Adventurous Travel with Kids?
May 16, 2024 7:55 PM   Subscribe

I am wondering how fantastical my international travel dreams are now that I have a kid and am middle aged.

As a college student I studied abroad in Europe, did the whole eurorail experience and loved it. I lived in a couple of Latin American countries after college and loved it. After getting into my career, I did less international travel. I didn't have the money or time off from work or a partner to travel with. Now, finally, I have the money and seniority to take time off to travel internationally again! And I have a spouse who is game to travel! Yea!

But I have a toddler.

The usual advice for vacations with young children seems to be: resorts or cruises. That's not my thing. I am not super intrepid or anything (like backpacking etc.), but I would like to use the local transit, eat local food, stay someplace owned and run by locals, etc.

At what age is this type of travel doable with a kid? I know some people take even very small children to travel internationally and I applaud them. But my kid is currently unable to resign himself to a hiking carrier for a three mile hike at the local forest preserve, let alone go to a museum or a restaurant or on a walking tour. It would be me helping him not kill himself in hotel lobbies all over europe and feeling disappointed in the trip.

If you traveled successfully when you had a young kid did you have to bring a nanny? That seems insanely expensive. Are there any tour groups that include childcare? Do you just have to wait until they are 10 and older?

One of my parents had a lot of travel dreams and they died young, shortly before retirement age, the era when they had planned to do a lot of it. I really don't want to wait if there is a way to do it while we are still young and healthy.

And for anybody who needs to tell me that this is parenthood, you make sacrifices, etc.: yes, I know. I love my kid to bits and would choose him over travel every time if that'sthe way it is. I would still like to do a bicycle tour of Vietnam someday though if I can.
posted by Sophiaverde to Travel & Transportation (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Come travel Australia in an RV. Same size as the US with 12th the population, most of whom hug the east coast. It is an awe inspiring continent with the weirdest critters and the oldest continuous culture on earth.
posted by Thella at 8:21 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

It took us a while to get back going internationally after having kids. In the meantime we had a sweet spot from about 5-12 years old where we did "RV trips of the southwest". We'd fly into one place, rent an RV, and drive over the course of a week leisurely to someplace else, return the RV and fly out. The RV really helps a lot - you're not constantly packing and unpacking, they have their own space, you can bring more than you'd want to lug around on your back.

We'd stop at a thrift store and buy a bunch of books and such to have NEW THINGS on the trip - just donate them back to another one on your way out. We'd print out photos (so retro!) at a walmart ahead of us on the trip, which provided immediate gratification and scrapbook material. Campgrounds will often have playgrounds, pools, and other toddler-friendly things. KOA is especially good for this.

That was all pretty fun for both adults and children. Not everything you think of will be a hit - the grand canyon was "yeah it's a big canyon now what", but white sands was amazing and memories for life. I suspect you could do this internationally (on preview, you can!)

When we got back going internationally we tended to:
- pay more for flights. Always non-stop, sometimes business class, sometimes premium economy. Starting your vacation with a travel nightmare and a young child is no way to start a vacation.
- avoid overnight flights. Our kids were not good plane sleepers, your mileage may vary
- do airbnb over hotel (or, hotel 1 bedroom / 'family room'), so your have your own bedroom and a place to sit and have a glass of wine or whatever at night.
- slow down. One thing or at most two per day. Accept that you won't be able to travel the way you used to, not right away.
- split up, sometimes. With two adults, have some time to yourself to explore. Togetherness is great, but it can be a lot of togetherness.
posted by true at 8:25 PM on May 16 [6 favorites]

I don't travel internationally, but I do travel a lot, usually within the US by car or train, sometimes in the past by air. I had three kids, spaced three years apart, and often traveled with them. In fact, I usually let them invite friends along, so I might head off to, say, Chicago for a weekend with five kids under age 10 in tow.

I traveled well with kids, and they traveled well with me. They did have to be accommodated. On long road trips, I'd look for interesting free or cheap attractions where we could stop for breaks, and we visited places like an abandoned facility for making cannonballs and stuff outside Chicago. They loved that.

At specific activities, I usually catered to the kids. Which parts of the Field Museum did they want to see. I enjoyed what I did with them, but for the most part let them set the agenda. I got to go places in a slightly compromised way—I still want to go back to the Field on my own and spend a day doing exactly what I want at my own pace. But, for me, that was way better than just not doing it, and I was very happy traveling with my kids.

I don't know about the kind of travel you want to do. Bicycle tour of Vietnam? Would the roads/trails accommodate a trailer for a kid? What about a seat on your bike for a toddler? If I had a desire to do that with my partner and kid, I'd do it. I'd expect shorter days and more breaks than I'd take on my own, and I'd also expect long idyllic passages when the kid was conked out. I'd think a lot about what my specific kid needed for entertainment. One of my kids, in a bike trailer with, say, a bunch of Legos or other building toys, or books, could have entertained herself for ages. With another of my kids, sitting still would drive him nuts, and I'd expect to have to stop a lot for him to burn off energy. I have no idea what conditions are like for biking in Vietnam—I did all my biking on paved roads and paths—but if Mr Action were an only child and wanted to go with me on a bike trip in Vietnam (and he would have) I might wait until he was old enough to ride one of those add-on bikes for kids that are like a trailer on the back of an adult bike. And then, if my partner were with me, another carrying option that would let the kid ride and sleep.

Maybe the bike trip I'm imagining isn't a good fit for Vietnam. But maybe it could be moved elsewhere, or to a part of Vietnam where that kind of biking is possible.

Maybe the trip to Vietnam is possible, but biking would be shorter day trips with most transportation by car.

These are the kinds of decisions and compromises I made when traveling with my kids, and I regret none of them. I don't remember any of the frustrations or disappointments, but I and the kids both have a lot of happy memories of places we visited together.
posted by Well I never at 8:27 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

We took our kids 8 and 10 to Iceland; sort of our first international test of travel. It went really well, every town or hostel has a geothermal sauna. And the views and coastline are epic. Went a few weeks before the real tourist season starts, so things were open, and only a day or two we were stormed out. Most of the trip was drives between hostels / airbnbs, and we always ended the day at a local sauna.
posted by nickggully at 8:51 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

Loads of parents wrangle their children across the world to see family. Many parents wrangle their children across the world for this nebulous concept called leisure.

I think you are getting those recommendations, because those are realistically the main ways to have “guaranteed” relaxation when your kid is younger. One other option might be to bring a trusted teen/ young adult baby sitter. (Older cousins are great for this). The baby sitter gets a free trip in exchange for a previously agreed upon baby sitting schedule.

My parents took me on an international trip when I was five. I remember being exhausted at the airport (and wanted to be carried), but my parents’ hands were full with the luggage, so I just had to just deal (and did). In contrast of when I was younger, by that age I wanted to keep up with everyone, but couldn’t. I don’t remember seeing the acrobats at New Year’s Eve dinner, because it was way past my bedtime, but I do remember the hotel’s pool. My whole family remembers that trip fondly, even though I’m sure it wasn’t easy on my parents (their poor shoulders!) FWIW I remember being tired (I don’t think I understood time zones at that age), but I don’t remember being bored. In other words, I concur that many things will get easier when your kiddo is elementary school age.

Travel is hard with a toddler, and it’s entirely possible to go on a trip in which both the toddler and the parents do not have a good time. It’s highly unlikely your toddler will remember much of the trip. Thus, for discretionary travel, I would suggest setting your kid up for success. Maybe seek out destinations that are in the same or similar time zone as home. Maybe avoid super long flights. Get travel insurance, so you don’t feel bad about canceling if someone gets sick right before the trip.

This isn’t always in the parent’s control, but adventurous eaters will have an easier time while traveling.
posted by oceano at 9:05 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

I am a fairly adventurous traveler and have been taking my nephew on an “auntie-nephew” adventure every year since he was 4. We’ve been to Greece, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, and various spots in the U S. We don’t do resorts; we stay in funky hotels, eat at local restaurants, and take buses and trains. There are some trips that I remember less fondly than others, but on the whole these adventures have been deeply meaningful not only to me but to him. (He is turning 16 this year and has asked that we take a driving tour around Ireland *heart eyes emoji*.) They are different than the experiences I would have without him, but the chance to see the world with him and through his eyes is worth any missed museum or cafe.

Practically speaking, the advice from true and Well I Never above is right on - opt for convenience & comfort over budget. I personally would hold longer trips (Vietnam, Australia) for later and try to keep travel days shorter. You will definitely have to go more slowly than you would on your own, and from time to time you will have to spend an afternoon in the hotel watching cartoons instead of exploring. You will likely have to deal with some meltdowns. Bring snacks. Take naps. Be amazed together. Be together. These trips will bring you both joy long after the airport tantrum has passed.
posted by tinymojo at 9:52 PM on May 16 [10 favorites]

Travel is possible and a lot depends on the temperament and overall adaptability of your child, most of which is inborn and a bit of which is learned.

Certain things are easier as they get older: when they stop needing a nap, when they are reliably potty trained, when they can walk longer distances, when they can entertain themselves in a plane, when they don’t seem to catch every passing germ.

I have an 8 year old now (and pandemic wiped out more ambitious travel at 4 and 5 years old) but we’ve taken some good international trips (Mexico City, Japan). I feel like there was a real sweet spot when she started being pretty much up for anything, lately I feel some tweeny “this is boring” creeping in. But not every trip has to swing for the bleachers either: I took my kid on the train to Sacramento for 2 nights when she was 6 and we had a grand old time, and it still felt like real travel.

Resorts or cruises with childcare are an option, as is child focused travel (Disneyland, etc), but they aren’t the only options. We’ve had pretty good luck with other kinds of cultural and natural destinations. I never really like the “your kid won’t remember it” logic: travel for YOU, and it will still be enriching for your child and your family, you’ll tell stories about your experiences and they will become part of your family lore.
posted by vunder at 10:02 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]

By the way, Lonely Planet always had great books and tips about practical ways to do independent travel with kids. Plus travel almanacs for kids that are great for inspiration.
posted by vunder at 10:17 PM on May 16

I've travelled across the Icelandic interior for weeks in a 4x4 with a toddler and two bigger kids, and that worked well. I've also travelled around Europe by car with toddlers and having that work out. I actually find regular air travel with toddlers a lot more stressful. There's a lot of good advice in the thread, I can one re-iterate the main points of "know your toddler" and accepting that pacing is very important and also a little out of your hands.
posted by Harald74 at 10:50 PM on May 16

I traveled with my 3-almost-4-year-old just the two of us to East Africa a handful of years ago. We were living elsewhere on the continent, so it wasn’t as long a trip as it would have been otherwise, but it was also an excellent trip. I planned less for our day than I would have if it were just me. We weren’t super ambitious in our itinerary and scaled back as needed. We saw some pretty cool things. I took a few picture books and coloring pages and crayons.

I think this was one of the best vacations of my life. We ate great food, met great people, stayed in lovely, affordable places, and saw some incredible views and historical sights.

That kid is now an older teen. He remembers some things from that trip. I would heartily encourage you to travel with your kid.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:06 PM on May 16

It just came to mind that travelling with toddlers have one advantage, in that it's often easy to meet people. A family with small children are non-threatening and you'll often find that you have things in common with other travellers or locals with small children. We went to Rome once with our youngest when he was in a stroller (seriously delayed honeymoon) and people fell over themselves to help and accommodate us, restaurants moved tables for us to fit the stroller and there were constant cries of "ah, bambino!" and people wanting to interact with him (note: do not go to Rome if you're uncomfortable with people touching your baby...)
posted by Harald74 at 11:15 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

My husband and I travelled quite a bit when our kids were young, starting with our trips to China to adopt them, and including a year-long trip in Asia and Europe when they were 3 and 5.

Yes, travelling with a toddler is hard, but so is staying home with a toddler, and at least travel is more interesting!

The kids may not have direct memories of the trip themselves (although our kids remember more than I expected) but they will see your pictures and stories and videos. It becomes part of your family lore and identity, and it can entrench the values of travel (adventure, resourcefulness, diversity and inclusion, learning, etc.) in your kids long after you return home. I say if you want to do it, you can find a way and it will be worth it. Good luck!
posted by alicat at 11:21 PM on May 16

Some things really require children to have reached a certain age. If you want to go on safari in Africa, game drives start at sunrise/mid afternoon, take 3/4 hrs in a moving, open vehicle without seat belts moving on uneven surfaces. The purpose is to get up close to animals, sometimes you can't get close and if you can get close they may just be lounging and not 'doing much' but you have to be quiet when you get close to them. Simply not a process that works with young children. I've been on game drives with families with 7/8 year olds that were bored out of their minds and spent most of their time on their devices. Seemed to work a lot better with 10+ year olds, especially geeky ones who like to take photos or binoculars.

So consider what you're trying to do and know your child.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:58 AM on May 17

I have specifically attempting bike riding in Vietnam with my kids who were 6 and 9, fwiw. That failed, for various reasons. Essentially I think you can do most things but making them kid friendly costs more money and takes you further from a local experience. E.g we stayed in a homestay, my kids played with their kids, that was all great. They had bikes! But it was way too humid for my kids to go out for long and even though our very accommodating homestay owner had bought new bikes for our stay, they required my kids to hitch on the back in a way that they (and I) found terrifying 😂. He hadn't realised my kids could just ride smaller bikes. The kids are less agile and accommodating of new-ness. The more flexibility and awareness of western ways you want, the less local and small scale it gets.

Having said all that, we've been taking my kids to South East Asia , and to the parts that people consider a bit less mainstream, once they were less than a year old. You just do less, pay more and make sure there is a pool as much as possible. My kids are pretty culturally curious now, so I'd say it's possible but take baby steps towards it.
posted by jojobobo at 1:36 AM on May 17

When I grew up, we traveled all the time, so I didn't give it a second thought when I had my own kids. We were only once in a resort which was OK but not great, and never on a cruise. Also, as someone said above, it's a given when your family is spread across continents. So I guess my first advice is to do it a lot: the more you practice, the more you learn. Start with something simple and build up experiences: go on a weekend trip somewhere, then a short holiday, and so on. It's easier to start when the kids are very young. Babies can be taken everywhere. An advantage of starting early is that the kids become used to traveling as well, and better at handling situations that can be difficult for preteens on their first trip.

Second is what Harald74 said: some countries adore children, though not all, so check this out before going. Traveling in Italy with toddlers is great fun, and my daughter has now done it with her oldest not least because she has such fond memories. I have a feeling Mexico would be the same, but I haven't been there with kids.
I don't find long flights to be terrible, but YMMV, not least because kids are different. I would not start out with a long flight on the very first trip, though.

Traveling with kids is different. Not better, not worse. There are things you could do as a twenty-something independent traveler that are impossible with a baby or toddler, but then some other doors open. Spending time in a public playground in a foreign country opens your eyes to everyday life in a way that was impossible when you were traveling without kids. Staying at a hotel (in a family room) gives you some respite from the chores of everyday life, so even if you can't walk 25 km in a day like you used to, you will still return inspired and relaxed.

Don't be afraid to eat out and to serve your toddler new foods. The unusual setting might just be what gets them going with seafood and raw marinated mushrooms (my eldest), or anything other than cookies (my youngest). Avoid "childrens' menus" and all restaurants that have them. Most places will accept that you just share with kids under school age.

Often international hotels will find a babysitter, if you really need to eat out late or go to a club. But in my opinion, you should focus on sharing your experience with the kids, not pretending to be a student. In countries where dinner is served too late for your toddler, focus on lunch as the main meal, and have a family siesta afterwards. Then you can just have a stroll and some snacks or take-out for your evening meal, as a picnic or in your hotel room.

If you go to a museum or other big site of interest, understand that you can perhaps see 5-10 things, and then kids will loose interest. So plan ahead, and don't go for the Mona Lisas and St. Peters where the crowds are horrible (though sometimes a stroller has gotten us in front of a line). In spite of this, I did once go to the Alhambra with two toddlers and my grandmother, but I had pre-ordered tickets and we were there very early in the morning, in front of the line. Alhambra is a great example of a good place for toddlers BTW. It's fenced, so they can run around safely. People are nice, and there are lots of things that can catch a kid's eye. Bring snacks and water. Something like the Hancock Shaker Village could be a North American historical site with some of the same qualities, for a shorter practice trip.

When you are visiting places of interest with your children, prepare to tell them about what you are seeing, at their level of understanding. When we were at the Alhambra, I "read" Tales of the Alhambra for their bedtime stories during the whole trip, meaning I told them abridged versions, and then when we were finally there, we could talk about the stories as we walked through the gardens. Back at the hotel room, we could draw what we had seen.
My dad just read out of the guidebook, and while that worked for me, my sisters hated it and often refused to see the next Gothic cathedral. That said, my sisters and I just recently talked about a great trip we had once, to the North West of France, and together we remembered everything. It is perhaps telling that the thing we all liked the best was a tiny family-owned hotel or pension with a nice garden, where we all could relax after days of driving around to famous sites.

I usually travel on a budget, with or without kids. I remember once traveling for work with my youngest, I had a beautiful rooftop suite with balconies, and lots of service, and it was such a waste because we were out doing stuff all day. In Granada we did stay at a grand hotel, but that was for the granny, not the kids. One advantage of that was that we could have an adult dinner at the hotel restaurant after the kids were put to bed, because they could find us if they woke up. Which they did and did. It was fine.

Sometimes we have gone on trips with our siblings and their children, which is great. Unmarried aunts and uncles are great fun and many children are easier than one. But of course the siblings have to be up for the adventure.
posted by mumimor at 2:45 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]

It depends a lot on your specific kid and your specific temperaments. Traveling with my kids was a miserable slog until they were 8-9, and was infinitely less fun for me than staycations. My co-parent and I occasionally took turns traveling separately; there's no rule that the whole family needs to do everything together.
posted by metasarah at 4:05 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]

I know many academics who do this. The key seems to be that they rent an Airbnb or other homelike place (not a hotel) in a walkable city and do not expect it to look like normal touristing. They stay 2-3 weeks, soak in the environment more than trying to cram in adventure travel, do at most one tourist activity a day, eat most meals at home, and usually work while they're there (often this coincides with a conference or similar). Parents sometimes trade off so that one has the kids and the other goes and does something they really want to do. Towards the end of the journey, when the kids are settled some, they find a local babysitter to have a nice meal out.

I have known this to work well across the Nordic countries, Paris, Mexico City, and several US cities. (I did Teoteahuacan with a friend's three-year-old!)

It isn't the kind of travel you did alone. But if your job permits online work, or if you have enough time to take 2-3 weeks off, it seems to still be very satisfying.
posted by branca at 5:03 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]

One of my kids needs so. Much. Downtime. when we travel. We are fortunate to have access to a furnished apartment when we see family abroad, so we do what branca suggests above and go for a month or so, working remotely in between short outings.

My other kid is up for anything; in fact he and I would have just arrived for a week-long biking trip in the Netherlands had our flight not been cancelled last night.

Takeaways: it depends a lot on the particular kids (and their ages), but if you have flexibility to be creative with time and/or lodging it’s possible to make it work.
posted by wyzewoman at 5:36 AM on May 17

One of my close friends and her husband took their three year old to Portugal for 10 days and had an amazing time. Apparently Portugal is specifically known for welcoming and accommodating children in public life? The trip was a huge success and although they had to be flexible with how their days were scheduled, to work around the kiddo's moods, they reported that it was a really great experience. So it can definitely be done!
posted by merriment at 5:57 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]

Backroads! Small group family adventure travel. They are amazing! Minimum age varies depending on the destination, for some it's as young as six. Please check them out!
posted by Perplexity at 6:40 AM on May 17

Because my spouse is Japanese we go to Japan a fair bit and my kids have been going regularly since they were less than 1 year old. Never had issues taking them on transit or around to different places, although it was usually going to aquariums and the like we did visit Ise shrine. We used small strollers as well as BabyBjorn style carriers.

Small kids really just want your attention or something to keep them occupied. And snacks and drinks. As long as you give them those they'll be pretty fine with whatever you're doing. If you're going to a museum or some place similar just scope out where you can bail to in case the kid gets fussy so that you aren't ruining it for everyone else.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:47 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]

We have traveled internationally, and regularly, with my kids who are now 3 and 5. We go on a trip at least once a year for our conferences and to visit family from other countries.

What works best for us is (1) bring all the snacks, (2) have kids Tylenol and motrin on hand and (3) lower your expectations. Our trips are not grand sight seeing towers right now. We don't go places with a lot of hiking/walking or long lines. We do take a stroller for naps and when little legs get tired. But we basically spend our days wandering cities, going to restaurants and cafes, and finding parks/playgrounds. We see special sights from the outside, and that works for us right now.
posted by stripesandplaid at 1:01 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]

Traveled internationally in Europe with our kid when they were quite young (7 months+). Took a couple of two-week trips early on which involved multiple countries and either train or air travel within Europe. I was worried at first, but it was great! I already love vacationing somewhere walkable and just taking in the local scene, and I totally got that experience with a young kid. Tips:
  • Think slow travel! One of my favorite memories is spending a few hours having a picnic in a park in a medium-sized French city. We wiggled our toes in the clover and watched storks while eating delicious bread and cheese. Museums are great, but so are experiences like this.
  • Purchase most of your baby food, diapers, etc. locally. The baby food in different European countries is so fun! Diapers are way cheaper!
  • Look for a good local playground. I loved seeing my kid play with local kids, and relaxing and people watching. We found that a lot of European playgrounds have amenities like a composting toilet, water pump, etc.
  • Like others suggested, an airbnb or apartment hotel is great - you can plan on doing laundry, prepare some of your food, and have more space to hang out while the kid naps.
  • Get into the adventure of the unexpected even if it's not an ideal situation. We suspected a baby ear infection when we were in Switzerland, so we ended up having to make a pediatrician appointment at a clinic. It was actually an interesting experience. So was getting cold remedies from a pharmacist, which are very different than at home. You can learn more from these types of experiences vs going to a museum.

posted by beyond_pink at 1:14 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]

You don’t have to wait till 10 but toddlerhood is a bit tricky. Once they’re 4 or 5 it can be lots of fun! Until then pick a big city with good transit and lots of fun stuff to do and explore. Like NYC, Paris or Tokyo kind of place.

Then temper your expectations: one outing a day planned around nap time and near a playground.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:41 PM on May 17

During graduate school I knew a lot of people who took their babies/toddlers/small children with them to do fieldwork, often to what some might call "adventurous" locations. They weren't going for vacation, so it's a bit different, but they were using local transport, eating local foods, etc.

I think the trick is really adjusting expectations. The toddler is not going to have the stamina that you have. Moving around from location to location is going to be more exhausting and disruptive to them. You don't have to do an all-inclusive resort, but I'd pick a couple of week-long rentals as home bases, where you can do simple activities from. And if you go with your partner, you can take turns of staying back with the kiddo for nap time or whatever. It might be a slower pace, but you can likely still enjoy it.
posted by coffeecat at 2:04 PM on May 17

I think you have to try it to find out, because everyone is different. Furthermore, the situation is sure to evolve over time. You don't have to do boring resorts or cruises, but start with something a bit on the less challenging side (like probably not a bike ride across Vietnam). Based on each experience, you can calibrate your expectations and plans for the next trip.
posted by polecat at 2:50 PM on May 17

Definitely temperament. Can you do trips locally to ramp them up? You say they won't do 3 mile hikes in a carrier, what about 2? 1?

We have several ambitious backpacking trips planned this summer and have been working up to it by extending our toddlers threshold.
posted by coldbabyshrimp at 9:06 PM on May 17

We are close friends with several other families, and formed a "toddler travel club" when they were little. Took 5 boys under 5 to Tahiti, Mexico, and a couple of other places.

We found that for us, beach vacations are easy for everyone. We've gotten an AirBnB big enough for everyone, and then planned small excursions from there, leaving most of our time unscheduled. There were enough kids that all the littles had someone to play with, and enough adults who were comfortable with co-parenting, that work could be consolidated and shared. Anyone making lunch made it for 5 kids, while the rest of the adults sat outside with a cocktail watching the kids run around. It was delightful and chaotic. A total difference from how we all traveled before kids, but also more fun than most toddler travel I've heard about.

The pandemic really put an end to that magic, but now all those kids are 8-10, and they all travel well.
posted by nadise at 12:01 PM on May 18

A bicycle tour of Vietnam is probably off the cards with a toddler, at least in a way anyone can enjoy it. But there are so many things and places that there is almost limitless choice you have even with a toddler! You are definitely not stuck with resorts or cruises!

I traveled all over the country with my kids when they were very young, almost all by car which is a lot easier because you can do the long drive part at night and they'll sleep. But I do think kids need to get acclimated to traveling, so I suggest some shorter overnight trips to start with to get them used to the idea and make sure they have fun so, when you head off on a longer trip, they know what to expect and will look forward to it. I know a few people that pay for a grandmother or other relative to come along on overseas trips so they can have some relief and do things that kids can't. It seems kind of weird to me, but they seem to all end up having a good time.
posted by dg at 8:53 PM on May 19

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