How young is too young to travel? It is the one question that every adventurer asks early on in parenting. While each child is different, parents who travel extensively all agree on one thing: seeing the world is amazing for kids IF you can make it work.
As much as routine is important for children most of the time, traveling with kids gets them accustomed to breaking that routine. Families who travel long-term find that their children quickly become more adaptable and flexible after experiencing new routines.
Have you read about the family gap year trend? Check out how families across the globe are traveling full-time with kids.
Young kids are still learning about the world, and showing them variety and diversity can be a powerful life lesson. And parents can learn a lot too! Talking to American parents who brought their kids to Europe at a young age reveals how much parenting varies around the world. Bringing kids to places like France and Spain where kids’ menus are almost non-existent, and children are out playing on the streets at 10 pm is eye-opening.
But, of course, these international experiences aren’t always easy when you’ve got a toddler who can wear you out on a trip to the grocery store. So, how do traveling parents make it work? It’s all about knowing what type of travel your little one is ready to take on.
How Young Is Too Young to Travel by Plane?
Most doctors recommend that kids be at least two years old before flying. After that, it’s all up to you. There are a few great perks for bringing babies on planes. First up, of course, are the kids fly free airlines! If you have family in far-flung locations, being able to introduce them to your little one is essential, and these discounts make that much less costly.
Flying with kids when they are young is also a great way to get them comfortable with travel. And, remember, parents: planes are much safer than cars! While fear of flying is totally natural and common, it is also not something you want to pass to the kids. If you or your children are afraid of flying, make it into a learning experience. Understanding things like turbulence makes it a lot less scary when you experience it. Spend time learning about planes and safety. It’s a useful base of engineering knowledge for kids and a prime way to spark their interest.
Bring gum or a bottle to suck during landing and takeoff to eliminate any ear pain caused by changing air pressure. And, of course, keep them busy! Boredom is one of the biggest issues on flights. Bring games, movies, and snacks. Having special treats or lifting the usual screen time restrictions can be a good way to turn flights into a special treat rather than a chore.
How Young Is Too Young to Travel Internationally?
You can get a passport for a newborn, and it’s just as easy as getting your own documents. Just remember that everyone, even two-week-old babies, needs a passport to board an international flight. No exceptions!
If you are traveling by car or ship from the United States, you can enter Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean with just a birth certificate. But confirm that before you go! International laws like these can change at a moment’s notice.
As soon as you have a destination in mind and documents in hand, vaccinations are the next crucial step. Talk to your doctor to get recommendations. Different countries have different requirements for vaccinations for entry, and it’s important to know these well before you arrive.
How to Travel with Young Kids
To travel with kids, it’s essential to consider all of the factors. If you have a baby, there is a certain level of flexibility in the sense that you don’t actually need to plan kid-friendly activities. Some luxury options like Rocco Forte Hotels are ultra baby-friendly, e.g. the Brown’s Hotel in London, or the Hotel de Russie in Rome. The Hotel de la Ville in Rome has also a Seasonal Family Suite Package. Way beyond just providing a baby cot, they’ve everything from diapers to a rubber duck for bathtime, everything in between. Treat yourself to a break by researching these kinds of features before you go so you can have a stress-free experience. On top of saving on the cost of transporting baby gear, it’ll give you the freedom to travel with a lighter load.
If you’re heading to the Austrian Alps, check out our Kinderhotels in Austria. There are also a few in Croatia and Portugal, like the Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel in Portugal.
Kid-friendly hotels like Loews are super family-focused. They have all of the basics like cribs and child-proofing kits. They go above and beyond by offering things like delivery late night crayons to your room. These sorts of features and extra help can make all of the difference. Loews has hotels throughout the United States, several of them in Orlando, Florida, like the Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel , Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort , or the Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort .
There are incredible family-friendly resorts around the world that will transform the way you travel. Hotels with a kids’ camp or other programs for little ones are the key to successful travel. While you can absolutely still spend quality time together, opportunities like this allow your kids to meet other kids their own age from all over the world. They make new friends and have one of a kind experiences with locals. From learning about native flora and fauna to creating handicrafts, it is a priceless experience.
What do you think is the minimum age for kids to travel? Is there a “too young to travel” at all? Share your experiences in the comments below.