Overseas Family Travel: The Good, Bad & How To Prepare

Before getting married, you and your partner shared a passion for traveling. In one of your conversations back then, you imagined going to places you haven’t visited, future kids in tow.

But now that you have finally settled down and actually have children of your own, you can hardly imagine traveling overseas with the whole gang. Even just a trip to the local mall entails a massive investment of time and effort, such that you have a hard time picturing yourself dealing with the usual hassles involved in traveling abroad, like fulfilling USA visa requirements.

Indeed, parenthood has a way of changing your perspective on the different aspects of life. But that does not mean that you should deprive yourself and your loved ones of the benefits of traveling abroad.

The Good

There are plenty of reasons why you should travel with your kids.

For one, you can learn a great deal about different cultures filtered through your kids’ eyes. Unlike adults, children have yet to acquire prejudices, and this enables them to be genuinely curious about new things. At the same time, traveling to foreign places gives parents the opportunity to teach their children about respecting differences.

Children can fully immerse themselves in an experience — something that adults need to remember to practice. Of course, you have to make the necessary preparations when traveling overseas. However, do not forget the reason why you are visiting new places.

Perhaps when you were younger and single, you wanted to tick off the many places on your bucket list, but now that you have children of your own you have to take things down a few notches. Although you may visit fewer places, you can savor the delights that each place offers without rushing.

Traveling overseas can also help each member of the family discover something new about themselves. Kids, for instance, have an innate curiosity that can be further honed through new experiences. Parents, on the other hand, can discover new skills in the face of unexpected circumstances.

But if there is one good reason why you should travel overseas with the whole gang, it would be the fact that traveling together reinforces the bond you have with your family.

How To Fix The Bad

True, you may have to add a few more tasks to your to-do list before you can travel with your whole family. But that does not mean you should entirely avoid traveling with your family.

Here are some of the issues you may encounter, as well as suggested solutions.

Your kids won’t remember anything from the trip

Many parents try to hold off traveling with their kids until they are a little older. They say that traveling with kids at a young age will only lead to a waste of money because the young ones will hardly remember anything about the trip.

True, your kids may not memorize each of the places that you visit. But if you focus on immersing the whole family in the experience — focusing on the journey and not on the destination — you will be surprised at how your young ones remember your travels a few years later on.

It’s difficult

Another reason why many parents avoid traveling with kids is because they believe it is difficult.

While traveling with kids overseas is no walk in the park, it does not need to be difficult. Often, changing the way you travel can make things easier for everyone.

You have to accept the fact that you cannot do the things you once did with your spouse during your travels. That may mean skipping the nightlife entirely. Also, you may need to plan your trips more carefully instead of simply winging things.

My child is still a baby

Traveling with babies poses a few unique challenges that you won’t encounter once your child is a little older.

But there are a few advantages that you can enjoy when you travel with a baby instead of a toddler. For one, babies sleep a lot and require little beyond milk, sleep, and diaper changes. Plus, you do not have to worry about your baby running around unsupervised. Also, you and your spouse can take advantage of fast lanes in airports.

Kids and airplanes don’t mix

While it cannot be denied that there are children who do not behave well onboard airplanes, you should not let that fear hold you back.

The key here is to teach your children how to behave properly inside the plane. It also helps if you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that they are entertained. Finally, consider booking direct flights whenever possible.

It will cost a small fortune

Traveling with the whole family will definitely be more expensive compared to traveling with just your partner.

However, there are plenty of ways that you can reduce travel expenses. For instance, if you travel with your baby, you can enjoy discounts and freebies. You may also look for family deals on accommodations and meals.

You have to pack a lot of stuff

Families traveling together may need to bring more luggage and big items like strollers. But there are plenty of ways to accommodate for more luggage. 

For one, you can opt to rent a car instead of taking public transportation. You can also rent a place that has a laundry unit which can help minimize the number of clothes that you need to bring. Instead of bringing your own stroller, consider renting one.

Don’t let your fears deprive you and your family of new experiences. Remember, kids grow up fast. Soon, you will have a difficult time enticing them to join you in your travels.

Author’s Bio

Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept him in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.

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