Travel with kids should not be a luxury enjoyed only by parents with flexible work schedules. With only 18 quick summers to invest in our precious babies, every parent should focus on building last memories. However tired or time-crunched working parents feel, planning travel should be a priority because it can keep the family connected through busy times. Time together to focus on new adventures will add a wonderful dynamic to the family . Travel with kids is a way for busy parents to break away from routine and maximize on quality time together before childhood flies by.
Why Working Parents Should Travel With Kids
Exploring exotic locales and taking on thrilling adventures shouldn’t be a privilege enjoyed only by parents with flexible work schedules. As a full time work-away-from-home mom of a five year old son and two year old daughter, I’m a firm believer that working parents can integrate travel into their lives. Can, and should! Nothing brings the family together quite like travel with kids.
Whether our travels involve picnicking at a local park or window shopping at Champs-Élysées, we want to make the experience one to remember. What are the advantages of traveling with your kids when you typically spend long hours at work and have limited time with them at home? Some would argue that devoting precious vacation days for travel can involve added stress and would be better spent relaxing at home.
Having traveled near and far since our older son was an infant, we would not change the extra effort we have put to travel planning with our kids. Here are the top reasons why I believe that working parents should travel with kids..
1. Break Away From Routine
Typical workdays consist of a strict schedule for most families with working parents. They have to leave the house by a particular time in the morning. Upon returning from work, they have to ensure household chores and homework gets done. There is hardly any time to stop and smell the roses.
Traveling enables working parents to forget their daily routine. We look forward to the times when we don’t have to worry about what we are cooking for dinner or making sure we pickup our kids in the evenings without delay. Going on a trip is a refreshing change to our routine day spent as a family.
2. Spend Quality Time as a Family
Working parents are often overcome by guilt about the limited time they spend together with their family. Multitasking between housework and kids has become the norm for most families. We try to spend as much time in the evenings with our kids as possible, but it often overlaps with household tasks or even deadlines for work projects. That’s another reason why we plan getaways, even just for weekends. When we leave the house, we can leave the distractions of uncompleted chores behind and focus only on discovering a new place and having fun with each other.
Spending continuous days together on vacation really helps us to understand our dynamic as a family. My husband enjoys being in charge of logistics, while I envision the big picture. We also encourage our kids to share their opinions and make choices. For now, they vote on their favorite flavor of gelato or voice their dislike for how long a certain train ride is. We use this as an opportunity to understand their temperament and budding interests.
3. Make It a Learning Opportunity
We also seize traveling as an opportunity to impart learning and instill values in our kids. We work on letters and numbers by reading signs at airports and on dinner menus. Kids are quick to embrace different customs by following our cues on using phrases in foreign languages. Our travel planning for a trip to Spain has really ignited the spark in our son to learn Spanish as a second language.
Trying different cuisines is another aspect of travel that sparks a lot of conversation. It is not only a way to get picky eaters to try new foods, but also a window into discussing local foods and how it is influenced by weather and landscape. These conversations don’t typically happen in our house amidst the hustle of our daily schedule.
Being on an adventure is a seamless way for us to broaden our kids’ world and share knowledge.
4. Make Lasting Memories
As a working parent, I always worry I’m missing the best moments of my kids’ lives. Travel provides us an opportunity to be present for their new experiences. I will always remember my son’s look of horror upon seeing a shark at the aquarium or my daughter’s pure joy at riding a carousel for the first time.
5. Have Something to Look Forward to Together
Even when you really love your job, the routine of a work week can sometimes feel like a drag. Knowing that you have exciting weekend plans or an upcoming vacation can motivate you to get through those long hours at work. Even kids look forward to our time off, as they know it will include new adventure and undivided attention from parents. The chores can wait; our time with our kids when they are young cannot.
Traveling is our time to educate, entertain and connect with each other outside of the everyday grind. What travel tips do you have for working parents?