The Challenges of Traveling with Kids

As most of you know, I’ve traveled a fair amount with my kids.

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We’ve traveled long distances in cars (when Abby was 10 days old, my Mom and I drove 4+ hours to San Luis Obispo to visit her great-grandparents). We’ve traveled many times by plane (and most of those trips have been cross-country). We’ve gone camping with a 6 month old. We’ve even walked long distances! I’ve traveled by myself while pregnant. I’ve traveled with Travis and the kids internationally. I’ve traveled with the help of my parents.

Actually, as I sit here reminiscing on all the traveling we’ve done, I can say we’ve traveled with kids a lot (especially considering our kids are still so young).  And while the flying and the driving can be difficult at times, it’s all worth it to us. Being with family, going on vacation, attending weddings, and experiencing new places are all worth it.

As the kids get older, however, more challenges have presented themselves.

Gone are the days of babies sleeping anywhere at anytime. We’re now working with two schedules…two schedules that actually matter because if they get too terribly messed up, the girls will absolutely melt down at the drop of a hat.

When we travel cross country (which is what we do most frequently – Mac is currently in Atlanta for the third time in eight months of life), we have time changes to compete with. Three hours of change. Luckily, we’re fairly laid back when it comes to schedules (relative to most people, that is), but man oh man, those first few days are ROUGH. We’re either up way too early or up way too late.

To be completely honest, it can be extremely exhausting and emotionally draining (especially when I’m traveling without Travis!).

To top it all off, there are the distractions. They’re great distractions to have (family around all the time, new places to explore, yards to play in, new foods to try, etc), but they’re distractions nonetheless. And working around those distractions is HARD. And oh my goodness, it is FRUSTRATING. And as I already said, it’s EXHAUSTING.

With baby Mac, we struggle with her opening up to other people holding her so she becomes my little cling-on (much more so than at home). And with Abby, we struggle with temper tantrums and lack of sleep (since she’s always performing for her new “audience,” if you will).

The challenges feel like they’re endless.

But as I said above, it’s all worth it. Even though there are times where I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, crying, and curling up in a corner somewhere (simultaneously), the majority of the time I couldn’t be happier that we’ve traveled.

Life isn’t perfect and it’s the experiences we have that make us, in my opinion, stronger and more well-rounded people. If we just stayed home all the time where we feel “comfortable” and “safe,” we wouldn’t be creating all these fantastic memories.

So while the challenges can be difficult and absolutely exhausting, it’s the awesome memories we’re creating that make it all worth it.

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Just something to think about.

7x7xMommy

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1 Response

  1. July 30, 2013

    […] While traveling with kids may be a bit of a challenge, we sure have managed to have our fair share of fun over the past week and a half. Yesterday was no exception. We headed to Stone Mountain (which I’ll talk about more later in the week when I have more time) and enjoyed riding a train, feeding some ducks, and eating an ice cream cone.  Even baby Mac got to indulge in her first truly sweet treat. […]

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