Travelling alone or in a couple is much different to travelling with children.
It isn’t to say that either one is better than the other, but they are most certainly different.
If you are about to start a family or you are about to embark on your first holiday or trip as a family, you might be wondering what lies ahead of you.
Without scaring you too much (I hope) this blog is an ode to the difference between travelling with children and travelling without them.
It is everything we have noticed that is different, a challenge, or something we didn’t expect.
Hopefully it will give you some insight and will get you even slightly prepared for what is to come.
The first main difference between travelling with children and travelling as a couple or with friends is, of course, the change in your levels of freedom.
When you are travelling alone or with other adults you don’t need to plan as heavily as you do with children. You can kind of make things up as you go along and you can change your mind at any time.
You can even nip off to a holiday on short notice, if you can get the time off work.
This isn’t the case when you have children.
When you have children everything needs to be prepared in advance and planned out carefully.
When you are actually on the holiday you need to stick as closely as possible to routines and structures.
You can still have tonnes of fun and amazing experiences, but you just can’t change those experiences last minute on a whim.
There are no more late nights when you are on holiday with your kids.
You might be able to stay out all night partying and exploring cities when you travel with friends or a romantic partner, but with children you have to respect the bedtime routine.
When travelling with children you need to account for having less time than you normally would due to nap times and early bedtimes.
However, because you have kids now, you will probably need these naps and early nights just as much as them.
Food and Dining Options
Kids don’t and/or can’t eat all the same things that adults can.
A little bit of experimentation can be fun and help them in the long-run, but when you are on holiday with children you need to make sure that you go to a place where there will be food they feel comfortable eating.
You need to check out your hotel, accomodation or resort ahead of time and you will have to compromise on some of those fine dining experiences you had before you had children.
Family-friendly restaurants and pre-packed snacks from home are usually the way to go.
Say goodbye to alone time with yourself or your partner when you are travelling with your child or children.
Your kids will be with you 24/7 on holiday and you need to be prepared for this.
If you want a romantic getaway, you’ll need to arrange a babysitter.
If you want special alone time, yeah… no. Your kids won’t let you have the time or the space for that.
Travelling with children is different and it brings its own challenges but, at the end of the day, you are making small sacrifices in order to make lifelong memories with them. Try and cherish it, because they won’t be little forever.