The truth about travelling with kids

I’m just going to get straight to the point here: travelling with kids is hard.

After our last trip, people asked me “what’s your biggest tip for travelling with kids?” and my reflexive response was: “Don't bring them!” I know, I know, that sounds so harsh, but it really can be exhausting.

BUT.

Just because one thinks something is challenging, or exhausting, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. We all know if everyone had that attitude, nothing would ever get done.

Sometimes people say to me, “why bother? It's not like they’ll remember it!” And it's true; my kids are so small they won’t be able to hold all those memories yet. But travelling is something my husband and I want to do, and when we decided to start a family we promised each other we wouldn't stop just because we had babies. We have our own priorities because we’re our own people. We don’t do things just for the sake of our children.

That being said, travel does teach our children a lot about the world, even if they won’t remember it. On a subconscious level, travel teaches kids about different cultures, different climates, different ways of thinking and experiencing and being. I remember when my oldest was two and we spent a week in Bali, he was so fascinated by the Hindu offerings people would leave for their ancestors in the streets. Even though he didn’t understand the whole idea, he knew he had to be careful not to step on them, and he knew they were important to the locals’ happiness. As he grows he will build gradually upon those understandings.

On our recent trip, because the kids were so overwhelmed we utilised room service a lot. Not something my husband and I would normally do. But now I sit back and think, my three-year-old will remember that, and he’ll remember hanging out in bed with his family, watching movies and snuggling up and ordering burgers from the Hard Rock.

And that’s what I want. When my kids are older, I want them to remember flickers of these holidays and know they had a wonderful time with their family; that they felt loved, safe, and happy.

That’s what being a family is about… and that’s why we travel as a family.

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