5 Ways Kids Change Travel

5 Ways Kids Change Travel

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When I was really baby-hungry, people used to ask me, “Don’t you want to travel more before you have kids?”

As if I was throwing in the travel towel to suddenly live a stationary lifestyle.

My answer was always an affirmative, “No.”

I wanted my kids to see to the world too and become my travel buddies. Besides, if I did all my traveling before kids, I’d have to repeat all my pre-baby trips anyway.

I wouldn’t say I am an emotional person, but I am a sentimental one. I can’t stand the thought of experiencing somewhere new without my family. I still travel. Now, I just have an entourage and I love every crazy moment.

Was it easier to travel before I had kids? Absolutely. It was also less expensive, but nothing compares to the memories I have had sharing the joy of travel with my kids. Having kids doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling, it just means you have to make some adjustments.

So, how has my traveling style changed since I became a mama?

Well,  here are 5 Ways Kids Change Travel.

1. Money Honey:

Money is probably the biggest obstacle when traveling with a family. I went from paying for one to paying for six.



That makes things a bit trickier when finding travel deals, especially airfare. I have to do a lot more research before booking a trip, because cutting corners becomes a priority. I’ve heard there are family-friendly hostels, but I’ve never stayed in one and I don’t have the group that is capable of backpacking from place to place. Plus, that is just not our travel style with or without kids. We like comfortable accommodations. So I have to research a lot more to save. See how I do it in my Money Saving Tips post, HERE.

5 Ways Kids Change Travel

2. Logistics:

When you travel with a group it requires a lot more planning. The thrill of spontaneity is a bit hindered, especially when kids are involved. If you have small kids, it is important to maintain some sort of routine. Nap time and eating time is crucial if you want happy babies while traveling. Sometimes, things are out of your control, so make the strollers super comfortable and carry snacks. If your baby needs milk, you have to consider where milk is available or carry a cooler with you. For more tips on preparing for trips read, Ready Set Go,  HERE.

Always prepare for injuries and illness. Check out Rashes, Bug Bites and Ouchies! Oh My! HERE.

When traveling by plane, I have to really look at the fly times to pick the best flight for my kids’ behavior. I like to pick flights that occur during their normal nap or bedtimes so that they sleep through a majority of the flight. So far, (knock on wood) it has worked every time. See more information for how I prepare for flights in Flying with Kids, HERE.

5 Ways Kids Change Travel

Having an itinerary or a rough outline (as I like to call it) is really helpful. I like to have a little wiggle room in case we stumble upon something really cool, but I travel with a minimum of six people every trip. If we don’t have some sort of plan, we waste time discussing what to do instead of exploring. If you are standing around debating what see next, the kids are most likely going to get antsy and that is no bueno.

Queue: debating adults and screaming kids. Ugh.

3. Picture Overload:

You think you take a ton of pictures now? Wait until you travel with your babies!!! I went from taking 200 photos a trip to 200 photos a day! Parents think their children are the cutest and funniest people around (guilty), but when your kid is being cute in the Everglades or eating noodles in Vietnam your camera is going to on permanent snap mode. Since having kids, my most important must-pack don’t-leave-home-without-it item is my camera. Invest in a good one with a fast shutter, otherwise excited, hyper toddlers will be blurs in every photo.

5 Ways Kids Change Travel

4. Appreciation:

I appreciate our trips more. First of all, they are harder to accomplish now that we are a larger group. So every successful trip feels like we should break out into Dora the Explorer’s “We Did It” song.

Secondly, knowing that I’m sharing these amazing experiences with my kids, husband, parents, sister, nephews, etc., makes the importance of every trip magnified. I appreciate the experiences I am able to give my children and listening to them talk about their travels, from their sweet little perspectives is so rewarding as a parent.

5 Ways Kids Change Travel

5. Bond:

Traveling together, as family, bonds you. When you travel on your own you make connections while away, but when you come home they fade. When you travel with family, you are able keep the momentum of the bond going, because of your daily interactions. Discussing adventures over the dinner table or laughing at an inside joke from a trip. That keeps the family tight knit. My family is very close, but we always traveled together. Heck, we still travel together. I want my kids to feel deeply connected to me and one of my tools is loading their childhood memories with family adventures.

5 Ways Kids Change Travel

Although traveling with my active kids is more difficult and more expensive than before, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Since having my kids, the travel bug bit even harder. I don’t only have the desire to see everything and everywhere, I  also want my kids to see it too. The drive to accomplish my travel goals is stronger than ever and they are the source of my motivation. I can’t until our next adventure together.

What are your biggest challenges when traveling with kids?

Any stories from your travels with kids?

Do prefer travel solo or with a group? Why?

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  1. avatar image
    Elizabeth at October 13, 2014 Reply

    Great post and I can totally relate! 🙂

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      Hot Mama at October 15, 2014 Reply

      Haha. Right? No more footloose and fancy-free.

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    marie at January 16, 2017 Reply

    Great read for those travelling with children!

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    Lydia@LifeUntraveled at January 16, 2017 Reply

    I don’t have any children but I always admire parents who choose to travel with theirs. I’m sure it takes a lot of planning!

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      Hot Mama at January 17, 2017 Reply

      Just a little more research and prep, but so worth the extra work.

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    LC of Birdgehls at January 16, 2017 Reply

    I don’t have kids myself, but yes – can imagine that your travel style would change quite a bit when you’ve got your whole brood coming along with you! There’s specific places I plan to go to now, because I think it will be much easier to do on my own, with friends or with my boyfriend – just in case I do have kids in the future.

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      Hot Mama at January 17, 2017 Reply

      It just takes a little more planning, but anywhere is doable with the right attitude and prep.

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    sarah at January 17, 2017 Reply

    I love this! I think my mom would definitely agree, as she and my dad took us to a lot of cool places when I was a kid. I didn’t full appreciate the Florida trips or the ones back to the family farm, but now I do (AND am moving to the farm in the summer!) but I enjoyed the European and New Zealand ones…. so much that I moved to both when I was older. Mom’s stories about travelling with us are a lot like yours. I plan on taking my kids around the world as well! (Side note: my mom’s blog name is Footloose and Fancy Free :))

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      Hot Mama at January 19, 2017 Reply

      How cool! Sounds like an awesome lady. I will have to check out her blog!

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    Sheena at January 17, 2017 Reply

    What a refreshingly honest post about travelling with kids – I don’t have any myself but Im hoping this will change in the near future so it’s definitely an interesting read for me – I already take 200 photos a day so I can’t imagine what my travels are gonna be like with a cute one, think I may just leave the camera at home!

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      Hot Mama at January 19, 2017 Reply

      Just get a lot of memory cards! Haha.

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    Leah at January 18, 2017 Reply

    I am the same way about wanting to experience travel with my kids. I feel guilty when I travel without them. I always think about how much they would love it.

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      Hot Mama at January 19, 2017 Reply

      I know, whenever we go somewhere without them all we are thinking about is we have to come back with them again.

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