If you are waiting for your kids to be “just the right age” before you start traveling with them, you are in for a rude awakening! Get the, traveling early and you”ll be glad you did. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that traveling with little ones is going to be easy.
In fact I’m 100% positive it’s easier to hang out in pj’s watching cartoons on a Saturday morning than it is navigate Orlando International with a hungry crying infant and a wandering toddler sporting a poopy diaper.
I’m just saying that starting good travel habits early is sort of like investing a little sweat and tears on the early end to be able to have a more enjoyable “traveling with kids” experience as your kids begin to grow.
If you’ve got a little one and you find yourself thinking you aren’t ready for big travel, here
are 5 key ideas for prepping your little ones to be great travelers with you in the near future. But it takes a little work, and possibly a bit more prep than anyone ever thinks about.
Travel early, travel often
Traveling takes a certain amount of flexibility, expose them to travel early and you won’t regret it. You might easily miss out on a handful of years of traveling if you cringe at the idea of traveling with little ones.
Instead, let them be the reason you travel. Let them experience the tough parts, and you will have a better traveler down the road.
It doesn’t take passports and connecting flights to experience travel. Take a look at everything there is to do in approximately a 4 hour drive from where you live. It doesn’t even have to be a big city or popular attraction.
Have the experiences of an overnight in a hotel, camping in a state park, or even just taking the opportunity to walk some downtown streets in a no-name town. Exposing your youngsters to new surroundings and sleeping in strange places will always pay off.
And if they end up throwing temper tantrums, the good news is you probably won’t see those people ever again anyways! There are benefits to creating your own adventures with kids, and doing so on your home turf might have benefits that run deeper than your realize.
Commit to being a weekend warrior
Let them experience the norm of being on-the-go. Since most of us are stuck in M-F grind, make the most of the weekends. You will be surprised what you can squeeze in.
Check out weekend warrior – ways to do it on the cheap. Travel isn’t easy at any age if you really think about how exhausting it can be. If they see your family’s thirst for adventure and your need to get every last drop out of a weekend, they will be more likely to embrace a travel lifestyle as they get older.
Stay in shape, stay active
I know, you’re wondering what this has to do with raising good mini-travelers. Well here’s the thing, you know that blah feeling you have after riding in the car for 6 hours? You see, it’s best curbed with a little physical activity. We all know that we have more energy when we stay physically active.
Don’t forget your kids can feel this too. Besides, who wants “feeling tired” to mean they have to sit out of a beautiful hike to instead take a nap. Consider a family walk or jog after landing in a new town. Besides, the more in shape you are, the more energy you will have to commit to the journey.
Try to avoid letting them be picky eaters
Eating on the go can be tough. It is only compounded when you have picky eaters. Besides, think ahead to a time where you are actually able to get some international travel under your belt with the kiddos.
It will be pretty difficult to touchdown in Sri Lanka only to find out the menus almost never have pizza or Mac and cheese. As a rule of thumb, we make our kids eat what we eat. That being said, we haven’t chowed down on a fish head on-a stick in a Chinese market, but you get the idea.
Remember, not every trip will be a relaxing Caribbean beach vacation. They won’t all be easy or stress free. But every trip is an experience for your travel journal. So get out there and do more. Your kids will make it even more memorable, of that I am sure.