Sunday 14 June 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Travel With Your Toddlers

Kids bring so much joy and happiness in our lives and we cant imagine lives without them.
But lets face it, after you have kids, you know one thing for sure. Everything changes and that nothing will be the same from now on.

While it takes some time to get back to your routine after kids, we do slowly get there. You resume work, you start hitting the gym, you start going out with your friends and so on.
But travel, oh that can wait. Why???
Because its too much work, too expensive, too stressful and cause they wont remember.
Believe it or not. I have been there too.
Before Ishanvi, husband and I have traveled so much for work and leisure that one of our biggest fear when we were pregnant was that how and when we will get to travel. (with the baby of course)
While husband was all optimistic and enthusiastic, I was firm. No traveling until the baby is old enough. But this old enough part is a tricky one.

How old is old enough to travel?

After I had Ishanvi, I refused to travel. I totally rejected one day trips too and stayed home with Ishanvi while the whole family was out.
When Ishanvi was 11 months old, her cousin visited us from the States.
Husband planned a 2 day trip to Lonavla, which is like a 90 minutes drive from Mumbai, but believe me I was totally losing my shit planning and packing for this one.
Baby food, baby diapers, baby stroller, baby clothes, extra baby clothes and what not. I almost had a meltdown when I found out we didn't have space in our car trunk to carry her high chair and cradle.
But this trip gave me the confidence and rekindled my love for traveling, this time with the baby.
As Ishanvi turned 13 months, we planned a week long trip to Ooty.

This trip was a lot of firsts. Ishanvi's first flight, Ishanvi's first long road trip, Ishanvi's first time napping and eating on the go and also her first fever while on the go.
Barring a few hiccups, this trip was smooth and easy as it involved so much planning. But we did it, only to make us more confident travelers and ready to travel much more.
The next year, we traveled to Thailand, Belgium, Netherlands, USA and France with Ishanvi apart from our family trip to Kerala.
After all these travels I can confidently say that traveling with kids is not only possible but essential too. And it so much fun as opposed to what majority thinks.
Here are my top reasons why you need to travel with kids when they are young.

One of the top reasons why I didn't want to travel after Ishanvi was born was because I was very particular about her routine. She was a happy baby if her meal and nap time were properly taken care of, which in turn ensured I was happy and well rested too. Travel meant disturbing her routine, and ultimately mine.
But after our first trip to Lonavla, I found that, kids will sleep where ever and whenever they are tired. They will sleep on your lap, your car, or stroller. They are more independent and capable than we think. Also, feeding on the go was much easier than I had imagined. For worst case scenarios we had an I-pad to our rescue and everything sailed off smoothly.
So travel with kids makes children (and new parents like me) adaptable and flexible as they adjust to new surroundings and people.

Opens Up their World:

At home, kids are the center of attention. They get what they want, the way they want. When you take them out on your travels, you may not be able to fulfill all their whims and fancies, the person traveling next to you on our flight may not be that friendly, your child might lose their favorite stuffy and have no companion to sleep, and yet it will not be the end of the world.

Travel exposes them to new places, people, food, culture, languages and experiences. Getting away from home helps them realise that they are just a tiny fish in the large sea. They realise the world is huge and they are just a tiny part of it and not the world itself.

To Unplug and Connect:

Being present for your kids doesn't mean physical presence. It means being there mentally, emotionally and psychologically.
But in today's tech savvy world, we are all hooked on to our phones, Ipads or television sets. And travel makes sure you truly unplug and connect with your family.

Travel makes sure you spend quality time as a whole family and notice the little things which you will very easily miss out at home in your mundane routines.

It's Economical:

Yes you heard it right. It's just cheaper to travel with young kids.
We traveled to Thailand, Europe and USA without paying for Ishanvi's flight tickets because she was under 2 years. They don't need extra space/beds in hotels and most attractions, amusement parks and some museums don't charge extra for kids under 5.
Plus, with no school schedules to follow, you can choose to travel in off seasons making travel with kids even cheaper.

Make Memories:

“Why take toddlers with you all over the world when they won’t remember any of it?”
It's like saying, don't read them books because they wont remember the stories.
When Ishanvi was watching Peppa Pig a few months ago, and saw Peppa visiting Eiffel Tower, she asked us, Mamma I have been here, haven't I?
We were all shocked, because Ishanvi was barely 22 months when we visited the Eiffel tower, and was 29 months when she said these words. I quickly pulled out our Paris pictures on my phone and showed her, and she was simply delighted as we were.
So believe me, when I say, they do remember. Maybe not everything, but somethings.
But above all, the best reason to travel with kids is to make memories to cherish for a lifetime. Don't you agree??

For Our Sanity:

Husband and I love to travel and it is that one thing that keeps us sane. Before Ishanvi we managed to travel quite a lot. Soon after Ishanvi was born, our lives changed. Everything revolved around our baby, and we really needed to do something to get back our sanity.

Parenthood involves a lot of sacrifices. But travel doesn't have to be that sacrifice. Yes, our travels are different now, heavier luggage, months of planning, extra stops, breaks, and what not. But you don't have to entirely sacrifice on travels just because you had kids.

To sum this up, I would like to say that travel with kids is never easy. Its challenging, messy and too much work. But its totally worth every bit of it.

Don't expect perfection when you travel with your kids. There will be a few hiccups, but believe me these hiccups will make for very good stories to laugh at in the future.
So wait no longer and take those trips. It will be tiring yet so fulfilling.



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