When I was pregnant and even before that I heard a lot of people say that I won’t be able to travel as much when we have kids. Other people say that your life stops and it will be about the kids then. I did believe in these things before getting pregnant and although that may be partially true, I don’t completely agree with it. Due to a couple of weddings that we had already committed to go to before finding out I was pregnant, my husband and I were dedicated to make traveling with a baby possible. Of course there was a lot of planning and logistics that went on before the day of travel but just like having a baby, you are never really ready for it and you just learn along the way. The best thing about it is I learned so much about this experience and realized that there were a lot of perks to traveling with a baby.
It is FREE or very cheap!
If traveling with a baby less than a year old, they are free anywhere and everywhere and for long haul flights you actually get to have a free bassinet for your baby to sleep in if you pre-book the bassinet seats early enough. Some airlines charge 10% of an adult fare which is usually less than $100 for an international round trip flight.
Aside from people being nice and courteous and letting you go in line first, you also get priority boarding on the plane. This means you don’t have to rush in line with all your baby gear hoping to get a space in the overhead bins. Once boarding starts, you can make your way in the front of the line and board ahead of everyone else!
Skip the lines and queues
Now this was my experience in Portugal. Families with small babies were always given priority no matter how long the line was… in taxi stands, in grocery lines and even tourist attractions. I remember being in line to go up the Clerigos Tower in Porto with my husband and we heard that it was about a 45 minute wait. We thought about not going in as our little one was getting fuzzy but all of a sudden one of the staff approached us and told us to follow him. He led us all the way to the front of the line and straight into the tower steps. I think that was really kind and considerate.
A friend of mine once told me that the best time to travel with babies is before 6 months of age as they only like to sleep and eat which was true for our little one. As long as we were on top of her feeding schedule and diaper changes she behaved like a little angel and enjoyed being rolled around in her pram or carried around in her carrier.
More Bonding Time
I find traveling with my little one to be a very rewarding experience. I felt like I was able to spend more quality time with her than when I was at home tied to my pumping schedule, juggling chores and checking off to do lists. It was just our little family and all the free time in the world to share our love of traveling with her.
More Time Outdoors
My baby just loves being outside. She sleeps more and is in a much better mood than being cooped up inside her little room most of the day. It could be the fresh air that she’s breathing or it could just be the sounds and sights that she’s seeing and feeding her curious mind. I love that I was able to show the world to her even though she won’t remember any of it. I’d like to believe that it will have impacted her life and her development at some point.
Having a baby is definitely challenging but it shouldn’t be a reason to “stop your life.” I believe children adds more beauty to the life we already had before they came and we should share that life with them. Although it can be quite challenging at times, that’s the beauty of it. Being able to incorporate that little life you made to the beauty of the one you already have. And although you cannot travel the way you used to… you still can travel. You just have to change the way you do.