WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL WITH KIDS?
The first thing that comes to mind when I get this question from parents is: “what about you?” 😅
The short answer is it depends. I think each age group presents as fair share of fun and complexities; and based on the location and type of travel (camping, beach, city) there might be different things to consider when deciding on when to plan your next adventure with your minions.
My kids are aged between 2 and 11 and half so based on my experience in these age groups; I would like to share some of the pros and cons of travelling.
This is my personal opinion and shouldn’t stop you for heading to that adventure at all.
0 – 3 years old
- Children below 2 basically travel for free
- The parents have more control over the itinerary
- The kids are very portable at this age
- No school to worry about, at least in a formal sense, so you have more freedom to plan your travel dates.
- Limited mobility: you need to be ready to have your little one most of the time unless you hire a babysitter, which is not always simple of easy in a whole new country (for instance). So plan your activities accordingly
- Although they travel practically for free, kids 2 or below don’t have a big luggage allowance (10kg on average) so you might need to sacrifice some of yours.
3 – 5
This is such a lovely age group as your little one becomes more autonomous and more curious. The more noticeable change is that they will remember better about the new destinations and have stories to tell when they come back 🙂
You may need to plan a few activities entirely centred around them at this age, so family resorts and recreation parks might be the best.
5 – 10
By this age they are more active participants in your travel plans. They form their own expectations and idea of what they would like to do on holiday.
The top relief is that they listen 🙂 and can respond so communication is better and tantrums are behind you. This is also a good age group to introduce more cultural activities like like museum visits, as they can follow guided tours on their own.
From around 7 schools organise more camping trips so they become more independent as a result. If you are comfortable with it, traveling as an unaccompanied minor can be introduced around 9 yo too.
11 – 12
Transitioning into high school means more school responsibilities and less flexible on dates outside of school holidays.
The independence in this age group is quite refreshing but I would suggest to agree on some ground rules and few security tips with the kids (police and emergency details, attitude towards strangers and so on).
I believe this is actually my favorite age group as they are less forgetful and are actually more helpful with their younger siblings too.
Have you experienced any of the above? Please can you share your experience on each of the age groups above?