Places to go before you have children!
Family travel bloggers will tell you that virtually any destination can be kid-friendly, but here are a few ideas of places you might want to prioritize before you have children.
1. Machu Picchu and anywhere at altitude.
Altitude sickness can be quite a problem at Machu Picchu, the famous Inca site in Peru. I’d be inclined not to want to risk that with kids, even when taking all the proper precautions for acclimatizing to the altitude.
2. Anywhere that’s a distance from good emergency care.
Part of the reason that families love Thailand as a travel destination is that it’s exotic but still has good medical care. Very cautious travellers with kids often like Hawaii because it has US standard medical care, at least on the main island of Oahu. Places like Australia and New Zealand also have good access to medical care. Islands in the Pacific like Tonga are much more limited, and I personally be reluctant to take kids there, at least when they are babies or toddlers.
3. Places you want to go for romance.
Some romantic destinations, like Rome, are equally fun for adults and kids. Other places are more adult orientated. When I think of an island paradise like the Maldives, or a weekend break in Paris I think “romance” and time away from little people. That said, I’m sure family travelers love these destinations too, I just imagine these as more fun pre-kids. The key here is to think about your own preferences – where is that that you’re keen to go on an adults only trip, where can you imagine might be even better visited as a family? The presence of kids can enhance trips where kids cause locals to chat with you more, and even though I’ve enjoyed Disneyland as an adult, I think it would’ve been more fun to have been taking a child and seeing it through their eyes.
4. Destinations that might be overstimulating for young kids.
Some kids are going to love places like New York, but others are going to be overwhelmed by it’s crowdedness and the massive amount of stimulation it puts out. Somewhere like India would be another example of where a sensitive child is going to be easily overwhelmed by all the excess attention they’re getting, and the general chaos and crowds that make some places both vibrant but also intense.
Kids can be great travellers but every kid will have some limits in terms of how much attention from strangers, heat, and disrupted routines they can cope with. Therefore if you want to do fast travel, zooming around 14 countries in 10 days, then you might be inclined to pack in those types of trips before you start travelling with your larger family. If you want your kids to enjoy travel then taking it much more slowly is likely to help them fall in love with travel as much as you do.