I was talking with a friend the other day and she told me about her plans of going to Hong Kong in August. She has an 8 year old son and a 6 month old daughter and she was debating on whether to bring one or both of them. This prompted me to think about the question: When should kids travel abroad?
I suppose this question could be answered by first determining why you want to take your kids to another country. Perhaps the most common answer would be to expose them to a different culture and to offer them something different. If this is the case, I think that kids below 6 years old would not really appreciate the trip. I mean, tell me, do you remember you summer vacations when you were younger than 6? I think I can remember snippets but not all. I might even go as far as to say that 8 or 9 is a good age to take children abroad. For one, it would really take a lot of time and effort to organize a trip with toddlers. More so, as I already mentioned earlier, the fact that the kids may not really appreciate the whole trip may not make the effort worthwhile.
Then again, if your purpose of going abroad is to enjoy yourselves together with the children, then by all means don’t let anything stop you. According to Pauline Frommer, daughter of the renowned Arthur Frommer, “Vacation time is often the only time when families get a good solid chunk of time together. So what are parents with wanderlust to do? Just stick with the tried-and-true theme park and cruise vacations, squelching their own desires to see the world? For many, leaving the kids at home over vacation just isn’t doable, financially or emotionally.”
I would say that the bottom line is what your purpose is and whether or not taking your kids suit your purpose.