The worst things about traveling with kids flood into every aspect of your travel experience. While finding articles about the joys and benefits of traveling with kids is easy, the truth is, traveling with kids sucks–family travel sucks. And lately, there has been an increase in moms that simply don’t travel with kids anymore.
From picky eaters and bulky luggage to kids not being able to walk very far and jet lag, children can quickly end up hating traveling (parents too!) So, if you are on the fence about whether or not you should take your kids along with you on your next adventure or if you simply need to know that you are not alone thinking that travel with kids is the worst, this article is for you.
30 Worst Things About Traveling With Kids Now Days
One of the worst things about traveling with kids is jet lag. Whiny babies and upset kids will not be fun to handle when you are trying to enjoy your destination. If you are traveling with teenagers, switching time zones messes with your circadian rhythm which can affect menstrual cycles as well. This can be unfortunate and disappointing for some.
Kids are a freakin’ mess dude! It can be difficult for adults to keep all of their things neatly packed in their suitcase. Throw a couple kids in the mix and you will have toys and clothes strung all over the hotel, taxi, and plane. On top of this, kids make are super spilly. Spilt drinks and food means more laundry and stained clothes. Fun.
Extra Bags For Parents
If you are traveling with young kids, you are going to end up holding or wheeling luggage at some point. Of course, kids may be able to carry their own weight some of the time, but it never lasts for ever, does it?
Car Seat, Stroller, and High Chair, OH MY!
One of the absolute worst things about traveling with kids is having to take a car seat, booster seat, stroller, or high chair along with you. Young ones need way more stuff and packing something so bulky along with you, while necessary, is a huge inconvenience.
There is an ease and a freedom that comes from traveling with only a backpack or a just one suitcase. Even if you have find a super compact stroller or car seat, this added luggage is no fun to carry around with you.
They Can’t Walk As Far As You
Walking around a new city is a part of the fun, right? Not if you are traveling with kids. Even older kids aren’t able to keep up with your enthusiasm, speed, and stamina. You may be perfectly fine with walking ten miles through a new city to see all of the attractions on your to-do list. However, your child is not as likely to be so keen.
They Never Shut Up
Are you wanting to have a relaxing suntan on the beach? Not likely if you are traveling with kids. The non-stop talking will not be good for parent relaxation and can even lead to arguments which isn’t fun for anyone.
They Don’t Enjoy The Things You Do
You may love art museums, trendy cafes, hiking, and historical sites, but do your kids? Chances are your little one doesn’t want to stand patiently while you read about 17th century art in Paris. And chances are, your little one has no interest in walking for miles down crowded cobblestone streets. The arguments and frustration that comes along with these things are among some of the worst things about traveling with kids.
They Won’t Be Patient While You Read
That plaque by the water that you are actually are interested in reading, forget about it. The information about the war that took place in the city you are visiting, yeah you won’t be reading about that. The information about the painter at the museum, probably won’t be able to read that either.
While your kids ages play a huge role in this, it’s a problem nonetheless. Three year olds pull at your hand and tell you it’s time to move on even though you just got there. Your six year old with a penchant for never sitting still is already three exhibits ahead of you and while you try to read quickly while simultaneously looking over your shoulder at him, it’s just not effective. The tweens and teens huff and stare at their phones wishing they could go to the insta-famous cafe down the street already.
Of course, this is annoying for parents, but honestly isn’t dragging a kid to a place they don’t know and then expecting them to behave perfectly kind of a lot to ask…? We will talk about this next.
Travel Is A Lot To Ask Of A Child
Depending on your kiddos age and interests, asking a child to ride in three taxis and one train, walk nine miles through a city they have never seen before, and to somehow entertain themselves while you are enjoying an art museum that you have always wanted to see is a big request of a child. Whether they are six years old or fifteen years old, your ideal travel day is not likely to be their ideal travel day.
While they may be happy eating a sugary breakfast, playing at a children’s museum, and then digging in the sand at the beach all day, you aren’t likely to have the same idea of fun. Some parents travel the same way they would without kids and simply require their little ones come along for the ride and other parents may make their adventures of a mix kid-friendly and parent-friendly activities.
No matter which way you travel, requesting all of these changes and compromises from your kids when they aren’t use to it is a lot to ask. Travel is meant to be fun and beneficial but it can often become a burden, a struggle, and quite draining for both kids and parents.
Ahhhh, potty problems. If you have one in diapers, travel can get really annoying really fast. Having to pack diapers is just one more thing you have to plan for and squish into your luggage. Plus you may need to buy more diapers in your destination which can cause problems. What if you can’t find any close by; what if they don’t have your brand; what if you’re little one has a reaction to the new diapers? Super annoying!
On top of this, public toilets can be difficult to find in some places. Plus, if you are potty training, be prepared for accidents and struggles to find toilets in a place you have never been before. [PS this is for you if you were wondering how to potty train a girl fast before an upcoming trip!]
They Are Scared
It is so hard to sleep in a place that you have never seen before and don’t know whether you are safe there or not. With young kids, it can be difficult for them to deviate from their routine and sleeping in a new bed in a new room that has a peculiar smell is not fun. It can make them straight up scared even.
While walking down a crowded street being bumped into by strangers and having to use more brain power to assess a new area can make a child feel scared and unhappy. Dealing with the consequences of this can be difficult for the parents and of course, it is hard on the children.
Depending on what country you are visiting, you may be met with a less than favorable public opinion on family life and kids.
With bored kids in tow, you will need to pack more forms of entertainment as well as deal with complaining kiddos. One of the worst things about traveling with kids is that you will end up having to cut your favorite activities short or out of the itinerary completely due to child boredom.
Tired Quicker Than You
The last thing you want is to have a bunch of energy and excitement but instead of exploring Rome, you are exploring your hotel room because your kids feet hurt or need a nap. Having to miss out on your favorite activities because of tired kids is less than ideal.
It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better
If you want to train your kids to become good travelers who can handle the difficulties that come with traveling, it takes time. And like anything you aim to be good at, you will not be good at it in the beginning. Children are likely to get more and more upset with the difficulties of travel before it gets better.
They Don’t Have Their Food
Kids can get particular. It may be easy for adults to switch from one cuisine to another, but kids aren’t always so accommodating. What happens when your toddler does’t have their favorite snack or when you are running to three different stores to look for your seven year old picky eaters favorite chips? You get angry and miss out on precious travel time, that’s what happens.
Why is it that kids start developing new and concerning rashes when they travel? It never fails, you go camping or you get on a plane or you arrive in a new city and you notice your kid has a red rash all over their back. This can make your kids upset, you concerned about their well being, and can take time away from travel while you are at the pharmacy looking for a cream to solve the problem.
Babies Are Too Unpredictable
Spit up, blow outs, sleep schedules, and sensitive stomachs… babies aren’t just needy, they’re unpredictable. This unpredictability really throws a wrench in family travel plans.
Kids Get Sick More Often Than Adults
With kids getting sick more often than adults, taking kids along with you on your adventures can add risk of them being sick with something they have never had before and the risk of not being to leave the hotel during your trip. You will need to consider travel insurance and health precautions for your kids if you are going to take them along with you.
Even if you have to pay for a babysitter for your kids while you are vacation, chances are, you will be saving mega money by leaving them at home. The child discounts and one free train rain for your youngest child isn’t going to make the trip that much cheaper. Extra bags, extra tickets, extra meals ordered, extra trips to the store for necessities and requests.
Why not take a cheaper trip? Why not keep a little moolah in the ole savings account? Why not splurge on yourself and stay in a nicer hotel or do that activity that costs a fortune? Why not love yourself a little bit and enjoy traveling more without the burdens of childcare? After all, you are traveling… this should be enjoyable! Making yourself more stressed and more broke is not relaxing for anyone. Taking care of yourself is a crucial part to effective parenting and for many of us, splurging on ourselves is super beneficial to our happiness.
All The Questions
While asking questions is helping your little one grow and develop, what is it doing to you? The never ending whys and questions are not fun at home, why would they be fun in Madrid?
More Prone To Homesickness
Children need routine and stability. They get used to it and grow to expect it even, so this can lead to more homesickness in children than adults. This can mean unhappy babies and unhappy parents which is never a fun way to enjoy your travels.
They Are Overstimulated
One of the worst things about traveling with kids is that they can get overstimulated. Travel is a lot different from a predictable life at home. Traveling with an overstimulated child is not good for anyone. Instead of stressing out the family, you can decide to not see your children deal with this difficult state of being and simply take a parents trip or solo trip instead.
Yes, Your Kids Hate Travel–Here’s Why.
It’s Not About You
As a parent, not much is about you. If you love to travel, it can be natural for you to want to share it with your kids. However, if you are traveling with kids, you aren’t going to be able to enjoy travel to its fullest potential with all of the obstacles that children pose while traveling.
Struggles When You Get Back Home
When you get back home, the struggles aren’t over with yet. Dealing with jet lag once again, struggling to return kids back to their normal routine, and dealing with children wishing they didn’t have to go back to school is not fun at all.
Why does it always seem like we are all grumpier when we are traveling with kids? When parents are desperately trying to relax and enjoy their adventures, the disagreements and struggles of traveling with kids can lead to more arguments that can stick around for quite some time.
Tantrums And Meltdowns
This goes without much of a discussion. Tantrums and meltdowns aren’t fun at home and they are even less fun in a busy subway or crowded restaurant in France.
It Isn’t Always Safe
Some places simply aren’t safe for children. This limits the destinations that parents can choose to travel to. It can also lead to you not enjoying a destination to the fullest because you are limited to the amount of places you can visit based on the safety of the locations for your kiddos.
Too Young To Get Any Benefits Of Travel
When kids are really young, they aren’t able to remember or benefit from travel. Many parents simply do not want to add more chores and childcare to their travel experiences when their young kids aren’t even old enough to benefit from the trip in any way at all.
You Can’t Relax
Lastly, and arguably the worst of the worst things about traveling with kids, is that you can’t relax. Travel is such an amazing experience and family travel can change this for many parents. There are so many benefits of travel and missing out on some of these because you are have to do childcare during an experience that should be revitalizing is really unfortunate.
So, what do you think about these worst things about traveling with kids? Do you have your own to add to the list or perhaps you think some of these shouldn’t be on the list at all. We would love to hear from you!