crying baby on beach

The Truth About Traveling With Kids

Hilarye Family Travel Tips 10 Comments

crying baby on beach

There’s a phenomenon that happens in the social media realm and the blogosphere quite often. You know what I’m talking about. Typically everyone is guilty of it every once in awhile and I’m afraid I am too. We dress up real life to make it look our Sunday best when truthfully it’s sweat pants and messy hair.

As it pertains to this blog and my instagram account– it is most definitely the case. You get to see our happy and fun moments. You see the beautiful scenery and luxury hotel resorts. You see me being your biggest cheerleader. Go travel, I say! Bring your kids! It will be lovely and go off without a hitch! This is not real life.

What you don’t see is pictures of me desperately trying to calm a tired, fussy baby on the third leg of a flight after we had just walked a mile in the airport. You don’t see pictures of me yelling at Reid in the airport because I’m overly stressed about keeping the kids happy, fed, rested and not peeing their pants all the while not missing our flight. You don’t see pictures of us sitting in the hotel room at night, not enjoying the local nightlife because we have sleeping children. You don’t see pictures of Reid questioning why we decide to bring our kids… on each and every trip we have ever taken them on.

Nobody wants to see pictures of the bad times. But they happen. Regularly. Granted, it will get way easier when they are older and more self-sufficient and need less sleep. But this is real life. This is my life. Kids are my life. The truth is, it is WAY harder to travel with kids than without. We do see way less. It is more stressful. It costs more. It’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s not as fun. These are all truths. It’s not as glamorous as maybe my instagram feed makes it seem.

But the pictures you see are real and there are some truths to it. Sometimes it’s awful but sometimes it’s magical. Just like at home. I remember my friend Keryn Means once said something like: “I’m going to be at home with my kids and dealing with them anyways, might as well be in Europe.” I feel the same way! If I have to deal with a tantrum that day at least we all can play at the beach together later! So in short, please know that even if I make it look “easy”, it’s really not. I get anxiety, I stress, and there are meltdowns from all- not just the kids. But it creates some amazing memories and for me is way less cause for anxiety then leaving them behind!

Comments 10

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  2. It’s true that if we only relied on what everyone posts on social media, traveling with kids is nothing but good times and happy memories. The truth is that it can be really challenging in the moment and you gave some good, typical examples.

    I keep traveling with my children because even though I know there were hard days, my memories are all Sunday Best. I feel a rush of joy every time I recall those special family times and I realize how fast my children are growing up.

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    Allison! So good to hear from you! And so true! The memories we have made far outweigh the bad (sometimes awful times) but its just the same as home!

  4. This is such a fantastic post! We all need to keep it real when it comes to traveling with kids. Kids are hard, at times, so traveling with kids is going to be hard too. But, kids are worth it!

  5. This is so true.

    I don’t show pictures of me huddle, board in the corner of the kids club for hours because my son won’t let me leave.

    Or complaining of eating out at only restaurants that serve pizza because that’s all he will eat – far easier to have peace than fight it when on holiday.

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  8. Traveling with kids is definitely in a different category than traveling without them. This is why we called vacations with children “trips” and vacations without them actual “vacations” at our house. This helps both me and my husband keep the right perspective when we have our kids with us. I love my children dearly and love to create family memories with them while traveling, but it’s definitely not a vacation when we travel with them. It’s just as much work as being at home with them, if not more, when you factor in time zone changes and nap schedules being interrupted. I specifically remember when we took Dane to Hawaii with us when he was 6 months old because he was still nursing. He never adjusted to the time change and I ended up taking a walk around the resort every morning at 5 AM after I fed him until he fell asleep an hour later. Yeah, that’s not a vacation in my book! For us though, the memories we create and experiences we share as a family while on trips are worth the sleep deprivation and melt-downs that often accompany traveling with children.

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    Thanks for sharing Jen! That’s smart using the differentiation of trips and vacations. We might use that in our house too. I remember doing the same thing in Hawaii! That time change is killer. I agree the family memories make it worthwhile!

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