Why it’s good to travel with kids (from a kid!)

I am nine years old as I’m writing this, and I am here to tell you that flying on a plane with your kids is totally worth it. By the time I was six, I had already been on sixty planes. It is not at all scary to travel as a kid because it is a lot of fun, and once you start, you get used to it, and the more you do it the easier it gets.

finn on bags

So for example, packing and unpacking can be hard at first, but if you keep traveling you will start to get used to it. Another example is being on the plane. Are you scared of turbulence? Start going on shorter flights to get used to it for longer flights. Really, it is not too bad eventually.

tate eating

Bored of hamburgers? Go to a different country and try new foods. It is fun to try new things.

The next thing is patience. You have to have a LOT of that to travel. There will be a lot of crowded buses and waiting in line for things.

tate reading

Think of traveling this way: it is like a giant field trip, for both kids and parents. Its a great time to learn a lot about foods, cultures, animals and so much more! You too, adults!

tate and reed looking at gold

The world is a great place to learn about the world. Yes ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am talking about geography. For the youngsters out there that do not now what geography means, it is the study of the earth. Notice the landscape all around you while you are traveling. How is it different? How is it not? Also notice how people are different too. Do they have lighter skin ? Or the opposite?

kids on great wall

Parents, it is completely understandable to be worried about traveling, but trust me, traveling is worth it. Have you ever been on a roller coaster and afterward you said it was totally worth it, and you want to do it again? It is like that, but a lot less scary. Kids, have you always wanted to go somewhere? Start putting a bug in your parent’s ears and they might start talking to each other about it.

I’m going to write more posts about travel from a kid’s perspective. What would you like to know or know more about?

Thanks for reading,
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93 Comments

  1. Erica

    Oh my word! You are such a fantastic writer Tatum! I taught first, second, and third graders for ten years and I would have been so happy to have had a student that could write like you! I love your article. The pictures are amazing. It’s so cool to see how much you enjoy traveling with your family. Thank-you for sharing your experience with us. I hope that you will write some more and please tell your mom and dad that they are doing a great job teaching you. 🙂

  2. Julia

    Hi Tate! Your terrific post was very encouraging to me as I think about future travels with my own children. I’m looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on travel. Some specific things that would be interesting to me are:
    What are some of the blessings and challenges of traveling with your siblings?
    What have you learned from the children who live in the places you’ve visited?
    What are some things that have surprised you so far in your travels?

  3. Kelly

    Tate, you are such a great writer and I love hearing your perspective.

  4. Tracy Carrothers

    Tatum, I loved reading this! Cannot wait to read more from you. I am going to share it with my 5 and 6 year old sons.

  5. Fiona

    This is fab Tate! It is so neat that you can see how big and diverse this world is. I’d love to know, at the end of this year’s travel, if you choose to have a family of your own one day, what places and cultures would you like to revisit with them?

  6. Jenny M

    Thanks for sharing. I have a 10 year old girl called Brooke who has only just started traveling with us. She will love this blog. She would disagree with trying new foods as she hates that part. Keep writing and we’ll keep reading

  7. Janine Fitzpatrick

    Hello Tatum, Janine from Australia here. Great post with lots of helpful info for kids (and parents). I really enjoyed. If you haven’t already visited Australia you should put in on your lists of places to see one day we’ve got lots of cool animals and awesome scenery.

  8. Sharon Holbrook

    I love this, and I’m showing to my 9 and 7-year-olds as soon as they wake up for the day. I can’t wait to read more of your posts. Well done!

  9. Joy Forney

    What a great message Tate! Thanks for sharing this, and I look forward to reading more of your great writing in the future!

    Question: What would you say to your kids if you were a mom and you were traveling and your kids said they were tired and didn’t want to travel anymore?

    See you in Uganda in January!! Hannah can’t wait!

  10. Ashley

    Great job!! I want to know what your favorite and least favorite foods have been so far. Maybe you could update the list every month or so as you travel to new places with new food.

  11. Angela horn

    Hey Tatum, I enjoyed your post. I’d like to know more about your schooling. I assume your parents are in charge of this? Do you think they’re smart enough? Ha ha, just kidding. Have you been or do you have plans to come to South Africa? Cape Town is beautiful, just sayin’. 😉

  12. Mylene Deveau

    Tatum, what a great post! You are such a great writer, I’m really excited to read more about your adventures. Enjoy every magical moment!

  13. Charlotte

    Great writing! I was lucky enough to spend six years in Malaysia (well, age 0 – 6!) and we went to Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and India as well. Look forward to hearing more!

  14. Prerna and Manini

    Hi Tate!!

    LOVE your post!! You’re right, traveling is a LOT of fun and totally worth it!!

    Manini says she really enjoyed reading your post and yes, she also, likes the color pink 😉

    We can’t wait to read your next post.. Could you please write about staying entertained on long plane trips without the iPad or with very little use of it?:) We have an overseas trip coming up and I’d love to hear how kids stay entertained on planes? 🙂

  15. Shannon

    I love this post! A year ago, our family of five traveled from NC to Uganda and, after a six week adoption process, returned as a family of 8. You are absolutely right – it is hard but it is worth it! (Also, Tatum, I’m pretty sure you’ve taken more flights than I have, and I’m 32… impressive!)

  16. KAREN EDWARDS

    Great post Tate! We have tavelled quite a bit with our kids and dream of maybe doing a trip like yours someday. My son (almost 7) loves to keep a travel journal so I’ll be sharing your posts with him and I’m sure they will inspire him! I’d love to hear more on your favourite and least favourite things in each country.

  17. Diane Barnett

    Tate,
    My girls are 10&11 and we all LOVE to travel too!!!
    We say our favorite text book is our passports!!!!

    Such a great job writing this post- I cannot wait to learn more from you.

    Could you tell us how you handle jet lag?
    Thanks!!!!
    Diane Barnett

  18. Jamie Martin

    Good job, Tate! I’d love to hear more about how you feel about homeschooling during your trip and what it looks like to do “school” while you’re traveling. Thanks for sharing with us!

  19. Crystal

    Excellent post, Tate! You make several good points about travel and you’ve made me much braver to start traveling with my daughter. And since I’m about to get on a plane to fly to a conference, you’ve encouraged me, too!

  20. Bushra

    Beautiful and totally relatable post.
    Now I know…….

  21. Michelle

    Tatum, this is great encouragement! You are good writing. Thank you for the chuckle this morning, because, YES it is totally worth it! We just returned from a very long road trip and I needed the reminder this morning 🙂

  22. Jen

    I loved this post Tatum and will be sharing with my girls who are 9 and 6. They want me to take them to France and Australia.

    How do you deal with the different languages when you travel? What are your feelings when it might be hard to understand people? My girls are very curious about this. And do you have any tips on packing for kids to encourage them to pack themselves?

  23. Allie

    Hi Tate,Thanks for the great post! Which country are you most excited to travel to this year?
    – Allie

  24. Andie Wade

    Dear Tate, we liked what you wrote! It was very funny. We have some questions for you. Are you good at speaking different languages? What is it like to be in so many different countries? Was there a sign saying how long the Great Wall of China was? Are you jet lagging?

    We hope we get to see you and your family in the springtime!

    Rachel and Lucas

  25. Candice

    I love your tone and voice! Thanks for sharing, Tatum!!

  26. Robin Shlikhau

    Hi Tatum!

    First of all, wonderful blog post! You did a great job and I’m going to let my almost 8 year old read it.

    We just returned from a month in Eastern Europe and I completely agree with you! Traveling is worth the worry and nervousness! My kids loved traveling and so do I!

    I would love to hear what strange foods you have tried and enjoyed and the ones you did not. Also, I would like to hear about how you make friends with local children even if you don’t speak the same language.

    Happy traveling,
    Robin

  27. Gay Nell Scarborough

    Tate: I so agree with your post! Loved reading your perspective. You had some great ideas, hope kids will take your advice! Keep sharing your adventures…we are listening……….!

  28. Bethany Turner

    Great post, Tate! I don’t have any children, but your posted made me want to leave my office and get out there and see the world.

  29. Steph

    Hi Tate! Great post! I’d love it if you’d give your best tips for traveling..how to be patient when waiting for buses, the best way to entertain yourself on a plane, what helps you (or your brothers) work through any fears you may have concerning transportation or new foods, etc. Looking forward to reading your future posts!

  30. Paul Van Allen

    “The world is a great place to learn about the world.” That is a great line and very true! Its true about so many things…food is a great place to learn about food…art, music, God etc. Good writing, Tate! Try to stay in adventure mode as long as you can this year! I want to see a post about how to get a long with your siblings while you are traveling.

  31. Jen B

    This made my teacher heart so happy to read! I can’t wait to share it with my students. You are a wonderful writer!

  32. Libby

    I love the way you write Tatum! My husband and I were missionaries so we did a lot of traveling with our kids. You are right, you do get used to it and learn to have fun with it. What is the most unusual or interesting mode of transportation you have been on so far? For me it was a large square cart big enough for about 4 people to sit in seats facing each other, pulled by a mule. That was in Indonesia. – enjoy your adventures traveling the world and I look forward to hearing more about it from you.

  33. kim imai

    Great job, Tate! My kids and I are from California and live in Istanbul! They are younger than you, but I’m sure they would agree. Keep up the great posts!

  34. Phil Stolle

    Tate, very well written and very challenging and inspiring. Makes me want to head to the airport and hope the next plain to St. Somewhere. I would love to hear you take a few of the topics like food or favorite places you’ve been or how you pass time while traveling to keep it interesting or ways you stay patient. You have some great thoughts and I love your perspective!

  35. Kristi

    What great tips! I like hearing about the trip from your perspective. The roller coaster example is so true. Sometimes the things that seem scary at first can turn out the best!

  36. Katie Fox

    Tate, what a great post! I loved it. Such a great experience you’re all having this year. I’d love to read about what the hard parts are for you on this trip. What are the things you wish were different, or the things that are more of a struggle for you?

    Excellent job!

  37. Karen Hamilton

    Hi Tatum , I loved reading your blog and looking at the pictures. I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing. I must say, it made me want to get on a plane and go somewhere 🙂
    I have 3 grandchildren who have never been on a plane. I’m going to let them read this.
    You can teach everyone with your blog…I’m excited to learn. I’ve been to India but never where you have been. Hopefully someday…

  38. Sharon

    I love this! Great job! We’ve had one international trip as a family (to Ethiopia) and I had my kids write travel journals. They were so fun to read through – and our kids now have the travel bug and are ready to go anywhere!

  39. Clarisa Rhodes

    What a wonderful post, Tate! I have a question for you, but I see you have a lot of questions to answer so if you don’t get a chance to reply to mine that’s ok! I was wondering what you think moms and dads can do while traveling to help kids feel like they’re at home wherever they are in the world? This is a wonderful post, thanks for writing!

  40. Gay Lynn Smith

    Tate. … You are so right! Both our kids took their first plane ride very early. Michael was 3 weeks old and Sarah a little older. And now they are 36 and 30 and have lost count of how many planes they’ve been in ages ago. We loved traveling with our kids all over the world Most of their childhood friends in the states have barely left the place they were born. And my children have a different world perspective from from their less traveled peers. Well done Tate! And on to the next adventure!

  41. A. Sippel

    Hi! Your post is inspiring me to plan a trip with my family! 🙂 I am curious to know what some of the highlights and lowlights of your trip have been so far. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  42. Cayley Werner

    Tate! This is so good! I love your perspective about traveling as I can relate to you! 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  43. Maxine Tano

    Tate, please keep up the blog posts with your take on your families world trip. I traveled with my children when they were young and it made them the great adults they are today. Tell us all about how you adapt to each new culture with the language, customs, food and sightseeing. Thank you parents every day for giving you this world experience.

  44. Kaitlin Jenkins

    Loved your first post Tate! Very well written & great points too. I’m in my late 20’s and traveling is actually one of the reasons I’m most excited to have kids- so this was a fun read!

    I’d love to know what the most surprising thing you’ve noticed, observed, or learned while abroad would be in one of your upcoming posts! 🙂

  45. Sarah H.

    Great article, Tate! I’m curious as to how some of the places you visit compare with the reading/researching you’ve done about that place since expectations are sometimes different than reality. I recently visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with my family, and all the reading I’d done with my son about rockets and space shuttles was interesting, but the awe of standing next to the huge Atlantis shuttle and actually SEEING the re-entry burns made it much more real and amazing. Have you had any reactions to things that were either inspiring or disappointing from what you expected? I’m excited to read more about your travels!

  46. Erin K

    Loved your post Tatum! I just took my six year olds on a weekend trip to Chicago and they loved it. We definitely have plans to see more of the world now.

    I’d love to hear about what things that can make or break an outing/city for you.

  47. Chrissy

    You are an inspiration Tatum. I haven’t been writing regularly on our blog about our expat adventures since our last move. Your great writing has inspired me to get back on it….and include my kids!

  48. Beth Kensinger

    I love your writing voice! Great job.

  49. Susan Hall

    Hey Tate, Great job at blogging about your world wide traveling experience. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful and exciting time. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Keep up the good work. Hugs and kisses to you and your family. Love, Aunt Susie

  50. Andrea

    I love hearing your perspective on travel! You’ve done a great job of expressing yourself. I would love to hear more about your favorite places, what’s been the most challenging part, and how you and your family are doing school while you travel and what it’s like to study on the road. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us!

  51. jen hoerter

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Can’t wait to share this writing with my kids.

  52. Darren Rowse

    Great post. We love traveling with our kids too! Hope to hear about your adventures when you get to Australia!

  53. Cheryl Carrell

    Great post, Tate! I loved reading your thoughts on learning more about the world and the people in it. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more as you keep traveling. I think my question would be similar to one a few others have asked. What is your advice on getting along with siblings as you travel, and don’t really have a lot of space to separate from each other? Do you have any tips or tricks on how to not bug each other too much? 🙂
    I’m going to show Mallory and Sadie your post, and I will let them comment after they read it too. They think it’s super cool that you get to write on your mom’s blog. (I do too!)

  54. LEE @ Modern Granola

    This is the cutest thing ever! I agree with all of this. Travel is so worth it, and I love hearing it from a nine-year-old. Perfect post.

  55. Vanessa

    Hi Tatum, thanks for sharing your post today. I loved reading it and learning about travel from a 9 year old’s perspective. Looking forward to meeting you in Dec! x

  56. Hana

    Tatum, I love your blog. I agree, it is fun to travel and the more you do it , the easier it gets.
    Last year i took my 4 and 3 year old to my home country in Kosovo and for a week in Turkey. They got to fly in eight airplanes and they had lots of fun. They enjoyed seeing other places, meeting new people and hearing different languages.

  57. Susan

    Great post!! I’d love to hear about the kids you meet in other countries, and things you learn from them.

  58. Mallory Carrell

    Great post Tate! I miss you so much. 🙂 I’m positive you are having lots of fun. Keep us posted! Your friend, Mallory

  59. Sadie Carrell

    Hi Tate,
    I hope you’re having a fun time. I miss you so much. Your friend, Sadie 🙂

  60. Dawn

    Tate, you did a great job with this post – I hope a lot of parents are now persuaded that they should travel more with their kids. 🙂 I’d like to know – what is one of your favorite memories from your trip so far?) Also, have you gone to Nic’s restaurant in Hang Dong yet? If not, our family, who used to live in Chiang Mai, highly recommend it. They have great food and a huge bamboo ship for you and your brothers to play on/in!) Thanks again for writing!

  61. Kamille Scellick

    What a fearless adventurer you are Miss Tatum. I imagine my girls reading your post and heeding your advice on putting a bug in my ear. We live in Washington. What would you suggest as baby steps to begin as a lover of traveler? I’m also interested in hearing how it’s been eating new foods and what you do when you want something you miss eating?

  62. nancy mcmahan

    Tatum, I really enjoyed your blog. Sounds like you have had lots of adventures in your short life. I look forward to reading all about the many more travels you will take.

  63. Caroline

    Hi, Tate! I loved reading your blog post! I’m so glad you’ll be sharing some of your thoughts and experiences with all of us while you’re traveling with your family. That can be almost as brave as the traveling!

    I know I’ll love reading whatever you’d like to share, but I’d also love to hear how you help your younger brothers when traveling. My kids are younger than you, and I’d love to know what you think helps the younger ones most.

    You and your family are awesome!

  64. Jamie

    Great post, Tate! Our kids were all born overseas so they had to travel in order to see grandparents and cousins. They are 7, 5, 2 and still love plane rides and have their own special headphones to make airplane movie watching more comfortable 🙂

    I’d also like to to know how you help your siblings. Do you have any special tips to make sure you all stay together? Also, what is the weirdest and best food you have tried so far?

    I look forward to more posts!

  65. Carly Banek

    That was a very interesting blog post Tate! Super job! I loved hearing about traveling from your perspective. Miss you guys but know that you are having a great time and seeing amazing things. I would love to hear about some of your favorite things that you have seen on your trip or your favorite places. Love you! -Aunt Carly

  66. Marilyn Holeman

    Lovely post, Tate. Keep ’em coming!

  67. Sarah Silvester

    Hi Tatum! What a cool post! It is so fun reading your thoughts on traveling with your family.
    I would love to hear what your most favorite places are to visit in the world – maybe you won’t know that until your year is over. I look forward to taking my kids overseas one day and would love to know your highlights.
    We live in New Zealand and if we are very lucky maybe we will meet you when you visit here. We have a holiday home near an active volcano! That would be a good science lesson huh?
    Keep writing Tate, it’s awesome!!!

  68. Sue McAlinden

    What a FANTASTIC post, Tate! You are a very good writer, and you offer very good insight to traveling with kids! GREAT post – I can’t wait to hear from you some more!

  69. Amanda Bible Williams

    I AM tired of hamburgers. Thanks for the post, Tatum! Excited to read more from you.

  70. Nana

    Great job Tate! I love the way you write. What are you most excited to see in your adventure?

  71. Pappa and Memee

    Tate, we really liked your first post. It even sounds like you and it was good tings to hear about from a kids pont of view. We look forward to the next one. Did you take any of the pictures? We like the ones in the post. And…tell your mom or dad that you should get an A+.

  72. Dawn

    What an awesome post! You really know a lot about traveling. Where was your favorite place to travel? Can’t wait to see what you write next. 🙂 Great job.

  73. Jenine

    Thanks for the info, Tate! We’ve traveled a couple of times with our girls (aged 9 and 12). Mostly car trips. A couple of plane trips when they were too young to remember. And one plane trip fairly recently when we went to Disney World in Florida. We would love to travel more with them and let them experience the world as you are. I’d love it if you wrote some blog posts about your experiences in the various cities and countries you’re visiting. I think my girls would love to hear about them from someone their own age. 🙂

  74. Tonita

    Loved this! Such great info from a good perspective. I would love to know if you have any good tips of things that keep you and your siblings attention when you’re on long flights or waiting in lines? I have 3 kids (5,4,1.5), that seems to be the hardest part. Thanks again for sharing!

  75. GinnyLou

    Tate! It’s so great to hear FROM you, rather than just ABOUT you! You’ve done a great job and I can’t wait to hear more!
    So, what’s the coolest thing you’ve seen so far on this trip? And what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?? Someone asked me that once, and now I love to ask other people!

  76. Lisa Meier

    That all sounds so great! Looks like you are in Thailand now. Eden (8) (and her siblings 6,4,2) is also loving travel and schooling in the world. We live in Kathmandu, Nepal, and will be heading to Thailand after Christmas. Please let us know of your favorite things to do in Chiang Mai! Eden is sick today and that is one bummer about travel…getting a surprise tummy bug! It makes us all slow down a lot- which is usually a good thing. Have fun and keep writing!

  77. evelyn

    cool it makes me want to travel the world

  78. evelyn

    i would love to hear more

  79. Erica

    Rock on, girl! This was a great post. Thank you for sharing why you value traveling. It would be cool to hear what your best memory is of each place or a creative story inspired by a location or your travels. I have a feeling your adventurous spirit would translate well to storytelling. 🙂

  80. Jenlarson

    Great post, Tate! It’s fun hearing about your family’s adventure from your point of view! My kids enjoy traveling, too and we’re looking forward to learning about different places through this blog 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  81. Karla Archer

    What a great post, Tate! I’m enjoying seeing all of the photos from your trip and it’s so fun to hear about it from your point-of-view. I can’t wait to read more from you.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  82. Bree Hester

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us Tatum. I will share this with my children. I especially like what you said about having to have lots of patience. 🙂

  83. Natasha Kohlmann

    Dearest Tate,

    My how you have grown! You did an awesome job on your first blog post. I am certain that you are learning so many things that are going to benefit you in the future. Blessings from Uncle John, Aunt Tash, Jack and Annabelle!

  84. Fibi Davidson

    Good job, Tatum! We like to travel with our kids, too. They love the big planes and the new experiences.
    Looking forward to your next blog post.

  85. Veggie Mama

    Oh mercy, this was the cutest ever!

    I travel a lot with my little kids (they’re 2 and 3), and I think you’re right – the more you do it, the easier it gets.

    I’d love to hear more about the different foods you enjoy on your trip 🙂

  86. Jennifer Barnes

    Thank you Tatum! My nine year old daughter loved reading your post. We are praying about planning an around the world trip with our family too! Any places you’ve been that we just HAVE to see? Do you keep a journal? We have a lot of questions and are so thrilled to be following your adventures.

  87. Jennie Germann Molz

    Hi Tate,

    Elliot and I loved your post! Thanks for this great advice, especially the part about having patience. That’s a lesson I keep on learning!

    Can’t wait to read more of your thoughts on traveling!

  88. Jenna Todd

    Tatum, what an awesome blog post. I am pinning it to my travel board. I love seeing and being inspired by your family. Xoxo from Seattle.

  89. Elena

    This is what my childhood was like! I believe it truly is the best experience we can give our children. Unfortunately, we can’t travel far with our children now, which hurts.
    You are blessed, Tatum. I hope you’ll post again!

  90. Laura Medbury

    Hi Tate!
    Thanks so much for this post it was great!! We are planning a trip to Europe for a few months but my son (he is 12) is a little nervous about going. He’s worried about leaving his friends and other family. I’d love to hear from you how you dealt with that aspect of the trip and how you’re dealing with it now. Cant wait for your next post! Its so awesome your parents are letting you write some of the posts too! 🙂
    Laura (San Diego, Ca)

  91. Stephanie

    Beautifully stated, Tate.

    I completely agree that traveling with kids is 100% worth it.

    In your opinion, what has been the most kid-friendly city or country you’ve visited thus far?

  92. Megan

    Great writing, Tatum! Do you think there’s a good time to start traveling with children? (My son is 2 1/2 and VERY active/antsy, so I’m not sure he’s quite ready for a plane ride yet. We do car trips, for now.) And I second (or third?) the question about which city or country has been the most kid-friendly so far.

    Can’t wait to read more from you!

  93. Michelle Burzotta

    What a wonderful article from a refreshing perspective! My little boy is turning 4 soon and I hope to someday be able to share with him as much cultural experience and world knowledge as you have been able to gather from your travels around the globe. Excellent writing, keep up the good work!

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