When it comes to travelling, many of us believe that once we become parents then this luxury will take a backseat in favour of caring for our little ones. We’ve all heard that young children won’t remember the holidays they went on early in life or that travelling with babies is a nightmare.
Whilst this may be true in some sense, there are many benefits that come with exposing children to travel, holidays and new cultures early on. Of course, travelling can cost a lot of money and it can be hard to make travel plans with small children, but there are many arguments as to why travel isn’t wasted on children.
Change of Scenery
If you have very young children then you may be used to visiting the same few locations on a loop. Many new parents find that going out with an under one is extremely time-consuming and exhausting, so tend to avoid any unnecessary outings and getting a change of scenery. This can lead to boredom and lack of stimulation, for both you and your baby.
But, when you go on holiday, or even just on a city break, then the new sights and sounds can do wonders for boosting your mood. Having a change of scenery can make even the most mundane tasks, such as shopping, a bit more exciting. When you go away as a family rather than a couple, then you tend to be more interested in different things as a way to entertain your children, such as museums or parks and these can be highly stimulating for young senses.
Time to Unplug
If your children are like most modern children, then the likelihood of distracting them from their tablets, phone and TVs can seem almost impossible. Travel forces them to unplug from these technology distractions, whether it’s down to data restrictions or lack of charging ports, so it’s time to take advantage of this time as a family.
Much like we all feel the need to relax and unplug after a stressful week at work, children can often feel the same. Sometimes, we can underestimate just how worried or anxious children can be about school or friendships and we forget that they often feel the need to destress and unwind, too. Take this opportunity to talk to your children away from the confines of home, where they may be less open or spend time together doing fun things.
Make Memories Together
Whilst your children might not remember every detail about your holiday in years to come, they will remember things in the short term, the way they felt and how much fun they had on holiday. Souvenirs and photographs are a great way to help children remember these holiday experiences as they grow and develop. When it comes to making memories together, choose things that you wouldn’t usually do at home. If you’re abroad, then do something amazing such as going on a daring waterslide together or going on a fun day trip. Children tend to remember things that they wouldn’t do on a day to day basis, and these are bound to fill them with joy.
If you’re having a staycation or travelling somewhere not far away, then make it a special occasion. For example, if you’re heading to London for a weekend break, then make a deal out of going to the theatre. Go shopping in the big stores for something fancy to wear, girls designer dresses and boys occasion shirts often come with extra flair and fun when in the larger designer stores, and go somewhere they’ll enjoy for a pre-theatre meal. There are plenty of children-friendly shows on at the theatres in London and it is something they’ll remember for a long time.
Show That Hard Work Pays Off
Travelling isn’t cheap and the costs of family trips are often what stops people from enjoying and experiencing it. If you are lucky enough to experience travel, then it is a good idea to explain to your children and teach them that hard work has meant you are able to do this and saving towards something will allow you to do amazing things.
If you are able to travel, then there are some tips you can use to make it less expensive. Most children under the age of 2 fly for free on internal flights, but many airlines also offer a flying discount for children under 12. Many airlines actually encourage parents to travel with children, offering child-specific meals, in-flight entertainments and goodies and toys to keep children entertained. Flying no longer has to be the nightmare that it once was.
Guest contributor: Natalie Wilson