10 reasons Why I travel with Children

Fun Flying Four 10 reasons why I travel with children (1 of 1) This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately and not because I am questioning our decision to take them on adeventures, although I will be the first to admit that when flights are delayed and the girls are losing it I have, for a split second, asked myself what are we doing, but these thoughts always pass even quicker than they came. Especially when we are off making memories!

gondola ride in Venice, Italy

gondola ride in Venice, Italy

So why is it I have been asking this question, well it seems Matt & I seem to be the minority in this decision, don’t get me wrong we do meet fellow parents who share the same philosophy as us when it comes to exploring the world with children, but we meet many many more who don’t share this view. Often giving reasons like “its too hard”, “too stressful”, “what’s the point because they won’t remember it” so “we will wait until the kids have left home” So here it is, my top ten reasons for traveling with children…

Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece

1. CREATING MEMORIES For starters the memories we create on our adventures. Of course while Matt & I can remember landmarks, World Heritage sites and other significant places we understand our girls probably wont remember these things from their earlier traveling days, but I know at some point in the future they will remember. Until that time comes they have different memories, but memories nonetheless; Eden can still tell you about the time in Portugal at a marine show where the dolphin head butted her a ball, which she got to take home, or how she got to chew her first piece of gum to add to the Seattle gum wall, and she most definitely remembers how the ginger drink Matt bought while in Macau in a effort to get cool was so disgusting it made her ears hurt! Our family is creating lifetime memories, TOGETHER.

Eden roaming the streets of Lagos, Portugal

Eden roaming the streets of Lagos, Portugal

2. QUALITY FAMILY TIME When we are off on trips we usually unplug, maybe not entirely but staying updated with things like Facebook definitely is not a priority. We don’t watch television, the girls have no or very few toys for entertainment and only sometimes will we have WIFI often only in the evening. Which is perfect because the girls get creative with whatever resources they can, it’s amazing what their imaginations can come up with when they have so little and more importantly we get creative with them. When we are traveling we are having far too much fun spending time with each other, exploring, hanging out, trying new foods and yes, sometimes tantrums and we do all this without the distractions of technology or everyday life allowing us to have quality time together.

looking for treasures in at the Botanical Gardens, Oxford, England

looking for treasures in at the Botanical Gardens, Oxford, England

3. QUANTITATIVE FAMILY TIME Not only is our family time quality time but also quantity. It’s not very often where we get a whole day of uninterrupted family time, and its even less often when we get to spend days on end together as a family…of course at the end of a trip we are all looking forward to some alone time, but those days on end of quality family time having new experiences in new places together is absolutely priceless in my opinion.

meeting locals in Kyoto, Japan

meeting locals in Kyoto, Japan

4. LIFE LESSONS Naturally not all of our time on the road is full of sunshine and rainbows…and this is ok too, after all thats life, isn’t it? While I wish life only consisted of these things, it just isn’t so. This is exactly what I tell Eden when these bad days occur, I remind her of all the fun things we have done on our adventures and that these not so great moments are just part of it, after all you have to take the good with the bad and it is exactly what I will tell Clio when the time comes. When we do reminisce about past adventures, we ALWAYS find the humor in the frustrating moments, even if we couldn’t see it at the time.

at the Mississippi headwaters, Minnesota, USA

at the Mississippi headwaters, Minnesota, USA

5. TRAVEL HELPS TO CREATE WELL ROUNDED CHILDREN I love being able to expose our children to new experiences, different tastes, but most importantly different cultures; my hope is that this exposure will help them to grow up a little more well-rounded and less judgmental. To approach life with an open mind and be accepting of the various people who inhabit this beautiful earth. To also understand that there are many ways of living and to appreciate what you have. This is becoming more important as Eden gets older, she has started to really take in her surroundings and her curious mind is full of questions. On our trip to Hong Kong last summer she asked a lot of questions of “why people were doing certain things” (in relation to living/way of life) we didn’t always have the answers but we always did our best at explaining cultural differences and why that way may works best for them.

chewing gum for the gum wall, Seattle, USA

chewing gum for the gum wall, Seattle, USA

6. TRAVEL IS A GREAT EDUCATIONAL TOOL As a parent I feel like it is one of my many roles to teach our children, I find traveling is such a great tool to do this. We talk about everything from history, art and science to various languages. Matt & I were really taken back when Eden, age 27 months, said ‘bonjour’ to someone in Paris after only being there a couple of days! I also feel like the life skills gained from travel are invaluable, at age 4 Eden knew all about how to check in for a flight, prepare for going through security to getting her passport stamped.

dancing in the street, Okinawa, Japan

dancing in the street, Okinawa, Japan

7. SHOW THEM TO LOVE LIFE I want our children to love life, to live the fullest life they can and I am a firm believer in leading by example. Everyday is an adventure for us, not just when we are traveling, but I feel like when we are traveling it is highlighted the most that Matt & I are living, we aren’t waiting for our lives to begin, we aren’t putting things on hold for some day which may never come or for a time when traveling will be cheaper and ‘easier’. We are living in the now; although I will say being such a planner I am often already thinking of our next adventure, this is something I am trying to work on, to focus on the NOW to live in the present and stop looking too far ahead.

climbing steps to see Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong

climbing steps to see Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong

8. MEETING NEW PEOPLE Having traveled prior to having children I can definitely say that it is a little different once you start adding kids in the mix; you can’t stay out as late or experience the nightlife like you once did, but the plus side is you usually wake up the next day bright & early and with a clear head! Since having children I have had way more conversations with locals than ever before, people are drawn to babies & children. When Eden was 4 months old we visited Aushwitz in Poland, I needed to nurse her but there wasn’t anywhere that I felt comfortable or appropriate to do so, so I took her to the bathrooms, when the two older ladies worked out what I was about to do they took me back to their ‘office’ and let me nurse there. I spoke no Polish and they spoke no English, but we sat there for a good half an hour visiting, they showed me photographs of their grand babies and it was really special moment. I can not tell you how many little treats or knick knacks our kids have received from people along the way; beads from a gentlemen in Crete, charms in Japan, tissues to wipe runny noses in Hong Kong, candies for tears, the list goes on, but all these gestures usually come with a small visit (and sometimes a lengthy one!)

being cool in Macau

being cool in Macau

9. TEACHING THEM ABOUT MAKING & ACHIEVING FINANCIAL GOALS Our family is extremely fortunate to have lived in Europe and now Okinawa where travel to other countries is not only easy but pretty reasonably priced. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have to plan, budget and scrimp & save to be able to go on trips and we definitely do things on the cheap, but this is one area of our finances that we are open to Eden about. Currently I am saving for a trip to mainland later this year, since our ‘travel budget’ for the year has been allocated else where I am funding this trip by filling money tins with loose change, selling stuff & writing the odd post for money. Eden sees me doing this and when she asks I explain it all to her, she might not always understand it (she is only just turned 5 after all) but I love that she is also learning about the value of money and the effort that Matt & I put in to giving the girls the world.

jumping in Seoul, South Korea

jumping in Seoul, South Korea

10. TRAVEL WITH KIDS IS FUN Lastly, traveling with children is FUN, yes it can be testing at times but those times in our experience are few and far between and I feel absolutely blessed to be able to travel with our children, to be able to see things from their perspective; its fun, amazing and keeps us young at heart!

lighting incense in Taipei, Taiwan

lighting incense in Taipei, Taiwan

I understand that travel isn’t for everyone, or that budgets don’t always allow it but I do feel sad when I hear people say they want to but don’t, simply because they have children and don’t want to bring them along or that it’s unfair on them so will wait until they have left the nest. Matt & I can not imagine a life without travel or without children, so it was never a question that we would combine the two.

Linking up to FYBFMonday Escapes 

With Some Grace
My Travel Monkey
Advertisements

67 responses to “10 reasons Why I travel with Children

  1. This is awesome and inspiring! I hope, one day, Mark and I can take our children on 1/2 as many adventures as you all have. As always, your photos are incredible. I think my favorite from this series is “Dancing in the Street” here in Oki

    • I have no doubt that you and mark will take any ‘O’ babies on adventures…once you start traveling it is so hard to stop!!

  2. What a great, inspiring post Hannah!! Whenever we do have kids i really want us to travel as a family. I never really got to do that when i was little and i’ve heard my mom say how much she regrets not taking trips with us. I think this is my favorite post from you thus far and i think you should share it on the ‘Tips for Asia Travel’ page ;)!

    • My mum took me to Australia and Thailand on route to moving country (from NZ to Scotland) it was just amazing, I have no words for that experience but it was the best and I am so thankful for her braveness! It was in Thailand that I officially got bit by the travel bug!!

  3. oh my goodness I agree with every one of these reasons! I am also one of those moms who takes my child everywhere though so again I am in the minority haha I don’t see why we would travel the world and have all of these amazing, eye opening, educational and inspiring experiences and not want him to be a part of that. Additionally it will absolutely change the way he looks at the world and approach situations. Great post!

  4. You are amazing and inspiring, Hannah! I am SO glad we are friends and I am so thankful that you posted this!! Yet again, you renew my resolve to make the adventures happen even when it’s hard!

  5. Wow. Really. The pictures, the points you make, and ohhhhh did I mention those pictures?? You sure have two lucky little ladies to get to experience all of this along with you!

    • Thanks Mindy! I think Matt and I are the lucky ones to have two little sidekicks to join us on our adventures!

  6. Love love love this. It’s thanks to you and other parents like yourself that I would talk to before having a baby that would inspire me and give me hope that traveling does not end with children. We plan to continue traveling with our boy because it really is worth it!

    • It is SO worth it! I ❤️ when I hear of other parents who aren’t afraid to take their kids abroad…you took your baby to Vietnam how awesome is that!!

  7. Well done Hannah. Loved the blog and your outlook. Particularly pleased to be the beneficiary of your willingness to travel with the girls.

    • Thanks Mr C! Eden is loving her time back here with you all…Clio well the verdict is still out!! (Although I do think she is loving it too…just has a different way of showing it!)

  8. Such an inspiring post. Hannah, you have an inner beauty that matches your outer beauty. We are blessed that you are part of our family.

  9. Amazing, insightful and inspiring post Han. Looking forward to seeing you, Matt and those precious girls Down Under (when you have scrimped and saved enough). In the meantime can’t wait to see you all in beautiful Okinawa in September. So proud and love you so much. Mum xox

  10. I couldn’t agree more. And while I’ve had moments where traveling with four females in some remote part of Cambodia seemed like a horribly misguided idea, the smiles on faces elicited by some exotic fruit make the frames on the walls that much more amazing. Just remember, as they get older (ours are 8,9, and 12), it gets more expensive. But it also is even more rewarding. The ability to do 8 days in Japan and cover 3 cities with nothing but backpacks makes the cost of an extra “adult” ticket worth it.

    • While I am not wishing the years away I can not wait to take trips with them when they are older, I can just imagine how rewarding that is! We actually just booked Vietnam and Cambodia for a few months time…I am super excited!

  11. So true! I’m going to share this by the way!! I’m going to be bugging you about going to Hong Kong now! My husband wants to go there so bad and since we are on this side of the world we better make it happen. Those are sooo true! Although it can be stressful to travel with your kids, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to create wonderful memories for him to share and to look back on. Rather then fill his life with things I want to fill it with wonderful memories.

  12. I so loved stumbling along this post! My husband and I are moving to Okinawa in August. We don’t have kids yet, but share the same ideas you presented here. It’s refreshing and exciting to see you and your family not only making it work, but having so much fun at the same time. Excited for the adventure we will soon have and will definitely be back to your blog soon to build our own Bucket List for our time on Oki!

    • Thanks for the lovely message! I’m sure you will love Okinawa! Please message if you have any questions and I hope the move goes smoothly for you!!

  13. Awesome post! Last fall, my husband and I made the decision to start trying for a baby. A couple months later, his reenlistment package wad approved and we found out we’d be PCS’ing to Okinawa in May. The first question we got from friends was whether or not we planned on putting off having children until we got back and they were shocked to find out we still wanted a baby. We talked about it a lot and want our children to be able to travel with us and have those experiences. My parents weren’t very adventurous growing up so I want our children to live an exciting life. It’s very important to us to make that work.

    • Yay so glad your not going to ‘put your life on hold’ just because your moving to Okinawa! I know when we were in England we kept putting off buying stuff (furniture) because we were eventually going to move, nor did we hang pictures….when we moved to Okinawa we realized we can’t not do things because we will move eventually etc after all being in the military means we will constantly be moving! Hope your PCS is going smoothly!

  14. We travel with ours. Even though our financial situations keeps us bound to the US my goal is still for my children to see all 50 states before they leave the nest. All of these are pretty much reasons why we always take our kids with us too.
    Angela @ Stepping into Motherhood

    • Such a great goal! I have only been to the U.S. 4 times (I am currently here) and even though I have only been to a few states what I love is how different they all are! I am excited for when we do eventually live here and I too want to visit all the 50 states!

  15. Hannah, I would like to add one of my reasons for traveling with children and that is so they aren’t afraid of the unknown. When we were in Switzerland and Italy we took the wrong train 3 different times. We got back on, heading back to the original spot, figured out what we did wrong and made it to our destination. We survived and I want them to know that they can too if they decide to travel the world.
    I also want to say that there seem to be so many families (at least in the states) right now that think sitting at a baseball or basketball tournament all weekend is family time, but it is not. You have to actually interact with your kids. I like to ask them silly questions like favorite dessert or if you could have any car what would it be. I learn something about them and it keeps their mind off the travel time. We also played cards on the train from Zurich to Venice. It was a great way to pass the time.

    • Great point Cathy and I completely agree. I don’t know how many times we have got lost but we always get back on track! I should start packing cards and teaching Eden a few games!

  16. Family is the most important thing we have in our lives and sharing yourselves with your children is something they will always remember. A child knows when you are spending time with them because you choose to. Thanks for sharing on Anything Goes!

  17. Great post and thank you for being part of #AnythingGoes linkup. I travelled with my children and I think it teaches them so much about life. It shows them there is a big world out there to discover

  18. Congratulations! 10 Reasons Why I travel with Children post was my feature choice for Anything Goes#2!

    Please pick up your featured badge in the next Anything Goes LinkUp. You have been added to my Pinterest Board of Featured Picks at https://www.pinterest.com/loncaric2047/featured-articles/

    I hope you will join us again for Anything Goes #3!

    Have a lovely day and don’t forget to Sizzle!

    Sue

  19. I agree with every. single. one. This was so well-stated. I LOVE traveling with my kids. I think if you are the type of person that loves to travel, that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) change when you have kids either. Found you on the Confessions link up. Thanks for sharing!

    • I agree…if you loved traveling pre-kids then you will be more likely to travel post-kids. It definitely doesn’t have to change!

  20. LOVE this post. My husband and I just had our first baby and we’re starting small with local adventures but hope to start traveling internationally with her. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    • Oh you can definitely do it! I always found it easier when they were little and then by the time they get bigger they are used to travel that they are easier to entertain etc! Congrats on the new baby!

  21. YES! To #1-10! One of the things I miss most about living abroad is being able to travel all over with our kids. I would not give back one second of our traveling days, it was truly the best experience our family has ever had!

    • Where abouts abroad did you live?! So glad you got out and traveled when you were there it truly is the best!

  22. This is awesome. I love the pictures. You are right, travelling is a great learning experience for kids. And it definitely looks like you guys have some amazing quality time together! Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp

  23. Pingback: End of the Week Confessions Link-up – Come Join the Fun! | All About the Child·

  24. We love traveling with our kids! Sometimes car rides get crazy. But the payoff is worth it. Our kids have seen most of the east coast and have learned quite a bit.

    • I’m looking forward to one day doing some great road trips across the U.S.! I’ve never been to the east coast, but the pictures always look beautiful!

  25. I agree that traveling with children allows them to learn about cultures and have so much more knowledge about the world and different people all around. I also love the quality time aspect of it.

  26. i love this post! I’ve travelled many times with my 3 kids, both alone and with my husband. Though it’s not always easy, I wouldn’t do it any different! I see it as an adventure, quality time with my kids, and making tons of memories!! So glad to read that others share my same view on traveling with kids. It is possible, you just have to do it!!

    • Absolutely! And I personally find the more you travel with them the easier it gets! I am a strong believer that children won’t learn ‘how’ to travel if they don’t get the opportunity to do it!

  27. Love it! We travel with small children internationally too and most friends think we are crazy. Last summer we spend a month traveling around Germany and Austria using trains and cars. Six cities, two strollers (including a double one), six bags… It was exercise in endurance, but so many great memories to cherish! I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    • Wow Eva your trip sounds amazing! We ❤️ Europe! We are heading to Vietnam and Cambodia for 3 weeks this summer with the girls we are so excited!!

    • Our girls aren’t in school yet (aged 5 & 2) but the oldest will be starting kindergarten in the fall! It’s definitely going to take a little more planning to work around her school year but I’m confident we will still get a decent amount of travel in! I have thought about homeschool but I think the only way I could do it would be if we were ‘on the road’ 100% of the time….I don’t think I would be disciplined enough to do it at home! My husband used to live in Florida! I am yet to live in America but can’t wait to do so one day so we can do some road trips! The U.S. Is so big!

  28. This is such a wonderful list. We love to travel with our little ones and find it opens the world up. Yes, we may not get to eat at the trendy restaurant but we always find wonderful little things that we would have otherwise walked right past.

  29. Absolutely to all your points. I couldn’t agree more. And travel is such an education that cannot be taught in classrooms – teaching kids humility and appreciating what they have at home too. Great post. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  30. When I first started Toddlers on Tour I had friends with young children say “why would you write about that” “who wants to travel with kids” and all the other quotes you mentioned. But I travelled with my parents as a kid and they are some of my best memories, all of us together having fun discovering new things. And that’s why I insist that my small family travels now.

    • Traveling with kids is the best, I love all the memories made and I guess I just feel like how is having a tantrum at home any different to having a few tears on the road…its all part of it right? Although I would say my kids have more tears at home than when we are traveling…they love seeing new stuff but most importantly I think they just love we are all together with no work schedules etc getting in the way!

  31. I absolutely agree with all of these! I love travelling with my four year old. It can be hard, but it’s so amazing. Love your photos btw – really beautiful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s