This is an open letter to everyone who insists you shouldn’t travel with kids.
You can stop hammering me with stupid comments like ‘They won’t remember!’, ‘They might get sick!’ or my favourite ‘It’s irresponsible!’.
You can keep those disapproving looks to yourself, when you see me rushing through transit with two toddlers in tow.
You can stop bothering me, because I agree with you.
You are 100% right. You shouldn’t travel with kids.
Your meticulously planned itinerary is going to be completely useless, flights delayed, reservations lost and top attractions closed. You continuously will have to fight off strangers wanting to touch your kids’ curly blond hair. No doubt, your attempts to interact with locals will result in getting robbed. Of course, your daughter will catch some nasty disease and your son will simply refuse to adjust to the new time zone. Your kids are going to be overtired and their daily meltdowns will ruin the breath taking scenery.
Yes, travel is a total waste of money and time. The kids won’t remember and you’ll come home more exhausted than before
And here’s why.
Why You’re Not Fit To Travel With Kids
1. You don’t like to spend time with your kids, they drive you up the wall. You’re not embarrassed about it either. You happily send them off to the movies, so you can enjoy your skinny caramel latte in peace. School holidays send you into a straight panic, having the kids home full time is Armageddon. You bribe them to avoid tantrums. And play time is the realm of nannies and grannies.
2. You avoid taking risks. You adore your comfort zone, you dwell in it. You eat the same meals at the same restaurants, visit the same places with the same people. Strangers are scary, they might snatch your child.
3. You hate surprises. You’ve got your life planned out months in advance, you love the certainty of the routine. Morning routines, bed and bath time routines, playdate routines. Coffee morning on Mondays, yoga on Tuesday and Thursdays, nails and hair on Fridays. Last minute changes make you angry, no need to deny it, I’ve seen you explode.
4. You’re a social media addict, you see the world in square frames with a pretty filter. Moments are instantly shared across platforms to collect likes and followers. I know you allow your kids to watch TV during dinner, so you can browse your feeds quilt-free. Real interaction is overrated.
5. You’re a proud helicopter mum. You believe the world is a dangerous place and it’s your job to protect your kids from harm. You’re always available to tell or show them what to do. Or better yet, do it for them. Somehow, you’ve convinced yourself it’s more efficient that way. And saves everybody a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
6. You’ve boxed up the world, you only see black and white. With the perfectionism of a Virgo, new impressions are neatly labelled and categorised. Your system is simple but effective. Your way is right, their way is wrong. Your values make sense, theirs are confusing. Better not expose your kids to controversial opinions, traditions and cultures, it might rub off on them.
7. You take your blessings for granted. The fridge is always stocked and tap water is safe to drink. Stories about kids having to bring their own chairs to school sound like complete nonsense to you. If there is any truth in them, you most definitely wouldn’t expose your kids to such savagery.
8. You’re judgemental. You reign the kingdom of assumptions. You are the expert, because you’ve read that article, seen that show, heard that story. You trust your peers blindly and you proudly broadcast their opinions as your own. You don’t see the value in making an effort to form your own opinion through first-hand experience.
9. You’re a germaphobe. You wipe down door handles and are disgusted by shopping trolleys. Germs lurk around every corner to infect your kids with some contagious disease. If they so much as sneeze, you stick them in quarantine.
10. Your travel bug feeds on screen time. You have the world at your fingertips. The news shows you situations in foreign countries, your favourite blogs bring you the world’s most beautiful beaches and must visit places on the planet. The weather is always picture perfect, the food photography tantalising and you easily come up close and personal with any endangered species. You travel the world in minutes, without jet lag and without spending a dime.
So Make No Mistake About It
You are right. I completely agree with you.
You shouldn’t travel with kids.
You can leave that to me.
Karin Louzado is a family travel expert who helps other parents stay sane while travelling. A Dutch expat mum of 2 toddlers, she explored over 45 countries without losing her mind, wallet or kids. Download her free guide The Zen Of Toddler Travel and learn how to simplify family travel. Facebook Instagram