I have been working the Dallas Safari Club trade show with my parents since I was 12 years old – 14 years this past January of 2023. Every year – without fail – my parents and I are asked some form of this question: How old should my children be before I begin taking them on international trips?
We usually receive this question from parents with multiple children who have run into a common conundrum: their oldest seems to be at an age where they can travel, but the youngest is still seemingly too young.
There are so many reasons to start traveling when your children, specifically your oldest, are young (we will cover those reasons more broadly in another blog post) but in this blog I want to focus on just one reason: if you wait until your baby is old enough, you have lost your oldest to other activities.
I do not have to tell you how busy your family’s schedule is while trying to balance activities, friends, technology, school, and more. And it only gets busier as time goes on. So, if you wait until your youngest has reached let’s say 5-8, your oldest is well into elementary school or beyond and involved in all types of activities that make scheduling trips more difficult or even impossible.
You want all your children to become accustomed to the routine of traveling with your family from a young age. For them to do this, you must act while each is young. That is the only way that they will learn how fun travel is, which will make the odds much higher of them choosing traveling with you over their other activities in the future.
Think of it this way: your oldest is not likely to choose the unknown over the known. If they have already fallen in love with other sports, activities, etc. before you begin traveling as a family, why would they
choose something they have never experienced (i.e. travel with you) over the things they already love? When you start the oldest early, they will fall in love with travel and set the tone for the younger kids.
Here’s a personal example of that point. My parents started traveling in the United States with me when I was just a few months old and began international travel with me when I was eight. Starting to travel so young helped me make an educated decision as to what I wanted to participate in as I grew up. Because I knew how much fun it was to travel with my parents and experience the world, I was willing to miss a few days at the end of camp, a few weeks of summer volleyball, or some school to go on trips. Had we not started when I was young, I would never have figured out on my own that traveling was going to be so much more fun than my other activities that I loved. I learned that sacrificing a few days of those activities was well worth it!
The bottom line: It’s not too early to start traveling with your children. Start when your oldest is ready, not when your youngest is.
Be on the lookout for the continuation of this series with topics such as:
Why should you start introducing your children to the outdoors and travel when they are young?
Common Mistakes Parents Make When Introducing Their Children to Hunting.
How can your relationship with your children improve by spending time with them in the outdoors?
Do you want to start traveling internationally with your children? Here are some of our top recommendations for first trips with your kids:
South Africa: South Africa Luxury Hunting Safari
Namibia: Namibia Luxury Hunting Safari
New Zealand: New Zealand Hunting
Costa Rica: Costa Rica Fishing Resort
Email or call us for more information! (205) 969-8150 or email@example.com