Is It Really Worth Taking The Kids?
There comes a point on each and every trip we take with our children to which Reid throws his hands up in defeat and exclaims: “We are not doing this anymore! We are done traveling with our children!” Which I then reply panicked: “Don’t be ridiculous of course we are!” This has been escalated during our 12 in 2012 travel challenges series, where we have taken some difficult trips with our kids.
Sometimes we travel bloggers make it look easy. I’m here to assure you it’s not. Not even close. Well maybe it is when they get older. We are not there yet. All of my experiences traveling with children has been with 3 year olds and younger. I hold on to the hope that it gets easier when they are older.
Everything about traveling (and life in general) gets harder when you have children. The amount of stuff you have to pack is absurd, even laughable. Sometimes you miss out on relaxing and amazing experiences because you are worried about keeping a child quiet on the airplane, bus, or train. A lot of times you are stuck in a hotel room with a sleeping baby when your heart is yearning to explore. Those times are not so fun.
What I can assure you is that it is worth it, at least for me. I love traveling and experiencing new places so much that it brings me such joy to share that with my children. I am never homesick when I travel except when I leave them behind. And while I get to do more and see more and have a hassle-free trip, those trips are the hardest for me because a piece of my heart is missing. It’s a giant trade off but for me it’s worth it to bring them.
Another argument I get from Reid, “they are so young they won’t even remember it.” It’s so true. There are so many places I have been when I was a baby or a toddler that I don’t remember so I don’t even “count” them as places I’ve been. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Sometimes we spend a lot of money for travels and that is a worry that nags at us.
My only rebuttal I have is that while they may be too young for memories, what we are giving them is even more precious. We are giving them life experiences. And while memories stay with you for a long time, life experiences shape you into who you are. We are giving them a gift of being a well-rounded, well-traveled person. Someone who appreciates different cultures and peoples for who they are, not because of preconceived notions. And that, for me, makes it worth every penny, and every frustration.
So my question (and plea) for all of you who travel with children so often, what is it that keeps you going? Help me convince Reid it’s worth it!