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As a father of 6 kids, I’ve traveled quite a bit with my family – they’re the “crew” part of Points With a Crew! Having traveled with both little kids and big kids, I have some thoughts on whether it’s easier to travel with little kids or big kids. There are pros and cons to traveling with big kids and little kids, and in some ways it can be challenging no matter how old your kids are. There’s a reason that one of my two rules for traveling when things go wrong is “this would be so much worse if all my kids were here”.

So I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the challenges with traveling with little kids vs. traveling with big kids and give thoughts on why one might be better / easier than the other.

Why It’s Harder To Travel With Little Kids (And Easier To Travel With Big Kids)

So let’s start out with why it’s harder to travel with little kids and easier to travel with big kids. This is probably the easiest way to look at things and what you might have expected.

  • Depending on how little your little kids are, they are very likely to get tired or cranky while flying
  • This means that you will likely be more stressed trying to make sure that they aren’t bothering other travelers
  • Traveling with little kids often means you have to bring way more stuff (diaper bags, toys, more food, etc) – like when I flew with 17 pieces of luggage
  • If you’re driving, having little kids means that you have to stop more frequently (especially if you’re potty training)
  • Very little kids may not be that interested in “boring adult stuff”. Of course, older kids are also not easy to impress (see below)
  • Traveling with little kids (and strollers) makes it challenging (if not impossible) to use public transportation. I’m very grateful that when I left a kid on a subway that it was an older kid!

a group of people posing for a photo

Why It’s Harder To Travel With Big Kids (And Easier To Travel With Little Kids)

So while there are a bunch of reasons why it’s harder to travel with little kids than big kids, there are also a few reasons why it might be easier to travel with little kids than big kids:

  • Especially if your kids are young enough to be in strollers, you can basically make them go where you want to go.
  • Bigger kids (especially teenagers) often have very busy schedules, which means that it can be harder to schedule trips (especially if you have a big family like mine)
  • Bigger kids are… well… bigger. That means they take up more room on a roadtrip (SEE ALSO: Why we are a 2 rental car familyand they may be less willing to share a hotel bed or sleep on the floor
  • Teens and tweens are sometimes harder to impress – preferring to just be on their phone the whole time. Kind of takes some of the fun out of traveling…

My Take On Traveling With Big Kids And Little Kids

There are advantages and disadvantages to traveling with big kids vs. traveling with little kids, and while I think it’s easier to travel with little kids overall, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t also challenges with traveling with big kids instead. When I asked Mrs. PWaC (who is of course also a parent of 6 kids), she said, and I quote, “In general is traveling with little kids is the worst. They need schedules. They need nap time. They are unreasonable. If for any reason, they are upset it makes it difficult for everyone.”

So there you have it, direct from an expert 🙂

What do you think? Is it easier to travel with big kids vs. little kids? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

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