Last night my family and I got back from a week long trip to Disney World. There is always the debate of when you should start travelling with young children. Do you wait until they are older and can remember the things they see? It definitely makes things easier. Travelling with young kids is challenging. Despite this, it is my opinion that when you wait until they are older to travel, you are closing your children off to so many wonderful opportunities. Will they remember everything about the trip? Probably not. But that’s what pictures are for. Trips allow children to learn so many things and experience so many different adventures. My children have grown so much in one week. I really can’t believe it.
I think that the best part about travelling with young children is the opportunities that they are introduced to. They get to do things they could never do at home. Like fly on a plane. My son, who is three, loves all vehicles. It was so exciting for him to be able to fly on a plane! At Disney World, we got to ride on buses, trains, boats and all sorts of different vehicles. Of course, in Disney World, there are lots of different rides you can do too! He loved going on all the rides and meeting his favorite characters.
My one year old twins also loved the new opportunities that came from travelling. They loved watching all the different shows with the singing, dancing and lights. It was exciting for them to look at all the different animals and characters that they met. We got a lot of ‘Wow!’s on this trip.
The kids also loved all the opportunities to play in the pools and water parks. My son got to play on water slides while the girls played in little splash parks. They loved being in all these new environments!
While our experiences were in Disney World, there are so many places you can take your kids around the world for these new experiences. I think that giving them these new experiences makes them more flexible as individuals because they learn to adapt to new situations that are thrown at them.
So Much to Learn
Whether you are one or seventeen, there are so many things to learn when you are travelling. My one year old girls learned so much during our trip. You may think of learning as facts, but there are lots of behavioral things to learn for children when they are away from home. Throughout the week, I found my twins were listening much better than when we started the trip, and they fell asleep easier on the go. I also was able to get them to hold my hand when we were walking around.
My son’s speech improved so much as he got to talk to lots of different people. He learned patience when standing in lines. He also learned lots of information about different animals and places around the world. Thanks Animal Kingdom and Epcot!
I have always loved learning about different cultures from around the world, and travelling certainly allows you to meet all sorts of people from all sorts of different cultures. I think that it can teach you about tolerance and offer an appreciation about people from around the world. Just because children are young doesn’t mean that they can’t learn this appreciation. They can still learn and have a basic understanding of foods and traditions.
Travelling also gives you life skills. You learn to problem solve, communicate with others, and adapt to new situations. You learn about currencies, budgeting, and spending money. Skills like patience when waiting in lines or staying close to adults when in big crowds are important lessons your children learn when away. Young children pick up on these life skills, even when they are small. They may not fully grasp the concept, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start teaching them.
Things To Remember
While it is definitely beneficial for children to travel, remember that they aren’t adults. Try to avoid having really full days so you don’t over do it with them. Take your time when you go from place to place. Make sure you have lots of snacks and drinks for them. I also like to make sure there are opportunities for them to play a couple times in the day and walk around so that they aren’t sitting in a stroller all day. It’s easy to want to get from place to place quickly so you can fit everything in, but you usually end up with cranky kids who are exhausted or just tired of sitting. It’s not worth the cranky kid.
If you have any questions about travelling with young children, there are lots of groups that have lots of great information for travelling parents! Baby Can Travel is a great site you can check out! Their Facebook group has lots of knowledgeable parents that love to share their experiences and advise!