Long Term Travel vs. Starting a Family

Guest post by Milan from WeVacationForFree.com

When you are young and just starting out in life, kids and travel can seem like two diametrically opposed continents. Young adults that love to travel often weigh their options between taking on the great adventure of long term travel, or stepping off the cliff into starting a family. Fortunately, with a little preparation you can begin a family and enjoy traveling at the same time.

Start Young
The sooner you start traveling with your children, the faster they will get used to it and believe it’s totally normal and how every family lives. Kids are extremely pliable, they roll with the punches and will enjoy traveling if you enjoy it. It?s really never too early or too late to instill a love of traveling and learning about new cultures. I know some parents that put off traveling until the kids are grown, or put off having children to travel first, but you don?t need to. Not only are you depriving yourself of experiences, you are depriving your children. If you are starting a family, create travel plans around their milestones and take advantage of the years before they start school if you plan on having them attend a traditional school.

Kids Live Up to Your Expectations
Like most things in life, people give you what you expect of them, and kids are no different. If you expect your child to be able to walk a mile, they will be able to, if you are waiting for them to have a tantrum, they probably will. Try not to put expectations on your child so you can see what they are really capable of, or what they really think in new situations. When you are traveling you?ll come across things that are completely new to your children, and one of the best experiences you?ll have as a parent is watching their reactions. Let them learn and grow, and they just might teach you something.

Add in Down Time
Kids need time to be kids, even while traveling. Parents often become frustrated while traveling with kids because they want to be moving all the time to fit in as much as possible. Take time to let the kids run around a park or watch a movie. While you might not see as much, your kids won?t be overwhelmed and cranky, no matter how old they are or how mature. Taking the time will also help you appreciate the experience and renew your energy.

One of the best perks of traveling with a family while you are young is that you will be introduced to different aspects of the places you visit that you otherwise wouldn’t see or experience. Children are great at making friends which can help introduce you to locals. The other benefit is having the energy to travel and stay active with your children, something you’ll definitely appreciate when you are older.

Milan and her family of six have saved over $14,000 vacationing by home exchange. Follow her on Twitter @HomeExchangeMom for tips on how to find house swaps.

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