If you’re sitting on the fence wondering whether you could actually travel long-term with your kids – stop wondering and start planning! There has never been a better time to travel somewhere beyond your comfort zone with kids in tow. Here are five reasons why long-term travel makes sense for everyone today.
1. It has never been easier to travel
Google has long replaced the need for travel agents. From booking plane tickets through Kayak.com to texting with potential hosts and viewing pictures of your accommodation on AirBnb, you can research all aspects of your trip online and come up with a complete itinerary that spans months. Try to quell the urge to plan too much all at once – you need to leave room for spontaneity!
2. You’re not getting any younger
I’ve finally admitted that I’m solidly “middle aged.” My first inkling came when I started getting free catalogues with grey-haired models; whatever. I’m there, and I’m never going back. In all seriousness, I’m old enough to see the failing health in my parents’ generation, and it’s a wakeup call. Hip and knee replacements, failing mental health, diabetes – you name it. Aging is not pretty. I hope I can age gracefully myself, but who’s taking chances? Who wants to work until they’re 65 and then realize they don’t have the health to fulfill their travel-bug dreams?
3. Your kids are not getting younger, either
If you keep putting off long-term travel thinking it will be easier when they are out of diapers, or when they are old enough to carry a backpack, or when they are able to drive your rental vehicle, it will be too late. If you wait until your kids are the perfect age, you will find they will be out of the house and creating their own adventures – without you.
4. Travelling with kids helps you connect with others
I’ve talked with a few families who have taken the leap before me, and they all say travelling with kids is easier than without. Kids make you less threatening to others. Kids make people want to help you. Kids open doors to conversations and experiences you would never have with locals if they weren’t with you.
5. Travelling with your kids helps you connect with each other
In North America (and I suspect most other Western countries), the rat race is never going away. We will always be racing from work to school to piano lessons to swimming lessons to our smart phones that are always on. It’s in our culture and it’s insane. It makes the years pass quickly and it’s easy to live separate lives under the same roof. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize my kids are graduating from high school and moving out the house, and I don’t really know them. I’m looking forward to spending time with each other, where we can have real conversations about things right in front of us because we are not hurrying to be somewhere. Travelling long-term allows you to be present in a way that you don’t get to at home.