As the co-founder of Pure Wander, I certainly take our mission of inspiring others to explore the world with their kiddos seriously. It’s important, no doubt. However, just because I think parents should be traveling with their kids and enjoying the experiences they have together doesn’t mean that I want to travel with my kids all the time, and here’s why.
Have you ever flown somewhere with young kids? It’s not easy. From carrying all the supplies to remembering snacks to managing bad attitudes on a flying metal box, it probably won’t be the most pleasant part of your family vacation. Flying, however, doesn’t have to be so complicated. Remember those days when you walked into the airport either by yourself or just with another adult? You could walk through security without unstrapping and restrapping an infant to your chest—who is way heavier than she looks by the way. You could take your time on the way to the terminal without stopping frequently to ensure the toddler hasn’t stopped to admire a shiny water bubbler and, gasp!, you can sit and have a drink while you wait to board.
Once securely on board you can….. do anything. Or not. It’s up to you. Read a book. Take a nap. Have another drink. These are not freedoms you have when traveling with kids, plain and simple.
I’d definitely argue that you can take kids just about anywhere, except the places that are strictly adult only, obviously. However, when the kids don’t join you on vacation, you and your special someone can take up all the space in the cushy king size bed. All the space. Do you remember what that feels like? As the mother of two snuggly little ones and two dogs who have no understanding of personal space, I can tell you it’s glorious, trust me.
Furthermore, you don’t have to get up when the kids up—or at all for that matter. Lay around all day, eat $15 room service pancakes and watch something that’s not Doc McStuffins, you deserve it.
I don’t prescribe to “kid-friendly” vacations. You’d be hard pressed to find my brood at a zoo or a children’s museum when we are discovering a new place. Instead, I’ve taken my young kids on everything from whitewater rafting trips to wine tastings. You’d be amazed at what they can do and what keeps their attention while you are on vacation, so feel free to try new things with the kids and make the vacation what you want it to be.
On the other hand, there are certainly activities that hubby and I would like to try that wouldn’t be appropriate for our kids at the ages they are at. There’s nothing wrong with taking that special trip sans the nuggets so you can go scuba diving, ice climbing or even just to sit on the beach and soak without having to watch a toddler eat sand. There will be other adventures at other times that you can do together.
Too many people think that traveling with kids is impossible. Not only is it possible, it’s valuable, but that doesn’t mean I want to do it all the time. Some of my adventures give me a chance to teach my kids about the world, some of them give me a chance to bond with my hubby and others are just for me. There’s no shame in being a traveling mom or dad who doesn’t want all their travels to include the kids. In fact, it’s normal and it doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you a normal one, so travel on! (With or without the kids.)