“I want to travel with my kids but I am waiting until they are old enough to remember or appreciate it”. I have heard this at least a million times. And I get it….travel is expensive and an investment in your children and family so you want your money to go the farthest. However, I am here to tell you that the opposite is true. If you want your children to appreciate your adventures together, start them while they are still young! Here are a few of the many reasons to travel while your kids are still young.
- Its Cheaper
Let’s start with the most practical reason. The younger your children are, the cheaper it is to take them with with you. Children under 2 fly free and get in almost everywhere for free as well. Most hotels don’t charge for young children and give discounts for older children. Most amusement parks, museums, ski resorts and all inclusives charge little to nothing depending on the child’s age. Children are also cheap to feed in most places too!
2. They will go anywhere
Tack the word “Adventure” on anything or anyplace and young kids are ecstatic about it! “We are going on an adventure to visit family in Iowa” or “Let’s have an adventure seeing the Mona Lisa”. You can take kids where YOU want to go and just add a little fun to it. Young kids will love the idea of being anywhere new or different with their parents. Older kids are a bit more wise, they know where they want to go and will find anything less, “lame” or “boring”. Most young kids can take a plane ride and return a few hours later and consider it an epic adventure!
3. They become better travelers
Ever hear the saying, “Kids learn restaurant behavior only if you take them to restaurants”? Same goes for traveling. The more kids travel and the younger they start, the more understanding and flexible they become. They know what to expect on travel days and learn how to behave accordingly. Children also learn quickly that Foreign countries are different and to not expect exactly what you have at home. You won’t always get chicken and french fries or soft blankets. Learning how other people live is all part of the adventure. If kids learn this at a younger age, they are much more pleasant to travel with as they become tweens and teens and are less likely to be disappointed without their creature comforts. Plus being flexible is a trait we all would like to teach our children.
4. Travel is an education
No matter where you decide to go, learning opportunities are endless! Personally I have learned more from traveling about culture, history, economics, psychology, sociology than I ever learned in school and I have a Masters Degree. Young kids are naturally curious about their environments. The more we change their environment, the more they learn! Reading about former great leaders does not compare to learning about them while standing in their palaces.
5. These memories will last forever
Your young child may not remember specific details about your vacation but they will remember the feelings it created. Time together with their parents and no distractions leave children with their fondest memories. And let’s face it, yours too. Children’s personalities are created in these formative years, why not fill them with the most incredible experiences you can imagine! Trust me…..You will not regret it!