Should I Travel With Kids?

I don’t know… should you?  Should you take what already often feels like a three ring circus on the road?  Should you challenge the collision of the unpredictable child with the unknowns of venturing to new places?  Should you test what may be your newly discovered embarrassment threshold?  If you really want my opinion, it would be a resounding YES! Yes you should travel with kids.

Why, you ask?  Let’s begin by defining travel.  Travel in this context is going from one location to another.  This is where it really gets fun. You get to determine what idea of travel feels most comfortable for you.  Where do you want to go with your family?  As you let that thought float in your mind here are several reasons why it’s worth the try:

Would you like to see something new?

Travel with kids allows you to experience new environments, places and activities as a family. Sharing the discovery process together will allow the moment to be memorable.  Each time we learn something new it allows us to learn more about ourselves and broadens our scope.  As parents, very early on we witness our children discover new things which always leads to new insights.  That thrill doesn’t have to stop at a first step, a first word or the first day of school milestones.  It happens very often when they are in a new place having a new experience.  Don’t you just love witnessing those moments at every stage? 

Would you like to see something again?

Perhaps there is something that you have seen or done in the past that you would like to do again.  If you did it as a family before and loved it, go for it! Love it again.  If you didn’t enjoy it still consider it.  Kids grow and change continuously and family activities are never exactly the same because we aren’t the same. That rediscovery can be part of the fun.  Maybe you are thinking of a place or experience that you enjoyed without the children and now have the opportunity to share it with them.  It is worthwhile to see it through their eyes and also through your parental lens.

Have your children expressed an interest in  particular subject or experience?

What are your kids’ interest? What do they talk about most often?  Animals?… make a creature hunt on a nature walk/hike or a trip to the zoo.  Do you have busy builders or budding engineers?  A science museum may be a place for you. Do they love the water activities or want to swim?   See if there is a place nearby where you can all take a splash, fish, or picnic. You can be as creative as you would like, there are no rules.  A ride on a public train or bus.  Visit libraries in other towns. Keep an open mind and brainstorm.

Do you want to travel with kids to simply spend time together regardless of where you go?

Are you feeling like you just need a change of scene or pace to break up the daily routine?  Traveling with kids will always offer that.  Just decide when, where and how.  On foot, by car, train or plane, it doesn’t matter.  The next town over or crossing continents.  The most important thing is to get up and go. 

Traveling with kids is challenging.  Parenting is challenging.  Try it and decide for yourself it is worth it.  Remember you can always modify each adventure as you discover what works for your family and what doesn’t.  

Do you want to move beyond the family outings and try travel with kids over a long distance?

For this extended thought of travel there are a few things to consider.  Where? Why? How?  For how long?  Each of these answers will be your best guide to determining if you should. It will be challenging to travel with kids regardless of the destination. Do as much research about the place you would like to go.  This will give you the insight you need about the cost, logistics involved and some related risks.  With this knowledge you can now decide how to proceed.  Is the reward worth the risk for you to travel with kids to that location?  Are you comfortable with all that you have discovered and the unknowns that may arise? From that point you modify or move forward.  You have to decide that the reward is worth the risk for it to make sense.  

So for the ultimate answer to your question, should you travel with kids?  The answer is YES.  You read this because you want to travel with kids.  Your desire to travel as a family is all reason you need.  Now the only question is…. Where will you go?