There are few things that money can buy in this world that are more life changing and valuable than the expiriences you gain while traveling the world and expiriencing new things, places and cultures. So why wouldn't you want to give that gift to your children?
It's true that traveling can be a little difficult to maneuver and take on when you have children (especially young children), but it also creates lasting memories and gives families a close bond.
Here are the five most common excuses parents give for not traveling with their children and why you should consider ignoring them.
They won't remember it
I guess this excuse could have some merit, although my daughter remembers trips to Canada and New York City we took when she was barely 2 years old. A lot of times it's the day-to-day activities your kids forget, but when you go outside of the norm and do something spectacular they tend to be engrained in their memories awhile longer. And if they don't remember? Who cares!
You will remember and recall those sweet moments of your toddler exploring a new place when your kids are grown and gone. You will have tender memories of your elementary school student learning new phrases in other languages and trying new foods.
It's a lot of work
This is true, but parenting in general is a lot of work. It's a lot of work whether you are at home trying to keep up with the housework, homework and budgets. This is life — being a parent is hard no matter the setting.
If you are traveling to a new place, you will probably deal with some tantrums, some missed naps and all the stuff you have to bring with you is a bit of a headache. However, just like in normal life, while you are traveling the joy will outweigh the hardship. All of the work will be forgotten when you watch their faces light up when they see the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon for the first time.
We don't have enough time or money
This is why you should feel pressure to start traveling now. There isn't enough time and the sad part is it will just continue to get worse as your children get older. They start school, and sports, and other recreational activities and then you will blink and they will be graduating high school and heading off to college. Your chance is now.
Make the time and plan a family trip together. Start a coin jar, do odd jobs together as a family. Tell yourself it's possible, start to plan the trip and you will be surprised that time and money becomes less of an issue once you allow yourself to believe it's possible.
It's not safe
There are very few countries that you should be concerned about visiting. If you are planning on staying in tourist areas, then by using common sense and gaining some street smarts there is no reason that you couldn't travel there with children. Read up on current travel alerts from the U.S. Department of State. You can also choose to look into traveling with tour groups (there are many that encourage family travel) for an even greater sense of security.
We might get sick
Yes, there is the chance that you might get sick while traveling. But you might just go, stay healthy and have the time of your life. If you are traveling abroad, visit your local health department to make sure you are up to date on any vaccines you might need.
Carry hand sanitizer, get rest, and drink plenty of water and just enjoy yourself. Don't use this as an excuse to not get out there and enjoy a much-needed vacation with your family.
Whether you are considering planning a trip to Disneyland or wanting to take your children to Europe to immerse them in culture and history, don't let these excuses hold you back. The time spent together will be worth it.
Hilarye Fuller lives in Knoxville, TN where she stays at home with her three young daughters and pens the travel blog DottingTheMap. For tips and reviews visit http://www.dottingthemap.com