We hear it all the time. Something along the lines of “Why would you take your kids with on trips like that? They aren’t going to remember it….” or “Seriously? You’re taking your kids with?!” My response is always, “Yes. Of course they are coming. They might not remember it, but we will.”
That’s what it comes down to. My husband and I selfishly creating memories for ourselves with our kids, because at the end of the day, they might not remember every adventure we went on, but we will. We will cherish the road trips, the crazy flights, the experiences, the new foods they tried and their reactions upon discovering new places. Whether they remember it or not, we’re creating a lifetime of awesome moments in the short time we have our kids. We feel like 18 years is going to go by in the blink of an eye — our oldest is already 7, we’re almost halfway through her precious time under our roof. I’m not going to get all sappy and talk about the girls leaving for college, because…that needs to feel like it is not right around the corner. I need to feel like I have all sorts of time left with them here with us. So…we travel. A lot. With our kids. Because new experiences are the best thing we can give them in this limited amount of time we have with them.
Sure, my husband and I enjoy our trips just the two of us or when we get to travel with our friends — and we fully believe in the importance of that time together. We always say it is like the concept of putting your oxygen mask on before helping others — we have to take care of ourselves and our relationship to ensure we are the strongest family unit possible.
People ask us, “Can you really travel with kids??” Absolutely. In fact, we think travel is better with them. So, I am just going to say it. Traveling with kids is awesome. Here’s why:
- They see the good in every thing. “We get to eat and watch Moana at the same time on the airplane?! This is the best day. EVER!”
- They find the most simple moments to be the most exciting, meaning every day is truly filled with adventures big and small. “Listen! Whoa. The sirens sound different here!”
- They make us slow down. Without our kids, there’s a chance we’d blow by some of the most awesome spots in new places. Because we’re traveling with kids we are always sure to stop at neighborhood parks and quiet coffee shops for a hot cocoa or lemonade — providing us with a local flavor and experience.
- They are sponges for new information — asking how to say things in the local language, meaning we get the opportunity to learn new words and phrases, too! “How do you say “fox” in Dutch? How about “street”?”
- They are early risers, which means we get to wake up with the city we are in. We absolutely love early mornings in new places when the streets come to life. Traveling with kids means we never miss those awesome moments.
- They are minimalists without even knowing it. They don’t need anything fancy, they just need to explore, play and learn.
- They are social butterflies (most of the time) which makes you one, too. They are willing to put themselves on a limb and talk to any other kids they are around. This immediately breaks the ice and helps you meet locals wherever you are.
- They are small. They don’t take up a lot of space or need much – just because you are traveling with your kids, doesn’t mean your packing list gets much bigger or you need a bigger place to stay.
- They love you. They look up to you and admire you – help them see the world while you can.
- They don’t add much cost to your travels. Our kids’ favorite lunch? A baguette, some cheese and some fruit. Couldn’t be cheaper to travel with them – in fact they probably save us money because we eat simple picnic lunches and grab earlier dinners than if we were by ourselves.
There’s no time like the present. We’ve recently started honing in on the fact that life is just too short to not take all of the trips we can now. We’re not getting any younger and neither are our kids. So for now, we’ll keep traveling with them. In fact, we’ll probably even travel more.