My DS is 5 1/2 months old and I have a serious travel bug! I'm wondering from those who have BTDT or have some insight, what is the best age range to travel with babies or kids? It seems easiest to travel with a baby but I am also looking at travel-schooling instead of going a more traditional route.
What do you think is the best way to go about it, do kids need routines for the most part or can they adapt to moving/travelling around in a backpacking sense?
A specific concern I have is that when travelling, is it hard for kiddos to make and keep friends? Would it be better to balance home life and travel by going somewhere new every few months or during the summer during the school years?
TIA for your comments!
We did two plane trips before our son turned 6mo and another long trip by car before he was 9mo. All trips were a dream, it was so wonderful. We continued to travel ever since and I will say the baby time was by far the easiest.
The need for routine probably depends on the kiddo and the parents. We never had a problem, DS was so happy go lucky and wasn't phased in the least by different nap/sleep times, strange places, etc.
Really you can do any age as long as you're willing to be flexible. The 'worst' time for long plane and/or car trips is just when they're starting to walk. They do not want to sit still very long, and they're still young enough that they have no attention span. My kids are pretty good travelers - they bring stuffed animals and play with them in the car when we're driving. They know the routine because we travel 2-4 times a year. It's definitely easier as they get older, but we've traveled at all ages and they're fine. You just have to plan to do a lot less and to take a lot more time doing whatever you do.
I have regularly traveled w/ my kids from Hong Kong to No. America since they were babies. We flew. It was rather unpleasant from baby-hood through the toddler years.
Things got better when they were out of nappies. Things improved even more when they could play by themselves and self-feed without making a mess. It became almost fun when they could read by themselves.
Now they are in their teens and we actually take trips for fun.
My kids liked routine and part of the pain of traveling when they were very young was re-adjusting to the 12 hour time difference and getting into our new routines.
"Is it hard for kiddos to make and keep friends? Would it be better to balance home life and travel by going somewhere new every few months or during the summer during the school years?"
Yes, I think it is hard for kids to make and keep friends & once they have a good one, it is very painful to leave them as they move on. I think it would be better for kids to have their travel in the school vacations. Most people I know who had to keep moving a lot as kids (think kids w/ parents in the military, kids w/ traveling corporate parents) did not like having to be completely uprooted every year or so.