If your child is between one and three years of age, then you officially have a toddler on your hands. While you are still likely dealing with diapers and scheduling around nap times, your toddler is absorbing intellectual, social and emotional cues at a tremendous rate. Why limit opportunities for new adventures? Check out our expert tips and advice for international travel with toddlers.
There are some genuinely inspirational travel bloggers and Instagram influencers well worth following. For example, thetravelingchild is the Instagram handle for the Hambrick Family, and their motto is “If kids live there, kids can visit.” Since their first child was six weeks old, they have traveled extensively and are more likely found in Petra or Rio than at a theme park. Their website is filled with advice for families looking to stoke wanderlust in the next generation.
The quickest path to a toddler meltdown on an international trip is to over plan. Traveling with toddlers requires flexibility, and to be flexible, you can’t have a packed itinerary. We recommend booking the essentials, but leaving the remainder of your itinerary open to interpretation. You can avoid fixed dates; however, devise lists such as:
- Indoor attractions for rainy days
- Outdoor attractions
- Things to tackle in the early morning
- Restaurants to try
Extend Your Stay
You may want to take in all the sights you can on your travels, but this isn’t going to be the case when traveling with a toddler. As much as possible, extend your stay at any given destination, and you’ll soon realize your children will be easier to settle, and you’ll have time to visit lesser-known attractions while spending quality time as a family.
Break Up the Journey
No destination needs to be off-limits when traveling with a toddler. Little ones are typically fascinated by bumping along in an African national park and constantly asking insightful questions. However, if your destination includes more than one long-haul flight, we recommend breaking up the journey with a stopover for a few days.
For example, if you intend to go to Southern Africa on safari, then consider a stopover in London, where there are numerous things to do with toddlers for a few days. This will assist with jetlag and get the family acclimatized to the change in time zones before getting to your primary destination.
Is International travel worthwhile for families with toddlers?
When it comes to international travel and toddlers, skeptics retort that the hassle and expense aren’t worth it if your child isn’t going to remember. However, a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst notes that family bonding time is decreasing in modern society, and travel has proven to:
- Improve communications within the relationship
- Reduce the possibility of divorce
- Strengthen lifelong family bonds
- Increase a sense of well-being for both adults and children
If you have a thirst for travel, take your toddler along for the ride. If you follow our tips and advice, then we are confident you’ll never regret the opportunity to spend quality time with your family.