QUOTE

6 Reasons To Travel With Very Young Kids


When Ella was about two and a half months old, Billy moved to Buenos Aires. She and I hung around stateside for three more weeks before we jumped on a 10-hour overnight flight to join him. We lived there for four months.

People thought we were crazy. Perhaps they were right.

I won’t pretend like it was the easiest thing we’ve ever done, but I will say I’d do it the same way if we had it to do all over again.

My guess is if you read this blog, you enjoy travel and exploring new places. Maybe you have a young kiddo or more and are thinking about traveling together. Here are my six reasons to go for it:

Little Extra Cost


While they’re itty bitty, it’s pretty inexpensive to travel. Domestically, flights are free for kids under two. Internationally, you pay about 10% of the full ticket price. (Older kids can also get discounted tickets for their own seat, which is why a lot of search sites will ask child ages.)

While in Buenos Aires, we decided to head to the Brazilian border to visit Iguazu. Ella was free on the flight, no cost at the hotel, and had free entrance to the park. No real extra expense.

 

Lesson In Simplicity 

We don’t have a changing table in our house any more. Few restrooms in Argentina had changing tables, and we learned to change Ella on our laps, sink counters, and pretty much wherever.

We also quickly noticed that almost no one in Buenos Aires used strollers. Some of this could have been due to the astronomical prices these cost. But even though we brought ours from home, it proved to be a hassle in this crowded city.

We were always taking up way too much room on the subway. And few stations had elevators, so Billy and I became experts at hauling all our gear up and down giant flights of stairs. We ended up baby-wearing a lot due to simplicity. My one regret is that I didn’t yet own my Ergobaby carrier, which is soooo much easier on our backs and would’ve been a game changer.

Affordable Childcare


This wasn’t the case in Argentina since cost of living is about the same as the States, but depending where you travel, you may be able to find affordable childcare.

One friend in Guatemala shared with me the cost of her five-day a week, full-day preschool. It was about what I pay for two days of half-day care in the States. Whatever your personal circumstances and needs, you may find a more sustainable situation abroad.

Bonding 


I struggled to bond with Ella after she was born. The whole experience threw me for a wild loop. I wasn’t “handling it” well.

Then, the three of us lived together in a studio apartment with few family or friends nearby. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that plan, it bonded us in ways I’ll never fully be able to describe. We became a family in that little apartment in San Telmo.

No Missed Opportunities


The chance to move to South America came to us when Ella was two months old. We didn’t plan it that way, but that’s when the opportunity became available.

I’m so glad we didn’t pass it up. I think I would have often looked back, wondering “what if?” And even though it was a challenge, I had unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences those four months.

Great Stories to Tell Your Kids



She will not remember her early days in Argentina. Billy and I often joke that one day Ella will announce her need to return to Buenos Aires to “discover her roots.” But it’s a fun part of her life history. And we get to tell her about it.

We tell her how when she was a baby, a giraffe almost licked her in the face. (Argentine zoos let you get up close and personal!) We tell her how she loved riding the subway and watching the musicians who entertained the commuters. We laugh about how she once rode in a golf cart in Uruguay and the time she slept in front of the Golden Gate bridge.

They are her stories, and they are our stories. It was a wild first year, but I’m so glad we exposed her to the world and that we engaged the opportunities that came our way.

If you’re thinking about traveling with young ones, you totally should. It’ll take some extra preparation and a fresh dose of flexibility, but the memories are forever.

Have you traveled with young kids? Was it a good experience?

Other posts you might enjoy: 

14 GIFs Only Parents Flying With Young Children Will Understand
Everything You Need To Know About Flying Babies
58 Thoughts You Have While Trying To Take A Baby Passport Photo

4 comments

  1. Taara Portela7:43 PM

    These are all so true. We traveled so much with our first born; he visited six countries on three continents before he was one. Now we have four and are contemplating another move overseas. Crazy? Definitely, but such an interesting opportunity and great "life stories" to be made! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a lot of travel. I think Ella did four countries, including the US, and that felt crazy! :) Are you all still in Brazil? Where are you headed?

    ReplyDelete
  3. We travelled with our little ones. It was near-hell, but I wouldn't ever trade it. Since we were raising bicultural kids, we had the sense that we needed to 'start as we meant to go on' so that the world would always be something that was a part of who they were, not something new that they discovered one day. Now that they're older, we see the huge benefits of having travelled with them since they're able to connect a place with an experience that they've at least seen in pictures...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree totally with the "starting as we mean to go." It's encouraging to hear that you've seen your kids connect to those experiences. That's my hope with our kiddos!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you! Like, seriously. It makes my day. Please feel free to respond, question, or add your perspective. Of course, please keep your words respectful. Thanks for reading and joining in the conversation!

A Life with Subtitles. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.