Why Traveling Before You Have Kids is Important
After graduating from college, many people prioritize things, such as establishing a career, getting married, and having a family. These people live by the assumption that they will travel later in life when these accomplishments are out of the way.
However, traveling before you have kids is often the perfect time to travel for a number of reasons. Here are the reasons why
You’re a Free Agent
Before you have children, you have no real commitments or obligations. Deciding that you want to take a break from work in order to volunteer in Costa Rica, or backpack through Southeast Asia is fine because you don’t really have anything holding you back.
On the other hand, if you decide to travel when you’re married and settled you are either going to have to take kids with you, or arrange childcare. It will be nearly impossible to travel for an extended period of time after you have started a family.
Plus, if you’re traveling with your significant other, you two can head to a couples-only resort. This way, it’s possible to have a relaxing and more romantic vacation, without young kids being involved.
You Have No Real Financial Obligations
When you have children, your responsibilities increase significantly. After all, these are little people that are depending on you to feed them, clothe them, and put a roof over their heads.
Having a “rainy day” fund is no longer a luxury to have, it’s a necessity, especially since the average cost of raising a child in the US is estimated to be over $233,000.
Even on a budget, traveling can still be really expensive. After you have kids, it is more costly than ever. Unlike before your kids, now you will be paying for multiple people to travel. You may earn less money when you are in your twenties but it’s okay because you are only having to pay for yourself.
When you’re in your twenties, you only have yourself to look out for and so you can opt for accommodation choices that are just not possible or appropriate once you have children.
For example, you can travel essentially for free by staying with locals on platforms such as couchsurfing, or even by house-sitting someone’s apartment in a random location. If you have an opportunity to stay at someone’s apartment in an awesome new city, let’s say, Denver, Colorado, without paying the huge rent prices, then go for it!
Before you have kids you can absolutely stay in those questionable $6 a night hostels in Asia and can essentially travel the world for just a few thousand dollars a month but that’s definitely not something you can do with a baby in tow.
You Have More Travel Options
Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of navigating through bustling souks and spice markets in Marrakech or hiking in Machu Picchu. While these are certainly bucket list worthy travel destinations, they are not really the types of places that a family of four can easily travel to.
Aside from the expense, some trips are far too demanding or impractical for young children and there are definitely destinations that you should try to visit before you have kids. When you have kids, you’re probably more likely to want to take them to a nice family resort where you can sunbathe and work on your tan while your kids play in the pool, not trying to hike with them in South America.
You Will Meet More People
When you travel as a family, most of your time on vacation is spent together as a group and it is harder to socialize and meet other people. Perhaps you will encounter other families at your resort, but that’s about the limit.
Traveling before children gives you many more opportunities to make friends. Not having children enables you to go to local events and meetups where you can meet like-minded travels or locals who can give you recommendations that will help you make the most out of your trip. Regardless of the geographical distances between you, travel friends often wind up being friends for life due to your common interests and shared experiences.
You’re Young and Healthy Now
It’s not the most optimistic thing to say, but the truth of the matter is that you never know what’s around the corner. If you decide to hold off traveling until your kids are grown up and out of the house, at that point then maybe you will be too exhausted or not in the right physical shape to hike Machu Picchu or go trekking around the Everest base camp, so why wait?
You Will Grow as a Person
World travel enables us to grow as a person in a number of ways. Immersing ourselves in different cultures and allowing ourselves the time to interact with people of completely different backgrounds to our own encourages us to be more open-minded, empathetic, and informed.
Travel can teach valuable life skills such as budgeting, becoming more independent and self-sufficient, and even new languages. In turn, these new found skills can enable a person to find more success in their careers as they develop marketable traits that other candidates simply do not have.
Traveling before you have kids offers you a lot more flexibility and options. You can explore unusual and exotic lands, and you can travel for extended periods at a time because you really have nothing holding you back.