Many of us traveled a lot before we had children. After you have your first child, it’s reasonable to wonder when you can hit the road or the skies again.
A common question people often ask us is, “What is a good age to travel with a child?” My simple answer is whenever you are ready! Any age can be a good age to travel with a child depending on what you are doing.
Taking Your Child on a Cruise
We took our first big trip with our first child when she was 18 months old. We took her on a 7-Day Caribbean cruise and it was fantastic!
She was a well-behaved child and would eat almost anything so she did very well on a cruise ship.
The cruise ship will provide you with a crib in your stateroom if you ask. I have also found that the room stewards love babies! Each night, our room steward would carefully make our daughters crib ready for sleeping and position her teddy bear so that he looked like he was tucked in.
Road Trips with Children
Before our cruising days, we went on many smaller trips. We went to see family out of town; we camped; we stayed at a few bed and breakfasts and rented some cabins.
Our daughter’s very first trip was when she was 6 weeks old. We made the 4-hour drive to my in-laws’ house and stayed in a cabin on their land.
We had to make a few adjustments around nap time and bedtime but it worked out perfectly.
Traveling with children is all about what you know you can handle. In my opinion, a six week old baby is very easy to travel with especially if you are able to wear them in a carrier. At that age, they typically just want to sleep or be snuggled all day anyway with breaks for feeding and changing.
By the time our second child was born, we were pretty much invincible. I would just strap our son in his carrier and we could go anywhere.
I did the same with our third child. Her first big outing was when she was 2 weeks old. I wore her in a wrap the entire time we were in public and she was happy as a peach.
Camping with Kids
Recently, a mom in a Facebook group asked what types of things she should buy to keep her children occupied on their first camping trip.
My answer: nothing.
Camping with kids is one of the easiest things you can do. Besides extra clothes, food and sleeping bags, you won’t need to pack a lot of extra things when you take your kids camping.
Take them on walks and talk about what you are seeing. Skip rocks across the creek. Go swimming. Visit with other campers. Watch the sunset. Roast s’mores.
Just let them be in nature and see what happens!
I promise you will make memories.
Don’t miss this: TOP 12 Kid Friendly Camping Ideas
Should you wait to travel with children until they are toddlers?
I wholeheartedly say no. I have heard many mothers in my circle say that they don’t want to take any trips until their children are actually older than toddlers. They are waiting to go anywhere until their children are at least five. In my opinion, that is 5 years of lost time!
Young children love to travel and traveling with them while they are very young gets them used to unpredictable schedules.
There are plenty of new things for young children to learn while traveling.
Sometimes they may have to catch a nap in the car while on the road or in the stroller.
They will get used to seeing new things and eating in different places.
By the time they’re old enough to be potty trained, they will be used to going in public restrooms or using that potty you have in the back of the minivan.
Should you fly with young children?
I’ll be honest, I’m not an expert at flying with young children. We don’t take a lot of airplane rides. We are road trip people.
However I have several friends who have done extensive flying with their young children.
One friend flew solo with her daughter from the central United States to Romania when her daughter was one year old.
She took an iPad, snacks, and a familiar blanket to keep her child occupied and comfortable. Everything worked out fine and they had a fantastic time.
Another friend’s husband is in the army. She would often fly solo with her young children so that she could visit family who lived all over the United States. With the proper planning, it can be done!
Traveling with Kids is Fun
I have had more fun traveling with our three kids than I ever had traveling without them. When we travel as a family, it just means that there are more stories, more questions, more laughs, more experiences, etc.
Basically, there are more people to enjoy the trip with and, if you train you children to be helpful, it means there are more hands to help with extra work like cooking or carrying luggage.
I have no regrets from every traveling with our kids no matter their age. We have to much fun as a family and I would encourage any parent to not hesitate to take their child on a trip!
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