Travel with Children - Fears about Traveling with Children
I have been reading many posts from many people and enjoy the information here. PLease keep it up.
My partner and I are about to get married and looking to start a family and are keen to continue our travels once we have kids.
A lot of friends and family are against the idea of traveling with young kids but we are excited….. and want to learn as much as we can from others who have done it too.
We would be very interested in learning about what fears, desires and frustrations other people had before they travelled for the first time with their kids as we think this would be a worthwhile thing so that we are prepared.
Looking forward to hearing about people's feelings, emotions and experiences.
Oct 9, 11, 8:40 am
Before i had my daughter i rarely travelled alone because i have an ASD and get nervous when visiting new places alone. after my daughter was born i realised that if i went travelling with her i need never be alone and any worry about being in a new place would be overtaken by making sure my daughter was taken care of etc. I didn't travel with her when she was really tiny for various reasons but took her abroad to the US for the first time at 6 months, after that trip went much better than expected :) (no problems with flying, no problems with being in strange place (for both of us) and a really good time) i realised that having young children didn't necessarily mean that travelling had to stop, some places are i guess not suitable (like some activities wouldn't be) and all children are different, but as a single parent i only travel alone with my daughter, plenty of people ask if i'm mad but plenty more tell me i'm brave, but i just think i'm doing what others do (some more frequently, some less) and count myself lucky that my daughter travels well (and that i only have one to look after!)
Oct 10, 11, 12:59 am
We travel a lot with our kids but my only real "fear" is ending up somewhere without adequate health care. This really only applies to some remote, exotic locations which probably aren't your top choice with a baby (although many developing countries have excellent hospitals for their elite). Book the exotic stuff for now lol!
Also some safety issues like transportation, which can be very iffy in some places. Parents often face the dilemma of dragging a car seat along or risking riding without one for their little one. Even worse, you get there are there aren't even seat belts installed...
Trains and buses are usually better options. The bigger, the better and the less likely to have accidents. Plus, active little ones can crawl, walk and run to their hearts' content.
Basically, everything has to slow down with a child in tow. You can't see three museums in one day. Sometimes a thought has to be given to nap time.
The bigger considerations are the practical aspects. Timing can be key. The same destination which is a pleasure with a baby can be a nightmare with a toddler who runs everywhere and gets into everything.
Also, thinking waaaay ahead here, is how many you're going to have and how far apart they'll be. I started "late" so we kind of had to get going with the project. I can handle flying alone with three, each two years apart but I'm limited in how much I can do on the ground. I have girlfriends with one and they go everywhere. Kids 4 or more years apart will also be easier to travel with.
There's also a "golden period" between 2 and 6 months. Basically, once past the newborn phase and before they start crawling.
I like recounting a trip to Barcelona with our first. We stayed at a very nice hotel but he was the only child to be seen. The hotel was decorated with all sorts of toddler unfriendly water features and our room had a short, decorative balcony which was the perfect height for a toddler to fall over. The only restaurant was really slow. Needless to say, it was becoming a headache and we actually cut our stay short, checked out, got over our snobbery and headed to a more family-friendly hotel with a buffet.
Cost of course, is also a factor. You have to ask yourself honestly, are you willing to pay good money and use your vacation time basically doing the same thing you would at home? You're basically just taking your work with you. On a lot of trips, honestly, the only thing was that I didn't have to fix any meals. That was contrasted with the fact the children didn't go to any preschool or daycare, which meant I was on duty 24/7. That's why so many families stick to AI's with kids' clubs, perhaps cruises and family visits while they're in the "diaper period".
Some children travel better than others. Some parents have to deal with allergies, colic, etc. You don't know what you're going to get!
School aged kids are easier but then again, they have their needs and requirements too. Again, you probably can't see three museums in one day but maybe you can fit in one, before visiting a park...
Oct 12, 11, 10:20 pm
The sooner you get them traveling the better. We started our kids traveling when they were very young; our oldest had his first plane ride at 2 months.
We attempted to stick to their schedules whenever possible even if it meant not spending as much time at the aquarium or amusement park since naptime was approaching and we needed to get back to the hotel so a nap.
We used a Baby Bjorn and then a framed backpack until they got too heavy. After that they walked. Yep, they toddled and walked, no umbrella stroller for us. But we always brought their own car seats.
Pack plenty of fun things, snacks, and toys to keep them occupied. Keeping in mind sometimes those cherished toys don't make it back home. Spiderman took a dive off the bow of a cruise ship when my youngest was 3. Apparently he thought we were at home and we could just climb down the deck and get him. :)
Bring any possible medications and equipment you might need. ie. inhalers, etc. Better to be safe than sorry. :) We have a black bag packed with first aid supplies, Immodium, etc. that comes with us every time we travel.
Our kids can quickly wake up at 4am to catch a flight, sleep like the dead on red-eyes, know how to get through a security line quickly, and LOVE traveling.
I love traveling with my kids. Hope you'll be able to have fun too. :)
Oct 13, 11, 12:52 am
We used a Baby Bjorn and then a framed backpack until they got too heavy. After that they walked. Yep, they toddled and walked, no umbrella stroller for us.
Often it depends on the destination and what you'll be doing there. Sometimes a stroller is necessary but often, it's more of a pain to bring. I had my kids nap in the stroller instead of having to cut visits short and head back to the hotel. Recommended!
I also recommend a baby carrier but avoid Baby Bjorns and other "front packs". The position is not good for either the adult or baby and mine was finished at 6 months. A good quality baby carrier should go to age 2 or 3. A wrap, sling or front/back pack is better. You can use a baby back pack if you're going to hike or walk really long distances. There are some even with wheels but the baby can't nap in it.
Oct 13, 11, 12:52 pm
"The sooner you get them traveling the better"
I don't think that is always true. For various reasons we did not travel internationally with ours until they were 4 and 7, and we have not had any problems with them that were travel related. One has been an excellent sleeper since birth and can fall asleep anywhere, doesn't get jet lagged and is just a super easy going kid and the other needs a bed and 11 hours a night or she's a little psycho, and that doesn't change at home or on the road!
Advice from other parents is good, but take it with a grain of salt. You know your kid and what they (and you) can handle. We didn't see any advantage to taking our kids abroad when they were very little- a three year old barely knows where they are and the Grand Canyon was an easy car drive and just as fun as somewhere more exotic. We also have a very close by grandma who is happy to travel with us or keep our kids while we make trips that we don't want to take the kids on. We also don't have family abroad we need to take the kids to go see, which some people do.
Oct 13, 11, 11:05 pm
We were afraid to take our first travels with both of our kids.. but we prepared and jumped right into it.. and got our Hawaii Vacations done when both of our sons were around 3 months old..
Breastfeeding on the plane, will keep them from crying.. but we made a nice vacation out of it..