Dear Ms. Plaid:
My husband and I are planning a 3 week vacation to Europe in the Fall and we are planning on taking our children, ages 2 and 4, along with us. Our friends and family think this is inappropriate and that the children should stay home. We are being told that they are just too young to travel so far and we will be miserable having them tag along on such an adventure. Am I wrong in wanting to expose my children to new cultures and experiences at such an early age? Any tips you can give me to make this adventure smooth for my husband and I AND our young kids?
– Adventurous with Kids
Dear Adventurous with Kids:
First of all, it is no one’s business to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own children. If you want to take them with you to Europe, then definitely do it! Will it add a different dynamic to your adventure than if it was just you and your husband? Absolutely! But a different dynamic does not mean a worse dynamic. Letting your children feel included in your adventure, and exposing them to different surroundings, food, and languages at such a young age will only expand their understanding of the world as a whole. I applaud you for your willingness to teach them from a global perspective.
There are a few tips that will benefit you as you plan your family adventure however. I like what Ciao Bambino has to say about making a trip to Europe with young kids a little bit easier, and she offers a few things to consider.
The final thing I would add is to just relax and enjoy the moments. Those of us who are way past our younger children days know how fast the time with our children go. So enjoy your family adventure to Europe and take plenty of pictures!