When we decided to set off an a four month backpacking adventure around South East Asia, we didn’t really know what to expect. We didn’t know anyone that had taken their children travelling and although we had heard a lot of positivity about how travelling as a family helps with bonding, we didn’t really know what we had let ourselves in for. We always said that if the children didn’t adapt to the travelling lifestyle, we would just book a flight home and perhaps we almost expected to be heading back to the UK earlier than planned. In reality though, our children didn’t only adapt to the travelling lifestyle, but they thrived on it. We feel there are so many positives to travelling with kids in tow, so here are our top 5 reasons to travel with young children!
5 reasons to travel with young children
Bonding as a family
The main reason we wanted to travel as a family was to spend more time as a family and enjoy new experiences together. It isn’t always easy to spend quality time together as a family when we are at home, so having such a large amount of time together as a family was amazing. When travelling we don’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning and laundry, so we can spend much needed quality time together, having fun and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Hands on learning
While on our travels the boys get to experience so many amazing things first hand, deepening their understanding of the world around them and their understanding of their place in it. They’ve learnt about conservation while hand feeding rescued elephants in Thailand, have seen the impact of human activity by witnessing floating mini rubbish patches in the ocean in Bali and they have soaked up the different cultures and beliefs of different communities living side by side in Singapore. Travel has opened our eyes as a family and has highlighted the importance of acceptance, understanding and kindness. When it comes to life experience, nothing is as valuable as that!
Bear has always had a relatively shy demeanour and has always been quite hesitant in trying new things. We’ve had many a situation over the years, where someone has suggested a day out or an activity only for us to get there and have to leave shortly afterwards because it was all just a bit too overwhelming for him. Naturally this became one of our biggest concerns when planning our trip around South East Asia and we worried that it would all just get too much for him. At first we had the occasional moment when things seemed to get a bit overwhelming for Bear, but after a few weeks these became fewer and further between, until eventually it was Bear who started suggesting doing something new or different. By the time we flew back to the UK, his confidence had grown so much that we would struggle to call him shy these days. With the first days of school on the the horizon, this surge in confidence couldn’t have come at a better time!
Parenting on the road is exciting
When we are travelling we are always exploring new places and seeing new things every day. We don’t always know what the day will hold, who we will meet or what we will experience together. Every day is so different and unique, we don’t always have a plan and we sometimes stumble upon unexpected experience, having so much diversity day to day is exciting and makes for some amazing stories we can share together time and time again.
Because the time will never be just right
The time will never be just right, because the timing for anything in life is rarely just right. There will always be a reason not to travel with children. They will be too young to remember it, restricted by school holidays and then they will be too old and would prefer to travel on their own without their parents. There is never any point waiting for the right time, because time waits for no-one. I would rather fill our lives with adventures and stories, instead of regrets and that is why when it comes to travel, we always follow our feet into the unknown… it may not always be easy, but we always do it together.