Monday, September 15, 2014

Get out there! Five Very Cool Things About Travel With Kids

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Our favorite hotels are the ones with outdoor firepits.

As we prepare for our #FlecksGoBig roadtrip this month, where we will be searching the South-eastern United States for the world's largest roadside attractions, I thought I'd rerun this post about family travel that originally appeared on in 2014. Also, my friend Tsh and her crew are truly going BIG with family travel starting today. Head over to The Art of Simple Travel to wish them bon voayge as they head around the world!

I'm blogging from the road this week, so I thought it might be kind of fun to share 5 cool things about traveling with kids.

 West coast to east coast - this kiddo is amazing to travel with!

5 Cool Things about Travel with Kids

1. Traveling with your kids lets you see them in a whole new light. Earlier this month I was so impressed with the way my eleven year old carried herself and the ease with which she moves through the world (certainly more poised than I was as an eleven year old) and I'm not sure I would have known that about her if I didn't have a chance to see it in action.

It was neat to see her in an environment we aren't normally in and I feel like I know her a little better than I did before our trip.

2. Travel allows your kids to see you in a new light. By the same token, I think it is good for the family dynamic for the kids to see mom and dad outside of their normal environment and routine.

Who knew that dad had such varied taste in road trip music or that mom was so good with a map? I don't know about you, but travel makes me happy and when I'm happy I'm more light hearted and laid back and even silly. It is good for my kids to see me like that.

3. See new things ... through your child's eyes. On the first leg of our journey yesterday we made a lot of stops and saw some things that I'm not sure we would have taken the time to really observe if the kids weren't with us.

From sunrises and sunsets to the adventure of driving through tunnels (far from mundane to a seven year old!) to a slightly different selection at the grocery store to the cool shaped shampoo bottles in our hotel, our kids have taken notice of items that their dad and I might have simply overlooked if we didn't have their kids' eye view to shape our vision.

4. Travel helps you relax the rules. I don't know about in your family, but in my family it is nice to travel and relax the normal rules just a little bit. Bedtimes are later, we might watch a bit more TV in the hotel, and hey, go ahead and have two desserts, it's okay!

We left bright and early yesterday morning and my middle two thought it was hysterical that I was letting them leave the house wearing their pajamas.

Part of the point of travel is to take a break from normal, so we leave some of our regular rules at home. I think this change in the routine is good for all of us.

 So glad this handsome fella is my life's travel companion.

5. One of the best ways to learn is by doing and seeing. I have really loved all of our travels this month, especially for my oldest daughter and I as the two of us have been from one side of the country to the other in the past three weeks. As she works her way through Little Passports USA and the books she's been reading in school, how wonderful to actually visit some of the places she's learned about and see them, experience them, and make them more than just a word on a page or a dot on a map.

We have a map of the world shower curtain in our bathroom which my middle two love looking at, pointing out all of the places and the funny sounding names. What a cool gift it has been this week to take them to some of those oddly shaped states and places on the map.

I know there can be some challenges to travel with kids, of course, but I think the good things, the many benefits from the experience, far outweigh the pitfalls.

What are some of your favorite things about traveling with kids?

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