Travel and Parenting: 10 lessons I learnt from parenting while travelling! 

Travel and Parenting: 10 lessons I learnt from parenting while travelling! 

We have been very lucky that in the first 18 months of our little one’s life we have been able to travel the world.  I frequently write about the reasons we love travelling with our little one but other than loving it, it has also taught us quite a lot about parenting. It has taught me that: 

We don’t all parent the same

The beautiful Doha skyline

Having been expat parents in Qatar and also travelling with our little one we have learnt that we all don’t parent in the same way. It’s not that any one style is correct or incorrect, they are just different traditions and advice. And there is nothing wrong with this and you should take comfort in the fact that there is no right way.

Children are the same everywhere

But despite the fact that we may have different thoughts and customs on parenting, all  children are the same. The world would be a happier place if we could be like children in that respect. Plonk your child in a play area anywhere, no matter if there is a language difference, they will learn to play happily together.

That there is an over reliance on parenting books

I think these days, we rely too much on parenting books and the advice of experts who write these so called books. Again, not everyone parents the same way, and certainly not as prescribed by a book. And that’s ok!

It teaches the importance of routine and flexibility

One of the things that I have learnt travelling is getting a balance between routine and flexibility in our little ones life! This is a hard act to balance whether at home or away. While we don’t want to be too rigid, so our little one is unable to cope with new surroundings and experience, you need to make sure that you give them plenty of stability and routine in their life while travelling and at home. Learn what things are most important to your little one. For us, our nightime routines are the most important thing to keep the same wherever in the world we are.

Kids don’t need lots of toys

I don’t know about you, but we have a toy box overflowing with toys at home. When we travel, we obviously take limited toys with us and my little one really doesn’t miss the ones we leave behind.

It’s not always the high tech toys that are the best

Along with limited toys, we tend to take low tech toys with us when we travel. We pack light weight, and low irritation toys (noisy electronics are a definite no-no for flights). Our little’s ones favourite toys while travelling are building blocks, sticker books and regular books. We find these hold her attention best but also we find are the most educational. We love the fact that travel is helping to instil what we hope will be a life-long love of reading.

Nothing teaches about diversity and acceptance better than travel

Travel can be a better teacher that I can ever be when it comes to teaching acceptance and diversity. By exposing my little one to different cultures and environments I hope she will grow up being an accepting individual.

Travel is a learning experience

As much as we learn when we travel, children do too! When we travel we do different activities than we do at home. We visit aquariums, museums and parks across the globe. These experiences, that we wouldn’t necessarily have at home mean she learns something new every time she travels.

Travel doesn’t need to be exotic

But it doesn’t always have to be exotic travel to be a great experience for children. My little one has had great adventures in far flung places such as Japan and the Maldives, but has also had a great time exploring the UK!

Family quality time is key

But the biggest thing that travel gives us in our parenting is quality time! And nothing about parenting is more important that spending quality time with your children!

What has travel taught you about parenting?

22 Comments

  1. November 13, 2017 / 8:11 am

    Great post this! You are absolutely right that travel doesn’t need to be exotic when you have very young kids!

  2. November 13, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    How lovely that you’ve got to travel so much! Everyone does parent different and I also find that I parent different to my 2 girls as they have different needs

  3. November 13, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    Great post. Travel teaches kids and parents so many life skills. And it’s all about creating that balance in life 🙂 Wishing you many more happy travels together

  4. November 13, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    I love this. Kids don’t need a lot of toys, that is so true. Every time we travel I realise the importance of that!
    five little doves recently posted…Big Pink Link #85My Profile

  5. November 14, 2017 / 9:58 am

    I haven’t travelled much with my children but I wish that I could as I believe it teaches them (and us) so much. Totally agree they don’t need stacks of toys and sometime when we are away from home my children play for hours with such simple things x
    Newcastle Family Life recently posted…Silver Cross Pioneer Doll Pram ReviewMy Profile

  6. November 14, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    Great article. It is so true all of it. At home they have their toys and when they travel a simple plastic spoon and about bottle makes for hours of entertainment.#familytravel

  7. November 14, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    I love this. So many of these ring true with me. Children don’t need loads of toys or electronic items – our boys travelled for nine months with just cards, top trumps, chess, scrabble, uno and books on kindles, oh and a rugby and football. They used there imaginations and learned to come up with all sorts of games to play. Travel is a huge learning experience with so many benefits #familytraveltips
    Nicky @GoLiveYoung recently posted…Visiting the Dead Sea With ChildrenMy Profile

  8. November 15, 2017 / 6:51 am

    I love watching my kids play, especially in other countries. It is amazing how they bond despite any language differences
    Kara recently posted…The Band Review: Mayflower TheatreMy Profile

  9. November 15, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    love this, and completely agree with so many. I loved the “all children are the same” it’s so cute and I never thought of it like that before. I also agree with that traveling is a learning experience, and that it doesn’t always need to be luxury. we just stayed in a YHA a few nights ago and it was so basic but my LO loved it. #familytraveltips
    naomi recently posted…Your Experiences – Review Playmania Indoor Play Centre, SheffieldMy Profile

  10. November 15, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    Such a brilliant post. We love travelling with our kids and each time we travel we all learn something new not only about the world but about ourselves too. #familytraveltips

  11. November 16, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    Could not agree more with your takes and conclusions ! Fascinating to see with my kids the language barriers mean so little to them 😉 And that pretty much is exotic and very exciting – very refreshing to see the trips with their eyes!

  12. November 18, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Great post! I agree with everything. I didn’t start travelling with my children until they were over 10 really – but we have shared so many experiences since then! x

  13. November 18, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Great tips here. It can be very hard to travel with children, I think it doesn’t always get easier. With a 9 and 12 year old to entertain along with a 4 and 2 different interests. No two children are the same! lol.

  14. November 18, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, she’s a doll!! Seriously, her grin, and that duck outfit had me laughing away. 😀 We didn’t start traveling internationally until my girls were older, but it’s been great. It has opened their eyes to how much more there is to the world than our little corner. It’s wonderful to given kids the opportunity to see the world through a bigger lens!

  15. November 18, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Quality family time IS key! A family holiday that is super stressful for mum and dad won’t be beneficial to the kids if they know their parents are stressed – no matter where the destination. x
    Emma recently posted…Top 7 Packing TipsMy Profile

  16. November 18, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    How cute is that puddlesuit!? I agree with pretty much all of what you say. I read parenting book when I was pregnant but they basicaly went out the window when my daughter (eventually) arrived 🙂

  17. November 18, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Traveling is definitely a learning experience for parents as well as kids! I love your remark about the balance between routine and flexibility. I never thought we’d be so flexible (learning to change diapers everywhere for instance ;-)) and try to stick to routine as much as possible at the same time (naptime, sleep ritual… always the same wherever we are). The most important thing we’ve learned is that travel with our son can be as easy or as hard as we ourselves make it. As long as we’re flexible and relaxed, he is too.
    Lisa – FlipFlopGlobetrotters.com recently posted…The 20 best travel gifts for kidsMy Profile

  18. November 18, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    I live this. I love the part where you write children are the same everywhere it’s so true.

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