Traveling with little ones is not for the faint of heart. It is hard. It can be frustrating, overwhelming, and sometimes completely exhausting. When you decide that you are going to take your kids on a vacation with you, there are some things you won’t be able to do. Your itinerary is created around nap times and child-friendly activities. Your entire trip changes—but I would say it changes for the better.
I know many people who never take their children on vacation with them. They want to have a relaxing vacation and escape from the overwhelming duties life has back home. Don’t get me wrong, these vacations are amazing also and getting away as a couple is definitely necessary! However, we try to limit our relaxing vacations to one or two weekend getaways throughout the year. I don’t think we have spent more than three days somewhere without the kids. We get asked often why we take them with us or go places that they won’t ever remember anyway. We also get crazy looks in airports or the “you have your hands full” comment every parent loves to hear. But traveling with kids isn’t something that should be feared or considered out of the ordinary.
Here are just a few reasons why we choose to spend our money and time traveling with our kids as much as possible and why you should consider doing it, too:
1. We have 18 years with them.
I know everyone feels differently about this statement. Yes, we have our entire lives to spend time with them, but really those 18 years are the only years we get to see them every single day. Those 18 years we have responsibility and authority over them. So in a way, after those 18 years are up, they really don’t have to listen to us anymore. In reality, we probably only have about 14-16 years with them before we are no longer considered “cool” and they no longer want to spend the majority of their time with us. So if we have 14-16 years out of our entire lives to really spend time with them, we are going to make the most out of every single year. When they are adults, I want them to look back on their childhoods and remember all of the memories we created as a family.
2. I want them to experience different places and cultures.
God created this beautiful world and I intend on making sure they see as much of it as they can. I want them to look at the sunset over the ocean and know that only our God can create such beauty. I want them to love on the people around the world and know that the same God created each and every one of us. He created us uniquely with different appearances, languages, and cultures. I want them to see other lifestyles and be thankful for what they have because others might not be as fortunate.
3. It pulls them out of their comfort zone.
I want my kids to look at the world with curiosity instead of fear. I want them to be confident in who they are and be capable to adapt and love on others, no matter what their surroundings might look like.
4. It’s fun!
However hard and exhausting it might be, watching our kids explore and making new memories with them is the happiest I will ever be. We like to make a photo book for each of our adventures and one of our favorite things to do at the end of each year is talk about previous trips that we have gone on and remember the fun (and difficult but now funny) moments we shared. The memories that we create going on vacations as a family are worth every tantrum, every minute of lost sleep, and every frustrating plane ride.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children” – Charles R. Swindoll
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