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Weighing the Pros and Cons of traveling with kids. Worth the Tantrums?

Feature-Pros and Cons of Traveling with Kids

Are you used to roaming around the globe in a carefree way? Walking down the lonely, beautiful Italian alleys after supper? Or taking a long walk along the Caribbean Sea shores during December evenings?

Do you fear that your globetrotting plans will go up the spout after having kids?


It won’t.. mmm… though it would surely need some adjustments.

Is traveling with kids worth it? What about all the stages? The infants, toddlers, or the young kids? Even after the tantrums?

My answer would be .. Absolutely YES.

It is definitely worth traveling with toddlers and young kids. You shall make tons of sweet memories that will stick to you as a sweet fragrance for the rest of your life.

I’m sure no one wants a full-blown meltdown amidst a scenic train ride or in claustrophobic situations on an economy-class long-haul flight. Neither me.

So, let’s quickly get into the details.

Pros and cons of traveling with a Newborn or a crawling Baby.

Traveling With A Newborn

I started traveling with my baby when she was an infant. By the time she turned a year old, she had thrice traveled by train, once by plane, and several times by road.

Traveling with an infant on a lap, car seat, or bassinet seat isn’t much of a fuss. Just carry enough food, change, diapers, and wipes. That’s all that is required!

But sometimes, nothing can soothe a crying baby due to their internal discomfort. It is then that people freak out!

Let’s take a deeper look at it.

Pros of traveling with an infant:

  • Newborns can’t move or wiggle. Feed, change, sleep, repeat! It can’t be more manageable. (Difficulty level: Easy-Peasy)

  • Crawling babies can also easily be pacified. Motion works best for most of them. Feed, change, entertain, sleep. (Difficulty Level: Moderate)

  • 25% of Early walkers can be diverted with little effort. Mostly, they will follow their normal schedule when one is set at home. ( Difficulty Level: Hard)


The best age to travel with your baby is when they are newborns or infants who haven’t yet learned to crawl.

Cons Of Traveling with an infant:

  • Traveling with a newborn can be risky because their immunity is deficient, so they are prone to illness. So it’s better to wait until their first immunization, at the least when you have a healthy, full-term baby. That’s what our pediatrician recommended.

  • If flying, the disparity in air pressure inside the cabin can cause much discomfort to infants, especially newborns.

  • Most airlines wouldn’t let you fly until a week or two after birth.

  • If you are holidaying outside the country, your baby must not miss their first three immunizations. So plan accordingly.

  • You must carry baby gear like strollers, car seats, portable cribs/play cots. Which sometimes feels overwhelming while facing a flight of stairs or using public transport.

Note: For most airlines, you can travel with your newborn after turning 8 days old. To travel before that you shall have to get special medical permission.

When you first travel with your baby, it can seem very overwhelming. When I first traveled with my daughter, I carried everything from diapers, extra changes, wipes, strollers, car seats, bottles, brushes, sterilizers, medicines… the list goes on and on.

It was a lot, given that I had sleepless nights, and on the train, even when I was traveling with my big Indian family, I couldn’t get shuteye for an hour. It was a horrid mess.

To top that off, she had puked on me the night we boarded the train; I had to wear the stinky dress for a whole day because I forgot to pack a spare change in my hand luggage.

But I learned and moved on. From the next trip onwards, I was prepared to face anything that came our way. I planned and had proper packing lists; hence, the more I traveled, the less worried I became.

Now that she is five years old and quite independent! I look at those photographs and videos from her first trip and miss the time I spent with her on the seashore and the long “goo-goo-gaa-gaa” talks she had with us when she was extremely happy!

So, traveling with an infant is a definite yes for me!

Is it worth traveling with a toddler?

Traveling With A Toddler

Toddlers are the best companions for travel… and also the toughest.

They have strong opinions and choices. They can throw you out of your otherwise calm demeanor! But can also accompany you to any part of the world.

If you ask, what is the hardest age to travel with a toddler? The answer would depend on how well you have learned to manage tantrums and how well you can communicate with that boss, that baby of yours!

At first, my experience was not that of an evening stroll in a park but an afternoon run in Jurassic Park.

I still remember the fuss she made over one Goldfish that fell down accidentally on the pavement of a street in San Fransisco. In full volume, she whined for 10 minutes straight (which seemed like an hour) for me to pick that piece of Goldfish up(which was definitely out of the question). She tried to get out of the stroller and stomped her stretched feet on the pavement from the stroller (with super flexibility at the show).

My husband was searching for the restaurant where we were to have our lunch. So he moved away a block further. No one to my help or hers. It was too sunny. I left my hat in our car. I was also hangry!

At that very moment, I was at my wit’s end. I really felt that going on a vacation with a toddler was a very bad idea after all!

But after everyone boiled down to their normal self, I pondered about what could have been done to avert the misshapen. I realized that I should have bought/brought us some light snacks and given them to her before she was mad with hunger.

So, one incident for the lack of planning cannot weigh down our spirits for trotting the globe with our munchkin. She is the best explorer and travel companion I have ever encountered for her age!

A little plan can go a long way to help you and your toddler enjoy a wonderful vacation anywhere.

Pros of traveling with a toddler (1-3)

These points are applicable in general. We should remember that each child is different.

  • They have good immunity in comparison to infants.

  • They can adapt quickly to new environments if trained well at home.

  • Traveling(even if it’s a grocery trip) and spending time with their family is all that they want.

  • They can be very easily distracted. (Thus, most of the tantrums were averted)
  • They can eat anything available from the kid’s menu or on the grocery store aisle. (even if the grown-ups do not consider them as “food”)

  • They are the happiest when well-rested and not hungry or bored.

  • You can travel during any time of the year because they are not bound by school holidays.

  • You can save good money on travel fares and accommodation for vacationing on shoulder seasons or off seasons.

So, all these pros need some prep work from the parents’ end.

  1. You know your kid the best! You know what might cause a meltdown or what the cues are before the start of a meltdown.

  2. Be prepared to divert them because they can lose focus with a little prompt effort from your side. Carry snacks or buy them whenever need be. You can bring along activities and entertaining items that they might like.

  3. Please plan your travel around their nap time and bedtime.

  4. Always choose a nighttime flight to help with the jet lag issue.

  5. Always choose to start early in the morning for long drives. This will help the kid maintain their routine. They will be able to fall asleep in the car with the help of the motion.

This will ensure a happy toddler ready to explore the world with you!

Cons of traveling with a toddler

  • You will surely not cover all the spots you plan to visit.

  • Your tours must be planned around nap time and bedtime.

  • You have to carry a lot of snacks and entertaining items.

  • You will carry baby gear like strollers, car seats, and hiking gear for your toddler.

  • Spend extra money on air tickets to buy a seat for your toddler(s).

  • Your walking or hiking speed would largely depend on their speed and mood.

  • When traveling with your other adult travel companion, you must take turns caring for your toddlers, which means one will enjoy while the other will entertain!

So, the question remains… is it still worth holidaying with toddlers?

Yes, it is still worth every penny you spend on the trip.

Your toddler feels more loved and gains confidence when you take them on a trip. You’ll be surprised how the fear or anxiety of meeting and greeting people of all kinds will vanish into thin air, and making friends easily will grow much earlier.

The ability to make responsible decisions for themselves will make them more confident than the child who has never ventured outside their comfort zone.

When I remember our New York trip, I can only recall how much she enjoyed the Delacorte clock chiming her favorite nursery rhymes in Central Park and how she enjoyed her ice cream there.

She tried her first steak dinner at Dallas BBQ Times Square, and later on, she was mesmerized by the lights and the big LEDs at Times Square. She also loved to watch the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre. She loved every bit of the New York City trip!

That’s all that matters to me and my husband now, her smiles and her “Ooh, mamma! Look…’. She was Two! (terrible two)

Being difficult in toddlerhood is just a phase! And… it passes in a jiffy! Before you know it, they are in school!

Be in the moment and enjoy!

At this point, you might be asking, “Is it still worth it? I mean carrying so much stuff, maintaining schedules and routines, the tantrums, etc. Why don’t I go on a holiday alone? I mean, where’s the fun?”

Yes, I know. You would definitely need some time alone with your spouse or partner. Or just some “me-time”.

You can always plan for that!

But if I were you, and after all the holiday trips I have made with my family, I would recommend that you should go on a vacation with your baby or babies.

There will be stress sometimes, but there will be fun as well. And memories forever!

Traveling with pre-schoolers and elementary school-aged children.

Traveling with preschoolers

The kids change a lot when they are in preschool/ elementary school for a year. They become self-sufficient. They build excellent communication skills! (Negotiation, too!)

Traveling with them is not just fun but also very surprising! They grow into wonderful explorers and fun-loving, adventure-loving souls who will surprise you often with their enthusiasm and willingness!

With all the knowledge from their previous travel, they have by now grown into a budding geologist, a conservationist, an ardent explorer, and nature lover!

Your willingness and effort turn their eyes towards the mesmerizing, beautiful world rather than being glued to their screens.

Apart from the pace of preschoolers when you need them to walk, I never found a con while traveling with my daughter. Whatever lunch or snack was served, she was perfectly okay with everything!

I still remember how, after the strenuous hike at Arches National Park, when we suggested that we come back at night to stargaze, my four-year-old jumped up and down with joy.

The elementary school-aged kids(5-11) are the ones who are most enthusiastic of all. They will even share duties when given one.

They enjoy traveling the most and are super excited at the slightest mention of it! Moreover, at their age, they remember the fun they had while on a trip!

My 5-year-old loved her three-month-long vacation in India. Yes, she fell sick for a week or so. But mostly, she enjoyed her trip so much that she never wanted to come back to Canada.

Again, there are no cons except when they want to be glued to the screen and not participate actively!

That’s when you must intervene to separate the eyes from the screen and create a bond between the little hearts and the world.

Are you still asking what’s the best age to take kids on a holiday?

The answer is whenever you are ready. Every age has its own pros and cons. But at every stage of life, kids are fun to be with, and they can enjoy a holiday as much as you can.

You’ll have to be forgiving and more accepting! They are kids. They will behave in ways adults won’t.

However much you try, you will annoy somebody or the other. You and your kids won’t go holidaying to be judged by strangers. You are going there to have fun.

So make sure that you all have fun, no matter what!

This brings us to the end of our blog.

I hope you have everything you need to go on a happy, memorable trip with your beautiful family.

I wish you all the very best!

Welcome To ShuffledMind

Sayani Routh At West Rocky Mountain

I’m absolutely thrilled to embark on this blogging journey and connect with all of you. Hi, I’m Sayani, the voice behind the words you’ll find here. Through my experiences as a human being and a mom living in India, Canada, and the USA, I’ve cultivated a unique perspective that I’m excited to share with you.

Love, Sayani


Sayani Routh
Sayani Routh
A Mom, passionate reader & writer, child advocate: I share my parenting journey, inspired by my real-life experiences.


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