Traveling With Kids; three Words that scare the heck out of most parents. So, the first time Mali, my wonder-filled 5-year-old and I went on a trip, he was 4 months old. We were headed to Texas to visit my dad and family. I sadly don’t have any terrifying stories to tell you about that trip.
I’m not one of those awesomely prepared parents that pack little baggies filled with earbuds, candies and cute little notes apologizing for my infant communicating the only way he knows how. No offense guys, I just did not give enough fucks for that.
I had one plan when walking onto that plane and it worked like a charm. We walked onto the plane sat down, I removed my left boob from its supportive embrace and nudged it into my newborn’s mouth.
In between dodging the intrigued looks of my fellow passengers walking to the bathroom, I prayed I didn’t get one of those explosive up the backers, that make me question if I should throw the whole baby away… Just Kidding! Kinda, Ok chill Karen, I get it, you have this whole parenting thing figured out. I absolutely do not.
Not then when he was 4 months old and definitely not now. Actually, I feel like I’m further and further away from figuring it out as he gets older. I’ll be screwed by the time he’s a teenager.
Ask me how I’m doing in 10 years!
Anyway, Mali breastfed for 3 hours straight. I was used to being used as a human pacifier 30 minutes, 3 hours what’s really the difference. I’ve had grown men at my boobs for 30 minutes and accomplish absolutely nothing. At least now, I was keeping an infant quiet, all while on an enclosed metal tube in the sky. Our first flight was an absolute mic drop as far as I’m concerned.
So now that I’ve told you where we started let me actually tell you something that may help you on your travels with kids.
Top 2 Reasons I hear most people don’t want to travel with their kids:
Reason #1: I don’t want to be “those” parents with the screaming kid. Mothers always tell me they want to wait until their kid is older before traveling, so they don’t have to worry about a crying infant or toddler.
First let me just say, babies, cry! They’re some awesome babies that only cry when they’re hungry or tired or wet and then they’re others like Mali, who resorts to crying in between breaths. I am not exaggerating.
Regardless though, if your child freaks out on a plane or in the supermarket screw that person that gives you a side eye. You can only choose one person a day to be an asshole, is it that guy or your kid? “That” person definitely takes the title.
I literally hope they can’t sleep tonight because of the residual sounds of your kids crying. Ok fine, that might have been harsh but seriously. Don’t be too hard on yourself because your kid starts crying on the plane. If you have an infant and you want to go somewhere, go!
Reason # 2 I hear for not traveling with kids, is fear they won’t remember it. I get it no one wants to drop 6k on a trip and not have the clout to remind the kids of it every time they ask for a Lego set. But honestly Go.
I can guarantee, whether you go when they’re 2 or 8, they won’t give a shit about the money you spent. So don’t wait because you’re worried they won’t remember it. When you travel. It’s not for the memories of the future but for the ideals you get now, in the present.
Open your child up to the beauties of the world as soon as possible. Make traveling, learning, seeing different people be a part of your kids’ everyday norm. I promise you whether they remember exactly when and where they were when they heard you bargaining with a driver on the streets of Peru, they’ll remember the exchange.
They’ll remember you speaking to a farmer who doesn’t look like you, like the two of you were old friends. They’ll remember you laughing when you realized you had the wrong directions. They’ll remember the moment you paused in awe while looking out at the vast architecture of Machu Picchu. They’ll remember the way the world impacted you and it will, in turn, impact them. Don’t wait for memories. Memories fade.