Traveling with Kids was a Must!
It was important to my husband and me that we continue to see the world even after having kids. (It’s kind of a given when you are a bi-cultural couple!) So when the chance to travel for 6 weeks throughout Australia came up after our first was born, we immediately said “Yes!” She was 7 months old, just diagnosed with eczema, and I was frazzled trying to learn about what she could and couldn’t eat, what diapers to buy, and what skincare items I could get there that would be safe. Totally a first-time mom!
A couple of years and 5 countries later, traveling with her became a breeze and I didn’t stress as much.
Enter child #2 and of course the personal expectation that we would take her on a special trip too! Iceland was calling us and so we answered (thank you good Iceland marketing!). With an almost 2.5-year-old and a 4-month-old, we flew to Iceland and traveled for 10 days exploring the country and seeing countless rainbows in a new way through our oldest daughter’s eyes.
I realize; as I look back; how much I truly learned about “taking care of business” and what you really need when traveling with kids.
Here’s what I learned:
1) Pack Lighter
You DO NOT need as much as you tend to pack when traveling with kids. I realized very quickly that my over-packing tendencies were leading to more issues between me and my husband and more (literal) weight on our shoulders than was needed. This is true also in our homes. We don’t need as much as we tend to provide our kids. Every mom knows a box wins over any toy you give your kid! Hands down!
2) Be Adaptable When Traveling
Preparation is important but being adaptable is key. You can have the best plans in place but if a major storm comes through or your hotel room isn’t ready for another 3 hours, you are forced to adapt. Same when we are at home. We can create the meal plan, the weekly chore chart, and fill in the family calendar, but when you get that call that something has happened in your extended family, you adjust and you allow all of that to go to the side. You adapt rather than fighting it.
3) Remember What Really Matters
You can see the most beautiful sights in the world but the memories that matter most are the special ones between you and your family members. My now 5 year old regularly surprises us when we ask after a trip “What was your favorite part?” She tends to say something about a dinner we had or a game we played together. Not about the zoo or the fun park. It matters that we take time and focus on each other versus what we see. In our homes, we often over plan. (Don’t worry I do it too from time to time.) We forget that what really matters are the meals together, the board games played, and the tickle fests that occur on the couch.
7 countries, 2 kids and what I have learned from traveling with kids is family time is what matters the most. Take some time this week to focus on that and reap way more benefits than seeing the Eiffel Tower. I promise!
Ready to start improving your family time? Grab the The Successful Family Meeting Guide I created after teaching families for over 12 years how to make these meetings impactful in their family’s life.