We all know all the reasons why traveling brings so much pleasure for adults – but ever wonder what the advantages of taking your baby (infants and toddlers) traveling are? With some observation and introspection I came up with these 6 reasons:
- (Even tighter) Bonding with baby: I feel that traveling brings us closer because unlike home where I know all and the baby is in discovery mode, while traveling we are both in discovery mode and look at the world with the same sense of wonder. Feeling the same emotions at the same time, and spending undiluted quality time together (without jobs, chores, or even TV) helps us bond better.
- Shaping their minds with experiences: now some of you may argue that they wont remember the travels when they are that young – but they also don’t understand language yet we talk to them and read to them. I do believe travel experiences, even in their infant and toddler years help shape their perception of the world. Of course the subtle nuances of cultural diversity and globalization will be better perceived by your child once they are a bit older – but I am sure experiencing environments different from their own does help them widen their perspective on a broader level.
- Exposing them to diversity: whether its diversity of textures (beach sand, cane furniture, rocks), views (mountains, rivers, sea, beach, forest), people (dark, light, with curly hair, no hair), tastes (of Greek yogurt vs home yogurt), weather (moist and hot, dry and hot, rainy, snowy) and the list goes on. I believe exposing their senses to diverse experiences early on widens their imagination.
- Show and tell: would I rather show my child a zebra drawn in a book or take her to the Serengeti to show thousands of zebras during animal crossing? I rest my case.
- Cute babies as icebreakers: while locals may be jaded with thousands of (often annoying or obnoxious) tourists they often cannot resist being nice to the bundle of cuteness hanging next to your chest in that sling. So go ahead flaunt that baby to make friends!
- First in line privileges: this last one is totally selfish – but if you are traveling with an infant or toddler you immediately get shown to the front of line at airport check-in, at ticket windows, and more; and are even offered priority seating at (some) restaurants and events.
And honestly, writing about my travels with baby helps me. It reinforces that my life continues to be as awesome as it was before I had a baby, and happy travel memories help me get through some tough times like when baby is sick or cranky or refusing to eat!
What are your reasons?