We hear it all the time when we tell people we're traveling with kids. Something along the lines of, “Why would you take your kids with on trips like that? They aren't going to remember it." Or, “Seriously? You're taking your kids along?!"
My response is always, “Yes. Of course they are coming. They might not remember it, but we will."
That's what it comes down to. My husband and I creating memories for ourselves with our kids, because at the end of the day, they might not remember every travel adventure we went on, but we will. We will cherish the travels – the road trips, the hectic flights, the experiences, the new foods they tried and their reactions upon discovering new places. Whether they remember it or not, we're creating a lifetime of awesome moments in the short time we have our kids.
We feel like 18 years is going to go by in the blink of an eye – our oldest is already seven and almost halfway through her precious time under our roof. So we travel. A lot. With our kids. Because new experiences are the best thing we can give them in this limited amount of time we have with them.
In fact, we think travel is better with our kids. Here's why:
1. Kids see the good in everything.
“We get to eat and watch Moana at the same time on the airplane?! This is the best day ever!"
2. Kids find the simplest moments the most exciting.
Every day is truly filled with adventures big and small for them. “Listen! Whoa. The sirens sound different here!"
3. Kids make us slow down.
Without our kids, there's a chance we'd blow by some of the most awesome spots in new places. When we're traveling with kids we are always sure to stop at neighborhood parks and quiet coffee shops for a hot cocoa or lemonade, which provides us with a local flavor and experience.
4. Kids are sponges for new information.
When they ask how to say things in the local language we get the opportunity to learn new words and phrases, too! “How do you say 'fox' in Dutch? How about 'street'?"
5. Kids are early risers.
We get to wake up with the city we are in. We absolutely love early mornings in new places when the streets come to life. Traveling with kids means we never miss those awesome moments.
6. Kids are minimalists.
And they don't even know it. They don't need anything fancy – they just need to explore, play and learn.
7. Kids are social butterflies (most of the time.)
This makes you one, too. They are willing to put themselves on a limb and talk to any other kids they are around. This immediately breaks the ice and helps you meet locals wherever you are.
8. Kids are small.
They don't take up a lot of space or need much. Just because you are traveling with your kids doesn't mean your packing list gets much bigger or you need a bigger place to stay.
9. Your kids love you.
They look up to you and admire you – help them see the world while you can.
10. Kids don't add much cost to your travels.
Our kids' favorite lunch? A baguette, some cheese and some fruit. Couldn't be cheaper to travel with them—in fact they probably save us money because we eat simple picnic lunches and grab earlier dinners than if we were by ourselves.
There's no time like the present. We've recently started honing in on the fact that life is just too short to not take all of the trips we can now. We're not getting any younger and neither are our kids. So for now, we'll keep traveling with them. In fact, we'll probably even travel more.