Travel Myth Busters: Kids Should Be a Certain Age to Travel
We are kicking off summer this year as a family in Costa Rica. Just as we have done in previous years, the day after school ends for the summer, we hit the air ready for a quick transition from early wake-ups, packing lunch kits, and rushing to after-school activities to taking our time exploring, spending time together, playing, and relaxing. It can feel a little chaotic prepping for a trip while checking off the last week of school activities, but I love the feeling of going wheels up as soon as the kids are 'ours' again for the summer.
Josh and I actually came to Costa Rica without the girls last year, but we loved it so much that we returned with them this year. It is exceedingly rare that we repeat a destination that quickly, so that speaks to how much we truly love it here. I have so much to share with you about experiencing the same place in a whole new way with the kids once we get back home, but for now, I wanted to talk about something slightly different.
There's an endless array of family travel myths, but one of them that jumps out at me right now as being patently false is that you should wait until your kids are older to travel so that they can benefit from it. 'They' say that until the kids are a certain age - be it school aged, or ten years old, or junior high, or whatever arbitrary number is pulled out of a hat, that bringing them on trips is just a selfish act of sorts as travel doesn't benefit them.
My youngest daughter is two years old. She's still in diapers, drinks from a sippy, and 100% needs an afternoon nap. You could argue she is still a toddler. Yet, she's traveled enough that not only is the process of traveling with her usually a breeze, but I was lucky enough to capture a video this morning that in eleven seconds or less shows how much she benefits from travel at only two years of age.
As you can see if you have a few seconds to spare, she is exciting, literally beaming, and over the course of only two days in Costa Rica has picked up several Spanish phrases that she is actively using. We aren't pushing her to learn any of this, she is just around enough people here that are saying basic phrases such as "hola" or "buenas dias" that she wants to understand and respond in kind.
No doubt we could teach her this sort of thing at home, but it would not have the same meaning and relevance to her as it does here. This process certainly isn't unique to her as all kids are literal sponges. They will soak up whatever is around them, and in this case, that means soaking in some very basic context and skills in another language.
Even if she didn't learn a thing on our trip, there is no question that she is having a ball, as is her older sister. I can't think of a better way to kick of summer than with a little bit of learning, some smoothies, animal spottings, and a whole bunch of family swim sessions, all for just 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night. If you want to follow along as we explore, follow us @mommypoints on Instagram.
I'd love to hear what family travel myths are totally false in your family!