Why travel the world with six children?
Ben and Meghann are the proud parents of six children. While most parents would find it challenging just to go to the park with six children, Ben and Meghann make it a priority to travel the world with their children. They took their first child out of the country when she was only ten months old and have now traveled with their children to nine countries.
So why do Ben and Meghann make traveling abroad a priority? Ben and Meghan’s parents both traveled abroad with them when they were little, and they think it’s important to do the same for their children. Now they feel that taking the kids traveling is one of the most enjoyable experiences. As Ben pointed out, adults don’t tend to react to things in quite the excitable way that kids do, and when kids get to see new things for the first time, their reaction is incomparable.
Quality time is another important reason to travel the world with children
Everyday life is very busy, but when you travel, there are no distractions from devices or friends; there’s just family time. Traveling is the best time to focus on the kids and connect with the kids. It can be difficult to connect with the kids, but traveling provides that special opportunity by changing the dynamic in a good way.
Ben and Meghann don’t pretend their kids remember every detail about their vacations abroad or that their kids completely appreciate what they are seeing or experiencing. But they do know the emotions and perspective stay with their children, and it often surprises them with the obscure things they remember. For example, when they are in a country and their children see someone who has less than they have, they reflect on it and discuss what they are seeing as a family. Not only does it make all of them appreciate what they have a little more, but it helps form their perspective of other parts of the world and have compassion as the children always want to do what they can to help them.
Even when their children don’t want to go to a site or enjoy the same experience, Ben and Meghan find that often their kids either end up liking it or later down the line it comes up and it provides a moment to connect with their kids and discuss the experience. Sometimes they have to remind their kids about the importance of what they are seeing, but it just helps to get them excited about it. Furthermore, every time their kids pick up a picture and they remember the experience, it reinforces those good times they had and that memory, and they believe there is nothing that compares to that.
Do their kids argue on their international family vacations?
Of course they do; they’re kids. But as Meghann and Ben point out, no matter what they do, their kids are going to argue and complain. Since this is the reality of life with kids, they believe they might as well explore another country and experience the benefits of traveling abroad.
Setting expectations when traveling the world with children
To help with the arguing, one of the many things Ben and Meghann have learned over the years as they travel around the world is to set everyone’s expectations. For them, they know traveling to another country is a trip, not a relaxing vacation. Reframing their travels in this way has helped them to enjoy the experience more.
Setting their expectations with the children has also helped to make it a more positive travel experience. Each day they let the kids know what to expect. In this way, the kids are prepared if they are not necessarily doing something they enjoy, but they also know what part of the day they will enjoy. Ben and Meghann make sure each day of their travels has at least one thing the kids will like. It could be seeing a particular site or as simple as ice cream. What a great idea and since this helps with their six children, it’s easy to believe this will work for other families traveling abroad.
Do you have any other international travel tips? Are there any benefits to traveling with your kids abroad that were missed? Please post your comments below.
To hear more about Ben and Meghann’s overseas travel adventures and international travel tips, listen to them on the Planes, Trains, & Kids Abroad travel podcast at https://bigworldpub.com/listen-to-travel-podcast/