My oldest girl, now 9 years old regularly comments about when are we flying next or similar, such is her love of flying. And she would know better than most what it’s all about.
She has flown more than 130 flights and approximately 150,000 miles – traveling for less than an hour on some domestic travel, through to 5 days from Africa to provincial Australia. She first flew at just 4 weeks old!
All this to say, your kids can love to travel
You are setting them up for some great experiences that will be with them forever.
So, don’t shy away from flying with your children. Yes, it is tiring and has its trying moments but it is incredibly rewarding. Remember these key thoughts to encourage and help you:
Good Planning and Preparation will maximise your chances of good travel experiences
Our best travelling occurred when we planned and prepared well – just like in life. Consider these areas:
- Planning your itinerary – have enough downtime & spend a few extra dollars where needed to increase your chances of arriving sane at the other end.
- Prepare your purchasing and packing list well in advance – especially with babies (food & nappies)
- Think through the trip and how you will handle each aspect – transport, airport, customs, immigration, accommodation
For more information on planning and preparation, check out this page
Don’t use your pre-children mindset when planning and traveling
We’ve seen parents watching movies while their kids run wild or families board a 14 hour flight with almost no activities and toys for their toddler. This will end in disaster for you, the children and other passengers.
Have a mindset that this is ‘an opportunity for uninterrupted quality time with your child/children’
This one aspect transformed my anxieties about traveling with our child / children. How often do I get the opportunity to have focused one on one time (or 2 on 1 etc) with no phone, no cooking, no dishes to do etc? You can play with them, read to them, do art, take them for walks, share their meals etc. You can also spoil them a little – buy a few little extras you can pull out if the going starts to get a little tough.
If you have a positive outlook about the travel, your children will pick up on this and respond well also.
Think of the positives and the relationships and memories you are building with your kids rather than the potential negatives
Our children have travelled in all types of countries and environments, from the wealth of Dubai to the poorest areas of Africa. They have experienced large cities and the smallest villages miles from modern western style ‘civilisation’. They have travelled on bikes, cars, taxis, buses, boats, planes and trains. Also Donkeys in Greece, Camels in Australia & Tanzania and elephants in Thailand.
These experiences are with them forever.
Our four children are very privileged and fortunate to have had so many amazing and diverse experiences. Even as young children it helps to shape their world and makes them a bigger person with a wider understanding.
Embrace traveling with your children!
This website is full of practical and proven information to help you enjoy your journey 🙂