On Traveling with Kids

traveling with children

I believe there is a shared experience among us that brings greater understanding and empathy between mothers than most. It’s that one where your exhausted and borderline delirious toddler has the meltdown of the century as you’re taxiing down the runway in an airplane that has now become your prison for the next few hours. All the judgemental eyes are on you as you enter into survival mode at an altitude of 10,000 ft and you know there is no turning back. It’s a terrifying experience, but in all reality, it’s relatively short-lived and it’s a rite of passage that one day we will all most likely look back on with fond memories.

Also, all the inconveniences of traveling with children are worth it if we can reframe our expectations of our children and the trip. Years from now, when I look back on my parenting, I’d like to believe that I chose to value shared family experiences over accumulating nice things. I want my wealth to lie in rich memories and deeply authentic relationships. In the end, it’s relationships that matter most. I wish someone would have the courage to look us mothers in the eyes and say that it’s all going to be so worth it in the middle of the epic inflight tantrum.

Lex Brinton, cofounder of Walker Family Goods, traveled to all 50 states in a span of 5 years with her family of 8 and shared a similar sentiment to what I’ve been feeling. She reminisced about her experience in a recent issue of the Magnolia Journal sharing, “I would much rather be exhausted from chasing kids around an unknown city than not travel with them at all, and I have my parents to thank for that…I think our culture can sometimes make traveling with kids seem like a daunting task – and it can be – but I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of how-tos in this world; you don’t need an instruction manual for traveling with kids. But keep it simple- and essential.”

So, if you’re debating about taking one last vacation as summer is coming to a close or thinking about a fall family getaway, then take the trip and make the memories. Don’t be afraid to be the parent in uncomfortable circumstances. Your children will thank you one day, and they will be so grateful for the adventures you paved and paid a way for. If you’re thinking about hitting up one of these three cities, then check out our Kid-approved City Travel Guides with recommendations from our staff who’ve called these places home.

Nashville City Family Travel Guide

New York City Family Travel Guide

Philadelphia City Family Travel Guide

Bonus Tip: If it’s been a while since you’ve had a girl’s getaway or time away with your husband, then, by all means, dream up, save for and plan a kid-free vacation soon. We’ve included a getaway guide to Atlanta that’s for adults only and full of some of the most fun spots this centrally located city has to offer.

What vacation are you looking forward to?