There are quite a few perks of traveling with children. Actually, I’ll take it a step further and say that “Traveling with Kids Rocks.” Yes, there are times when babies scream and kids throw tantrums but alas that happens at home anyway. So, why not take the kids with you?
Why Traveling with Kids Rocks
As a little girl, I was introduced to travel at a very young age. I still say it’s one of the best gifts that my parents ever gave me. It’s not that we went to fancy places either. I didn’t travel to far away countries in Europe or South America, but since I grew up in the Caribbean, visiting islands nearby was always within reach. I guess that’s when I was bitten by the travel bug.
Now that I am raising kids of my own, travel is often a family affair. More specifically, traveling with children is quite rewarding too. Here are some reasons why traveling with kids rocks.
Babies Fly Free
When flying on domestic flights, children under 2 (lap children) fly free. On international flights, a discounted fare will apply. It’s important to check with the airline about its policy before you travel. Remember: Even though children under 2 fly free, the safest way for babies to travel by plane is using a car seat.
If you are traveling with young chidlren, then you will definitely appreciate family boarding. The opportunity to get on the plane, sneak a potty break and pull out everyone’s lovey and toys before the person next to you claims that highly coveted armrest is like gold. I like to say that only the really cool airlines have family boarding because every airline doesn’t.
Although not a formal policy, Delta continues to offer earlier boarding for families with young kids. On Southwest Airlines, family boarding is just after the “A” group. Jetblue offers pre-boarding for families with children under the age of 2. American and United Airlines are some of the growing group of airlines that do not offer family boarding. If family boarding is important to you, it’s best to call ahead and find out if it’s offered before you make those flight reservations.
Great Family Pictures
Way too many family portraits suffer from a case of the “stuffies.” Taking family photos while on vacation is an opportunity to breathe new life into family pictures. A family trip may be all that’s standing between you and a great picture for the next Christmas card.
Books Come Alive
That moment in time when a child reads about something in a book and then sees it for the first time in real life is like no other. Traveling with children gives books the opportunity to come alive. One of our family favorites is the Good Night Our World series. Of course we own Good Night Washington DC which points out attractions like the Washington monument, Washington mall and the White House.
But, you can also purchase other Good Night books like Good Night Missouri, Good Night Los Angeles, Good Night Israel and Good Night Florida Keys.
Cultivate Young Palates
Traveling with children is not only a great way to see the world but a great way to experience people and cultures through food. If you want to inject some spontaneity and versatility onto the taste buds of your “little people,” be sure to take advantage of local cuisine and beverages when you hit the road. Your children may not always like what they try, but food is a great way to learn about new cultures and get kids acclimated to flavors that they may not have tasted before.
Hitting up the mountains in Wyoming? How about trying some elk beef jerky or huckleberry jam? Cruising down to the Virgin Islands for some sand and sun? Johnny cakes or salt fish may be worth a try. The point is to get the kids to try something new; no one says they had to like it.
Remember, travel is a gift. It’s not just a gift for you but it’s a gift for your entire family…little ones included.