I know a lot of people that use their kids as an excuse to not go anywhere. I love that excuse and use it as often as necessary. But, like it or not, travel is a big part of my life. So, since it’s too hard to be away from my wife and kids we travel as a family. I also know a lot of parents who bundle up their little ones and hit the road. It’s fun to share travel tips and hear hilarious stories about adventures with kids.
Hopping a flight instead of a roller coaster
We split our time between Byron Bay, Australia and St. Augustine, Florida. St Augustine being not too far from Disney World, one of us thought it would be fun to take the kids and spend hours being herded with twenty-five thousand people the hottest day of the year. Of course, my wife and kids loved it, but I realized it’s much easier and possibly cheaper to fly ten hours with two young kids then it is to spend one day at Disney! Yes, Disney World is "going somewhere" but it’s a much bigger mental and physical workout than an international flight, especially if your 18-month-old happens to be a wild animal baby!
Why do I prefer a flight?
- First off, people bring you food!
- You’re locked-in! So, you won’t stress out constantly about losing your kids. They only have two aisles to run down and no crowds to disappear in. Fortunately, kids are cute and will generally get a smile – or even a few minutes of entertainment – from other passengers.
- If your kids are screamers, then take advantage of the free earplugs, sleeping mask and mini shots from the bar. Just kidding, best to hand those out to all of the surrounding passengers and keep smiling and acting like it’s no big deal.
- For the kids, set them up on an iPad or in-flight screen and let them enjoy their own entertainment. Our kids don’t watch much TV at home and they never get an iPad unless we’re on a flight. It works out to be a special treat and keeps them really happy and excited about flying.
- Another nice thing about a flight is the hum of the engines. Generally, it really helps lull kids to sleep, which lets you finally catch-up on all those movies you don’t get to see as a parent. Unfortunately, this can also lead to exhaustion upon arrival, but hey, you’re a parent…so you’re used to no sleep, right?
See the world as your kids do
I've noticed the more travel we do with our kids, the more confident and relaxed they become with being on the move. It’s amazing to see how much they learn by meeting new people and by being exposed to so many different experiences. Of course, you don’t have to get on a flight to do that, even getting out and about in town, trying a new restaurant or packing them up for a picnic at the park or beach is such a terrific way to create lasting memories and expand their young minds.
So, if you’re about to have kids and you’re worried you’ll be cooped up in the house for the next 18 years, have no fear. You can still take off to Thailand or your local park, but you’ll need to be more prepared and the trip will be a little slower than it would be going solo. Fortunately, this leads to seeing the world through your children’s eyes (an awesome way to live life!). Life is a much more fulfilling experience for me now, I see all the things I never used to notice and realize how unimportant everything I used to do was. What did I do with all of that free time?!
If you’re thinking about hitting the road, think about packing one of our hats in your suitcase or day bag. They’re built for travel and will keep you cool and dry when necessary. Check out a few smart parents wearing Conner Hats designed tough enough to withstand kids…and even safe enough to be chewed on. Luckily, they don't taste very good.