Traveling with your children can be very intimidating and seem like a lot of extra work for someone who isn’t an experienced traveler. While no perfect age exists to introduce them to traveling, getting them out into the world will spark their interest and allow their curious minds to go to work. Beginning while they’re younger helps them develop a deep appreciation for the world around them.
If you are not the most experienced traveler, it’s better to start domestically and travel close to home to get your feet wet. Shorter trips will allow your kids to become familiar with airports and train stations. Try to plan things that are about four hours away to help them understand the distance traveled.
The Bigger Picture
Traveling as a family and starting when your children are young allows you to create memories and connections that are irreplaceable. After your trip, your children will be able to talk about their favorite experiences and the food they ate throughout the trip. As your children age, they will become more independent and pull away, so creating these memories now is essential.
As you travel more with your children, they will learn to adapt to new places and will be more willing to try new things. The earlier you expose them to these things, the better. Taking them out of their comfort zone at home and changing up their daily routines will help them adapt to new situations and challenges the older they get.
Time to Unplug
In today’s digital world, we are always plugged in. Traveling with your kids creates the chance for the entire family to unplug and be in the moment. While electronics are great for entertainment when moving from one location to the next, they should be put away and only used during downtime once you’ve reached your location.
At any age, creating memories with your children through your travels are things you can revisit in the future. Think of memories as a gift that you can give your child. Memories cannot be made with material items and only through experiences.
Remember, not everything goes as planned when you introduce your children to travel. Sleep will be interrupted, meltdowns will happen in the middle of a crowded airport, but this is as much a learning experience for you as it is for your children. Try not to get upset because it will not fix anything! Work on the issue and come to a solution and enjoy your vacation!