So many parents, particularly of young children tell me they would never travel with their children or babies in the way that we do. Sometimes it is with an edge of admiration, as if I am succeeding at the near impossible, other times it is with a distinct hint of disapproval, that we should not be putting our children or ourselves through the trauma – often it is indistinguishable where the tone lies.
Travelling with children isn’t suited to everyone, and just because we enjoy it, doesn’t mean anyone should feel pressured to try it – however if you are still reading and want to give it a shot then I truly believe you should not let the below reasons put you off.
Great reasons to avoid travel with children and babies
(and how to go ahead and do it any way, whilst having a ruddy nice time)
Here are the top reasons I’ve heard that you should absolutely not ever ever, in any circumstances, ever, consider going on holiday with a child – please be aware that it is especially a terrible, awful and selfish decision to travel with a baby. Please pay attention to these points and avoid all unnecessary travel until said baby is over the age of 8.
(Should you not heed our advice and decide to travel, I have also included tips to overcome the worries of travel with children and babies… you know, just incase)
1. I can’t travel with my child because they will get too hot
Dependant where you choose for your trip, there is a chance it could be much hotter than your child is used to. Hot children can of course mean grumpy and uncomfortable children. If sunshine is what you crave then go for it, but take some sensible precautions.
- Try and choose a cooler time of the year to travel.
- Ensure you buy a UV suit – these are great at protecting little ones from the sun, but if they are kept damp they also act as a cooling suit
- Avoid the middle of the day – take a baby monitor and ensure your accommodation has some outside space, such as a balcony where you can relax whilst your child enjoys an afternoon nap or take some family time away from the heat and stroll around a local shopping mall or have lunch in the shade
- Invest in air conditioned accommodation
- Be realistic about sight seeing and long days on the beach, cut down your usual lengthy sun exposure with breaks in the shade
- Ensure your children stay hydrated with plenty of clean water.
2. I will have to watch them all the time so I can’t relax
Yep. Have you not had to do that anyway since becoming a parent?
That is all.
3. They won’t get anything out of it anyway
It is true, very young children won’t take in the wonder of a historic landmark or appreciate the scale of trip. They will inevitably get bored at exactly the moment you want to take in a pinnacle moment of your trip or throw their dinner on the floor in a posh restaurant.
In addition they will absorb culture on a level that an adult does not. They will except all situations they are thrown into and become more robust as a result. Undoubtably they will highlight things around them that we as their guides would not have noticed without them and their senses will be heightened by the different sounds, sights and smells they encounter.
Maybe what they, and you will get out of it the most, is the undivided attention that blooms as a result of being away from home, away from the stresses of daily life and being thrown into a new world of experiences as a family.
4. They will suffer with jet lag
The thought of a child suffering with jet lag is a major cause of limiting family travel. It does effect children when they travel, there is no getting away from it, but if you are willing to risk the consequences, our tips to deal with jet lag in babies and children may help!
5. Travelling with my child will be a nightmare
Long car journeys, ferry trips or flying with babies and young children can be stressful. There will be times during your journey that you question why you are doing it, but I can assure you that this will certainly be outweighed with moments of joy and exhilaration, as a result of taking the chance.
- Choose a flight time that allows your children to sleep, if there are two sectors try to plan the second to correlate with their bedtime/nap time. This way the excitement has generally worn off by the time they get to the ‘sleeping plane’
- Take a familiar blanket and cuddly toy to encourage sleep
- Plan some activities for the journey, our things to do with children on the plane article may help
- Try to go into the journey well rested yourself, as if your children are very young its likely you won’t get much sleep yourself.
- If its starts to go awry, ie. your baby is crying on the plane, try not to stress. Many other passengers will be parents themselves and sympathise with your situation. Remember the journey does not last forever and the crying will stop. If you stay relaxed there is a much higher chance that our children will too.