18 Feb Traveling With Young Children
Astrid Vinje, blogger at The Wandering Daughter, has been a traveler all her life. Like us, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer. Unlike us, she’s visited 29 countries- 7 of them with her two young kids!
Astrid doesn’t let the excuse that family travel is expensive get in her way. Instead, she intentionally makes sure it is a part of her family’s life. She says, “I would rather spend my money on travel, than putting it in more material things. A trip is more memorable to me than a mortgage or a well-decorated and coordinated home.”
We love how Astrid inspires other families to not be afraid to travel and seek out adventures that may not be considered the typical family trip. So we asked her to be a part of our Intentional Travelers interview series to find out more. Here’s what she told us…
About Astrid’s family travels
We did a three week road trip from DC to Seattle (by way of the South) when my daughter was three months old. Then we did a three week Southeast Asia tour when my daughter was a year and a half, where we visited Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Another memorable trip was going to Paraguay with my husband and daughter when she was two.
We had decided to visit Paraguay in 2013 because one of my close friends was serving in the Peace Corps there. This was our first time to South America, yet our daughter, who was two years old at the time, really embraced the experience. We rode on buses and on the backs of flatbed trucks. We visited farms and helped families prepare meals. We survived an intense rainstorm and mosquito attacks. But the highlight of the trip was really just watching my daughter experience the world and engage in it fully. As a parent, I was happy to be able to give my daughter the opportunity to see a side of the world she wouldn’t normally see.
Special considerations for traveling with kids
Carseeat or No Carseat
One final thing that we brought along was my daughter’s carseat. Since she was only two when we went to Paraguay, she was still a bit too small to sit comfortably in an airplane seat. We brought the carseat along partially as a comforting tool for her, so that she would have something familiar to sit in, compared to the big strange plane. But then when we got to Paraguay, we didn’t really have a use for it. So we ended up storing it at the hotel that we were staying at in Asuncion for the whole time that we were there.
The benefits of travel for parents and kids
As a parent, the main benefit is just continuing to be able to see the world. Kids bring a different perspective to travel, and traveling with my kids has helped me appreciate the places that we visit a lot more. It’s also a great bonding experience for all of us. As a parent, I feel really blessed that I have the opportunity to provide that kind of experience to my kids.
Are you a fellow Intentional Traveler? Share your story with us to be featured in an upcoming blog post (and potential book project). Help inspire others to pursue more meaningful, transformational travel!
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