Have you ever heard the phrase “enjoy traveling before you have children”? So had I. It might be my spirit of contradiction, but following my daughter’s birth, we went on 3 trips, on 3 different continents, before she was even 2 years old.
Don’t wait until they get older, look for great prices on Flytrippers’ cheap flight deals page and take advantage of your parental leave to travel the world, because there are benefits to traveling before your baby grows up.
Here are 5 of them.
1. Your baby flies without a seat
First of all, it should be noted that children under 2 years of age usually travel free of charge on their parents’ lap (you still need a ticket though).
Also, for babies up to 25lbs, you can ask for a crib as a bonus. This way, your baby will be able to sleep peacefully, and so will you. The crib is offered on several airlines including Air Canada and Air Transat, at no charge. Ask for it when pre-selecting seats or when checking in. A supplement may sometimes be required to choose a seat where you can access the crib.
On your flight, children are usually served first during meal service. Also, customs and security checkpoints have dedicated family lines on arrival and departure, so you don’t have to wait in long queues. Take advantage of that!!!
You are usually allowed to bring one piece of checked luggage such as a car seat or a stroller free of charge, in addition to the airline’s regular luggage allowance (to be confirmed with your carrier). On our trip to Australia, we had a rigid (rather bulky) baby carrier and stroller, in addition to our regular checked baggage and we didn’t have to pay anything extra.
2- Your baby follows you everywhere
With a stroller and a baby carrier, no matter the situation, you can wander to your favorite activity.
In cities, with the stroller, you can visit the historic district or the museum while your baby drinks or takes a nap. Do you want to go on a nice walk in nature? Your baby will follow everywhere comfortably on your back, so there’s nothing to stop you from taking a long hike.
The same baby carrier is very practical in large crowds, on the subway or at the market. Also, it allows you to have your hands free.
3- Your baby does not need to go the toilet
Hearing “Daddy, I need to go” right after getting into the taxi or bus can be irritating. This aspect is often overlooked, but a baby in diapers does not always need to go to the toilet.
That’s one potential source of stress that you can forget. No need to bring a large number of disposable diapers, they are found everywhere in urban centres, large and small. The same goes for purees and cereals; the major brands are available abroad.
4- You baby will receive gifts…
In addition to smiles and appreciative or curious looks, you are sure to come out of the craft market with small gifts that the salespeople will have given your child.
During our stay in Georgia, we received, among others: trinkets, cloth dolls, and wool socks. Also, we were stopped 2 or 3 times a day to be asked to take a picture of our daughter. To the point where she was nicknamed “Popular Arielle”!!!
5- Your baby breaks down barriers
One of the greatest advantages of traveling with children (and of all ages) is the ease of contact with local residents. Starting conversations becomes much easier. People approach you, ask questions, offer their help. People are much more likely to open their doors to you because trust is built quickly.
On the bus, you are offered the best seats instead of standing in the aisle with your luggage. Of all my trips, the ones I took with my daughter are when I have seen a striking increase in how welcoming and kind people were in all situations.
Put aside your fears and take advantage of your parental leave to escape with your family somewhere on the planet. Far from the daily routine, there is no better way to build close relationships with your children. We often underestimate children’s ability to adapt, and for them at any age, travel is an incredible opportunity to satisfy their curiosity. Traveling with your family is extraordinary; you will come back with unforgettable memories and only one desire: to go back.
Have you traveled with your baby? Do you have any reasons to add to the list?
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Cover image: A hike in Kata Tjuta, Australia (Photo Credit: Pascal, guest-blogger)
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