It's not a secret that whenever Aaron and I travel, we of course take Evelyn along with us. It's partly from necessity - we don't have family close by to watch her over night - but we also love to expose her to different countries, regions, cultures, languages and food, even though she might not remember it at her age. Nonetheless, we think travel, in whatever form you can do it, is important. It helps break down barriers, makes you more open-minded and sensitive to others situations, and exposes you to - literally - a whole world of experiences. When Evelyn was born, we vowed to continue traveling because we feel it is so important, and to always include her (and any subsequent children we may have) in our plans. Plus, we love traveling and want to pass that on to Evelyn, and any future kids we have! In case you're on the fence about packing up and jetting off somewhere with a baby, here are some reasons WHY you should totally do it!
1) Most babies and toddlers fly free if they are under the age of 2 unless you are on an international flight, in which case, there is a fee, but it is much less than the cost of an adult ticket. This means that plane tickets for traveling with kids are the cheapest they will ever be! Take advantage of this and go see the world!
2) It exposes kids to new sights, smells, tastes, and people. I can't really imagine how this could ever be a bad thing. We just returned from Portugal and now that Evelyn is eating solid food more often, we gave her some of literally everything we ordered to try for herself: olives, salted cod, fish, veggies, exotic cheeses. She surprised us and liked just about everything!
3) It teaches kids to be flexible and adaptable. We make sure to schedule some time to chill out and relax, but sometimes, the only time slot available to do something or go on a tour might fall during a nap time. As long as your baby is in a stroller or even carrier, she can sleep right on through it (this may not work once our kids are a bit older, but we are hoping it does!)
4) Admission for infants is free 99.99% of the time (I totally made up that statistic). Again, take advantage of this! And get some pictures of you and your kiddo in some pretty cool places!
5) They can't complain that they are bored. Little babies are generally happy if they are fed, comfortable, have the opportunity to nap, and are with mom (or dad). This can either happen at home, or on the road. We choose on the road a lot of the time. They can't whine that the Lourve is boring, or that the fish market is smelly. Take advantage of being able to do "adult" things still without the little humans grumbling too much!
6) Babies are welcome most places. We honestly haven't run into a case where someone said babies aren't allowed. Of course, we are't sky diving or zip lining with a baby in tow, but we have been able to take Evelyn to restaurants, museums, churches, monuments, and more without so much as side glance at why she was there. Most of the time, people fawn over how cute she is (#biasedmom).
7) It's a good excuse to get your baby a passport. When less than 40% of US citizens have a passport, I can't help but think how cool it is going to be when she's older to look back at all her passports over the years and see the places she's gone. Sure, she may not remember all of it, but we will!
Does your baby need a passport for your upcoming trip (and yes, if you're leaving the country, she will need a passport)? Click here to find out how to get her one!