My son will turn 2 years old in July, and he’s already been on nearly 30 flights. While we celebrate his birthday, we say goodbye to his free rides we’ve taken full advantage of (for those who don’t know, babies until age two can fly on parents’ laps free of charge). It’s been a nice ride, to say the least. We’ve taken him to France (from Paris to the French Riviera), Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Florida (three times), New York City, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Kansas City and Minneapolis for countless trips to see his grandparents. He’s traveled more than his four grandparents have in their lifetimes (combined) and much more than my husband and I did before becoming travel addicts.
Most people respond in disbelief when they hear about our traveling toddler. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Born to two parents who believe the opportunity to experience new places and cultures is one of the greatest things in life, we wanted nothing more when we became parents than to share these experiences with our child.
Our traveling ways aren’t for every family or every child. But with careful planning, deal scouting, sensible itineraries and a sense of humor, family memories can be made across the globe.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but our quick guide to happy traveling with a child in tow:
With the first two years behind us, I wonder what traveling would be like with two children. I imagine the experience is more complex and more costly; but I’d like to think the effect is what a parent can say about more kids in general: you just adapt. So until whenever that time comes, we’ll keep traveling with our now-babbling little boy. He will now require an airplane seat of his own, but maybe that will free up my arms for an in-flight magazine every once in a while. (Hey, a mom can dream.)
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