Before Simon and I became parents, lots of people told us, we will end our traveling as soon as we get a baby. But becoming a parent, does not really mean that exploring the world must come to an end, it is just changed.
How traveling changes when becoming a parent?
Even though you don’t want to complicate things, you will still be better organized then before, especially with babies and younger children. Traveling will already change their routines a bit and you don’t want to turn everything completely around for them.
Seeing everything is really not important
Simon and I always rushed during traveling, wanting to see as much as possible and we are so grateful that our little munchkin showed as that taking things slow, makes traveling so much better. We finally have the time to really experience the new destination.
Choosing the next destination
If choosing a destination was once just about the budget, we are now focused on the budget and also safety. More or less we are looking into countries without major health issues, so for now, we are avoiding destination with high malaria risk.
Tourist attractions for kids
Now that we are three, we always want to make traveling interesting to Ren too, so we always try to add some attractions for him – children museums, theme parks, family friendly destinations. But apart from that, we were blessed with a really curious kid and so far he put a shine on everything we did, sometimes with our help and animation, but if you put yourself into it, you can have fun everywhere.
Luckily Ren is not a very picky eater and he also does not have any food allergies, so it is easy to feed him everywhere we go. But having food allergies, I can imagine this can stop you from traveling, especially to countries, where there are huge language barriers. But traveling does not need to stop, you will just spend more energy in food preparation, buying groceries etc.
We always packed light and we did not change much about that now. We have some extra luggage because of medicines, toys, diapers, books, snacks, but each year this gets easier and we need less of it. A big affect on packing light is when there is no need for diapers. If you still need them, just pack some for first few days, as you can get them almost everywhere.
If we once did not mind where we will sleep as long it is cheap, we are now pickier about it. We still look over the budget, but we want to have our room decently cleaned, what does cost us a bit more. Luckily we travel a lot overland in our Toyota Landcruiser, in which we also sleep, what still makes some of our travels very cheap, but still comfortable.
Different travel rhythm
Our first travel as a family of three did a revolution in Simon’s and my head. We needed to forget our former travel style and change it to a slower rhythm. We stop more for many reasons (toilet, food, playing, sleeping), but we actually enjoy more now. Not rushing all over the place is one of the most positive changes.
We don’t spend more for traveling just because we choose better rooms, but also because of additional plane ticket, visa, vaccinations… When Ren will get older we will need more budget also for the entrance fees, transportation, food.
Planning a travel with kids never really means you are going, as you can stay at home because of a sudden fever and illness. In our opinion a must thing to do now is taking a risk insurance. We also upgraded our travel health insurance to the maximum coverage.
Where are the playgrounds?
I know, it does sounds funny, but now that we are parents, we see every playground possible. No matter where we are, we try to stop as much as possible, so that Ren can enjoy playing with other kids too. Playgrounds are also crucial when we are doing long transfers, where we need to spend the extra energy.
Exhausting, but worth it
Traveling with kids are not easy and you will be exhausted before the evening, but nevertheless, every minute spent on the road, is worth the extra energy and money.
I can easily say, that traveling is the best investment into your child, not to mention you just cannot put a price tag on all the experiences and memories you are making together as a family.