I always joke that I was the best parent before I actually had kids. I lived a wildly adventurous and independent lifestyle and was certain I would integrate children flawlessly into this way of life. And now that I am the mother of two small girls, I would say I was totally right, and totally wrong. I have indeed kept up a very adventurous way of living, that has adapted in ways I never knew possible (or essential) to make sure the kids needs are always put first. That said, I never shy away from adventure with the kiddos. There is no doubt that from micro-adventures to epic trips, kids add a level of complication and frustration. However, they also reintroduce the magic and allow you to see things through new eyes. If you have small ones and are looking for inspiration on how to keep the adventure alive, the this article is for you. Read on to learn more about the benefits of scheduling trips with your kids for the benefit of both parents and kids.
- The Micro Adventure
Don’t underestimate the magic of a micro adventure. I have a toddler and a baby, so my adventures these days sometimes consist of a day trip to the beach down the road. But when done right, it feels like we have embarked on the wildest adventure my toddler has ever experienced. And the baby, well she just tags along. No matter where you live there will be micro-adventures around every corner. From the South Melbourne Market to the Melbourne trampoline park, there are activities you can do in a day that will keep that wild spirit alive within you!
- The Medium Adventure
If you have nailed the day trips and are looking for something a bit more, then the medium adventure is for you. A long weekend away via road trip or plane trip is at your fingertips with kids. Often I have parents express hesitation about taking kids on long drives or airplane trips, but I always encourage them to at least give it a try. Give your kids a chance to delightfully surprise you! My toddler has been on about 40 flights and they have ranged from flawless to horrific. Travel morphs significantly with each age and stage so don’t get too attached to how the last trip went.
- The Epic Adventure
Okay, so now you are ready to bring your kids on that epic adventure overseas. There are so many ways to make the travel experience enjoyable for all. Lots of preparation for long haul flights is necessary and totally worth it. A well-stocked snack bag, a backpack full of entertainment and parents with a good attitude will usually result in a pretty enjoyable trip for all – even those dreaded long hauls! But the real benefit here comes from exposure to new cultures, language and food. As seasoned travelers we often take for granted all that can come from a new epic adventure. But nothing will be lost on your wee ones – all the sights and smells will soak in and make a lasting impression.
Whether you are packing a bag for your local park or zipping up your checked luggage to take your kids trekking in Nepal – regular trips with your kids is beneficial for everyone in the family. My husband and I have traveled extensively on our own, and quite a bit together, and now we are in the phase of traveling with small children. Sure, checking in at airports takes longer, flights are not as relaxing, but from exploring playgrounds in Fiji to tasting all the gelato in Italy – we wouldn’t change a thing about our travel with our kids and I hope you feel the same way too.