Traveling alone is not without its challenges and having a baby along for the excursion makes it an adventure to say the least. Though it sometimes gets a bad rap, there are actually some benefits to traveling with baby that you might not be aware of.
Babies Adapt Easily
At least most babies do. Give them a warm, cozy blanket to snuggle in, a dry diaper, and a full belly, and most babies will be content no matter what time of day it is, or what part of the country they are located in. Some babies respond better to routine, but if you start regularly traveling very early on, the travel routine itself can become their routine.
Of course, this can be problematic once you hit a lull and aren’t traveling anywhere for a time as they will have to adjust to that new normal, but thankfully, babies are excellent with adjusting as long as you incorporate micro-routines. For instance, even if you sleep somewhere new every month, you can still make it a routine to have a nice bath at bedtime, and rock your little one to sleep. The most important anchor a baby needs in its life is you. Everything else is just noise.
Babies are Portable
Let’s face it, babies come with a lot of gear and it can be hard to know what to pack when traveling with your baby. There’s diaper bags, strollers, car seats, cribs, not to mention diapers galore. However, if you can pare the gear down to the absolute necessities, babies can actually be quite portable. They don’t weigh much yet, so you can easily put them in a backpack harness or baby sling and sight-see with the best of them. If you are a serial traveler, babies can force you to become more minimalist in your lifestyle. Travel far, travel light! Just don’t forget the diapers and wipes.
You Get to Skip Lines
Perhaps not all the time, but often enough to consider it a perk of parenthood. This holds true at places like airports as well as more entertaining places like theme parks and restaurants. There is something about babies that can melt even the toughest employee heart. Kids also open doors and invite experiences you might not otherwise get while traveling alone. Other families resonate with you and are more open and friendly. Sometimes you might even get invited along for the ride with families that are traveling with you, so that you can all share and enjoy the experience together.
You Get to Pre-Board
Taking your baby on a plane can be scary, however, there are some benefits to it. This can be a win, we promise. While it might not be the best move if you’re traveling alone, it can be excellent if you’re traveling with a partner. Your partner can pre-board the plane and get your bags and seating all situation, while you stroll around the airport, people-watching and keeping your little one soothed and entertained. Not only do you get to board the plane after the long line has passed, your baby will hopefully be soothed into a nice long nap by all that walking and bouncing.
Babies Can Help Break the Ice
Did you know babies make for excellent conversation starters? There is the odd rude person who just doesn’t like kids and you’ll certainly run into those while traveling. However, most people coo and ooh and ahh over new babies, which makes them great for breaking the ice in new environments and sparking up conversations with strangers. You can even bond with other new parents as you all commiserate on the pros and cons of traveling with baby. Even when you’re abroad and might not speak the local language, your wailing baby is a universal experience that parents everywhere can relate to and sympathize with.
Babies Force You to Slow Down
One of the perils of traveling, especially if you travel frequently, is it can get routine. You speed through everything like you’re on autopilot and forget to slow down and be present in the moment. In many cases, the whole point of traveling is to enjoy the present moment and expand your horizons. Taking baby along forces you to slow down and appreciate the little things as you observe the world around you and how your baby reacts to it.
You’ll Make a Ton of Memories
Someday, your travel days may really be over. When that happens, you’ll have memories of this time in your life that you got to make while traveling with your baby that are irreplaceable. Yes, your baby might not remember all of those sweet moments in new, exciting places, but you will. You’ll remember those moments and you’ll remember how you felt in those moments. You might even miss them a little. Memories are priceless, so make as you can before your baby grows up and is no longer a baby. It happens faster than you might think!
Life is an adventure meant to be lived, not just survived. Traveling with your baby only ramps up the adventure, which might be the best benefit of all.