|Traveling with kids is amazing!|
First, I felt the general tone was not fair to children and really played them off as more of a nuisance than the pleasure that they are while traveling. In all honesty I wouldn't want to do this trip without our children. I wouldn't want to do any trip without them. They have been a challenge at times, don't get me wrong, but overall they help us to see the world in a way we might let pass by without them. They encourage us to tackle our fears, and help to keep life in perspective at all times.
The CNN article seemed geared towards people that might not travel as much as we do and did provide some useful information, but I thought it was important to show the other side of travel with children.
The younger the child, the bigger the suitcase
Completely not true. A young child may require diapers but really it evens out when you consider how small their clothing is. I have a 4 year old and he is perfectly happy making fun out of whatever is around us at any given moment. It is a fallacy that children need loads of toys to keep them happy, one we parents too easily subscribe to. A small bag of some favorite toys, legos, small stuffed animal perhaps is really all one needs.
My 8 year old carries his own belongings, something he is proud of! My 12 year old carries more than me, and my 4 year old is responsible for his own toys.
Better advice: Know your child and give them whatever they can handle. No 2, children have the same ability to cope with new environments. Do your best and be open to changing something that's not working! Children will surprise you if you have faith in them and let them take the lead sometimes.
The younger the child, the harder it is to get over jet lag
Now this one I can some what relate to. My 4 year old did struggle with the time difference when we flew to the other side of the world, yet with 5 different people it was bound to take a few days none the less. If you have a short amount of time for your trip I suppose this really could be quite an issue. We had no real time limit so that helped us relax a bit.
Keeping the boys quiet while the other hotel guests slept was a bit of a challenge but we ate out late, went for walks, watched movies, and played some quiet games. Some of the most fun we had was being awake together at 4am giddy with exhaustion and battling out yet another killer game of Yahtzee!
Better advice: Just go with it and don't worry ahead of time. Some people have very little issue with jet lag. Enjoy the unique time together. If all else fails follow these tips for jet lag!
Travel to a destination that has french fries
For starters, I think every place in the world has french fries, but the underlying tone here is that kids can't handle trying new food. We believe that it's a good thing to introduce them to new and interesting dishes. If they don't like something they will seek until they find something they do enjoy. Meanwhile children are learning valuable skills and pushing their limits. It is so sad to watch someone limit another's potential, especially a child's potential. To say all a child wants is fast food and mac and cheese is just a reflection on the parent driven, imposed limitations this child has experienced since birth.
Better advice: Explain the projected meal options ahead of time. Assure them of a back up plan but also guide them to trying something new. Make it another part of the exciting adventure. There is no telling what our children may like or be willing to try! Don't expect failure or that is surely what you will get!
You can't have too much in flight entertainment for young children
This one sort of goes hand in hand with the first one and how many toys you need. I just don't think it is always necessary. I will not pretend that we don't have a bunch of electronics because we do. But I often find the boys just chatting or taking in the scenery. They use the electronics some and I am always glad I have them as an option particularly for my youngest, but a necessity...definitely not!
|Enjoying the flight without an Ipad|
Better advice: Not really better, but just don't worry so much. Be prepared but don't go overboard spending loads of money and weighing yourself down in transit. Relax and know that you are doing your best and go with the flow, it will all be fine.
Strollers are as much bane as a boon
I agree that under some circumstances strollers can be more trouble than they are worth. With that being said, in only about 1 month we realized that because of busy traffic and lots of walking, it would be best to take our chances with a cheap stroller. Our 4-year-old is capable of and wants to walk a lot of the time but when he is done and does not want to walk anymore I just cannot force him. At the same time he is just too heavy for me to carry or even to put in some type of sling. My husband puts him up high on his shoulders, but that only lasts a kilometer or two at most. So a stroller became our best option. I take a second to think about where we are going and sometimes don't bother with it. But we have not once said we wish we didn't have it as an option.
Admittedly your mileage may vary depending on where you are, what you expect out of your children, and what you are willing to tolerate. I love ours and it was only $20!
Better advice: Do what works best for you and your child. Research the area you are going and talk to people that have been there. They will be able to tell you if walking the streets with a stroller is possible or not.
It was as if this writer has never traveled with kids but instead subscribes to the same thoughts as the "we are so excited our kids are back to school" crowd. Fear driven mentality where children are not placed as a priority but rather a distraction!
Finally, our experience has shown that children are just as capable as us parents. Please know that a backpacking trip around India would be leaps and bounds more educational then it would be to spend a week at an all-inclusive resort! And it is more than possible, people do it ALL the time! The world is so big and full of new experiences, let your children explore them without your worries and fears getting in their way! It will be the best thing you've ever done!
Check out these articles to see what others say about CNN's travel advice:
French fries and chicken nuggets are travel essentials: The worst family travel advice ever by Nancy Sathre-Vogel @familyonbikes
The "Secret" to Traveling with Children by Susan
Worst Family Travel Advice I've Ever Read by Gabi Klaf @The Nomadic Family.com
How Do you Travel with Children? by Alisa @ Living Outside of the Box
5 Rules of Travel With Kids: A Traveling Child Responds by Jennifer Miller
CNN's Ridiculous Rules About Travel With Kids by Corinne at Have Baby Will Travel (@hvbabywilltrvl)
Shocking Tips on Traveling with Kids That Went Unnoticed...It is Time to Demystify The Five Rules of Traveling with Kids by Claudia Looi @travelwritingpr
5 Amazing Reasons To Travel With Your Kids!
More Than French Fries by lisa Shusterman
Rules are What You Make Them: Paving Your Own Way Through Family Travel by Jessica @Suitcases and Sippy Cups
Why "Easy" Travel Options Aren't Always the Best for Kids- a Rebuttal to CNNGo "5 Rules of Traveling With Kids" by Jody Halsted; Family Rambling @iatraveler
CNNGo Five Rules of Travelling With Kids Are You For Real
Myths, NOT rules, of traveling with kids by Kate Rehkopf, Experiential Family @experientialfam http://experientialfamily.com/myths-not-rules-of-traveling-with-kids/
My Reality (Not Rules) When Traveling with Kids by Keryn Means/Walkingon Travels (twitter: @walkingontravel)
A King's Life: The Surprisingly Easy Truth of Traveling with Kids
"Yes ! It is possible to travel with children of all ages" by Susus 7
Forget the Rules of Travel – Try Backpacking with Kids in Yellowstone National Park by Sandra Foyt @sandrafoyt
Please share this article using the tools below!