Not sure whether to add your little plus-ones to your overseas holiday itinerary? Take our quiz to guide your decision about whether or not to take your kids on your travels.
So, are you letting your hair down and enjoying that second cocktail without a care in the world while the kids stay with Grandma? Or will your little ones be joining you as you add some stamps to your passport?
If you’re still not sure, our pros and cons of travelling with kids might help you decide what’s best for your family.
The Pros and Cons of Travelling with Kids Overseas
Family holidays can be a wonderful way to expose your children to new places and faces, make some memories, and finally update that framed family photo on the mantelpiece.
But it can also add stress to your trip and have a serious sway over your itinerary, making you feel like you never really got that R&R you so desperately hoped for. Not to mention how you had to skip the statue of David, so you’ll never know how big it really is. (The statue, we mean.)
If you’re looking forward to lazy mornings, boozy nights, and watching your worries float away on a cloud of #wanderlust, having your toddler or teen in tow may not be the best option for your travels.
Before you go booking flights for you and your children, weigh up the pros and cons of taking kids on your overseas holiday.
Pros of Travelling with Kids
Cute photos aren’t the only great thing to come out of an overseas trip with your kids. For those parents who turn their nose up at toddlers on planes (because let’s face it, we only like our own children), consider these benefits of an overseas holiday with your kids before you exile them from all your travel plans.
They may qualify for free or discounted entry.
Depending on their age, having your child present on your trip may not blow out your budget. Many attractions offer free or discounted entry for children under a certain age, and some airlines allow babies to fly for free if they’re sitting with you in your seat.
It teaches them about other cultures.
Travelling to different countries exposes your kids to different cultures, races, and languages. This may help increase their understanding of diversity and their confidence interacting with people regardless of how they look or what language they speak.
Learning about how other people live can also open your child’s eyes to how lucky they really are (especially beneficial if you’re coping with a mopey teen).
The memories are priceless.
Beyond creating opportunities for family bonding, if your child is old enough to remember standing at the top of the Spanish Steps and marvelling at the ancient architecture of Rome, you’ve given them a gift they’ll always cherish.
Cons of Travelling with Kids
It isn’t all smiley snaps and souvenirs, though. There are some not-so-great things about having your kids tag along on your overseas travels.
Relaxing could be difficult.
If you thought watching a toddler was exhausting in the comfort of your own home, just imagine supervising them in a foreign country. They may become restless on the flight or uncomfortable in a strange bed – and it’ll be your job to console them (while dealing with your own jetlag). You’ll be so busy keeping an eye on them, you could miss half the exciting sights of your destination.
You’ll see and do less.
Your child may not care much for the local art scene or historical landmarks, so you might find yourself spending more time at children’s playgrounds than you’d prefer. You can probably say goodbye to sipping sangria at that swanky cocktail bar, too. The items on your bucket list aren’t always a priority to your children. Plus, they want to be carried and are only willing to walk short distances, so your dream of getting lost for hours down cobblestone alleyways is down the drain.
Packing is a pain.
Think you can get away with a few summer dresses, a couple of bikinis, and your camera? Not anymore. Kids require a lot of stuff. From strollers to travel cots and everything in between, gone are the days of getting away with just one suitcase.
Tips for Travelling with Kids
If you’ve decided to enjoy your overseas destination with your offspring by your side, there are a few ways to make your trip more enjoyable for everyone:
- If travelling with a baby, reserve a bassinet when you book your flight.
- Remember to specifically request a child’s meal on the flight (don’t forget to list any food allergies).
- Download some child-friendly apps on your phone for when their toys and books don’t quite cut it.
- If you’re particularly worried about your child wandering off, use a child locator (yes, it’s totally a thing).
- Don’t forget the antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser to prevent your family from getting sick.
- The same goes for the painkillers, string treatment, Band-Aids, and cold and flu tablets.
- Plan some family-friendly activities, but leave plenty of time for delays, resting, and napping.
- If they can write, encourage them to keep a travel journal.
- Give them a camera – or your smartphone – to snap some pics from their point of view.
Dreaming of a destination the whole family will love? If these spots are safe enough for solo female travel, they’re probably safe enough for families too.