Whatever you do, do not EVER travel with children if you have any kind of aversion to pain and suffering.
I know you are not going to listen to me and you are going to take your children on a trip anyway but at least now you can’t say that you weren’t warned.
Not only should you not travel with small children but don’t even leave the house with them. There is absolutely nothing that little children need that you can’t provide for them within walking distance from your home.
Babies, Toddlers and Young Children
When you have a new baby forget about baby gear and gadgets. For a baby you only need 4 things
- Washing Machine
You can’t always find those things in Guatemala so don’t take your children to Guatemala.
Cars don’t have all those things so don’t ever take your children anywhere in a car.
Airplanes DEFINITELY don’t have those things.
Don’t EVEN THINK OF TAKING YOUNG CHILDREN ON AN AIRPLANE!
Your sister is getting married 4 states away? Look at the pictures on Facebook and Photoshop yourself into a couple of them. Pictures are a lot more fun than cleaning throw up off of your relative’s new couch.
You want to see life in another country? Watch a movie. Movies are a lot more fun than a baby screaming for two hours on an airplane.
You like Thai food? Go local. Local restaurants are a lot more fun than sick children lining up to use the toilet when there is no running water or electricity.
You want groceries? Shopping by yourself after they are in bed is a lot more fun than all the nonsense you see between parents and children in the grocery store.
I’m not kidding.
Keep your littles safe, clean, well fed and happy at home.
Eight is a good age to start taking children out into public.
At eight they can blow their own noses.
They can tell you they have to use the bathroom in time for you to actually get them to a bathroom.
They can keep their mouths shut when they see someone doing something strange and embarrassing.
They can buckle themselves into the car.
They can refrain from repeatedly kicking the seat of the person sitting in front of them.
They won’t cry if they get lunch three hours late because you couldn’t tear yourself away from the used book store because they didn’t want to leave either.
They can use your credit card.
They can carry groceries.
Eight year olds are beginning to become very useful. *
Twelve is a good age to start traveling with children.
If they have proven themselves trustworthy in a supermarket then you can start taking them on bigger trips. In fact a twelve-year-old is awesome to travel with.
They can watch the luggage while you are in line at the ticket counter.
They won’t kick you all night if you share a bed with them in the hotel.
They won’t complain when they have to walk a few extra blocks because you misplaced your hotel.
They won’t whine when you stop to take just ONE more photo of a gate with pretty flowers.
They are excited to be out seeing the world and meeting people.
Twelve year olds are very useful and fun. *
Now that you have a fourteen year old you can do some serious traveling.
A fourteen year old can plan your entire trip for you.
They can book all your flights and transportation.
They can ask for directions in a foreign country because they will learn the language faster than you.
Now you get to watch the luggage while they stand in line at the counter.
And you get to have a nap while they go shopping for groceries.
They will talk you into doing things that you didn’t know you wanted to do and leave you wondering why you never did that before.
They will remind you to look in all the drawers, the shower and under the bed before you check out of the hotel so you don’t forget anything.
And you can still forget stuff because they will look one more time after you leave the room.
Fourteen year olds are awesome travel partners and I recommend never leaving home without one. *
*Individual results may vary.