In honor of Thanksgiving right around the corner (but if you read this at any other time of year, that’s okay. It’s good to be grateful all year round!), I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate that I can travel with my daughter. When we first had a child, I wasn’t sure how travel would fit in – could we still go places? Could we still afford to go places? Turns out, yes. We’re still working out exactly how far to go and try to keep it manageable for all of us, but we still go places and that’s cause for gratitude!
To that honor, here are 10 reasons I am grateful (and you should be grateful too) for traveling with kids.
- Before I lapse into silliness here soon, in all seriousness, traveling with kids is a privilege. Be grateful that you can afford to travel with your kids, whether it’s once or twice or every year or all the time. For all the craziness and lack of sleep and jetlag and general chaos, it’s truly worth being grateful that your kids can leave their home state and see other parts of the country and the world. It opens their minds. It teaches them things that are a lot tougher to learn from books or stories people tell. And traveling with kids is a lot of fun! At least when the craziness or jetlag or general chaos isn’t going on.
- Be grateful for your child if your child can handle jetlag or changing time zones well when you travel for you have a rare gem who should be treasured and exalted.
- Be grateful for the ability to not sleep in much more luxurious/exotic/historic/faraway place than your bed at home.
- Be grateful for all the little things your child will teach you while you’re away from home, whether that’s looking at a museum exhibit through young and innocent eyes, or an interesting factoid they learned in school and share with you over a cup of hot chocolate at a cafe…or whether it’s that the only attractions worth visiting are playgrounds. Mostly I learn the later wherever I go, but my daughter is just two.
- Be grateful that travel helps your children learn how to be grateful and gracious themselves, whether that’s learning to wait in line and be patient, or learning to thank people in a different language for food or directions or help at an attraction.
- Be grateful for the experiences you’ll share with your child that will give you more to talk about, but also more to bond over. Nothing bonds a family like travel mishaps or sleeping on an airport floor together!
- Be grateful for the opportunities to challenge your child’s world view and to be a part of that challenge. Whether you’re traveling to a new part of the country or to a new part of the world, the chance to chat with your little about what they’re experiencing and thinking and feeling about what they see around them is something you often can’t imitate at home.