When people talk about having children in the future one of the reasons to wait before starting a family is: we still would like to travel the world before having kids. Of course traveling with kids has some limitations, and your vacation will look a bit different than without them. But there are so many advantages to travel with kids as well! Even with smaller children.
We have been on a few holidays with our daughter since she was born, and have started our big travel now that she is 1,5 years old. Things are going so well and easy on this trip, I actually think this age is a perfect age for traveling!
Next to the most important reason to travel (it’s so much fun for everyone!) there are so more reasons why you should consider traveling with your pre-toddler!
1. Travel when you want
This is a pretty obvious one: there is no school involved yet, so you are much more flexible in when you take your trip (and how long you go!).
2. The terrible two’s are still half a year away.
That’s right, the toddler-puberty is peeking around the corner, but right now your little pre-toddler doesn’t have (that many) tampers yet. Of course the occasional tantrum happens, but they are still quite easy to distract.
3. They walk the walk and talk the talk (a little)
Now that your pre-toddler has probably learned to walk quite well, he can literally walk along! And they are still light enough (well, barely) to be carried when necessary.
Not only has your child mastered the walking , he quite likely will talk more and more. It will be easier to understand whats up with them, and what they want.
Lucie also asks for her little bunny a lot, which is actually becoming a source of stress on its own, but that’s another story (fitting in the 10 reasons why traveling with a little one can be challenging at times).
4. Everyone smiles at you
I have never encountered so many happy people wanting to have a conversation with us as when traveling with our daughter. People are more kind, and always have a smile on their face. It’s easier to get to know people. Sometimes it even comes in handy; walking through a bad thunderstorm from the bus stop home, we were picked up by a very kind woman that drove us home. People tend to to help out more when you have a small child with you. At the airport, we were let through the huge lines at security a few times, saving us at least an hour wait. Nice!
Kids under two year old don’t pay a full-price plane ticket, and public transport is free (in most countries). Your pre-toddler probably won’t finish a whole children’s menu yet, so you can just share your plate food with him. On top of all that museums and attraction parks are usually free of charge.
6. They still take naps
Of course we love our tiny creatures, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be relaxing to have one or two hours break during the day to get things done (or to just chill). The good thing is that at this age they are usually easy sleepers, especially when tired from all the new things they experience. Sleeping at the beach under a beach umbrella? No problem. Sleeping on a bus or on the metro? Easy peasy.
7. Their vocabulary will expand
Having different languages around benefits the language-feel, even at such a young age. Lucie learning to talk in three different languages right now is pretty fun! I believe the many different experiences while traveling really boosts the rate of learning in general. Of course children learn to talk wherever they are (you don’t need to be traveling for that), but how cool is it to be able to use the words palm tree, ocean and coconut on a daily basis?
8. You’ll have longer days
Yes, your nights might be a bit shorter and might be interrupted a few times with a little one, but think about it this way: waking up early in the morning makes your day longer and you can start your day much earlier!
9. You come places you would not have visited otherwise
Before we traveled with Lucie, we would had never stopped in the middle of nowhere to visit a cute little playground, discovering a part of the country we would not have otherwise. We would not have made as many stops on our road trip, and our trip would have looked very different. Traveling with a small child does not only limit you in your possibilities, it opens up new ones!
10. A constant source of entertainment
Having a pre-toddler in your travel party will put an end to any moments of boredom you might have experienced earlier. And this age is such a cute age; they start to make jokes and can sing songs. What better entertainment can you get?