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Five ways a child can enhance your travel experience

I always thought my travel life would change drastically when I had a baby, and yes that has happened but what has surprised me the most whilst incorporating my little one into our lifestyle is how much a child can enhance your travel experience. I still travel often, the main differences are we are taking things more slowly, factoring in naps and have had to boycott the nightlife aspect of our travels. There are so many ways she has improved it. Of course, I miss having a night time social life but my stamina is slowly declining these days so I can’t say it bothers me too much.

Child enhance travel experience

5 WAYS A CHILD CAN ENHANCE

YOUR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

1) We chat to locals we may not ordinarily have an opportunity talk to

All too often locals and other tourists come and interact with Esmé. This is subsequently a natural lead into conversation. It has been amazing for us in getting to know other people, especially the locals. I can’t see how I may have started a conversation with these people otherwise.

Child enhance travel experience

2) More often than not we get to skip arduous queues

Many airports and other such places notice us with a baby and take us to the front of a queue. It doesn’t happen everywhere but it’s extremely helpful when it does. Recently when we were stood at the back of a three hour queue in Havana airport, we were taken to the front. The lady who was next in line had a melt down and gave us some serious evil looks. I felt sorry for her as she had been waiting for ages but I didn’t get too involved as the staff dealt with her. Let’s just say her attitude didn’t go down too well with the staff. So as much as it is helpful, there will always be one or two haters. I say they should get a toddler to stand in line for three hours and then come back to me!

We also really feel the difference when travelling without Esmé through an airport- sooo much queuing!

Child enhance travel experience

3) I see destinations through different eyes

I definitely notice more of my surroundings in comparison to pre-baby travels. For example children in a playground, what are they like and how do they play together? Does Esmé enjoy being here? I notice things I would have previously not taken much of an interest in because Esmé has specifically pointed it out. For example when we were in South Africa recently she was fascinated with walking around a market that had lots of African jewellery so we spent some time exploring. Child enhance travel experience

4) Taking it slowly actually means you get to know a place, its culture and the people much better

When we were in Vietnam for example, we spent almost two weeks in one city. I have never done that before. It was really refreshing to  get a good feel for the area. I loved returning to our favourite spots throughout our time there. Although Esmé grew a liking to their local Cao Lao noodle dish and unfortunately did not eat anything for ages after we left. Child enhance travel experience

5) We never have a hangover

It goes without saying party days are well and truly over. A stark comparison to pre-baby holidays when we use to feel a little shady hiding behind our sunglasses and requiring regular naps! It is quite nice to always feel fresh and take in the surroundings. Coconuts seem a good replacement- Just kidding!

Child enhance travel experience

In summary…

Obviously it’s not always perfect. Our disaster stories always seem to involve shit nappies and major accidents. So I am not trying to kid you here. I just want to highlight what is great. Positive vibes!!

Do you have any other amazing ways you feel your child has enhanced your travel experience ? let me know and leave a comment!

Related: Read the ultimate guide to travelling with an infant because as you can see it can be quite positive!

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Child enhance travel experience

Beth

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Without a doubt we live in the moment a lot more whilst travelling with a little one... I thought travelling with children would mean filling the days with children’s activities but what it’s really means is that the days are filled with family time minus distractions, you can’t beat it. Plus pre children time zones were an issue, now time zone what time zone. Breakfast at 3am we get up, embrace it, laugh about it, enjoy it. Would we have embraced it before, erm no! Final thing....when you do the nursery pick up and they say ‘Hattie was telling us all how to say thank you in Japanese today’. Priceless ?

Marion

Saturday 23rd of June 2018

Hi, I love that I've come across your website! My husband and I have a 2 year old and (will be) 7 months old. We're going to travel around Europe for 5 weeks, mostly camping. It's refreshing to see other parents have done it and how much you enjoyed it. Yay for no household chores!

Anna

Sunday 25th of March 2018

What a great post, I agree with you on every single point! Recently we traveled with our baby Southeast Asia and decided to continue traveling as much as we can, because it was such a rewarding experience, which also connected 3 of us so much closer as a family. We never connected to locals so much and so easy, eg were invited to a local wedding in Sri Lanka and to a local baby birthday in Malaysia. Additional point: we made good friends along the way, who also traveled with their kids - so now we will visit each other at home in different counties, too :-) Love your instagram account , too

Cdschmidtke

Monday 6th of March 2017

We have definitely noticed our little lady helps us interact with the locals sooo much more and really forces us to take our time. Much needed with my type a personality! We also find that travelling with our little lady turns even the most mundane things into fun, happy memories. Playing peekaboo while waiting for our takeaway, singing songs and dancing in our room just because and so on. Even the shit diapers seem to leave us giggling in an "omg I can't believe this shit" (literally) kind of way! Keep inspiring! Family and I are currently in NZ, soaking in my mat leave time after your inspiration :)

Karen

Monday 6th of March 2017

Amazing enjoy it xxxxx

Natasha

Wednesday 2nd of November 2016

Have just started following your blog, am from South Africa. What I enjoy now about travelling with my toddler, is the fact that she's teaching me to be fearless - I'll admit I'm quite timid, but to ensure she gets maximum enjoyment, I cannot show her that. So in the process I get stronger. I've also learned that my little girl loves playing with children and does this so effortlessly, in whichever surroundings we find ourselves - which is also in stark contrast to the way I am. So just by broadening her world, she's learnt valuable lessons that I might not have been able to.

Karen

Friday 4th of November 2016

Hey Natasha, this is so lovely thanks for sharing. It sounds like you are super insightful and thoughtful person x

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