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Traveling With Young Kids Is Tough. Here’s Why You Should Do It Anyway

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My husband and I did a fair amount of traveling with our son when he was a baby. Although it wasn’t always the easiest — we had to pack a portable crib, a stroller, and all sorts of gear — it was manageable due to the fact that there were two of us and one of him.

But once I had my twins a few years later, traveling as a family became a much more challenging prospect. At that point, we had to triple our gear in some cases, not to mention deal with little kid tiredness, moodiness, and diaper changes.

But as difficult as it was to travel with a gaggle of young kids, I’m really glad we did it. We got to experience some really great things together as a family. And while my children may not remember much of it, my husband and I sure do.

Traveling with young kids can also be fairly economical. And so you may want to push yourself to do it for that reason alone.

You might reap some big savings

Now that my children are older, we’re well past the days of not having to pay to enter a theme park or put extra people in a hotel room. But if your kids are young, you may be in a different boat.

Often, when you have young kids, you’re not charged extra to stay at a resort. And you may be able to score free restaurant meals, since many establishments have a deal where you get a free kids’ entree with every adult entree you purchase.

Also, many theme parks do not charge admission for children who are very young. Disney World, for example, does not charge a fee for children under the age of 3. That could amount to a lot of savings given that admission there is pretty costly.

How to make it easier to travel with kids

One of the things we did to make it easier to travel with kids was drive to most of our destinations rather than fly. The idea of taking two infants and a toddler, or two toddlers and a preschooler, on a plane just sounded horrendous. So back then, we generally opted to load up the car, fill the tank with gas, and drive to different destinations.

Now, you might think that would’ve limited us, but actually, it didn’t at all. We took several cross-country road trips with our kids when they were very young, one of which had us hauling ourselves all the way from New Jersey to Montana.

We also frequently opted to rent private homes through sites like Vrbo or Airbnb rather than cram into hotel rooms. That allowed us to spread out, cook some of our own meals to save money, and avoid a scenario where my husband and I had to turn off the lights and sit in silence at 7:30 p.m. every night because that’s when our kids needed to go to sleep.

If you have young kids, you may decide that traveling just isn’t worth it. But if you can afford to take some trips at that stage, do it. Your kids may not remember much, but you’re allowed to do things you enjoy and create fond memories you can look back on. And remember, travel is likely to be much more expensive once your kids get a bit older, so you might as well take advantage while you can.

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