Traveling with children can certainly be a challenge, for any kind of family.
Your in an unfamiliar environment, your routines can be out of whack, your trying to juggle your children as well as any luggage or belongings you’ve brought along.
Lets face it, we can be stressed and the kids certainly for any god given reason at all, can just choose to throw themselves on the floor and show the world what an Oscar winning wobbly performance is all about! So the thought of heading on a holiday as a single parent with some rug rats in tow, can understandably be a really daunting thought facing that one your own.
It’s certainly not a walk in the park and I’ll admit that there are definitely moments I’ve cried, moments I thought screw this!!! I’m packing up and going home and there are definitely times I felt lonely as hell. I’m often asked how do I do it with 3 kids ranging from 2 to 10yrs? They ask me isn’t it hard? aren’t you exhausted? why do you even bother?
If I’m honest my answer is, yes its hard, yes I get exhausted and despite all of that here is why I bother!
Its Good for your health
Yep that’s right!
Planning that getaway to where ever it is your looking forward to going, is giving yourself something positive to look forward to. Having something positive to focus on improves our mental health. There are actual studies that show people who don’t have goals or things to look forward to are more likely to have anxiety or depression. We all know that as a single parent we can be very busy or on the opposite left with a lot of empty time while our kids are not with us. Knowing that we have this great trip planned where both we and the kids are going to get some quality time together is surely going to be something uplifting to re focus on.
So in turn planning that next holiday is actually going to improve your mental health.
It’s super educational
What better way to learn about life, outside the school box bubble. Than to get out there and experience it.
My 4 yr old daughter is obsessed with animals, I’m sure she is going to be a vet or work in some kind of animal loving industry of some sort. More recently she’s been fascinated with the cheetah. You tubing documentaries on the Savanna and learning all there is to know about a cheetah. Imagine her experience if I took her to the Savanna to see one in real life! Outside the beneficial cultural experiences and different ways of life she’d learn, I could imagine that having that real time experience would only raise her interest level to a higher degree.
Now, you don’t have to be heading to exotic parts of the world to learn valuable lessons with travel. A simple weekend campout in nature somewhere will provide plenty of lessons on wildlife and water conservation alone. If your more of a stay in a hotel type, while you’re away, you’ are surely going to go and visit the local sites and do things you may normally not do at home.
Exposing your children to things they normally don’t do or see while at home in your normal routine. It allows an endless amount of curiosity and then come a million questions. I find I end up learning a lot more when I travel with my kids because they notice and see things so differently to myself.
It creates connection
Often at home, we are so busy doing life, particularly as a parent. After we’ve done the shopping, hung out washing, run all our errands and taken this and that kid off to sports or dance we find ourselves lost for time in the day for quality time.
Taking a trip of any kind is an opportunity to remove ourselves from our time frames and the list of this and that we have to get done around the house.
Sure! Some things still need to be done and we still have kids to look after.
But a large majority of the time we are probably are not going to be cooking all our meals like at home, we have tours booked or lazy days by the pool or beach planned and most of all there is no timetable we must adhere to. We can sleep-in go to bed late and eat ice-cream for lunch if we want to. Although if you have toddlers I highly recommend trying to keep some familiar routines in place to avoid too many meltdowns. That’s a topic for another day!
I also find that my girls bond more while we are away. They pair up to go explore and they are always so amused by the new environment that they tend to fight a little less often. They look out for each other’s safety and in general seem to really enjoy each other’s company.
Its good for your social life
As a single parent I find at home between work, all my list of things I need to be doing and attending to the kids every need. I’m often so busy I don’t give myself enough me time or when I finally do get the opportunity to get out and be social I’m often too tired.
I’m a very social person and I miss adult conversation a lot as many of us do. I find at home everyone is in there life bubble and normally rushing off here and there. People don’t always take the time to stop and say hello.
When your traveling you just meet people and speak to people. Maybe its because people your bumping into are more relaxed as they are in holiday mode too. But you can guarantee that when your on holiday someone’s gonna give you a smile or wave in passing and that kids parent by the pool is probably going to say hello and spark up a little chit chat to pass the time while you both standing there supervising the kid swimming!
People just seem to be more relaxed and happy when on holiday and believe it or not when we are relaxed and happy, we seem more approachable to other people.
It builds Resilience
Change allows our kids to adapt to different situations. Having their environment change constantly can be challenging for sure. However the more we travel and try new things the more my kids realise that they can do so many things they thought they couldn’t or were even just at first afraid to do. I was very nervous about taking a long committed trip with my daughters. In particular, my eldest as she has ASD and suffers a lot of anxiety along with enjoying order and routine. I have to say that along with the challenges and there were many. Came so many more benefits, this doesn’t just go for the kids. Everything it gave and taught my kids was just as much a lesson for me too.
The most valuable thing I can give to my children and to myself after love is an experience! The good experiences encourage us to reach further and the bad teach us valuable lessons. For me, travel provides a great stretch to our safe and routine environment and I’ll always come home with a sense of gratitude.
We would love to hear your positives from travel with your kids. Share in the comments below.