Why Travel?

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Everyone knows that travel with children is unpredictable, difficult, and definitely not at the same pace or with the same freedoms that pre-child travel afforded, so why do it at all?

  • Through our children’s eyes, we see the world in a new way. For example, we had an entirely new appreciation of piazza life in Italy (and especially the running water and fountains) after spending a month there with our son when he was one year old.
  • You get to immerse yourself in the local culture. Traveling with children forces you to do as locals do… shop in the grocery stores, bakeries, and pharmacies, not just tourist shops. You get to connect with locals in a way that’s difficult to do as adults traveling alone. People love kids. They’ll go out of their way to connect with you and see you as a family rather than just tourists, and you'll gain insights into what it's like to live in a different place.
  • The kids love getting out of their everyday routine, and being in new situations helps everyone to reconnect. Whenever we travel, we find that there’s a special brand of giggly, silly fun that happens after a long day of travel that we just don’t seem to have at home. Who knows why? Exhaustion maybe? What I do know is that I would endure any length of flight to experience that sense of happy delighted closeness with my kids.
  • The kids learn new things. For young kids it isn’t so much that they’ll learn world history as that they are exposed to new experiences, sights, sounds and smells. With a little thought, you can bring those experiences home to make your everyday life a little richer too.
  • For school age kids it’s much more engaging and fun to learn history by doing than by reading. Visiting Boston to learn about the American Revolution as a family is not only an engaging and educational trip, it’s a memory that they’ll keep coming back to their formal education adds information about the events that happened there.

Comments

  1. chantal tessier

    March 10, 2008 at 4:58 p.m.

    Hi, This is a great site! Question for you is that I have a 2 year old and 4.5 year old and we are thinking of going to Malaga, Spain for 2 weeks in June (we live in Montreal Canada). Unfortunately we cannot go more then 2 weeks and I am worried that the jet lag (time difference is 5 hours) may be an issue to make the trip worthwhile by the time they get used to the new time zone...What do you think?

  2. Debbie

    March 10, 2008 at 9:14 p.m.

    Chantal,

    I'm glad you like the site! I think that two weeks is a fine amount of time (but I wouldn't spend much less than that) to get adjusted to the time change and be able to enjoy your destination. The fact that you're likely to spend much of your time outdoors and on the beach rather than trying to visit sites also makes the adjustment easier.

    I hope you have a great trip!

    Debbie

  3. Jennifer

    April 1, 2008 at 6:06 p.m.

    Hello, what a helpful site! My family wants to take a 12 day cruise to Europe. Our son will be 15 months old and we are worried about the time zone change and the day excursions ruining his nap / sleep schedule. He usually takes one 2 hour nap then later in afternoon 1 hour. he is not a great stroller sleeper. Any recommendations?

  4. Debbie

    April 1, 2008 at 10:47 p.m.

    Jennifer,

    The first few days in a new time zone can be difficult for everyone, but kids usually adjust fairly quickly. It helps to get them into the sunshine during the day (especially at dusk and dawn). Our experience has been that the kids learn to sleep comfortably in the stroller in the first few days of the trip, when they're still sleepy and getting used to the time change. We bring along a blanket that covers the front of the stroller and clip it on once our son is asleep to keep out the light and any wind. We also bring along his blanket when we expect him to sleep in the stroller.

    Our daughter still (at 18 months) sleeps comfortably in the Ergo baby carrier, and I love the little hood that supports her head and keeps the wind off. Of course, having her attached to my body means that I can't shop for clothes while she's napping, but it's perfect for long meals and museums.

    For more tips about dealing with Jet Lag, view this article: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/f...

    For more tips on naptime and bedtime on your vacation, view this article: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/f...

    I hope this helps.
    Debbie

  5. Kimberly

    June 27, 2008 at 12:26 p.m.

    I absolutely love your website! I lived in Barcelona for my junior year in college and your suggestions for Barcelona are right on the money! My husband and I are taking our 2 1/2 year old daughter to Barcelona in September. (for about a week) We were planning on taking her without a stroller or anything but after reading this website, I am not sure if she can deal with that. What do you recommend?

  6. Debbie

    June 27, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.

    I'm glad you like the site!

    Some parents forgo the stroller (why haul it up and down stairs), but I personally like to bring one because it lets us keep going even when the kids need to sleep. If you are comfortable carrying your daughter in a sling or backpack for extended periods of time, that can work well too & doesn't get in the way as much as a stroller does.

    Have a wonderful time in Barcelona

    Debbie

  7. Dawn

    March 30, 2009 at 4:08 p.m.

    Hi Debbie,

    I am travling to Shanghai for two weeks and Beijing for one week with my 4 year old and 1 year old. Please offer advices on how to keep both of them entertained on the planes and what are your suggestions on jetlag. Thank you

  8. Debbie

    April 1, 2009 at 1:20 p.m.

    Thanks so much for taking a moment to leave a comment - here are a couple of articles that might help:

    Keeping a Toddler Busy on a Plane: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/...
    Flying With Babies, Toddlers, and Kids: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/f...
    Jet Lag: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/f...
    Travel Toys: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/products...

  9. lauren

    http://www.abandonthecube.com/
    September 13, 2009 at 8:33 a.m.

    Traveling with just us two takes immense patience and determination in new cultures, I'm amazed (and happy) when I see families with children traveling, it encourages me to think that travel doesn't have to stop when a family starts.

  10. Shannon Welch

    September 14, 2009 at 8:42 p.m.

    I would hate to think that just because we had kids we quit enjoying something we LOVE and we want to share that hobby with our kids! The pace may be slower, the attractions may be different but the thought of staying at home missing out on this great world seems so sad.

  11. Robert Merlin

    December 29, 2009 at 2:05 p.m.

    For everyone who travels our best tip is this: always carry the car seat / pumpkin seat to the gate. Usually, if a flight is not full the airline will block a seat (and this has occurred on every trip we have taken) and let you bring the carseat on - basically giving you a seat for the lap baby for free. If the plane is full you can check the car seat / pumpkin seat at the gate and have it waiting for you when you land.

  12. Matthew Schuerman

    January 18, 2010 at 8:54 a.m.

    Hi Debbie,
    I've found your site very helpful on HOW to travel with children. Sounds like you know how to do it. But we're still trying to decide WHEN? Our extended family (me, wife, baby boy, my parents, my sister and her baby girl) is trying to decide whether to go on a 2-week trip to England this fall, when our son will be 19 months old and his cousin 17 months old. We'll be staying most of the time in the country, either with relatives or in rented cottage but will also spend three days in London. The other option is to put it off until next spring, but there's nice momentum building, one of the relatives we'll visit is in his 80s, and not sure whether it would make it much easier to wait. Or is it really not that bad? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

  13. Debbie

    January 18, 2010 at 9:10 p.m.

    Matthew,
    The toughest time to travel in my opinion is when your child is crawling, but not yet walking, because there are so few opportunities to for your child to move when you are out and about. That varies from child to child though as some are more active than others. Some find that the plane flight is most difficult when the child is between 12 and 18 months because they have so much energy (and such a short attention span) at that age. In general, I think you should just plan the trip you want to take and find a way to make it work - we have traveled with our children at every age and have enjoyed every single trip!

  14. Stefana

    January 21, 2010 at 9 a.m.

    Hi Debbie - great site. I am thinking about taking my then 11 mos old daughter with my mom and aunt to Rome and Romania in June to save my Husband who will be staying home with our 3.5 year old. We ear edoing 5 nights in Rome and then 6 nights in Romania. Our daughter is pretty easy, what do you think, could we do it and still enjoy the sites in Rome? Is 11 mos a good time to travel to Europe?

  15. Debbie

    January 21, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.

    Stefana,

    I think that you can enjoy the sites in Rome with an 11 month old (we went there with my son when he was 1 and had a wonderful time), but you and your relatives would need to be aware that you will be traveling at a very different pace than you would be without a child.

  16. Etana

    January 30, 2010 at 4:24 p.m.

    Hi Debbie,
    My extended family is thinking of taking a vacation this summer, when my son will be 8 months old. He is a pretty easy baby (already sleeping through the night sicne 6 weeks old), but I was wondering if you think it's a good idea to bring him to either Italy or Paris for 1-2 weeks. Granted, he will be too young to really enjoy the place, but do you think he;ll be able to adjust to his surroundings, and will we be able to enjoy ourselves as well?
    thanks!
    -Etana

  17. Debbie

    January 30, 2010 at 10:30 p.m.

    Etana

    Yes! I do think you can have a good time in Italy or Paris with an 8 month old (we took E to Paris when he was 6 months old and Italy when he was 1)

    Check out my city guides for what to do in
    Paris:
    http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/f...
    and Rome:
    http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/i...

  18. Shelley Cheny

    http://www.bestluxurytravelkids.com/
    April 16, 2010 at 3:32 p.m.

    Hi Debbie
    Your site is excellent. Thanks for all the useful tips.I have 2 little girls aged 4 and 6 years old and we have not really mustered up the courage to travel much because of problems with sleep and lots of changes in our lives lately, like moving house and starting school. So we are planning a little local trip first to the Gold Coast before we take the plunge and go to Malaysia to see our families!
    Keep writing!

    Regards

    ShelleyC
    Sydney, Australia

  19. Dianne

    May 20, 2010 at 8:58 p.m.

    Hi Debbie, what a wonderful site. My husband and I are due to leave on a 6 week holiday in Europe next month and I am starting to get a little nervous with regards to the plane trip. We have a 17month old daughter & a 3 1/2 yrd old son. Although, I have requested a bassinet, I don't think we will be given one due to my daughters age which means which she will need to be held for the 19 hours journey. This seems like an impossible task as she is not one that can be put to sleep in your arms at the best of time let alone in an uncomfortable plane. I am looking into the prospect of carrying the car seat but then again not much chance of having an extra seat as this is peak seaon time for Europe and weighing up the difficulty in carting it around everywhere. Any suggestions? I have thought about holding my son in my lap while my daughter is restrained in his seat for a while as she is usually very good in a car.? what do you think

  20. Deborah-Eve

    http://bit.ly/Quintess
    July 19, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.

    As a child I traveled a lot--vacation kind of travels and also extended stay in a new country. I'd be lying if I said I loved it all. Sometimes it was tough to leave friends and make new ones over and over--but as an adult I am extremely grateful that I had those opportunities.

    Why travel? Because of all the reasons discussed above AND because your children will be changed and be influenced by the experiences. And because they will ultimately be extremely grateful that they have an expanded world view!

  21. Manoj Radhakrishnan

    http://www.travel-notes.org/
    August 12, 2010 at 8:41 a.m.

    I agree with the author's points...

    Last december, we took our 2 year old son on a 2 week trip to Guatemala. It was not easy by any stretch of optimism! But it was only because of him that we spend couple of nights in Lake Atitlan and Tikal both of which otherwise would have been a hectic day trip...

  22. latika cusco travel

    December 4, 2010 at 9:21 a.m.

    he will be too young to really enjoy the place, but do you think he;ll be able to adjust to his surroundings, and will we be able to enjoy ourselves as well?
    thanks!

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  25. Quin Fabre

    April 10, 2011 at 7:05 a.m.

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  26. Jaclyn

    May 4, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.

    My husband and I are just back from travelling to Australia from Scotland with a three year old and a four month old (breastfed). I would recommend anyone to do it. Our three year old loved the trip and our baby adapted easily. Flights home were exhausting but isn't it always worse on the way back?! I certainly have not been put off long haul. Go for it!

  27. Wendy

    May 27, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.

    I stumbled upon your site and was so happy to find it. The tips are excellent (we will be flying with a three year old and an infant in August) but even better is the affirmation to other parents that you are not relegated to the home front until the kids are teenagers.

    My mother-in-law frequently comments on this and how their family did not travel until the kids were much older. I came from a traveling family and enjoyed our experiences so much that I have my family travel anyways. Next time she makes a comment, I will refer her to this site!

  28. Charlotte Benson-Tettey

    June 4, 2011 at 11:25 p.m.

    Hi Debbie,

    I live in Accra, Ghana and I have been holding on traveling cos most people told me it was not possible with the time difference in the US, until I saw your site and I am so happy to find it.

    Do you think it would be workable to travel to PA for 2 weeks with my 2 year old alone? Thanks.

  29. Debbie

    June 5, 2011 at 4:02 p.m.

    Charlotte,

    I think the flights will be tiring, and you'll need to rest during the day during those first few, jet-lagged days. But yes, I do think it's doable, especially if you are planning to visit family or friends in PA.

  30. Natalie

    February 13, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.

    Hi Debbie

    I'm so pleased I've come across your site! There's so many helpful tips
    We booked a two wk hol to Cyprus for a friends wedding while I was pregnant, and then didn't really think anything of it. Now my little bundle has arrived its left me feeling a little anxious really?!
    We travel a fair amount anyway, and the organisation part doesn't stress me any. It's more the worry of being in a much hotter country than here and also how she'll deal with the heat. Will we be able to take her out or will we have to keep her in the air con villa?! I've turned
    Into a worrisome mummy without even noticing!

    Hoping you can put my mind at rest!

    Natalie

  31. Debbie

    February 13, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.

    Natalie,

    Local moms don't keep their children inside all the time, and neither should you. That said, you will want to make sure that both you and baby stay well hydrated. You might bring along some oral rehydration salts for both you and her just to be prepared if you do get dehydrated: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004...

    You might also check in with your pediatrician before you go and see whether he or she has any concerns or advice.

    Good luck!

  32. Lavanya

    March 28, 2012 at 8:07 p.m.

    Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for putting all this great information together. Its very useful, encouraging and full of practical advice.

    My daughter is 28months old. We have planned to take a guided tour package to Europe in May (We live in Singapore). I'm a bit concerned because the itinerary is quite packed - we are visiting Italy, Switzerland, Paris and London in 2 weeks. We went for it because it would be much less of a hassle than trying to make all the logistic arrangements by ourselves. But it seems we are traveling with a larger group of tourists. So not sure how family-friendly it will be.. And we are also ovo-lacto-vegetarian.
    Appreciate any tips you can give - on whether to take stroller or not, how to plan for meals/snacks for my daughter, any special considerations for the climate change from hot & humid Singapore to European Spring and, how to manage the heavy itinerary in general..

    Once again, thanks for this wonderful website.

    Lavanya

    PS: The First Aid Kit page doesn't load up properly - http://www.deliciousbaby.com/products...

  33. Jamie

    May 24, 2012 at 5:43 a.m.

    Just found your site and I love it... Encouragement that we are not the only "crazy" ones that think our kids should travel and experience the world. My friends have told me I need to start a travel blog for people with kids, but now I don't have to! Thank you for the helpful information.

  34. Dan

    http://www.travelproductreview.com/
    June 4, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.

    Hi Debbie
    Fantastic site! But what is even more fantastic is the education and learning opportunities that you are giving your children.
    I travel a lot, but have no kids, you are at showing me that my travelling will not have to stop when I have some of my own.
    Keep up the great work!
    Dan

  35. Amy Savage

    http://travel-tot.com/
    August 27, 2012 at 9:34 a.m.

    I love this article, what a great resource for first time parents on the road with their kids! Thanks so much!
    -Amy

  36. Gerg

    http://www.distance-between.info/
    August 24, 2013 at 4:50 a.m.

    With school-age kids, it's much harder to find time for travels. You are limited to their school-holidays.

  37. Gezi Rehberi

    http://yoldaolmak.com/
    September 9, 2013 at 8:39 a.m.

    Without travelling something missing in the life and, just travellers know what is missing.

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    January 8, 2014 at 1:18 a.m.

    I am planning for a trip with my family, So this blog is really helpful for me, thanks for it.

  39. Seyahat Gezi

    http://gezgintech.com/
    February 7, 2014 at 3:11 p.m.

    Hi Debbie, great site. Thanks for all the useful tips. I will refer to my friends to your site! They can learn a lot here.

  40. Joe scarlet

    http://www.unicotrip.com/buenos-aires-private-day-tours.html
    March 30, 2014 at 5:50 a.m.

    Wow!! you have posted awesome about travel .I loved your post and wanna get more similar post from you. Please keep it up.

    Cordially Thanks from tour operator
    www.unicotrip.com

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