Although I love discussing any and all travel, one of my favorite travel topics is babies. I am absolutely passionate about traveling with very young children. Perhaps because it’s a heavily debated topic, I love pointing out all the great benefits.
Here are my top 5 reasons to travel with your baby:
- Money Savings: Perhaps the most logical argument for traveling with babies is the fact that it’s pretty much free. For starters, kids fly for free up to age two. Additionally, most attractions grant free admission to young children. Furthermore, it’s much easier to control your trip expenses with a baby who doesn’t ask for souvenirs, dessert and extras every hour!
- Etiquette Experience: I’m a firm believer in the fact that kids learn through experience. It’s awfully hard to teach your children how to behave in restaurants, hotels, and museums without actually going to those places! Travel provides an awesome opportunity for you to introduce those concepts to your children. For example, we spent a week in a very large hotel with our 14 month old. She went crazy for the elevators. I was able to use that week to teach her elevator etiquette. She learned to wait until everyone got off before getting on. She also learned how to push only the buttons I indicated and not the whole panel!
- Food Willingness: Every mom knows, there’s some weird phenomenon that happens to all children regarding food. At some point they all go through a picky phase. Perhaps the code passes from child to child on the playground before they’re really even able to speak. Who knows? But regardless, I’ve found that the more foods experienced before that phenomenon takes root, the less picky they remain. In other words, giving your kids a wide variety of new foods at an early age should hedge off food particular tendencies. Through travel, we introduced TONS of new foods and flavors to our babies long before they had opinions. And we found that today they are much more likely than the average kid to try new foods.
- Adaptability: Here is one phrase I hear A LOT when talking to people about traveling with kids: “My kids only sleep well when they’re in their own bed.” Well, yes. In a way, don’t we all? But I never want that excuse to hold me back. So personally, I’m a big fan of NOT always letting kids sleep in their own bed. Staying in hotels, or with friends and grandparents, is the best way to train kids on sleeping adaptability. Is it always as successful as a night at home? No. However, I think they only way they can get better is to practice. Same goes for going to a restaurant, museum, sporting event, etc. Travel forces kids to learn adaptability!
- Brain Development: A child’s brain develops the most rapidly during the first 3 years of life. The ability to think, feel and learn is shaped by early experiences. Through touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste, a baby expands brain capabilities. So why not show them the world?
If this has you ready to pack your bags, be sure to go back and read my post on The Best Trips For Young Kids.