top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeslie

What is The Best Age to Travel Internationally with a Baby or Child?


Dubrovnik with Kids Croatia with children
My husband and daughter, taking in the views from Dubrovnik's city walls

You've probably seen a lot of posts and articles online about what's "the best age" to travel internationally with a baby or child (or maybe you've even asked yourself this very same question!). Here's the deal: Many of these articles aren't written by people who have, well, traveled a lot with kids. They may say, "don't bother taking your toddler abroad — they won't remember it!" as their advice. But here's a counter argument: If you, as an adult and parent, remember it and it brings you so much happiness doing something that you personally love, then why not go for it?


Also, someone could argue that your children won't remember the books you read them, so why bother? Well, you might tell them that it sets them up for a lifelong love of reading, and helps spark their curiosity. And the same can be said about traveling with kids!


Based on what I hear from my travel-loving parent friends (and what I've found, personally) here are two important factors to consider when deciding if it's the right time to travel overseas with your baby, toddler and/or child:


1. ANY age is a great age to travel with your children! Of course, you'll need a sign-off from your doctor if you're traveling with a baby, but really, babies make for great travel buddies (as do toddlers and older kids). If you are excited to travel and want to take your little buddy (or buddies) along for the journey, then consider this your sign to book the trip.


2. It's all about what you feel is right for your family. If the idea of traveling with your toddler sounds like an absolute nightmare, then don't do it! Wait until you feel ready. Because everyone is different, and has different comfort levels and travel styles (not to mention different children who may have unique needs).


You know your family best, and also yourself best. Keep in mind that there is no “right age” to take a trip overseas. We’ve loved traveling with our littles at every stage, but each phase definitely has its pros and cons. Of course, I vote to just go for it, but here are some things to consider when thinking about traveling and your child's age:


1. Traveling with a baby: They’re typically portable (especially if they like to join you in the carrier or a backpack), and can sleep while you take walking tours (or wine tastings). That being said, every baby is different and you could be traveling during a major sleep regression. For us, this wasn't a problem (hey, we'd rather be in Portugal for a sleep regression than sitting at home!), but I understand that people have different sleep needs, and this could be a deal-breaker.


London with baby traveling with kids
Our first trip (to London) overseas with our daughter

2. Traveling with a toddler: If you have a toddler who’s happy to roam around beautiful countryside or hang from a carrier (or chill in a backpack), then a trip to, say, Tuscany or Provence (not to mention the Alps!) could be a blissful experience... or as blissful as it can be traveling with an active 2-year-old. We loved taking trips to, for example, Cinque Terre when our daughter was a toddler and Strasbourg when our son was a toddler (well, he still is one!). But for many, the thought of meltdowns in otherwise scenic places might make you cringe. If that’s the case, maybe wait. But do know, meltdowns will happen wherever you may be, and people abroad "typically" are less judgemental about them than say, if you were traveling around the US.


Florence with kids Italy with toddler
We had so much fun taking our daughter with us to Florence, Italy (she, of course, was a big gelato fan!)

3. Traveling with children over 4: They likely have the excitement and interest to make overseas travel feel “worth it.” At this age, they might enjoy “storming castles,” learning about other cultures, and maybe even trying new foods. And you can always book a hotel with a pool and stop often for gelato to make it realllllly worth their while. At around five or six, though, your child may expect lots of planned activities, so you might want to carve out some extra time to research experiences in advance.


Slovenia with kids Lake Bled with Children
Our daughter (four years old at the time) loved climbing to the tops of castles in Slovenia

Still on the fence whether it's the right time to travel with your kids? Be sure to consider "family hotels" abroad if you're looking to travel internationally, but also want some childcare help. These hotels might come equipped with impressive playgrounds or "kids clubs," and are located anywhere from the Austrian Alps to many of the Greek islands. (My favorite site for finding these types of hotels is TinyTravelship.com — and this isn't an ad... I just legitimately like their hotel edit!). If you want to take a European vacation, but feel overwhelmed how your kids will handle it, these hotels may just be able to take some of the stress off.


And if you feel like traveling isn't right for your family’s life season, that’s fine too. You can always wait a few years — and go when it feels more like a fit.


What age do you feel is ideal for traveling overseas with your little one? 


Comentarios


bottom of page