5 Reasons to Travel with Kids

5 Reasons to Travel with Kids

This post is part of the Social Butterfly Mom's weekly series "Validate Thy Neighbor" in which two bloggers choose a topic and write in support of the OPPOSITE of what they practice. Today, No Bags to Check and Raising World Citizens explore travelling with and without children. Please contact the Social Butterfly Mom if you are a blogger and would like to participate: thesocialbutterflymom@gmail.com.

My boyfriend and I are very entrenched in the DINK (double-income no kids) lifestyle. With no children on the horizon, we're often those folks at the airport watching families juggling strollers, sippy cups, and toddlers on the verge of a meltdown with a sense of admiration, a feeling of sympathetic exhaustion, but also a "thank goodness that's not us," sentiment. While we love to travel, travelling con bambinos is something we'll leave to the pros (or gluttons for punishment, depending on your point of view).

But in the spirit of looking at things from the other side, here are five reasons why you should travel with kids:

1. They help you get some airline perks: Practically speaking, travelling with children, may get you some benefits when flying. Many airlines let families board either first, or as in the case of Southwest, after the 'A' boarding group, without having to pre-register or pay extra. Depending on your airline's luggage allowance and the type of fare the child has, they may have be entitled to bringing more luggage than their small clothes need, so that's more space for Mom and Dad. Or at least more space for inevitable souvenirs.

2. They can travel for cheap anyway: I'm always seeing adds for "kids stay free" or eat free, or whatever free, so bringing the kids along often seems like it may not add much to the budget on that end. Many cruises, airlines, resorts, museums, attractions etc. offer reduced fares for children, giving incentive to bring the whole family along!

3. They're a great excuse to do 'kid things': We were just at Cubs Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona, and my boyfriend wanted so badly to go out onto the field at the end of the game and run the bases. As much as he wanted to try to pass for an under 12 year-old, his beard and greying sideburns give him away.  But if we had a little guy that needed some 'help' to run around, he could have been out there living his 33 year-old dream. When a kid wants to visit the cockpit of a plane, they get some captain wings, when an adult does it they get the Air Marshals.

4. They help create those priceless travel moments: My mother still talks about how much she treasures the first time the family went to Disney World and the looks of wonder and amazement on my sister and my faces. I still vividly remember being in Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, probably around 6 or 7, and when the tour guide said that the colonists often drank beer for breakfast, I piped up "My Dad would love that!" to the uproarious laughter of the crowd. Thus beginning a life of believing I am really funny and one of many awesome memories of travel I have as a child.

5. You can help mold a generation of travel-minding people: I'm a firm believer that travel benefits people in numerous ways. It helps us understand other cultures and parts of our own culture; can bring to life art, history, ecology, and numerous other topics in ways books and the internet can't; and helps us be more open-minded citizens. Start 'em early, right?

What do you think? Leave the kids at home or bring 'em along? Check out the flip side and why you should travel without kids.

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