I have heard this questions a few times, and I must say, it puzzles me.
I find it interesting how some people assume that there are no benefits to travel unless your kid remembers it later in life. For me, remembering the trip is just one of a long list of possible benefits to be gained by travel.
So why do I travel with kids that are too young to remember?
For many reasons!!
A big one for us is to see our extended family.
All of our kids’ cousins live a plane ride away. They love the time they get to spend with their cousins and, although they may not remember individual trips later in life, they are still growing relationships with their family that will remain.
I want them to always understand that there are many different cultures/food/languages and that differences are normal.
I see no reason why they can’t experience and retain this global perspective from a young age.
I want the kids to grow up finding travel normal.
I think travel is the best way to learn about yourself and the world.
I don’t see travel as an escape from life, like many people, but as a better way to live life, so of course I want to share this with my children whenever I can. Everything I have read on the topic says that it is easier to travel with kids if you start young.
S does still remember the trip. I’m not sure how many details she remembers, but she certainly does have a lasting love of “holidays” and things like planes, buses, trains and all the other things that we did that she loved. She asks about more holidays every day. I hope to grow this love of travel in her and Z.
It helps their development and grows their relationship with each other
My two year old’s vocabulary grew massively while we were away. No doubt a combination of being around two adults constantly, so hearing more words, and all the different things we had to talk about. My turning one year old finally got on the move and learned many new tricks, like how to paddle around in a ring in pools and climb up play equipment. I also think having only a few toys around further developed their imaginations as everything around them became some type of imaginary object. With less distractions, they also played far more with each other.
The biggest plus we have found from travel is the quality family time.
There are no distractions such as cleaning or cooking. Few things that we have to do. Yes, we could take extended periods of time off work to stay at home and have more quality family time, but 1. we would still get caught up with things like cooking and cleaning and the many other obligations that exist at home; and 2. we just wouldn’t. The seven weeks we spent in Asia were just so full of quality family time that it was hands down the best thing about the trip.
On top of all this, there’s the most obvious reason – the awesome time you can have while travelling!!
I wrote a post before we left last time about whether travelling with a baby and a toddler is the right thing to do. I’d like to finish my thoughts on travelling with kids who won’t remember by reiterating how I knew that travel was the right thing to do with our kids when I went through a list of all the things we would do with my two year old on our last trip:
We did all this, plus more. It really was the best experience of her life. She may not remember it when she is 50, but does that really matter?
You may also like to read about what inspires us to travel or 5 reasons why you should travel the world with a baby!