One thing that we decided to not do when William (our three and a half year old son) was born, was give up on each other, or on what we like as a couple and as individuals, spending romantic time together, going on dates and travel just the way we used to before having a baby. We tried to adapt William to our lifestyle and not us to his lifestyle (even though I would love to sleep all day like babies do, and I bet my husband wouldn’t mind boobie time all day long, hehe). As a mom, tried to not forget about myself as a woman (more about this you can read in the article “Don’t lose yourself when becoming a mom”).
Since William was 3 months old we started to take small trips around the area where we had just moved right before giving birth, and explore the surroundings. Then by 5 months, we took our first real road trip (6 hours away to Asheville to visit The Biltmore Estate), and by 6 months he went on his first plane trip to Key West. By age of 2 he already had traveled up and down the whole east coast , saw Chicago, went to Dominican Republic and visited Romania and Germany. And this is just the start. His 6 months old present was his first passport and he already collected lots of stamps.
Yes, traveling with a baby/toddler is harder. I don’t even know which one is harder , when he was a baby and I had to pump milk for him every two hours, finding private and clean spots to do so, or now when he is a toddler and he won’t stay still for a second.
But truth is it might never get easy until they’re teenagers, and even then it can be challenging with their mood swings and hard to please attitudes (we’ve all been there). So then? What should we do? Not travel anymore until they’re on their own?
Or you might say that especially at this age they’re too small to remember things. But the memories are not just for them are for us too. And this is the best thing about the kids, they enjoy the moment not worrying about the past or future. They know how to be present. How to have fun. Not to worry about what they gonna wear next, or great places where they can pose for an instagram picture. They see fun in everything!
We enjoy discovering new places with him, trying new foods, see the look on his face at any wonder he might meet. I remember like it was yesterday how excited he was in the Caribbean’s clear waters just splashing around, him giggling while feeding the iguanas and the monkeys that we met on a tour. Even if he won’t remember this, exposing him to new things, new worlds, is so beneficial for their development.
I just don’t want to wait to travel until the time is perfect cause it might never be. And there are so many places to visit, how else can you see them all if not by one at a time.
We went to Disney World Orlando in March and people were telling us how he’s too young to really know and enjoy it. And oh how wrong they were, My son was so happy to meet Olaf, his favorite character at the moment, and all the bubbles and festive vibes made him so happy (and tired, he napped half of the time spent there, mommy and daddy didn’t mind it, lol). Of course an older kid would enjoy it even more but guess what, we gonna take him again when he’s 5, then again when he’s 8, then again and again until Mickey Mouse will know his name. But what if we won’t be able to, because who knows what the future holds, maybe we get sick, or financially we won’t be able to, or they will close for who knows what absurd reason. Why would we wait for a better day tomorrow instead of making the best out of today?!
We traveled both by plane and by car with him and both have their up and downs, honestly I prefer traveling by car but of course I love exotic places reachable only by plane. By car I love it more because we can stop whenever we want, he can have a meltdown and I won’t get anxious because the seat in front of me gave me a stinky eye. We can play it by ear, it’s more fun because he can see out the window what’s happening outside, we don’t have to rush from gate to gate to catch a connection flight (seems like something we always do since flying with a kid) etc. And even time wise is almost the same sometimes if your destination is close, because you add the time you have to be ahead in the airport, the connection time between flights, most of the flights are not direct, the trip to and from the airport. And is so much cheaper too. But on the plane you can have wine so that’s a win!
Traveling with a kid can be challenging, that’s for sure. Not gonna lie, it’s stressful (probably why they’re serving alcohol on planes in the first place). But is so much fun, and so worth it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or far, or by plane, or exotic, but go explore! Go make memories. It’s the best gift you can give your kid and yourself. The world is theirs! Let them discover it! Teach them to love it!
Until next time,