5 Reasons You Should Travel With Your Baby

Mecoh & Xaria in Caye Cauker Belize, 2015

Mecoh & Xaria in Caye Cauker Belize, 2015

From the archive: Feb 4, 2017

As first-time parents, there is a definite shift in lifestyle that happens with the arrival of your first baby. You would rather catch up on sleep than go out for drinks, spend money on diapers than shoes, or hang out in Lululemons and top bun than get dressed and even think about makeup. But, one thing I didn't want to give up was my love for travel and adventure.

When K and I decided we were going to embark on a backpacking adventure through Central America with our six-month-old baby, it was difficult to find any support online for backpacking with a baby. So...I'm here to tell you that you CAN backpack travel with a baby.

K and I to gave up our apartment, received our medical shots as a family, packed two backpacks and bought one-way tickets out of Canada. Originally, our plan was to travel to Florida, where K's family is from, to introduce them to X. Then, on to backpacking Central America for 4 months with our 6-month-old baby.

Our plans took a turn when I ruptured my second Achilles (yes, I'd done this before, lucky me) 2 weeks before we were scheduled to leave. I had my Achilles surgically repaired, and with cautions from family, we decided to start our trip and head to Florida, with hopes of making it on to Mexico and Belize. Realizing our original plan may not be meant to be this time. But there we were, a young family with a six-month-old baby and a mama on crutches on a one-way flight to Florida. So, if we can do it, so can you!

K and Xaria at local bus station in Nicaragua, 2015

K and Xaria at local bus station in Nicaragua, 2015

5 Reasons You Should Travel With Your Baby

1. They fly free!
The majority of airlines allow lap infants (younger than age two) to fly free of charge on domestic flights, with an accompanying adult. Standards for international flights vary depending on the airline. Do your research as occasionally you can pay a percentage versus the full charge for an international flight with a lap infant.

2. Babies open the door to local culture.
People frequently stopped us to ask questions about X or request photos with her. We found the local culture opened up to our family as we met locals with other babies and had playdates, or servers offered to walk her around the restaurant and play. It was great to get a break once in awhile and have part of the local community or fellow travellers want to take a turn.

Xaria with local children in Belmopan, Guatemala 2015

Xaria with local children in Belmopan, Guatemala 2015

3. Babies learn to adapt, quickly.
We travelled via local transportation through eight countries. We could be found on 11 hour overnight buses, tuk-tuks, taxis, water ferries, bicycles, chicken buses, horse carriage, and shuttles. X was captivated by it all with so much to observe and stimulate her mind. We didn't keep a regular schedule with our travel days and sightseeing, not to mention we slept in a different place every other night. Despite our nomad lifestyle X adapted so quickly. She slept when she felt she needed to while we moved from A to B, regularly nursed through the humidity, and cuddled up with mom and dad when needed through some of the unknown.

4. They are portable!
Babies are incredibly portable, strapped up in a baby carrier/backpack and you're off! No toddler tantrums, no kid backpack leashes, and no stroller equipment needed.

Mecoh & Xaria in Antigua, Guatemala 2014

Mecoh & Xaria in Antigua, Guatemala 2014

5. You are together experiencing new adventures and making everlasting memories
Life is so busy, as we sprint from Monday - Friday with work, errands, and extracurricular activities. If you're fortunate to find the time to press pause and escape, please do! Travelling is an incredible experience. To enjoy those precious moments together as a family exploring new cultures, countries, and languages has a profound impact on your family's relationship. As parents we were challenged to trust our instincts, as a couple we were forced to trust one another, and as individuals, we were frequently outside of our comfort zone. All of these experiences have positively impacted our lives and created beautiful memories.