger kids… it will usually save you a few bucks.
Most places offer a children’s rate that is several dollars cheaper than an adult price. Kids also eat less, so you can save on food cost. I know with our girls, we pack snacks and then they usually share a meal with each other.
If you have kids under 2, they usually fly for free.
I also found with my kids, that they are entertained by less expensive activities… like going to a park, swimming at the hotel, walking at the beach. There are a lot of free activities you can find when you travel.
It’s important to remember that you are spending time traveling with your kids to enjoy being with them, and enjoy the places you get to experience. Generally, that doesn’t require a large amount of money to accomplish!
As much as we loved traveling before we had our children, we have been able to visit even MORE amazing places since they were born! Some of my favorites have been Florida (Disney World of course!), Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada), Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Pigeon Forge, with even more adventures planned!