Why are you going there? She wont remember. It’s too much work to travel with kids. Your traveling days are over. Why do you travel so much? You’re crazy taking her there. 

These are just a few of the phrases we often hear about our travels with our daughter, Elah.

It wasn’t uncommon before Elah was born for my husband Ilan and I to go away to the weekend to places like Abu Dhabi or Serbia. When we got pregnant with Elah, everyone basically said our traveling days were over. Ilan was determined to prove them wrong (mostly because he likes proving others wrong). I was determined to make travel a part of our family life because I felt the experiences were more important than any material item I could ever give my child.

It’s ridiculous when people question us on why we would travel with Elah just because she won’t remember.

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Why hold your baby? Why take them to the park? They won’t remember those moments, either.

Here’s why we’re taking her with us on our travels, wherever we go.

Experiences are the building blocks of who we are. 

Traveling enhances developmental milestones: shapes, sounds, smells and seeing new things. These are things a baby experiences everyday. Babies are learning from the moment they wake up until they go to bed. The ocean air, sand on her toes, seeing new faces and eating new foods are all new experiences for her.

Elah ate fresh papaya in the Philippines. She dipped her toes in the ocean for the first time in Guadeloupe. She has walked through the parks of St. Louis, Missouri and ventured around central London. She is always looking around and taking in her environment and I believe exposing her to the world at such a young age is good for her.

Traveling allows them to experience things outside of their everyday life. Each time they do this it will help them gain the confidence to push themselves further even when they are not traveling. It helps kids step outside of their comfort zone. It makes them good travelers.

Traveling makes a more adaptable and flexible kid. 

Kids are flexible and resilient if you give them the chance to be. Elah has no issue going to crowded places and loves smiling at people. She is used to sleeping in different cots, in her buggy, on an airplane, in a crowded shopping mall or outside on a blanket. I truly believe that consistently exposing her to different situations has allowed her to be more flexible and adaptive to change.

It’s good for parents, too, because traveling brings everyone closer.

Being a parent is hard. Motherhood is tiring. Sleepless nights, diaper blow outs and the never end list of chores. Sometimes YOU need a holiday. Traveling to a new place and relaxing allows you to focus on one thing: your family. Traveling can help bridge the gap between being a couple and becoming a family by helping create new memories and bond without any distraction.

Parents with babies rarely get a date night without feeling guilty about the million and one things they should be doing.  Traveling takes you away from your normal everyday life and rids of you that guilt.

We are all so busy through out the year. Traveling is often one of the best times to spend quality time. Traveling with a little one certainly is not easy: it stretches your patience and limits. But at the end of each trip, we feel closer as a family and continuously discover new things about our daughter along the way.

A family that travels together, stays together—through hardship and happiness.