6 Ways Travel is Easier and Better With Kids
Travel. Kids. Easy. Probably not three words you’d think would go together. Sure, there are some aspects of travel with kids that are more challenging than without them. But, it’s a matter of changing your perspective. Instead of dwelling on what makes it hard, focus on how travel with kids makes the experience easier and better. As my favourite teacher, Wayne Dyer says, “Change your thoughts, change your life.”
1. You Travel Slowly
When you travel with kids, you have no choice but to plan for a slower pace. They don’t allow you to cram too much into your itinerary and so you savour fewer experiences on a deeper level. The less you feel you have to see, the more enjoyable and stress-free for EVERYONE, and the less you’ll suffer from burnout. Plus with longer stays and fewer transits, the less money you’ll spend.
2. You Stay in Apartments or Camp
Once we started travelling with kids, we kissed uncomfortable hostels and cramped hotels goodbye and welcomed in more comfortable accommodation options. With an apartment, you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, a washing machine, and separate bedrooms. These extra facilities, especially for a long stay, can make your trip more comfortable, relaxing, and economical. Camping is also a great way to travel with kids. They love being a part of the campground lifestyle, they’re closer to nature and free to get dirty. It’s very social which leads to them easily finding new friends to play with and it’s much cheaper than most accommodation types.
3. It’s Easy to Meet People
It doesn’t matter how introverted or shy you are, when you travel with kids, it becomes easier to strike up conversations with other people. Kids are incredible icebreakers, and they can be best friends with total strangers within 5 minutes. When our kids start playing with other kids, of course, we then engage with their parents. We’ve met many other interesting travellers, which have lead to friendships, or at the very least, the sharing of tips and stories. Same goes for meeting the locals in foreign countries. From our experience, people just come up to us and start interacting with our kids. Be prepared for your children to be picked up, cuddled, and have photos taken of them. Breathe, and enjoy the new experience of meeting friendly strangers.
4. You Take More Road Trips
Road trips are AWESOME, especially for families. By having your vehicle and a place to store your stuff, it makes for a more pleasant experience than having to load and unload everything constantly on planes, trains, mini-vans, and tuk-tuks. Having the flexibility to stop, slow down or speed up, or divert from your initial route, is priceless.
5. You See the World Through Fresh Eyes
Tell me as a solo traveller you have not fallen victim to the blasé syndrome. Just another church, beach, kangaroo. But, when you travel with kids, they’re seeing these things for the first time and you experience that through them. As an Australian, I thought I had seen plenty of kangaroos and almost wouldn’t even glance at one when they hopped by. On our road trip around Australia with the kids, we saw thousands, and with each one, I stopped what I was doing and squealed alongside with the girls – “Look there’s a roo.” We’d stop the car and watch them watching us. I got such a thrill from it!
6. You Become More Observant and Discover More
It’s no secret that kids ask a lot of questions. Plus, they demand more of your attention, which means you’re more tuned in to the moment and more involved in discovering the world alongside of them. Their questions force you to evaluate, share, and form opinions on things you may have glanced over before the kids race to the hostel happy hour at the end of a long day.