10 Reasons Why You should Travel With Your Kids Even If They Won’t Remember

why you should travel with your kids even if they won't remember it

Why bother travelling with young children? They won’t remember anything! It’s too much work to travel with kids, besides they won’t appreciate it! These are just some of the sad things I’ve heard people say about travelling with children. My response is, you don’t know what you are missing and if you truly believe this than you are missing the whole point of travelling with children.

10 reasons I travel with my kids and how I think it has changed our lives.

I think it’s ridiculous when people say they don’t want to travel with their kids because it’s too hard or because they won’t remember.

Using that logic, you don’t need to hold your baby as much as possible because he or she won’t remember it. Ridiculous right?

Travelling with kids for me has not been only about giving them a  memory or doing it when it’s convenient. It’s about giving them an experience. After all, experiences are the building blocks that make us who we are whether we remember them all or not.

1- Travel Can Help Broaden The Horizons of Your Children.

1- Travel Can Help Your Kids Understand and Accept that there is no one way to do something.

One of the many reasons I love to travel is because it teaches me about the different ways that people live and do things. For my children this translates to them understanding that there is no one single way or right way to do some things.

Consider the simple act of what to eat for breakfast on a trip to.. um  ….. China?

If your kids are used to eating eggs and toast, imagine how eye opening and different it will be for them to eat something foreign like rice porridge or Chinese donuts for breakfast. My kids love eating this for breakfast by the way. I have been exposing them to different foods through travel since they were born.

Food is just one example of how travel can expose your kids to different ways of doing common everyday things.

Photo via Flickr from Brett

2-Traveling With Kids Expands, alters and stretches their little minds.

Traveling With Kids Expands, alters and stretches their little minds.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see my kids step outside of their comfort zone and be more willing to try new things.

Just by the nature of travel, your children can easily learn to stretch themselves and experience things outside of their everyday life and comfort zone. Each time they do this, they will gain the confidence to push themselves further and further even when they are not travelling.

3- Travelling Helps Kids Become Great Little Travellers.

Travelling Helps Kids Become Great Little Travellers.

The younger your kids are when you start travelling with them, the faster they become better travel companions.

All three of my kids are used to travelling. They learned from an early age what to expect, what to do and what not to do.

It doesn’t take years of training either.  Even if you only go on one trip a year, they will learn to become good travellers quickly.

My youngest child was already a great traveller by one year old because we started taking her on road trips at 11 days old. By the time she was 9 months old, she didn’t even cry on her first international trip to France.

4- Travelling helps kids learn to acclimate and adapt to change.

Travelling helps kids learn to acclimate and adapt to change

Sure stability and keeping a schedule is great for your kids but so is change. Travelling with your kids is a natural and easy way to help them learn to deal with change.

5-Travel Can uncover your children’s hidden interests.

Travel Can uncover your children’s hidden interests.

One of my sons has discovered through travel that he loves art and loves to draw. Sure he could have discovered these things on his own but travelling put us in museums and surrounded by ancient works of arts that gave him that initial spark.

6- Kids Can Let Loose and be themselves.

Kids Can Let Loose and be themselves

When your kids travel, they get to explore a side of themselves outside of their everyday life. They get to let down their guard, have fun and be themselves.  

7-You Will Create And Cherish Lifelong Memories

-You Will Create Cherish Lifelong Memories Together

It stands to reason that all the good times we have travelling together are memories i will cherish. You may be surprised to know that some of my fondest memories of travel were actually of times when we were the most stressed.

Like losing one of my sons in Nice France for 3 hours and freaking out only to find him hours later and just being happy is was safe.

Or realizing that our huge American stroller was not going to fit in most restaurants.

Changing diapers on the grass in front of the Eiffel tower after searching for a bathroom that was free for over an hour.

Convincing our kids to eat some new foods and putting up with all their whining.

These are all memories I will keep for the rest of my life and laugh about too.

8- You will see the world in a whole new way.

 You will see the world in a whole new way

Travelling with your children let’s you see even the simplest of things in a whole new way. Sometimes it’s a useful reminder of how wonderfully strange some things are, particularly when you see them again through fresh eyes.

9-It’s Easier To Travel When Your Kids Are Younger: You don’t have to wait until they are older

It's Easier To Travel Wen Your Kids Are Younger: So You don’t have to wait

I have travelled with all three of my kids from birth. **My oldest is now almost 17 ( at the time of this writing 2013).

I have spent countless hours with each of my kids either attached to my back in a sling or sitting in a stroller while we travelled.

So trust me when I say this but you don’t have to wait until the kids are older to travel. In many ways, it can actually be easier and better to travel when the kids are younger.

Kids are amazingly flexible and resilient if you only give them a chance. They can sleep almost anywhere.  Everything fascinates them. They will and can eat almost anything and they don’t give you attitude like a grumpy teenager.

All you need is a sling or a stroller and you are set to go. Don’t forget the diapers and a few snacks too. You have the added bonus of raising children who adapt easily to change and creating good travel companions for both far and near travel.

10-Travel is a fun bonding opportunity.

Travel is a fun bonding opportunity

We are all so busy through out the year. Travelling on a vacation is often one of the best if not the only times we actually get to spend quality time with our kids.

Our kids get to see us in a fun and new environment. We get to loosen up on the rules and everyone gets to spend quality time together.

What Do You think?

Our Family in Le Pradet France in 2013

I don’t want you to think that travelling with kids is all rosy rainbows and unicorns.

There are definitely a lot of downsides to travelling with kids. It’s hard, stressful and can be expensive for example.

However; it’s totally worth it. The unexpected joys of travelling with children far outweigh any negatives for me.

Don’t take my word for it. Below are over a dozen articles written by other families who travel with kids who also think that travelling with children is worth it.

**NOTE: When I mention travel in this article, I realize that money may be a limitation. To reap the benefits of travel with kids you could opt for travelling to places closer to home. The next town, state or province. Just as long as it’s somewhere new and different and you’re all are together. 

Other Articles From Families Who Travel

Mary from Bohemian travelers

Nancy from Family on Bikes

Catherine Forest from Catherine et les fées

Alisa from Living Outside of the Box

Bethaney from Flashpacker Family

Jenn Miller from the edventure project

Kris Herwig from Simon Says – Traveling With Tots: The World is My Playground

Heather Costaras from Living Differently –

Kirsty from Barts go Adventuring

Anne from The Journey is the Reward

Sharon from Where’s Sharon –

ME:Annie: The live in France guide – Why You Should Travel With Kids Even If They Won’t Remember

Lainie from Raising Miro on the Road of Life (and Aimee from Suitcases and Strollers):

About the Author

Annie André Is a half Thai, half French Canadian/American freelance writer, digital marketer and author of THE LIVE IN FRANCE GUIDE: an expat travel and lifestyle blog featuring destination guides, inspiration, travel tips, personal advice and anecdotes on working, living and playing in France. ( Equal parts weird, wacky and wonderful).

Lee Stevens

Nice post. my kids are 3 and 19 Months. I have always thought that they are too young.

We are going on a trip in a few weeks (short haul) hopefully that will show us the way!

    Annie André

    I don’t believe that any child is ever too young to travel. This is based on personal experience Lee. From my own kids and me. I was a product of heaps of travel too..Just give it a try. You’ll see that the positives far outweigh the negatives.

    Wheres Sharon? (Sharon)

    So not too young!! We just spent 7 weeks travelling asia with our turning 1 and 2 year old and it was awesome!! at the end of the year we will be travelling with the same ages as you – 3 and 19 months for a couple of more months. I am a bit apprehensive of the 15 hour flight with my massive 1yo on my lap but otherwise i have no doubt it will be awesome!

LivingOutsideoftheBox

It is absolutely worth traveling with kids! I love your list, and agree wholeheartedly. BTW…you are just so dang beautiful 🙂

    Annie André

    You guys are too kind. It must be all the Vaseline and olive oil i am slathering on my face.

Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

I’m with you on every point Annie!

    Annie André

    Bethaney,
    There are so many more to list. Honestly, I never tried to break it down and write about it before today. Now I just need to write about all the negatives. 🙂

Jennifer Miller

#5 and #6 are my favourites!! Yes, Yes, YES!!! I hope very much that our paths cross in the real world!

    Annie André

    As wide as this big old world is, I am almost certain that our paths will cross. Serendipity has a funny way of showing up in the most unexpected places.
    I once was on a trip to Nice France many years ago and by chance a friend who i had not seen in years happened to be there at the same time. I only knew because I happened to look at my facebok account that morning and recognized the location of her photo as being near our location.

Wheres Sharon? (Sharon)

Great post!! I love how you have broken this down, and i couldnt agree more 🙂

    Annie André

    Hi Sharon,
    Don’t you know it!!!!

Carol B

Love every point you make! We’ve been traveling with our two kids since they were quite small – yes, it does mean you may change the way you travel, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling! They have developed a sense of the world that I don’t think they would have otherwise, a greater appreciation of cultures beyond their own. Priceless!

    Annie André

    You bring up a good point which I did not include are articulate in my post about giving our children a sense of the world.

Mary

I agree and love that list! Traveling has helped me appreciate my kids in ways I never thought possible. Love that pic of you guys in front of the Louvre, beautiful!

    Annie André

    Merci Mary…
    Everyday I see signs of the influence travel has had on my children. Even they are not aware of how see the world first hand has affected them but I know.. 🙂

Sylviane Nuccio

I love this post Annie, and your pictures are terrific!

I agree, traveling with kids is NOT easy, but I so agree with you that it’s worth it.

I can still remember when my widow mother and her sister took my brother and I to Spain for a whole month. We liked it so much that we did it again the next year. These are memories that I still have.

My mother was barely out of her depression which started at my father’s death, but she felt sorry for us and wanted to take us away, so she grabbed all her strength, pack us all in the car and drove all the way to Spain.

Thanks for sharing these great reason to travel with kids.

    Annie André

    Those all sound like great travel memories to cherish for the rest of your life. I bet you have even more that you don,t fully remember because you were to young.

Adrienne

I never really thought about that Annie since of course I don’t have kids but I love the examples you gave. Don’t read to your child or spend time with them because they won’t remember.

Children remember a lot of things from an early age that we never even think of. Now of course some of us just have a lousy memory, that would be me, but most kids remember a lot.

I think it would have helped me had we traveled more but my parents couldn’t afford it or so they said.

Thanks for sharing this and I love the pictures. You have the cutest family ever.

~Adrienne

    Annie André

    I hear you on the ‘not being able to afford it’. I think parents can still travel with their kids, even if it’s just to getaway to the next town or even try something new with their kids. The point is to just mix it up and break your routine and travel is but one of many ways to do that. Besides, you have kayla.. She is your baby..I bet you take her everywhere.

Steve

Love this. A lot of people I know don’t think it’s worth traveling with kids if they won’t remember. There’s good to find in all forms of travel whether from memories or as a bonding experience.

    Annie André

    Now it,s your turn STeve..You and your wife can start having kids and travel with them..:)

Danny

My parents always took me traveling when I was a kid, driving around in Europe, flights to Asia and so on and I think this has had a positive effect upon me. Sure I don’t remember it, but there’s bits and pieces of memory as well as the experience which helps you form as a character. I think a kid who grows up wanting to travel and avoid office-life would be a happier kid 🙂

Gadi and Tun

Thanks for this inspirational post 🙂
We will definitely travel with kids when we will have them.

Sean

Great post Annie! I will say that the bonding happens through the “rough stuff” sometimes.

For example, I’ve learned that I’m kind of impatient while traveling yet my kids are superstars. Like, the can walk as much as me and stay awake almost as long. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my kids have been great teachers!

    Annie André

    I have definitley learned a lot about myself and my kids through travel too Sean. Odd as this may sound, I have also become acutely aware of the things that i dont like.

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