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Families often have to decide when is the right time to take a big vacation. Maybe it is to Disney, or Hawaii, or Europe. You want to take your children and expose them to these amazing experiences, but you want to wait until they are older or until they will remember it more. So why do we choose to travel with young kids? Especially with twins in diapers still? You might be surprised.
This post is sponsored by Allianz Travel Insurance. All opinions are my own. While this post is sponsored by Allianz, I am also a paying customer.
My family is about to embark on a bucket list road trip. We will be traveling from Seattle to San Diego (be sure to follow our adventure on Instagram as we use #Seattle2SanDiego to document our journey). This is something that my husband and I have wanted to do since before we had kids. For over ten years we kept talking about doing a trip like this.
We decided that this year is the year we were going to make it happen. This year…with a seven year old with extreme ADHD and two-year-old twins in diapers, we have decided to spend 17-18 days in the car. Yeah, we may be crazy.
I want to share why we are choosing to do this trip now, instead of waiting until our kids are older or until we know we are done having kids. And maybe, just maybe, I will help you decide if now is the time for you to take that big vacation you keep dreaming of.
Why We Didn’t Take This Vacation Before Having Kids
I mentioned that we have been wanting to take this trip since before we had kids, for over a decade. So maybe you are wondering why we didn’t take this vacation before having kids.
Simple. We couldn’t. There were multiple reasons. We were both working full time and did not have the tenure to have enough vacation time. On top of that, we were going through infertility treatments, which ate up most of our income. And that is okay. We wouldn’t give up our kids for all the travel in the world.
So instead, we kept working, and just kept dreaming how some day we would be able to take this amazing road trip we kept talking about.
We have so many vacations on our someday list, but this is definitely the one we have talked about doing for the longest.
Why Travel With Young Kids?
So why do we travel with young kids? Look, the Goof took his first big, 7-state, 12 day road trip at just shy of 2 months old. The twins headed to Disneyland at 3 months old (1 1/2 months if you adjust for being preemies). And we have gone on multiple vacations, big and small, every year after having children. WHY?
There are a lot of reasons NOT to travel with young kids after all. You want them to remember it, you don’t want to have to stop, it can be hard to entertain two year olds in the car. The list goes on and on. But the list of why nots seemed so insignificant to us compared to the list of why we should travel with our kids even though they were young.
When You Travel With Young Kids, They Learn How To Travel Well
Because the Goof has been traveling since he was a mere 2 months old, he is one of the best travelers ever! Seriously. He can keep himself entertained in the car, the airport, etc. He can go with the flow so well. Even with having ADHD, he is awesome when it comes to travel.
The twins, well, while we traveled at 3 months and 6 months, after that, for the next 6 months we only took a few small day trips. Then one road trip, and another break of almost a year with only small day trips again.
Hate to say it….they don’t travel as well as the Goof did at their age. But they still travel better than so many other kiddos out there.
They are more than happy to sleep in their car seats and they love hotels. They get the idea of waiting in lines (thanks Disney) and are even more social than they used to be now that we are back to traveling often again.
I know that my kids will be excellent travelers as they continue to grow, because it is not a foreign concept to them.
Traveling With Young Kids Exposes Them To New Experiences
I want my children to have all the experiences in the world. Well all the good ones anyways. Traveling with young kids gives them a chance to see different cultures and lifestyles, while they are still young enough to soak it all in and not have other people’s opinions taint their views. In fact, this is why we are looking to start traveling out of the country soon (hopefully) because we want them to experience other cultures before they are stuck in their own world.
As Kids Get Older, Life Gets Busier
Since my husband and I went through years and years of infertility, we have a lot of friends with older (teenage) kids. We have seen how hard travel has become. Now there is always something that kids have going on. Sports, music, church camp, scout camp, the lists go on and on. Not to mention once they get old enough to want summer jobs!
We know that right now, our kids don’t have a lot of activities going on, and they don’t have big plans for their school breaks, so this is the right time to travel for us.
My Kids Aren’t Getting Any Younger, And Neither Are We
Our kids are growing up. The thing is, it is not just them getting older. We are getting older too. And time starts to go by quicker and quicker as you get older. I had a realization earlier this year that there are a lot of things I kept saying I wanted to do and still haven’t done. I may feel like I am still in my early 20s but truth is, I am closer to 40 than 30.
We can keep saying “someday I want to go to Paris.” But before we know it “someday” is come and gone. So I don’t want to suddenly feel rushed to do a million things with my kids because they are heading off to college the next year. I want to be able to say “look at all we have done, and now we can enjoy this time doing whatever you want to do.”
But What Happens When Things Go Wrong When Traveling With Young Kids?
This is probably the thing that used to stress me out the most when thinking about traveling with kids. When the Goof was two months old, he was a pretty high maintenance baby. Our 12 day trip was actually supposed to be 17 days, but I couldn’t bring myself to travel that long with a tiny infant.
When the Goof got a little older, it got easier, but let me tell you, that first trip to California with him at 10 months old taught me that a lot can go wrong when traveling with young kids. From hitting a massive snow storm in the middle of nowhere, to a blow out diaper at the side of the road in 24 degree weather at 2 am, to his first ER visit after falling off the hotel bed… it was definitely an adventure.
We have had plenty of travel mishaps with all of our children, but I have learned not to sweat it.
Why I Don’t Stress Over Travel Mishaps With Young Kids
I am a planner. I get stressed thinking of not being in complete control of a situation. I over pack. I over plan. Traveling kids made me realize I had even less control over our vacations.
I decided I couldn’t let that stop us from traveling (see our reasons we travel with young kids above). Instead, I learned I just needed to be better prepared for the unexpected.
That includes preparing for cars breaking down, ER visits, and travel delays. After our horrible, no-good vacation, I realized that when things go wrong, the biggest stress factor is the financial impact of things going wrong.
I realized that I needed to protect us, and our travel investments to help me relax when traveling. The best way for me to do this is by purchasing travel insurance.
Allianz Travel Insurance has saved us multiple times on our travel. From having to cancel a vacation due to a death in the family and pregnancy complications, to knowing we are covered in case of a medical emergency, I feel a lot more comfortable traveling with young kids knowing we are taken care of if anything comes up.
How Allianz Encouraged A Big Road Trip With Little Kids
So, here is the other thing…Allianz actually helped us decide to take this big road trip now. Let me explain. I have always used Allianz for hotels and rental cars, but we had discovered their annual plans. The annual plan was so affordable that we decided we need to make this a year of travel because we will have travel insurance for our entire household (us and the kids) for an entire year.
That means we can book hotels and vacation activities using save money tips and have a year full of adventure!
We decided this is the perfect time to take a long road trip where we can travel happy and not worry about the things that might come up because we have coverage. If a child gets hurt or sick, or if we have a travel delay, we know that Allianz will take care of us.
So What Is Our Big Road Trip?
Our big road trip is an adventure that will take us from Seattle, all the way down to San Diego! We are super excited to share this adventure with you. Allianz will be along with us along the way, making sure if something goes wrong, we are taken care of. And we want you to follow our journey too.
We will be sharing our adventures on Facebook, and also on my instagram account and our FamilyAdventureAndTravel instagram account. We will also have some giveaways along the way, so make sure to follow us!