Along the years we have had very different responses to our travel with kids. If you are a fanatic traveler and are concerned your traveling days are over, then we are sure you will find comfort in this article that your traveling days are not over yet.
The question is rather: What type of travel are you up for now that you have children?
Manage expectations (especially your own!)
Traveling with the kids means a change from your solo/duo traveling days. Some things will disappear off the menu for good or change in a negative way, some things are added on to your travel palet …. If you go into your family trip expecting no change, you will be wildly disappointed. The pace will go down, your flexibility is less, and your barhopping nights are over (boo).
On the flipside, don’t completely throw your normal travel routines overboard just because you had a child! If you were used to traveling around, changing destinations during your trip, you will be very unhappy if you chose a 2-week all-inclusive in one spot (believe me, we have experienced it ourselves). The key is to balance your travel ambitions with the basic needs of your child: food/drink & sleep.
Cycling is a great way to cover distances without wearing out the little ones!
Carefully consider the (type of) destination
This is of course very personal, but some key pointers to make sure you are not disappointed:
Start with something familiar: it does not have to be the exact same spot you have been to before, but if the Mediterranean is something you are accustomed to in terms of climate, atmosphere, food, etc, then start there with your new family addition, rather than backpacking in Asia. If you are OK with adventure and basics, I say strap on that back carrier and keep backpacking!
Choose your level of comfort….: This does not mean you need to go 5-star, but my advice would be to up your level of comfort with 1 level up. i.e. if your were a hostelpouncing backpacker going for that dormroom with shared facilities, take the room with private bathroom. If you are a resort goer, consider the all-inclusive. It is just that you are probably carrying a newborn or very small child with you and you deserve some more comfort to get used to this new traveling experience.
….Or create it: Some key things we have changed in our way of traveling that made a big difference: we gave up (most) of the public transport and go for a rental car in most of our destinations. It gives you flexibility and a place your kids are dry, safe and can take a nap at any time 😊. The size is not important – especially small kids really don’t need that much the rental rates go up quickly when you go bigger – but consider its purpose when you rent. Beyond this, anything that helps your children settle in the new routine would work, from their favorite stuffed animal to bringing some comfort foods they love!
Check our other pages on traveling with kids for more tips and to get excited about discovering the world through your childrens’ eyes!