24 Feb Should you travel with Children?
Since I took my first overseas trip as a late teenager to the islands of Santa Cruz, in the Solomon Islands, I have had a desire to travel and see the world. Whilst my adulthood is one full of wanderlust, My childhood was not one of travel. As a child, I count my holidays on one hand, but as a parent, my outlook is very different.
When our first was only ten days old, we packed up our car, our Jayco Eagle Camper, and took our first holiday with our young daughter, driving from Melbourne to Batemans Bay. Three children later we have continued to travel both domestically and internationally and continue to try and install that same “wanderlust” in our children.
So many people have questioned our trips? Will they remember them? Is it worth taking your preschool children to Athabasca Falls, across the Nullarbor, to Disneyland, Hawaii, Uluru, Cape York?
They have told us, we should wait until they are older. We should go when they can appreciate it. But we don’t Wait, we Travel.
Why do we Travel with our children?
1 – It’s fun.
Our number one reason for travelling with our children is how much fun it is. Nothing can describe the pure joy and excitement on our children’s face when they first walked into Disneyland. The joy I felt when we took our children snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. How proud I am as I watch our children make new friends as we travel around the country.
2. They learn so much about themselves, about others.
Our children have travelled extensively throughout Australia, and overseas. They have learned so much, that they would never have learned in a classroom.
They have learned about different cultures. They have learned patience, they have learned about our history (and didn’t realise it at the time). They have learned about peace, and about war. They have learned to adapt when things don’t go to plan. From Delayed flights to incorrect hotel rooms. Through missed transfers that ended up in missed activities. Life does not always go to plan, but that’s ok.
On long road trips, they have relearned to use their imagination, with no TV or Ipads to amuse them. They have learned to be alert and be aware of their surroundings, Playing fun games while they are doing it.
In travel, often the journey is part of the fun. We are teaching our children that it is not all about where you are in life, but how you got there.
3. Our Children add to our lives.
When we were pregnant with our first Child, A wise mum said to us. Your children should come into your life and fit into your life. They add to it. Make sure that they fit in with your routine, not the other way around.
We love to travel, we love to take holidays, we love to go out for Brunch on the weekends. We love to walk around our Local Lake, we love to go to the beach. So we have always made sure that our children are involved in it. So they to love it.
People always mention how well behaved our children are out at restaurants, how well behaved they are when travelling. That is because it is second nature to them.
Over time we have had to adapt our travel plans, there are some trips that they are not ready for. We couldn’t expect them to walk the 6 day Overland trail track, but they can wander through the Otways with us. They are not ready for a 3-day Whitsunday Fishing Charter, however, they will happily go fishing off the jetty on the way to Cape York.
4 – Making Memories
We want our children’s memories of their childhood to be treasured. We want them to look back on their childhood with love and joy. We feel they get that through travel. When you travel with your children you get away from the normal day to day rush of life. There is no Tae kwon do to rush to, no work, no school. Instead, there is time to create memories as a Family.
Yes, those things are important, but when you are on holidays you can forget about the normal business of life and spend quality time together. It might just be a quick day trip to Lorne or a long month-long holiday to the states. The time itself is not the important part. It’s the quality, not the quantity that matters. It’s the memories.
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